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Keeping property management manageable

Managing property is no easy task. The list of things for which you are responsible is long and complex. Not only do you deal with building maintenance, but you may also be required to vet tenants and keep the books. You need a good understanding of landlord-tenant laws and the ability to handle people in tense situations. Needless to say, hardly a day goes by without some kind of problem.

It probably doesn't surprise you to know that other property managers deal with similar problems. While some issues may arise without warning, you can probably avoid or mitigate many others with careful planning.

The physical property

Some of the most common and costly difficulties include repairs and maintenance. Buildings and property infrastructure need constant attention to avoid sudden disasters like bursting pipes or leaking roofs. However, other costly repairs may be the result of destructive or negligent tenants. Repairing holes in the walls or replacing stained carpeting can put a dent in your maintenance budget. You may be able to reduce the strain on your finances if you plan ahead. For example, you may consider these options:

  • Build a reserve account to cover unexpected repairs
  • Create and sustain a preventative-maintenance plan
  • Establish a security deposit fee that is sufficient to cover damage left by tenants
  • Carefully screen tenants to avoid costly repairs in the first place

You may not be able to prevent every surprise expense, but planning for predictable expenses may relieve some stress.

Problems with tenants

In addition to property, you likely deal with tenants. Residents who don't pay on time may be the most frustrating problem a property manager encounters. Experienced property managers suggest using automatic debit withdrawals and even offering rent discounts to tenants who consistently pay on time.

While you may have quiet, respectful renters, you probably have several who make your work difficult with their many complaints. No matter the reason for the complaints, handling them immediately is usually the best practice. It may also help to establish a set procedure for tenants to use when filing complaints so that frivolous gripes can be kept to a minimum.

Advice you can depend on

Sometimes these conflicts start small and escalate to costly litigation. Taking advantage of legal counsel early in a situation may help you avoid getting into circumstances that are over your head. An attorney with years of experience assisting property managers and owners can also assist you with rent collection issues and rental documents. With a lawyer on your side, you can have confidence in the sound advice you receive for any issue related to your job managing property.

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