Investing in a multi family housing complex can be a great asset for a portfolio. However, in order for it to be a profitable venture free of stress and headaches, you must know what you’re getting yourself into. You must also have a plan for addressing both day to day concerns and larger issues that will arise. A burned out stairway light bulb or a leaky faucet may seem like a trivial manner, but it’s not to a tenant. Leaving problems unattended results in dissatisfied tenants, making it tougher to fill units as old tenants move out. Managing your multi family housing complex properly increases your chances of retaining tenants and maintaining market value. The following guidelines will get you started.
Establish building protocol and make it readily available to tenants
Outline your policies for the multi family housing complex, such as rules about smoking and pets, including responsibilities for the tenants. For example, if renters must take care of shoveling the walks, make sure that they know so that there are no surprises. Don’t forget to include details about who tenants should contact in the event of an emergency when they can’t reach you.
Once you have finished your building protocol, make a final copy and have it easily accessible for future and current tenants. All tenants of your multi family housing complex should have personal copies. Keep this protocol posted in a central location, such as the housing office, and make it available online as well.
Create a system for security deposits
Implement a fair system for setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits to tenants of your multi family housing complex. Before a new tenant moves into a unit, inspect the unit, documenting any notable damage. If there are existing issues, the new tenant shouldn’t be responsible for them. Having a system in place and keeping detailed documentation minimizes security deposit disputes.
Perform routine exterior checks of the multi family housing complex
Make it a point to inspect the outside of the property on a regular basis so that you can keep on top of any issues that arise. Look for indications of damage and areas in need of work. Keep the multi family housing complex clear of debris and make sure that the yard is neatly kept. Take care of problems in a timely fashion to keep your multi family housing complex looking the best that it can. Trimming the bushes and installing adequate lighting is not expensive and greatly increases the safety of your tenants.
Follow up with tenants in a timely fashion
Any time a tenant message of your multi family housing complex warrants a response, follow up with the individual as soon as possible. Even if the message isn’t urgent, such as needing clarification on a minor rental term, don’t let it sit for days on end. Depending on the nature of the response, neglecting to contact tenants promptly leaves you susceptible to legal issues, such as handling a complaint about harassment from another tenant.
Take care of emergency repairs, pest infestations, and environmental hazards right away
As a multi family housing complex owner, it is not your responsibility to take care of all issues that arise yourself. However, you must find the right person for the job at hand as soon as possible. Leaving a unit uninhabitable, such as without heat during the winter or filled with bed bugs, leaves you at risk for legal action. Depending on the state and the nature of the issue, the tenant of your multi family housing complex may even be able to withhold rent.
If you’re facing a pest problem or an environmental concern, it’s imperative to hire a professional. Tackling the issue yourself without the proper know how may make the problem even worse.
Implement an emergency plan
In the event of a disaster, such as a flood or fire, tenants must know what they need to do to keep themselves and their families safe. Put together evacuation guidelines and make them available in writing around the multi family housing complex. Complete periodic checks of the building’s safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, to make sure that everything is in good working order.
Assertive Management Group is a part of the Hope Housing Foundation (HOPE), a nonprofit organization focused around creating and preserving affordable workforce housing for low- to mid-income families and individuals. We take all of our revenue and invest it back into our mission. To learn more about our organization or to become a partner, give us a call at (214) 842-8383. You can also stop by our McKinney, Texas headquarters at 7920 Virginia Parkway, Suite 2300 or Contact Us via email.