Hiring a property manager can be a huge gift to yourself. After all, managing rental properties is a large and complex job. While many landlords are committed to providing quality housing and building a solid cash flow, the day-to-day details can become overwhelming. Fortunately, a reliable and trustworthy property manager takes the stress off of your shoulders by managing the daily hassles, legal questions, and maintenance issues. But what if you suspect your property manager isn’t as skilled and committed as you had hoped? Here are four signs of a bad property manager that suggest it might be time to find a new one.

1. Lack of Communication

Poor communication skills are the root of most conflicts, and property management is no exception. If you don’t know what is going on with your property, you could face surprise bills, legal action, or sudden loss of income. Although you may hand over the day-to-day details, it’s imperative to know your property manager is competent and professional. Consider these questions:

  • Is it easy to make contact with your property manager? Your manager should be attentive to the needs of both the owner and the tenants. Are there multiple and easily accessible ways to make contact for any need?
  • Do they return your calls promptly? While not every question is urgent, a professional makes every effort to return calls efficiently. Having to make multiple calls before getting a response or waiting more than 48 hours for a return call is a red flag.
  • Do you hear good news about your property as well as bad? A good property manager will check in to provide updates on what’s going well, offer to answer any questions, and propose updates or changes they believe will positively benefit your investment.

2. Poorly Maintained Properties 

Worn-down properties can leave you in the dust for attracting quality tenants by signaling a lack of attention to curb appeal. In addition, poorly maintained properties communicate that your property manager is not attending to regular maintenance and inspections. This inattention can quickly lead to large-scale repair work and emergency calls for maintenance disasters. All of this adds up to huge bills, disgruntled tenants, and potential legal issues. Consider these questions:

  • Are you receiving direct tenant calls? If you’re having communications issues with your property manager, your tenants may be having the same issues. And, if they are calling you directly with questions and complaints, it’s a pretty good indication that you have a problem.
  • Do you get notified of maintenance requests late?
  • Do you suspect routine inspections aren’t thorough, regular, or happening at all?
  • Does your management company keep your tenants happy by providing them with helpful information about requesting and reporting needed repairs?

3. Potential Legal Questions

Housing regulations and tenant rights laws update regularly. If your property manager is not actively tracking these changes and ensuring your compliance, you could find yourself in legal hot water. Consider these questions:

  • Do you receive notice when leasing agreement paperwork is updated to reflect the latest legal requirements?
  • Do you receive late notices and fees for failure to meet deadlines?

4. Inconsistent Cash Flow

Money management is key for a successful rental property. This includes establishing competitive rental rates, rent payments due dates, and a procedure for on-time payments to the owner. A good property manager values you as a client and shows it by working to provide steady cash flow with solid occupation rates and responsible tenants. Consider these questions:

  • Is there an easy way for renters to submit monthly payments? An online portal is a great way to automate the procedure, provide easy access, and minimize “lost” payments.
  • Are rent payments allowed to be late often? Is there a follow-up procedure for late payments and standard late fees?
  • Are you getting less rent than other properties with the same features in the local area?
  • Do your properties sit vacant often or for extended periods?
  • Are your tenants compliant with the lease expectations and stay for the entire leasing period?

In the end, a bad property manager will cost you time, stress, and money. Poorly managed properties have increased risk of damage and mistreatment, higher tenant turnover, and more legal issues. If you have concerns about how your property manager is overseeing your investment, it’s worth making a change and finding someone who is skilled, enthusiastic, and committed to excellence in their performance.

Ready To Ditch a Bad Property Manager? Partner With the Experts

There is a lot to think about when deciding to take on a rental property. However, talking with an expert can help you make the best decision for long-term success. With a commitment to providing our community with a reputable service, we manage properties with efficiency and innovation. Our team has over thirty years of experience advising clients on industry best practices to keep up with our ever-changing market. Call or text Darla Andrew today at 503.515.3170 to learn more about how we provide the support you need to confidently enjoy the rental process.