Back to School: Property Management 101

It’s Back-to-School time and that makes it a good time to review some of the basics of property management. So let’s take a quick review of Property Management 101. Good property managers are notoriously busy people. Busy people sometimes lose things in the shuffle or forget things when their minds are preoccupied. Even seasoned managers sometimes need to brush up on the basics!
Notebook and folders
You’re going to want to keep everything in writing and you need a good system of filing things. This doesn’t only include leases, either. If you need to enter an occupied unit, notify the tenants in writing and keep a copy in a designated folder. The same goes for any other notices or warnings you hand out. Keep that notebook handy, and keep notes of any conversations in case of a later misunderstanding.
Study up on the federal Fair Housing Act and state housing discrimination laws. Failure to complete the assignment could result in a discrimination suit where you suddenly find yourself paying damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
Security deposits are a huge contention between landlords and tenants. Understand what you can and cannot collect as a security deposit and whether it needs to be kept in an interest-bearing account. More importantly, at the end of a lease, only make proper, itemized deductions from a security deposit, and return it in a timely manner.
Show up at the property regularly and know what’s going on. You are ultimately liable for what happens on your property even if a dangerous condition is caused by a tenant. This also holds true for conditions that make a unit legally uninhabitable. Drop in to make sure common areas are well-maintained and tenants aren’t in need of repairs.
Unfortunately, there are always those that can’t follow the rules and must be removed. Evictions are the biggest headache of any landlord’s existence. One wrong move and the process can be delayed another month. If you want to handle evictions yourself, pay attention to dates, deadlines and notice requirements. Otherwise, call a real estate attorney–they’ve got evictions down to a science.
Tutoring is available at Martin Presence. Heck, we’ll even take the tests for you. Just contact us!

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