Total Members: 155,085

How To Become A Landlord - Articles

Property management fees: What every investor should know

Date: 12/01/2014

Property management fees: What every investor should know

property management fees
When it comes to making a property investment, you might want to appoint a real estate agent to manage your property – this is particularly true if you live in a different state, or even in a different country.

But there are a number of things to consider before you appoint an agent to manage your rental property – not least of which is their agent’s licence.

It’s also wise to get a comprehensive list of the services your agent intends to provide for you, and get an agreement in place that will set up the procedures involved with maintenance or repairs to the property.
Property managers are obligated to act in your best interest, but as residential letting property management fees can vary from state to state – and can even depend on the length of the tenancy agreement – it is a good idea to speak to a few different agents to get a feel for the market in your area.
Letting fees can be charged as either a proportion of the weekly or yearly rent, but you’ll also want to keep an eye out for commission fees, which can be charged in addition to the letting fee. Agents may also charge higher fees if you want them to manage a holiday letting property.
In some cases, you and your agent may come to a written agreement that entitles them to additional payments for the supervision of any repairs or replacements that need be carried out on the property.
When it comes time to appoint an agent to manage your property investment, you’ll need to outline the specific details of your arrangement – including the agent’s responsibilities, as well as the property management fees you will be charged – before you finalise the arrangement. It pays to read this agreement thoroughly and raise any questions or issues from the outset – this ensures you and your property manager are both on the same page.
Profile photo of Steve McKnight

By Steve McKnight

Steve McKnight, the founder of, is a respected property investing authority as well as Australia's #1 best-selling business author.


  1. Christine85

    The agreement is surely important, and I've found ours fine til recently. The person who managed our property left the company and the new person took an adversarial approach to dealing with the tennant on relatively minor things … not so useful when you go to sell the property and the cooperation of the tennant is important to maximise sale price! Then, the sales agent's skill at building a separate relationship with the tennant is what we selected on. Proof will be in the pudding :)

  2. WomeninPropMelb

    Christine -your point is very important. Too often I see agents taking this approach to the tenant. I ALWAYS did the very best I could with tenants so that they were on my side when selling a property. I even bought them champagne. How they keep the property can make $10’s of $1000’s difference on the sale price- a bottle of champagne even at $50 is cheap. As a landlord I have taken the same approach. It has not always been appreciated or paid off but I have always tried to make the tenant feel at home.
    I have been a tenant too and was treated like a second class citizen. You always do well to remember that your tenant has control of one of your most valuable assets- your investment property.

    • Happy House

      Hi there Sevile

      My Property Manager has actually sold the rent roll my IP was on to to another PM only 2 months ago.

      It is a shame as they were doing a great job. I have now decided to take on the role myself.

      It seems that owners have little say about what happens to the agreements after signing. I was at least given an option to make up my own mind as to where I wanted to go.


    • Happy House

      Hi there Sevile

      My Property Manager has actually sold the rent roll my IP was on to to another PM only 2 months ago.

      It is a shame as they were doing a great job. I have now decided to take on the role myself.

      It seems that owners have little say about what happens to the agreements after signing. I was at least given an option to make up my own mind as to where I wanted to go.


  3. WomeninPropMelb

    Yes, Seville- agents “sell” their rent rolls all the time- well not all the time – but they do do it.
    It is a business and a business proposition- their working capital if you like. You may not like it but that is how it is.

    I am not sure what happens to the landlords – how they are informed. I presume you are given the option to find a new agent as your original agreement is with the original agent- not the new one.

    I am not sure what “clause” you want to put into an agreement – how would that work do you think? What are you protecting against? And how would you measure it?

  4. seville

    I just know that some PM don't do their jobs properly i.e some don't do regular checks, some don't let you know when damage has been caused by tennants etc and therefore I would prefer to appoint a property manager myself rather than have it sold on to another I know nothing about!

