Are you a do-it-yourself landlord? Do you want to know one reason why you might want to employ a professional property manager?
I am a professional property manager. I manage over 400 properties for other people. As I was driving back from eviction court yesterday, I was reflecting on the fact that I had attended 14 court hearings in the past 12 months. 11 of these were cases that did not involve leases that I managed. In those cases, I was actually just coming along to support and guide, as best I could, a desperate landlord that had experienced a tenant gone wild. In those cases, since I had no official relationship with the tenant being evicted, I could not represent the landlord as their agent. The landlords had to present their cases directly to the court. Most of them didn’t have a clue where to begin, and that’s why they invited me. While I am not an attorney, I can discuss with them my observations from past experience and help them negotiate their way through the hurdles. I always recommend that they obtain an attorney, but most do not want to suffer the cost. Nevertheless, in some of the more complicated cases, I have insisted that they get an attorney. Usually, this is unnecessary.
On properties that we manage under our proprietary lease, we have the legal authority to serve as the landlord’s agent and make the case for the landlord at the hearing. It has always gone better when that has been the arrangement, as opposed to the landlord muddling through it. That’s probably because we know how to avoid getting into court in the first place, but if we do get there, we have done it before and not much surprises us. We understand that landlords always have risk when standing in front of a judge. Even if they think their case is clear cut, the judge may not see it that way. It happens all the time. Sometimes just knowing what question to ask makes all the difference in the outcome of the hearing.
While many do-it-yourselfers have had great experiences, their joy ride can end abruptly and rudely. These days, more and more tenants are acting up. It’s the economy, more than anything else. More and more, people are becoming financially desperate. When their job stops, so does their rent check. And when the rent checks stop, the tenants can get creative, out of self-defense. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, are you ready for the challenge? It may be coming!
Master Property Manager
3 Options Realty