I can find a tenant myself I don’t need an agent? REALLY…?


You’re prob­ably ask­ing your­self “Mmm…Will I save money put­ting a ten­ant in myself?”

In the short term maybe, but in the long run you’re tak­ing a gamble on one of your biggest assets.for lease rent tenant

I can under­stand land­lords try­ing to save money, as costs are always going up and DIY is all the rage.

Prop­erty Man­age­ment Super­visor Julie Collins said “What we find is that people say they will put in a friend and start advert­ising on gumtree”.

There is noth­ing wrong with this but land­lords don’t have the tools that agents have and go on only instinct or face value.

Now going with your instinct is a skill you pick up being in prop­erty man­age­ment after sev­eral years but we ALWAYS do our ref­er­ence checks regardless.

You would think that at face value a police officer in Seven Hills would be a good instinct and an easy choice for a ten­ant and one you would not be con­cerned about.

Well this is exactly what happened and it’s not an isol­ated incid­ent. Some land­lords don’t think it through when try­ing to save money.

Being a landlord/agent myself, I had a look at man­aging it myself and not though our office.

At least I researched all the laws and eval­u­ated how much of my life/hassle it would take.

Here were my thoughts on rent­ing out my granny flat in Seven Hills not though our office;

  • If I found a ten­ant myself, I may end up hav­ing the prop­erty unten­an­ted for 2 weeks or maybe longer than if you engaged the ser­vices ofrenters market a good prop­erty man­ager. If you are rent­ing a place for $400 per week and it is unten­an­ted for 2 weeks, that is a cost of $800 that you have incurred as a res­ult of not using a good prop­erty manager.
  • I would not get state­ments for tax pur­poses and the banks so if I wanted to get another invest­ment prop­erty (some banks will not except non prop­erty man­age­ment agency state­ments). I would have to still leg­ally do my paper work anyway.
  • Could end up with a ten­ant that calls about every little issue and also get calls at 2am about the water not work­ing etc (wanted to stay in my nice warm bed), our agency has a 24hr emer­gency phone.
  • I didn’t have access to “Bad ten­ant” data bases only a list of their own good ones.
  • Good cop bad cop. I did not want to get emo­tion­ally attached to the ten­ants and make bad invest­ment decisions. At least I can make the people in my agency have the hard con­ver­sa­tions with the ten­ant when needed e.g. rent arrears, garden­ing, dam­ages, kick­ing them out etc…
  • The man­age­ment fee of $30 per week is tax deduct­ible so it’s only really $17 per week.  I live closely as well, but am “detach­ing” myself from the property.

Even­tu­ally I decided against it.

It’s now set and for­get, our prop­erty man­age­ment deals with chas­ing money and repairs and I can have a friendly rela­tion­ship with the tenants.

Now let’s get back to the police officer that trashed a house in Seven Hills that was found on gumtree.

Please take note we are happy to work with our land­lords and find them a ten­ant, you can man­age it after we have done all the paper work.

I do not advise it though, not just that I’m try­ing to sell our ser­vices, but it can still end up messy even after all our checks and paper work.for_rent_1

At least you would have an ingo­ing inspec­tion report and a law enforce­able lease.

We find many DIY land­lords have “friends” move in. They don’t have a lease.

They can­not evict the squat­ters and col­lect the 6 weeks rent owed. This is a very bad situation!

Any­way we ended up tak­ing on this prop­erty after this land­lord real­ised they could not handle deal­ing with this while he went back to China to live.

Julie Collins said “we don’t nor­mally take on clean up jobs like these.

The ten­ant was 6 weeks behind and it was going to be a lot of work to get it back, not men­tion to dam­ages to the Seven Hills prop­erty”.

Julie’s dili­gence also found the owner was char­ging the full water bill to the ten­ant, not just the usage which is a big no no.

We had this cor­rec­ted and many more issues, in fact Julie Collins said “the owner was in breach of Res­id­en­tial Ten­an­cies Act 2010 in so many ways it was not funny!”

Now to the ten­ant side of things, you would think “He is a police officer, how bad could he be?”

Well as Julie was to take over this prop­erty she soon real­ised how much of a night­mare ten­ant he was.

Dining walls Photos of panting Real Estate Agent Lucretia Road Seven Hills NSW 2147 Australia

The land­lord said it was ok to paint a fea­ture wall in a light neut­ral col­our and the ten­ant ended up paint­ing a dark col­our.

Later the owner asked him to paint it back in a neut­ral col­our, to which the ten­ant clearly didn’t fin­ish.

Hallway hole Real Estate Agent Lucretia Road Seven Hills NSW 2147 AustraliaHole in wall Real Estate Agent Lucretia Road Seven Hills NSW 2147 AustraliaMain bedroom hole Real Estate Agent Lucretia Road Seven Hills NSW 2147 Australia

Not sure why but there are plenty of holes in walls

Photos of paint on floor Real Estate Agent Lucretia Road Seven Hills NSW 2147 Australia

My favour­ite photo is a massive pool of paint on the floor

As you can see this house was trashed.

We took the ten­ant to Con­sumer, Trader & Ten­ancy Tribunal which he did not attend.

Because our case was so well doc­u­mented and the dam­age was so severe we were awar­ded full costs, which has never been done before given the age of the carpet/paint work.


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Jhai is the Internet Marketing Business Development Manager for Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. He has been consistently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Real Estate Business online. Visit his blog at www.realestatesevenhillsnews.com.au

'I can find a tenant myself I don’t need an agent? REALLY…?' have 2 comments

    Avatar for Jhai Mitchell

    January 17, 2016 Darryl Smith

    The thing that frustrates me about using an agent is that when there is an issue the agent rarely takes responsibility. They promise
    that all will be great if you use them and then for example a tenant does damage they ring up and ask you to pay for the repairs.
    If they pick a poor tenant they do not wear the cost. Also they charge a percentage of the rent and then charge the earth for every little thing they do. The costs have now got really over the top. If I rent a property in my town I handle it but use a manager if it is not.


      January 18, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Darryl if that’s happening to you then you’ve got the wrong property manager


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