My Nightmare PM experience......

I'm reasonably new here, and what a godsend this site has been.
Right up my ally as a hobby renovator. I have no real skills/trades but make a great right hand man to my handyman and do all the designs/colours etc.

This is a long saga and I will try and keep it as short as possible.

June 08 we sold a renovated IP, reduced our mortgage and bought another IP to take its place, locally. Plan was to renovate whilse some new friends rented it.
House 3brm with lounge, dining and familyroom. Off familyroom and laundry access to a (non council approved) sunroom. Tenants come house hunting, so were aware of all the pitfalls and had a say in the pick of the house, as they were prospective long term tenants. At viewing it was discussed the state of sunroom and it would be demolished over repaired in the future.

Several minor things were done in the week after settlement before tenants moved in, including getting quotes done for kitchen and ducted heating and cooling. Upon entry the tenants refused to get these upgrades done, so it was constantly put off. 6 months later........fall out in friendship.

One of the issues was, they hadn't put the water bill into their name, so I was getting huge water bills every 3 months, asking them if they had done it and them assuring it was fixed. Put the property to a property manager, as I'm inexperienced private landlord. With assurances they would chase up the water bill issue.......thus the adventure began.

I think in the first 3 months we had gone through 4 property managers, one managed to stay a couple of months. In the meantime tenants have put in complaints about everything, including the leak in the sunroom roof.
Got one PM who stayed for 4 months and many things got fixed, roof guys were out there 3 times to patch the sunroom roof (for a pricely sum), yet it still leaked (its not built to standards thus floods in any big rain).

We ended up taking the tenants to VCAT over the water bill. Last PM mentioned quit at the end of that day, and settled on $250 towards $1300 of water bills.

Temp PM who was 80 in the shade shows up for a couple of weeks (ends up being about 6), tenants put in a complaint about roof to vcat, dinosaur assures us that he will handle it all, they didn't notify the RE etc, he would get it adjurned.......WRONG. Whilst out of state for 3 days, we had to organise a building and electrical inspection on the property. Turned into a mess, but in the end, we didn't lose, they didn't win. We had to get the sunroom roof replaced.

I was on the phone to a large well known company and accepted their quote (just wanted it done and fixed), they knew about the vcat order, yet nothing got done past inspections for the 2 months, all the time tenants taking us back to vcat to complain.

2 new pm's on the scene now and things are looking up (this is 8 and 9 by the way), then tenants take us back to vcat to complain about the delay, give their 14 days notice (they had previously be served 120 days), and got a compansation hearing the same day. Got half their rent since feb, but finally getting out.

Called pm, 8 has now left, so talked to 9. She tried to only deduct half the rent off the totally owing (but thats the total until vacate day, and already been halved), and then gave us a new total, only for me to hang up and figure out that that figure is also more than just the 2 weeks rent deducted. She had said they were behind in the rent wehn they served notice.
Have sent off a quick email to ask her for a correct figure, and cant wait the next few days to have the tenants out and give this pm the boot.

Sort of had to stay it out with them as the tenants had made such a mess of things and with the change of pms always promised the world. now I just wont deal with that real estate again.

Just thought I'd share......
Sounds like a nightmare, but also sounds like you got some great experience out of it. :D

You'll know what to do/not do next time hey.


And the moral of the story:
1. Don't go house hunting with your future tenants
2. Don't privately rent to friends
3. Don't hire a PM in the middle of your mess and expect them to fix it
Friends and money don't mix.

I know it's like shutting the gate once the horse has bolted, but I think the most important lesson in all this is for you to remember that investing in IP's is like running a business. Warm, gooey friendships with tenants don't work. Keep everything running as a business and document everything.

If you are a bit of a soft touch, get a PM. If you don't want to keep records, get a PM. If you don't know the legislation, get a PM. If you don't want to deal with tenants, get a PM. If you're a newbie, get a PM. If you don't have time to deal with everything, get a PM. In short, for most people, you are better off with a PM, but don't just accept anyone. Do some research first and make sure they know what they are doing.
See I did all that.

Didn't know these people that well, as my partner had befriended them while I was renovating a house on the other side of the city at the time. Totally agree about putting friends into places, but then again, have had a g/f's brother renting one of my other IP's for 7yrs now and hardly a problem.

I also wouldn't have put this company in place as PM's except they assured me they could fix the problems. I saw the signs, just thought, it couldn't possibly be that
Yes a lesson learnt and all tax deductable, thank heavens.
Didn't know these people that well, as my partner had befriended them while I was renovating a house on the other side of the city at the time. Totally agree about putting friends into places, but then again, have had a g/f's brother renting one of my other IP's for 7yrs now and hardly a problem.

It's not so much a matter of putting people you know into your IPs is always a problem, but that it's much more difficult if there IS a problem. Why take the chance?
Yeh, it wont be a chance I'll be taking again in a hurry.

Nor will I take a chance with that agency again.

Sent off my email to the PM 12 hrs ago, I have a read receipt saying it was opened 11 hrs ago, asking for a correct calculation of what we have to pay.....still waiting a response.