Property management is not as easy as it looks, and property management software can really help make your life a lot easier with all of the features it has to offer. Prices for property management software usually range anywhere from $100 to over $10,000. When choosing the right type of software that can help make your life easier, specifically look for these 3 useful features, as they do a good job at protecting landlords from irresponsible tenants.
Tenant Background Checking
Screen all potential tenants by doing a background check in order to determine whether there are any red flags on their records. Evicting a tenant during the tenancy can take a long time and is a rather complicated process. You should make sure that your tenants are responsible people. A thorough tenant background check will make you privy to basic and standard information, like whether the potential tenants have a criminal record, are registered sex offenders, have any known aliases or are employed. This will give you some information in regards to the character of the applicants who may potentially become your tenants.
You will also be privy to more private information, such as whether the applicants have filed for bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past, have any collections under their name or have been evicted from their tenancy in the past. The tenant background check will also give you a detailed eviction history for past judgments. Together, all of this information can help you make an informed decision regarding the character of each applicant and whether he or she will be a responsible tenant or not.
Tenant Interaction Logs
During the term of the tenancy, you and your tenant may be in contact at some point or another regarding a problem that has arisen in the rented unit. For example, during a regular inspection, you may have noticed that the carpets are dirty and need to be cleaned or that there is a hole in the wall that needs to be repaired. Your tenant may also request that you make some repairs to the unit as well, if the repairs are your responsibility.
To protect yourself during the tenancy, you want to choose a property management software that can log any and all types of interaction between you and your tenants. Some software programs will have specific messaging systems set in place whereas others will allow you to video call or voice call your tenants and record the information. The goal of these logs is to document any issues that may arise and prove that you have tried to resolve the issue. Logging all interactions will also help avoid any 'he said, she said' situations in the future.
Even if you don't have more than one rental unit, a property management software can still be beneficial for you because it will keep all legal documents in one place. This way, you won't have to worry about losing a thing. Make sure you scan and upload documents like rental agreements, the move-in and move-out inspection checklists and any documentations that may include amendments made to the rental agreement. You can organize and store all of the documents within the property management software by rental unit or by tenant so that you can easily access the documents you need when you need them.
Property management software is not only beneficial for commercial property management companies. Even if you are only renting units that you own, you'll find that a good property management software can help protect you from irresponsible tenants and save you from a lot of headaches in the future.