Many people find themselves needing to temporarily relocate for work — whether it’s for a short term assignment, government relocation, or military deployment. During this time, it’s common to rent out your primary residence to cover the costs of homeownership while you’re away. If you’ve never rented a property before, this process can seem overwhelming and stressful, especially since it’s your home and you want to keep your property safe during your absence. We’ve outlined the key factors in successfully managing your property during your temporary work transfer.
Outsourcing Your Property Management to a Trusted Representative
Being a long-distance landlord has many challenges, especially since you may be unreachable or in a different time zone than your property. One of the non-negotiables for managing your property during your absence is to have a trusted local representative. Delegating the management of your property to someone who can be on-site is key to help stay abreast of what’s happening and proactively manage your property. Selecting the right property manager is the best way to protect your property and keep it running smoothly while you are away.
When choosing a property management company, it’s important to do your research. Make sure to consider things like years of experience, services offered, where the company is located and whether they have positive reviews. Vetting your property management company ahead of time will ensure you choose one that is the right fit.
Understanding What is Required of You as a Landlord
When becoming a landlord, there are many regulatory and legal requirements that apply. It’s important to do your due diligence and research the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), as well as any local regulations and leasing requirements before renting out your property. You need to make sure you’re in compliance with all applicable guidelines to avoid costly legal implications later down the road.
The property itself must comply with local bylaws. You’ll need to know if your property needs to be altered in any way to ensure it is a legal rental unit before it’s eligible to be listed. Your property manager can help you with this process to ensure your property meets the requirements. You also need to have an understanding of the tax implications of renting out your property. You should consult with a licensed accountant to go over all applicable tax implications. When working with a property manager, you get the benefit of tapping into their network of professionals to help expedite this process.
Marketing Your Property to Appeal to Qualified Tenants
Once your property is ready to be listed, you’ll need to market it to appeal to your ideal tenant. When you think about someone living in your home, who do you visualize that person to be? Identifying your ideal tenant will help you market your property in a way that appeals specifically to their interests and wants. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re marketing your property on the right channels to help you get the right eyes on your listing.
The marketing process requires you to have an understanding of the local rental market so you can compare how your property measures up to comparable listings in the area. The marketing process is one of the most crucial steps in renting your property and can determine how quickly, and successfully, you find qualified tenants. This is a step of the rental process where you’ll want to lean heavily on the support of your property manager. Their intimate knowledge of the local real estate market is a huge asset when setting a price, crafting a listing, and marketing your property. Their know-how will help your listing stand out from the crowd and appeal to the right potential tenants.
Managing Your Tenants
Once you’ve found the right tenants to rent your property to, it’s your responsibility as the landlord to provide them with a reliable contact during their tenancy. You’ll need to establish clear channels of communication to stay informed about what is happening at the property, and they need to have a dedicated contact that they can reach out to in case any issues arise. You’ll also want to choose an efficient rent collection method to stay on top of collecting rent payments to ensure there are no gaps in your rental income.
Maintaining a positive tenant relationship should always be the goal, but you’ll also want to have a conflict management plan. What will you do if there are issues with tenants? As a long distance landlord, the best way to proactively manage your tenant relationship is to rely on your property manager. Having a local property manager means that your tenants have someone nearby should any issues arise at the property. Your property manager will stay on top of all finances and follow up with your tenants in case a payment was missed. Their experience in tenant management will also come in handy in case conflict resolution becomes necessary.
Maintaining Your Property
One of the most important tasks as a landlord is to properly maintain your property, both to provide a comfortable and safe space for your tenants, and to preserve the value of your home during your absence. One of the best ways to do this is through regular property inspections and creating maintenance checklists. Regularly checking in on your property can help you identify costly issues before they happen and also keep your property in the best possible condition.
When remotely renting your property, it’s absolutely essential that these tasks don’t get overlooked. It’s easy for your property’s condition to deteriorate if neglected, which is why you should have your property manager stay on top of these tasks while you are away. Another consideration is what to do in the event of emergency maintenance or significant property damage. If an emergency situation does arise, having a dedicated property manager who can respond quickly and efficiently can help mitigate the extent of the damage. As a long-distance landlord, having an emergency plan can help give you peace of mind.
Leave Your Home in Good Hands with DORE Property Management
Choosing to rent out your home during your temporary work transfer is a great way to offset expenses. By properly preparing beforehand, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that your home is left in good hands. DORE has over 20 years of experience helping homeowners rent their properties. Our team of experienced property managers are here to help you make the process painless and stress-free! Get a quote on our property management services to learn more.