So you just bought yourself some good property but the next big assignment is ensuring that that property stays in good shape. You will therefore need to hire a good property management firm. You can do background checks on the firm and also find a suitable way to make payments easy.
Screen well and don’t discriminate
I believe you can eliminate 90% of your potential issues by setting high standards and screening applicants thoroughly. But in order to accomplish this, you must have a structured screening process that doesn’t discriminate against any of the protected classes.
Make rent payments easy and automatic
In my 10+ years managing properties, the action that has improved my business the most is offering (and requiring) tenants pay rent online.
In fact, having worked with hundreds of tenants in 10 years, I’ve only had 2 late payments after switching to online rent payments.
For you to ensure everything works well you need to ensure that you are organized. This is to ensure incase you are faced with any complaints you have the required documents at hand. Also do treat every tenant as someone who understand the law
Organization is a virtue
I love Adobe PDF writer! This program allows me to use my scanner and create an electronic copy in my computer. I scanned all my bills and any important documents in this format. Since I owned property in two states, this allowed me access to a “virtual” file cabinet with my laptop. I can quickly send eviction or late notices from wherever my location. One example was during an eviction the lawyer processing the case needed copies of the lease, the late notices and breakdown of expenses owed to me. Since I scanned every document and use QuickBooks to organize my accounting, I was able to quickly send a package to my Lawyer and he was able to file with no delay. We filed with the court and I was able to gain a judgment against the tenant. But more importantly, I got possession of my property in an expeditious manner. You can purchase Adobe PDF at http://www.adobe.com or download free simple Adobe writer called CutePDF.
Treat every tenant like they have a law degree
I assume that all my tenants know as much about property law as an attorney would know. As a result, all notices are in writing and on the standard forms provided by the non-profit organization the California Association of Realtors. There is an excellent program provided by the California Association of Realtors called WINForms (www.winforms.com). This program has all the property and lease forms provided by the association. This includes lease agreements, lead disclosure, check-in, and even a rental application. If you are a Realtor, the program is included as part of your annual dues. Otherwise the program is only available to attorneys or real estate licensees for a hefty annual price of $499.00. Lastly, any verbal discussions that may have some legal consequences are written down and sent to the tenant. If the subject is too small for a written letter, I then enter a log in my ACT contact program with a date and time stamp of the event.
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