Portland landlords have a lot of questions about the best way to manage their rentals these days. As a local property management company, Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew has a fair amount of insight into what works and what doesn’t in the local rental market. Part of what makes our business so successful is our awesome team members who provide creative solutions to the market’s ever-changing problems. Here are a few property management tips from our team on how to handle the ins and outs of managing a Portland rental.

Some Suggestions for Rental Owners

Jeremy Hill’s Property Management Tips

One of the most important things for any rental owner is to stay on top of your paperwork. Document everything, from correspondence with your tenants to minor repairs. Get it all down on paper because you never know when you might need to reference it again. A paper trail can come in handy in terms of knowing when you need to perform regular maintenance or providing documentation in court. In cases like the Landlord Compensation Fund, keeping detailed records has allowed many landlords to access government aid. The extra time spent sitting at your desk will save you a whole lot of hair-pulling down the line. 

Jared Sipe’s Accounting Advice

A common issue we see self-managing landlords running into has to do with utilities. If the lease isn’t clear as to who will pay for utilities, it can cause confusion and conflict between you and your tenants when the time comes to foot the bill. So, as you prepare your lease, be sure that it’s crystal clear whether you or the tenant will be responsible for utility payments. This is a simple solution to a problem that can create a lot of needless interpersonal friction.

Jennifer Hess’s Leasing Advice

When filling a vacancy in one of your units, it’s natural to want to get a new tenant moved in as quickly as possible. But don’t let your eagerness get in the way of best business practices: always make sure that your unit has been thoroughly cleaned between tenants. Even though your tenants have already signed the lease, you don’t want to dump them into a dirty rental and plan on cleaning if they complain. Instead, start their lease off on the right foot by ensuring their unit is ready to be moved into. Ideally, get it cleaned before you even start showing the apartment. This small gesture shows that you respect your tenants and want their experience with your rental to get off on the right foot, which helps prevent further turnover and vacancies down the line.

Jessy Sperry’s Maintenance Advice

Dealing with maintenance can be tricky. At a certain point, you might start wondering what counts and maintenance versus damage or whether something needs fixing at all. Sometimes it’s wise to be discerning. Other times, though, nickeling and diming every maintenance issue with your tenants will just cause conflict and resentment. So instead, we recommend coming up with a dollar amount that you’re willing to just flat-out pay: for instance, decide that any repair less than $100 you’ll take care of quickly and without hassle. That way, you can keep up a good relationship with your tenants while still having a firm handle on your budget.

Arely Sanchez’s Onboarding Advice

It’s smart to make sure you have everything in order before onboarding a new tenant. Your tenants don’t want to wait to move in any more than you want to wait to collect rent. Have the rental keys ready, and be sure you know the local mailbox and HOA regulations. This makes it easy to place a tenant quickly and successfully, with minimum hassle for everyone. 

How to Handle COVID-19 

These property management tips from our expert team members are helpful for self-managing landlords. But managing a rental is tough under normal circumstances, and the pandemic has added an extra layer of difficulty. Here’s how our team members handle COVID-19 complications and some tips for you to do the same.

Jared on Pandemic Legislation

There’s a lot of new regulations about what landlords can and can’t do during the pandemic. Between questions over the longevity of the federal eviction moratorium and staying up to date on Oregon and Portland’s separate eviction moratoriums, there’s a lot for landlords to keep track of. In addition, SB 282A will extend the time frame renters have to repay rent missed during the pandemic until February of 2022, placing further guidelines on how property managers should handle unpaid rent. With so many new challenges, it’s essential to stay up to date on the regulations. If you’re not sure, it’s better to hire a lawyer to avoid getting into legal trouble.

Jennifer on COVID-safe Rental Tours

The pandemic has also seen new regulations regarding how many people can view a rental at a time. This can make it tricky to fit in all the prospective renters who want to see a new unit. We’ve built a solution from multiple perspectives, spacing out in-person showings and enforcing mask-wearing while also offering virtual tours on our YouTube page. These virtual walk-throughs are a big hit because they’re often more convenient for working people’s schedules and even allows people living out of state to tour. Though COVID-19 has created plenty of logistical difficulties, some of the innovations we’ve embraced as a result have made our rentals more accessible.

Jessy on Safe and Friendly Maintenance 

We know it’s a bit unnerving to have a stranger enter your home in the middle of a pandemic. That’s why we’ve worked extra hard to ensure our maintenance teams stay up to date on all the best COVID-19 practices to ensure that you and our team members stay safe. A rigorous combination of masks, booties, social distancing, and sanitization help limit the spread of germs while we take care of your maintenance needs. On top of that, scheduling with tenants means you can prepare for a maintenance visit in advance. 

Work With A Team You Trust

It can be challenging for self-managing landlords to step back and let a property management team take the lead. After all, being a landlord requires lots of detail-oriented and hands-on work; it can be difficult to ease off, even if doing so saves you time and hassle. The key is to work with a property manager you can trust every step of the way, with a team whose expertise and dedication go the extra mile. At Rent Portland Homes, we strive to provide nothing but the best experience to our clients and tenants. If you’re interested in getting our team on your side, contact us through our website or reach us by phone or text at (503) 515-3170.