Rental properties: to DIY or property manager?

As Kiwis we love to be a little bit DIY. Owning a rental property is about much more than just watching the money roll through each week. Maintenance, tricky tenants, and hoarders can be all part of the package and need to be handled well if you want a great return on investment. If you’re feeling time poor it’s well worth assessing if managing your own investment portfolio is for you.


This blog is going to help you figure out if you have what it takes to effectively manage a rental property yourself or if you’d feel more comfortable getting a manager to step in.

You may feel a little apprehensive about managing your own rental home, yet many of the tasks involved don't actually need to be done by you. Management companies are there to take care of many of the basics and free up your time. However they’re not always the perfect solution.

When choosing a property manager it pays to get talking and do your research. Make use of your work, family and social circles to source recommendations and knowledge. Not only can this lead to specific property managers, it will help you build up a good picture of what to look for.

Property management fees vary but typically you'll be looking at between 8-12% of the rent in a monthly fee - along with a larger one-time fee every time the unit is rented.

Want to learn more about what it takes to manage your own rental property in New Zealand? Check out our free guide, "My House. Your Castle." for tips and advice!

Here’s some essential questions to ask yourself when considering if you want to manage your own property or not:

  • Could you bring yourself to evict a family or a person who’s fallen on hard times i.e. if they were made redundant or became terminally ill?
  • How would you feel about standing up in the Tenancy Tribunal and arguing a case?
  • How will you manage the tenancy if you go overseas for a while? 
  • Do you understand your rights, obligations and procedures under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 & Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010?

 If all this makes you feel a little uneasy then the best course of action is probably going to be to get a property manager. However there are some questions you should be asking a potential property manager before choosing to engage them.

This includes:

  • Do they have a good local presence and knowledge of the area?
  • Can they arrange landlord insurance and process claims on your behalf?
  • Will they regularly review the weekly rental amount? 
  • Do they belong to a licensed agency and industry best practice standards? 
  • Do they provide online access to your tenancy details and documents? 

There’s no correct approach to managing your property so figure out your priorities, the pros and cons and figure what’s right you. Both options are proven effective so regardless of what you choose an overall successful outcome is always possible.

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