So you want to be a landlord. Realize that it is a thankless job that may eat-up 40 hours driving all over the city, fixing leaky bathrooms pipes, fixing A/Cs, and solving maintenance problems. I mean solving problems only to get home to hear that a tenant moved out and left the apartment in a sad condition. Now, not only do you need to get that apartment back quickly into good rental condition, but you need to screen for another tenant. A vacancy is a significant expense. Many rental property owners think they can handle all the problems and save money; however, the job of a property manager is one of the toughest of occupations.
What Does a Property Manager Cost?
The average property manager charges somewhere between 70 and 100% of the first month’s rent as a finder’s fee and then 8 to 10% of the monthly rent. A renewal of an existing tenant will generate a fee to the property manager, but that’s still a savings over the time and expense of finding a new tenant. If you are fighting for income, that may feel like a significant weight, but a great property manager enables you to stay on the right side of the law.
What Does a Property Manager Do?
There are countless things a property manager does. You can find articles all over the internet. It all boils down to these eight:
- Tenant Screening – The cost of choosing the wrong tenant is steep — in terms of time, money, and, in some cases, legal difficulties. Finding and placing a qualified tenant demands both diligence and knowledge. A qualified tenant is a tenant who passes a background and credit verification check as well as receiving a good reference from current and past landlords and employers. Finding a qualified tenant also involves setting a rental price and advertising.
- Creating a safe environment from Covid-19
- Fixes things that break – If something breaks, leaks, bursts, or wears out — it’ll be the property manager’s responsibility to determine the cause of the problem and get it fixed.
- Readies an apartment for a new tenant – repaints, repairs, and renews
- Creates a good lease – After successfully qualifying the tenant’s application, it’ll be the property manager’s responsibility to draw up a lease that is both fully compliant with the law and 100 percent enforceable.
- Collects rent and handles evictions – In the event, a tenant stops paying rent, the property manager will attempt to collect it by sending written correspondence and making phone calls. If the collection efforts fail, the property manager will determine that it’s time to evict. The property manager will have to send a legal notice instructing the tenants to pay or vacate the premises. After that, it’ll be time to file a lawsuit in court.
- Keeps existing tenants happy by making sure the area is well lighted, trash picked up, lawn mowed, and showing respect to get respect. A happy tenant respects the property.
- Keeps track of income and expenses – Finally, there’s the task of accounting. Tracking the income and expenses for a rental property isn’t just a good financial habit — it’s the law.
A good property manager isn’t expensive, after all. He or she will save you money, time, and may keep you on the right side of the law.
Delaware Realty Management LLC
2700 Kirkwood Highway
Newark, DE 19711
Photo by Steven Ungermann on Unsplash