Property management companies manage tenants, collect rents, screen applicants, and ensure that a property is well maintained. They take away a lot of the headaches for landlords, especially those who are new to renting properties.
Before hiring a property management company, make certain that this is the right move for you. Property managers can be expensive, so you want to make sure that the expense results in a well managed property that produces income. If your time is limited, you do not live near the property, or you have many properties, a property management company may be a good choice for you.
Management companies screen prospective tenants, and market your rentals as available. They conduct the background checks, collect deposits, prepare lease agreements, and collect rent money. They also respond to maintenance calls, emergencies, and engage the right professionals for repairs. Property management companies also are well trained in pursuing evictions, making sure they are done legally and efficiently, so that this nasty situation does not entirely fall on you.
Some landlords do not hire management companies, but hire a resident property manager or resident management team. These managers are employees of the landlord, and they perform many of the duties described. Sometimes they live on the premises.
Property managers know how to market the property, and set the market rent. They are also skilled in raising or adjusting rents, depending on lease terms, local laws, and consideration of retaining current tenants. They understand what tenants are attracted to, and work with the landlord to suggest cosmetic improvements or even major repairs.
Property managers also have experience with screening tenants, conducting important background checks in a consistent manner, and can select those tenants who are most likely to pay rent consistently over a period of time.
When a tenant moves out, the property manager conducts the inspection, arranges for cleaning and damage repair, and sets up the process for returning the security deposit to the tenant, or charging repairs to the security deposit. They provide the statements and disclosures to the tenant in writing within an established time frame after the tenant moves out, as well as the remainder of the security deposit.
Maintenance is another area where a property manager is invaluable. You may have companies set up to do grounds maintenance, plumbing repairs, sidewalk repairs, but the property manager is the one who supervises workers, notifies tenants, and ensures that the job is done.
Effective and professional property management is essential to operating a rental property, whether it is a large building or a single house. A wise landlord makes plans for how property will be managed, or how they will have assistance in managing a property if they do it themselves.