I recently read an interesting blog post by Infolio director, Lauren Staley titled “the average life span of a property manager” according to this post the average time a property manager will stay in a job is 9 months! As a property manager, I found this post interesting. I agree with Lauren that property management can be a thankless job, as she said they are often stuck in the middle and despite their best efforts any problems tend to be blamed on the property manager. Landlord refuses to repair something? “You are the worst property manager ever!” Tenants three days late with rent despite calls and reminders? “You are the worst property manager ever!” And the list goes on. It certainly takes a certain type of person to be a successful property manager. So why don’t we feel like this at Bev Roberts Rentals? I think it comes down to feeling incredibly lucky to work together as a family. We are a family owned and operated business that share a love of leasing and property management. We believe that working together as a family gives us an advantage over our competitors and has been the key to our success.
Owning a home is the American dream, but far too often people jump into home ownership simply because they believe it’s “cheaper than their rent payment”. It’s important to think past this month’s cash flow when making a decision that could provoke a financial burden. For example, once you buy a house, you are stuck there. Unless you are independently wealthy, have your house paid off and don’t need the money from renting it or selling it, you are stuck in your house until you sell it. Selling a house can be a long, stressful process, even in a booming housing market, let alone a housing slump. A tenant renting on a year lease with a 60 day notice can leave at anytime with the cost of minor breach fees. For instance, a tenant who gets that golden job opportunity that requires them to relocate. Since they are a renter, all they have to do is give notice and pack their bags. Moving out of town to pursue bigger and better opportunities is POSSIBLE if you’re renting. Owning a home traps individuals to that location.
Tenant Question: “While on vacation, I let a friend stay in my rental home. My friend accidentally left the freezer door open, which allowed the freezer to defrost. Water soaked and ruined the kitchen hardwood floors. Can the landlord charge me with this repair bill?”
A. Yes. By law and per the lease terms, tenants are responsible for damage their guests cause to the rental. Don’t get sidetracked by the fact it was your friend, not you, who left the freezer door open. Your friend was there with your consent and, legally speaking, their mistakes while in your rental will be your responsibility.
The most painful aspect of home ownership might be that the buck stops with YOU. Whether it’s mundane repairs like replacing fixtures, fixing toilet leaks, and touch-up painting, or big ticket items like new roofs, furnaces, or siding – it all comes out of YOUR pocket. What does this cost homeowners on average? U.S. News and World Report says that homeowners spend from 1% to 4% of a homes value each year on maintenance and repair.
Even though they’re becoming more optimistic about their financial situations, more people who rent their homes are foregoing buying a house.
One in five renters now say they have no interest in ever owning a home, up from 13% in January 2016, according to a report released this week by Freddie Mac. And nearly 60% of current renters expect to rent their next property when they make their next move, up from 55% in September.
This shift toward renting versus buying is occurring despite a relative improvement in the financial situations for many renters: 41% of them say they have enough funds to go beyond each payday, as opposed to living paycheck to paycheck or not having enough money for basic necessities, the highest level since October 2015, Freddie Mac found. Harris Poll surveyed more than 4,000 adults on Freddie Mac’s behalf, of which 1,282 were renters, to help produce the report.
And yet a sizable chunk of people are unhappy with renting. Nearly 40% of people Freddie Mac surveyed were dissatisfied to some extent with their rental experience, with young and urban renters — who are likely to be living in smaller, more expensive spaces — more likely to be displeased.
So why are they not buying? People’s attitudes toward affordability, which cut across generations, is a big factor. “Although their finances are better, renters are comfortable with continuing to rent with many believing renting will be more affordable or stay the same for them in the next 12 months,” Freddie Mac noted.
In particular, rising home values have hurt many would-be homebuyers. A recent report from real-estate website Zillow found that more than two-thirds of renters cite the down payment as the biggest obstacle to owning a home. Indeed, it can take more than a typical year’s salary in some markets to be able to afford one.
At the same time, rental markets have stabilized recently. “Rents have been relatively flat over the last year and we don’t expect them to rise much in the next year in most areas,” Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said. “That urgency that once existed is not there anymore.”
Affordability is just one factor though — the availability of homes also plays a role. “Even if you were to go out and try to buy a home, inventory is so constrained you’ll have trouble to find one,” Gudell said. “If there’s not much advantage to owning a home versus renting, people will feel comfortable in the decision to continue to rent.”
A look into the life of a Property Manager:
“We are all varying degrees of crazy. When in public, you hide the crazy in order to conform to what society deems “appropriate behavior.” Some are better at this than others. When you get home, within the confines of walls and away from watchful eyes, you can let your crazy run free without worry of judgment, public persecution or jail time. It’s where you can let your freak flag fly high and proud. This is what makes my job… interesting. I am privy to all of it—the freak flags and the secrets. It’s not a job for the thin-skinned, the weak-stomached or the easily-angered. It is a job for me: the Property Manager.” – Erin Huss
Q: Name one thing property managers wish tenants knew.
A: We don’t make the rules, we’re simply paid to enforce them. Every property manager has encountered that tenant who is disappointed, because the property manager refuses to disobey the terms of the lease to benefit a tenant’s situation. Property managers wish tenants understood that each state has Landlord-Tenant Laws designed to protect the rights of both parties in the lease: the landlord and the tenant. When tenants sign a lease, the terms of the lease are not merely made-up by the property manager, but rather established and enforced by the state’s Landlord-Tenant Laws. The state governs when rent is due, when late fees are assessed and what amount to charge, how much notice to give before moving, a landlord’s and tenant’s responsibilities, among others. The lease constitutes a contract. Good tenants and good landlords respect contracts, and good property managers enforce them.