  5. JSKH

    Usually there should be a clause within your property management agreement with the agency that says you agree to allowing your property to be managed by another company in the event the rent roll is sold. So you can opt out of that clause too.

  6. WomeninPropMelb

    JSKH- I have never seen the clause saying that you agree to have your property managed by someone else – but I never looked. It never came up when I was studying my Cert of Real Estate either. It happens but not all that often in the scheme of things.
    You can take your property management to another property manager. I cant see how you can stay with a manager you did not appoint. That to me is not consistent with contract law- that is 2 people must agree.
    In any case- Seville- I am with you- you want to be able to know who you are dealing with.
    And you are also right- some property managers dont make inspections and dont report back.
    AND some landlords dont make the necessary repairs too. I had a private rental where the landlord refused to fix a gas leak. She ended up telling the judge that it was “just a little leak”. The judge was not impressed and she had to pay ME money………….

    It is important that PM undertake inspections and landlords maintain the property.
    It is also important that the PM maintain good relations with tenants- that makes it easier all round.
    After all a smile does not take all that much.

  7. EdwardVo

    It is so important to check through the agreement before signing. Our property manager left the fee schedule blank and then charged us 14% for the management. It wasn’t until we noticed our mortgage was being underpaid that we realised. Luckily threatening to take them to the Office of Fair Trading prompted them to refund the fees charged and allowed us to change property management companies. The short of it – read and read through your agreement again.

  8. property mesh

    it is possible that any1 else manage your property without any wrong intentions.
    it is just like that you give the rights of your property to someone else

  9. livewildcard

    Just have to keep it professional when looking around:

    What services am I going to recieve

    How much is it going to cost me

    What standard of care will my property recieve

    How much time will this save me.

    A flat fee or % based. Everything will work differently for different people. Its what works for you, what your going to be comfortable in paying and knowing your place is safe. At the end of the day if things aren't going to work or you are not being allowed to change the agreement so you have some say in YOUR property then move on. Plenty of people will want your business and as long as they know what your after things should be fine.

  10. Maree72

    I have learnt these lessons in a very difficult way.
    Most recently a property inspection report was forwarded with one of our properties including terminology of "extremely poor" with maintenance of the property. It was only via our selling agent did we get feedback concerning the state of the property and how dire it had become. The managing group did no follow up on any item that was highlighted to be followed up. 
    We are busy doing our business and family and trusted a $400K asset to this management company. 
    There are always management options and I now understand the importance of follow up with expectations of the managing agents responsibilities. In our case they are doing very little for their %. In saying that I love that there is a company we can turn to with a great reputation.
    I now completely understand the importance of great property management. After our other nightmare stories (far worse than this most recent) – there is no turning back
    So to any property manager who may read this – thank you for being one of the great ones!

  11. fonsodeljun

    After you hired an agent…I think it is best to present your place with ideal area of dwelling and ideal building code and other advantageous for the buyer and for the tenants. Of course you need to learn an easy dealing for the agent and market value of your suit or building. To gain more profit include maintenance and ventilation.

    concrete silo

  12. netherosegood

    With the ideal way of learning who are the ideal staff and would love to take this small matters and other job. And if they are good at then you can hired them. Of course you can always see the credentials. If you want to put them on the real work be sure they are really that kind of professional who love their work and not just salary. windshifter

Got something to say? Post a comment...

Step 1 - 0% Complete

Fill Out Your Member Profile Below

Fill in the required fields below to complete your registration.

Registration not only grants you full access to this website, but will also enable us to send you our newsletter, latest investor tips, strategies and information about events/products relevant to investors. You can opt out at any time.

For correspondence purposes. Will not be visible to anyone.

Used to log in to the website and for targeting with messages. Alphanumeric characters only. No spaces allowed..

Receive Emails (required)

Member Login
Lost your password?

Register Free To Unlock Unrestricted Access To

1-Day Millionaire Mastermind Workshop - Only LIVE Training in 2019!