Managing rental property is either going to be a big task if you have many properties, or a small and easier task with just a couple of rental properties. Being a rental property manager requires a few major steps, including:
- Verify with your legal advisor that your rental agreements, penalties, and other examples of consumer-signed documentation are legally solid and don't present loopholes your prospective tenants can exploit.
- Understanding the tenant selection process is another key factor in managing rental properties. The approval of a bad tenant can cause multiple problems, including non-payment of rent, damage to your property, and spreading a negative word-of-mouth description of your business. Part of selecting a good tenant is gut instinct and part is checking references to verify their ability to pay and their history as tenants.
- Setting the proper amounts for rent and deposits also helps limit your tenant selection process. Setting rent and fees at market rates while maintaining a top-notch rental property, can bring in families and a generally older population rather than attracting a younger population. Older residents tend to be more careful with the property and are usually more responsible when it comes to rent payments.
- Performing random checks of your rental properties is a must, and should be detailed in your lease agreement. This doesn't mean inspecting the interior of the living space, but the outside and general condition of the property is essential to head off problems developing because of the age of the property and the effects of weather on the exterior. Catching these things early can save you money, because you can get them fixed before they become serious problems for you or your tenants.
- Another aspect of management to consider is the establishment of penalties for such things as late rent, property damage done by the resident, the status of the deposit, and the cost for early termination of the lease by either party. These establish a set of rules for managing your rental properties in a way that lets the residents know the consequences of their actions. Ensure that they are clearly stated in the lease, and any other documentation you provide to the tenant.
- Some customer service you can provide to help keep everyone happy are: responding as swiftly as possible to calls for repairs and complaints made by your tenants. Stick to the lease by not giving special treatment to one resident over another, particularly in an apartment complex. Act in a professional manner when it is necessary to remind the tenant of his late rent or other problems, and never let disagreements over the property turn into shouting matches.
- Most of all: stay organized! Any lack of organization can cause the management of rental properties to be a much bigger headache than you can imagine.