One of the reasons you hire a Tampa property manager is because you recognize the skill, experience, and resources that a professional can bring to your investment property. The most successful investors we work with are willing to step back from the management details and allow us to make the decisions about how best to lease, manage, and maintain their rental properties.
When owners become personally involved in their tenants or their properties, mistakes get made. Those mistakes are usually expensive and sometimes they come with legal consequences.
These are some of the most frustrating mistakes that owners can unintentionally make by inserting themselves into the leasing process, tenant relationships, and repairs.
Marketing and Tenant Screening Mistakes
We have had owners ask us to market their rental properties to single professionals instead of families. They’ve wanted us to ask how many children an applicant has. These things violate fair housing laws.
You might have an idea of which photos best represent your rental home, and maybe you want to be the one who picks the tenant that rents your property.
These are mistakes. We have an effective and consistent process in place for marketing, screening, and leasing. We intend to follow it every time, and if you’re a landlord who does things a little bit differently with each applicant – you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
You’re undoubtedly excited about renting out your property. Let your property manager handle the process so it goes more efficiently. The less involved you are as the landlord, the quicker you’ll be earning consistent rental income.
Establishing a Relationship with Tenants
Your Tampa property manager should be the only person talking to your tenants. There’s no reason to establish a direct connection with the people renting your property. It opens you up to risk, liability, and bad business decisions.
Here’s an example.
We had an owner who was determined to do his own repairs. He went over to fix the shower pan at his Hyde Park rental property, and while he was there, his tenants managed to negotiate the elimination of late fees. Obviously, those tenants had no incentive to continue paying rent on time from that point forward.
In another case, we were dealing with a contested eviction. The property owner had to fly into Tampa and attend the court hearing because he had apparently promised some repairs to the tenant without talking to us about it. Those repairs obviously weren’t made, and the eviction was delayed by more than a month. It created extra expenses for the landlord, who should not have been making these promises to the tenant.
You don’t want your tenants to know who you are. Let your property managers provide a buffer.
Rental Value Adjustments
When we recommend coming down a bit in rent, most owners understand that this is based on our local market knowledge and our desire to limit an expensive vacancy. Some landlords, however, make the mistake of refusing to reduce the amount they’re asking in rent.
Our job is to listen to the market. We have the most detailed and accurate data that reflects what homes are renting for in each Tampa neighborhood. The market doesn’t care how much you think your property is worth. It doesn’t care what you mortgage payment is. Do not become overly attached to a rental value. It will cost you in the long run.
Home Warranties Lead to Problems
Another mistake is buying a home warranty. This may be an excellent value for the home you’re living in yourself. But when it comes to rental properties, home warranties will only lead to delayed repairs and even major maintenance mistakes. Your tenant retention will be at risk because your residents will quickly grow frustrated at how slowly repairs are addressed. Home warranties are not tenant-friendly. They also don’t allow us to use our own trusted and preferred network of vendors and contractors. These are best avoided.
Performing Your Own Maintenance
Perhaps you love DIY projects around the house. That’s great, and you should continue doing them at your own home. When it comes to your rental property, it’s a mistake to do your own maintenance, especially if the property is occupied.
Doing the work yourself is always going to take longer than you anticipated. You cannot complete a turnover in a weekend, and if you allow the property to be left unoccupied while you complete repairs, you’re losing money.
We had a situation several years ago where a tenant left behind a lot of junk when they moved out. The owner wanted to send his relatives over to haul everything out. It took five months to prepare the property for a new tenant, when it would have taken one of our contractors two or three weeks. That’s a lot of lost rental income.
These mistakes can be easily avoided. Trust your Tampa property managers to make the best decisions for your rental property. It’s why you hired us.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Hoffman Realty.