5 Common Complaints About Out Of State Rental Property Investing
Dealing with an out-of-state rental property can be difficult. It’s always a little harder when you’re not there, but it’s not impossible to make your out-of-state rental property work for you; and especially if you take advantage of modern digital solutions. Here are five common complaints about out-of-state rental property investment and some ways to deal with them.
Complaint #1: The Tenant Hasn’t Paid Rent!
Don’t let the grass grow under your feet on this one, because the longer you go without pursuing your rights, the more tenuous your position becomes.
Send Out a Notice
Send your tenant a quick notice reminding them the rent is past due, listing all the fees, including late fees if applicable, and giving a clear but not overly threatening warning that you’ll have to take legal action if they don’t pay. Keep a copy for your records.
Don’t Accept a Partial Payment
Don’t complicate the situation by accepting a partial rent payment.
Don’t Let It Happen in the First Place
Try using a great app like Landlord Studio to keep track of rental payments and notify you of any late payments as soon as they become late. If you and your tenants all use RentTrack, they can’t ever claim they couldn’t get to an office or to the bank before closing hours.
Complaint #2: Property Management Fees Are Too High
What do you do when the fees grow too quickly, or you aren’t sure what the fees are covering?
Demand Itemization in Writing
If your fees keep going up, demand an itemized bill for every single charge. Make sure you keep copies of your requests so that if you need to take legal action, you can.
Get a New Property Manager
You need a good reason to break contract, but you should be able to hire a new property manager if you’ve kept clear records of correspondence and problems.
Consider a Mobile Solution
Use an app like Landlordy to coordinate with your property manager. Everything you both do can be seen by the other, making it simple to keep tabs on fees. In some situations, property management software like this can replace a property manager altogether.
Complaint #3: I Can’t Check on My Property Easily
What do you do when you just can’t get free to visit your rental property?
Watch Your Finances
You may not be able to look at the property itself, but you can certainly keep an eye on your investment. Always be looking at your expenses relative to your revenue stream so you can spot a potential problem early on.
Keep Track of Everything Online
Use a smart personal assistant app like 24me to keep track of your property. Even if you can’t get there in person, your personal assistant can send out emails to tenants asking for updates or remind you to call property managers or other parties regularly.
Complaint #4: I Can’t Work On the Property Myself
Your tenant is saying there’s a major leak, and they want a fix now. What do you do if you can’t go fix it yourself?
This simple app allows you to check up on anything, including your rental property. You pay anywhere from $50 to $100 for a thorough report, including pictures, and have the assurance that you’re getting real-time, third-party confirmation about whatever is going on.
Sign up with TaskRabbit, and you can get someone to do almost anything for you, from cleaning to moving, yardwork, online research, repairs of your property, or almost anything else you can imagine or your property might need.
Complaint #5: What’s This New Government Fee?
When you’re not living in a community, you can sometimes be blindsided by new fees and taxes.
Contact the Relevant Authorities Fast
As soon as you notice a new, unexpected fee, contact the municipal or state authorities, and find out what’s going on. If you didn’t know about the fee, you might also not know about possible options for getting a waiver or deferment.
Keep Track of Your Fees
Use a software solution like Quicken Rental Property Manager to track all your expenses, so you know instantly if something changes. You can also integrate this with your other accounting numbers to keep track of ROI and even your personal finances.