Residential Property Management in Austin, Texas.

There is a long list of reasons (which will be covered in additional posts) showing that Austin remains a terrific place to own residential investment property. If you own or are buying rental homes in Austin you have a choice to manage the property on your own or to hire a professional to do it for you. There are quite a few possible considerations in making that decision. This post covers a few of those considerations.

1. Do you have the appropriate knowledge of the laws governing property management? Each state has the equivalent of a state property code that governs the responsibilities of landlords and tenants. A landlord is responsible to understand and properly apply these laws to managing the rental property. The list of issues is almost endless! Application and screening requirements, tenant deposits, maintenance and repairs, eviction laws…and many more!

2. Do you have the aptitude and skills for the business? In addition to knowing the laws a manager has to have the aptitude to deal effectively with tenants and maintenance vendors. An example is dealing with late or no rent from tenants. Eventually every landlord or property manager has a tenant who does not pay the rent. Sometimes a tenant has a personal issue such as job loss that affects the ability to pay. To run the investment efficiently the landlord needs to have the aptitude to show sympathy to such a situation while still taking the concrete, definite legal steps necessary to protect the investment. Ask yourself, if it came to it; are you willing to evict a family for non-payment because it is necessary to protect your investment? Are you able to separate the personal from the business relationship?

3. Here are some other considerations; do you have the time for management, are you a hands-on person, do you have a stable of trusted vendors (plumbers, HVAC, cleaners, painters, general maintenance) you can depend on to do good work at fair prices, are you out-of-town, do you have an effective accounting system in place?

Residential Property Management can be a challenging and complex task. As a landlord you must decide if you will manage yourself or turn to a professional. Perhaps self-management will work for you. If not, then your next step is to understand what to look for when you hire a property manger.