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Ask a Principal Broker: Rental Properties

By Catherine Fisher, Managing Principal Broker of Town & County Realty

Purchasing rental property can be one of the best investments you can make. It is never too early to start buying rental property and the benefits are many – retirement planning, tax sheltering/benefits, potential property value appreciation, cash flow, safe investment and more! However, I have said it before and I will say it again, managing your own rental properties can be a challenge. Make sure you are prepared for all of the issues self-managing a rental property presents. Specifically, you want to be prepared:
• By knowing and following the rules and laws around fair housing. Did you know that both the State of Oregon and the City of Corvallis have more protected classes than the seven defined by the Federal Fair Housing Act?
• Ensuring you are aware of and honoring all tenant rights. Are you aware that non-refundable fees and deposits are not allowed under Oregon law? Do you know the limits of what you can ask for as a security deposit?
• For tenant damage, planned maintenance costs, and unexpected repair costs. Do you require renter’s insurance in case of major tenant caused damage? Do you know when you may not require renter’s insurance? Do you have a plan for when and how to make major, necessary improvements?
• With all necessary leases and forms needed to protect your interests during the showing process and lease. Are your documents compliant with all state rules? Will they represent you accurately in case of a lawsuit?
• If you aren’t sure about the answers to the above or if you are worried about any of these issues, you have a few choices:
• You can attend the Rental Property Management Group (RPMG) which usually meets the last Tuesday of each month from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Elks Lodge. These meetings are open to both property owners who self-manage and local professional property managers and are an invaluable resource. To learn more about RPMG, call 541-753-3620.
• You can hire a professional property manager, such as our recommendation Duerksen and Associates. If you choose to use someone other than Duerksen and Associates, definitely make sure whomever you use knows the correct answers to the above questions. Duerksen can be reached at 541-753-3620.
• You can contact Bob Loewen, a long-time resource for landlords in Corvallis and surrounding areas regarding landlord/tenant issues. Bob Loewen can be reached at housingbob@gmail.com.

No matter which direction you choose to go, stop by or call us at Town & Country Realty to help you get started on or further your rental property investment portfolio. You can reach us at 541-757-1781 or 541-924-5616. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.