As a foreign investor in Australia, you might be thinking about how to maximise your investment while keeping your expenses to a minimum. But as a foreigner in Australia, you may not be familiar with the national leasing policies, as well as local ones in the area where your property is situated. To ensure you get the most out of your real estate property while adhering to local laws, hiring a property manager is recommended.
What is a Property Manager?
In simple terms, a property manager is the middle man between you and the tenant. They are responsible for making sure that the property that you have purchased is in good shape and earning money.
Here are the other responsibilities of a property manager:
- They look after every aspect of the property while you are away.
- They set the right price based on the market level of your property to make sure that it leases fast.
- They choose the tenants and ensure their capacity to pay the agreed rent on schedule.
- They collect the rent, keep financial records and conduct regular property assessments.
- They also deal with any kind of arguments, as well as arranging repairs and maintenance within the property.
- They are responsible for drawing a comprehensive and reasonable lease contract to protect your investment and interests.
- They keep you up to date with ever-changing real estate landscape so that you won’t fall behind.
Simply put, they are your representatives while you are not in Australia. They will take charge of your property’s operational aspects in your place.
How To Choose The Right Property Manager
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of property owners in Australia. How do you choose who to hire? Here are some tips:
1. Look for someone who lives in the area.
Someone who lives in the area would have a good grasp of the real estate scene. They can also easily visit your estate for inspections. If your property manager lives several towns away from your property, chances are they will not visit your property as often as expected.
2. Look for someone with experience.
Experience with managing properties and tenants are a must. Dealing with people is one of the toughest jobs of a property manager, so if the person you hire doesn’t have experience, you might experience problems along the way.
3. Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
If you know someone who is also into Australian real estate, your best bet in finding a good property manager is by asking for recommendations. They will surely recommend someone they have had a good experience working with. They might also tell you who to avoid.
How to Interview Prospective Property Managers
Before hiring a property manager, you would need to go through a rigorous interview process first. This is necessary to ensure you and the person you hire meet eye to eye. Interviewing an applicant also allows the other party if they can work with you based on your needs.
Here are some questions that you can ask when interviewing property managers:
- How many years have you been working as a property manager?
- Are you managing other properties? If so, how many do you handle and where are they located?
- Are you just one person or do you have a team?
- Have you taken any formal training for managing properties?
- Are you updated with the latest legislation on property management?
- Are you a member of or affiliated with the Real Estate Institute of Australia?
- Do you have any testimonials or recommendation letters from previous or current property owners you work with?
- Do you have a standard process for managing a property? If so, please state your procedures.
- What is your standard procedure on arrears?
- When do you send the payments and how?
- How do you inform the lessor of updates? Do you do it regularly? How regular?
- Do you regularly review the fair market levels of rent in the area?
- How can you help me optimise my property and maximise my return?
Why Do You Need To Have a Property Manager in Australia?
While it is true that hiring a property manager adds to your expenses, you should be wise not to underestimate the amount of work of not having one entails. There is more to being a property manager than just collecting the rent for you.
If you are not going to hire one, you would need to keep yourself updated with important regulations and legislation. Professional property managers do it for their ongoing professional growth. Not hiring a property manager also means you will be doing all the work such as finding a tenant, checking the tenant’s background, collecting rent, ensuring the upkeep of the property and so much more. Imagine your expenses in going back and forth from your country to Australia just to check on the property!
If you are worried that the property manager that you are going to hire won’t prioritize your property over so many others under their care, it is best to know how many properties they are managing before signing a contract with them.
Do You Need To Lodge a Tax Return in Australia?
Australian laws treat citizens and non-citizens differently. Just like Australian citizens, however, a foreign investor also needs to annually lodge his tax return. Failure to do so will earn you a penalty, therefore adding up to your expenses more than it should.
If, however, you are cannot do it personally, your property manager will make sure that you lodge your tax return by submitting all of the expenses incurred and rent earned through an accountant.
The accountant will then prepare your tax returns using all of the receipts submitted by your property manager.
The importance of hiring a property manager is a good type of expense. They will make sure that your property is in top shape, earns money, and keep up with existing Australian laws. If you wish to acquire a property in Australia, you need to show the authorities that you can obey their housing, real estate, and tax laws.
If you can’t find a good property manager, we can help. We have a comprehensive list of trustworthy property managers who can work with you. Just contact us for more information and we’ll connect you with the right person or company based on your needs.