Whether you’ve inherited a rental property or you’ve invested intentionally, you’ll need to decide whether you want to manage that property on your own, or hire a professional property management company to do it. If you decide to self-manage, you’ll need to have the time, skills, vendor relationships, and expertise to manage your home effectively. If you decide to hire a professional management company, you’ll have to be sure you’re willing to let someone else make the decisions and take the actions that will keep your property protected and profitable.
As you’re deciding what’s best for you, consider how the management of your home is impacted by things like leasing, maintenance, and legal requirements.
Leasing Your Home and Placing a Tenant
Managing your own investment property means you’ll need to market the home and choose a tenant. There are a lot of variables here; you need to price the property correctly otherwise face a long vacancy time, and you need to know how to take proper photographs and where to post the listing. You’ll need to be available for showings, respond to any interested tenants, and then screen the applications that you receive. The screening process must be thorough, consistent, and compliant with all fair housing laws. Make sure you:
- Check credit reports and histories
- Conduct a nationwide eviction search
- Look at criminal background checks
- Verify employment and income
- Talk to former and current landlords
With a professional Tampa property management company leasing your home, you’ll be able to rely on a strategic marketing plan, an automated system for showings and applications, and a rigorous screening process that results in a well-qualified tenant. You’ll also have the move-in inspection taken care of and the security deposit collected and deposited according to Florida law.
Maintaining Your Tampa Rental Property
As a self-managing landlord, you’ll need to have a plan in place for both routine and emergency maintenance. Your tenants will need to know how to contact you if something breaks, and you’ll need to be prepared to respond to any potential crisis 24 hours a day. You’ll also need to have relationships in place with vendors who are affordable, professional, licensed, and insured.
Professional property managers have maintenance down to a science. We understand the importance of preventative maintenance in keeping your property well-maintained, and we are quick to respond to tenants when they report repairs. A good management company will have an online reporting system for tenants to use, which allows us to maintain a documented record of the work that has been completed on your property. We also work with vendors who we can trust and who provide us with the best service for the most competitive prices.
Liability and Risk Issues
Investing in rental real estate provides a number of opportunities for profit and growth. However, it also comes with a lot of risk. If you are planning to manage your own property, make sure you understand the laws and regulations that apply to landlords and tenants. There are federal, state, and local laws that require careful compliance. You’ll need to know the fair housing laws, the requirements for habitability, and the process of holding and returning a security deposit. You may need to evict a tenant, and you’ll have to know how to do that lawfully. You’ll need to know how a support animal differs from a service animal and why you cannot charge a pet deposit for either of them.
We not only know the laws, we stay up to date on all the changes affecting the laws. A property manager can dramatically reduce your legal liability and your risk.
If you’d like to talk more about your options, contact us at Real Property Management Leaders. We think there’s a huge benefit and a lot of value to professional management, and we’d love to tell you more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.