Brisbane landlords, Brisbane's rental market

Onsite managers and your tenant’s right to privacy

nosy neighbourEven the most sociable amongst us can have our moments when we crave our privacy. Maybe you’ve snuck the wheelie bin out under cover of darkness, lest you get stuck chatting with Mrs Nosy across the street. Or feigned a morning rush so you don’t need to continue a chat – most of us have done something like this at some stage! Sometimes it’s nice to go to a place where everybody knows your name, but other times you might just like to be able to go about your business anonymously.

So what about your tenants?

Apartment living in Brisbane is becoming increasingly popular and it’s no surprise investors have coined onto this with supply of rental properties increasing daily. Investors now have a choice to make – do I go with the on-site manager or head over to an external agent? When deciding many view the two as very similar service and look at the fees to make their decision without thinking of the tenant. With so much competition, many investors are asking the question of how can I keep a good tenant? Regular upkeep and ensuring your properties offers the popular features is of course going to help, however one area many neglect is the relationship between the tenant and property manager.

A fundamental right of tenants is their right to ‘quiet enjoyment’, this states that ‘a tenant is entitled to reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, and be able to make full use of their rented property’. This ensures the tenants feel comfortable in their own home and in turn should create a solid relationship between the tenants and landlords/property manager. This relationship is vital to ensuring your tenant is happy with their living arrangement and gives the owner the best chance of reducing the risk of a vacancy.

Privacy in apartment living has always been a concern for residents in apartments; neighbours sharing a wall, the ability to peer into a neighboring unit from across the complex and the fact that your on-site manager will often sit and watch as you leave and enter are just some of the reasons that many tenants prefer houses.

And then there is the issue of when a dispute arises between the tenant and the on-site manager that cannot be resolved easily. It is no secret that disputes between tenants and managers are quite common, whilst most can be resolved easily and quickly, personality clashes can be quite difficult to fix. This doesn’t mean that either party is in the wrong it could just be that you do not get along, these feelings can be accentuated when you are required to walk past someone daily and creates a hostile living environment.

In turn a tenant could argue that their right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ has been breached however most will just wait until their lease ends and then vacate. An owner in this situation would then be at a loss, not because of their unit but because of an argument between the two parties. Tenants in situations like this are of course going to look at moving onto a new apartment and with so many new apartments entering the market why wouldn’t they?

This is one of the downsides to your property manager being onsite at the property. Whilst it’s great that they have the ability to keep an eye on things, keeping your tenant happy is also very important.

What’s best for your tenant? This is something property investors must think about when deciding which property manager to use and how to present your apartment in its best light.