Property managers regularly deal with many interesting issues, but sometimes things can get a little too strange. Some of these odd events might look like utter anomalies, but many are surprisingly common.
Here’s a list of five unexpected yet common issues that property investors have to manage.
- Getting disorganized and frustrated
Being a property investor is a full-time job, no matter how many properties are involved. It’s easy to get frustrated and disorganized when you’re trying to manage your affairs.
It might feel like staying on top of the situation will be relatively easy when you have the right tools, but you’ll find there’s so much involved in managing properties that even the best tools can’t overcome the complexities. Fortunately, a property manager can do it for you.
Staying on top of all the necessary tasks is one of the main reasons that investors hire a property management company to handle their affairs. An example is Green Residential, which helps real estate investors in Houston to manage all their landlord and administrative duties, from rent collection, maintenance, repairs and inspections, to evictions and home sales.
For investors who prefer to have a life outside of real estate, managing tenants and properties can be a huge inconvenience. Hiring a property manager is the best way to avoid the frustration of having to be responsible for far too many duties.
- Renting to a hoarder
You might presume that ending up with a hoarder for a tenant would be a rare occurrence, but it’s actually a fairly common problem. Most landlords don’t learn about this until it’s too late.
Hoarding is considered a mental disability, which means that tenants with this particular condition may have even more rights under disability-related laws. Since it is treated as a protected disability under the law, renting to a hoarder can be extremely challenging for landlords.
Landowners are required to accommodate hoarders by giving them extra time to remedy a lease violation, such as collecting trash in the yard. This accommodation must be provided even if the tenant doesn’t specifically ask for it.
- Severe, yet hidden property damage
It’s unfortunate that severe but hidden property damage is common, but this is also true. One of the most common ways tenants “get back” at a landlord is by committing damage, but some tenants do this in a very specific and annoying way: They put dead fish in the walls.
Yes, it sounds awful, but it’s true. Some tenants seal up dead fish in the wall before they move out so the carcasses will have rotted by the time a new tenant moves in. And there’s no way to know this has happened until the premises begin to stink.
- A distaste for paying agents’ fees
At some point, some real estate investors may grow tired of paying agents’ fees when they buy or sell property. The fees can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the value of the home.
That’s a lot of money to have to give up when you’re buying and selling in order to turn a profit. One way investors work around this is to get a real estate license and act as their own agent.
Many go on to become successful real estate agent themselves: working with sellers and buyers to close other people’s deals and earn even further commissions.
The more money investors can save, the more profitable they’ll become. Since it’s not terribly costly to obtain a real estate license, it makes sense that many property investors would decide to become an agent mainly to represent themselves during a transaction.
- Being swindled by a professional tenant
Professional tenants are a landlord’s worst nightmare. These are people who move in, pay the first month’s rent, and then find ways to stay in the unit for a long period of time without paying another penny.
Sometimes these people make their landlord evict them and then refuse to leave until ordered by the court, but sometimes they set up their landlord with a trap that gives them the legal advantage. Though some get caught and end up paying for their crimes, many professional tenants have actually won the right to remain in their unit.
It’s not always easy to spot a professional tenant. They often dress well, drive a nice car, and can be extremely well-spoken. It’s just one of the risks people accept when they choose to be a landlord.
Real estate investment is sometimes unpredictable
Although some issues and challenges can be predicted, there will always be unknowns in real estate investments. Nobody knows whether or when they’ll encounter a professional tenant or a hoarder, and you can’t tell by looking at someone whether they’re going to cause serious damage.
However, the profitability of real estate investment makes it worth the risk, and that’s why investors are willing to risk experiencing these unexpected, yet common situations.