By Anica Oaks
Passive income is on the rise as more people leave traditional jobs to become independent employees. Whether you own several properties or manage them for another owner, you should become familiar with key strategies that help things work smoothly. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Set up computer apps including one for rent due dates and accounting. Track payments for contractor work performed on the properties as well as receipts for materials and supplies. Keep the financials organized and up to date. Use suitable legal forms to establish leases, insurance coverage required or provided, and rental terms of property use. Include policies for pets, guests and renter responsibilities as well as liabilities. The fee structure should be clearly explained.
Address Issues Promptly
When you become aware of a problem with the property or a utility, have it evaluated by a professional right away. Don't ignore a renter's complaint until the problem becomes a nightmare, like a flooded basement or a furnace that suddenly stops working. Line up a team of responsible, licensed experts that you can call when a problem develops. Avoiding a problem will not only often make it worse, but you could also face legal charges if an occupant gets hurt or suffers a loss due to property negligence on your part.
Stay On Top of Maintenance
Hire reliable maintenance staff to keep up with the properties' inside and outside care. Provide a detailed agreement of the work to be covered along with the stipulated payment. Ensure that the maintenance person or crew agrees to provide condo 24-hour maintenance that may require after-hours or weekend attention. Keeping the properties well cared for makes renters feel respected and appreciated. It also helps to maintain the properties so that they require fewer repairs and look good all year long.
While you are not expected to be available around the clock, set up a system for messages so that tenants can reach you with an emergency or leave messages about other issues to be addressed later. Let them know if you prefer to be contacted via text message, phone call or email, and the best times to reach you. Also indicate when you will not be available in advance, for example, after 5:00 p.m. or on weekends. If you live on the premises, you could post a sign on your door or near the mailboxes to indicate your work hours as well as the best way to reach you.
Managing rentals is a major responsibility. Arrange your schedule and your policies to meet tenants' needs while protecting your non working time.