Does the new year find you in the new career as a property manager? This exciting new venture can prove to be a smart decision, if the rental property is managed correctly. Our DFW property management team has put together the top 10 list of mistakes that new property managers tend to make, and how to avoid them.
- The Learning Curve. Most new landlords don’t realize that property management is harder than it looks. Unless you are an expert advertiser, handyman, accountant, and knowledgeable in municipal laws, you may be over your head. Consulting with a professional DFW property management company or at least a lawyer may be in your best interest.
- Not Valuing Your Time. Chances are running your rental property is not your full time job, but will still take time to maintain. Make your property work for you instead of you working to maintain it by determining if you are getting a good return on your investment once you factor in the time spent at the property.
- Insurance Matters. Contrary to popular belief, many homeowners insurance policies will not cover the home if it is used for a rental property. Clarify your policy with your agent to ensure you have the right coverage.
- Home Built Prior to 1978? Better Give the Lead Paint Disclosure. The law states that each landlord must give new and/or renewing tenants a disclosure pamphlet about the hazards of lead based paint in order to escape a hefty fine.
- Not Raising Rent. While you may be fearful that raising a tenant’s rent will cause them to move, and give you a vacancy to deal with, these fears are not making you money. Most renters expect rent rates to rise on occasion, and are willing to pay a fair market value.
- Delaying Evictions. When a tenant has defaulted on the lease agreement, take immediate action. Specialized Property Management Dallas offers eviction services that protect you and your valuable asset.
- Not Conducting Regular Inspections. Regular inspections allow you to ensure lease compliance as well as be proactive when it comes to maintenance needs. By so doing, you will have a happier tenant, and have fewer complaint phone calls coming your way.
- Only Using Verbal Agreements. Rental agreements not in writing are not legally binding, and will be harder to enforce when necessary. Lease agreements should always be in writing and reviewed with the tenant prior to move in.
- No Plan for Vacancies. Planning for the period between when a tenant moves out and a new one moves in keeps you from encountering cash flow problems. Typically, our DFW property management team suggests setting aside 3 month of rent to cover this period of time, and any maintenance that will need to be done before a new tenant can move in.
- Not Running Background Checks. This is actually the biggest no-no of self managed rental properties as not running them can put the neighborhood of your rental property in danger. Why hand over the keys to a complete stranger? Instead, running a credit, employment, and criminal history to offer a clearer picture of the prospective tenant.
If the prospect of being a property manager is overwhelming to you, Specialized Property Management Dallas offers a comprehensive spectrum of services to help ease the headache often associated with property management. Contact us today to see how we can help you!