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Your Responsibilities When Self-Managing Rental Properties

System - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

If you are considering self-managing vs. hiring a property management company, it is important to consider what managing a rental property on your own actually entails. It is a lot more work than one may imagine. That is why a property management company like Mayfair Property Management, LLC in the Fort Lauderdale area saves you time, money, hassle, and stress.

In this article, we will discuss what goes into managing a property on your own. Many believe that it is a simple equation that your rental income minus mortgage and expenses equals your total profit. However, this equation leaves out two significant factors, landlord responsibilities, and energy.

It is important to understand what your landlord duties are if you are going to self-manage. Your responsibilities as a landlord may require you to spend money, and they always require your time. A good property management company handles all these landlord duties for you without the hassle.

As a landlord, you will be expected to manage all routine and emergency maintenance. Renters can be impatient and irritated when there is a troublesome maintenance issue that they are waiting on being resolved. In Fort Lauderdale, dealing with tenants whose air conditioners are not functioning correctly could land you in a heated confrontation with some hot-headed residents.

Furthermore, renters are known to have less concern for the property than owners, so renters are much less cautious with wear and tear. Rental properties require much more time and energy from the owners to upkeep them.

Maintenance management also includes scheduling seasonal maintenance to ensure appliances are functioning properly, as well as checking on gutters to prevent overflow, checking in with tenants, and responding to emergency maintenance requests from tenants.

As a self-manager, you will also need to address all vacancies on your property and get the next tenants screened and moved in as quickly as possible. Finding tenants is a lot harder than many realize. You need to have property visits, rental applications, in-depth screening, interviews, and meetings for showings.

An investment that yields a good profit is contingent on a good tenant screening. Self-managers will have to conduct these screenings rigorously. They need to look at the prospective tenant’s criminal history, eviction history, credit report, call references, verify income, and speak to past landlords.

Tenant screening is a massive investment of a landlord’s time. Hiring a good property management company takes care of the screening for you. At Mayfair Property Management, LLC we conduct extensive screening on all tenants and handle everything from moving your qualified tenant into their new home, to rent collection, to handling maintenance issues.

As a landlord, you would be expected to have good relationships with your tenants. This means checking in with your tenants at least once a quarter. You will need to ask if everything in their rental is functioning properly and discuss seasonal maintenance work coming up. If the tenant identifies any problems, you are expected to solve them.

Tenants can call landlords with legitimate complaints and also ones that are less reasonable or out of your control. For example, a tenant could call to complain about a barking dog across the street. As a self-manager, you are the face of the property. Whether it be good or bad, you are your tenant’s go-to person for all things related to the property.

Rent collection is one of your biggest duties as a landlord. As much as we wish collecting rent would always run smoothly, this is not always the case. Self-managing means that you are the one who has to chase down your tenants for their monthly rent. This is not pleasant, and you can find yourself in a lot of trouble waiting an extra-long time to get your monthly income.

Rent collection involves dealing with a lot of “what ifs.” What do you do if a check does not show up on time? What do you do if the tenant lies about the rent check being on its way? What if the mail carrier loses or misdelivers the check? What if your tenant is on vacation and cannot send a check?

Now, in the rapidly digitalizing world of today, online rent collection and rent payment software can help prevent and solve a lot of these problems. However, if a tenant does not pay, you are still on your own with trying to figure it out, and this can be a very exasperating process.

Maintenance, vacancies, leasing, tenant relations, and rent collection are just a few of the many duties you will have to undertake as a self-managing landlord. Other significant responsibilities include rental law enforcement and compliance, inspections, tenant turnover, raising the rent, insurance, taxes, and evictions.

Managing a property is a full-time job. If someone does not have all the time, energy, and resources to devote to self-management is could really wreak havoc on their wallets and their livelihood. This is why hiring a property management company, who are experts in the rental industry, understand rental and Fair Housing laws, understand state statues, and have a network of maintenance personnel and other professional groups, is the very best way to ensure your happiness and success as a property owner. In Fort Lauderdale and in the South Florida region, Mayfair Property Management, LLC takes the burden off of your shoulders so you can excel.