A property management service can be the in-between manager for a rental property. The other option for a homeowner is to manage their rental themselves. There are pros and cons to each choice. Many individuals have found themselves in the role of “landlord.” This may be because of the housing bubble which left many owners with homes they couldn’t sell when they needed to relocate or otherwise vacate their house. One way to stay afloat was to lease out their dwelling and become a landlord.
Others may have ended up wearing the “landlord” hat because they decided to take advantage of all the inexpensive properties on the market. Scooping up cheap listings and renting them out till the market turns around is a money-making plan for many investors.
The landlord – tenant relationship is a legal one bound by a contract. It is not always easy. Household repairs, credit reports, and evictions may all be part of the package. Some individuals may decide to consider it a part-time job and manage their rentals as a DIYer. Others feel they’d rather have a professional management team on board. Here are some pros and cons to each choice.
A professional property manager has lots of pluses. Some of them include:
– Experience: A pro has been doing this as a career. They will likely have seen it all in terms of renting to tenants. Unusual circumstances can be handled more adeptly with a hefty dose of experience under one’s belt.
– Access to MLS: Professionals have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This is an essential marketing tool for advertising a home, apartment or condo. These listings will tell a potential tenant many details about the abode such as square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, neighborhood, whether there is a pool and rules regarding pets.
– Rent collector: It’s not so much fun to collect rent from reluctant individuals. Pros know the legal language to get the payments collected and into the owners’ bank accounts.
– They handle taxes: A good property manager will handle rental taxes and send an itemized detail sheet at the end of the year to help the owner with their taxes.
– Lease experts: Professionals know how to write a good binding lease to protect their clients – the homeowner.
Pros have one obvious negative:
– They cost money: Typically, a homeowner will pay a fee to the manager for finding a tenant as well as managing the unit month by month.
Do-it-yourself managers have positives:
– Costs less: No monthly management fee or finders’ fee will be paid by DIYers.
– Job satisfaction: Hands-on job repairing and managing the properties may bring job satisfaction.
– Always on call for break downs with appliances, HVAC units and more.
– Have to be the bad guy in rent collection.
– Not as experienced finding great renters.
It can be a wise business move to hire a property management service for some owners. For other sturdy DIYers, managing it alone may work out just fine.