self-managing landlord

Four Signs You Should Hire a Property Manager

When you first begin renting out a home, there is an overwhelming amount of information you must learn to stay compliant and manage the property properly. From advertising the unit and maintaining the property to selecting a tenant and collecting rent, there are rules and guidelines you must follow, whether you’re aware of them or not. While some landlords are able to self-manage without making any costly mistakes, there are a few indicators that it may be time to hire a property manager instead of continuing to self-manage.


You’ve run into legal issues.

Running into legal issues is most landlords’ worst fear when it comes to their property. Unfortunately, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility, especially when an individual has decided to self-manage the property. Even a simple fair housing violation, such as stating “no families or couples” in the advertisement, can result in legal issues for unknowing landlords. Many self-managing landlords who run into legal issues were unaware they were not being compliant prior to it becoming an issue. Despite the best of intentions, not knowing the laws or guidelines does not exclude you from being responsible for knowing and following them.


Although it’s in the best interest of the property owner to hire a professional before it gets to this point, legal issues are a definite sign that there are current education gaps in relation to managing a property. To avoid putting yourself at further risk, it’s in your best interest to hire a professional who can aid in avoiding these issues, or can help handle them quickly if unavoidable issues arise.


You’re having issues with a tenant that don’t seem to be resolving, despite best efforts.

We often hear from potential clients that they are having issues with a tenant who is currently occupying the home. If you are finding yourself having frequent conflict with tenants, or that it feels impossible to resolve issues, you may want to begin searching for a property management company.


Having recurring issues with tenants is more likely to be avoided when you have a property manager, as the property management company should have time and resources allocated to vetting tenants prior to anyone moving into the property. Proper vetting isn’t as simple as some may think, and it can make a world of a difference when it comes to avoiding issues in the long-run.


In some cases, issues that arise may be outside of your control. For example, if a maintenance issue comes up and you can’t get anyone to attend to the issue quickly, despite the tenant pushing for a quick turnaround. It’s clear that fixing maintenance problems quickly is the best course of action, but unfortunately it is not always a possibility. When you are self-managing a property, you may not have the same access to vendors and licensed maintenance workers that a property manager would have, and can struggle to handle maintenance issues quickly and expertly.  If you are on the path to self-manage, it’s essential that you plan ahead and have trusted vendors or licensed workers who can aid in fixing issues quickly.


You are overwhelmed.

Even without legal troubles or potential conflict with tenants, the daily tasks that go into the management of a rental property can be exhausting, especially if you are located far away or work full-time, outside of managing your property. Managing a rental property is a full-time job, and keeping up with changing laws and regulations can be more than enough for most people.


If you are feeling overwhelmed by managing the property, it’s likely in your best interest to hire a property manager. Although many think that it will be more lucrative for them to self-manage, the opposite is often true in the long-run. Maintenance issues that aren’t handled immediately, or running into any legal issues can get costly very fast. Hiring a property manager can help you save money, and maintain the condition of your home better, in the long-run.


You aren’t sure where your education gaps are.

You may not know exactly what you don’t know, but if you aren’t a professional or a seasoned landlord, it’s likely you still have areas to learn about when it comes to managing a property. While we’ve discussed the occurrence of legal issues, there are other concerns when it comes to having education gaps.


For example, handling maintenance at the property is incredibly important. As we mentioned above, leaving maintenance issues for too long, or trying to fix a maintenance issue yourself can result in greater damage, or cause problems that you may not find until later on.


Another often-missed task is assessing the property prior to move-in, and ensuring that the documentation you have will support the reported condition of the property. If you do not document the home prior to tenants moving in, it can be complicated trying to prove that any damages or wear-and-tear wasn’t there before they moved in as well.


Not knowing where your education gaps are can be risky. Not knowing where you are missing information can only lead to problems down the road. Ensuring you have all of the information you need can be your biggest asset when it comes to self-managing.


If you have questions about how hiring a property manager can bring you peace of mind and protect your home, we recommend reaching out, here! If you’re a self-managing landlord or are anticipating self-managing, avoid some of these common mistakes by listening to our podcast, The Accidental Landlord.

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