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Renting in Canberra – nothing but trouble?

By Property Manager - 21 September 2010 78

for lease

There’s been plenty of previous discussion on RA around issues for renters in Canberra. There are plenty of stories of tenants who are kept in the dark about their rights, or treated by their landlords or property managers as second class citizens. 

On the other side there’s plenty of times when a landlord either has issues with their tenant, chosen agent, or when self managing they have no one to turn to for advice – sometimes leading to poor decisions which can create unwanted conflict with the tenants. No one is perfect, and it’s always tough to manage conflicting priorities that involve someone’s home.

Who’s offering to help? Tenant’s Advice Service can be useful if you can catch them during their limited availbility (and only if you’re a tenant!), the tribunal will give you a definite answer after taking your time, money and giving you a headful of frustration. Why are there no other places for people to turn when they are dealing with these issues?

I’ve been in property management for a while now and I wouldn’t dream of saying that I know it all or that I’ve seen it all… but I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. What issues are you facing with your Canberra rental property?

What’s Your opinion?


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78 Responses to
Renting in Canberra – nothing but trouble?
1
davecdp 2:33 pm
21 Sep 10
#

We have decided to sell a rental property and the tenants lease runs out in February. How much notice am i required to give them? How much notice would you (or the rest of you) recommend i give them? i know availability is at its worst just before and just after Christmas and they have been great tenants so i’m happy to make this as easy for them as i can.

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2
Woody Mann-Caruso 2:47 pm
21 Sep 10
#

What issues are you facing with your Canberra rental property?

Property managers who demand 7% of a weekly rent that’s more than double what it was ten years ago for doing less work.

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3
Property Manager 3:00 pm
21 Sep 10
#

davecdp said :

We have decided to sell a rental property and the tenants lease runs out in February. How much notice am i required to give them? How much notice would you (or the rest of you) recommend i give them? i know availability is at its worst just before and just after Christmas and they have been great tenants so i’m happy to make this as easy for them as i can.

You need to give them a minimum of 8 weeks written notice AFTER their lease ends, meaning they won’t necessarily be moving until some time in April, by which time the market is typically a little more tenant friendly.

Remember, they can leave at any time after their lease expires by giving you 3 weeks written notice.

I would think that 8 weeks formal notice is usually enough for a good tenant to find a new place, but you could give them the heads up a little in advance – as long as you can deal with them moving out before the 8 weeks is up if they find a great place quickly.

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4
Property Manager 3:08 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

What issues are you facing with your Canberra rental property?

Property managers who demand 7% of a weekly rent that’s more than double what it was ten years ago for doing less work.

Based on your example of 7% a property that takes in a rent of $2712.60 per month ($500pw) would cost a tick over $150/month in agent fees; a cost which is tax deductible. Assuming you already have a full time job, why would you question that cost to have someone spend their entire working week looking after your rental investment?

If you don’t think that’s value for money you need to find an agent that is actually worth the money they are being paid. I’m not going to target any particular agents, but there are good and bad as in most industries. The bad ones make it harder for the rest of us to impress – and some of us relish that challenge.

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5
davecdp 3:09 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Thanks for the advice.

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6
rosscoact 3:15 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

What issues are you facing with your Canberra rental property?

Property managers who demand 7% of a weekly rent that’s more than double what it was ten years ago for doing less work.

I pay 10% and have no problem with it.

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7
Genie 3:18 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Based on your example of 7% a property that takes in a rent of $2712.60 per month ($500pw)

I think your maths is off.

Wasn’t aware of a month being 5 1/2 weeks.

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8
Property Manager 3:44 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Genie said :

Based on your example of 7% a property that takes in a rent of $2712.60 per month ($500pw)

I think your maths is off.

Wasn’t aware of a month being 5 1/2 weeks.

Sorry, a typo – $2172.62 is the monthly figure.

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9
colourful sydney rac 3:54 pm
21 Sep 10
#

In my experience as a tennant property managers do not “spend their entire working week looking after (a) rental investment”.

They do the absolute minimum. They are A grade bullies to tennants and take up valuable oxygen that other people could breathe.

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10
enrique 3:54 pm
21 Sep 10
#

LANDLORDS (i.e. davecdp)

If you’re a landlord and you’re coming to a public internet forum/chat room for legal advice then you deserve all the trouble you end up with.

First, read this… http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1997-84/default.asp

If it’s too much for you to understand then get a property manager.

If your property manager isn’t able to deal with issues/problems for you then why are you paying them? Get a new property manager.

If all else fails, pay a solicitor.

Why mess around when you’re dealing with investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?

TENANTS

If you think you’re being “kept in the dark” don’t sit around and do nothing…

First, read this… http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1997-84/default.asp

And the stuff here… http://www.ors.act.gov.au/rentalbonds/WebPages/rentalbonds_publications.html

These people are here to help… http://www.tenantsact.org.au/

ALL

Tenants and Landlords are both parties to a legally binding agreement. Take a bit of time to inform yourselves of the terms & conditions of your agreement and your rights & responsibilities. Read the legislation. If it’s too hard to understand seek professional advice.

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11
trix 3:58 pm
21 Sep 10
#

To be honest, if you are a landlord and you have no clue how much notice you should be giving your tenants, you should probably get out of the game.

Too many people think they can make a quick buck, or it’s an easy form of investment. But you do have to follow the law. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can be a company director – you have fiduciary obligations, and ignorance is no defence. As far as I’m concerned, owning rental property is no different to running a small company.

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12
Rangi 3:59 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Property Manager said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Assuming you already have a full time job, why would you question that cost to have someone spend their entire working week looking after your rental investment?

Now I don’t think you would spend your whole week looking after my property for $150, I am almost sure you would devote some of the week to looking after one or two other peoples properties.

After years of managing our property ourselves we have switched to a manager and it is worth every cent to do away with the hassle of monitoring rent, etc

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13
Property Manager 4:15 pm
21 Sep 10
#

#9 – Colourful Sydney…:
Your attitude is indicative of the broader problem that I am trying to provide assistance with. I don’t disagree that there are lazy property managers out there who bully and do little to assist – but show me an industry where there aren’t good and bad operators. I’m sure you could offer some thoughtful and relevant insights to the issues faced by tenants that would help everyone understand things better, but instead your comment offers nothing constructive – you really are missing an opportunity to add something of value.

#10 – Enrique:
I agree with all of your comments, but while an internet forum is not substitute for either being properly informed as a self-manager or engaging a professional, I am simply trying to assist all parties with professional advice. The last thing I want is to push people away from professional management (I’ll be out of a job), but trying to minimise the incidence of unnecessary conflict doesn’t seem like a disservice to anyone. Further, I want to demonstrate that there are professionals in the industry who know what they are doing and aren’t afraid to actually do some work.

#11 – Trix:
Probably true, but there’s plenty of reasons why investors choose to self manage – many of these reasons revolve around numerous bad experiences with previous agents. I too believe that owning an investment property is in fact a business; but it’s worth remembering that on the other side it is someone’s home.

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14
Deano 4:16 pm
21 Sep 10
#

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Property managers who demand 7% of a weekly rent that’s more than double what it was ten years ago for doing less work.

Which property managers are quoting 7%??? I recently had one quote me 11%!

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15
colourful sydney rac 4:21 pm
21 Sep 10
#

@ #12. I will try again.

My relevant insight is that property managers, in my experience, take up valuable oxygen that other people could breathe.

My constructive comment is that if we deprive them of oxygen there will be more to go around.

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