Vacant Home Property ManagementIn our last post we talked about someone who is leaving their home vacant for a month while they go on vacation.  This post is about hiring Property Managers to manage your home as a rental property. There are specific things you should do to make sure that your insurance is still valid while you are away. You do not want to have a big surprise when you get back, find damage of some sort and then find out that your insurance does not cover it because you did not have someone checking your home while you are away. What about the person who wants to find a property management firm to manage their home as a rental?

Property Management Companies

There are many firms that offer property management firms in most cities and most offer their services to home owners who wish to rent their homes out while they are out of the country or have an investment property. Picking an inexpensive property management firm that provides you all of the services you need is a tough thing to do. These companies try to offer the best price, however supporting a single home in an area is much different that managing an entire property. As a result the costs are going to be higher for a single property vs. a mutli unit building. Still you can negotiate a relatively  inexpensive deal if you take the time to understand all of the services and focus on the ones that you require.

Contract Items to Focus On

Here is a rough list of items that you need to focus on  in your contract:

  • First of all make sure there is a contract and that is not all one sided
  • The amount charged should be clearly stated
  • The services provided in specific terms should be stated
  • Reports provided, amount of detail and timing should be stated
  • Emergency repairs covering costs and process should be clearly covered
  • Contact information for you as well as the company
  • Rental process and standards should be dictated e.g. no smoking, no pets
  • Damages and how they are dealt with
  • Non payment by tenant and how they are dealt with
  • Maintenance of the home, upgrades, management of the process should be covered
  • Review their rental agreements with the tenants

You may want to add to this list, however we believe these are the main areas that need your focus. Once you understand the details around each area and what the company will and will not do, you will need to compare their package to other property management companies and make a decision.

This is not easy work and actually causes many people to stay away from renting properties and having property management companies manage the property for them. If you plan to embark in this direction it pays to do your homework to avoid major issues in the future and of course you only get what you pay for. Take the time to review the details and avoid more costly issues later.

Negotiation for inexpensive property management can be done, only if you have taken the time to really educate yourself to make sure that you understand all of the services in detail, what will be provided and what will not be provided.

We will be writing more on this subject from time to time and would appreciate any comments you might have. Lessons learned, issues you have had with property management companies etc. are all of interest to our readers.