Considering Managing Your Own Property? Here Are Some Hard Lessons Only Property Managers Know
So, you’ve invested in a piece of real estate. Perhaps you’ve flipped or at least repaired the property, and put a lot of thought and blood sweat and tears into this new venture. After all, real estate investing can be a huge undertaking. However, if you are choosing to manage this property on your own, instead of working with a management company, then your journey is only just beginning. The more you know about some of the difficulties associated with property management, the better prepared you will be to handle this responsibility.
Here are some hard lessons that only property managers know.
- Not All Tenants Are Great at Managing Their Money.
Chances are you will see this around the holidays, but it can happen all of the time. Rent day comes and goes and your tenant magically doesn’t have enough money to cover the cost of rent. Then, you may see them with a new iPhone or wearing some new expensive designer duds. You need to have a strict policy in place about late rent and covering late rent fees, or your tenants will come up with any excuse such as “I spent too much on Christmas gifts” to send in a late check.
- The “Friend’s” Dog Excuse.
So, you’ve put in a “no pet” policy, or decided to charge a pet fee. Great idea. However, there are many renters who love trying to get around this and sneak pets into their rental properties. Chances are, they will tell you its just their brother’s dog staying for the weekend or they are temporarily pet-sitting. Many times, this is a bit of a stretch, so be on the lookout for unapproved pets coming in and out of the property.
- Your Disappearing Social Life.
You may have decided to manage a property all on your own. However, while you may be saving in property management costs, you may be paying a lot extra when it comes to your social life. Be prepared for have tenants needing all types of repairs and help in the property and to call or email you around the clock. Guess when they are likely going to call? Yeah, on your precious weekends.
- The Hurricane Tenant Who Wants Their Deposit Back.
A security deposit is always a must when renting out a property. However, just because you have a security deposit it doesn’t mean that your rental is completely safe from a destructive tenant. Be prepared for backlash when it comes time for tenants to get that security deposit back. Nearly every property manager can tell you that the most destructive of tenants are going to want their whole security deposit back. So be prepared to handle situations where renters will destroy carpets, damage walls or leave behind giant messes, only to expect their entire deposit returned immediately.
- The Subletter.
This is a huge issue among many property managers and one you should be prepared for. There are many renters who will act as mini property managers of their own and sublet their apartments to others, without asking their property manager. Make sure you keep an eye out on this one. Subletting may seem innocent enough, but: a. it usually means your tenant is making money of you and b. it means someone you don’t know who you haven’t screened is living in your property.
Managing your own property can be a huge undertaking and it can come with a number of obstacles. However, the more prepared you are to handle these common issues, the better. Make sure you keep these lessons in mind so you can be more prepared to handle this new responsibility.