A landlord might own a rental property in another city or state for several reasons. Maybe they received an out-of-state job offer or couldn’t pass up a great deal on an investment property in another state.

Regardless of the reason, remotely running a rental property has been made possible by technological advancements. But, it can still be challenging to manage and market your property from a distance. That’s why the expert team at Nelson Property Management has put together some tips to help long-distance landlords thrive!

Conduct Comprehensive Tenant Screening

As a long-distance landlord, it may take some time before you can visit the new tenant leasing your rental unit. As such, it’s critical that you find the right renter for your property. Try to find tenants with a history of paying rent on time and following the terms of their lease agreement.

You can do this by utilizing a comprehensive screening process that complies with the Fair Housing Act. A thorough tenant screening process allows you to choose the perfect tenant and prevent any issues related to late payments or property damage.
a landlord sits in a bright yellow armchair they have a long ponytail and wear a black blazer and white camisole while reviewing a tenant application
As you go through the tenant screening and selection process, it’s crucial to be up-to-date on federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws and abide by them. Base your decision on a prospective tenant’s ability to pay rent and uphold their responsibilities.

You can help determine if a renter can do this by contacting employment and landlord references and conducting a credit report and background check.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Your responsibilities as a landlord don’t end with choosing the perfect tenant. When managing your rental property remotely, it is crucial to communicate clearly with your tenants. Because you can’t keep an eye on your property, you’ll have to rely on your tenants to update you on any developments or issues.

Keeping your lines of communication open makes it easy for renters to reach out to you and report any issues that arise. Common maintenance issues include electrical problems, weather damage to external fixtures, and plumbing.

When you set clear expectations and encourage your renters to contact you with questions and concerns, you can mitigate the risk of minor issues escalating and becoming more expensive to fix.
a landlord in a white button down shirt sits by a window and texts their tenant to remind them of seasonal maintenance responsibilities
Let your tenants know when you plan to inspect the property and don’t forget to check in with them occasionally to ensure they have a great rental experience. However, there is a fine line between being intrusive and being supportive, so make sure to keep your calls to a minimum and respect your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

Visit Your Rental Property at Least Once a Year

Inspecting your rental property at least once a year is the best way to keep on top of maintenance issues and keep your investment safe and lucrative. If you don’t check the rental yourself, some things may go overlooked if your tenant isn’t aware of all the items on your yearly maintenance checklist.

If you are hesitant to spend time travelling to your long-distance property, we strongly recommend reviewing United States tax law. Under this law, visits to your out-of-state rental properties may be fully tax-deductible. You can deduct the cost of plane tickets, hotel stays, mileage, and meals from your total earnings from renting out the property.

It is in your best interest to visit the property at least once a year and use this US tax law to your advantage. You can also use your visit to connect with your tenant and discuss maintenance, repairs, and property upgrades.

Pay Attention to Rental Market Shifts

As a remote landlord, it’s important to pay attention to rental market trends. It is also easy to get disconnected from news and current affairs in an area you don’t live in, so checking everything that influences the rental market is crucial. Some of the most important factors to check are government policy updates and changes in demographics and business environments.
a blond landlord in a grey sweater researches rental market updates on their laptop while having a cup of coffee
As a rental property owner, keeping your rental competitively priced is crucial. If you don’t, you might find yourself charging too high or too low a rent price, which will impact your bottom line. As a long-distance landlord, it’s important that you keep yourself up-to-date on the rental market performance and follow the news to make adjustments to your rent price and policies as you see fit.

Connect with Local Vendors and Contractors

Since you can’t be on-site to check on damage reported by tenants, it is best to have an updated list of reliable contractors and vendors ready when your rental needs maintenance or repair. You can also hire a rental property management company to market your rental, screen potential tenants, adjust the rent prices and maintain the property.

Bottom Line

As a landlord, it can be challenging to manage your rental property when you live far away from it. However, you can rely on the experts at Nelson Property Management to oversee your rental property. We are a property management company with decades of local experience that works diligently to provide quality service. Contact us today!