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7 Simple Tips for Succeeding as an Out-of-Town Landlord

Being an out-of-town landlord presents a unique set of challenges. For instance, not only do you have to handle typical landlord tasks like performing inspections, responding to emergencies, and screening tenants properly – you have to do it all without the ability to travel to your property as needed easily. 

But don’t let that stop you from investing in out-of-town properties.

By following our tips for out-of-town landlords, you can ensure that you see a positive return on your investment and avoid becoming stressed due to the distance between you and your properties.

What Is an Out-of-Town Landlord?

An out-of-town landlord is pretty much exactly what it sounds like–a landlord that lives outside the area where their rental property is located. For instance, they may live in a different city, state, or country than their rental property. 

Sometimes, being an out-of-town landlord can make it challenging to manage a rental property, as you cannot oversee repairs or maintenance in person. Additionally, you may not be available any time of the day for tenants if they have issues. As such, many out-of-town landlords look for a property manager in Northern Virginia to help manage their rentals. 

Aside from hiring comprehensive rental management, you can succeed as an out-of-town landlord in several ways. Read along while we review these tips and strategies for out-of-town landlords.

How to Succeed as an Out-of-Town Landlord

Being an out-of-town landlord can present some unique challenges. However, with the right approach, it’s possible to succeed and make your rental property a profitable investment.


As such, here are some tips to help you succeed as an out-of-town landlord. 

  1. Choose Tenants You Can Trust
  2. Communicate With Your Tenants
  3. Have Someone Local Check on Your Properties
  4. Visit Your Properties Regularly
  5. Set up an Online Payment System
  6. Find Good Maintenance Services Near Your Property
  7. Hire a Local Baltimore Property Manager

Choose Tenants You Can Trust

Regardless of where you live in relation to your properties, you must thoroughly screen all your tenants to reduce your chances of renting to a bad tenant.

Troublesome tenants are one of the primary sources of stress when you’re an out-of-town landlord. Your tenants may know that you don’t live close by and cannot travel to check on your property at any time and may take advantage of your absence by damaging the property, bending the rules, or even neglecting to pay rent on time!

For this reason, avoid skipping any step in the screening process or renting to a tenant simply because you like them – no exceptions. Remember, it’s always better for you to wait and rent to a good tenant you can trust than quickly place a questionable tenant in your property.

You may even want to rent your long-distance properties exclusively to trustworthy family members or referred tenants for added peace of mind.

Tip: Check out this blog post to learn about nine red flags you should watch out for when screening potential tenants.

Communicate With Your Tenants

Just because you don’t live in the same area as your tenants, that doesn’t mean that you can avoid communicating with them regularly. In fact, doing so could cause strained relations between you and your tenants.

So, figure out which communication methods they prefer and occasionally check in with them. You’ll also want to provide them with local emergency contacts they can call if they need immediate assistance.

Tip: Check out this blog post to learn how to build healthy tenant/landlord relationships.

Have Someone Local Check on Your Properties

Think for a second – do you have trustworthy family members or friends living near your property?


If so, ask them if they would be willing to check in on your property for you as needed. Also, see if they can serve as an emergency contact for your tenants. That way, your tenants will feel secure in your property, knowing that help is nearby if needed.

But what if you don’t have family or friends living near your property?

Don’t worry – you can still be a successful out-of-town landlord. Start networking in the area where your property is located by attending local real estate and landlord events. You should be able to find a trustworthy professional who will check on your property for you on occasion.

Visit Your Property Regularly

While traveling to your property several times per year might seem inconvenient, it’s absolutely necessary. But look on the bright side: your business-related travel expenses are tax deductible!

When you visit, you’ll get a firsthand look at the property’s condition instead of relying on others to relay the information to you.

You may even want to perform an inspection each time you travel to your out-of-town property. If you do, make sure you give your tenants the proper amount of notice ahead of time so you don’t get into any legal trouble.

Set up an Online Payment System

Do you really want to drive to your property to collect checks or deal with the hassle of waiting to receive payments in the mail?

Probably not, considering how inconvenient that would be. That’s why collecting all payments online is a great idea when you’re an out-of-town landlord.

If possible, set up a tenant payment portal and let your tenants know that they should log in and pay each month on or before the specified rent due date. Alternatively, you can collect payment via an online transfer system like PayPal.

Whatever you choose, make sure you mention it in your lease terms and clearly explain your expectations to all of your tenants. After all, chasing down rent money is even more stressful than usual when trying to do it while out of town.

Find Good Maintenance Services Near Your Property

Your out-of-town property is going to need maintenance at some point. Prepare for this by finding capable handymen, plumbers, and electricians you can contact to handle problems at your property.

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing maintenance help:


  • How far do they live from my property?
  • Do they have experience handling the problems that are likely to occur with my property?
  • Are they willing to handle emergency maintenance requests?
  • Do they have positive online reviews?
  • Are they willing to provide references from past landlords?

As an out-of-town landlord, make sure you only choose maintenance personnel who you feel are exceptionally reliable. Otherwise, they may end up adding to your stress instead of alleviating it.

Hire a Local Baltimore Property Manager

Being a landlord is a demanding job – even more so when managing your properties from afar. If you find property management tasks stressing you out and taking up too much of your time, consider hiring a Baltimore property management team like Bay Property Management Group.

We can handle all of your local properties so you don’t have to – that way, you get the biggest return on your rental property investments without dealing with the hassle of managing them yourself.

Need More Advice? contact us today!

With our team on your side, you won’t need to screen tenants, handle maintenance, collect rent, or perform inspections. Instead, we’ll take care of it so you can focus on enjoying your time outside work and making the most of your rental property business.

If you’re interested, we’d love to discuss how we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive rental management services and how we can help you succeed as an out-of-town landlord!

Written by: Patrick Freeze