If I’m renting out my house but I live in another state, am i required to have a property manager?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally, no--no law requires property managers.

Practically, yes--your tenant will have issues at times (e.g. maintence and repairs) which are very difficult to resolve from another state. If you can't get the issues resolved in a timely and satisfactory way, you will be in violation of your obligations as a landlord, and the tenant may (depending on the exact facts) be able to withhold rent, treat the lease as terminated by the violation, sue you for compensation, etc. And if you need to take legal action against the tenant (e.g. for nonpayment of rent), you'll need someone local who can go to court--or you'll be driving in from another state for the court date. Generally, having a property manager for a remote landlord is part of the cost of doing business; if you're not making enough to hire a property manager (note: there are many property management companies and some realtors who do this very affordably), it's not worth being a landlord.


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