Articles in Category: Property Management information

Article and information that are of interest to property managers. Note; some articles may be Queensland legislation focused.


I hope the word property manager stops being used

Over the last 13 years, I have had the privilege of being an industry educator, advisor and trainer. The industry has evolved so much and mostly for the better.

The property management industry is much more professional, educated and more respected. As it long should have been.

Although the profession has evolved, one thing that has occurred is by far much higher expectation on service delivery. Whilst service delivery is paramount and the important focus, what is expected in regards to service delivery is my concern.

Property Managers today are expected to do much more than what their role and expertise actually is.

For example to note a few practices of today;

*processing of insurance claims  for landlords (since when does that have anything to with tenancy management expertise)

* assist neighours and owners with tree and fencing disputes (these matters are civil disputes and not tenancy related. In Queensland there are specific laws and processes for this that involve a certain degree of knowledge and expertise).

The title of this blog is I hope the word property manager stops being used. Property managers do not manage property today; they manage tenancies. The owner of investment properties pay a fee for expertise in tenancy only; not other matters that have nothing to do with tenancy and are for the purpose of owners such as insurance claims and civil disputes.

Property managers (an out of date title) are in fact tenancy managers; they manage the tenancy on behalf of a landlord/lessor. They carry expertise in tenancy law and negotiate, communicate and educate the parties on their rights and obligations.

I hope that the title property manager is no longer used by the time I draw my last breath in this world for the benefit of all. Property managers (tenancy managers) can focus on their core business; management of tenancies. Landlords, tenants and neighbours can take more responsiblity in regards to their own private and civil matters.

 

 

Real Estate Excellence response to RTRA proposed amendments

Minimum housing standards for Queensland

The proposed RTRA Act amendment bill has been put before parliament by the Labor party;  not the current Queensland Government

 

The following submission was provided to the Queensland Government by Real Estate Excellence.

Real Estate Excellence welcomes the opportunity to provide the submissions relating to the RTRA Act proposed amendments relating the minimum housing standards. Real Estate Excellence is a private company representing over 200 member offices in Queensland. Our business focus is providing best practice, compliance and risk management advisory and training services to the industry.

It is difficult however to provide constructive feedback when the regulations required to provide the actual definition of the minimum housing standards are not yet available. The regulations are needed in order to provide a constructive platform regarding the impact and benefit (or lack of) to the private rental sector in relation to the proposed minimum housing standards.

Nevertheless, with the limited information available without the regulations, the following feedback is hereby provided;

  • It is with great alarm to see so many matters proposed to have minimum housing standards. Whilst the focus and importance of having safe rental properties is paramount, the cost for compliance to the sector is mind boggling to say the least should a minimum housing standard be proposed for each item listed in proposed section 191A. The impact to the private rental market would be catastrophic to say the least to all parties involved, including tenants which may see rents rise in order to recoup the possible costs to investors.

  • Landlords (lessors) already have clear statutory obligations in relation to ensuring properties are safe and fit to live in through section 185. If landlords fail in their obligations, tenants should utilise their many rights to ensure the landlord meets their legislative obligation.

  • Tenants already have adequate rights when it comes to maintenance concerns of rental property particularly given the overarching provision of section 185 relating to landlord obligations. They can choose, depending on the situation one of more of the following;

    • Breaching the lessor under section 185

    • Applying to the RTA dispute resolution via form 16

    • If the matter is unresolved, apply to tribunal for an order

    • Apply to tribunal via section 191

    • Seek a rent reduction under section 94 to name a few key options open to tenants.

It is strongly recommended that before the proposed bill moves forward more information is provided to the sector to enable a more informed debate surrounding what the opposition who have introduced the bill is actually proposing to be minimum housing standards.

If you have any questions and or wish to discuss this matter or any other tenancy matter in further detail please find below the following contact details;

 0423 018539

 

 Postal PO Box 154 Alderley QLD 4051

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Yours sincerely

Stacey Holt  

Real Estate Educator and Advisor

 Company Director

 Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty Ltd

 

 

 

Woman sues for $853,359 after slipping and falling on a wet veranda

A reminder why every landlord (and home owner) must have public liability insurance

IT was a dinner that went horribly wrong. Before that rainy ­Friday night, Sheran Schultz and Cathryn McCormack had been the best of friends for years.

