Owning and managing an investment rental property is as easy as receiving an on time, full rental payment, right? Wrong. If only it were that easy and simple. The truth of the matter is owning and managing an investment rental property comes with complexities, knowledge, experience, and expertise. One wrong mistake and you could land yourself in the courtroom with costly bills from your lawyer. Sacramento property management companies know that managing a rental property alone can be stressful and more than you bargained for when you signed the Closing Documents on the house. That’s why the top management company, RPM SAC-METRO put together this free informative library of information to help you along the way.
- Time Constraints: Property management is a 24/7 job that requires a responsible party to be available at all times. Yes, this includes major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Maintenance emergencies don’t take vacations. Whether it’s 3:00 AM on a normal day or 9:00 AM on Christmas morning, residents need help when a pipe springs a leak, or a toilet floods, or a fire sparks chaos. Maintenance does not disappear if you ignore it. In fact, it can often times get worse. Take maintenance requests seriously and respond to them promptly. Make the necessary repairs correctly. Maintenance emergencies are just the tip of the iceberg. The entire leasing process such as preparing your home to be rent-ready, advertising your rental, coordinating home showings, conducting tenant screenings, creating and signing a lease contract, and much more prove to be heavy time commitments. A rental investment is a time investment.
- Follow Laws: You must always follow the law. Take the time now to educate yourself on your local, state, and national rules and regulations. Otherwise, you might find yourself with some hefty violation fines in the future. Violations of local, state, and federal laws can hurt your cash flow. Some major laws to pay close attention to include the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. Specific laws and regulations apply to property owners. Be aware of collection and eviction laws, property inspection regulations, local city ordinances, state property code laws, and trust accounting laws when handling security deposits and rental payments. Sacramento property management companies know that following these laws only provides you with protection. Don’t think of educating yourself on these matters as an inconvenience. You will create major inconveniences for yourself if these laws are ignored.
- Firm Lease Agreements and Tenant Screening: Clearly outline tenant responsibility versus landlord responsibility in your lease agreements. Elk Grove property management companies know this will eliminate disputes down the road. A well-written lease protects you as the homeowner. It is your chance to communicate your expectations and set firm-but-fair rent policies. Ensure that your tenants understand every clause of the agreement at the time of signing. This includes but is not limited to: when rent is due, who is responsible for maintenance, who is responsible for pest control and compliance with pest control if it is needed, rules for caring for the home, occupancy guidelines, pet rules, and much more. Carefully choosing a tenant limits your risk of damage to the premises as well as evictions. Do not settle for a mediocre tenant just to fill your vacancy more quickly. This most likely will lead to regret. Verify tenant income and check rental history. Conduct background, criminal, and credit checks. Require an application for every tenant over the age of 18. Following a rigorous tenant screening process sets you up for success and positive cash flow.
- Sacramento Property Management Companies Stick to a Budget: It is important to account for unexpected costs. Money flows both ways with a rental investment. You must save and account for the costs of home repairs, vacancy times, insurance costs, legal fees, and property taxes. If a simple home repair has you in a panic, you need to reconsider your cash flow management. Look at past repair invoices to determine if an appliance might be in need of replacement in the near future. A general rule of thumb is that carpet should last 5-7 years, appliances should generally last 10-12 years, and paint generally has a lifespan of about 2-3 years. Keep a strict budget and always account for each dollar to stay on track.
- Regular Home Inspections: Conducting regular home inspections is the easiest way to know the status of your rental and protect yourself as a homeowner. Inspections are a time to catch maintenance problems before they escalate into expensive repairs. You can also look for signs indicating your tenants are not complying with the rules of their lease. Post proper Entry Notices informing your tenants of the date and time frame you plan to enter. While inside, check for compliance with occupancy guidelines, pest control, pets, and damage to the property. Inspect the exterior of the property including structural stability, landscape, sprinklers, irrigation, and rain gutters.
By following the above recommendations provided by professionals at Sacramento property management companies, you will provide yourself with shorter vacancy times, steady cash flow, decreased maintenance costs, and reduced liability. SAC-METRO wants you to have a positive experience as a rental investor. With more than 30 years of experience, our experts utilize a hassle-free leasing cycle that is proven to be successful. You can be a profitable landlord and see investment gains. Put our Elk Grove property management team to work for you. Learn how our proven processes can increase your bottom line. Give SAC-METRO a call today.