With budget being high on the list of concerns for tenants in rented properties, you’ll often hear people suggesting that you seek out a private rental deal rather than working through a property management company. But renting from a private landlord doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay less. We look at the pros and cons of renting from a private landlord.
Advantage or disadvantage? Becoming part of the family
If you’re renting premises on the property where your landlord lives or near it, you could end up becoming part of the family. While this can be pleasant enough, it can also have its drawbacks. For example, it may not be possible to pass your landlord without stopping for a half hour chat or you might find that you’re called on to run errands.
Reduced privacy: A definite disadvantage
The landlord or landlady from hell is invariably a private property owner. It’s understandable. You’re living on his or her property, and the temptation to sneak a peek into your private life and how that might affect your tenancy must be great. While some private landlords are able to give tenants their privacy, we have heard horror stories of ones who will even let themselves into the house for secret inspections while their tenants are not at home.
Lease agreements: Some do, some don’t
Although reading through legal documents like leases isn’t something most of us do for fun, having a good lease agreement is absolutely essential. You need to know exactly where you stand. What do you need to do if you want to leave? What will the property owner do if he or she wants you to leave? Which repairs are you responsible for? Are there any house rules you should know about? The list of things you absolutely need to know before embarking on tenancy is a long one, and the lease covers it all in detail.
Handling repairs promptly: Yes or no?
Certain repair and maintenance jobs are always the responsibility of the property owner or the property management company. Private landlords, especially absentee landlords, are notorious for failing to handle these responsibilities as quickly as they should. Once again, we’ve heard horror stories. One tenant says she had to live without electricity for three days before the property owner managed to get an electrician to attend to the problem. Keeping tenants happy and comfortable is part of a property manager’s job, and a good agency will have priority access to service providers.
Whether its complaints that your dog is harassing the postman or the noisy New Year’s party you threw, there may be times when whoever is in charge of the property has an issue to discuss with you. For property managers, it’s all in a day’s work, and you can expect courtesy and a willingness to listen to your side of the story. That might not be true of a private landlord.
Renting through a property management company: Not necessarily more expensive
The main argument in favour of the private landlord remains the possibility of getting a property for less. While it is certainly true that property management companies levy fees from property owners, it’s worth remembering that going rates rule the market. Thus, a private landlord may charge just as much as a neighbour who is using a property management company simply because it’s the going rate for the neighbourhood.
It’s also worth remembering that private rentals usually consist of one property only. A property management company can usually offer you several potential homes to choose from. Hoping to rent in Hobart? Talk to Baxton Property Management first. We take care of our tenants!
Written and syndicated by
– Baxton Media.
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