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The Big 64-Point List of Landlording Tasks and How to Outsource Them

Mar 29 2017

Let’s talk about the common tasks you might perform as a landlord. This will give you just a sample of the kind of tasks a landlord is responsible for.

64 Tasks Landlords Are Responsible For

  1. Preparing a property to rent
  2. Collecting forms needed for the businesses
  3. Placing ads in the newspaper and/or online
  4. Placing signs in the yard
  5. Determining fair market rent
  6. Determining the security deposit amount
  7. Setting minimum qualification standards
  8. Taking phone calls from prospective tenants
  9. Pre-screening tenants
  10. Scheduling appointments to show properties
  11. Meeting with prospective tenants
  12. Answering questions about the property
  13. Selling the property’s features (yes, landlording is about sales!)
  14. Distributing and accepting applications
  15. Screening tenants
  16. Calling former landlords
  17. Verifying prospective tenants’ income
  18. Running background and credit checks
  19. Approving great tenants
  20. Denying tenants who aren’t great tenant material
  21. Ensuring compliance with Fair Housing Laws
  22. Accepting the deposit to hold
  23. Scheduling a lease signing
  24. Signing the lease and addendums
  25. Inspecting the condition of the rental before a tenant moves into the property
  26. Setting up the payment method for the tenant
  27. Accepting rent and depositing rent into the bank
  28. Making sure utilities were properly transferred
  29. Getting copies of the lease to all parties
  30. Creating a tenant file to house their information
  31. Accepting phone calls from tenants
  32. Dealing with maintenance requests
  33. Settling disputes between tenants
  34. Raising the rent when appropriate
  35. Ensuring tenants comply with their lease
  36. Ensuring tenants keep the property in good condition
  37. Scheduling regular inspections of the property
  38. Finding and maintaining a list of reputable, licensed contractors
  39. Managing contractors to make sure the work gets done
  40. Checking the progress on any repairs and ensuring tasks are completed
  41. Paying contractors and dealing with the legal paperwork
  42. Dealing with late rent and getting the required legal forms served
  43. Evicting bad tenants
  44. Dealing with tenants who may be on drugs
  45. Making sure the property is always operating up to code
  46. Firing tenants, if needed
  47. Accepting notices to vacate and overseeing the transition
  48. Bookkeeping to keep track of income and expenses
  49. Keeping a record of tenant communication
  50. Monitoring and paying the bills that the tenant doesn’t pay
  51. Monitoring the lawn care and landscaping
  52. Balancing the checkbook and accounts each month
  53. Producing monthly reports on the financials of the property
  54. Responding to legal threats against the landlord
  55. Performing a move-out inspection of the property after a tenant vacates
  56. Handling the repairs or repainting after a tenant moves out
  57. Getting the tenant’s security deposit returned or applied toward repairs
  58. Scheduling a carpet cleaner and someone to change the locks
  59. Maintaining property management licensing, if needed
  60. Staying up to date on rental-related local, state, and federal laws
  61. Keeping the tenants happy as much as possible
  62. If managing for other landlords, keeping owners happy as much as possible
  63. Keeping the property running at peak performance
  64. Starting back at the beginning of this list and doing it all over again for each property

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If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.

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