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How to manage out-of-town rentals

Feb 18, 2011 Matt Roesly

How to manage out-of-town rentals
Managing rental properties can be stressful enough when a landlord lives nearby. For landlords with properties in other towns, credit checks and tenant screenings prevent the job of supervising and maintaining a building from becoming a nightmare.
 There are steps to ensuring renters stay respectful and any on-site emergencies are handled quickly. The most important aspect of protecting your investment is properly interviewing and screening tenants. Drafting a rental application form is the easiest way to get all the data necessary for a background check, according to Stock Market Review. Ask for the applicant's name, employer, salary, Social Security number, previous landlords' names and phone numbers. To avoid any privacy issues, include a "release of information" section and have the applicant sign it.
Identity fraud can also pop up in rental situations, so be sure to get a copy of a state-issued ID with a photograph. Some landlords with faraway properties enlist a property manager, but that can lead to a slew of new problems, The Wall Street Journal warns. Using the services can be an expensive investment, and not all management companies are honest. Before committing to one, call the local complaint agency to see if the business has a history of bad practices.