WHY DO I NEED A PROPERTY MANAGER ANYWAY?
With the upsurge in second home purchases, many people find themselves in a quandary if they should hire a property manager or rent the property out themselves or leave it vacant.
This also greatly depends on whether you plan to do a long-term rental (over a month in duration)or a vacation rental (VRBO or AirB&B).
Long term rentals, absolutely yes, one certainly could handle that themselves. Here are some things to be aware of.
Do you know whom you are dealing with?
Are you able to do the proper screening?
Are their credit and references in order?
Have you run a background check?
Do you have legitimate proof of income.
With the COVID laws now, it may be hard, if not impossible, to get people out of your property (check with your attorney).
Do you have the proper rental agreement, and do you know the Idaho landlord Tenant Codes?
Knowing that if there are issues (and there will be), you will be the one they call. When they can't afford their rent, you will be the one they call. When they do not want to pay a late fee, you will be the one they call.
If all the above answers are yes, go for it!
Vacation Rentals are another animal.
How are you advertising/marketing?
What does your contract include (or more critical, miss)?
Do you require a permit?
Are you paying the proper taxes?
Do you have proper insurance and (renters damage insurance and cancellation insurances)?
How do you prevent parties and potential damage to the property and perhaps upset neighbors who wish to enjoy their quiet lifestyles?
What happens on cancellations, double bookings, repairs, maintenance, cleaning (the worst), and calls 24-7 (in the middle of the night when guest usually show up in Sandpoint if flying in).
Are you ready for the "we are out of toilet paper call" at 10:00 at night?
How about the freeloading friends who expect to stay at your property because "it is free"?
How about a third party answering those questions handling those issues for you?
I have actually had renters call and ask for cooking oil!
I have had renters stay for two weeks, get home, and cancel their credit card payments—nice free vacation.
We have always have advised our clients, "if you are giving you property away for free, write yourself a check, and burn it" Its' NOT free. You lost the potential of that rental, not to mention the other things that come with free vacations.
Leave it vacant?
Really not a good idea with the winters we experience here in Idaho.
With the happenstance of frozen pipes, other damages by trees, whether and or critters, your property probably should have a walkthrough done weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Do you need your driveway plowed during the winter? That also depends on your use /proper care of the property.
We have probably seen it all. Reminds me of the Farmers Insurance Company TV ads with all the cars that have been damaged in their showroom.
Before you decide to take this on, consult a "professional" property management company near you. Get the pros and cons and make an informed decision especially critical if you are a long-distance owner.