Monday, December 14, 2009

Tips for Commercial Property Landlords

If you are the owner of a commercial property and have chosen to handle the property management duties yourself, there are a few things that you MUST do--And if you have chosen to hire a professional property management company to handle the tenant and property responsibilities, than the list below is important for you when interviewing potential companies!

1. Screen potential tenants.
Before renting to any business, check credit history, references, and the background of the person or company renting the space. This may seem like a tiresome process, but it will save a ton of frustration later by eliminating those least likely to pay, pay on time, and keep the space in the best condition possible.

2. Get it in writing.
Always put the entirety of the rental agreement in writing -- including when and how you will collect rent, handle tenant complaints and how to report repair problem. Make sure to include what kind of notice you must give to enter a tenant's space, and how the agreement can be terminated--on both sides.

3. Manage security deposits properly.
Develop a system for collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Create an inspection document that states the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in--including pictures if possible, to avoid disputes over security deposits when the tenant moves out. Be very specific, and return the deposit when the unit is vacated properly.

4. Make repairs quickly and professionally.
The fastest way to upset your tenants is to be lazy in the maintenance and repair needs of the property. If the property is not kept in good repair, you'll alienate good tenants, and you could potentially be violating the rental agreement.

5. Keep the property safe.
Take the safety and security of the property seriously. Keep landscaping neat and tidy, install and test regularly the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Make sure doors and windows close properly and lock and that the property and building steps and walkways are clear of debris and kept in good condition.

6. Provide notice before entering.
When possible, notify your tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit. Respect their privacy and their feeling of security by giving as much notice as possible.

7. Disclose environmental hazards.
If your building or the property has a known environmental hazard such as mold, it is your responsibility to disclose the issue. Landlords are increasingly being held liable for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises--so disclose the issue and take the necessary steps to resolve it.

8. Protect yourself with insurance.
Make sure to obtain enough liability and property insurance. Proper insurance will protect you from lawsuits filed by tenants, or visitors for injuries, losses, and other unforeseen problems.

9. Resolve disputes.
As the property manager, it is your job to resolve disputes with your tenants (or amongst them) quickly and professionally--hopefully without lawyers and lawsuits. If you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, noise, or some other issue that isn't one that merits immediate eviction, you should meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. Third party mediation is also an option to consider in some locations.
There are many things that a property manager handles daily--and it is never the same twice!
If you are interested in more information on property management in Charlotte, call Kuester Property Management at 704.973.9019.

1 comment:

  1. I have a small piece of land and getting so many offers of renting it but I am scared to do so. I have so many incidents about the problems that people faces. After reading your post I got so many points that will help to avoid those disputes. Thanks.


Thank you for your comment. We will review it as soon as possible. If you would like to speak with someone at Kuester immediately, please call us at 803.802.0004.