Friday, July 31, 2009

Can I manage my own rental? How hard could it be?

Yes, you can manage your rental yourself. You will waste a lot of money, do a partial job, and loose a lot of rent due to mismanagement and a lack of knowledge. You will most likely have greater liability and expose yourself to greater risk than a Professional Property Manager.

These are the questions you no doubt will ask - What do I do when the tenant stops paying rent? How much rent do I charge? What is the market rent rate? How do I start the eviction process? Which Justice Court do I go to? How do I truly qualify a prospective tenant?

Who do you think knows the laws better, you or your tenant? What can you legally withhold from the tenants deposit after they move out? How do you document the property prior to tenant move in? What do you do when the tenant doesn’t mow their yard and the HOA is fining you as the owner? How do you handle a pauper’s appeal? What is coding the locks and do I have to re-key and code after I the owner move out? How soon do you have to make a repair? Do you have to repaint every two years? Do you have to do a walk through with the tenant? Which lease do you use? Do I have to clean the tenant’s carpet every six month? When do I have to send the tenants deposit back? Who do you hire to do your repairs, and are they charging me a fair rate? How do you handle a tenant breaking their lease by moving early?

You probably would not hire your Heart Surgeon from the Yellow Pages and you do not want to hire your Property Manager based on commission alone. I had an owner hire us to assist him with his non-paying tenant. The tenant had lived in the home for five years yet the tenant owed the owner two and a half years of rent. The owner was charging less than half of the market rate rent for five years. The owner only collected one half of the rent due for those five years. With no mortgage, the owner could barely pay the annual taxes and insurance with the collected rent. The tenant had no intention of paying. We had him out of the house and the house “broom-clean” in three weeks.

We were recently hired by a mortgage company to handle the management of a home where the tenants were behind in their rent and that they could not kick out (their attorneys could not successfully remove the tenants). We handled the eviction, had the home empty in three weeks and re-rented the property. Our job is to manage the situation, correct previous qualifying errors and create an opportunity for the property to cash flow. Hiring a Professional Property Manager has made a positive difference on the number of rentals my family own.

Realtors are trained in the art of negotiating, disarming hostile owners & tenants and reasoning with two parties. Property Managers are grounded on truth and having a strong work ethic. A professional Property Manager will assist you in maximizing your cash flow, minimize the expenses. We will help get the property rented faster at market rate. A professional Property Manager will continue to receive education and training in order to do you, the owner, and tenant a better job. Professional Property Managers are not likely to be side swiped by a tenant who quotes laws that do not exist. Professional Property Managers are the World’s Best Problem Solvers.

For more information about property management, contact William Ferguson, President, Judge Fite Management Company at 214-232-4118,, or click here to visit our website for detailed information and to view our properties for lease.

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