New Landlord in the PA Pittsburgh area... Any advise?

3 Replies


I recently purchased a multi family investment property in the surrounding Pittsburgh area of PA. The property is fully occupied with great tenants at the moment.

I have property management in place so I wanted to open up the floor to any feedback, advise, etc from any seasoned landlords on how best to keep my property up and provide all while keeping a clean and safe environment for my tenants...

Thanks in advance for any constructive feedback!

My experience comes from Texas though I may be setting down in Pittsburgh soon as well: Know your property manager's limits. We had one manager who coasted on rents for a long time, eventually causing a sharp rental increase which, by the grace of our good tenants, luckily didn't blow up in our faces. 

I like what has been said, that is is often more accurate to view property managers as tenant managers. That isn't a knock against them - tenants are one of the most challenging aspects. But things like general upkeep of the property, regular maintenance items, etc, might not get brought up to you. Those things should ultimately fall on you to initiate, even if your manager's team is who does the work. 

Moral of the story is that you still need to oversee from afar, even if the manager is doing the day to day tasks. It varies from manager to manager how involved they are, but none of them will care about the property as much as you do.

I'm just throwing this idea out there... I think it would be a good idea to see who the PM uses for plumbing emergencies (clogged toilet, overflowing toilet, pipe burst, etc) I would look up each sub contractors reviews on things like Google,Facebook, Yelp and make sure the people working on your house are upstanding, knowledgeable, professionals.

Who is the PM's Roofing contractor? landscaping company? 

@Shean Rhoden , congrats on the deal.

I would review the management agreement and make sure you understand completely how/why/when your manager will earn a fee.  It's more than their monthly management fee plus leasing fee; maintenance coordination and late notices are common under-communicated fees.

Sadly property management is a quantity business, don't expect your PM to respond quickly and don't expect them to put much time into preventative maintenance or vetting maintenance issues.  It's easier for them to send out their handyman at a $75 min trip charge then spending 5 mins to discover a simple fix over the phone.