In simpler times, it probably seemed easy enough to manage your own Albuquerque rental property. Today, the laws, regulations, and expectations of tenants have become more complex. Managing a rental home is not as simple as collecting rent and fixing appliances. It requires strategy, experience, and resources.
Making a mistake is easier than you think. These are some of the most dangerous pitfalls that landlords find themselves dealing with while managing their own homes.
Legal Pitfalls for Self-Managing Albuquerque Landlords
The most complicated and expensive errors will be a result of landlords not knowing the laws or understanding how they need to be implemented.
For example, the Fair Housing Act may seem easy enough to understand: don’t discriminate. But discrimination can be unintentional. The language in your listings can accidentally trigger a fair housing complaint. Trying to charge a pet deposit for an emotional support animal can also get you into trouble.
A growing list of state and local laws also need your attention and compliance. New Mexico requires that you declare to the Real Estate Commission that you’re managing properties, even if you’re an independent landlord who happens to be renting out the house you once lived in. There are consequences to violating Real Estate Commission rules that could result in a hefty fine or the loss of your license to rent out a property.
There are trust accounting laws, security deposit laws, and specific laws that protect people with disabilities and active members of the military. If you don’t know them, you can get into trouble.
DIY Property Management Can Lose Money
There’s a misconception that managing your own property will save you money because you won’t have to pay a leasing fee. Actually, you have the potential to earn more when you’re working with professional Albuquerque property managers. Here’s how:
- Lower vacancy rates
- Higher rental values
- Rent consistently collected on time
- Competitive maintenance costs due to volume discounts
- Less risk of eviction and property damage
- Higher tenant retention and faster tenant turnovers
These are just a few of the ways professional property managers can save you money. DIY property management may seem cost effective, but when your property is vacant for weeks and months or you find yourself spending more than you should be on deferred maintenance issues, a reasonable management fee can seem more appealing than the cost of lost opportunities.
DIY Property Management and Tenant Relations
Another major pitfall that self-managing landlords have a hard time avoiding is mismanaging the relationship with your tenants. A lot of landlords will be too friendly, and this will lead tenants to think they can get away with things like late rental payments, unapproved pets, and minor lease violations. If you have trouble enforcing your lease because you want to be “nice,” you’re going to find yourself losing money and respect.
Working with a management company ensures your tenants are well-screened and reliable. You’ll have a professional buffer between you and your tenants and there will be no risk that you’ll become emotionally involved.
These are few of the most common pitfalls we see when owners want to manage their own Albuquerque rental properties. If you’d like some advice on how professional leasing and management services can help, contact us at Blue Door Realty.