Landlord Blog

Education and news for smart DIY landlords!

Finding and Hiring a Property Manager for Your Rental Unit

At some point, you may decide that you no longer want to be a do-it-yourself landlord and you would like to hire a property manager instead.

A property manager is a professional that you hire to run your property for you regardless of the type of property you own. The tasks and responsibilities of a property manager can vary depending on your agreement, but common ones include finding and screening tenant applicants, collecting rent, dealing with maintenance and repair issues, evicting tenants, and keeping your records. 

You want to make sure that you find the right person to handle your property while you are not around. 

On this topic, several questions arise:

1. What are the best practices to follow when evaluating a potential property manager?

2. How do you check a property manager's license and reviews/complaints about him/her?

3. What are other questions to ask a prospective property manager?

4. What are the things that need to be present in a property management agreement?

Let's talk about the first of these 4 questions. What are the best practices to follow when evaluating a potential property manager?

The best practices for evaluating a property manager are the following:

  •  Make sure to get the full name and contact information of the person or company you are going to employ.
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered against fraud by a property manager. For example, you are in a situation in which a property manager suddenly disappears with 3 months' worth of rent. You need to ask if your insurance company covers such situation. 
  • Beware of scams. If a property manager does not want to meet with you in person or view your property, consider this a red flag. A good property manager should want to see the property to make sure that it is in the right condition. 
  • Ask the property manager for an accounting of your funds. Consider filing a complaint with the Bureau of Real Estate as there may be issues that warrant an audit.
  • Get several proposals from at least 3 different companies to have something to compare.
  • Be on the alert if the property manager does not send copies of invoices to show proof that expenses were incurred and paid.
  • Consider that you may be able to file a claim with the Bureau of Real Estate against a property manager who defrauds you if the property manager is licensed by the Bureau of Real Estate.
  • Read the property management agreement carefully; there may be clauses that may not be agreeable to you.
  • Get a copy of the signed property management agreement and lease agreement.
  • Review all of the accountings that you receive from the property manager and don't be afraid to ask questions and investigate anything that seems odd.

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled During the Tenancy - Hiring Help - Hiring Vendors, Managers, & Attorneys.

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay knowledgeable and confident as a landlord.