What You Need to Know About Rental Property Management

Managing rental property can be time-consuming. From marketing the property to screening applicants and drawing up a lease agreement, there are many tasks to complete.

Dealing with slow payers or those who are violating their lease can be a hassle. A good property management company will work with tenants to get the payments they need.
Rent Collection

Rent collection is a key component of rental property management. It helps to avoid the number one landlord problem – slow or no payment by tenants.

Tenants may drop off checks or cash in person at your office or a secure drop-off location you set up for them. This requires them to travel, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. It also requires you to collect the payments and deposit them into your accounts, all while maintaining accurate accounting records.

Online rent payment software is a convenient alternative that eliminates these issues. It can be automated, with both tenants and landlords able to monitor payments and generate reports. The platform can even handle late fees and security deposits for you. This frees you up to focus on your business and tenants.
Tenant Screening

Tenant screening is the process of evaluating potential tenants and ensuring they meet your rental property’s requirements. This typically includes credit checks, verification of employment and income, landlord references, and criminal background checks.

It is important to evaluate each applicant on a case-by-case basis and apply your tenant screening criteria consistently. This helps to avoid discrimination and legal issues.

When screening applicants, pay attention to their tone of voice and body language. A quality tenant is typically relaxed, welcoming and eager to move in. They’re also likely to answer your questions thoroughly. These positive signs can help you quickly identify good candidates for your property. This reduces vacancy and turnover rates and increases your property’s cash flow. It can also help you avoid expensive evictions and damage to your property.
Lease Agreement

Signing a lease agreement gives landlords and tenants structure in renting property. A lease contract defines the terms of the relationship, the cost associated with the rental and the duration of time that individuals can occupy a specific unit.

Generally, management companies are paid between 8% and 12% of the rent collected by them for an owner. A lease should clearly outline whether this percentage is calculated based on rent due or rent collected, and the company should also specify how it will deal with vacant units.

As you consider which agreement type best suits your situation, it’s important to evaluate factors like duration, cost and future flexibility. For example, a lease may involve a longer commitment, while rental agreements are more likely to be month-to-month with less long-term involvement.

Maintenance is a key component of rental property management. Landlords often set a budget and decide whether to handle all the tasks themselves or hire a contractor(s) to do the work. Landlords should also decide how they will deal with unexpected maintenance expenses.

Regardless of how landlords choose to manage their properties, they must ensure that tenants are informed about the starting condition of the property and that their lease agreement specifies who is responsible for what maintenance tasks. This can prevent misunderstandings that may lead to disputes between the landlord and tenant.

Landlords should also regularly conduct inspections of their properties. This can include move-in and move-out inspections as well as regular drive-by inspections. These inspections can help identify any issues that need to be addressed.

After stringent interviews and careful review of rental applications, property owners can be disappointed when tenants don’t work out. Sometimes, they are unable to pay their rent or they become an unruly nuisance that causes damage to the property.

Evictions require a legal process that involves filing an eviction complaint and giving the tenant notice of the pending eviction. The landlord may have to serve this notice personally or ask someone uninvolved in the case to do it.

Most eviction cases stem from lease or rental agreement violations, such as nonpayment of rent or breaking other terms in the contract. Landlords cannot end a lease without cause in some states and cities with rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments. Evictions can be lengthy and expensive. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer if you need to file an eviction.

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