They travelled overseas together, visited each other’s houses and enjoyed outings to drag races with their husbands.

But the friendship collapsed one rainy night when Mrs Schultz slipped and fell on her friend’s wet veranda.

Mrs Schultz sued in the NSW ­District Court for more than $800,000, saying that her friend had failed to warn her the veranda was ­slippery.

The couple met through their husbands, who were both into drag racing, and became close after they travelled abroad on a group trip almost 10 years ago.

They met up again in Bangkok three years ago.

But in February, 2010, Mrs Schultz went to visit Mrs ­McCormack and her husband, Norman, in Woodbine in Sydney’s south-west.

The court heard Mrs Schultz left at about midnight and slipped in the rain while descending the outside steps, breaking an ankle.

Mrs Schultz, a mother of three who worked for ­Macarthur Disability Services, told the court she lost her job as a result of the fracture, which has required multiple operations over ­several years.

The court heard the ankle had since “fused” and would require further surgery.

Mrs Shultz sought $853,359 from the McCormack’s home insurers to cover compensation for lost earnings, super, domestic assistance and “out-of-pocket” expenses.

Although she had been wearing thongs at the time, she argued that there should have been a handrail and that Mrs McCormack should have warned her that the steps could become ­“excessively slippery” when wet.

The McCormacks could have treated the tiles or had matting. At the very least there should have been “a more ­extensive awning” over the veranda to prevent it from ­becoming wet in bad weather. The McCormacks argued that it should have

District Court judge ­Leonard Levy agreed, saying Mrs Schultz should have been more careful as the steps were wet.

The McCormacks also had no reason to install a hand rail as they had never had problems with the porch or the stairs being slippery, he said.

In dismissing Mrs Schultz’s claim, Mr Levy said it had been up to her to look where she was about to place her foot.

“Descending stairs required that a proper lookout be kept, and the plaintiff failed to maintain a proper lookout,” he said.

Mrs Schultz said the McCormacks had ­encouraged her to sue because they were ­insured, a claim the McCormacks deny.

Mrs McCormack said the pair no longer spoke. “You find out who your friends are when something like this happens,” she said.

The Insurance Council of Australia has urged homeowners to check their policies to ensure that they are covered in the event they are sued.

Source www.dailytelegraph.com.au

 

RTRA Act amendments

Have your say - minimum housing standards

On Thursday 3 April 2014, Member for Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller MP, introduced the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Amendment Bill 2014 into the Queensland Parliament for consideration.

The Bill proposes to set minimum standards for private rental accommodation for standard housing and rooming accommodation.

The Bill is now open for public submissions.

Visit the Queensland Parliament website for full details of the proposed Bill including details on a public hearing and how to have your say.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 18 July 2014.

Please note: This Bill is not related to the RTA’s review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008which is still progressing.

Source www.rta.qld.gov.au

The role of a property manager

Property management is a very diverse, challenging and interesting career. No two days are ever the same. What property managers do is mind boggling to some but to many of us it is ‘all in a day’s work’. Property management is really about People Management.

All property managers must remember that ‘nothing is your problem’ (so to speak) and in the great game that is property management, your key role is the following;

  • Maximise your lessor’s income and minimise their loss

  • Always act in the best interest (both ethically and legally) of your licensee and the lessor

  • Always remember your duty of care to the tenant

  • And remember; your main duty is the following

    • Educate your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability

    • Communicate with your lessor and tenants to the best of your ability;

    • Negotiate with your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability.

Knowledge is power and continual self and professional development is part of the key to successful property management. Property management is a task related profession meaning that the career is made of up of many tasks which require a system to be followed, following up, following through until there is an end or outcome within a reasonable time frame. All tasks should have an end otherwise there are matters outstanding, dissatisfied lessors or tenants plus extra stress placed on property managers.