A professional property manager has many responsibilities, and one of those is to make sure your investment, or your property, is protected. There are a few things a property manager can do to ensure your investment is taken care of properly.
The most important thing is the tenant screening. I cannot stress enough how important it is to thoroughly screen a tenant before you let that person move into your property.
I have met landlords who say they simply meet the tenant and then trust their instincts to tell them whether or not to approve them. Screening is vital to ensuring you get the right person in your home. It will go a long way towards protecting your property.
You want to find a tenant who will not only pay rent on time, but also take good care of that house. It can be dangerous to simply trust your instinct or avoid thorough screening measures. If a tenant shows up with enough cash to pay for the deposit and first month’s rent, we usually have red flags going up in our professional minds. This is usually a tenant’s way of trying to avoid the screening process.
Your property manager needs to do some checking.
A good start is with a credit check. You want to make sure there are no judgments against your tenant. You also want to do a criminal background check and look for tenant performance reports too. These are available to tell you if there have been any landlord evictions of your potential tenants.
Obviously, you will also want to talk to their current or former landlords. Make sure you are in fact talking to the landlord and not someone posing as the landlord, as can sometimes happen. Confirm income. Check paystubs to make sure they can afford the property and the rent payments. Proper screening sets the stage for having a good chance that your tenant will maintain your property.
Routine inspections are also important. A property manager should check the place out prior to a tenant moving in.
Make sure everything works and looks good. Do a full walk through to document the condition and note anything that needs to be fixed or replaced. We always recommend another inspection at the time of lease renewal. Make sure the tenant is taking good care of the property and if there is a problem, take corrective action. Address anything in the house that needs attention. Finally, a move out inspection is always necessary to document the condition of the house again and to determine whether any charges will be assessed against the security deposit.
Preventative maintenance is very important when it comes to protecting your investment. Pay special attention to your HVAC. Check the air conditioning and the furnace units regularly to head off any potential problems that will only be very expensive.
Emergency maintenance always costs more than preventative maintenance, so those routine checks are important. Take a look at all of the appliances in the house and make sure you do gutter plating and other minor repairs and upgrades that will ensure your property has a long and successful life.
If you have any questions about how to maintain your rental property, or what your property manager should be doing to help you protect your investment, please contact us at T&H Realty, and we would be happy to help you.