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Property Management 101

Property management is not an easy business to break into. There are numerous business and landlord laws that you must comply with. The laws are different depending upon if you are dealing with commercial or residential tenants. Depending on the state you live in, you might be subjected to numerous tenant protections. Here are a few tips to guide you through the process to ensure that you are covered during every exchange. Just keep in mind that if it “feels” wrong, then something probably went wrong and you may need to go over it with an attorney.

First and foremost, write everything down that you do as the property manager. Notify all tenants in writing of any changes, repairs, changes to the lease, etc. Any and everything that has to do with the property should be recorded. This information may come in handy if you are ever engaged in a lawsuit with a troublesome tenant.

Second, don’t discriminate. If you think you might be discriminating against someone, then stop and evaluate your actions. The federal protections are fairly limited but most states protections go much further and include commercial tenants.

Inspect the property on a regular basis. You should also bring a camera to record damage done by the tenant, this evidence will come in handy if you decide to draw against their security deposit for repairs. Regular inspections allow you to catch any dangerous conditions. Commercial tenants are generally on a higher duty to take care of their own clients and employees.

If you are trying to expand your management company holdings then you may want to speak to a business transactions and litigation attorney. Expansion, while exciting, is a dangerous undertaking. It exposes more of your business to lawsuits from both tenants and prospective sellers. An attorney is a good person to have in your corner to review contracts and preempt possible litigation matters.

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