Running an apartment complex is a very detailed full-time job. This article provides a quick overview of some of the major responsibilities, as well as suggestions to make the job easier. There are a lot of legal issues surrounding rental properties, it is important to be aware of those laws to avoid a possible lawsuit. Finally, the more involved and responsive you are to the tenants, the more long-term tenants you'll have and the more likely they will be to pay their rent on time each month.
Organize your office. The most effective way to run an apartment complex is to have all your paper work organized. You'll need file cabinets to keep files on each of your tenants, which should include copies of their lease, application, lease addendum, maintenance requests, and a log of any all or correspondence you have with the tenant. You'll also needs files for applications you rejected with the reason for rejection recorded. You'll need files to keep your blank applications, leases and lead books. You should be able to find anything in your office within seconds.
Create a set rent schedule. For example, if rent is due on the first of the month with a 3-day grace period, then go door to door on the fourth day of the month posting 3-day notices to all tenants that didn't pay their rent.
Find a dependable maintenance person and an emergency back-up. Unless there are special circumstances, maintenance requests should be responded to within 24 to 48 hours of the tenant calling.
Be visible around the property. Tenants respond better to a landlord or property manager when they recognize the person and know who they are. You should have regular office hours when the tenants can stop in if they have a question or problem.
Respond quickly to calls from prospective tenants. When people are looking to rent an apartment, they are likely calling several places at once, so if it takes you a couple days to return the phone call, they may have already found another place. Have time set aside each day to show apartments. Call prospective tenants 30 minutes before your appointment to confirm they are still coming.
- Join a landlords professional organization. They are a great resource for information and education.
- Always keep copies of the applications for prospective tenants you decide not to rent to. You'll need to show why you decided not to rent to them if you are accused of unfair housing practices.