The Challenges of Being a Property Manager/Landlord

Renting out your property can be a great investment. With every great thing about investment properties, it is hard to ignore the difficult things that will accompany it.  With over 30 years in the property management business, I can tell you that no matter how prepared and experienced you are, things will inevitably go wrong.  Here are challenges you will undoubtedly come across:

 

challenges of being a landlord

 

People

This may get a chuckle out of you, but let’s face it, this will probably be your biggest challenge!  Don’t get me wrong, not every tenant is a challenge, but we are people.  There is bound to be some friction!  With tenants, problems can arise in the initial interview process, throughout their tenancy or even beyond.  You are guaranteed to face some conflicts.  As a landlord, you may also have employees and contractors you have to work with on a regular basis.  As a property manager, you answer to a lot of property managers.  The can up the ante substantially because you were entrusted with someone else’s property.  When it’s your own, you only have to answer to yourself.

 

Phone Calls

Once you take on the task of becoming a landlord or property manager, be prepared to always be on call.  If you are managing several properties, you may never get a break.  Phone calls about repairs, calls about interviews and showings, calls about letting contractors into the property, calls about rent, etc.  I’m not going to lie, it’s hard!

 

The Mountain of Paperwork

Landlords and Property Managers can attest to the endless mountain of paperwork the job requires.  We have leases, move-in forms, move-out forms, tax documents, invoices, etc.  The list is never-ending.  When the paperwork gets crazy, many investors opt to hire out a property manager or at least an accountant!  They would rather spend their time finding new properties to invest in then filling out paperwork all the time.

 

Reputation

Your reputation is often super biased towards your most frustrated, most recent tenants.  Unlike restaurants, it’s rare that someone will go online to share with the internet how wonderful their landlord or property manager was.  God forbid you bill them one late fee for not paying their rent promptly and suddenly, you have ten negative reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook from names that don’t even check out.  Or their electricity was not on when they arrived because they didn’t follow instructions on getting the utilities turned on and switched into their name.  I’m not saying property managers are completely blameless, but more often than not tenants’ shortcomings are redefined as, “My landlord is a slumlord!”, “Poor customer service!”, you get the gist.

 

One Word: Payments

Actually, two words: LATE PAYMENTS.  Enough said, right?  No one wants to deal with this!  Collecting late rent is exhausting because it puts you behind, you will have to deal with lies and excuses, occasional crying, and sometimes bounced checks.  If you are a landlord, you may even be late paying your mortgage on the property because your tenant took forever to pay their rent.  This is hard to escape even with the best screening processes. 

 

Repairs and Unexpected Maintenance

Just like everything material in your life, properties deteriorate.  They tend to deteriorate much faster when you have a large turnover of renters or when renters delay telling you about issues.   As property manager or landlord, it is your duty to fix serious repairs immediately.  Calls for repairs don’t respect nights and weekends either.  You may think you collect enough rent to cover irregular repairs once or twice a year, but you really never know what to expect.  The best thing to do is not have high expectations.  That way you won’t be as disappointed when something unexpected pops up.

 

Evictions

Evictions are incredibly hard.  No one wants to uproot a family or even a singleton, but when they are not caring for the property, not paying, etc., property owners suffer too.  Sometimes evictions aren’t black and white and can be incredibly time  and money-consuming.  You can miss out on several month’s rent by starting the process and then having to screen for new tenants.  This doesn’t include the possibility you may have to take your tenant to court.

This article is not intended to be a source of legal advice, but if you want more info on the Colorado Eviction Process, read here. 

 

Damage after Move Out

Tenants are responsible for leaving the property in the same or better condition as when they first moved in.  This is not always the case.  Damage done to the property is another expense and challenge property managers and landlords will have to face.  Often times, tenants think they can skip out on paying damages.  If you’re detailed about the repercussions of this in your lease, you could have some recourse.  This does not mean you are out of the woods, but you may have to take your ex-tenant to court to sue for damages, recoup rent, etc.

Of course no article can truly cover every issue you will face as a landlord, but hopefully you found the article to be informative!  If you have more questions or would like to learn more about how we can make managing your property easier, contact The Property Manager in Durango Office at: 970-259-0222.

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