So you are a Property Manager…….Does that mean you fix toilets, chase down late rent payments and take phone calls at 3 a.m.? Well, not exactly. In fact, a good Property Management company can minimize these issues and become a great resource for any homeowner or investor.
Many of the horror stories that we hear relating to rental homes are due to the poor condition of the property and poor tenant screening. The first question that you have to ask yourself when deciding to lease out your home is..........If I were renting would I want to live here? Don’t be afraid to spruce the place up a bit, provide new appliances, etc. This will only increase the rent value and the number of interested candidates. The second question to ask is how much do I need to rent it out for? Maybe you are an investor and looking for a certain ROI or maybe you have to cover your mortgage payment. Whatever the reason, you will need to come up with an amount and make sure that the markets rent values support your decision.
Ok, moving on. So you have decided to lease out your home. Now it is time to choose a Property Management Company. Here are the top 3 things to ask your Property Management Company!
Your Property Management company should Verify Income and Length of Employment, SS#, Criminal Record, District Court Filings (Evictions), Rental History, Utilities in Collection, NSF Checks and Credit. By moving a qualified tenant into a property, it helps to ensure that rent is collected on-time every month.
2. Are there any hidden fees?
Make sure to ask your Property Management company what their fee structure is. How much do they charge to find a tenant? How much do they charge every month as a Management Fee? Do they mark-up the maintenance? Is there a charge for a lease-extension? Who receives the late fee? It is important for both parties to be transparent up front.
3. How do I know that my property is being taken care of?
Know who you are moving into your properties. Effective screening and leveraging Landlord referenced ensures that qualified tenants are residing at a property. One of the most important things in Property Management is an "Inventory Checklist.” Make sure that the lease clearly states that the Inventory Checklist must be filled out and sent back to the management company within a specific amount of time. This allows for the condition of the property to be documented when a tenant moves in. When a tenant moves in they also should be required to provide a "Security Deposit.” The security deposit should be at least 1 month’s rent, but not to exceed 1.5 month’s rent.
The truth is, there are a lot of Property Management companies out there. Find someone who is passionate about Property Management and is excited to lead you on the journey!