Is Hiring a Property Manager Really Necessary When Renting Out Your Home?

owner manager
Photo Credit: Alba Soler Photography via Compfight cc

This question is asked all the time by prospective investors and homeowners who are thinking of renting their home.  Afterall, payment to a property manager is an expense that cuts into the margin of the home owner.  The truth is that there are times when you can manage the property on your own without a professional…but the real question is WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO?

Even if you live close to the property you are going to rent out, and this isn’t your first rodeo, You must have several resources at your disposal – Time, Energy, and contacts.  The only time that it makes sense to do it yourself is if you have the time to field phone calls at random hours of the day and night, the energy to commit to tenant requests for repairs and issue resolution, and have a list of trusted contractors on speed dial to help you with specialty skills. When things are good, of course managing the property on your own is easy. Tenants who pay on time, and rarely ask for things to be fixed (or if there is something needed, they fix it themselves) are great.

Unfortunately that is not always reality.  Statistics show that over 15% of Tenants are late paying rent each month and that over the course of a one year lease, Tenants are late at least twice 35% of the time. Throw in that evictions occur at least 10% of the time and you might want to get familiar with the inner workings of the local court system.

Repairs can be an even a bigger hassle. Do you have the Tenant who nitpicks everything expecting the house to be like a brand new car just rolled out of the assembly line?  Are you ok with weekend and after-hours calls about everything from repairs, to “chit-chat” about all the things that are wrong with the home but the Tenant “is ok with for now.”

Landlord-Tenant law…do you know it? How often are you going to do inspections?

For 8-10% of the monthly rent, you don’t have to deal with all these potential headaches. For peace of mind why would you do it any other way? If you have just one major issue – is all your time lost worth less than $100 per month?

You be the judge.  Why else would you or would you not manage your own property?  Let us know in the comment section below!