There are several reasons a landlord will choose to hire a property manager. Perhaps with so many properties, it’s easier for you to have a manager to simplify and ease stress. The property might be far enough away you need help checking in on things. Maybe you just prefer a hands-off style so you can focus on other work, and want someone to help with the hands-on portion. Whatever the reasons may be for hiring a property manager, there are two downsides that can become a serious worry.
- Hiring a middleman can be costly
- If they’re a bad property manager, they can do more harm than good
While unexpected costs can be frustrating, trying to repair a damaged reputation can be much trickier and time consuming. Here’s what you can do if a property manager has tarnished your good name as a landlord.
Keep an Eye Out
The best way to deal with a bad property manager is, obviously, to never have one in the first place. However, should the careful interview process fail, you should be mentally checking off the behavior you want to see from them, and the behavior that’s a warning of trouble to come. These warnings can include many things, such as, but not limited to:
- A lack of communication on their part
- Conducting few to no inspections of the property
- Tenant complaints about substandard living conditions
- Selecting bad tenants that damage your property
The Next Steps
If you’ve pushed past denial and are now well on your way to acceptance, then it is time to deal with your bad property management company. There are a few things that you can do:
Contact the Better Business Bureau.
Once reached, they will contact the property manager and conduct a ratings review. There is a good chance that consequences to their actions (or inaction) can spur a property manager to at least try to limit the damage they are currently doing. If their Better Business Bureau rating drops, future landlords will have a warning that you didn’t get.
Register a Complaint.
Contact the specific location your property manager has their real estate license, or similarly required license/certification. This can influence them to shape up as well with the chance of losing their license.
Finally, you can consider legal action.
While none of these options are fun, the last offers the biggest headache right after having a bad property management company experience in the first place. Ask a lawyer about your options within your local area and if suing the company will recoup any of the financial damages. If you have a contract, a lawyer in your area will help navigate the terms and see if you can end it and how. Even if a lawyer sounds costly, it may be worth considering if the property management company has caused significant physical damages to your property, not to mention the very fragile trust your tenants probably lost after dealing with this situation. Rebuilding trust after a rental property has been seemingly ‘let go’ is tough, and after a stint with bad management, there’s every chance that your online ratings took a dive. That’s no small feat to bounce back from.
With a subpar property management company, your best bet is to figure it out as soon as possible, and end that relationship. Do you have any bad property management stories? Let us know in the comments!
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