4 Tips to Maintain Your Properties While On Vacation

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Traditional jobs usually provide employees with a vacation after they earn a certain number of hours over a period of time. However, that’s not the case when you’re a landlord. When you run your own business managing rental properties, you have to be available 24/7 to take care of issues that arise with your buildings and tenants. That usually means landlords don’t take vacations.

It’s understandable if you’ve been avoiding going on holiday because it’s not advisable to leave your properties without someone who can handle your business. The problem is that if you don’t take a vacation and get some rest, stress can take a toll on your health and well-being. Even a small vacation is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and feel refreshed.

Although it takes planning, it’s not hard to ensure your rental properties are taken care of while you head out for a relaxing vacation. The following tips will help you get away for a bit without having to worry.

1. Hire a property manager

First and foremost, a property manager is your ticket to a worry-free vacation. You need someone trustworthy to take care of your rentals and support your tenants’ needs while you’re away. This can be an individual person or a property management company.

When you’re on vacation, you still have a legal obligation to take care of your tenants from afar. For example, if someone has a leaky roof or a plumbing pipe bursts, you’ll need to handle those issues promptly according to local and state landlord-tenant laws. The point of being on vacation is not having to work, so it makes sense to hire a property manager to take over while you’re gone.

Property managers are helpful even when you aren’t on vacation. They can manage everything for you, including rent collection, giving notices to tenants, handling stressful tenant communications, managing regular landscaping, tenant screening, showings, cleanings, and more. 

If you’d like more time to yourself, even when you’re not on vacation, consider hiring a property management team year-round.

2. Plan your vacation with the right timing

If you have a property manager, timing isn’t likely an issue, but if you don’t, timing is everything when you decide to take a vacation. The ideal time would be approximately a week after you’ve collected rent so you don’t need to worry about chasing down late rent, administering late fees, or sending out notices for late rent.

It’s understandable if you can’t be completely hands-off on your vacation, because not everyone can hire a property manager. However, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to make sure you can at least call a professional if there’s a problem. 

For example, if a tenant has an issue with their electricity, you need to be able to call an electrician, even if you can’t go inspect the problem yourself. If you’re vacationing out of the country, that might be difficult, so make sure you have a plan for making local phone calls if necessary.

3. Communicate with your tenants

It would be bad practice to leave for vacation without telling your tenants you’ll be unavailable. If they need to contact you for any reason, they’ll get frustrated and possibly angry if they can’t reach you. You’ll also be upset when they keep calling to interrupt your vacation.

Give all of your tenants a heads up that you will be unavailable and tell them at least a couple of weeks in advance. Tell them the exact dates you’ll be unavailable and provide them with contact information for whoever will be working on your behalf. 

It’s best to give them a physical piece of paper in addition to verbally telling them over the phone. If you have a website, post the contact information on it and let them know they can find it there if they lose track of their notice.

4. Handle current tenant issues first

Before you head out on vacation, make sure to handle all existing tenant issues first. Don’t leave without cleaning up loose ends and projects in the works. You don’t want your tenants to feel like you’ve abandoned them during their breakdown. Even something as small as replacing the screens on their bathroom windows should be completed before you leave.

Enjoy your vacation

Most of all, enjoy your vacation. You work hard every day of the year and deserve to take some time to recharge your mind and body.

Article Posted in Realty Times 4/8/24

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