Oregon property investment owners face many steep challenges. In recent years those difficulties have only gotten steeper. Landlords’ workloads are heavier than ever thanks to new legislation. At the same time, COVID-19 continues to make business more complicated and fraught. And of course, there’s always the daily struggle to balance costs and income, find good tenants, and keep your property in good repair. Whether you’ve been in the rental business for years or are just getting started, numerous pitfalls and potential setbacks stand between your business and long-term success. So how does an Oregon investment owner find reliable and stable success in such an unpredictable market?
With years of experience in the Portland market, our team has witnessed landlords making many common mistakes. That time has also taught us a lot about what makes an Oregon rental business successful. By following a few crucial guidelines, you’ll find navigating the Oregon rental market far easier than ever before!
Keep Up-To-Date on Oregon Law
In recent years, the law has begun to increasingly favor tenants. These protections can help protect vulnerable renters from eviction or exploitation. However, they also make doing business more complicated for even the most fastidious and well-meaning landlords. Investment owners must also devote time to studying the law, as new regulations can require dramatic shifts in business practices.
For example, Oregon Senate Bill 291 will soon implement new rules regarding how landlords handle tenant screening. SB 291 regulates how much you can charge for screening fees and the criteria you can legally use to reject a tenant’s application. The bill also sets limits on the time you can take to respond to a tenant application. On the other hand, Senate Bill 278 created a 60-day eviction moratorium which comes into effect when a tenant submits a notice that they have applied for rental assistance. Laws like these add rules to the playbook, and investment owners have to keep all of them in mind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven how quickly landlord-tenant law can change. Even now, the waves of eviction moratoriums starting in March of 2020 continues to have a significant impact on Oregon landlords. Changing legislation shifts the way landlords do business, and staying up to date takes extra time and effort.
There’s no alternative to keeping abreast of current legislation. Consulting with legal counsel whenever you’re uncertain is always the wisest course. Taking the trouble to stay informed means your business can operate without a hitch.
Don’t Neglect Your Paperwork
In this business, paperwork is essential. As mentioned above, new legislation has made it even more crucial for landlords to keep diligent documentation. In cases where you need legal counsel, having all the correct paperwork on hand can make all the difference. Landlords should also expect to spend an increasing amount of time at their desks as new laws come into effect. One of SB 291’s requirements is that landlords send a notice to all applying tenants, notifying them of their rights. It also requires landlords to write a personalized notice to each tenant informing them of the reasons for rejecting their application. Overall, the world of property management is relying more and more on paperwork. Oregon investment owners can’t afford to fall behind. So buy a new set of pens, invest in an ergonomic office chair, and get filing.
Focus On Tenants
The primary goal of any property manager is to find the best tenants and keep them as long as possible. With good tenants in your property, every other aspect of your job gets so much easier. The essential qualities of a good tenant are simple: they pay their rent reliably, take good care of the property, and respect the terms of their lease. As basic as these qualifications might sound, any experienced landlord knows they’re hard to find. And of course, it’s hard to tell whether someone will actually be a good tenant based on the screening process alone. When taking on a new tenant, there’s always an element of risk.
That’s why it’s important to hold on to the quality tenants you already have. Tenant retention is one of your best tools in the Oregon rental market. When you keep your tenants happy and maintain a cordial relationship, you cut down on the numerous costs of replacing them. Marketing your property, screening new tenants, and fixing up your rental in between occupants takes a lot of time and money, not to mention the rents lost while your unit sits unoccupied. It’s wise business sense to make an effort to keep your tenants happy where they are.
Tenants are an investment who need to be maintained and treated with respect, just like your property does. But unlike your property, tenants are human beings with different personalities and life events. Treating tenants with understanding and flexibility during times of hardship isn’t just the decent thing to do; it can also help with your bottom line when you avoid turnover costs.
Sign On With A Management Company
When broken down into their individual steps, running a rental property doesn’t sound so hard. Of course, any landlord knows that things rarely, if ever, go to plan. Part of the joy (and frustration) of being a landlord involves always having a new set of challenges to face each day. But when you’ve dealt with enough hardship or are getting tired of problem-solving, the ever-changing nature of the business can start to feel like a hassle.
If the joy has gone out of managing your rental, or if you’re tired of the increasing workload, hiring a property management company like Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew can give you the best of both worlds. A company like ours will manage your day-to-day tasks, freeing up your spare time and giving you peace of mind. You don’t have to stress about changing regulations or finding tenants you can work with for years; we handle it all.
Our expert team has years of experience in marketing Oregon rental properties, screening tenants according to up-to-date guidelines, keeping track of paperwork, and helping your tenants stay happy. Part of why our tenants and owners love working with us is our 48-hour repair guarantee is. Our people-first attitude is another. If you’d like to hear more about our expertise in the Oregon rental market and what we can do for your rental business, chat with us today at (503) 515-3170, or fill out the contact form on our website to get started!