My Best Property Management Tip Is ...

18 Replies

Hi BP!

I thought it would be a cool idea if everyone shared their best tip for managing their rental property.  I'll start if off.

My best property management tip is charging a 5% late fee when a tenant fails to make the rent payment on time.

I look forward to all your tips!


I think the best thing you can do is make sure you treat your properties like a business with not only having policies and procedures in place  but followed. Remove yourself emotionally from your properties and treat it like someone hired you to make their business run profitable 

I set the rent at a different price for every property. Sometimes the difference is only 5 or 10 dollars but all the properties have different rents. Some of my tenants deposit their rent directly into a checking account I set up for that purpose, some pay online and some mail checks but I can usually tell from the amount who has paid and who hasn't (my bank does not identify who made the deposit). Even if I record the payment incorrectly it is usually easy to correct my error. This sometimes breaks down if the tenant pays late and includes the late fees or on the rare occasion when they do not pay the full amount due but I have found it quite useful.

I sometimes will code the rent amount. For instance, if I am in the process of raising rents for several units I may choose to have the rent amount end in a 5 or a 0 to signify whether the rent has been raised in this round or not.

The key to success in rental properties and property management is get good tenants.  Good tenants, good life,  Bad tenants, Life sucks.

Make sure you have a great screening process.

Make sure you understand your state's tenant landlord laws.

Then follow the laws.

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I have a strong (14 page lease) and I FOLLOW it to the T even when I don't want to. Keep emotion out and makes it all KOSHER. So follow your lease! 

In addition to the great tips mentioned above, I offer these...

1. Be swift, firm, polite and fair when issues arise.

2. Establish clear expectations from the beginning, in writing and reinforced verbally.

3. Keep up with maintenance and respond to tenant needs in a timely manner.

4. Inspect the properties regularly, at least annually, but preferably every 6 mo. or 3 mo. depending on the property and the occupants. This is for maintenance needs and also to see if the tenants are abiding by the terms of the rental agreement.

5. Charge for damages as they occur or as the are discovered. This reinforces the rental agreement and doesn't allow charges to build up, because if they do, the security deposit will rarely be enough.

6. Include a clause such as this in your rental/lease agreement:

PAYMENTS.  All payments made by Tenant to Landlord after the tenancy commences, no matter how designated by Tenant, will be applied as follows: first, to any outstanding amounts due for damages/repairs, utilities etc.; second, to any outstanding service charges and fees from prior months; third, to any rent outstanding from prior months; fourth, to any service charges or fees due in the current month; and lastly to the current month’s rent. 


Drama free tenants.  Even if it means the property sits two more weeks vacant.  It's really worth it. 

All communication is via email unless it's WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, then it's acceptable to call. 

Require automatic draft for rent payment. 

Set expectations upfront. I looked my new 60+ year old tenant in the eye and told her rent is due by the 5th, and if i don't have it I WILL start the eviction process on the 6th.  The look on her face was priceless.  Mission accomplished.

Try to get extra income

 Rent appliances washer/dryer

Offer electronic payments for a fee

if you rent SFH charge for lawn cuts

offer security systems per month rental

offer electronic lock upgrades -no key needed

use propertyware or appfolio...  

Originally posted by @Michael Germinario :

My best property management tip is charging a 5% late fee when a tenant fails to make the rent payment on time.

Great...except that in MA, if (and only if) the tenant has previously agreed in writing to pay a late fee, a landlord cannot impose that fee until the rent payment is 30 days past due.

For this reason, many knowledgeable MA landlords consider a "best tip" to be: serve a 14 Day Notice to Quit For Non-Payment (the document that starts the eviction process) 24 hours after the date and time that the rent is due, every time, with no exceptions.

The MA landlord-tenant laws...the gifts that just keep giving...I'll let you guess to whom.  

Being a landlord is really a very tough job. I am very new to this as we had recently constructed our granny flat from granny flat builders as an rental property. Now I can feel that it was quite easy building granny flat than such annoying tenants. But I know being a landlord is a business and doesn't let my emotions get in any way of reason. I even put a 3 day notice on their door so that they know that there will be no tolerance.

Updated almost 4 years ago

I am very new to this as we had recently constructed our granny flat from <a href="">granny flat builders</a> as an rental property.

I give a discount of $25 on the rent if the money is deposited to my account before the 1st of each month. In addition to strong screening for good tenants, this tactic has always ensured rent on time - even a week to 10 days before the due date.

I created a checklist of functional items (faucets, deadbolts, garbage disposal, etc) to check every time there is a new tenant, that way if they break something, you can go back to the checklist and show how it was working properly when they started renting the place and you have a better argument to pass the cost on to them.

This is a great thread. Thought I would give it a bump and see what others have to say...

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