5 Questions to Answer Before Managing your Own Rental Property
Do I have time to be a good Utah landlord?
Being a good landlord is at least a part time job, and in some cases, full time employment with unpaid overtime. A good exercise is to grab a sheet of paper and write down all your current responsibilities as well as their time commitment. Make sure you include major items such as work, family and parental responsibilities, exercise, general errands and extracurricular activities. The amount left over is your free time. How much of that are you willing to give up to manage your rental property? If it’s not at least a few hours a week per unit, you will probably struggle to keep up with the demands of your rental.
Do I Know How to Effectively Manage Property in Utah?
There is so much more to property management than just collecting a rent check. A good landlord must wear many hats including: bill collector, maintenance technician, financial accountant, marketing expert, leasing agent, property inspector, and Utah eviction attorney. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in those areas and decide if you have the skills necessary to excel in Utah property management.
How Much Do I Know About Utah Landlord/Tenant Law?
Utah landlord/tenant law is the backbone of good property management and you must be well versed in its language to avoid expensive lawsuits. Landlords must be extremely careful to avoid breaking Fair Housing laws ($10,000 federal fine), infringing on local zoning ordinances or violating the rights of your tenants. Many landlords have learned the hard way just how serious local authorities are about enforcing Utah landlord/tenant laws.
Do I Have Access to the Tools Necessary to Manage Rental Property?
Much like a singer without a microphone, a Utah landlord cannot do his job effectively without a variety of professional resources. Tenant background and credit screening services, trusted accounting software, ACH payment providers and professional networks of licensed and insured Utah vendors are all items used regularly by Utah property managers. Make sure you have access to these powerful resources before you attempt to manage your own rental or you will soon find the cost of placing the wrong tenant will far exceed what you saved in management fees.
How Well Do I Handle Conflict?
Being a landlord means you must sometimes “be the bad guy” by enforcing the rules and this can be stressful. What will you do when your tenant continually pays late? What about when they throw multiple loud parties that force your neighbors to call the police? How will you react when they intentionally damage your property? How will you handle an angry or violent tenant who refuses to leave? These types of issues are common in property management and addressing them is certainly not a job for everyone. Make sure you are comfortable handling situations like these before attempting to manage your own Utah rental property.