Are you a landlord with vacancies, tenant issues, and more maintenance and repair chores than you have time or energy to address? Being a successful landlord that makes a positive income from his or her investment properties can become a time-consuming task fraught with headaches and hassles: it doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging the services of a reputable and experienced property manager takes the stress and aggravation out of the situation, allowing you, as a landlord to gain the tax benefits and financial rewards of property ownership, without all the work and worry. A property manager will quickly help you find the ideal tenant: one that is tidy, quiet, gets along well with the neighbors, respects your property, and pays their rent on time.
To make that happen, your rental property manager will:
- Verify that you are in compliance with all local, state and federal laws -
First and foremost, your property manager will prove the peace of mind of knowing that your rental property and leasing policy complies with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the United States Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA.) Both of these areas are ones of significant concern for landlords as it is very easy to violate these Acts unwittingly and to incur the penalties of the law then.
- Inspect the property and help you establish the best possible rental rate by running a comparative analysis of rental properties, both occupied and available in your area.
- Determine your preferences -
Do you have a “no-smoking” policy? Is your property adult only, do you accept children? What is your pet policy? Do you require an additional deposit for children or pets? Is your property handicap-accessible?
- Advertise and market your rental -
The FHA clearly states that it is against the law to publish, print, or otherwise display any notice, advertisement, or statement concerning the rental of any property that indicates a bias, discrimination, limitation or preference. Your property manager has the tools and technology to effectively advertise and market your rental while maintaining truth in advertising and compliance with the law.
- Show the property -
How much time have you wasted as a landlord in setting appointments to \show your property and not have anyone show, up or if they did, they were an unsuitable match? Engaging the services of a property management company ensures that potential renters are pre-qualified.
- Qualify tenants by doing a background and credit check -
A background check will include verifying with previous landlords that the potential renter is a desirable tenant and that the rent was paid in a timely fashion. Your property manager will also review and verify the prospective tenant’s work history and confirm that they have an income that is at least three times the amount of the monthly rent.
A background check will reveal any past criminal history. Under the rules and regulations of the FHA, it is against the law to apply different qualifications, applications or criteria such as income standards, application fees, credit review fees, or application procedures. When qualifying tenants, each must be judged by the same standard.
Keep in mind that you are breaking the law if you discriminate because or disability, race, color, national origin, sex, or familial status. Your property manager knows the laws that apply to rental properties and will ensure that you and your property comply.
- Negotiate, prepare, and execute lease paperwork
Preparing and executing an enforceable lease is another area where many landlords encounter problems or legal issues. Your property manager removes the “guesswork” that could put you in legal jeopardy or possible violation of the FHA or FCRA.
Collecting the rent is one of the most distasteful tasks required of a landlord, especially when the tenant is in arrears. Your property manager will collect the rent, serve notices of delinquency, inspect the property, and process eviction paperwork if required.
- Account for all expense -
Your property manager will arrange for all maintenance services such as lawn mowing, snow removal, minor repairs, and accurately account for all monthly expenditures.
- Ensure that repair requests are promptly addressed
No more trying to locate a plumber or having to wait for a service call. Your property manager will arrange for minor repairs, maintenance and required property services.
- Respond to tenant issues -
Using the services of a reliable property manager means no more late-night phone calls or interruptions from renter’s demanding your immediate attention. It’s your property manager’s job to respond to emergencies or tenant complaints and questions: another aggravation avoided.
If you'd like to do it yourself, you can download our FREE Tenant Screening Checklist to see our process on screening tenants and making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Click the link below for your free checklist.