There are hindrances and difficulties to being an out-of-state landlord, and we work with a lot of people who own real estate here but live out of town. Maybe you’re an unintentional landlord who didn’t invest in a house with the intention of renting out. You could be managing the property for one of your parents who cannot take care of it, and you’re using that money to offset the cost of their care. This is very common. Or, perhaps you have a job transfer and you own a home but you don’t want to sell it yet. If you’re moving out of state but keeping the property, you have some factors to consider.
Leasing Process Challenges
One of the most obvious challenges is leasing out the home when you have a vacant property. When it’s time to rent your property, you’ll need to impose upon a friend or commute back and forth to do showings once a week. I’ve done both and it’s difficult; things don’t always work according to plan. It can often lead to jumping on a prospect too quickly, and not being as careful as you should be.
This doesn’t always happen. One of my best tenants was someone who I chose quickly because I didn’t want to keep driving down to southern California for showings. I should have done more research and been more cautious. It worked out well for me, but it won’t always.
Keeping Up with Local Laws
Being out of area, it’s difficult to keep up with local ordinances. In the Bay area, cities are passing new rent control ordinances or strengthening the ones they have. Union City, San Jose, Mountain View, Richmond, and Santa Cruz have all passed new laws in the last 12 months. They did this quickly and with little fuss.
As a property manager, my full time job is to keep up to date with these laws. I get legal updates every month because it’s part of my job. For our clients, this isn’t a full time job. You have your own work and your own life, and it’s hard to stay up to date, especially when things progress so quickly. If you’re out of state, we recommend you subscribe to a local property owner organization or read a regular newsletter so you can know what’s going on.
Protecting Your Property
Monitoring the status of your property is also hard when you’re out of state. If you’re in Arizona, you can’t do a drive-by every few weeks to make sure six cars aren’t in the driveway and another four on the lawn. We have seen everything crazy; from beds in the living room to major lease violations. It’s important to have a local presence here.
There are some great reasons and benefits to hold your real estate when you move. You just have to be prepared to manage it effectively. We are always happy to help, so contact us at Civitas Property Management.