Being a homeowner is already a weighty responsibility; owning and maintaining a second home while working with a tenant is another challenge entirely. While our property managers here at Intracoastal Long-term Rentals are adept at solving problems and acting as a general liaison between you and your tenants, some issues are inevitable. We’ve put together the most common of these and included tips for staving off the headaches of homeownership.
No tenant is perfect, and not everyone will abide by the rules. Whether your tenant chooses to let someone else stay for an extended period without adding him or her to the lease or drills a hole into the wall without your permission, it’s important to let your property manager know right away what the trouble is. Then, with that extra hand to help smooth things over, you can also address the heart of the matter with the tenant and come to a solution for all involved. The most effective preventative measure in this case is to be very clear on your stipulations before you even make your home available to tenants, and then again when you have an interested party.
This is an all-consuming nightmare for homeowners who leave furniture or other décor in their second homes before renting them out to someone else. It might not be your favorite armchair or a priceless painting, but you’d still rather not have to replace it before its time. Depending on the severity of the damage, you and your property manager will need to assess the best course of action in response. But prior to any tenant moving into your house, make sure you and your property manager not only have a list of guidelines concerning your property, but also documented notes or photographs of anything you consider valuable or not easily replaced. This will aid in your assessment should the worst occur.
Every so often, there will be an issue that causes a tenant to break his or her lease. The only preventative step you can take is to work with your property manager to not only set parameters for the type of tenant you want to work with, but also to take a look at the candidates as they come to you after putting the house up for rent. By staying involved in the process, you can be sure that not only are you matching your needs with the ideal tenant, but that the two of you are on the same page every step of the way.
When someone doesn’t stay on top of all utility bills, it’s more than just a nuisance for you and your property manager. Depending on the utility, the lack of payment and subsequent suspension of services could result in major damages to your home. In these cases, it helps to have a contingency plan in place. You can work with your property manager and keep in touch with your tenant to be sure that important utility bills are being paid in full and on time, and assess what will need to be done in the future should the need arise.
There’s no way around it – some tenants may be hard to keep track of or check in with over the duration of their residence in your house. Screening your tenants will help you weed out those that might not be very communicative, but in the end, it’s up to them to let your property manager know when there’s an issue at your home that needs to be addressed. The best way to manage a tenant who’s hard to reach? Make sure both you and your liaison have made yourselves available, and take down preferred forms of contact before the ink dries on the rental contracts.
There are plenty of risks involved in owning and renting out your second home, but plenty of rewards, too! Don’t let the what-ifs keep you from taking the next step in your homeownership; contact Intracoastal Long-term Rentals to learn more about your options and how our property managers make things easier for you in the process.