With companies like AirBNB and HomeAway, a lot of people are taking a small step towards being a full-time home renter. What many small-timers don’t know is the amount of responsibility that goes into renting an entire property for years at a time.
Being a renter creates a relationship between you and the tenant that must be carefully balanced. You want to be stern enough so your rent is paid on time and your tenant respects your property, but you don’t want to be overbearing or unresponsive for fear of the tenant not re-signing the next year.
Managing a property by yourself can be fun, if you have extra time on your hands. Don’t know how to fix air conditioning? Well, you might learn. Water heaters, washing machines, sheetrock and painting are just some of the handy-man skills you’ll gain from managing your own property.
Another more convenient way to manage properties includes hiring a management company to deal with all aspects of communication with the tenant. These management services will collect rent, send out repairmen and deal with tenant liability. Usually these firms will just take out a portion of each month’s rent for their services. If you plan on owning multiple properties across a few cites, taking the management service route may be your best bet.