So, you want to self-manage your rental property?
While this may seem like a good idea at first, you will slowly realize that rental property management in Jacksonville is best left to the professionals. There are several mistakes you can make as a landlord who self manages their properties.
Unfortunately, making these mistakes can cost you a great deal of money and could even result in you needing to sell your property. Below are some of the most common and detrimental mistakes landlords in Jacksonville make while self-managing their rental property.
1. Working with the Wrong Vendors
When it’s time to make a major repair in your rental property, such as fixing a broken pipe or replacing an HVAC unit, you’ll have to call in a professional. However, working with the wrong professionals can rack up a pretty hefty bill.
It’s easy to do a quick search online for plumbers, electricians, and handymen near you. That doesn’t mean you’ll always find the most reliable services, though. As a landlord, it’s essential to have the most reliable and professional services in your network.
Sure, you can ask your friends for recommendations and read reviews, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a great experience. Unfortunately, some seedy servicers will overcharge you and provide low-quality work.
2. Repairing the Property Themselves
Some landlords may believe they can handle making repairs to their rental property themselves. This isn’t a problem if it’s a simple repair like changing a smoke detector or fixing a leaky faucet. Personally making repairs isn’t sustainable, though.
Typically, landlords who choose to self-manage their rental property consider real estate as their side hustle. This means they have other things to focus on like a full-time job, family, friends, and other projects. If you are continually making repairs to your properties, it takes away the idea of achieving passive income.
Not only does making your own repairs waste time, but it can also be dangerous. You may know how to make some minor repairs, but that doesn’t mean you can take on every repair. Some things are best left to the professionals.
When you self-manage your rental property, especially making your own repairs, you waste your time and money. From traveling to and from the property and getting parts for the repair to actually fixing the issue, you could waste an entire day! Not to mention the chance of making mistakes and buying the wrong part or learning how to fix it.
3. Finding the Wrong Tenants
Self-managing your rental property means finding your own tenants. This task in itself could be a full-time job.
To start, you must market your property to collect tenant leads. This includes taking decent photos, writing a property description, and posting advertisements on available resources like Craigslist or Facebook. Then you have to start corresponding with interested tenants and schedule showings.
Once you’ve finally found someone interested in leasing your property, it’s time to start the paperwork. Some landlords who self-manage their rental property don’t realize how important it is to screen potential tenants. Instead, they immediately send them the lease to sign and collect a deposit.
Why is it so important to screen tenants?
Screening potential tenants will inform you of any credit issues, prior evictions, and more. This information can prevent you from leasing to the wrong tenants and saving yourself one heck of a headache.
Leasing your rental property to the wrong tenants could result in chasing them for rental payments, damage to your property, and possibly even eviction. Not only are these issues costly but time-consuming as well.
4. Being Unaware of the Law
Working in real estate is more than just touring properties and finding profitable investments. It’s also being aware of local, state, and federal real estate laws, especially when conducting business.
Landlords who self-manage their rental property may not even be aware of crucial real estate laws. This can cause plenty of legal troubles, even if it was an honest mistake.
Writing and Enforcing a Lease
A concise and enforceable lease between a landlord and tenant is essential. A landlord who self manages their rental property must find a valid lease for the state where the property is located. Otherwise, the terms may not be legally binding.
When choosing or editing a legal document, you must be careful about phrasing. You must be extremely clear in your language. It isn’t recommended that landlords without a legal background write their own lease.
Violating Fair Housing Laws
The real estate industry is heavily protected from discrimination, thanks to the Fair Housing Act. While these laws are pretty straightforward, you could violate them if you aren’t aware of them.
When searching for tenants and screening potential tenants, it’s essential to abide by these laws. A violation of the Fair Housing Act could cost you thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees.
If you decide to self-manage your rental property, take the time to educate yourself about these laws before advertising it.
Conducting an Eviction
The eviction process can be a long and messy legal battle between a landlord and a tenant. When self-managing your rental property, you may not have the best resources available. This means you have to learn about the eviction process in your area and hire a professional.
Evicting tenants isn’t an easy process and sometimes doesn’t always end with the tenant leaving. This can cause you to stress, waste time, and spend money on professional services.
5. Limiting Property Investment to One Area
Landlords who self-manage their rental property aren’t getting the most out of their investment. When you choose to self-manage, you must purchase a rental property in the area where you live. This is so you can maintain the property and help your tenants when needed.
What if there were better, more profitable deals in a city three hours away?
Since you choose to self-manage your rental property, you could be missing out on great investment opportunities all over the country.
Luckily, professional property management companies in Jacksonville can help you manage your rental properties without having to live in the area. 66.8% of landlords who work with property management companies do so because of the distance.
Need Your Property Leased or Managed?
Cool Realty LLC is here to help landlords in Jacksonville, Florida manage and lease their rental properties. With experienced professionals and services, landlords get the most out of their investment and have peace of mind.
Contact us today for more information and stop self-managing your rental property.