Smart investors know that working with a professional property management company will save money and increase earnings. Leveraging the experience, resources, and tools that come with a property manager can lead to a better investment experience, and a more profitable one.
Many landlords and property owners prefer to manage on their own, however. If you have the time, the knowledge, and a property that needs minimal maintenance, self-management can be a great way to have a hands-on rental experience.
There are certain situations where professional management becomes urgent, however. If you’re stuck trying to evict a tenant, for example, things can get complicated. If you’re moving out of state, you will have a hard time taking care of your investment property from afar.
There are many excellent reasons to hire a professional San Diego property management company. Today, we want to focus on five signs that it’s time to hire a property manager. You don’t want to waste time and money trying to work through a situation that can easily be managed by a professional.
1. You Need Help with California Rental Laws
Tenants have always had a lot of protections in California. Then, we passed The Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which went into effect in 2020, and there was a long-term moratorium on evictions, which outlasted even the federal ban.
California’s legal landscape is tricky to navigate. If you find yourself needing to evict a tenant or dealing with a security deposit dispute or accidentally treating a service animal like a pet, you could find yourself in a situation where it’s easy to make a mistake. Unfortunately, that mistake will be costly.
When you’re leasing and managing a rental property, you need to understand:
California’s fair housing laws, which are stricter than the federal fair housing laws. If you make a fair housing mistake and a tenant files a claim, you could pay up to $16,000 for a first offense.
Rent control and whether your property is subject to restrictions on how much you can raise the rent every year. Even if you’re exempt, you need to have specific language in your lease.
Just cause eviction laws. There has to be a good reason to evict your tenant, otherwise you might have to pay a relocation fee.
Section 8 rules. Tenants who receive housing vouchers can use those vouchers as income when applying for your home.
Service animals and companion animals. They are not pets, and you have to allow them. You cannot charge a pet fee or pet rent.
Don’t try to navigate the legal waters without the help of a professional property manager. If you’re facing a claim or threatened with a lawsuit, reach out for help as soon as you can.
2. You’re Spending Too Much Time and Money on Maintenance
Maintenance is costly, and it doesn’t just cost you money – it also costs you time.
If you’re constantly having to run over to your property to oversee a repair or to evaluate a maintenance request from your tenant, it might be time to turn this process over to professionals.
A good property manager will have preventative maintenance plans in place, which cuts down on emergencies and surprise repairs. We also have relationships with licensed and professional vendors and contractors, giving you the peace of mind that repairs will be made correctly and affordably. We often get volume discounts from vendors and contractors because of the amount of work we provide them. It’s hard to access those lower prices when you’re an independent landlord.
When you’re spending too much time and money on maintenance, you’re not having a great investment experience. It’s a good time to talk to a property manager.
3. Late Rents and Lease Violations
You should expect on-time rental payments, and if you’re having trouble enforcing your rent collection policy (or if you don’t have a rent collection policy), it’s time to hire a property manager. When tenants fall behind on payments or stop paying entirely, there’s going to be a lot of stress. You might find it hard to remain professional. You’ll want to confront the tenant and demand payment. Or, you’ll be tempted to kick them out of the property immediately.
There’s a legal process that must be followed when your tenants aren’t paying rent. You cannot show up and demand payment. You cannot change the locks or cut off the utilities. A professional manager can offer on-time rental payments and an understanding of the eviction process if that ever becomes necessary.
Enforcing your lease is an important part of protecting your rental property. If tenants are not following the rules set forth in your lease agreement, you have the right to evict them from the property. Professional property managers can help. Through routine inspections and good tenant communication, we can ensure your residents are meeting the obligations laid out in the lease agreement.
4. You Want to Move from Landlord to Investor
Renting out one or two properties may seem completely manageable.
But, if you’re renting out an entire portfolio of rental properties, you need to have those assets managed professionally. The more units you own and the more tenants you serve, the more you’re going to need support. A professional management company with a full staff and a lot of experienced managers, administrators, bookkeepers, and leasing agents will make your life a lot easier. When it’s time to grow your portfolio, talk to a property management company.
5. You’re Managing from Out of State
Trying to schedule a plumber from a different time zone isn’t fun, so a lack of proximity is also an excellent reason to hire a professional. If you live out of state or even out of the country, it’s going to be extra difficult to monitor maintenance and anything else comes along. You will have residents, neighbors, and vendors who may need your attention, and if you’re more than half an hour away, you’re going to have a hard time being responsive. You’ll want to work with a local professional who is close to the property and able to protect its condition.
Making the decision to work with a property manager in San Diego can be difficult. We’d be happy to talk through your options and discuss the benefits you may enjoy by partnering with a professional. For more information, please contact us at North County Property Group.