9 Terrible Property Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Owning property may seem easy to a novice, but it is actually the farthest from. Property managers need to be able to meet several responsibilities all at once. Without decent proper management, the owner could be left with some serious financial troubles.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As a property owner, you can take steps to avoid the major mistakes. The first step is being able to identify those mistakes. So what are the biggest property management mistakes?
1. Failing to Screen Tenants.
A lot of first-time managers want to lend trust to tenants. Don’t make the mistake of having an overly sympathetic attitude. A bad tenant can wreck havoc onto a manager’s career.
Before choosing a tenant, you should screen the person to make sure that they are reliable. Does the tenant have a steady paying job? Are they a law-abiding citizen? What does their last manager have to say about the tenant? If somebody has a history of destroying property or late payments, then it is best to avoid that person.
Evicting a tenant is an expensive, time-consuming task, and it could be made even more difficult if the tenant refuses to leave. The best way to avoid this is to find good tenants that you’re unlikely to evict.
2. Failing to Perform Maintenance.
This is a big mistake that could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Perform maintenance inspections on a regular basis (maybe once every few months). Also ask your tenant if he or she has noticed anything that needs fixing.
3. Hiring Inept Employees.
When there is something that needs repairing, you will need to hire professionals for the job. Don’t use unskilled workers to fix a house problem. Be sure to hire a repairman with a high reputation. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a ridiculously high bill for a house repair that has yet to be fixed.
If you’ve realized the repairman is incompetent in the middle of a job, don’t keep that person on. Immediately find a new replacement.
4. Poor Record Keeping.
Documentation is important for staying organized and informed about a property. This is especially true for owners who are managing several properties all at once. Keep records that relay important information on a property. It’s especially vital to keep track of how much you owe in taxes.
5. Overpaying for Maintenance.
Some contractors like to take advantage of novice managers. To avoid paying a ridiculous price, make sure to do your homework and find out what the reasonable price is for a job.
6. Allowing Tenants to Do Repair Work.
Again, you don’t want an unskilled worker to take care of a housing problem. One mistake by an inexperienced hand can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Go with real professionals.
7. Ignoring Tenants.
Some managers want to ignore their tenants to avoid hard work. However, ignoring a tenant could lead to further problems down the road. Tenants will likely inform you if an appliance has broken down. Also, checking in on a tenant will serve as a reminder to that tenant not to act irresponsibly. Call in and visit the property every once in awhile to see how it is going.
8. Allowing a Problem to Go On.
Leaving a problem unfixed can lead to other problems down the line. For example, a leaky roof that’s left unfixed could later lead to a ruined carpet from a rainy day. If there is enough negligence on the part of a manager, the tenant is capable of suing the property owner.
9. Failing to Do Homework.
Many beginner property managers make the mistake of going into a project blind. Do your research about every aspect of owning a property. Know the laws. Know your responsibilities. Know how to perform maintenance. And know how to find or evict tenants.