When we decided to get into rental property as part of our investment portfolio, my husband and I were smart enough to know that we didn’t know enough yet to manage properties by ourselves. We both have jobs and family responsibilities that take up most of our time. Having a tenant call at 3 AM about a clogged toilet was not on my list of things I wanted to deal with. It was pretty obvious that we needed a property manager like the ones from Property Management Melbourne. These are some things we looked for in a rental property manager.
Ability To Find Tenants
Obviously the most important thing about owning a rental property is having tenants. We wanted property management that had good access and experience with the local rental pool and who used various forms of advertising to attract tenants. Having a good website and also posting on sites like Craig’s List were also important.
We also liked that our rental property managers were flexible on times they were available to show our rentals to potential tenants. Often this happened after work or on weekends. You hope renters will have a reliable job, and that often means they aren’t free between 9-5.
Managing Repairs In House
The company we chose for property management has two maintenance people on staff. That way, if repairs are necessary, a staff member can show up and get the issue resolved. This often results in a lower per hour cost to fix the problem, and the tenant doesn’t have to wait while sub-contractors are located.
We liked the fact that our property managers do quarterly inspections. It is illegal for landlords to enter a property without 24 hours notice. While tenants generally don’t appreciate unexpected visits, they are usually pretty happy to open the doors if they think the landlord is taking care of them.
All of our tenants expect an inspection every season for things like heating and cooling units, appliances, and general wear and tear of other fixtures. This way, our managers can pick up on items that might need minor repairs before they become major ones. It also gives the manager a chance to make sure tenants aren’t plugging 15 appliances into one outlet or keeping a flock of geese in the back room.
Costs and Fees
Property managers generally charge landlords a percentage of the monthly or weekly rent. There might also be fees for finding new tenants, deposits required for each unit, and extra costs if evictions or other legal issues need to be dealt with. It’s important that landlords and property managers sign a contract stating all fees and costs up front so there won’t be any surprises later.
Hiring property management is not a decision to make lightly, but if you don’t have the necessary skills or time available to properly manage repairs and tenant issues, it’s probably the best route to take. While having a property manager does take a percentage of the rental profits, it could be well worth it to keep tenants happy and willing to renew their leases.
Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/van Oostrom
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