Property owners commonly hire property managers to tend to the daily work of the house, apartment complex or other building for rent. Some property owners also serve as the property manager. In general, property managers are tasked with maintaining the property being rented. This individual is responsible for the daily operations at the property ranging from cleaning to maintenance, rent collection and beyond. Let’s take a closer look at the role of the property manager.
What Property Managers Do: Rent Issues
Property manager roles differ based on the unique property, the terms of the management contract and their experience/pay rate. Just about every property manger has rent responsibilities. It is not enough to simply collect rent from tenants. The property manager is tasked with setting rent to the current market rate to attract desirable tenants to the property. Property managers typically rely on comparable properties in the neighborhood or city when setting rent. These managers also adjust rent based on inflation, local taxes, property value alterations and other factors. Finally, property managers collect the monthly rent, apply late fees, refund deposits and handle other property-related finances.
Handling Tenant Matters
It takes time, effort and patience to manage tenants. Simply finding a qualified tenant for an available apartment can prove challenging. Property managers must perform background checks, credit checks, employment verifications and other forms of vetting before clearing a prospective tenant to live at the property. Property managers also have to keep the property in tip-top shape to attract high-quality tenants.
The property manager’s tenant responsibilities do not end when the lease is signed. Tenants will inevitably have complaints, emergencies, requests and other pressing matters. The property manager must also handle move-outs in which tenants exit the property, cover the cost of damages and return the keys.
The Financial Side of Property Management
Maintaining the property’s financial records and managing an ever-evolving budget chews up a considerable amount of time. The property’s record management duties include accounting for signed leases, performing inspections, handling complaints, tabulating expenses/incomes, managing repair records and so on. The property manager must account for property taxes. Knowledge of tax regulations pertaining to investment properties will prove quite helpful.
Maintaining and Repairing the Property
The average property manager’s role extends to maintaining the property. Though a maintenance man might be available to perform repairs, most property managers have a basic understanding of how to care for a property. This individual is charged with keeping the property in a habitable and safe condition. In particular, emergency repairs are especially important to ensure tenants are provided with a habitable living space at all times.
In terms of ongoing maintenance, the best property managers are willing to check for leaks, remove snow, landscape the property, exterminate pests and perform trash removal. If the property manager is unwilling to handle these responsibilities, he or she should hire someone who will take care of basic property maintenance needs. Ideally, the property manager will have a network of local repairmen, plumbers, carpenters and electricians who can perform reasonably priced repairs in a moment’s notice.