Renting out a property seems like it should be pretty easy. You list it online, find a great tenant, and collect the rent every month.
It’s usually not so simple.
When you manage your own rental property, you have to deal with tenants and all their excuses for unpaid rent, unauthorized Pit Bulls, and property damage. You have to enforce your lease, collect late fees, and have difficult discussions about why it’s not okay to park five broken down cars in the front yard.
There are a lot of reasons not to manage your own rental property. Tenants are one of the main reasons. It’s difficult not to get emotionally involved.
That’s why we’re here. A Grand Rapids property management company can provide a buffer between you and your tenants. It also delivers experienced, objective leasing, management, and maintenance services.
Placing the Wrong Tenant is a Disaster for Your Investment
Everyone has heard one or two horror stories about tenants that didn’t pay rent or those who broke their lease and snuck out in the middle of the night. Many landlords worry about property damage or unauthorized dogs attacking neighbors.
You can’t be too careful with tenants, and that’s why a rigorous screening process must be in place. When you manage your own home, you often don’t have access to the nationwide credit, eviction, and criminal background checks that you need. You might not have the time to verify income and employment, and you might feel uncomfortable calling current or former landlords to perform reference checks.
Professional property managers have a consistent, compliant, and rigorous screening process to ensure only highly qualified tenants are placed in your property.
Lease Enforcement Shouldn’t be Personal
Your lease agreement is a written contract between you and your tenants. You have to enforce it and hold both yourself and your residents accountable to what’s included there.
For example, if there are late fees for rent that isn’t paid on time, make sure you charge them. If the lease agreement says there’s no smoking on the property and your maintenance vendors report that are making repairs while your tenants are smoking, address the issue with your residents.
The lease contains important information about who is responsible for what at the property. There are expectations and responsibilities clearly spelled out. But, it means nothing if you don’t follow the lease.
It’s difficult to enforce the lease when you feel bad for your tenants. It’s also a challenge to follow the lease agreement when you’re angry with your tenants. If they haven’t paid rent in months, for example, you cannot simply change the locks or turn off the heat. You have to follow a specific set of legal steps. If you don’t, you could find yourself in trouble.
A property manager prevents the mistakes that can be made with lease agreements and enforcements.
Maintenance Costs Are Controlled
We have a staff of maintenance professionals who can take care of general repairs, and when necessary, we work with outside vendors and contractors who are qualified and good at what they do. Because we provide them with a large volume of work, they offer us their most affordable prices.
As an individual landlord, you’ll find you’re paying more for plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and even handyman services.
Don’t make the mistake of seeking out the cheapest possible workers or using sub-standard materials when you’re attending to routine maintenance. Be preventative and use good, qualified vendors who stand by their work. Otherwise, you’re putting your entire investment at risk.
We think self-managing your Grand Rapids investment property is risky, and we think we can provide you with a better alternative. At the end of the day, you’ll know your investment is performing the way it should, and we’re here to protect it. Contact us at Short South Realty Group to find out more.