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5 Things Every Landlord Needs to Know about Property Management

Steven Foster - Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Our topic today is what every landlord should know in managing their own property. We are talking about the five most important things you need to consider.

Laws and Compliance

You have to be aware of current laws and codes pertaining to rental housing and the landlord tenant relationship. This means knowing all the federal, state and local laws. You also need to keep up with the changes in those laws. Make sure you’re using an up to date lease that is current with all laws.

Insurance Coverage

Having the correct property insurance is critical. When you’re renting out property, you’ll need fire and extended coverage as well as liability insurance. If you have a homeowners insurance policy on the property, that’s not sufficient.

Tax Information

Landlords need to understand the IRS requirements. There are specific reporting requirements for the income and expenses that come with your rental property.

Tenants Screening

When you have a tenant apply to live in your property, it’s important to use professional screening. You’ll want to have criteria in place, and you will need to check an applicant’s credit, income and employment. You will also want to do a full criminal background check which includes the sexual predator list and the national terrorist watch list. Always check with current and previous landlords to find out what sort of tenant your applicant has been previously.

Maintenance

Determine how you plan to handle maintenance issues at your rental property. Landlords need a plan for how repairs will be taken care of, and who will be responsible for preventative maintenance as well as emergencies. If you hire an independent contractor, make sure it’s someone who is licensed and insured, with workman’s compensation insurance.

Bear these things in mind when you are managing your own property, and if you’d like to consider professional management, please contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

What Questions to Ask a San Antonio Property Management Company

Steven Foster - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Today we’re talking about the questions you should ask when you are hiring a property management company.

Experience and Background

Start with some questions about a property management company’s experience. You want to know how long they have been in business and how many properties they manage. Find out about their business structure and ask how many employees they have and what the responsibilities are for each person. Good property managers will be members of professional organizations and hold designations. Ask about those.

Maintenance

It’s important to find out whether a property management company has its own maintenance department, or if they run a separate maintenance company. Some property managers might use independent contractors instead. Always ask about the maintenance and repair process so you’ll have an idea about how tenants go about reporting maintenance needs.

Communication

Ask about the technology a property manager uses. Find out if they have a website with owner access. You’ll want to know when and how you can expect to be paid. A property management company should explain the type of management agreement in place and how long it lasts.

Leasing and Screening

Another important question to ask is about leases. At Boardwalk, we use a lease from the Texas Association of Realtors, and you’ll want to be sure your property manager is using a strong lease.

Ask about the process of screening tenants, and find out what fees are required.

These are just some of the questions we recommend you ask a property management company you are thinking about hiring. If you’d like us to answer any of these questions, we’d be happy to. Contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management.

Why Professional Property Management is Better than Self Management

Steven Foster - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Many rental property owners wonder if they are better off managing their own properties instead of hiring a property manager. Today, we are talking about why it’s better to have your property professionally managed instead of self managing.

Peace of Mind

One of the things a professional property manager can provide for owners is peace of mind. This is important, especially if you don’t have the time and the knowledge to give your rental property the attention it needs. We take care of all the day to day activities.

Objective Management

Property owners who manage their own rentals have a hard time keeping a professional distance from the property and the tenants. We are able to manage all the leasing, tenant screening, rent collection and repairs that are needed on the property. We try to be objective rather than subjective in our work, which is helpful to you as the owner. A professional property manager is in the middle between you and your tenant, which means all decisions are made with your best interests in mind.

Legal Knowledge

It is absolutely essential for anyone managing rental property to be up to date on the current laws and regulations. We take this seriously and place a strong emphasis on being current with today’s property codes and laws affecting tenancy and landlords. Every two years, the Texas legislature meets, and laws are changed. We stay current in order to protect your investment. It helps us to keep your property up to code. Compliance also extends to you and your tenants. We make sure all parties abide by management agreements and lease.

A professional property manager can help you get more out of your property and your investment. If you have any questions, or you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management.

How to Prepare Your San Antonio, Texas Home for the Rental Market

Steven Foster - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today we are talking about what we need to do to get a house ready for the rental market. When property owners talk to me about this topic, I tell them that it’s very similar to getting a home ready for the sales market. Finding a renter is quite similar to finding a buyer and you want your house to present well. Here are a few of the things we recommend.

Clean and Empty

Make sure the house is clean before you put it on the rental market. It should also be empty; you don’t want any personal items left behind that belong to you or a prior tenant. Check the doors, drawers and cabinets so you know everything has been cleaned out. Have the house freshly painted or touched up. You also want to have the air conditioning and heating systems serviced because one of the things we require is that tenants change filters every month.

Texas Property Code Requirements

Texas property code requires that locks be changed on your rental property between every occupant. That means you’ll need to have your locksmith come to your property and change the locks. We have vendors who can do these things for you if you’re not sure who to call. The property code also requires that smoke detectors be serviced and that there’s one in every bedroom on your property. So, you’ll want to check the smoke detectors and make sure they work before you rent out the home.

Exterior Details

Prospective tenants are not going to want to see any flaking paint on the outside of your house. Trim your trees, and if there are any branches that come within two feet of the roof, you’ll want to look for damage from wind and trees. Take care of mowing your lawn and trim or cut back any weeds, bushes or flower beds. We recommend these things because first impressions are critical.

If you have any questions about getting your house ready for the rental market, please contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management and we’d be happy to help you.

Why Work with Boardwalk Real Property Management: San Antonio Property Management

Steven Foster - Saturday, January 24, 2015

The topic on our blog today is why you should consider working with us when you need high quality property management in the San Antonio area.

Experience

I have been a licensed real estate agent in Texas since 1976, and I became a broker in 1978. I formed Boardwalk Real Property Management in 1986, with the purpose of working strictly on property management. I’m also a registered architect. I graduated from Iowa State University and Texas A&M University with a degree in architecture and became a licensed architect in 1976. I have found that this educational and professional background is very valuable when it comes to working in the property management field.

National Associations

We are affiliated with several national organizations, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the National Apartment Association (NAA) and most importantly, the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). We are proud to say we’re the first company in San Antonio to be designated and Certified as a Residential property Management Company (CRMC) by NARPM. To that point, three of our staff members are master property managers, which is also a certification awarded by NARPM. This gives us a lot of experience and educational knowledge.

All of our staff members are licensed real estate agents in Texas. We are members of the San Antonio Board of Realtors, known as SABOR, and I have been on the property management committee there for over 25 years. In 2000 and 2014, I was named Property Management Specialist of the year, and I’ve chaired that committee for two years. I am also honored to serve as the 2014 national president of NARPM.

Technology

Our website is easy to navigate. It was designed to be usable with smart phones and we are always working hard to stay on top of the latest technology. Owners can access statements and invoices on our website and tenants can also pay rent there. We have an emergency maintenance call center that’s staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week by people, not by a recording. If a tenant has a problem, he or she will talk to a live person and get it rectified.

Vendor Selection

Finally, a good reason to work with us is that all our vendors are licensed and insured. We work with professionals who provide a high quality of work for a fair price. We have also always believed that owning a management company as well as a maintenance company is a conflict of interest. These are only a few of the reasons you should consider working with us. If you’d like to hear more about our company and the services we provide, please contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management.


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Contact Us

Boardwalk Real Property Management, Inc., CRMC®
2141 NW Military HWY
San Antonio, TX 78213
Phone: 210-340-1717
Fax: 210-342-4198

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