As any property management expert can attest, managing a property is not without its fair share of challenges. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the property investment industry, and one that many homeowner renting out their property will eventually realise – often only after they have tried to manage the property themselves. While the management of property may seem like a straightforward, easy tasks, in reality it is a demanding, full-time job in itself to effectively manage a property – even if it’s a small apartment or commercial space that has few tenants and minimal upkeep required. Some of the biggest challenges for managing a property in South Africa or abroad include the following common problems:
- Tenants not paying on time
One of the biggest problems facing landlords is tenants who do not pay their rent on time. Rent collection is by far one of the most tedious and stressful aspects of property management, and with repeat offenders always paying their rent late, it can cause huge problems if property owners are relying on rent income to help towards their bond repayments or other costs. Screening of tenants before any lease is signed will go a long way in preventing issues such as this, but many landlords do not find the time or capacity to do this properly. A good management company has both the manpower and know-how to do proper screening and even credit checks and criminal background checks, ensuring better quality tenants and fewer issues with payment all round.
- Lack of property upkeep
Another common tenant issue is lack of property upkeep. Maintenance of your property in South Africa is something that has to be done at various points; however when tenants do not take caution in keeping the property well-maintained, routine upkeep becomes constant fixing and maintenance, often at the expense of the property owner. Damage to property can result in tenant fines or even eviction, but many tenants continue to show disregard to the property, which results in warning letters, constant calling out of caretakers and other related stresses.
- Complaints against tenants
Noisy tenants, late night parties, drunk and disorderly conduct, disputes with neighbours, noisy pets, illegal braais on the balcony and other complaints against tenants is something no property owner wants to face. Knowing how to deal with complaints and how to deal with unruly tenants too is something that property management experts are able to do effectively and efficiently, taking out the stress of homeowners having to deal with disputes on their own without the experience and know-how to manage these issues properly.
- Evicting problematic tenants
When tenants have reached their maximum warnings and are consistently defaulting on rent, or causing problems for other tenants, it is time to evict. This can be a daunting experience for many property owners, especially if they do not have systems in place and lawyers on hand to assist with the legal ramifications of eviction.
- Renovation of occupied properties
Older properties often need to undergo renovation to increase the value of the property, and to upgrade the property in general. This could be something simple such as replacing kitchen counters and cupboards with new and improved fittings or a more involved renovation involving days of labour and construction. Renovating property while there is tenants in the building can be tricky, which is why property managers are ideal when it comes to property renovation – being able to facilitate the process effectively.