Do you own one or more rental properties? A growing number of people are investing in property and are becoming landlords; however, often they try and manage the properties themselves without necessarily having the time or the skills to do so. The truth is investing in a property manager may actually save you money and hassle in the long run. Here are five reasons why you should consider using a property manager to look after your rental portfolio.
1. Market knowledge
A property manager can give you an impartial and accurate assessment of the rent you can expect to receive from your rental. Too often first-time investors, in particular, tend to over-estimate the weekly rent they should charge. This can lead to difficulties and delays in letting the property resulting in a loss of income. A property manager has great local knowledge and can give you a realistic market rent. This local knowledge is especially important if your rental is in an area that you are not overly familiar with.
2. Tenant selection
Selecting the right tenant – one who will pay the rent on time and look after the property – takes time and requires careful research. A property manager will have access to information on people with a history of bad debts or other issues. A good property manager will undertake a thorough background check on all prospective tenants so that you don’t have to.
In addition, showing potential tenants around can be a pain for landlords as most people will want to arrange a viewing for in the evenings after work or at the weekends. And if you’re already working full time yourself, then this can be a huge demand on your time. This is all part and parcel of the job for property managers who will be able to find a good tenant much more quickly than you can be doing it yourself.
3. Legal issues
The landlord-tenant relationship is first and foremost a legal one and while it is possible to download standard tenancy agreements from the internet, a lack of knowledge and understanding can cause major issues for landlords. By contrast, a property manager has detailed knowledge about all the potential legal pitfalls and can help you develop an appropriate written contract that clearly states the responsibilities of both tenant and owner. A clear contract provides protection for the landlord to possible legal challenges from the tenant.
4. Maintenance issues
Even in the best-managed properties maintenance issues will arise from time to time requiring the landlord’s attention. Organising contractors and arranging access can quickly become a major issue for landlords, especially when you own more than one property. Handing over the responsibility for organising repairs to the property manager gives you peace of mind that the issue will be dealt with professionally and promptly. What’s more, good property managers will conduct an annual inspection to make sure that your investment is being properly maintained and they can take action on your behalf if there are any problems.
5. End of tenancy arrangements
Problems can arise when tenants move on without giving sufficient notice or they fail to leave the property in a satisfactory condition. Sometimes they up and go whilst still owing rent. A property management service will know what to do in these sorts of situations. They can help to ensure that the tenancy is terminated correctly and that a new tenant is in place as soon as possible thereby maximising your rental income.
If you’re already a landlord or are thinking of investing in property then it’s well worth using the services of a property manager. As well as protecting your asset, you’ll also be making life easier for yourself in the long run.