Across the US, property rental is at an all-time high. In Memphis, the industry is booming with 56% of Memphis residents renting their property. So how can you get in on this lucrative boom?
One way is to buy an investment home, but that does not come without responsibility. Read on as we give our essential must-know tips for property management in Memphis.
1. Get Certified
Managing a property is not just about buying Memphis rental properties and getting tenants. As a landlord, you have a duty to keep your tenants safe. Failing to do so can land you in legal trouble and see you face heavy fines.
Check by getting all of the safety checks done on utilities. These include gas, water, and electricity. A simple maintenance check from the relevant tradesmen should be able to provide you with the certificates you need.
Most of these fall under the City of Memphis Rental Ordinance. One stipulation within it is that landlords are expected to maintain minimum energy efficiency standards. If repairs are not done to facilitate this, you can be taken to Memphis and Shelby County Environmental Court.
2. Stay Business Focused
Many Memphis investment properties are extremely beautiful and it is easy to form attachments to them. However, it is essential that you always remain business-minded and do not let personal views cloud your judgment.
This starts from the day you begin the search. Don’t look at properties you would be interested in living in. Instead, think about the market, trends, and what renters would be more likely to gravitate towards.
Even when it comes to renovating and decorating, don’t kit the property out to your own tastes. Stay neutral to attract customers. This will help keep up the occupancy rates, cutting down periods where you don’t get an income.
Finally, make a long-term plan for your property. Know your finances and get a marketing plan in place should your current tenants decide to leave. Make sure you have a schedule for property maintenance and management, just as you would run any business.
3. Know the State Rent Obligations
The state of Tennessee has a number of rules when it comes to paying and collecting rent. Even with the best tenant screening, disputes can occur. It may be a case where you want to raise the rental fee or evict a tenant who has not paid.
In these circumstances, you need to follow the rules and procedures to the letter. Specific rules are given on everything from late fees, to how long you can wait before handing eviction notices.
One of the biggest bugbears when renting out a property is the deposit. The state rules are that a deposit must be returned within 30 days of the tenant vacating the property. You can facilitate this by sending a written security deposit inventory checklist to prevent disputes.
4. Have a Watertight Rental Agreement
The rental agreement contains the essential business information about your tenant renter relationship. Any omissions or grey areas could result in problems and legal action later. Therefore, it is important to get this right at the start.
Crucial parts to include are the length of the agreement, what happens when extended, and the rental amount. Any other stipulations, such as the inclusion of pets and subletting can also be included. You may want to have an inventory checklist here as well to avoid disputes when the tenant moves out.
One place where problems occur is when landlords use the agreements to shirk their legal responsibilities. They may include clauses that attempt to release them from providing habitable accommodation. These do not hold up under legal scrutiny as they are outlined by the state.
Avoid this by having an experienced lawyer draft the agreement for you. Make sure they know the state rental laws well.
5. Comply With Discrimination Laws
Tennessee has strict discrimination laws you must adhere to when renting out a property. They impact everything from how you advertise the property to the questions you ask when screening. While you are free to reject applications based on certain criteria, doing so with others may result in discrimination complaints and lawsuits.
6. Get Assistance
Maintaining rental properties in Memphis requires a lot of time and effort, particularly if you are running it alongside another job. It is often easier to manage when you own more properties as you are able to concentrate on it full time. When struggling to balance work and family commitments with your job as a landlord, don’t be afraid to get assistance.
Hiring property management companies may dip into your profit, but it pays back dividends in the time you will recoup. A good management company will handle everything for you. This leaves you free to collect the money and spend your time on other ventures.
Property management companies will go through the lengthy process of finding tenants. They will market the property, screen them, collect rent and handle any queries. As they have a constant stream of renters on hand, this can reduce occupancy rates between changeovers.
All lease and bond documentation will also be handled for you. You don’t need to fork out for a lawyer to do this. Regular statements will also be provided for your accounts.
Property Management in Memphis
Now you know these property management in Memphis tips you have two options. Create a plan to implement these changes and tips yourself. The alternative is to get an excellent company to do it for you.
Reedy and Company should be your first stop. We can fulfill all your property management needs, providing peace of mind for your investment. Contact us here to discuss your wishes and let us start managing your property today.