Avoid Nightmares with your Out-of-State Rental Property
As a landlord or property investor, you may – at some point – find yourself with a rental property that is in another state. While it may not be an ideal situation, it is definitely not unheard of. Whether you moved to a different state or found a great investment deal – the reason doesn’t matter. What is important is that you take steps to avoid nightmares with this out-of-state rental property and create a pleasant experience for both you and your tenant.
Gain a good understanding of the local market
Local rental markets vary greatly in each area. This is especially true when referring to different states. It is very important that you do your research to discover the going rental rate for the area. You don’t want to sell yourself short, but placing the rent too high could leave your property vacant for extended periods. Know the population you are working with and know the going rates.
In addition, you will want to familiarize yourself with fair housing laws and any ordinances that may affect the relationship between you and your landlord. Laws differ between areas, so be sure to know your rights and the rights of your tenants.
Meet with tenants personally, if you can
It may be inconvenient, but it is wise to schedule a day to interview potential tenants. Meeting them personally will allow you to get a better feel for the tenants and get to know them a bit better. It also allows them to see that the landlord may reside out of state, but he or she is present now and will be in the future.
Organize a list of local services
Organize a list of local services that you can easily access should issue arise with the rental property. For example, plumbers, contractors, electricians, appliance repair, etc. are all services that you may find yourself in need of.
It is a good idea to contact these companies before you add them to your list to make sure they will work with tenants (if a homeowner cannot present) and that they will either bill or take payment over the phone. These are very important questions to ask.
Streamline the rent collection process
If you own rental property in another state, you will not likely be able to stop by and collect the rent personally each month. And, placing a check in the mail is just an inconvenience for everyone involved. Therefore, streamlining the rent collecting process. Have your tenants make a direct deposit to a local bank account. Or, use an online service such as PayPal.
Seek the help of a property management company
Don’t worry if you feel that all of this is just still too much hassle to deal with from out-of-state. You can always seek the help of a property management company in the area. They generally handle everything – screening tenants, handling repairs and maintenance, collecting rent, etc. They will be able to maintain your rental property for a small fee and reduce the wright and worry on your shoulders. They are locals and they know their market.
As long as you are prepared and organized, out-of-state rental properties can be just as rewarding as owning one next door.
If you are interested in having an Atlanta property management company to manage and maintain your income property for you, give ALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management a call at 404-937-1850.