Dealing with the ownership of two homes is a problem faced by many Americans each year. Unexpected job transfers, family issues, or any of a number of other reasons can leave homeowners with no time to sell a current home before they must relocate and rent or purchase another in their new city, state, or country. But becoming a long-distance landlord in this manner comes with a multitude of challenges that can make this type of situation a logistical or financial nightmare. If you are currently attempting to manage two homes in different locations, or if you will be required to do so in the future, the following tips can help you avoid these challenges and enjoy a much improved long-distance landlord experience.
Find a reliable person to watch over your former home in your absence
Making an arrangement with a trusted friend, relative, or neighbor to watch over your former home in your absence is an excellent way to get current updates about the home. Remember to provide this person with a key to the property and your personal mobile phone number and email address to help ensure that you will be able to attend to any urgent situations that may arise.
Alert local law enforcement if the home will be vacant after you move away
If your former home will be left vacant for a period of time after you move while you find good tenants, it is a good idea to alert local law enforcement. This can help them notice any unusual activity while doing patrols in the area and help you avoid potential vandalism or burglary attempts.
Schedule regular care to keep the home and grounds in good condition
Keeping tasks such as lawn care, tree trimming, and gutter cleaning completed on a regular schedule will help to ensure that your former home will not be neglected in your absence. Most of these service providers will be happy to schedule these jobs to be done as needed and allow you to pay for them online or through standard mail.
Consider professional property management
The most pressing problem faced by long-distance landlords is usually finding good tenants and collecting and managing the rent payments efficiently. For many, the best solution to this situation is to engage the services of a professional property management company. Property managers are able to carefully screen out applicants who have a record of not paying rent or destroying rental property to make sure your property is protected. In addition, they will be able to help you maintain the property and handle the collection and disbursement of the monthly rent payment.