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Published On: Fri, Mar 12th, 2021

Why New Landlords Need a Property Management Team

Choosing to become a landlord can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with managing properties and tenants. It’s not a hands-off job; you’ll find yourself having to attend to something far more often than you probably expected.

For example, when you’re not cleaning a property between tenants, you might be collecting rent or handling maintenance and repair calls. If you’re a new landlord, the best way to reduce your sense of being overwhelmed is to hire a property management company.

When you have a team of people handling the landlord duties, you don’t have to know how to do everything. As long as you can trust your property management team, you may rest assured that your properties and tenants are in good hands.

photo/ pexels

Here’s why you should seriously consider hiring a property manager if you’ve been trying to handle everything yourself and it’s just not working.

A property manager will help you tackle unfamiliar situations with ease

For new landlords, a big part of the challenge comes simply from having to face new situations. It’s not easy to deal with matters you’ve never encountered before, especially if there’s little room for error. A property management company will help with unfamiliar tenant situations you’ve never seen before.

Eviction is probably one of the most challenging situations you’ll face as a landlord. It’s draining just to get to the point where that final step is necessary. When you work with a property management company, however, their team will handle the entire eviction lawsuit on your behalf and they’ll know how to follow all the relevant state and local regulations so you don’t get in trouble.

Another situation you’re likely to face as a new landlord is having to repair something you’ve never fixed before. You might not even have any idea who to call for certain repairs. But a property management company will know exactly which people to call, and may even have an in-house team of professionals as well as outsiders they contract with for just such occasions.

An experienced property manager will keep you out of legal trouble

There are far more landlord-tenant laws with various details than you probably care to remember. A new landlord is bound to make mistakes, and you’ll be no exception. That’s not apt to be a big deal as long as your tenants don’t try to sue you.

An experienced property management company will be thoroughly familiar with all the applicable landlord-tenant laws and can execute the duties of an owner by the book. They’ll also know how to take precautions to avoid common problems.

A property manager will be up to date on new laws

Late fees are an area that can cause a new landlord trouble if you aren’t up to speed on new legislation. Laws can change fast

For example, Texas used to place no limit on late fees and many landlords routinely charged high late fees to deter late rent. This changed in September 2019 with Senate Bill 1414. Under this legislation, late fees may not be collected until two days after the original due date, and must not exceed 12% of the total rent for dwellings with four or fewer units.

Late fees charged to tenants in dwellings that contain more than four units must not exceed 10% of the rent. Any late fee that exceeds the allowed percentage will be considered “unreasonable” under Texas law with one exception: If the damage can be shown to match the late fee charged, a higher fee will be considered reasonable.

A property manager will create lease agreements that protect your property

You don’t have to be a landlord for long to discover that tenants don’t always think before they act, yet they often expect the landlord to foot the bill for the damage. A prime example of this phenomenon is when a tenant fails to protect a drain and then has to call a plumber.

A property management company will probably have clauses in the lease that allow them to bill the tenant for clogs found to have been caused by the tenant (as opposed to a pipe failure).

But clogged pipes aren’t the only problem tenants create by not thinking. Another common problem occurs when tenants use commercially available liquid drain cleaners. These will dissolve clogs, but they can also destroy your pipes.

Experienced property managers will put essential clauses in your lease agreements that make the tenant financially responsible for this type of problems should it occur. The alternative is having to pay for damage you didn’t cause and fighting tenants in court after they’ve moved out.

You don’t have to manage your own property

You don’t have to manage your investment properties yourself. You really don’t need to be a landlord at all. Hiring a property management company is the best thing you can do for your investment. You’ll be taken care of and so will your tenants.

Author: Anna Johansson

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