Find a Property Manager
Being an expat and a landlord can be tricky. Although you might be on the other side of the world, you still are responsible for your tenants and managing the property. A qualified and effective property manager could be your closest ally in this endeavour.
Landlord Insurance for beginners
Working with a property manager in your home country can make your life much easier. The property manager will help you find tenants, check in on your property, coordinate property repairs, billing, contracts and keep you informed of news and events going on with your tenants. Most of all, they’ll give you the peace of mind to live and work comfortably while abroad.
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Property managers typically charge around 10 to 15 percent of what you get for monthly rent to the manager. Also, many larger management companies work for communities that have multiple homes, and won’t take on an individual who is renting out his or home. That limits the pool of potential managers for you to hire.
Here are a few resources that can help you find a property manager:
• The National Association of Residential Property Managers (www.narpm.org)
• All Property Management (www.allpropertymanagement.com)
• Manage My Property (www.managemyproperty.com)
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How to Be Your Own Property Manager
If you really want to maximize your income, you can rent your house or apartment on your own, but there are some things you need to consider, such as repairs. As the landlord, it’s incumbent on you to get repairs done in a timely and effective manner. Find a reliable repair person, and develop a relationship with him or her. If you’re offering steady work, you should be able to negotiate a good rate.
You also should have a family member or close friend serve as a contact person for the tenant when issues arise such as a tenant not paying rent on time, or making noise that results in complaints from a neighbor.
You’ll also need to handle paperwork, such as applications and a rental agreement. Some resources for free agreements:
• The Law Depot (www.lawdepot.com)
• Rocket Lawyer (www.rocketlawyer.com)
• EZ Landlord Forms: (www.EZlandlordforms.com)
Are you planning to evict your tenant?
Knowing what’s going on in the home you own is natural, but checking in isn’t as easy as it may seem. Your apartment or house will be the tenant’s home, and tenants have a right to privacy. In general, a landlord is not allowed to enter a tenant’s home to “check in” on things, and needs cause to do so. Setting up security cameras is out, as that can be considered stalking, and could even lead to criminal charges.
The best bet is to have people you know and trust drive by the home and check for signs. Also, if a repair is needed, the person making the repair can give you an update about the apartment. But be careful here, just because the tenant isn’t caring for the home the way you would doesn’t mean he or she is in violation of the landlord-tenant agreement.
Please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute free property consultation on