One of the Keys to Effective Property Management
If everyone did what they were supposed to do, there would be no need for my profession. Tenants and Landlords would get along, and watch out for each others interests. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) human nature has not changed much over time, nor is it likely to in the near future.
How does this relate to rental management? Most people need supervision to insure that they are doing what they promised to do. When renters move into a property, they promise that they will pay their rent on time, keep the place clean and in good condition. They promise that they are trustworthy and will never cause the Landlord any problems. (For the record; I have had many residents whom I would trust with my checkbook. Unfortunately, they are not the majority.)
Therefore, you need to be onsite and looking over the shoulder of your tenant. If you hand over the keys to the property and then come back 1 year later (or 2 -3 years), you are likely to be in for a surprise. Your “out of sight out of mind” investment now needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs and cleaning. Your investment just became highly unprofitable and requires an infusion of cash.
We recommend a well documented move in inspection, then an inspection 3 months after move in, and 3 months prior to lease end. (and more often if the need requires). You should be checking for lease violations, air conditioning filter condition, grout in showers, leaks under sinks and overall general TLC.
This does more than correct problems that have developed in your absence. It also sets a high standard of expectation. If a resident knows you are coming, they will make sure that the property is kept up.
This one habit can make the difference between a successful endeavor and a nightmare.