Historically, renting your home has been considered a relatively simple and low risk undertaking. However, in recent years, this apparently simple task has become progressively more complex and the risks associated with becoming a landlord far greater.
While managing your rental is certainly within the abilities of most property owners, the time and effort involved in management may be greater than the cost of hiring a professional property manager.
The professional property manager is conversant with the applicable statutes and regulations relevant to the management of rental property. In addition, the manager will typically perform the following tasks as part of the management service:
- Advertisement of the rental property
- Preparation and execution of rental agreements
- Periodic property inspections
- Coordination of maintenance and repair work
Advertisement of the Rental Property
In the past, advertisement of an available rental meant placing a “For Rent” sign in the front yard and possibly placing an ad in the local newspaper. Times have changed. Today, while the old stand-bys are still used, effective advertising also includes extensive use of the Internet, making availability of the property known to real estate professionals, and targeted advertising to large employers.
Some of the Websites that listing info goes to:
AMMRE.com, Trulia.com, Zillow, Realtor.com, Vast.com, RentalHomesPlus.com, HotPads Tenant.com, RentBits.com, Rentals.com, HomeTownRent.com OLX.com RentalAds.com RealRentals.com Lycos Classifieds RentLizard, RentedSpaces.com, Cazoodle, FreeRentalSite.com, plus more.
Preparation and Execution of Rental Documents
After the applicant is qualified, the necessary rental documents must be prepared and executed. Gone are the days of going to the local stationery store and buying a pre-printed, two-page rental agreement. Today, rental agreements are custom drafted to reflect specific state statutes, and sometimes, applicable local ordinances. In addition to the rental agreement, any required addendum are prepared and may include an addendum relating to pets, a no smoking addendum, an addendum relating to pool use, and if the property was built prior to 1978, a lead paint addendum. Further, a move-in inspection is completed and documented for review by the resident at execution of the rental agreement. Ancillary forms relating to transfer of utilities and trash pick-up may also be needed depending on the location of the rental property.
Periodic Property Inspections
Does the resident have an unauthorized pet? How about six roommates not listed on the rental agreement? These, and other similar problems, can only be found through a physical inspection of the property. Typically, your property manager should have a representative inspect the property one to two times during the term of the rental agreement. Inspections may be conducted either as a scheduled appointment with the resident, or while repairs or scheduled maintenance is performed.
Coordination of Maintenance and Repairs
If you have ever had a resident at your rental property call you at 2:00 a.m. to tell you that the water heater is leaking and your rental is three inches deep in water, you will appreciate having a professional property manager. Most property managers maintain a twenty-four hour system for receiving emergency repair calls and relationships with a variety of skilled tradesmen capable of handling any emergency. For non-emergency repairs or preventive maintenance, you are contacted in advance to discuss the work and its potential cost to your.
The professional property manager provides a cost-effective service in the rental and management of investment property. While the above discusses the functions performed by the property manager, it should also be noted that efficiently and competently performing these functions minimizes potential risk to the property owner and in the long term, maximizes returns from the investment property.