Understanding Professional Property Management
When you own investment property, or inherit property that you do not intend to live in, you might consider renting it out to tenants who are looking for a home to lease. This allows you to keep the asset while collecting enough rent to cover your mortgage and any other expenses. When you become a landlord, however, you are responsible for keeping that home habitable for the tenants who lease it from you. Many landlords do not have the time to manage the property on their own, especially if they live out of state or they own several different properties which require management. A good option is to hire a professional property management company. Property managers provide many services for landlords.
First, they help you find a tenant. This process is not as easy as posting a sign and letting the first person who shows interest move in. Tenants need to be thoroughly screened. You don’t want a criminal or someone with a shady rental history to live in your home. Property managers will advertise the property and collect applications from potential tenants.
Once a suitable tenant is located, your property management company will create a lease, or a rental agreement that you and your tenant will sign. This lease outlines the expectations of all parties. Your lease will stipulate how much rent is charged per month, what the term of the lease is and who is responsible for what. It will include who pays for utilities, who maintains the lawn and other details that need to be worked out before you have someone move in. Your property management company will ensure the lease is legal and binding. Each state has different lease requirements, and a good property manager will understand landlord and tenant law in your state, or work with an attorney who can help.
Your property manager will help with the collection of rent and the scheduling of routine maintenance. If there is ever an emergency, such as a leaking water heater, a damaged roof or any other problem with the home, the property manager will take care of it and discuss any charges or repairs with you. You can also expect your manager to do periodic inspections. There should always be an inspection at the time a tenant moves in and any time someone moves out. You might also request an interim inspection throughout the course of the lease. At the very least, your property manager should be local and able to drive by the property once in a while.
Look for a property management company that is reputable in your area. You want to ensure your investment is in good hands. The best property management companies will protect you against any liabilities or costs associated with evictions and other effects of bad tenants. They will also protect your property from excessive wear and tear, damage and neglect. If you are unsure about how to manage a property or you don’t have the time to give it your full attention, hire a professional.
Categorised as: Uncategorized