Are you thinking of hiring a property manager? Perhaps you’re exploring property management as a career option, but are not sure exactly what the job entails. A property manager is most often a third party hired by a landlord or property investor to manage the daily operations at a rental property.
What do Property Managers Do?
The responsibilities of a property manager can vary widely, but some tasks are common across property types. In this article, we’ll discuss seven common property management responsibilities, from collecting rent to finding tenants.
1. Rent Responsibilities
Property managers are often responsible for dealing with rent issues. They often set the initial rent level tenants agree to. This requires an understanding of the market where the property is located and the type of clientele they would like to attract.
Property managers also collect the rent. They are responsible for ensuring optimal cash flow by setting a firm date for rent collection and strictly enforcing late penalties.
It is also common for a property manager to adjust the rent. They can decrease the rent if they feel it is necessary, but more often, managers increase the rent by a predetermined percentage each year as dictated by municipal and provincial laws.
2. Attracting Tenants
Any vacancies are expected to be filled by the property manager, and it’s their role to find new tenants who are a good fit for the building. They should be prepared to advertise the space effectively and meet with potential tenants, showing them the features of the apartment.
3. Screening Tenants
Property managers should be screening tenants as they apply for a place in their building. The screening process can differ but often includes running credit checks and checking references and/or proof of employment.
4. Maintenance and Repairs
The property manager is responsible for keeping the property in a safe and habitable condition. This includes maintenance, repairs, and the updating of facilities like laundry and parking.
Property managers must either be able to perform routine maintenance such as landscaping, pest removal, checking for leaks, and trash removal, or hire someone to perform these tasks on a regular basis. Similarly, when repairs or renovations are needed, property managers need to either fix the issues themselves or hire someone to do the work. This means property managers generally have a large network of reliable contractors, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians.
5. Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Laws
Property managers are often the first line of contact in an eviction or dispute, as well as in the general legal functioning of a rental property. In this role, property managers need to know the legal processes for screening a tenant, handling security deposits, terminating leases, eviction, safety compliance, and more. A good property manager will have an in-depth understanding of the landlord-tenant laws and be able to carry out their responsibilities in the way these laws dictate.
6. Managing the Budget and Maintaining Financial Records
As the supervisor of day-to-day activities, property managers are also responsible for maintaining the budget for the building and keeping detailed records. Managers are often given a set budget for the building they need to operate within, and it is up to them to use their discretion to make improvements, order repairs, and keep an emergency fund. The property manager may also be asked to file taxes for the property or help the owner during tax season.
They should also keep thorough records of the functioning of the property. This includes all income and expenses and records of complaints, repairs, leases, maintenance requests, and insurance costs. They should also have complete records for all building inspections and rent collections.