Legal Considerations of a Property Manager

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Being a property manager is more complicated than most people might expect. The property manager has two sets of responsibilities. The first set of responsibilities is with the owner of the property. The second set of responsibilities is to the tenant of the property. Therefore, you could characterize a property manager as the middle person between the tenant and the property owner. To fully understand both sets of responsibilities, this article will review the two relationships, separately.

The Duties of the Property Manager to the Property Owner

A property manager can be asked to manage a single property for an owner, such as a free-standing home or an entire property complex such as an apartment complex or a condominium property with several units, landscaping and maintenance to manage. If the property manager is only managing a single living unit, or a group of homes, the responsibilities are the same. A property manager must do the following for the property owner:

  • Property managers must be properly licensed to run a property management business under the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002 and The Community Land Management Act 2021. Such licensure allows the property manager to act on behalf of the property owner.
  • The property manager must abide by the authority invested in them by the property owner.
  • A property manager must be engaged by the property owner via a contract that delineates the key terms of the length and type of employment and the duties the property manager will be responsible for carrying out.
  • The property manager must comply with whatever reporting information the property owner requires, including maintenance reports and repair costs.
  • Property managers may also be required to interview and screen new tenants, renew leases of existing tenants and serve notice on tenants that have not paid rent or broken rules or regulations associated with their tenancy.
  • Depending upon the terms of their contracts, a property manager may be required to collect monthly rent payments, pay local property taxes and make sure that the necessary inspections are completed in a timely manner.
  • Make sure that all necessary insurances are current and in place.
  • Lastly, the property manager may be expected to handle the promotional and marketing needs of the property to attract a new tenant(s).

The Duties of the Property Manager to the Tenant

The property manager also has duties to the tenant(s). As the go-between for the tenant and the owner, the property manager has the following responsibilities toward the tenant;

  • Provide the incoming or renewing tenant with the lease to review.
  • Answer any questions the incoming or renewing tenant might have about the terms of the lease.
  • Be available to handle maintenance requests including checking out the reported problem, fixing or hiring someone to repair the damaged item, and paying for the repair(s).
  • Inform the tenant if there comes a time when the property is going up for sale.
  • Inform the tenant if the owner has lost the property to the bank and foreclosure is pending.
  • Provide the tenant with information regarding any known material defects in the rental unit.
  • Allow the tenant time to review the lease and have it reviewed by their own legal counsel.
  • Provide the tenant with copies of the lease agreement.
  • Give the tenant the landlords name and contact information.
  • If the property is one that has an association with rules, regulations and bylaws, the property manager must provide copies of that documentation to the tenant.

All of the duties required by a property manager to either the property owner, or the tenant, must be carried out in accordance with the property manager’s contracted duties and with a duty to act in an ethical manner. Therefore when taking on this role, it is important to fully understand the breadth and depth of your responsibilities to both the property owner and the tenant.

In the event that you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.



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