For most rental owners who aren’t making careers out of being full-time landlords, the decision to use a rental agent is an easy choice—most people simply don’t have time or expertise to deal with all the aspects of renting out their vacant home or apartment.
From finding and screening tenants, collecting rent, and keeping up with maintenance, to dealing with emergencies, doing the necessary accounting, and handling legal issues, the workload associated with operating a rental property can be inconvenient—even overwhelming—for an inexperienced rental property owner
With that said, there are a few situations where the DIY approach might make more sense, such as:
- You have friends or family who want to rent your unit. If someone you know and trust wants to rent your property, you obviously don’t need a rental agent to fill your vacancy, and assuming your potential tenant is responsible and reasonably self-sufficient, you probably won’t have many unexpected difficulties to deal with. As long as you’re careful to make sure your mutual expectations are in alignment, renting to someone you know can be ideal for everyone.
- Experienced rental managers are part of your inner circle. You may not know anyone who wants to lease your rental unit, but if you count property management experts among your nearest and dearest, you probably have enough access to advice and help without hiring a professional. Assuming you have the time to take care of the necessary management tasks, you likely won’t find yourself out of your league when it comes to taking care of your property without the help of a rental agent.
- You live in the same neighborhood as your rental/work only part-time/are handy. If you live close to your rental property, have a fair amount of time to devote to managing it, and/or are fairly expert at home maintenance, you’re at a distinct advantage when it comes to managing your own rental property. While you’ll likely choose to hire a rental agent to handle some or all aspects of your business if and when you expand your rental property portfolio, you may be able to manage a single property, or even a couple of properties, on your own.