There are plenty of advantages to renting out a granny flat for some extra income, however the decision for property owners around whether to self-manage the property or get a property manager can be difficult.
Renting out property comes with a range of legal and financial responsibilities so it's important landlords are clear on how much work they can put into managing the property and what elements might be better outsourced. An arm's length approach does keep everything professional, and issues can be managed with objectivity, however the cost and detail involved may vary from one situation to the next.
Once issue specific to granny flat rentals is the proximity of the would-be landlord to their new tenant. If the granny flat is at the back of a property with a separate entrance, it's not unlike an off-site investment property. If, however it's a converted garage still attached to their house, or is just a few metres from the main house, there may be issues around privacy and problems arising that would be much better handled by someone externally. Having a property manager in place creates clear boundaries and prevents the property owner having to respond to knocks on the door at all hours from their backyard tenant.
The distinction between a property owner and a property manager is that an agent has the professional skill and expertise to not only quickly and easily navigate things as they happen, but to also be across the rights and obligations of everyone involved. This could mean anything from scratching floorboards, and marking walls, to letting unauthorised pets pee on everything and dealing with tenants never cleaning the oven. There is frankly no end to the creative license some tenants will take with a rental property, and they are less likely to get away with it in a professionally managed property
In most cases, landlords discover the costs involved with having a property manager are more than worth the investment. Property managers navigate the complexity of establishing the right price for a rental, they also ensure boundaries are established between landlord and tenant, as well as take care of the important legal and financial details that are much better taken care of by someone who knows that they're doing. Ideally, a property manager will be well informed about what kind of monthly income other similar properties are generating, and what things could be changed or added, to get the competitive edge in what might already be a tough rental market for landlords. A property manager can do all the things a landlord needs, in a fraction of the time it would take someone without the experience. They are also much better positioned to solve problems, as a professional and objective third party.