When you own property, it can be difficult to manage and maintain on your own; especially if you live a far distance away. Hiring a property management company can be a valuable resource to help you manage your tenants, collect your rental income and respond to emergency situations such as burst pipes, faulty furnaces, etc. While these companies are there to help you and make your job as a landlord easier, there are some things that you should know; rather, there are some things that they would like you to know:
1) The company has other clients: This is not to say that you and your rental property won’t be treated as a top priority; rather, it’s a reminder that the company has many different clients and must work on everyone’s behalf to ensure all tasks get completed on time and as efficiently as possible. So, if the rent is collected at 11:00 a.m. instead of 9:00 a.m., please understand that it could be because they had an emergency with another client, or things did not go as planned for the day. The company understands that you have a business to run, and makes every effort to ensure that your rental properties are maintained according to the contract.
2) The company cannot set rental rates: While a management company can advise you on what rates are typical in the area, they cannot actually set the rental rates. This is entirely up to you as a landlord. You will need to familiarize yourself with the landlord/tenant laws in order to come up with a price that is fair, equitable and attractive to potential renters. A management company’s job is simply to collect rent, not set fees. When the lease is drawn up by the company (or by you), the rental fee will be stipulated in writing.
3) The company has to abide by the landlord/tenant laws: A property management company is responsible for maintaining the property, collecting rent, acting as a liaison between the tenant and repair technicians, etc. They cannot enforce the landlord/tenant laws, nor can they go against them. For example, they cannot force tenants out for non-payment. They cannot (and will not) go against laws that are in place. This would be putting their reputation in jeopardy. The company representatives have specific knowledge of these laws and can help provide you with information so that you too can abide by these laws.
Being a landlord seems like an ideal career and a great way to make a steady income; few people realize, though, that this involves much more than just collecting rent every month. There are expenses to incur, tenants to take care of, and properties to maintain (even when the furnace breaks on a cold winter’s morning). Having a property management company to handle the details for you can leave you with more free time and less stress. Don’t expect them to enforce or break rules for you, though. These companies have a reputation to protect, and they will not risk their business because you don’t want to play by the rules.
Benefit National can help with all of your property management needs. Visit the website today for more information about their range of services.