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How do I Manage Rental Properties?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Managing rental properties involves a lot more than simply collecting rent each month. Landlords often juggle a number of tasks simultaneously in order to remain in compliance with local building codes, keep tenants happy, and stay abreast of the current status of the housing market in the local area. Here are just a few of the more important tasks involved with owning and managing rental property.

While not everyone is aware of this fact, landlords must be well-versed in local laws that apply to any aspect of the renting and leasing process. This includes making sure the terms and conditions laid out in the lease agreement are in compliance, and that those terms are clearly stated rather than hidden within the body of the contract. Ambiguous verbiage in the lease can mean problems down the road if a local authority could interpret a given clause in more than one way.

When managing rental properties, there is also the need to establish uniform leasing agreements that are relevant for the local area. For example, the landlord may create annual and biannual lease agreements for tenants who plan on living in the apartment or rental home long term. At the same time, a short term lease that is ideal for people who need a temporary rental situation for a few months can help the landlord fill a vacant property and thus keep it profitable during a lull in the loan rental market.

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Along with making sure the rental contract is in order, landlords must also understand how to legally evict tenants who fail to live up to the terms of the agreement. This is not as easy as many people think. Often, the landlord is required by local laws to issue formal requests for payment, then file for the issue of an eviction notice. Even at that point, some local jurisdictions require that a six-week period between the issue of the document and the actual eviction, providing the tenant with the chance to contest the action. Since eviction laws vary so much from one jurisdiction to another, landlords must make sure they know exactly what procedures apply for the location where the rental property is located.

Repairs and upgrades are also a common task in the effective management of rental properties. Floors must be refinished and carpets replaced from time to time. Many landlords make it a practice to repaint the walls in a rental unit when a tenant moves out. These general upgrades help to keep the rental properties looking fresh and inviting, which is essential in a competitive market.

It is also important for landlords to deal with minor repairs on a continuing basis. This includes unclogging drains, changing out faucets, water heaters, or appliances that have stopped working. Handling these issues quickly and efficiently help to strengthen the landlord tenant relationship, and make it easier to keep good tenants. As a bonus, the tenant is more likely to provide a good reference for any landlord who takes tasks of this nature seriously.

The responsible management of rental properties makes it necessary to always be on the lookout for new real estate investing opportunities. Making a solid real estate investment helps to enhance the profitability of owning properties for rent, while also providing the landlord with more options for potential tenants in terms of location, apartment size, and building styles. As with many businesses, owning several properties offering different amenities can also make it possible to retain a good tenant who has outgrown one property but is an ideal fit for another property owned by the same landlord.

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