If you have an income property in the nation’s capital, you know that keeping your investment running smoothly requires a lot of time and effort.
Whether you manage your property completely on your own or have a maintenance person you hire when necessary, being both a landlord and a property manager isn’t something everyone wants to do.
When managing your income property becomes too overwhelming or is something you never had much interest doing yourself in the first place, hiring a property management company in DC makes sense. For many income property owners, hiring a property manager is typically well worth the cost and peace of mind.
But what’s the process like for hiring a property management company? Here’s your guide as a DC property owner to getting started with the right property manager.
Choosing the Right Company
First, you’ll have to choose the right company for your particular needs. A good first step is locating a few local companies and contacting them to find out what services they offer as well as their fees.
You may be looking for a full-service property management firm so your involvement will be minimal. However, you may also want a company that will handle a few essential tasks for you, such as finding tenants and collecting rent, while you handle the rest.
No matter what services you require, remember, a local company is typically a better fit as they’re familiar with the local regulations for rental properties in DC as well as the current market.
Preparing the Property to Rent
Once you find the right fit for your property management needs in DC, the company will typically schedule a time to come out and inspect your property.
The purpose for this visit will be to check the condition of the unit, potentially take photos, and make a list of everything that needs to be done in preparation to rent. These tasks could include repairs, maintenance, paperwork, landscaping, staging, and more.
You’ll also receive a written agreement from your property management company about next steps as well as what to expect from them throughout the process. This is a great opportunity to ensure this is the relationship you want moving forward and to ask any questions.
After preparing the property to rent, your property management firm will take photos and market the unit appropriately to attract tenants.
Finding and Screening Tenants
Your property management company will process applications from potential tenants, and do everything necessary to screen applicants and ensure they’d be a good fit, including:
- Follow up with previous landlords and references
- Conduct a credit check
- Verify employment
- Run a background check
A property management agency will also be familiar with fair housing laws and ensure you’re in compliance with federal law when renting to tenants.
Once they find the right occupant, the firm will schedule a time and date to sign the lease as well as a move-in date. Should anything else need to be done to the unit beforehand, they’ll complete work before the tenants move in.
Managing the Unit
Now that your tenants are settled in, your property management firm should take care of most, if not all, of the daily maintenance tasks for your unit.
They should collect rent, perform regular maintenance and inspections, as well as any repairs, keep track of expenses, and provide you with updates and reports.
The day-to-day maintenance of the unit is what’s going to keep your tenants happy and, if all goes well, help them stay as long as possible. The managing of your unit is where your DC property management company will really shine!
Are You Working With a Property Management Company?
Have you tried working with a professional property management company in DC? Whether you’ve recently acquired an income property and need assistance or are considering switching to a new agency, contact us at FAS Management today at (202) 337-5080 to discover more about our solutions. We’ve been serving DC property owners since 1946!