Property manager problem

Question from Sally updated on 6th January 2014:

We employ a property management company to manage our rental property. We have repeatedly asked for monthly rent statements to no avail. We also had a recent flooding issue where the property manager did not return our calls, treat it with any sense of urgency or keep us informed. The tenants have signed a fixed term 12-month tenancy and we've also signed an agreement to have this property manager for 12 months. Can we end the agreement with the property manager on the basis we're not happy with the job they're doing? Who could we contact regarding this matter?

Our expert Richard Evans responded:

It’s unusual to have a 12-month clause in a management contract - it’s usually one or three months’ notice. The negligence of the property manager sounds appalling and if the management agreement refers to sending monthly statements and carrying out inspections then they are clearly in breach of contract. Personally I would simply send them a written notice of immediate termination and if they get hung up on the 12-month notice then take them straight to the Disputes Tribunal. If the agent has any brains he or she will happily walk away and avoid a legal action. Disputes are usually quick and simple through this tribunal so don’t be intimidated by the process. If the agents are members of a professional body like LPMNZ or REINZ then they might pick up the phone and drum some sense into their member.

Richard and Pauline Evans own Rotorua Rentals and manage over 800 houses in Rotorua - They are also directors of The Leading Property Managers of New Zealand - - so they have the knowledge and experience to offer an opinion on most matters of property management.

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