Unreachable property manager

Question from Jeff updated on 27th November 2019:

We have a property manager who has advised us through an email that we have a lease till the end of the year. But a few months ago we saw that our property is available for lease. Our property manager has gone AWOL and we cannot contact them. If they have told us we have an agreement are they liable if there is no actual agreement in place?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

I’m not sure what you mean when you say the property manager has “gone AWOL”. The property is being advertised for rent. Sometimes a tenant will request to break a fixed term tenancy. If the property manager has the authority to find a replacement tenant it is reasonable for them to advertise on the basis that the current tenant pays rent for the period up to the day the new tenancy starts.

Is the rent still being paid? Is the current tenant still living there? For what period does the advertisement say the property is available? It seems the basic problem is that you cannot reach the property manager to discuss your questions. If you are not happy with your property manager you should check your management agreement to see whether you need to end the agreement and appoint an alternative property manager.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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