Taking Vacation as a Landlord: How to Get Away With Peace of Mind
You put a lot of work into your rental property, but sometimes you just want to get away from it all. How do you take a vacation as a landlord?
The same way you handle anything else that comes up with your rental property: by preparing. Take the right steps to prepare and you’ll be able to take a low-stress vacation wherever you want to go.
Find a trusted substitute
If you already have a property manager, you’ve already done this part. Just hand over the additional tasks to them that you’ve been handling or put them off until the end of your vacation.
If not, then you’re going to have to find someone to take your place. This can be a trusted friend, a fellow landlord, or anyone else who you can hand this over to for as long as you’re gone.
Prepare a packet of information and materials
This is key to making sure that things run smoothly while you’re gone. Make sure that your substitute has all the information they need to know what to do while you’re gone.
What should go in this packet:
- Keys, tenant's name and contact information for each property you own
- Names and contact information for the contractors and repair professionals you use on a regular basis
- Instructions for handling rent payments (if you’re gone when rent is collected)
- Information about local rental laws that need to be followed
- Some money for minor repairs or other issues that come up
- Your contact information in case of emergency
Let your tenants know about your absence
If something goes wrong, a tenant calling you is going to interrupt your vacation. Make sure that they know you’re going to be gone and give them the contact information for your replacement.
Finish all open projects before going
You’re going on vacation to get away from stressful things. Don’t take an unfinished project with you, either literally or just hanging out in the back of your mind. Make sure that contractors have finished any work or all paperwork is filed before you leave on the trip rather than finishing it when you get back. It’ll be harder to do things now, but it’ll save you feeling stressed out on your vacation.
Technology lets you keep in touch over a distance
No, you don’t want to be managing the place while you’re away, but it’s at least possible. If a real problem comes up that can’t be handled without you, make sure your substitute knows you can be reached and how to do so. Often, all they’ll need is a yes or no answer to solve a problem, so you can take the call, go back to your vacation and not find a big problem waiting for you when you get home.
Try not to be gone when rent is due
If something goes wrong with rent payments, you have a real problem. Being away at that time also means you’ll be a lot less available to solve these problems when they come up. It’s your money, so try to avoid a situation where it would be late or any other problem you’d have trouble resolving from a distance.
Taking vacation as a landlord can be difficult since there’s a lot that can go wrong. If you have the right people and processes in place, it can go a lot more smoothly. Correct preparation will solve most of the problems that come up without needing to interrupt your time on vacation.