When you first start to manage properties the road can be a bit rough as you get your feet wet and learn how it works. Problems can pop up and cause unnecessary stress and frustration. If you follow some basic rules of property management, you’ll have a more successful and less stressful experience being a manager.
- Screen candidates
Don’t skimp out here. Screen potential candidates for job history, references, or proof from receipts or canceled checks that they’ve paid their past rent on time. Go deeper into your screening by obtaining a copy of their credit report and public records, such as evictions, that may be relevant to your decision.
- Offer multiple payment options
Allow your tenants to pay rent in ways that suit everyone. Younger generations like to do everything online. You can even require this method of payment in the lease if you want to truly enforce it. Choose a reputable company to use for collecting payments to minimize issues with reliability or security.
- Stick to the lease
Take the time to create a solid lease and stick to it. If you allow one or two things to slide, tenants may decide to take advantage of your flexibility and violate more rules. A lease should outline everything that you expect and prohibit whether it’s for 30 days or a longer period of time such as a year.
- Regular inspections
As long as you give the tenant proper notice, you have the right to inspect the property regularly to examine its condition. Check to see if any repairs need to be done and ensure that no unreported damage has occurred.
- Be timely and fair
Address the concerns of your tenants. If something is broken, have it repaired in a timely manner. Get to know your tenants and ensure that they’re satisfied with how things are going. You’ll gain trust and have tenants that stay on the property longer, eliminating the costs and hassles of finding and screening a new tenant.
- Use the security deposit for damages only
Be fair and only use the security deposit for actual damages. Keep receipts and photographs to prove that the damage occurred and to reduce the likelihood of dealing with false claims. Don’t be spiteful and hold money that you’re not entitled to.
Being a property manager isn’t for everyone, but preparing yourself ahead of time for the task will help you be more successful.