There are a number of things you need to consider before you do any kind of property management on your own. Half of the work is making sure you have the right forms and paperwork that are legal and required. The other half of the work is making sure your property is up to code and compliant with the Oregon Landlord and Tenant laws.
If you are managing your own property and you’re using your own documents, make sure you have an attorney review them. When you use a management company, you’re getting access to professionals who are licensed and up to date on all the current laws, rules and regulations. That’s a huge benefit. For example, one of the biggest changes to the law right now involves Section 8. A lot of people are not aware of this, but landlords are now required to review and accept Section 8 tenants and those with housing vouchers. This went into effect recently, on July 1.
Another big thing to remember when you’re managing your own property is the importance of screening and background checks. A professional property management company will typically do everything that’s necessary when it comes to reviewing an application. They will check for evictions, call past landlords and gather as much information as possible about how that applicant pays rent and takes care of properties.
When you have to evict a tenant, you’ll need to file the proper 72 hour form, making sure to extend it for the correct number of days when mailing it. A property manager typically uses a professional eviction company so that a neutral third party with expertise in forms and court procedures can handle it. It’s critical to make sure everything is correct during an eviction.
One of the best reasons to work with a property management company is their knowledge of the market. At Jim McNeeley Real Estate and Property Management, we manage 1,100 homes. That gives us a lot of comparables in our portfolio. We can go back and look at neighborhoods and areas we’re familiar with, and we can educate our property owners about what their homes will rent for.
Professional property managers also take inspections very seriously. We give the tenants proper notice and then we go and check the place out, to make sure the tenants are keeping it up. If you’re doing your own inspections, we again advise you to have an attorney look at your inspection reports so you are sure you’re capturing all the legally necessary information.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are also important and legally required. If you are managing your own property, make sure they are installed properly and located in the correct places.
Finally, a professional property manager will know when it’s a good idea to raise the rent and how much of an increase you should propose at the lease renewal. Management companies do this all the time, and they know what the average rents are in your area.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to taking care of a rental property. If you’re not sure whether to do it yourself or hire a professional, contact us at Jim McNeeley Real Estate and Property Management, and we’ll talk you through your options.