Manage the Property

Do you Manage Yourself or have a Property Manager?
It's possible to manage the rental property yourself. If you do, it will save management fees, but it can be time consuming and difficult on home life, with tenants ringing all hours, complaining about all sorts of things.

The best option for most people is having a professional property manager to manage the properties. There are advantages in employing a manager apart from the time saving and the freedom from the problems.

The managers have access to trades people, so work can be done quickly and cheaply. They also deal with selecting potential tenants, which is a lot of work checking references, credit worthiness, etc.

They deal with tenants all the time so they have experience dealing with the likes and dislikes of tenants.

How to Manage Rental Property
If you plan to manage the rental property yourself, you need to get organised because you will need all your management skills, as well as a fair dosage of patience.

The following are a few things to think about, which may help you:

  • Step 1: When looking for tenants, advertise the property in the local paper, the Internet, or by hanging out a 'for rent' sign.
  • Step 2: Screen the candidates and check their applications, credit reference and employment references.
  • Step 3: Investigate the background of all prospective tenants so that you are very clear on the type of people you grant tenancy to.
  • Step 4: Make sure you have insurance in place to cover fire, theft and damage to the property.
  • Step 5: Arrange for one or two tradesmen you can work with to handle all repairs to the property and carry out regular maintenance.
  • Step 6: Make sure that all tenants are familiar with their obligations and supply them with material available from the tenancy offices, setting out their obligations.
  • Step 7: Where work is required on the property, make sure you supervise it, so it is done to your satisfaction and the cost is kept down.
  • Step 8: Periodically conduct inspections on the property. A good time is at least every 6 months, but probably every 3 months is more appropriate.
  • Step 9: Maintain a good system to monitor that  the rental payments going into the bank account and that rental bonds are in place, ensuring that the financial side of things are in order.

Most leading USA realtor companies provide a  management service and they are paid on a percentage of the monthly rental income collected.

Consider the Tenant
If your property is occupied by a tenant and if you are going to sell, make sure the tenant knows what is happening, and the situation is covered properly in the for sale agreement. If vacant possession is to be given upon settlement, the tenant has to be given reasonable notice after the sale becomes unconditional.

Be very wary of the tenant who says that a shorter notice is acceptable. Property managers do jobs a lot of us don't like. One of them is dealing with existing tenants. At all times the tenant should be considered when the landlord or property manager makes decisions.