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How to Be a Long-Distance Landlord

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There are many reasons that can lead you to become a long-distance landlord. You could, for instance, relocate for work and decide to rent your old home instead of putting it up for sale. You may also have come across a great out-of-state property and found it too good to pass up.

Regardless of the circumstances, being a long-distance landlord a possibility today, even though it comes with a unique set of challenges. In today’s blog, we at Florida Property Management and Sales will share with you 6 tips on how to be a successful long-distance landlord.

Find the Right Tenants

No landlord wants to rent to a difficult tenant that won’t pay rent or care for the rented premises. Your marketing goal should be to rent to desirable tenants that will make sure your property is cared for. Unfortunately, things tend to become a challenge when managing your rental property remotely.

As a remote landlord, you may not be able to do a quick drive-by inspection to assess your rental property. So, this leaves tons of room for things to go wrong. So, you’ll want to be careful with your tenant selection process. Your screening process should be meticulous to ensure you rent to top-notch tenants that will give you peace of mind.

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Among other things, make sure to conduct proper credit and background checks, verify the prospect’s monthly income, and call their references. While this process will certainly cost you time and money, it’ll ensure you have peace of mind and an optimized ROI in the long term.

Communicate Clearly

Once you have found a good tenant, the next thing is to ensure your lines of communication are open. Since you won’t be available in person, you will want to build a great relationship with your tenants.

You’ll want them to report issues as quickly as they come across them. Whether it’s a leaking faucet or a missing shingle, or anything in between, it’ll be in your best interest to stay informed.

You want your tenant to have your updated contact info, including your best email and phone number. Next, you’ll want to encourage tenants to contact you as soon as they encounter an issue.

In addition, have someone check in on your tenants at least once every month. This will give you a chance to know how they are faring and whether they need any issues to be addressed. This may also incentive the tenant to take good care of your property.

Inspect Your Property Frequently

Don’t pass up any opportunity to visit your rental property, even if it’s just once a year. You can use that visit to check on the condition of your property and ensure your tenants are satisfied living there.

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Without regular in-person inspections, the only thing you’ll have to rely on is your tenant’s word. But with such a valuable investment, that isn’t a risk that you can afford to take.

But rental property visits can be fully tax-deductible. What this means is that you may be able to subtract all the costs you incur while visiting your rental property. Examples of these costs include hotel stays, mileage, plane tickets, and meals.

Analyze the Competition

As a remote landlord, it’ll be straightforward for you to disconnect from the local market and this can prove to be a costly mistake. You’ll want to keep up with the community you rent to by understanding all the factors that can impact the local rental market. That can include researching economic changes, government policy, and demographic changes.

Such factors can have an impact on the rental rates, for instance. They could rise or decline and that would certainly have an impact on your rental property. If the rates rise and you don’t make the adjustment, you’d cause your rental property to underperform. In contrast, if they decline, your rental property could suddenly be out-of-step with the competition.

Connect with Local Experts

Local landlords can quickly handle repair or maintenance issues on their own when they come up. But this isn’t possible for a remote landlord and you may need to research local help.

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As such, make connections with local experts that you can access when necessary. When a tenant contacts you for a repair, for instance, it’ll be easy for you to handle the issue by getting in touch with a reliable contractor or vendor.

Hire a Property Management Company

This can be the best thing to do when you are a long-distance landlord. A good property manager can help you oversee all operations of your rental property. From the marketing process to screening tenants, responding to maintenance issues, and filing tax returns during the tax season.

In addition, a good property manager will also help you optimize your rental rate by maximizing your income and minimizing your expenses.

Bottom Line

Being a long-distance landlord is no easy task. Luckily, with these tips, you should be able to manage your rental property reliably even while you’re thousands of miles away.

Should you find being a remote landlord daunting, Florida Property Management & Sales is here to help. We’re a trusted property management company in Broward County. Having managed hundreds of properties since 1979, no other property management company in South Florida beats us in terms of extensive experience. Get in touch to learn more!