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Being A Remote Landlord: Can You Successfully Be A Long Distance Landlord?

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Being a remote landlord can be a rewarding experience. We unveil wether or not you can successfully be a long distance landlord.

If you’re contemplating becoming a long distance landlord, it can be challenging. Whether you are relocating, have inherited some property, or are thinking of expanding your investment portfolio, it’s possible to manage a rental property from afar.

Many real estate investors have achieved great success with long distance rental properties. It takes some planning to make it work.

You will have to make adjustments in the way you manage your rental property since you won’t be there in person. There may be a few obstacles here and there but there are several things you can do to make the process easier for you and your tenants. 

Here are some tips for being a successful remote landlord.

Have a Trustworthy Team

It’s critical to work with people you trust, and this is especially true if you are an off-site owner who needs help managing rental property. Since you won’t have day-to-day access to your property, you have to hire people who can.

Take some time to speak with neighbors or business owners near your property. They can contact you if anything seems out of the ordinary or suspicious concerning your property.

Have a list of vendors who can handle maintenance issues as they arise. Have contact information for an electrician, plumber, painter, cleaning crew, etc.

It’s also a good idea to have the name of a local lawyer in case any legal issues pop up with your property.

Consider Hiring a Property Manager

If you are too busy to handle the small details of managing your remote property, you can hire a property manager. The property manager can take care of the day-to-day tasks you are unable to handle.

They can deal with maintenance issues, property showings, and property inspections. You can communicate with the property manager to make sure things are running smoothly with your rental property.

Be sure you hire someone with experience in property management. They should be someone you trust and can communicate with.

Find Trustworthy Tenants

Since you won’t be in close proximity to your property, you need to be able to trust your tenants. If you must rent to someone you don’t know, be sure to check their references.

If possible, rent to referred tenants, friends, or family. This has its downside, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing they will take care of your property.

Keep Up With Maintenance 

The level of maintenance you need for a rental property varies with the type of structure you own. Apartments often have a maintenance crew that handles the walkways, grass, and appliance issues.

Maintenance for a home is more complicated. You will need someone to attend to problems as they arise and handle the yard work on a regular basis.

You can also negotiate with your tenants to do the yard work and basic maintenance themselves.

Communicate With Your Tenants

It’s important to have regular contact with your tenants. As the landlord, you are responsible for communicating with them.

Communicate on a regular basis through email, texts, or phone calls. You want your tenants to feel comfortable speaking to you about possible problems with the property and rent payments.

The last thing you want is your renters to disappear without notice. Regular communication can prevent potential problems from happening.

Prioritize Inspections

When you live far away from your property, you may find it hard to know if tenants are taking care of your property. If they know you won’t be around to check, some tenants may try to bend the rules.

You will want to conduct regular inspections to check on the condition of your property. If your tenants know there will be inspections, they are more likely to follow the terms of the lease agreement.

Have a Lease Agreement 

A legal lease agreement protects you and your property. It establishes terms between you and your tenants. 

With a lease agreement in place, your tenant knows the rules and understands what they can expect from you. Without a legal agreement, you could put yourself in legal jeopardy.

Set Up Automated Payments 

Collecting rent from tenants in another town or state can be tricky. As a long distance landlord, you don’t want to deal with receiving checks or cash in the mail.

Instead, set up automated payments. It simplifies collecting rent, and you’re less likely to deal with late payments.

If automated payment isn’t possible, other options include payment by email or wire transfer. For a short term lease, you can collect post-dated checks that you cash each month.

Know the Local Laws

As a long-distance landlord, you should understand the local laws and regulations regarding housing providers in the area where their rental property is located. 

Housing laws vary from state to state, so it’s in your best interest to understand these laws and regulations. 

Be Flexible

Being a long distance landlord has its challenges. You aren’t there in person, and that can be stressful when things go wrong. 

You have to understand that situations will come up from time to time that will need your attention. If you have a plan in place to deal with maintenance issues and repairs, it will be less stressful for you and your tenants.

If you feel like you can’t handle the arrangement, you may want to try hiring a property manager to take some of the burdens off of you. Of course, you can always sell the property if you need to.

Becoming a Remote Landlord

Managing a property and dealing with tenants from a distance is possible. You need a legal lease agreement, good tenants, and a plan for regular maintenance and inspection.

You may be wondering if being a remote landlord is right for you. You should know that, for many, it’s a great way to make additional income. With some planning, technology, and a dedicated team on your side, you can become a successful long-distance landlord.

If you are in Seattle or the surrounding area and need a property manager, we’d love to talk to you. Contact us today.