Are you tired of holding down a standard 9-5 job? Have you finally set aside enough money that you can start purchasing rental properties? Many so-called "real estate gurus" make it seem like being a landlord involves little more than sitting back and collecting a check every month. While this can be true to some degree, it does involve a little more than simply owning a property and showing up once a month to collect a check. At the very least, you'll want to hire a property management company to take care of things. A few reasons why you should consider doing so include:
Knowledge of legal requirements: In general, your status as a landlord requires you to provide houses or apartments that have working utilities, are free of pests and leaks, and that have either a heating or cooling system. The exact requirements can vary depending on where in the country the dwellings are located. Some tenants may try to take advantage of any potential confusion by making claims that aren't true, hoping that you'll give in without doing as much research as you should. For instance, they might try to claim that having new carpet installed is their legal right as a tenant. While you might be willing to install new carpet, you probably have no legal necessity to do so. A residential property management company will have the knowledge and experience to provide what's legally necessary while avoidling potentially costly things that aren't a requirement.
Tenant selection: The Fair Housing Act protects tenants and potential tenants from being discriminated against by landlords. You may think that you can easily avoid discrimination by ignoring skin color and gender while looking at possible tenants. However, the Fair Housing Act provides protection for more than just those classifications. For instance, suppose a single parent and also several people with no children put in an application for one of your apartments. You worry about the child making too much noise, so you automatically give the apartment to one of the childless people. You could now be in legal trouble for discrimination. A good residential property management company will be able to properly select a tenant for your apartments based on legally acceptable criteria and not discriminatory ones.
Savings on repairs: When something breaks in one of your rental units, someone will need to fix it. In general, this will be a repair professional - possibly one that you found at random in the phone book. Once the repairs are performed, you'll likely get exactly the same bill as anyone else who called the company. If you own several rental properties, this can quickly become expensive. A good rental property management company will often either have relationships with several service companies in the area or else will have their own fleet of trained personnel. In either instance, the repair bills are likely to be significantly lower than they would be if you were handling everything on your own.