Rental Property Management refers to the management services provided by property managers to owners of rental properties. They perform many services for tenants, including, but not limited to, addressing complaints, advertising vacancies, renewing leases, maintaining lease agreements, and collecting late payments from tenants. Property owners usually contract with a property manager to manage their properties, but some landlords also work with real estate agents. Either way, there are several common service areas that property managers and agents cover.
One of the most important parts of property management services is rent collection. Tenants pay for the use of their rental property – usually a percentage of the monthly rent and sometimes a set amount of money. Landlords are responsible for collecting rental security deposits from tenants who fail to make their payments on time. If a landlord fails to follow through with this procedure, tenants can sue him or her for breach of contract and damages to the tenant’s property. Security deposits are also needed to pay the expenses associated with maintaining the building, such as heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, and water/sewerage issues.
Many landlords work with property management services to advertise their rental properties. A real estate agent can help landlords reach potential renters by placing advertisements in local publications, on radio and television, in local newspapers, on billboards, and in rental properties themselves. It is important that landlords clearly define their rental properties’ main functions and any additional features they may offer, so that there is no confusion about what the property is for sale. If a prospective renter does not understand the details of the lease agreement or he is not certain that he can afford the property, the landlord should not pursue the transaction.
Another service offered by the property management company is maintenance. Most rental properties require routine maintenance to keep them in good shape, such as installing a new air conditioning system, painting the interior, and replacing minor appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines. By taking care of common maintenance issues early, many problems do not become problems later.
Another service that most real estate investment companies offer is marketing the property. Marketing is not the same as advertising. Real estate investment companies often work with real estate professionals to market the rental property. A full-service property management company will usually handle all aspects of marketing, from placing ads to maintaining a website and handling email communications between the property owners and potential tenants.
Full-service property management services also help landlords handle leasing procedures. Landlords who wish to lease their investment properties should know the basic steps of leasing – signing for occupancy, collecting rents, collecting late fees, keeping lease files up to date, and so forth. Many landlords find it difficult to navigate all of the leasing issues themselves, which is why they use a full-service leasing firm. A full-service leasing company will not only handle the mechanical processes involved in leasing, but will also provide landlords with assistance in dealing with potential tenants, screening them before leasing, and screening tenants after leasing.
One service that some full-service property management services offer includes collecting security deposits. Security deposits are refundable upon the purchase or rent of a property and are usually given to the landlord in one lump sum, as a means of avoiding future landlords claiming they lost money on the security deposit by allowing the tenant to pay an upfront cost for damages. Most rental property management services take security deposits and distribute them according to the schedule agreed upon between both landlords and tenants. In some cases, a security deposit may be paid to the landlord in full at the time of the purchase or lease, while others give the landlord the option of receiving money in partial amounts over the course of the lease. Either way, most landlords find that security deposits go smoothly into the business, providing extra financial security for them and their families.
Other services offered by full-service property management services include emergency repairs, property maintenance and inspections. If your rental property needs repairs due to a flood, fire, or other catastrophe, it is not always possible to determine what the problem is without contacting a professional. In addition, many landlords and real estate investors benefit from the inspection services performed by these firms, as they can find problems before they become problems and make appropriate repairs.