Somehow I Manage: The Dangers of a Bad On-Site Manager

Somehow I Manage: The Dangers of a Bad On-Site Manager thumbnail

Somehow I Manage: The Dangers of a Bad On-Site Manager

When you are dealing with multiple properties, odds are that you will need to hire an on-site manager to handle the day-to-day operations and to address any concerns that your tenants may have. Having a manager will reduce the demands on your time, but recruiting an on-site manager and monitoring their work are tasks that need to be undertaken with care. It’s imperative that you choose the property manager diligently. 

How to Hire the Right Property Manager

To ensure that you hire the right candidate, here are some aspects to be mindful of:

  • Do they hold professional certifications?
  • What kind of experience do they have?
  • Have they managed similar properties in the past?
  • What is their tenant screening process? Do they have any experience in tenant eviction?
  • Do they have the requisite knowledge about budget and record-keeping as well as financial reporting and taxes?

Even when you hire the manager on the strength of their resume, you will need to monitor progress to ensure that the quality of work does not taper off.  

Dangers of an Unprofessional Property Manager

There are many dangers that come with bad on-site managers. You could be dealing with reduced rental income, increase in repair costs, disgruntled tenants or landlords could even get sued. Here are some things a negligent and unprofessional property manager can do that can get you to the wrong side of the law:

  • Violating Federal Fair Housing Laws by illegally screening out tenants.
  • Not making timely repairs, rendering the property inhabitable.
  • Not giving the tenant reasonable notice before entering the property.
  • Not returning security deposits within the statutory limit.

Warning Signs to Watch Out For

In order to ensure that you do not reach such a stage, it’s important to watch out for any red flags early. Some of the warning signs to watch out for include:

1. No Communication

If you are the one who is having to reach out to the manager and you do not see any proactive communication from their side in keeping you posted on all developments, this is a definite red flag of things not moving in the right direction. Also, the manager isn’t available for emergencies or is slow to respond to queries should also put you on high alert. You could also experience a lack of communication with respect to not receiving reports on property inspection or even regular monthly reports on time.

2. Not Responding to Tenants

Even with a property manager in place, it will help to keep lines of communication with your tenants open and to let them know that you can be reached if they face any issues. However, if you receive constant complaints about repairs not done or other issues not attended to, once again, it is a big red flag.

3. Bad Tenants and Evictions

While a bad tenant is a reality that landlords sometimes have to deal with, if you are constantly witnessing a scenario where tenants are not paying rent on time or you have to often evict tenants, odds are that your property manager isn’t carrying out their tenant screening duties efficiently.

If you have been witnessing these warning signs time and again, it is time to act. The answer to what to do with an unprofessional property manager is simply to replace them. Ignoring these signs could lead you to a situation where you tend to lose money. Left unattended, an unprofessional property manager could also lead to your property gaining a bad reputation and cause long-term damage. 


Trevor Henson is the founder of several property management companies and is the current Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Beach Front Property Management in Long Beach, CA. He is a CMO, entrepreneur, Trojan, EO LA member, investment property addict, change agent, and bourbon aficionado.