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Even ACAT is down on property managers

By johnboy - 4 September 2012 5

Sandwiched between rapacious landlords and dodgy tenants the property manager’s lot is not a happy one.

The Office of Regulatory Services has announced that one has been fined $3,900 for letting tenants get away with murder (while still collecting a fee):

The agent was commissioned by a landlord to manage a rental property. Inspection reports indicated that the property was in good condition, and the landlord relied on these reports as a true indication of the state of the property. When the landlord decided to sell the property, another real estate agency was commissioned to undertake the sale. An inspection found the property to be poorly maintained and damaged. Contact with the original agent did not result in the requested rectification work and bond monies were released to the tenants despite instructions to the contrary. A complaint regarding the agent’s conduct was then lodged with the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS).

Investigation by ORS found grounds for occupational discipline and negotiations between solicitors for each party came to the agreement that the agent had breached rules of conduct.

The agent was reprimanded by ACAT and ordered to pay $3,900 to the landlord as reimbursement for some of the management fees paid.

“Real estate agents have a responsibility to exercise skill, care and diligence and to act in accordance with client’s instructions. If an agent is found to have failed to do so, they may find themselves facing severe consequences,” Mr Phillips said.

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Even ACAT is down on property managers
Property Manager 11:51 am 05 Sep 12

Property Managers often bring their poor reputation on themselves, and Beejay76’s story is a prime example.

ThatGuy illustrates a real problem too: many agencies run a property management department under some duress – the agency owners are most often sales people with no understanding or interest in property management – they see it as an inconvenience and a role to be best filled by the cheapest bum-on-seat available. Training? Only what is required by law, and not a moment more!

It goes further though – I will bet you a week’s rent that the property owner has based their choice of agent on the agency fees. Let me be clear about this – you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. If you choose the cheapest possible agent to care for your half-million dollar investment so that you can save $10 a week… you’re a chump.

I bet if you had a $500,000 car you wouldn’t take it to Joe’s Greasy Spanner in the back yard of a suburban knockdown. But for the sake of a tax deductible $10 per week you will hand over the keys to your property to the gimp who offers the cheapest management fee.

I’m not absolving the agency or the individual property manager of responsibility – such poor service is inexcusable. Property owners need to be more discerning though than choosing the cheapest option to look after their property.

ThatGuy 2:15 pm 04 Sep 12

Not saying this was necessarily the case here but when real estate companies only pay a property manager $38,000 a year to look after 180+ $500,000+ properties then what do you think will happen?

Providing adequate training and remuneration would surely assist in raising the quality of property management out there. Hell, make PMs sit an actual test rather than a 13 week lecture on the Act.

Anyway, mini-rant over.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 12:41 pm 04 Sep 12

eat it scumbag

Brandi 12:25 pm 04 Sep 12

Interested to hear the tenant’s side of this…

beejay76 12:20 pm 04 Sep 12

I’m so glad about this, actually.

In one property we rented we had an awesome landlord who really cared for the property and looked after it. After a change of property manager, no repairs were ever made again. Unless the owner had a personality transplant, my guess is that the new agent never reported anything to the owner.

We were repeatedly reporting rising damp to which the property manager replied “wash it off”. Just before we left, there was a burst pipe and upon investigation it came about that the shower had been leaking madly for ages and had now rotted through a bearer, as well as causing our rising damp problem.

My thoughts went to that poor landlord, who no doubt did not receive our feedback, and then was hit with a massive bill for major structural work, rather than just retiling a shower. I wished, at the time, that we could have had the contact details of the landlord so we could tell them to about it, and provide proof of our communication with the agent.

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