Unhappy with property manager

Ireen asks:
(updated on Tuesday, January 08th 2013)

I put my house up for rent through a property management company. They have failed to respond to my enquiries after the contract was signed. They allowed a pet to live in the house when I had told them not to. They told our tenants that the sleepout is for rent when it is not. Now the tenants are waiting for us to empty the sleepout. My contract with the property management company is still incomplete, no indication of the weekly rent amount. They handed the key to the tenants without doing a property inspection then rushed to do the inspection when I became suspicious of their failure. They never advertised my property on any internet site. We agreed to five tenants (a family only). The property manager looked for flatmates and not a family. We negotiated to two flatmates and when the first statement arrived then we came to know that we now have three flatmates. The property manager has told me that I am a liar and I am very disappointed.

Our Experts Answer:

When you appointed your property manager you should have settled (ideally in writing) the manager’s responsibilities and level of authority. As your agent, the property manager should be acting on your behalf and in your best interests. You have raised a few areas of dissatisfaction, including some where you say the company has either ignored or disobeyed your instructions. If you believe that the property manager is not fulfilling the duties that they promised to carry out, write or e-mail the company’s owner or manager and demand an explanation. There may be valid explanations for all the issues you mention. If not, then you may want to find another property manager who will act in your interests. Before you do so, ask a potential manager for detailed documentation of the agent’s contract, showing the agent’s responsibilities and required level of authority. Then you will be able to make an informed choice. Ensure also that your specific instructions are in writing. When you’re out of town and depending on your agent to do their job properly, you want the confidence that they will do so without you having to monitor them constantly. Remember, too, that the agent should be professional and capable of making necessary decisions within their delegated authority without having to consult you before making every decision.

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