Managing rental properties long distance can be tricky, but it is actually easier than you think. Technology has allowed us to overcome a lot of the need for us to be present as a landlord.
We have been able to create systems that have allowed us to manage our homes from more than 3,000 miles away! The last time we were physically at a property was in July 2013. So what’s the best way to manage rental properties from far away? I’ve created a complete guide for you on being a long distance landlord!
3 Steps for Being a Long Distance Landlord
Step 1: Identifying & Screening Your Tenant
Finding the right tenant is extra important as long distance landlords. Possession is nine-tenths of the law both in money and in possession of your home, so you do not want to put the wrong person in your home! Not only do you want to put the right tenants into the home, but you need a good “bible” to govern your relationship. Read these posts for finding the best ways to get the right tenant.
- 8 Steps to to Establishing Rental Price – We first figure out what the house is worth — all done virtually from the comfort of the couch.
- 7 Places to Advertise Your Listing – We post our house for rent the same as if we were local. When we answer the calls, we simply tell people that our tenant is showing the house (or if that is not possible, a friend does it). We ask the applicants to save all their business inquiries and questions about the home for us out of respect for our current tenants.
- Showing a Rental From Out of State – We have been very lucky that we have had awesome tenants and friends who have graciously shown our house for us.
- Qualifying Your Tenants – We screen the tenants the same as if we were local. We simply do everything over the internet! They email us pay stubs and the background and credit check, as well as the application are all done online.
- Rental Paperwork Out of State – Getting your rental paperwork set out of state is quite easy.
- Establishing Site Unseen Leases – Once the tenants are qualified, I send them our lease. I review the lease with them line by line over the phone. Once it is signed, it is scanned and emailed back to me!
- Shhh! Super Secret Hiding Spot for Your Lease – Keeping a copy of my lease in my email has been a saving grace for us more often than naught! It is easy, and when I need it, which is never when I am home, it is close at hand!
- Set up your Rental Accounts – Since you aren’t going to be close, you need a way for your tenant to deposit the money. It is important to have separate accounts.
- Rent By Direct Deposit – All our security deposits and rent are done by direct deposit! It makes life easier.
Step 2: Installing Your Tenant
You have found the right tenant, signed the lease, and recieved the deposit. Now, you just need to get them into your home! Read this post for doing just that!
- Establishing Site Unseen Leases – Allowing tenants to see the lease long distance is very helpful!
Step 3: Maintaining Your Tenant
Hopefully if you have done your homework, you now have a great tenant and are on a downhill slope. At this point, you just need to manage issues as things come up. Here are a few tricks I have for management of the lease.
- Text Messaging – I do most of my communications through text messaging. It allows me to quickly respond to my tenant anywhere!
- Handling Repairs – This is a guide to efficiently handling repairs from a long distance.
- Kicking out the Middle Man – Make your life easier by setting up the repair as described in Handling Repairs and have them call the tenant to organize the schedule.
While it definitely has its moments, self-managing long distance is very doable!
What tips do you have for being a long distance landlord?7
Thank you for taking the time to share your insights. I am just starting to manage my own rentals from afar and am inspired by your systems.
Glad you found them helpful.