Easy Tips for Managing a Property Manager

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on May 18, 2010 under General | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

shaking-hands1There are just as many rental property owners who wouldn’t dream of personally managing their rentals as there are landlords who would never allow a property manager to do it. As your rental property business grows, you may find it becoming too much to handle by yourself.

If you’ve made the decision to turn over the day-to-day management of your rental business to a property manager, keep these tips in mind for managing the individual or company you hire.

1. Even though the property management contract is signed, you’re not off the hook. You’re in charge, so you can feel free to take charge, be in control of the relationship, and require a certain level of performance from your rental manager.

2. Supervise their activities as well as you can. This can be a little more difficult if you are an out-of-town rental property owner. Still, you’ll want to avoid nightmares like unauthorized repair bills, erroneous charges, and poor rent collection. Require photos of repairs for proof they are done properly and to your satisfaction.

3. Be realistic. Some repairs will cost more than you think they will. Property managers shouldn’t have to call you for permission to spend $10 on your behalf. And emergencies happen—so don’t risk creating a bad relationship by complaining about emergency repairs—especially if they will save you money in the long run.

4. Remember, rental property managers are in business to make a profit. If they are providing a valuable service, you should expect to pay for it. Just be sure to check over invoices carefully, ask for clarification if don’t understand something, and require explanations of anything you don’t recognize as necessary.

5. Keep your contract handy and make sure they are following its terms. If rents are due in your account by the 15th of the month, and they routinely miss it by a day, they are in breach of contract. If monthly tenant reports, vacancy reports, and marketing reports are required—but are not happening—don’t let the property manager get away with it, or they’ll continue to do so. Be sure that you are abiding by the contract, too—remember you agreed to it.

6. If the terms of the contract you signed aren’t working out as you had hoped, ask to re-negotiate. It can’t hurt to ask. And if the relationship is still unsatisfactory at the end of the contract term, find another property manager. At least you’ll have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work for you.

7. Show the property manager that you’re the boss. Someone has to be in charge, and it’s your property with your tenants—and your liability. So that someone in charge should be you! Don’t pay for repairs you don’t authorize. Require pre-approval for any expenditures over a certain amount, like $100. Don’t allow tenants to sign leases unless they meet your criteria for tenant background screening and credit checks.

Property managers can be 100% honest, wonderful communicators, and an integral part of your rental property business. But not all of them are. When you hire a company to manage your rental property, you still need to manage the manager!

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