Updated March 22, 2021
You may be extremely well versed in managing a property in your own state. But what if you decide to move to a new state? Or to manage a property via long-distance?
It’s important to consider this advice before you decide to manage property in another state.
Do Your Research
We’re not saying you don’t know your business. You may have been managing properties in your state for many years and completely know the ins and outs of this process. But when you decide to manage a property in a new state, it’s like starting all over again. The property management laws from one state to another can vary greatly, and it is important that you are as comfortable with these laws as you were with the ones of your previous state. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you do all the research when it comes to managing properties in a brand new state.
Look at the state's landlord/tenant laws to see if there are rent controls in place that will regulate rent amounts. While most states claim to be neutral in their court systems, some are definitely more tenant-friendly. By following the landlord laws, you shouldn't worry but you'll be aware of how detailed you need to document the tenant/landlord relationship, all rent payments, and any issues that might arise.
Find Someone You Can Go to for Help
Even if you do all your homework and feel confident that you will be able to manage your new property in your new state efficiently, it’s a good idea to have someone you can go to who knows the area well and will be able to help you with any questions you may have as they come up. Knowing you have this safety net will come in handy later on, as you will inevitably run up against some issue you may not have thought of when you were mapping out the management scheme for your new property.
You can promote a tenant to an on-site property manager role or hire a local contractor or real estate agent to help you keep an eye on the property. They can also be your go-to for any emergency communication or maintenance and repair issues that need to be handled. Another good place to look for help is the local real estate investing group or REIA. An REIA is usually comprised of landlords and property managers who stay on top of their local markets. You could find one who may want to add you to their management work.
Ask for Help Finding Reliable Service Providers
Your go-to person, who we can assume will be living or will have lived in the state in question, should also be able to help you find reliable service providers in the area such as plumbers and electricians. You will feel much better going into your management of this new property—and in this new state—if you know the service providers you have chosen come recommended by someone else.
Use an Online Service for Rent Collection
This is especially necessary if you are managing the property long-distance. You won’t want your renters to say they were unable to get ahold of you when rent was due. In addition, these programs are actually extremely easy to use and can be modified based on the laws of the state in which the residents are living. Do your research to find one that fits your business model and the number of units from which you'll be processing payments.
This article was written by the Rentometer Content Team. The Rentometer Blog features fresh takes and insights on rental housing topics, services, and technology.