Thursday, April 2, 2015

Should you pay somebody to lease your property?

We are often asked whether it is wise to hire a property management company to lease their property. The answer is not always simple, but the answer is that it is generally worth the small fee to let a professional manage your rental property.

A recent story on WSFA points to one good reason to hire a property manager. It is the best way to avoid scams For owners and tenants.

However there are plenty of other reasons to hire a professional property manager:

1. Time - unless you have the time and money to devote to full time management of your rental property, it is wise to hire somebody. On a typical day. We get about 100 rental related calls a day. Some of them are property inquiries, some are tenant questions and some are maintenance or repair related. A management company is organized to handle the sheer volume of calls, direct the caller to the correct answer and take the necessary action. Our company has a staff to deal with almost every known issue that might come up and has the experience to deal with it correctly. 

2.  Legal matters - From the Alabama Landlord-Tenant Act to Fair Housing laws to issues associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act to the Fair Credit Reporting Act to city, county and state regulations to eviction and collection laws, property managers are trained to know and understand the myriad of laws, rules and regulations that affect landlords and tenants. They are constantly changing and a violation of any of them can lead to fines or worse. 

3.  Tenants - generally most prospective tenants will contact the place that is likely to have a property that meets their needs. In addition, we have a rigorous qualification process for all tenants and have rules and policies in place that provide that all tenants and prospective tenants are treated fairly and equally. Private owners often loosen their standards to get the property rented, this can lead to many issues down the road.

4. Collections - Once the property is rented, many landlords find that collections is by far the most difficult part of rental ownership.  Leases can written tightly, however emotions can get involved and tenants can fall behind.  Professional property managers generally do not get emotionally involved with their tenant, the understand that their job is to enforce the lease.

5. Repairs and Maintenance - Simple volume allows us to negotiate discounts on most repair and maintenance items, in addition most of our contractors allow some form of priority to our tenants.  This may not seem like an advantage until the tenant's air conditioner stops working on July 4 or their oven breaks the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

All in all it is quite possible to rent a property on your own if you are a private company, many people do and do this very successfully.  If you have the time, business savvy and expertise to do so, you can save a nominal sum of money every month.  However, many of our owners have learned that it is well worth the small fee that we are paid to let us do this.

If you are interested in our property management services or are considering investing in real estate, give us a call 334-361-4661

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