COMMENT:

If you're a landlord cut out the middle man.

That's what the country's property management companies are.

They've been leeches on tenants and landlords and now they've shifted their focus entirely to property owners, thanks to our Government with its wellbeing focus aimed at looking after the have-nots.

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In a few weeks time the letting fees that were charged to tenants will be gone by law which our Housing Minister Phil Twyford lauded as a triumph for tenants, saving them millions of dollars a year.

The fees were usually set at a week's rent, plus GST of course.

For what?

For a property management company to find them a place to rent, in reality to select one of the many properties they have on their books.

They'd argue they spend a lot of time and money on checking out the creds of the tenant.

Okay here's a case from personal experience.

A four-bedroom property in what is considered one of Wellington's best suburbs.

It was listed with a property management company with offices around the country.

Tenants were found and the assurance was given their references checked out, they were professionals and the deal was done.

The letting fee was charged to the tenants, in this case likely to be a thousand bucks given that was the weekly rent.

In return for finding the tenants the company charged ten per cent of the rent a week for the term of the lease, or a hundred bucks.

Within weeks of the tenancy beginning the parties began and the complaints from the neighbours flooded in - not to the property managers but to me.

The managers said they'd take care of it, they didn't, the partying got worse.

Wooden furniture left on the deck for the tenants to enjoy had been broken during a party and thrown on a neighbour's roof.

It was time for a landlord inspection.

The four bedrooms had become six, an office and a second living room had been converted.

The expansive deck was piled high with black rubbish bags, all this despite property managers claiming to have checked the property themselves for their weekly fee and everything was fine.

During the course of this terrible tenancy, the managers incurred a number of costs on behalf of the tenants, like getting an electrician in to change a light bulb at a cost of $140, which they deducted from the rent received.

The lease was up and the tenants were sent packing, the commercial cleaners were called in and the house was sold.

So much for being a landlord - and so much for property managers who are now replacing the letting fees with tenancy fees, meaning the landlord will have to cough up for them finding the tenant, $550 plus GST.

Look after your own property, a standard Trade Me listing costs $170.