One of the biggest concerns for residential landlords is not being able to keep an eye on what is going on at the property. Even if you are in the same town, if you are too busy or own several properties, it can be difficult to keep up on all of them.
If you are not able to monitor your property effectively, some tenants may try to take advantage. Instead of worrying constantly about what is going on at your rental property, you can hire a property manager.
A property manager can oversee current conditions at you rental property, and can be put in charge of collecting rent and handling tenant problems. If you do decide to hire a manager, there are many issues to consider.
1. Are they experienced? Is your potential manager experienced in managing rental properties? If not, you could be faced with a problem of an inexperienced manager being taken advantage of by tenants or with a manager turned tyrant with your tenants.
2. Are they professional? Does the person applying for the position appear professional? Make sure that your applicant is capable of handling whatever the job may throw at them.
3. How many other properties do they manage? If your applicant manages several properties, will they be able to devote the necessary time to your property? Your property manager must have the time to help your tenants with their needs and monitor any situations that may arise.
4. Are they available part-time or full-time? If you need a manager that is available around the clock, a part-time applicant may not be suited for the job. You will need to decide how much time you think your property will need before finding the right person for the job.
5. Are they certified? There are several organizations that provide certification for property managers. Usually, certification means that a person has passed rigorous tests that determine they are qualified to be a property manager.
6. What is their personality like? Personality counts, especially with a property manager. If they rub you the wrong way, your tenants may have the same response. A bad manager can lead to high tenant turnover rates and may cost you money.
7. Get everything in writing. Requiring applicants to fill out a written application is critical. This allows you to follow up on their references and have a record of their personal contact information. Also, when you hire a manager, require the person to sign a written agreement that clearly outlines all that they are expected to do, and what steps, if any, you will take if these duties are not fulfilled. Give yourself the right to terminate the property management agreement on 30 to 60 days notice.
8. Will they outsource their duties? Some landlords have discovered that their property managers were actually outsourcing their duties to other individuals. This can lead to a chain of several people and may make it difficult for you to find out what is going on, or it can result in fraud. State in your property management agreement whether or not you will allow them to outsource or subcontract any of their duties.
9. Do they know how to collect rent? If your tenants will turn over their rent to the manager instead of you, you will need to make sure that your manager knows how to collect the rent. If you do not feel comfortable with this arrangement, you can request that your tenants send their payments directly to you.
10. Can they provide references? Follow up on all provided references that are given on an application. This is extremely important when you are hiring a property manager. Make sure that your applicant can be trusted with rent money, property care, and other concerns before handing over the responsibility to them.