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Use tenants to train unrealistic landlords

By Michael McMahon

With rental prices set to remain stagnant, tenants will become the best means of helping adjust landlords’ price expectations, according to the head of property management at a major network.

Speaking to Residential Property Manager, Gerri Keays, corporate property management executive at Ray White, said tenants were the best indicator of the rental market and property managers should use their feedback to educate their landlords.

“Tenants, especially those who have been in the market for months, become experts in their areas,” she said.

“They can tell if a property is overpriced or underpriced the moment they step into a open home.”

Ms Keays comments come off the back of Australian Property Monitors’ Rental Price Series Quarterly Report that showed renters would enjoy a reprieve on rent rises in most capital cities for at least the rest of the year.

According to the report, median weekly asking rents for houses increased marginally on a national basis by 1.0 per cent, with unit rents up by 0.7 per cent.

Ms Keays agreed with the findings, and said the lack of rent rises may cause problems for some property managers.

“My advice in navigating these stagnant times is to communicate with your landlord and offer them information and statistics, anything that can back you up,” she said.

“Use the information and comments you receive from expert tenants and let your landlords know this is the reaction from tenants in your areas.”

According to the report the rental markets in Perth and Canberra have cooled, with median weekly asking rents falling for both houses and units over the September quarter.

Melbourne and Brisbane were the only capital cities to record house rental price growth over the quarter, with increases of 2.8 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.

In Sydney, though house rents remained flat at $500 per week over the past year, affordability barriers continue to impact the market with unit rents rising by 1.1 per cent to $480 per week, edging closer to the median weekly asking rents for houses.

“The good news for renters is that rents are likely to remain stable in most capital cities until at least the end of the year,” said Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist, Australian Property Monitors.

“The increase in buyer activity in the spring selling season, driven by factors including record low interest rates, will continue to take the pressure off the rental market by decreasing competition for available rental properties and motivating investors to re-enter the market.”

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