'Lazy and remiss' property management company, what can I do?

Question from Geraldine updated on 29th April 2011:

We have a bad tenant in-situ, placed by a property management company who did only one reference check and the usual credit check. They have been late on nearly every rental payment, have caused some damage to the property and there have been issues all along the way with keeping the property clean and well maintained. Our query relates to the property management company - can we request to see the reference check(s) for the tenant? If the property management company have not done their job by way of getting a suitable tenant via good process promised on their website, can we then stop dealing with that property management company and start up with a more reputable one? They have been extremely lazy and remiss, causing untold problems that have become our problem, and yet we pay a premium each week for them to 'manage' our property.

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

Your property management company will have asked an applicant for personal information, for assessing the applicant’s suitability as a tenant. If the information was obtained on the promise (usually printed on an application form) that it was for the company’s sole use, it is not available for you to look at.  

However, your property manager is your agent and is expected to act on your behalf and in your best interests. If you feel that the property manager is not fulfilling the obligations that they undertook, you are entitled to call them to task. Look at the agreement you have with the agent. If you can terminate it by giving notice, you may choose to do so and find another property manager. If you are locked into a fixed management term, you may need to get the agent’s agreement to end the relationship or, alternatively, take your dispute to the Disputes Tribunal.  

In the meantime, don’t overlook the power of communication! Tell the property manager what your concerns are, and see if they can be resolved.

Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 22 years.

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