rental management

Managing a rental property can be daunting, especially if you have less than perfect tenants or property owners. We all know no one is perfect. Knowing your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of your tenants and owners can be helpful when it comes to rental management. Follow these tips to keep your tenants safe and comfortable and keep your property owners happy.

Know Your Responsibilities
It’s not enough to simply think you’ve got your rental management under control; you’ve got to know exactly what is expected of you. Maintenance, repairs, complaints, all of these things are on your responsibility list. Tenants will call you first when there is a problem with the property or a neighbor; you need to know how to handle it when the time comes. Budget, insurance, rent collection, marketing, and property taxes are all things that can and will be your responsibility. Talk with your property owner to ensure that you are in agreement, especially if your property owner lives far away from the property.

Know Your Tenants
Knowing exactly what you’re getting into when you sign a lease is crucial for efficient rental management. Most tenants expect a credit check, questions about income and former living arrangements, and potentially background checks before they are approved. These types of things will tell you much about your new potential tenant and whether or not they would be a good fit for your property. Be sure to verify income before you even think of taking in a tenant. A good tenant will take care of the property, report any property issues in a timely manner, and pay the rent on time. All of these things help to keep your rental management running efficiently and place less stress on you.

Be Specific in an Agreement or Lease
If you didn’t specify it in your agreement or lease, then it’s open for interpretation. Efficient rental management begins with a clear agreement signed by all parties. Property owners need a direct way of knowing what services you’re providing and what responsibilities you have. Tenants often think they know what they can and cannot do with their property—and will proceed along with these ideas unless you tell them otherwise. Outlining everything in a contract and being as specific as possible is crucial to keeping everyone safe and happy. Knowing your tenants’ rights when it comes to rental management will help keep your relationship positive, and knowing your owner’s expectations of you is key to doing successful work.

Keep Records of Your Rental Management
Records are important for a variety of reasons; they keep you protected in case any problems arise with tenants. These could be issues about maintenance or repairs, legal issues from current or former tenants, any budget discrepancies or back rent payments from former tenants. All of these require you to keep records of what exactly happened during your tenant’s stay and what has been done to the property prior to their move in. Keep records of everything that has to do with your rental property.

Use Rental Management Software
Using rental management software can be a great asset to your business. Regardless of whether you manage one property or hundreds, rental management software helps you keep track of all those little details you might have otherwise overlooked. The software requires little to no maintenance once installed. Ranging in price from free to a monthly payment, you can have the convenience of a software system keeping track of everything for your rental management purposes. Rental management software can help keep your business simple and efficient, especially if you have numerous properties to manage.

Have Reliable Service Providers
Having reliable service providers established for your rental management needs is essential to keeping things running smoothly. Scrambling to find a service provider in the event that something happens to the property—a leak, structural issues, plumbing problems, etc.—is not something you want to be spending your valuable time doing. Have established professionals in place that you have a good standing business relationship with to call in times of trouble. This keeps you, your tenants, and your property owner assured that you have your business under control and will be on top of tasks in times of need.

Owning and managing a rental property doesn’t have to be complicated. With clear written agreements, good tenants, and keeping up with your responsibilities, rental management can be an efficient, simple, and successful endeavor.

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Jenn Ryan is a freelance writer and editor who has done work with a variety of local companies in the DC Metro Area. She loves running, reading, and spending time with her four rescued bunnies.

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