Everything You Need to Know About Managing Properties in Philadelphia
Effective property management in Philadelphia requires knowledge and attention to many aspects in order to create a sustainable practice. Research about tenant management, laws and regulations, and vacancy should all be considered when investing in a property to rent.
Real Estate investing involves keeping up with the market trends. Things to know include average rent, vacancy rates, population of renters, and more. In Philadelphia, these factors look to be stable. The average rent was up 2.2% from the previous year at $1,616. The occupancy rate of properties is at 95.4% and 48.8% of the population is renting. As always this data can change and it is important to keep up-to-date with this information.
Regulations and Laws
On top of federal and state laws, Philadelphia also has local regulations and codes to be aware of. Philadelphia requires property owners to register their rental properties with the Department of Licenses and Inspections. The city has regulations around tenants’ rights, like eviction, and fair housing rules, as well as Philadelphia’s building code. These laws are important to become knowledgeable about before renting a property.
After the initial set up of the property, an initial inspection may need to be conducted in order to market the property correctly, as well as make sure it is up to requirements. Pictures should be taken, and posted to the preferred website; an example is Zillow. Once listed and applications start coming in, tenant screening occurs. This is critical to the success of income, as verification of the applicants’ background will ensure the correct fit. Some things to confirm are the applicants’ income, credit history, criminal background, and rental history.
After a tenant is selected, a lease agreement will be put in place, signed by both parties. In Philadelphia, at this time it will be extremely important and required to have insurance policies that cover property damage, liability, and workers’ compensation. The owner should also make sure the new tenant has appropriate renters insurance as well.
After the tenant moves in, regular inspections should be put in place to check up on the property from time to time. In Philadelphia a landlord must give at least a 24 hour notice of entry. Tenant management is important in property management and can help things go smoothly, like rent collection. State in the lease how and when rent is to be paid each month. In Philadelphia, it’s illegal to charge late fees greater than 5% of rent, and you must give tenants a grace period of 10 days before charging a late fee. In the unlikely event it leads to eviction, an investor will want to know everything about that process as well.
A property manager is also responsible for maintaining and repairing the property either while a tenant is in place, when the property is vacant, and for turnovers. A well-established system should be put in place for tenants to report maintenance issues and research on reputable vendors should be done, to find the best people to work on the property. It is important to note in Philadelphia, tenants can withhold rent if they can prove the property is not habitable and take the reasonable steps of reporting it, so keeping up with maintenance is crucial.
Overall, it is important to do the research and dedicate the time to learning what it takes to be a property manager in Philadelphia, PA.