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Property Management Suggestions?


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Hi,

 

My husband and I plan to move to CR later this year. We currently own a home in Orlando, FL and would like to rent it out while we are in CR. Does anyone have any experience with property management companies? Are they worth their fees? Any suggestions/advice is welcome. Thanks for your time!

 

Jami

Edited by jwray
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Hi. If you can find a good renter and make an agreement with them whereby they will repair any problems that occur in the rental property and simply deduct it from the monthly rent then you will be free from that responsibility. Additionally, you can arrange to pay all the monthly bills electronically with your bank and have the renters deposit the rent into that account. If the renters can easily communicate with you by e-mail or telephone then the process should be simple. If you are not able to make these arrangements with your renters and your bank then you will need a pay a property management company to take responsibility for these details. The percentage that the company receives is negotiable and there are plenty of licensed property managers to choose from. Good luck!

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Hi. If you can find a good renter and make an agreement with them whereby they will repair any problems that occur in the rental property and simply deduct it from the monthly rent then you will be free from that responsibility. Additionally, you can arrange to pay all the monthly bills electronically with your bank and have the renters deposit the rent into that account. If the renters can easily communicate with you by e-mail or telephone then the process should be simple. If you are not able to make these arrangements with your renters and your bank then you will need a pay a property management company to take responsibility for these details. The percentage that the company receives is negotiable and there are plenty of licensed property managers to choose from. Good luck!

 

Thanks for the reply, Tom! Our main concern is trying to find quality renters. We live in Orlando, FL and the housing market is saturated right now. Property management companies do quite a bit of marketing and I've heard houses rent quicker this way. I've never rented my house to anyone before but I've heard lots of nightmares about renters.

 

Do you know anyone that's used a property management company before? I've researched a few companies and their fees and services vary so much it's difficult to decide who to use.

 

Thanks again,

Jami

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Do you know anyone that's used a property management company before? I've researched a few companies and their fees and services vary so much it's difficult to decide who to use.

 

I have used property management companies (plural) before and do not plan to go that route again. Most of the "better" ones in Miami used to charge a yearly fee equivalent to one month's rent.

 

FWIW I am also no longer interested in being a long distance landlord and we are selling our condo in Miami rather than risk problem renters. They are enough trouble when you live next door, and a complete nightmare when you are out of town.

 

However, if you are lucky enough to get good responsible people with references from previous landlords (which you check up on) you just might have a very satisfying experience.

 

Buena Suerte.

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I have used property management companies (plural) before and do not plan to go that route again. Most of the "better" ones in Miami used to charge a yearly fee equivalent to one month's rent.

 

FWIW I am also no longer interested in being a long distance landlord and we are selling our condo in Miami rather than risk problem renters. They are enough trouble when you live next door, and a complete nightmare when you are out of town.

 

However, if you are lucky enough to get good responsible people with references from previous landlords (which you check up on) you just might have a very satisfying experience.

 

Buena Suerte.

Thanks for the advice, MiamiDavid!

 

We don't want to sell our house just yet because we may want/need to come back to it some day. Soooo, the property management company search continues... :unsure:

 

Does anyone else out there have any advice?

 

Thank so much.

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for what its worth, I'd say that you most definitely do not want to have to carry the responsibility yourself, as suggested by TicoTomasino. I don't care how iron-clad your contract is with someone, being an absentee landlord, with no one back there to actually take charge, is not the way to go. I have seen better representation for property management from individual realtors, as opposed to any big company. But, you will still be left with a major loophole if disaster strikes. I mean, unless you are willing to give your power of attorney to your property manager, there could be situations that only you can deal with. And, that is not easy to do when you are in a foreign land.

 

Here's an option for you to consider: When you say that you want to rent out your present home, that suggests to me that you might have it paid for. If that is the case, why not go ahead and sell it now, and put the proceeds into a trust, or some other interest bearing instrument that could be there later should you need to go back and find a new place to live?

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Just my two cents... though I can't help with the property thing...

We don't want to sell our house just yet because we may want/need to come back to it some day.

I think this is brilliant and an excellent idea!

 

I tell people time and again that with 40% of those moving here deciding to leave within one year, I do not believe that anyone should make any plans that cannot be "un-done" with 2-3 phone calls.

 

If these folks decide CR is not for them, they can simply go back home and not look really dumb for selling everything because they were SURE that CR was right for them. Good thinking people!

 

TG

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There is no "great" way to be an absentee landlord. In my experience, management firms will usually not do a good job for you, especially if you only have one house. It's like it's not worth their time and they are expensive. I think the best scenario is to get really good tennants and leave them with a list of approved repair people. Possibly a plumber, electrician, and handyman that you know will do a good job for a reasonable price. Stipulate that they call you if the repair is over say $150 for an authorization to do the work. You don't want to get into a situation where someone tells them the roof needs to be replaced and they are saying they don't owe you rent for the next eight months. Of course it is difficult to tell up front who will be really good tenants. Check their references thoroughly, do a credit report. Have them fill out an extensive rental contract. In my experience if someone isn't willing to give you all the info you ask for or fill out more than one page, there is something wrong. The problem with this is when they decide to vacate the property; you will need to go back to Florida to get it rented again.

 

Again, it's up to you. Renting houses can be a dream or a nightmare and you need to decide if you still want to be involved. I would recommend you go back to they property every six months to make sure it is being taken care of if you get a management firm. I have had out of state properties where I went back after a year or two only to find the management company had let the property fall into a bad state of disrepair. I have also tried to self-manage these properties and have had tenants leave and not even tell me. So, you're trying to get in touch with them for a month and find out the property is vacant. Renting properties is not for the faint at heart.

 

The suggestion to find a real estate agent that is doing this on the side might be a good one. In most markets the real estate business is down right now and I'm sure some of them need some extra income.

 

Good luck to you and I hope it all works out.

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