Renters Warehouse Blog
DIY Landlords: Why You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed to Ask for Help
For landlords far and wide, there’s a constant pressure to do it all.
There’s always something going on with the rental, and in between fielding tenant phone calls and arranging for maintenance, doing repairs –and of course, paying taxes and managing your finances, there’s often very little time (or energy) left for anything else.
But what if there were a better way?
Sometimes, taking the DIY landlord route isn’t always feasible. Nor is it always the most financially viable option.
Enter: professional property management. The key to growing any business is being able to outsource effectively –and rental property is no exception. Turning to property management is a given for professional property investors, but it’s an option that often makes sense for everyday landlords as well. Additionally, if you have an out-of-town rental, or own more than one or two properties, doing it all yourself can quickly become less and less feasible –and more and more of a logistical nightmare.
When it comes to rental investments, successfully outsourcing can be an ideal solution –a way to gain back time, while ensuring that your properties are being managed to a high standard.
In addition the time savings, there are a number of other valuable benefits that come from outsourcing to a qualified property manager as well.
If you’d like to grow your portfolio or even if you’d just like to claim back your weekends –here’s a look at a few things that a property manager can do for you now.
- Help You Maintain Compliance With the Law
As a landlord, you need a working knowledge of landlord-tenant law. And there are a lot of areas that you’ll need to be an expert in! This becomes especially clear when creating the rental agreement and screening policies –and when handling the security deposit. Antidiscrimination laws –while designed to help ensure equal and fair housing, are one area where landlords must pay particularly close attention.
Additionally, new laws and guidelines are continually coming into play and landlords need to ensure that they keep up-to-date on changes. You’ll also need to ensure compliance with laws and legislation at the federal, state, and local level.
For example –did you know that:
- A landlord cannot implement an outright ban on all applicants with criminal records?
- In ten states including New York, Connecticut, and Maryland landlords are required to pay interest on the security deposits collected?
- In Minnesota, you must compensate tenants for lawn care?
- In Tampa, landlords who offer residential rentals must register online?
Laws vary considerably from state to state, and even municipality, so having a local property manager who’s familiar with the laws and requirements can prove to be tremendously valuable. Since they’ll be able to act on your behalf with the policies and agreements that they create and in their interactions with applicants and tenants, they’ll be able to help keep you on the right side of the law, enabling you to avoid many potentially costly mistakes, and even lawsuits.
2. Handle Out-of-Town Rentals
As any long-distance landlord could tell you, overseeing properties that are out of town, or out of state –can be especially challenging. There’s a whole new world of potential pitfalls and hurdles to navigate when overseeing property from afar. For instance, finding tenants –and screening them long-distance can be tremendously difficult –and often involves costly travel to and from the property for showings. It’s also a challenge keeping an eye on your property when you live in another city!
A good property manager, though, will be your boots on the ground. They’ll be able to handle tenant sourcing and screening –and all of the paperwork that’s involved when bringing a new tenant on board. They’ll also be able to perform regular inspections of your property, which means they’ll be able to see it –in person, helping to give you peace of mind.
3. Liaise With Tenants for You
There’s a lot to be said about screening potential tenants properly to ensure that only qualified applicants gain access to your home. However, even the best of tenants will require assistance at some point. They’ll need help lighting the pilot light or resetting the fuse panel. Or, they’ll call to informing you that there’s a burst pipe and water spilling onto the floor. For many landlords, communicating with tenants isn’t something they especially enjoy. And of course, this is especially true when it’s largely bad news –which it often is.
Having a go-between who is able to handle the tenant’s concerns –promptly and professionally, can prove to be invaluable. No longer will you have to return phone calls in the evening, work to arrange emergency repairs, or spend your weekends doing maintenance at the rental. Instead, your property manager will be able to handle everything from addressing everyday issues and concerns, to performing inspections, and arranging for repairs and maintenance. They’ll also able to take on the least-enjoyable aspects of landlording, like handling bounced payments and even evictions, when necessary. It’s a weight off your shoulders.
4. Make Your Investments Scalable
Finally, and perhaps most crucially –as we’ve seen above, outsourcing to a property manager allows you to make your rental investment venture, scalable. This means that you’ll be able to grow your investment portfolio, adding more properties than you’d be able to if you had to manage each and every rental on your own. You’ll also be able to expand more quickly as well, since you won’t have to spend all of your spare time handling issues with the rental, and instead will be able to devote more time to growing and expanding your investments.
Is DIY landlording possible? Sure. Is it always feasible? That depends –largely on your situation, and your investing goals. If you’re on the fence with your property, wondering if it’s time to outsource some of the work that’s involved, that’s a sure sign that it’s one option that you’ll want to explore more fully!
Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help –in fact, being able to outsource could be exactly what you need.
Are you thinking of outsourcing? Be sure to check out this article: Will Hiring a Property Manager Make Purchasing Out-of-Town Real Estate Easier? Also, be sure to get ahold of your FREE copy of our new guidebook –How to Grow Your Rent Estate™ Portfolio, and see how you can grow your wealth through real estate.