11/34 Gerard Street, CremorneI cannot recommend James, Jane and their team enough. I moved away from Sydney around 6 years ago, and had fully renovated my apartment prior to leaving Sydney. I don't visit the property for inspection often either - would rather leave that to the professionals.
I previously had another local agency looking after my apartment, and I was finding it extremely difficult to get valid answers about my apartment. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when a 12-month lease was cancelled within 6 months, and after 6 weeks of trying to get my apartment leased again, they were unable to do so. Despite my being advised by their automated system that over 40 couples had attended inspections! Their only advice was to reduce the rent by over $5k p.a. Given I have a mortgage and am running my business, reducing my income like this was profound. I couldn't understand why none of the attending inspections were able to be converted into a lease agreement.
I found James, Jane and their team when another owner in the building saw my "reduced rent" post on Facebook. The other owner called me immediately tell me he had similar problems with his previous property manager. He insisted that I got apartment checked by the Garwoods because something didn't seem right. He told me that James and his team - made property investment come with peace of mind. It was enough for me to investigate the switch.
The other owner, like myself had lived in his apartments for quite some time, so our personal attachment to our investment was also unique. Meaning, our apartments were previously our homes and our community, so having a property manager who looked at our investment in the same light as us was imperative.
When the team arrived at my apartment to review (within 24 hours of my approaching them), they found that not only did it require serious repair, but it was filthy. When I sent the photos that James' team provided to my current agent and requested that I obtain the bond and copies of all the outgoing tenant reports for the 3 tenants they managed for me, I found that not only was the bond released, but no outgoing reports had ever been prepared!
This all occurred during my work season, and the stress of my investment on top of work was unbearable. I wasn't sleeping.
James, jane and their team, also realised really quickly, the stress I was under.
As such, they proactively took a hold of everything for me, and told me not to worry. They gave me daily feedback of progress so I actually wouldn't worry.
Within 7 days of getting the keys to my apartment (a Friday afternoon), they had:
•Completed all major works within budget,
•Had apartment professionally cleaned (it took almost a full day - my apartment is a 1 bedroom)
•Had organised some minor renovations I wanted done (i.e. built in wardrobes - these were installed prior to the new tenants moving in)
•obtained new professional photographs
•Advertised my apartment
•Got me 2 qualified tenants to move in within the month (I think it was shorter - but I can't remember exact dates)
Once we had the apartment approved for tenancy, the team thoroughly researched and provided me with the legal backing and my property rights to lobby the other agency in order to ultimately obtain a settlement from them to assist with the cost of works I needed to perform due to their negligence.
What I love most about working with the Garwoods team, is that this isn't a once off. It's ongoing standard of practice.
I receive copies of inspection reports, and they explain any repair works that required after they inspect - rather than stupid repairs like I've previously been asked to pay for by my previous agency which were user error.
Only recently, Garwoods did a routine inspection of my apartment, and identified that my smoke alarm light wasn't working (I don't know about you, but that's a really small light to notice!). Knowing I'm often incredibly busy and don't really want to worry about my investment unless really required, they proactively resolved the issue for me, and then let me know the action he took to protect my legal standing after the fact.
Like he said - this was a non-negotiable must get done kind of fix that if left until he could get a hold of me, would leave me legally exposed which isn't ideal. All other repairs that don't leave me so exposed, his team will always ensure I respond with approval before going ahead.
What is the most relief is that these past few months working with James' team have been the easiest in the past 6 years of renting out my apartment. I feel adequately informed and feel that they genuinely appreciate that this is a significant investment for me and take that responsibility seriously. They always keep me informed of any new legal things I need to know, and always proactively let me know if there is something I need to do.
I am sure you can feel, I cannot recommend James and his team highly enough. I only wish that there were more property managers out there who were as professional - because if there were, I wouldn't be so wary to invest large funds into another property to continue to diversify my portfolio! :-)