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Being a landlord comes with a plethora of benefits – it allows you to generate extra income, provides an individual or family with a place to live, and can help you pay off the mortgage on your property. Whilst the benefits way out the cons, it goes without saying that there are several responsibilities a landlord must adhere to in order to avoid any discrepancy with tenants. Whether you are a new landlord or you have been in the business for a substantial amount of time and are just looking to enhance the experience for your current tenants, property management services can aid you in whatever stage you are at.
Property managers are often responsible for dealing with any issues that arise in regards to rent. Landlords are responsible for setting an appropriate monthly rate based on their accommodation and ensuring that the tenant adheres to a consistent payment schedule. Setting the monthly cost requires an understanding of the market where the property is located and the type of clientele they would like to attract.
Property managers also collect rent. They are responsible for ensuring optimal cash flow by setting a firm date for rent collection and strictly enforcing late penalties.
It is also common for a property manager to adjust the rent. They can decrease the rent if they feel it is necessary, but more often, managers increase the rent by a predetermined percentage each year as dictated by municipal and provincial laws.
Any vacancies are expected to be filled by the property manager and it’s their role to find new tenants who are a good fit for the building. Attracting tenants does require a level of marketing; posting listings online or even in the local paper. Creating an appealing listing is imperative for attracting tenants. A strong online listing, for example, should include clear, accurate images of the space, the current cost of renting, and a description of the unit, as well as any amenities or rules (i.e., smoke-free living environment or no pets). Property managers should be prepared to advertise the space effectively and meet with potential tenants, showing them the features of the apartment.
Once tenants have shown interest in the rental property, screening them should follow suit. This step is critical in ensuring that the potential tenant(s) or tenants meet your criteria for renting your property. The screening process typically involves obtaining credit reports, income proof, and any necessary background checks. There are also questions to include surrounding the intentions of the potential tenant(s), for example, how long they plan on renting, if they have or are looking to acquire pets, if they are smokers, etc.
This screening process will help determine if those interested in the unit can fulfill the financial responsibilities attached to the rental property as well as adhere to any guidelines set in place.
The property manager is responsible for keeping the property in a safe and habitable condition. This includes maintenance, repairs, and the updating of facilities like laundry and parking. Should any issues arise that are not caused intentionally by the occupant, the landlord is responsible for the maintenance of said repairs. Property managers should outline what they cover when it comes ot repairs to avoid any discrepencies. In most cases, landlords are responsible for basic maintenance, however, if there is damage to the unit caused by the occupant, the landlord could penalize them for said damage.
It’s up to the property menagers to carefully outline who is responsible for various tasks. Typically, rental units such as condos or apartment buildings have duties like snow/ice removal and landscaping covered, however, for properties such as a semi-detached or detached home, it may be up to the tenant to ensure this is taken care up. Ultimately, the landlord has say on what they can do and what the tenant must do to upkeep the property. Albeit, property managers generally have a large network of reliable contractors, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians.
Property managers are often the first line of contact in an eviction or dispute, as well as in the general legal functioning of a rental property. In this role, property managers need to know the legal processes for screening a tenant, handling security deposits, terminating leases, eviction, safety compliance, and more. A good property manager will have an in-depth understanding of the landlord-tenant laws and be able to carry out their responsibilities in the way these laws dictate. It’s vital that landlords discuss these laws with future tenants to avoid disputes in the future.
As the supervisor of day-to-day activities, property managers are also responsible for maintaining the budget for the building and keeping detailed records. Managers are often given a set budget for the building they need to operate within, and it is up to them to use their discretion to make improvements, order repairs, and keep an emergency fund. The property manager may also be asked to file taxes for the property or help the owner during tax season.
They should also keep thorough records of the functioning of the property. This includes all income and expenses and records of complaints, repairs, leases, maintenance requests, and insurance costs. They should also have complete records for all building inspections and rent collections.
There are many responsibilities that come with owning a rental property and it’s crucial that those looking to become landlords have vast knowledge on said responsibilities. A property management company can help you get your rental property off the ground and increase your overall rental revenue.
Looking to enter the property management world but aren’t 100% sure on all the rules and regulations? Contact us today and we can help you make the most out of your rental property!