To make sure you actually need a property management company to manage your property, answer these below questions…
1) Do you have plenty of time on your hands? Being a landlord is a 24/7, 365 day-per-year responsibility. It does not stop when you are at work or on vacation.
2) Are you available and willing to show the property to prospects? You pay for an advert in the paper or you post a link on Craigslist. Prospective tenants often have a limited time frame and expect the landlord to fit in with their schedule. Are you prepared to take time to work or plan your weekend around showings?
3) Do you possess the knowledge to consider an application according to the Fair Housing Act (FHA)? Your gut feeling is telling you the prospect is bad news, but do you know what grounds you can deny the applicant? An FHA violation on the grounds of discrimination can be very costly.
4) Do you have the resources to thoroughly screen tenants? A thorough screening process results in reliable tenants that pay rent on time, rent for longer terms, leave less wear and tear on the property, and generally cause less problems. A thorough screening process includes Employment and Wage Verification, Consumer Credit Reports, Nationwide Criminal Records, Nationwide Eviction Records, and Residence Verification.
5) Are you skilled in all areas of maintenance or do you have a licensed contractor on speed dial? From plumbing to A/C repairs and cleaning to painting, these expenses can quickly add up. Failure to address these issues in a timely manner can cause property deterioration and costly vacancies.
6) Are you familiar with the North Carolina Landlord Tenant Act? Tenants can be litigious and likely know this legislation better than most landlords. Your asset is at risk if you cut legal corners.
7) Are you able to receive and/or collect rent easily? For some owners, it’s as easy as sitting back and counting the money, but what happens when the check bounces or doesn’t arrive at all?
8 Are you able and prepared to post required notices? Maybe the rent is late or the tenants have parked their truck on the grass again causing a HOA violation? Regardless, the situation needs to be formally addressed. Even if you live close by are you comfortable with potential confrontation.
9) Are you able to perform periodic inspections (at least every 6 months)? The house was in great condition when the tenants moved in, but how are they looking after the place a few months down the line? The ability to stop by unannounced is a great incentive for tenants to keep the property in good shape.
10) Are you able to apply the law objectively without getting caught up in emotion? Tenants come up with all sorts of reasons as to why they can’t pay rent, and often a firm stance will nip this in the bud. Tenants often see landlords as property moguls and consider their own financial woes to be more important than the property owner’s.
11) Are you familiar with the eviction process? There are tremendous amounts of red tape surrounding the lawful eviction process, and no, changing the locks while the tenant’s out just isn’t an option. A good property manager is on the ball and able to handle evictions for you — quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with state code and regulations.
If you answered “Yes” to ALL of these questions, congratulations, you do not need a property manager. If you answered “No” to ANY of these questions, find out how Bev Roberts Rental & Property Management can help you.