Owning a rental property is one thing, but managing it is an entirely different affair. It requires a lot of hard work and is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. This is especially apparent as the business grows and involves multiple rental properties. Let’s look at some of the most pressing challenges that landlords and apartment managers face.
1. Filling Vacant Units
Finding good tenants is a delicate balancing act. You have to balance the need to attract good tenants that will pay on time and not cause problems against the need to attract them at the right price. If you price your rental units too low, you might attract poor quality tenants (who will probably be late with payments and may even damage the property). If you price it too high, you might lose out on a lot of potential renters.
As such, it would make sense to lease one unit first so that you can create a marketing package (such as a website, a brochure, and a few ads). Then you can use that information to attract more tenants to the second unit and so on. This also means that you will be able to rent out vacant units more quickly, and you can begin recouping some of your expenses.
2. Maintaining a Rental Property
The maintenance of a rental property is a big challenge for most real estate investors. There’s day-to-day maintenance – yard work, painting, scrubbing floors, replacing light bulbs, answering tenant requests, etc. Then there’s the major maintenance, such as major appliances, roof repair, new windows, etc.
For example, you can repair a leaky faucet before it gets worse, repaint doors and walls before they start peeling off, and fix broken tiles before they start chipping. The latter is focused on maintaining the property after it has been built. Things like repainting, installing new fixtures and everything else that can improve a home’s value are done during periodic maintenance.
3. Handling Tenant Complaints
Tenants can be a headache – and they can also be your best marketing tool. After all, what better advertising is there than word-of-mouth? While you should certainly try to maintain a polite and cordial relationship with your tenants, you must also ensure that their complaints are handled professionally.
Each time a tenant calls you with a maintenance request, it’s an opportunity to show them what a good landlord you are. You need to be punctual, efficient and detail-oriented. If the tenant calls you up, they’re probably expecting you to arrive at the property in the next half an hour. So you must be ready.
4. Dealing with Fair Housing Laws
The Fair Housing Act was established to protect both landlords and tenants from discrimination. The Act does not prohibit discrimination based on race, colour, national origin, disability or familial status. Given the inevitable diversity of your tenants, you need to be careful not to make prejudiced decisions with regard to your tenants.
But it is not as simple as just avoiding discrimination. You also have to meet each tenant’s request for reasonable accommodation, subject to certain limitations.
For example, a disability might require the landlord to install a ramp or a special railing, or an applicant may need a pet to help with their emotional support. Fair Housing Laws require you to extend reasonable accommodations to your tenants, subject to certain limitations.
5. Collecting Rent
Collecting rent does not have to be a complicated affair. You can easily use a variety of effective marketing tools to let your tenants know that it is time to pay up.
You can have a direct debit option, which is especially convenient for tenants who live paycheck-to-paycheck. You can also use direct mail services that let you print rent notices and send them out automatically. The final option is old-fashioned personal visits to tenants or sending a trusted employee to collect rent directly.
Becoming a landlord is an important step in anybody’s life. As a landlord, you will be responsible for the day-to-day running of your property and handling the more complex problems. Find someone who has been in the business for a few years and has taken the time to learn the ins and outs so they can advise you on how you can overcome these challenges.
Being your own landlord and managing your rental properties is a gargantuan task and isn’t for everybody. That’s why seeking help from NYC Apartment Management is the best solution for an investor like you. We offer you a comprehensive service package tailored to your needs and requirements. You won’t find any other apartment management companies in NYC that do things as we do. Contact us today to get started!