When you started thinking about becoming a landlord, how did you picture the job? Although most people imagine incoming rent checks and easygoing tenants, it isn't always easy managing a property. Here are two issues that you might be able to avoid by using a property management company, and how it can make a difference later.

1: Working With Bad Tenants

After investing your hard-earned money into a property, it might break your heart to be faced with destroyed carpet, intentional drywall damage, or the lack of monthly rent checks. Unfortunately, even the most experienced landlord can miss the signs of a bad tenant if they don't do their homework first. If you interview tenants over the phone or decide to give strangers the benefit of the doubt, you might unintentionally rent your place to tenants who might not care for your property, or who have a history of trouble paying their own bills.

Fortunately, you might be able to screen prospective tenants and pass over the bad apples by using a professional property management service. Companies that specialize in property management know what to look for in a tenant, and how to find out information that could affect your landlord-renter relationship. Here are a few things property management companies will check for:

  • Credit History: After collecting general information about the prospective tenant, the property management company might check their credit history to look for prior evictions or collection accounts. If the tenant has a clean credit report and looks financially responsible, they might be more likely to pay their rent on time.
  • Criminal Past: It might be nice to give people with a checkered past a second chance, but if your rental property gets turned into a meth lab, it could be bad for future business. Property management companies can check for prior criminal convictions, so that you can rent to someone who won't cause trouble.
  • References: Although you might ask applicants to offer references, most landlords don't have time to call everyone. However, property management companies have representatives who can carefully track down and talk with each reference, so that you can get a better idea of the person who might rent your property. 

Although it is impossible to tell the future, taking the time to screen potential tenants might give you a little insight into each applicant's past, so that you can avoid trouble down the road. If you end up having problems with a tenant, a property management company can help you to evict the renter according to local laws, so that you can avoid lawsuits.

2: Unhappy Renters

Believe it or not, you aren't the only person who will benefit by working with a property management team. In addition to taking some of the work off of your plate and setting you up for success, property management firms also provide an excellent experience for your tenants. Here are a few reasons that your renters might appreciate your choice:

  • Prompt Answers Day and Night: When an appliance breaks in the middle of the night, it isn't always fun for renters to contact the apartment owner. Also, if landlords manage more than one unit, it can be hard for renters to get quick answers for everyday questions. One of the best things about working with a property management team is that they typically offer support around the clock, so that your tenants can get the information and service they need whenever they need it.
  • Professional Repairs: If you are a handy landlord, you might be more than willing to jump in there and fix that broken dishwasher. Unfortunately, novice repairs don't always hold, and your renter might become frustrated when they are faced with unresolved issues. However, property management companies work with professional contractors and maintenance teams, so that things get fixed correctly the first time around.  

As you ponder the decision to hire a property management team, think carefully about your tenant's experience. A team of experts might be able to handle problems more effectively, so that your tenants stay happy and rent longer.