Renting out property is a great avenue to bring in some extra revenue, whether it’s your home you plan to rent for a short period or you own an investment property. Whichever the case, being a landlord is not a Sunday picnic as it may initially appear. Rental properties come with their fair share of responsibilities.
As a landlord, you are required to advertise your property, screen tenants, collect the rent, carry out maintenance tasks, handle complaints, exterminate pests, among a host of other responsibilities.
Whether you live a block away or halfway across the country, these tasks are not optional: they need to be done. At least if you intend to keep your property occupied at all times, in good condition and cultivate a good rapport with your tenant(s).
But anyone who has ever tried it will admit it’s not an easy thing to manage the property while you’re nowhere near it. And given some people are likely to find themselves in the shoes of an absentee landlord, how then can you manage the property more effectively?
Here are a few basic tips to make it easier for you.
Bring a Property Management Company on Board
Property managers do come at a cost, obviously. It could be about 10 percent of the amount you receive from the rent, probably higher.
The thing is though, if you are located afar, it’s without a doubt a cost worth incurring in most cases. The last thing you need when you’re a thousand miles away is to deal with tenants who are several months behind in their rent arrears, or to arrange for this or that maintenance task, or to screen new tenants who are interested in your vacant property.
A property management company will absolve you of such headaches, and the peace of mind that comes with this might end up saving you much more. Way much more.
Before hiring one, however, make sure to do your research and compare several companies, including checking references and reading reviews. Ideally, you want a cooperative property manager who will do what they say they will. You want a safe pair of hands.
Orient yourself with some Locals
If for some reason a property management company is not one of your options, you might consider having a contact or two – probably a neighbor, relative or friend – who live nearby.
This provides you with a chance to keep an eye on the property and tenant without personally being there.
Make yourself Available to the Tenant(s)
Despite the fact you may have a property manager or some other party checking on the property, it’s never a bad idea to visit your investment periodically. Once a quarter is a reasonable enough period, probably three times a year, assuming you can’t do it more frequently than this.
This not only gives you the chance to make sure everything is in working order, but also provides you with an opportunity to connect with the tenant(s). It never hurts to maintain open lines of communication with your tenants.
Becoming a landlord can be a profitable venture, that’s no secret. Before you take the plunge, however, you may want to make sure the responsibilities of becoming a landlord won’t be a burden on you.
If you would rather not associate yourself with the day-to-day running of the property, a property manager can come in handy, whether you live nearby or located in a different timezone. In the case of the latter, then the tips we’ve shared here should go some way in ensuring your property is run smoothly, for the sake of both you and your tenant(s).