You love your hometown, but your professional career requires leaving the locale for months or years at a time. What can you do with the home while you spend the next two years working on the oil rigs in North Dakota or teaching scuba diving in Thailand? Why not rent out the house and hire a property management service to handle landlord duties? Do not, however, take a total hands-off approach just because a property management firm is at the helm. Always take additional steps to assume a partially active role in the management of your property.
Request Detailed Reports
Never make the mistake of merely accepting the rent check every month from the property management firm. You want to be aware of any activity going on with the property. Ask the management firm to provide you with detailed information and monthly reports indicating such things as:
- Complaints made by tenants.
- Any issues the local municipality brings up about the property.
- Info on any known crimes committed in the neighborhood.
- Whether or not surrounding properties are seeing a spike in sales.
In essence, the management company should act as your eyes and ears while you are away.
Hire a Third-Party Monitor
House sitters and visitors charge nominal fees to check up on a home while the owner away. It does not hurt to invest in a monthly house visit in which someone checks up on the property.
Since the home is rented out and the third-party is not a member of the primary property management company, no one can enter the premises. The house visitor can check up on the exterior and look for anything amiss. If anything needs to be brought to your attention such as the property falling into a state of neglect, the house sitter could immediately contact you.
Establish a Relationship with an Attorney
Before moving, set up a meeting with an attorney who can handle civil matters on your behalf. As much as you wish tenants would respect your property, they sometimes do not. In fact, they might cause massive damage or not repair major or minor wear and tear or plumbing mishaps. Such actions and non-actions might require a civil suit to settle the matter, and this is outside of the scope of the matters that property management companies handle.
After an initial in-person meeting with an attorney who handles such cases, you may be able to initiate legal representation with a phone call and not have to immediately travel back home.
Why Take Extra Effort?
Most people derive the bulk of their personal net worth from their property. So, even though you may be far away from the property, put forth the extra effort to be sure the investment is properly cared for. If you're looking for a local property management company, visit http://eastvalleypropertymanagement.com/.