A contract with Keyrenter Layton requires only a one month term length. Why is this important? Before getting into that, start by asking why you would want to hire a property management firm in the first place. Why pay their fees, rather than simply doing the job yourself?

You own a rental property. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a single-family house, a couple of flats, or a large apartment complex; the same management principles apply. The difference between financial success and ruin often hinges on how competently property management is handled.

A great many factors are involved. As just one of many examples, suppose your tenant becomes impossible to work with and you need him to leave. Perhaps he’s disturbing other tenants or is chronically late paying rent.

Are you prepared to navigate the eviction labyrinth on your own? Much of the process is perfectly straightforward, but there are numerous pitfalls. If you make a mistake, your unwanted nonpaying tenant could linger long past the point where he should have been gone. That’s money out of your pocket, not necessary, and where a property management firm familiar with the process, such as Keyrenter Layton, can keep a bad situation from becoming worse.

Given enough trial and error, nothing prevents you from becoming an eviction expert, but is that really the best use of your time? Also, don’t underestimate how unpleasant the process can be. Are you prepared to deal with that?

A huge part of proper management is choosing the right tenants in the first place. Doing that minimizes need for evictions.

The process starts with where and how you advertise. Do potential tenants have enough and the right kind of information before calling you? If they do, then many who are a poor fit for your property won’t even make contact. No one wants to waste time, so why start out on the wrong foot?

There’s no reason you can’t do your own credit and criminal background checks, but unless you’re experienced, it’s easy to overlook things and may take far more time and effort than it should. You’d think it would be easy to verify employment, but what if someone doesn’t have enough income to afford the rent and then gets a friend to pretend to be his boss?

For example, you look up the phone number of a business in a directory, so you know it’s correct. You call it and ask for the person your prospective tenant named as his boss. How would you know what he tells you is worthless?

You can also write your own rental agreements, including long-term leases, by simply downloading boilerplate contracts from a website, but these legal agreements should be tailored for each tenant. If unfamiliar with this, there are numerous situations you may think are covered, but in fact are not.

With proper inspections, many long-term problems can be avoided. Do you know what and how to inspect? Part of this involves looking at things from the perspective of tenants. You may not notice something because you don’t think of it as a problem. Perhaps it’s something that wouldn’t bother you if you were living there, but what if it bothers them? Experienced management anticipates these things and addresses them before they become an issue.

If a repair is urgent, you don’t want to get a late night phone call and have to disrupt your life dealing with it. A property manager can be available around the clock seven days a week. How many property maintenance specialists does your manager have on call? If something isn’t dealt with quickly and effectively, it could be a deal-breaker. Disgruntled tenants are not good for business.

Ironically, having a personal relationship with a tenant can sometimes be a problem. He may focus on trivial issues, something he wouldn’t do with a management firm. You don’t want those calls.

It’s not possible to guarantee all your tenants will follow your rules and pay on time, but with proper management bad tenants can be kept to a minimum.

There are many pitfalls in the rental business, only a few of which are covered here. Avoiding them isn’t magic, but simply a matter of training and experience. At this point, you see the value of having a firm handle your management needs, but suppose you select one and then realize they aren’t as thorough as you’d thought. What do you do?

Most firms require a one year agreement. They tend to have rather hefty cancellation fees, so you can see the problem if you realize you’re dissatisfied with their service. The reason property owners such as yourself hate lengthy term length contracts is it leaves them with the choice of either tolerating substandard service or forking out that cancellation fee.

What if the firm you replace it with also disappoints you? Perhaps, in hindsight, you realize you would have been better off sticking with the original manager, but now you’re saddled with another long term contract.

Unlike many competitors, Keyrenter Layton requires a term length of only one month. You should expect a company with their size, experience, and reputation to manage your property competently, but if not satisfied, you’re not stuck with them.

That’s why short term length contracts are important and why you should insist on them.

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