Maintenance Staff And More: What Exactly Is A Property Manager Responsible For?
More Americans are renting than at any point in the last 50 years.
Do you know what that means? Now is the best time to be a landlord! More people renting means vacancy rates are at an all-time low and rental prices are on the rise.
So if you’ve already invested in a rental property, you’ve made a smart move. However, the success off your investment will largely depend on how well you manage the property. In most cases, this will mean hiring a property manager.
Ready to hire one but not sure whether their services are worth it? Keep reading to learn what a property manager will be responsible for.
If you’re a landlord without any property management experience, you’ll probably set the rent based on your own valuation of the property or even emotion.
For instance, if you had to go through a brutal mortgage process just to acquire the property, you might want to recoup your investment in a short span of time. Unfortunately, getting rental pricing wrong can leave your property vacant for a long time.
On the other hand, a property manager understands the market and will as such use their expertise to set the right rental price for your property. Not only that, but they will also adjust it accordingly in response to market conditions.
Another responsibility of a property manager is to collect the rent. If you’ve multiple rental properties, you certainly don’t want to waste time following up with tenants at the end of the month.
After acquiring or setting up a rental property, you want to see a tenant move in as soon as possible, right?
While that’s every landlord’s aim, it’s important to embrace the fact that tenants aren’t created equal. There are good, responsible, law-abiding tenants who you would love to have in your units, then there are others who are just trouble. These will be perpetually late with rent, intentionally vandalize the property, and even be a nuisance to neighbors.
Tenant is screening is how you get the best tenants. But do you know how to do it?
Here’s where a property manager’s services come in handy.
They have the tools to assess rental applications and find the best tenants. This involves doing financial and criminal background checks while staying compliant with the relevant housing laws.
Once a tenant moves in, the property manager will remain their point of contact. If a tap starts leaking or the in-built refrigerator runs loud or there’s an electrical fault, it’s the manager who will ensure the problem is fixed in a timely manner. So you don’t have to worry about a tenant waking you in the middle of the night with a distress phone call.
As a landlord, what comes to mind when you hear the word “eviction?” Getting rid of a tenant who hasn’t paid rent for several months. Admit it!
Well, while defaulting on rent is a valid reason to evict a tenant, there are a couple of other reasons the need for eviction might arise. Perhaps you no longer want to use the property for rent, or you want to move in yourself.
Regardless of the specific reasons, states have eviction laws that provide guidelines for the process. If a tenant isn’t ready to move or feels their rights are violated, nothing stops from suing you in a court of law. This is likely to happen when you’re handling the eviction on your own.
But with a property manager working for you, rest assured the evictions process will go smoothly. These professionals have an intricate understanding of landlord-tenant laws, so they’ll play everything by the book.
Staying on Top of Property Maintenance
Rental properties need routine maintenance, whether they are vacant or not. This helps improve their value and keeps them attractive to current and prospective tenants.
As a landlord, especially if you’ve multiple properties, you probably don’t have the time to keep inspecting your properties and identify faults before they morph into serious problems. This is unless a tenant calls in to alert you.
Why take such a risk when you can hire a property manager? This professional will conduct regular inspections and bring in maintenance specialists to make the necessary fixes.
Maintaining Property and Tenant Records
There are lots of records involved in running a rental property. There are rental agreements with tenants, contractual agreements with service providers such as cleaning and security companies, rental payments, and many more.
You must keep accurate records because you might need them in the future. When tax season rolls around, for example, you might be eligible for some landlord deductions. If you spent money on insuring the property, you’ll need to provide receipts from your insurance carrier; otherwise, the taxman will not approve the claimed deduction.
A property manager is best placed to keep your property records. They have an efficient records management system, which will ensure every single document enters storage. In case a document is needed, they’ll easily retrieve it.
Speaking of taxes, landlords have a range of tax obligations and benefits.
If you’re not well-versed with federal and state tax laws, you might not know how much you need to pay or how to make the most of deductions. A property manager will handle all your taxes.
Your Rental Property Deserves a Property Manager
If you were on the fence about hiring a property manager, now it’s clear you need one. Although their services cost money, you’ll gain a lot more. Now your next task is to do research and find the best property management company in your area.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more property insights.