Managing rental properties can be a successful investment strategy for many.  It can also be a lot of work.  Avoiding some of the worst property management mistakes can help prevent a major financial disaster.  See below for some of the most common mistakes in property management.

  1. Allowing health hazards to go unacknowledgedApart from being common sense, the Arizona Residential Landloard and Tenant Act requires that the landlord maintain the property “in good and safe working order.”  And more than just maintaining good morals, ignoring tenant’s health and safety concerns can be a major liability for landlords and property owners.
  2. Bad (or no) tenant background checksAfter a home has been vacant for a period of time, it can be tempting for a landlord or owner to jump at the first potential tenant regardless of rental history. Making this mistake can be more costly in the long-run than saving a couple weeks worth of rent. Ensure your property manager is running background checks on all potential tenants and keeps to their minimum standards.
  3. Avoiding the telephone./Lack of communication. Communication is usually the key to good tenant relations. And while email, text, and other tech-savvy ways of communicating are great, sometimes the good ol’ fashion telephone gets neglected. Regardless of the method, keeping an open line of communication can resolve many issues before they become costly.
  4. Lack of records. While this basic business strategy may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised! Maintaining clear and current records saves lots of headaches and time.  And we all know…time is money!
  5. Deferring or ignoring maintenanceTelling an owner they have to spend money is not usually a property manager’s favorite job. However IT IS THEIR JOB! Ignoring necessary maintenance can cost property owners much more money in the long-run. Promptly notifying owners of maintenance items is imperative as a property management company.
  6. Creating or condoning fraudulent acts. Again…a surprising, common, and surprisingly common practice in property management is fraud. From mishandling monies to preforming fictitious maintenance items, honest property management is a valuable business.
  7. Ignoring renewals. Maintaining stability is key to having rental properties. Staying on top of lease renewals to protect that stable income is highly important.
  8. Avoiding routine inspections. You’re not there to ensure that your investment is being properly looked after. That’s why you hire a property manager. Routine interior and exterior inspections ensure that your tenants are looking after your property and protect your peace of mind.
  9. Not acting promptly on unpaid rentsDid you know that accepting even $1 of rent in a given month forfeits your ability to evict for that month? Most likely your tenant knows that too. When a tenant pays nothing or a small portion of the rent, it can be a multi-step and several week-long process to evict.  Acting quickly is key. After all…time is money – especially in property management.
  10. Mishandling security deposits. Both owners and landlords are responsible for ensuring tenants’ security deposits are handled correctly. Keeping security deposit separate and accounted for are part of a property manager’s job.  Not following the laws could cost you twice as much as the original deposit.