Chattanooga has an active rental property market, with nearly half the city’s homes rented out to tenants. Rental property ownership is an arduous business, especially when you run the operation independently. If you are an inexperienced landlord, so many things can go wrong that will make your rental property ownership experience a nightmare.
However, help is at hand, in the form of property managers, whose job is to deal with the minutiae of rental property ownership. Here are some scenarios that demonstrate the need for an experienced property management company:
According to several Chattanooga property services such as Everest and PMI Chattanooga, private landlords run into difficulties when vetting tenants. This is a vital process that a rental property owner should undertake before entering any agreements with renters. During the application phase, potential tenants should provide proof of employment and at least three pay stubs as evidence of their income. These should be verified, and any references the applicant quoted should receive a call. This is a time-consuming process, and many landlords have skipped it in good faith only to regret it afterward.
Running a credit check as an individual is challenging, but property management giants like CBRE and Cushman and Wakefield have no problems accessing an applicant’s credit history. This is vital for vetting would-be tenants as it demonstrates whether they have a sense of financial responsibility when it comes to debts.
Strained landlord-tenant relationships
PMI Chattanooga and Rock Point Real Estate’s property management agents know that landlord-tenant relationships can be tricky. It is all too easy for them to get personal, which complicates matters when disputes arise. Landlords who see renters as family will struggle to deal with them should they not pay on time. Many tenants take advantage of a landlord’s kindness and get away with unacceptable actions.
Tennessee, and Chattanooga in particular, is known for its hospitality and the kind, easy-going nature of its residents. However, this does not always combine well when trying to maintain a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. Property management companies deal with tenants, so landlords do not have to.
Managing repairs and maintenance
One thing that any landlord will tell you is that repairs and maintenance will become necessary, regardless of how great your tenants are. Accidents happen, and things get broken. Additionally, a house needs constant upkeep to prevent minor problems from becoming significant issues that require expensive work. Trying to juggle this responsibility when you have a day job, live out of town, or own multiple properties is challenging.
A property management company agent stays on top of repairs and maintenance. They have a network of trusted Chattanooga contractors with a reputation for doing quality work at reasonable prices.
Many legal issues can arise from renting out a property. This includes drawing up rental agreements and holding tenants to account for violating their conditions. Sometimes, when the relationship with a tenant has broken down to such an extent that they can no longer stay on your property, their lease needs to be terminated. After a period of non-payment, a landlord has the right to evict renters.
There are legal processes involved in each of these actions. One misstep could see you having to hire a lawyer, appear in court, and potentially pay fines or restitution. Avoiding this by hiring a property management company relieves a landlord of a lot of stress. Agents are familiar with Chattanooga’s local bylaws and Tennessee state laws regarding property rental and will help you implement them when necessary.
Struggling to find tenants
Even in a rental property owner’s market, where there are more potential tenants than rental homes, finding the right people can be challenging. The ideal tenants are families who intend to stay in a rental home long-term. A high turnover of tenants often leads to more frequent repairs and maintenance. People who stay for longer periods tend to be more careful about looking after the rental home.
Many rental management companies have would-be tenants apply for pre-approval by submitting applications ahead of time. Then, when a suitable property becomes available, the agent gets in touch and connects them with the landlord. This saves time and leads to reduced vacancy times.