In fifteen years of providing services to the property industry, I have rarely had contact with private landlords. In the past two months, I have had a number of private landlords approach us for assistance. There have been many more who have contacted us on Facebook or other areas for comment. This is a rarity in New South Wales and Australian marketplaces. Usually there is a high volume of agency managements.

I cannot work out why anyone would privately manage their own property. The rate here in Sydney is about 5.5% in management fees. It’s ridiculous for the work that property managers put in to a single property. On a $700 a week property, the agency will only receive a fee of $38.50 for dealing with landlords who don’t want to fix anything and tenants who want everything.

Property managers are trained and work diligently towards providing three important things for landlords:

  • Income protection;
  • Maintenance of the asset; and
  • Compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act.

It should also be remembered that property managers provide landlords with:

  • Protection from the tenant; and
  • A skilled and knowledgeable professional.

The landlord gets all this for only $38.50. Every landlord knows how little they pay their property manager. Most landlords would pay more than that on a meal but for some reason or other, there is becoming this increasing number of private landlords in the marketplace.

We received a phone call from a person who is a private landlord on Saturday, in quite a state. They had tenanted their place to a very aggressive male. She was a single woman living alone and felt intimidated by this male. The tenant had fallen behind in his rent and she was too scared to enforce the rent or any termination notice against this person. She needed protection! Our advice was merely to get her very quickly to a local real estate agent to receive the protection she required. Moreover, she did not even understand the termination rules under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, and therefore any termination would have been faulty and caused her to have to start the process again. In circumstances where she was already frightened, this would have been a catastrophe.

Good news, she has now signed with a very professional agent who is going to issue the termination notice and get a new tenant in the property. She has now seen the error of her ways and more importantly, she now has peace of mind and comfort.

We don’t know why there is an increase of private landlords and without proper data, we will not attempt to guess why this new trend is occurring. For those landlords who are thinking of running off and doing it themselves, be very careful. You haven’t been trained, and you definitely don’t have the facilities available to protect yourself against a dangerous tenant. Remember one other thing; in the coming years there will be an increase of vacancies on the market. This will push rentals down and you will be competing for tenants. It is the professionals you need to maximise your return on investments.


This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email or call 1300 438 538