Managing a property can be a big headache for any landlord. It’s a lot of responsibility and work to deal with on a daily basis. Hiring a property manager can lift a huge weight from a landlord’s shoulders, but it’s not for everyone. It’s important to understand which situations call for hiring a manager and which ones would benefit most from the owner remaining as the landlord.
What are Landlords?
Landlords are owners of buildings that are rented out to one or numerous tenants. The renters in question can be either residential or businesses. According to most renting contracts, landlords are typically responsible for building and other property maintenance such as painting, patching up cracks in the walls and maintaining the plumbing. They are also responsible for making any major repairs to the land or building as needed, and they collect rent on a monthly basis.
What are Property Managers?
Property managers are third parties that landlords hire to do the technical work around the building. They are responsible for doing the regular maintenance for the building, collecting rent, advertising the location, finding potential tenants, going through tenant screening and a criminal background check, preparing leases and rental contracts, making repairs and dealing with eviction issues such as performing an eviction search if it is necessary. In these situations, landlords are essentially just the owners of the property who receive rent, pay for any materials needed for maintenance and repairs, pay their property managers and may make the final decision on potential tenants
When It Might Be Better to Remain as a Landlord
Many landlords simply don’t have the extra money to pay for property managers. If you’re perfectly capable of managing a property and don’t have excess money to spend, hiring a manager is probably not a good option for you.
Staying as the lessor on your property also allows you to avoid the complications of being an employer. Property managers are your employees, meaning that you’ll have to deal with things like payroll, insurance, legal matters and tax issues when you hire one.
Remaining as the lessor of your building also allows you to be more involved with the property and the tenants. You know exactly who’s living there, how they usually behave and you can judge for yourself whether someone should be evicted. You’ll also know exactly what needs to be done around the property and how to handle it as well as ensuring that the maintenance and repairs are done to your standards.
When You Should Consider Hiring a Property Manager
One of the biggest deciding factors in hiring a manager for your building is if you’re not capable or qualified to handle the responsibilities on your own. Regular land and building maintenance and repairs can be complicated tasks requiring skills in various areas. Good property managers will have plenty of skills and experience to keep your land and building looking great and functioning well.
They are not only trained in matters of maintenance and repair, but they are very knowledgeable in tenant screening. It’s not just about finding nice people and handing them the keys. A good property manager will carry out a full criminal background check and security checks, pull credit reports, analyze references from previous landlords and verify employment. If a tenant is problematic, they also carry out a full eviction search for you.
If you live too far away from your property to effectively manage it yourself, it may be best to hire a manager. Spending a lot of time and gas money merely to get to your property might not be worth it.
Likewise, if you don’t have the time to effectively manage the property due to family, work or other more important matters, property managers can take a great deal of the workload and stress from you.