Duties of a Do-It-Yourself Property Manager
Owning rental property can be an exciting investment, but doing the job of managing your own property requires more than just putting up the “For Rent” sign. Let’s review what a property manager needs to actually do to professionally manage their properties. Once you find out, maybe you won’t want to hire yourself for the job.
Understanding your Liabilities
New landlords will need to understand that property management companies need to comply with all of the laws and regulations involving rental properties. There is quite a bit of research and knowledge to understand which apply to your rental property. There are insurance requirements, licensing requirements, landlord/tenant laws, as well as housing laws – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Some of these laws and regulations can get complicated, even for people who know what they are doing. Knowing how to properly and legally reference potential tenants and when a maintenance item must be taken care of are all important factors when deciding to handle property management yourself. Not understanding or complying with property management laws and regulations can create mistakes that cost you money and your reputation.
Difficult Tenant Situations
Sadly, life isn’t always paradise. Your tenants may experience personal difficulties with relationships or job loss – you name it, and you will probably have to deal with it at some point. Being a property manager means whatever your tenants’ situations are, it may result in not getting your rent payments on time. It is the property manager who takes on the ugly responsibility of asking for late rent or even dealing with costly and time-consuming evictions. Difficult tenant situations is not an enjoyable part of the job.
As a manager, you will need to be available to your tenants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Property Managers knows that when a tenant or property has a need, that need should be given attention quickly. Some problems can wait; whereas some things will need your immediate attention. Plumbing problems rarely happen at a convenient time. Just imagine sitting down at the dinner table for an important family occasion and then getting that call demanding your immediate attention be on your property and not on your family.
Self-managing your property creates hassles and headaches that will eventually cost you money. Do you understand laws and regulations accurately? Are you prepared to deal with any situation that can and will come up with your tenants? Are you willing to make yourself constantly available anytime of the day, any day of the year to manage and maintain your property? You will quickly realize that help with property management will give you more return on your rental property investment, greater peace of mind, and help you avoid costly mistakes. Look for a professional to be on your team so you can get the most from your rental property investment.