5 Things To Know About Being A Property Manager
Being a landlord isn’t easy.
It’s actually a full time job, on top of your real job, and one that doesn’t even pay very much at that.
When you’re considering moving, you might think it’s worth it to put your home up for rent.
While it’s true that you can make a quick buck off of a home rental, it’s also true that you’ll be investing a lot of time and energy into that home.
If you’re thinking that all you’ll be doing as a landlord is collecting a nice cushy check each month, then I hate to tell you, but you’re wrong.
Landlords have a running checklist of things that need to be taken care of on a daily basis.
Not to mention, you’re in charge of not only your rental, but you’re current home as well.
If you’re in the process of renting out your home and are wondering if you’re up to the task of being a landlord then take a look at these five must know things about a landlord’s job.
The Tenant Hunt
Being a landlord isn’t all fun and games, it can actually be quite stressful. One of the most stressful things about being a landlord is having to find the tenant that’s right for you and your rental. There will be interviews, there will be paperwork, and when it gets right down to it, there will be a lot of flops before you find the tenant you’re looking for. The tenant hunt can take a long time, meaning that you—the landlord—will be required to spend a lot of time interviewing, sifting through papers, and calling the potential’s recommendations. If you’re ready to take the task on of finding a tenant for your rental, then great and good luck hunting! If, however, you’re wondering whether you have the time and energy for the task at hand, it may be beneficial to hire a property manager instead. Property managers handle the interviews for you, while keeping you updated on potential renters. They’ll work with you to ensure that you find the renter of your dreams, but will also work apart from you to make sure that you’re time is freed up and available for whatever you might need.
Hopefully, collecting rent will be the bright side of your month. In a perfect world, each tenant would send their rent check on time, leaving you able to pay off your rental’s bills and pocket the remainder. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Renters have a habit of stretching their rent’s due date out as far as possible. Particularly when you’ve let your tenant slide before, they’re more apt to try and push out their due date again. Be prepared to handle late payments, in an efficient manner. You’ll also be expected to handle all paperwork that flows between you and any tenant you might have for tax purposes in the future. If you’re scratching your head and wondering whether you have the patience to track down late payments (and the nerve to stand up to your tenants) and handle tax paperwork on top of your own paperwork, then you might benefit from hiring a property management team. Property management companies typically handle all of the paperwork for you, and will always be the ones to make the uncomfortable phone call to your tenant demanding that their rent be paid.
The Maintenance Game
Think of all of the things that went wrong in your home before it became a rental. From that toilet that just wouldn’t flush to the sink that wouldn’t drain, there’s likely a long list of things that left you tirelessly working on your home from day in and day out. While you might have made the move to get your home updated and taken care of any loose ends, you still must anticipate some level of maintenance for your rental. This requires that you have the finances to keep everything updated, within code, and comfortable for your tenants. Things that fall under your umbrella of care include: landscaping, window repairs, lock and key replacement, plumbing leaks, electrical problems, and more. For landlords living out of state this will pose a problem for keeping your rental up-to-date. Though you can of course hire people out to take care of these things, you’ll also be spending a pretty penny each time to do so. Instead, hire a property manager and they’ll ensure that the maintenance from top to bottom is taken care of, and that you’re only contacted when absolutely necessary.
The Legal Liaison
Get your legal pad ready because you’re going to need it. If you’re leasing out your home to someone, then you’ll be in charge of
crafting a solid lease. Leases with loopholes are a sure fire way to find you without a tenant and deep in excess bills in the long run. You’ll need to make sure you have a firm handle on how to write a contract, legally evict a tenant, the landlords’ rights, and the Fair Housing Laws. While the Internet is filled with information about how to go about all of this, it’s also a pretty fair assumption that you won’t always find everything you’re looking for. Not to mention, while you might craft a stellar lease, unless you’re familiar with the art of document writing you’re bound to miss one or two crucial things. Investing in a property manager will not only save you on potential lease problems, but on legal fees down the line as well.
The Management Hat
As you’ve seen, you’re going to wear many hats as a landlord; among these hats is the management hat. You’ll be responsible for the around-the-clock service to your renters. This means that you need to be willing to jump out of bed at a moment’s notice to unlock a door in the middle of the night, or aid them in a burglary that might occur. You’re also going to be held responsible in the event that a tenant jumps ship before their lease runs out. This happens regardless of how strong your lease is and can leave you with thousands of dollars to pay off until you fill that tenant space. Be sure that you’re able to be there for your tenant during their time of need. It might be your house after all, but it’s the people taking care of your house that you’ll need to please the most.