Are you ready for anything? When your Atlanta homes for rent perform well and renters are happy, it's hard to think about planning for the worst. However, if recent history has shown us anything, 'the worst' can come out of nowhere and damage your income if you aren't ready for it.
Rental houses in Atlanta, Georgia, require plenty of ongoing care to perform at their best. From rental property inspections to routine maintenance, successful investors know that preparation helps ward off the biggest impact on your rental income when something goes wrong.
The same approach applies to your investment property business. When investors aren't ready to handle the worst, it can quickly derail their short-term (and long-term) income. What should you include in a crisis plan? Let our professional insights as an Atlanta property management company help you stay prepared for anything!
Note: This article is not legal counsel! When you need help collecting rent, reach out to your attorney about your options or the expert full-service property management professionals at Revolution Rental Management, formerly known as GTL Real Estate.
Every Property Owner Needs a Plan
You're not exempt from the unexpected. Even if you have multiple Atlanta, Georgia, rental properties and plenty of cash flow, one or two months of a nationwide economic crisis can delay your rental income across several of your rentals if your residents lose jobs in a downturn.
Putting a crisis plan together doesn't mean you're expecting the worst. Crisis planning is a smart way to do business while protecting your investments and income for the long haul. However, not every real estate investor knows what to put in a plan to navigate a crisis and minimize income loss.
Make Sure It's a Thorough Plan
Think through every aspect of the operations involved to keep your houses in Atlanta, Georgia, thriving. During a crisis, 'thriving' might be a challenge. However, there's no reason investors can't survive well during a crisis while maintaining rent collection, performing ongoing maintenance and repairs, and keeping renters safe and happy.
Your responsibilities as a rental property owner don't change, no matter the state of the economy. When times are tough, investors must find ways to provide safe homes for residents while staying accountable to the lease agreement.
What to Do in a Recession
A recession can impact your renters' finances, making it challenging for them to pay the rent. However, your investment success depends on renters paying the rent on time every month.
What can investors do when residents lose jobs or experience a reduction in income? In many cases, rental payments are the first thing residents put on the back burner to make sure they can put food on the table and pay for other necessities with limited income.
Despite the economy, investors with Atlanta homes for rent must (and should) still collect the rent. However, property owners have the flexibility to work with renters in challenging situations to help them follow the rules with an adjusted payment schedule or a pause on late fees.
Documenting a crisis rent collection plan ahead of time can help you minimize income loss while building strong relationships with your renters.
Address How to Handle Eviction
In better financial times, non-payment of rent leads to eviction for a renter. However, with a widespread economic crisis, you might have several renters who can't pay the rent despite their best efforts.
As we saw with COVID-19, the government put allowances in place to pause Georgia evictions under specific circumstances. While that can help protect renters who experience job loss, some renters take advantage of a crisis and simply refuse to pay their rent-even if they can.
Your crisis plan should include details about how you'll handle eviction during the crisis. This should include your options for when eviction is completely off the table. Our eviction rate was less than 2% in 2019 (for reference, the average in the Atlanta area is 5%), so we know from experience there are alternatives to eviction that can be useful in these scenarios.
Consult your legal counsel and an Atlanta property management specialist to create and implement your plan and follow the law.
How Much to Keep in Savings
You've been putting some of your investment income away into a business savings account, right? If you're spending money as fast as you make it or putting everything toward your retirement, you could find yourself in a negative cash flow situation when renters can't pay the rent.
If you're not sure how much you should save now to help cover expenses for your Atlanta homes for rent in a crisis scenario, a professional property manager can help you. We can run the numbers to estimate cash flow and maintain a budget and savings plan to help offset short-term rental income loss.
The Right Atlanta Property Manager Is the Best Crisis Plan
A crisis of any kind can happen at any time. Whether it's a fire that destroys one of your rentals or a larger crisis like an economic downturn that affects multiple residents, being prepared is the best way to minimize loss and recover quicker.
When you work with Revolution Rental Management, a team of property managers, we make sure you're prepared for anything-good or bad. We work with investors to get the most out of their rental houses in Atlanta, Georgia, when everything is working well. We also help put plans in place to navigate a crisis and minimize the impact on your income.
Contact us to learn more about our rental property solutions to keep you moving toward your long-term goals!