Gold Coast property management fees - what you need to know

If you've purchased an investment property in the Gold Coast, you may be shopping around for a property manager to make handling your investment a little easier. But, what exactly will a managing agent do for you and how much are property management fees in the Gold Coast?

The commonly charged property management fee in the Gold Coast is between 7.5% and 8.5% of all rental income, plus GST. The proximity of your property to the CBD and the number of agents in your neighborhood will largely affect how much you are paying, with those in a central location generally attracting lower fees.

To ensure you get the best ROI, you need to secure a good deal with a reputable agency. Start by comparing rates and learning more about the fees and what you can expect to pay. Study the fine print and do your research so you know what you are getting into and look for transparency in all your communication with potential providers.

Find out more about what fees and charges you can expect below.

property management fees in Gold Coast

Property management basics

When looking for a reliable and efficient property manager, they should offer you:

  • Value for money
  • Industry knowledge and experience
  • Professional and personalised service
  • Proven results (e.g. a large client base)

A reputable property manager will make it easy for investors and landlords to own and manage their rental properties and will bring in the highest possible rental return, while ensuring your tenants have been screened thoroughly.

They will manage all contact with your tenants, collect bond and rent payments and make the necessary arrangements for maintenance, lease renewals, inspections and more.

How much are property management fees in the Gold Coast?

Gold Coast property management

Across the Gold Coast, you will find that fees vary due to locality and the experience of the agency.

As a general rule, suburbs closer to the CBD have lower fees largely due to the higher value of properties. Also, in areas where there are more competing agencies, fees tend to be lower. Outer suburbs like Mudgeeraba will usually attract a higher fee than inner suburbs like Benowa.

In the Gold Coast, agency commissions range from about 7% in the inner suburbs all the way up to 12% in the outer suburbs, while the industry average sits at around 8.0%.

In QLD, a portion of that fee goes toward management and a smaller percentage covers rental collection. In many cases you can negotiate the fees charged and the terms of your agreement with your property manager.

But beware - although you may find discount providers offering less than 7%, the service may be limited and you could end up paying a lot more for additional expenses, like advertising or tribunals.

Flat rate versus percentage-based property management

There are two main fee models you will come across in the Gold Coast: Percentage-based and flat-fee.

Percentage-of-rent fee model

The most common fee structure, the fee is calculated as a percentage of the gross weekly rental amount. This percentage covers a variety of expenses, however, each agency differs in what they include. For this reason, it's a good idea to ask your property manager for an itemised list of all their fees before you sign, so you know what services are included.

What property management fees will I be paying in the Gold Coast?

The two most common property management fees that apply are:

  • Management fee combined with rent collection fee (in the Gold Coast this can range anywhere between 7% all the way up to 12% in suburbia)
  • Letting fee (typically 1 – 4 week’s rent)

Depending on your agency, other property management fees you may need to pay include:

  • Internet marketing fee ($0 – $200)
  • Lease renewal fee (typically 1 week rent plus GST)
  • Monthly administration fee ($5 to $10 per month)
  • Court or tribunal attendance (billed per hour)
  • Photographers fee ($75 – $150)
  • Tenancy database check ($10 – $12 per person)
  • Property condition report ($100)
  • Routine inspection fee ($10 – $30)
  • Annual statement fee ($25 to $50)
  • Lease transfer fee ($0 to $500)

Flat-fee property management model

A relatively new model, with a flat-fee you will pay one single fee instead of individual fees. The price does not depend on the rental amount or the size of the property, but is determined by the location. Each landlord is paying the same percentage rate. Some agencies do have additional charges to the flat fee or percentage so you must do your research and read the fine print.

Here is a sample of flat-fee property management providers and what they charge:

What does a property manager do and what should you expect?

Gold Coast property management fees

Rather than spending all your time managing your investment property, a Gold Coast property manager will save you time and take away the stress of doing it yourself.

A managing agent’s responsibilities include:

  • Sourcing the right tenants
  • Ensuring the tenancy agreement is completed and signed
  • Collecting rent and ensuring you receive it
  • Lodging the rental bond
  • Liaising with tenants and coordinating repairs to the property
  • Conducting regular property inspections
  • Handling disputes with tenants, including attending court and tribunals
  • Paying rates and bills on your behalf

What questions should you ask a prospective property manager?

Once you've found a desirable property manager, you need to do your homework to determine whether they are the right fit.

Ask them the following questions:

  • How long have you been a property manager?
  • How many properties do you currently manage?
  • Does your business also handle sales?
  • How do you handle requests for repairs from tenants?
  • Do you check and monitor repairs to my property?
  • How do you find and screen tenants?
  • How do you handle a tenant who is late with rent payments?
  • What are your fees and how are they structured?
  • What is included/excluded in your fees?
  • Signing a management agency agreement

The next step is to sign the management agency agreement to enter a contract with the management team. The contract will set out the terms of their service and what they are responsible for, as well as your obligations.

Be thorough and list everything you expect them to do. It needs to be comprehensive so that all parties are on the same page and nothing is left undetermined.

Include the following in your agreement:

Once you have signed this agreement, property managers cannot change or adjust their fees. Any new charges or fees need to be covered by a new agreement.

Switching to a new property manager

If your property manager isn’t up to your standards, you can easily switch to another property manager. Find your new agency and let them know you would like to go with them. Then, fill out a transfer management form with all your details and they will do the rest for you.

Inform your existing agent in writing that you are ending the contract. After a notice period of 30 to 60 days you will be able to enlist the services of the new company.