Rules of Conduct in Property Management

Andrew Coulson: We're still talking rules of conduct in relation to property management. So Julie, there's 12 rules of conduct all together that apply specifically for property management. Would you like to run us through some of them?

Julie Farah: Rule 29 inspection report?

Andrew: Yep.

Julie: So we're required to complete and provide to the owner of the property an inspection report as soon as practical after entering into a management agency agreement. And that's not the ingoing or the vacating, it's not the normal condition report that we would fill out at the beginning or at the end of a tenancy. It's usually a next to or part of a management agency agreement or a single form, where we fill out the property's details, the principal's details, our agency details, the type of property, the condition of the exterior, the interior, fittings and fixtures, smoke alarms, things like that. And it's basically the first time we ever took a written record of the condition of the premises, I guess, as at the time that the agency became responsible for those premises.

Andrew: And the third rules of conduct?

Julie: So prohibited from using a collection agency to collect rent or arrears. So we're the agency involved. So we are the only ones who can collect the rent/any money owing and it must go into a trust account.

Andrew: No BayCorp or any of those sorts of collection agency?

Julie: Not at this stage, not while we're collecting it as rent.

Andrew: Okay. All right.

Julie: Number four is maintenance and repairs. So we as the agents need to act promptly to any requests for maintenance or repairs made by a tenant for the property. If there's something that requires repairs, that the principal is declining or telling you you can't do, then you need to notify the principal in writing that they're in breach of the tenancy agreement, and, you know, outline what their obligations are.

Andrew: It's interesting because the next rules of conduct is in regards to breach of the agreement, we are required to notify the landlord if there are any breach of the agreement, a lot of agents will try and overcome the breach and fix it themselves. Prior to notifying the landlord that the rules of conduct actually stipulate that we should notify the landlord of all breaches. The next rule of conduct relates to notifying the tenant if the property comes on the market for sale. Obviously, the managing agent has the responsibility of one, notifying the tenant that the property is coming on the market for sale. And we are required to assist the listing agent in the presentation of the preparation and for inspections and those sorts of things in respect to the marketing of property when it comes on the market for sale. Similarly, the agent is instructed to assist with the handover of any paper, keys, documents in relation to a transfer of management. So if the landlord decides to change the managing agent, the rules of conduct require that we assist and cooperate in the transfer of the documentation in relation to the change of managing agent. And the next rules of conduct relates to the final inspection of the property that we are required to request or ask the tenant if they would like to be in attendance at the final inspection. If they are not available to be there at the time that we wish to do it, then it's not a requirement that they have to be there. but we do need to give them the opportunity to attend the final inspection.

Julie: One of the rules of conduct in regards to inspection report, we're not talking about condition reports for the beginning or the end of the tenancy. So these are inspection reports that generally are next or part of the management agency agreement. They're very sort of simple one page report, which contains the principals details, the agency's details, and then basic information about the property exterior, interior condition, fixtures, if there's any work still to be done, smoke alarms importantly, and then that signed and dated and given to the property owner as soon as practical after signing a Management Agency agreement.

Andrew: So the next rule of conduct will probably be inspections of the property and needing to be in company with the tenant or the prospective tenant. There's no taking key deposits and sending them down or just sending them direct to the tenant, we need to be in company with the tenant when they inspect the property.

Julie: Also, not allowed to use any collection agency. So as the agent, we are responsible to collect the rent and that rent then has to go into a trust account. Of course, we can't get any third party collection agencies to collect rent or arrears on our behalf.

Andrew: And the next one refers to maintenance and repairs and their responsibilities to as soon as practical notify the landlords of any repairs that they deem necessary. And to assist in subject to their instructions, obviously attend to those repairs.

Julie: One of the rules is that we must notify the landlord immediately that we've become aware of a breach. So although the temptation might be there to fix it so that it isn't a breach. The rules of conduct are very specific and it is the agents responsibility to notify the principal of the breach and get their instruction.

Andrew: Another rule of conduct is in respect to the appointment of an agent sell to the property. The property manager is required to notify the tenant in writing if the property is listed for sale and give them the required notice, as well as cooperate with the selling agent, whether it be from another agency or within your own internal agency, which will assist in that respect.

Julie: Another rule, speaking of cooperation, is taking all reasonable steps to make sure that we conduct the vacating inspections with the tenant present. So reasonable steps include contacting the exiting tenant making, trying to make a suitable day/time that you can both be present to do the vacating inspection together in one go.

Andrew: And that includes the next rule of conduct is in respect to asking the tenant to sign their bond release form prior to the final inspection or prior to completing the bond release form. We can't ask the tenant to sign any documents that aren't fully completed. So that's a requirement that that's done after the inspection. And the form has been completed.

Julie: Yet another rule in our rules of conduct is that we must cooperate with any other agencies so that the principal has appointed so if the management is to be transferred to another another agency, that now we are required under the rules of conduct to support and help and make records available to that other agency and assist in the transfer of the information.

Andrew: We're also required in the next rule of conduct to disclose any potential interest or business that we will be doing to sign up a new agency. Once that's done, we must notify the other agency that that has taken place, we have that obligation to disclose any future business that we intend to do with the landlord.

Julie: So some of the specific instructions, of which there are many, relate to things like referring whether or not you refer the tenants references and applications to them for selection, signing agreements on behalf of the landlord collection of rent the term of the tendencies that are to be offered.

Andrew: So that second last rules of conduct relate to the managing of the property, how often the landlord's going to be paid, what the conditions of the managing agency are.

Julie: Disbursements.

Andrew: Exactly. So the last rule of conduct relates more to the letting of the property, how the application will be submitted and the deposits taken, the rent payments formalized. All that thing is all contained within the last rule of conduct. Hopefully that helps you a little bit with the rules of conduct in relation to property management.