If you own rental property in Gaithersburg and self-manage your rental property business, you may be finding that there is a lot more to being a landlord than you originally anticipated.
And with that in mind, you may be thinking it is time to enlist the help of one of Gaithersburg’s top property management companies.
You may also be wondering to yourself what exactly a property management company is responsible for when it comes to your investment property.
For those that are unsure whether investing in a property management company is a good idea, or for those that simply don’t know what a property manager is responsible for, keep reading.
Today we are going to give you the rundown on what an experienced, highly qualified property management company should offer you in terms of services.
What a Qualified Gaithersburg Property Management Company Should Do
1. Property Advertising
One of the most important responsibilities your property management company has is advertising your vacant property to a high-quality tenant pool.
They should utilize a diverse set of platforms such as Craigslist, MLS, online classifieds, and even direct mail to expose your property to a wide group of prospects. They should also be available for those reaching out with interest.
2. Tenant Screening
All potential tenants should be thoroughly screened by your property manager. This includes background and credit checks to make sure they have no criminal background, previous evictions, or outstanding debts.
Additionally, your property management company is responsible for avoiding any discrimination when it comes to fair housing laws and screening potential tenants.
This is a key reason to enlist the help of a property manager. The last thing you want to do is be sued for unintentionally discriminating against an interested tenant.
3. Tenant Move-In
Here are some of the things your Gaithersburg property management company will handle at the time your new tenant moves into your investment property:
- Legally compliant lease drafting according to your specific needs
- Evaluation of local rent rates so your rent will generate income
- Lease term start and end dates
- Detailed move-in inspection with all parties, complete with photographs
- Collection of security deposit and first and last month’s rent
Lastly, your property manager will provide your tenants with the keys to your property, as well as a welcome tenant package, complete with pertinent contact information, maintenance responsibilities, local area information, and possibly a small gift welcoming your tenant to their new home.
4. Maintenance, Repairs, and Complaints
Anytime your tenant has a maintenance or repair request, your property management company is the one to handle it.
And, if you choose one of the top property management companies in Gaithersburg, your tenants will have access to an on-call maintenance crew that is available 24/7.
Not having to take after-hours calls from tenants is one of the best benefits of enlisting the help of a team of property managers. Not only do they have the resources to handle emergencies, they take the pressure off of you and having to be available all the time.
It is also a good idea to look into a property management company that has a 24-hour hotline for tenants that have complaints or non-emergency issues. Again, not having to field these calls all night long is something you’ll love.
5. Rent Collection
Receiving rent payments, tracking down those that haven’t paid, sending out rent reminders, and disbursing payments to you are another huge responsibility you place in the hands of your property management team.
In addition to collecting your rent money and handing it over to you, your property manager is also tasked with the job of initiating eviction proceedings, should your tenant fail to pay rent on time.
This includes filing paperwork to start an eviction, sending out proper notices, representing you in court, and even aiding in the removal of tenants, should the need arise.
6. Property Inspections
Making sure your property is being well cared for throughout the lease term takes a lot of effort.
That’s why having a property manager to conduct seasonal inspections is so helpful. Not only can they check to make sure everything is okay with your tenants (which is a great customer service method), your property manager can make sure your tenant is fulfilling their lease obligations.
Finding small maintenance issues and fixing them before they turn into bigger issues, reminding tenants of their tenant responsibilities, and finding out what would make your tenants happier are all things that will ultimately aid you in your quest for success as a property owner.
Property management companies have a duty to maintain all financial documentation as it relates to your rental property business.
Here are some things your property manager will likely handle while managing your rental:
- Proper accounting of all rent payments collected, including receipts
- Annual reporting of all financial statements, including a 1099 form
- Monthly income/expense reports
- Documentation of any payments made on your behalf (utilities, HOA, insurance premiums)
- All maintenance estimates, work orders, and invoice/payment receipts
- Yearly tax information for the property itself and the rental property business
While it can be helpful to hire on a separate accountant to help you with your yearly financials as they relate to your rental property business, know that an experienced property management company can handle most, if not all, of that documentation for you.
In fact, some property managers will even help you file your annual taxes so that you don’t have to hire external services.
8. Tenant Move-Out
Just as your property manager helped move your tenant in, they are responsible for helping your tenant move out as well.
When a tenant gives their notice to move out of your property, you property manager will likely inspect the unit as a whole to determine what damages the tenant has incurred.
From there, the following will happen:
- Provide tenant with a detailed list of estimated damages
- Return the remaining balance of your tenant’s security deposit
- Re-key all locks and make any repairs
- Clean rental property for next tenant that will move in
- Place vacant property back on the market
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of Gaithersburg property management responsibilities.
Rather, it gives you a good idea of the scope of tasks a high-quality property manager will gladly take on while managing your rental property.
If you own rental property in Gaithersburg or anywhere in Montgomery County and have realized that self-management of your investment property is not right for you, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.