How To Be A Long Distance Landlord

Any investor or property owner with any experience will appreciate the need to be close to the investment. It’s best to be present to watch the property grow its potential and maximize its ROI, but there are instances where the property owner can’t always live nearby.

It could be that you have identified a long-term contract out-of-state. For a significant percentage of landlords, this means leasing their first home and purchasing in a different neighborhood or state. 

Being a long-distance landlord comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles. To help you navigate them, the team from Five Star Property Management has put together this article for you on how to manage your rentals long-distance.


Tips for Long-Distance Landlords

Proper Screening & Quality Tenants 

As an experienced property management team, we have always advised our clients on the benefits of resident screening. 

Comprehensive resident screening is the first and best defense against problematic residents. Now that you will be miles away, you have little to no room for mistakes when it comes to resident selection. 

An effective resident screening checks rental history, credit score, character, criminal background, and the financial capability of your potential resident to match the needs of your property. Should you have some challenges with carrying out the process, we recommend partnering with a quality property management company to help you with the task. 


Two people in a professional interview.


While comprehensive screening can take up more of your time than you had anticipated, problematic residents thwart all sorts of property management and investment plans. Screening will give you peace of mind at the end of the day. 


Open Communication Lines

Often, you can hear residents complaining about how difficult it is to get in touch with their landlord. As a long-distance landlord, you will need to make sure that this is not the case. 

You will need to keep and maintain open communication channels. After all, you will be relying on your quality residents to let you know of any issues or developments that need your attention. 

We advise long-distance landlords to provide their residents with multiple communication options, i.e. email and phone number.

In addition, make it a habit to always call your residents regularly. Once a month should do the trick. This will establish a good rapport between you and the residents. Your residents will appreciate the gesture and hopefully reciprocate in the long run. 

Use your best judgment to determine the type of resident you are dealing with. Some may not appreciate the frequent calls, so if that’s the case, consider making them less frequent to respect their privacy and quiet enjoyment.


Regular Visits 

Even if it’s doing well, you shouldn’t go too long without paying a visit to your property.  Quality residents and open communication channels are not a substitute to physically viewing the space. Making your way home should be part of your calendar, regardless of how busy you are. 


An airplane in flight.


To encourage you, the IRS has set up the laws in your favor. For out-of-state property owners, the visits to your property are tax-deductible. This includes meals, hotel stays, mileage, and plane tickets.

Regular visits allow you to have first-hand experience with the performance of your property. While you might have received updates over the months, a resident might not be able to view the property from an owner’s perspective. A resident’s word will never provide as much peace of mind as getting a good look at the property for yourself.


The Changing Market

The property market is a competitive and constantly changing one. While you are a hundred miles away, it is easy to be left behind on local market conditions and realities. 

You will need to go the extra mile when it comes to staying updated. Read up on market reports from reputable companies, government policies, and demographic reports. Without a proper understanding of local conditions, you might find you are undercharging your residents or slowly being edged out by the competition. 

Consume as much local information and reports as possible. This will help you make the necessary adjustments in the long run to stay up with the competition. 


A person taking notes from a laptop.


A Local Connection 

The advice given may give you some semblance of efficiency and effectiveness as a long distance landlord. But in the end, you will need a local player who can help out when repairs, renovations, and impromptu checks are required. After all, you can’t catch a flight to come and fix a leaky tap. 

Be comprehensive in your search for local handymen and maintenance crews who can rush out to your property and fix an issue within short notice. 


With the tips afforded above, you don’t have to worry about moving away from your property long-term. Property management plays a crucial role in the financial performance of your rental investment. Should you need a management company to run the daily needs of your Pocatello property, rely on the #1 property management crew in the region. 

Five Star Property Management has grown its brand over the years and is known by individuals, households, and HOAs. We are a full-service property management team with a wide range of property solutions and services. Our expert team manages townhouses, apartments, condos, and homeowner’s associations.  

Get in touch with us today and you will receive an affordable quote for your services.

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