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As a property owner, you have responsibilities. You not only want to ensure that your property is attractive and functional so that you can find and retain tenants, you need to keep your tenants happy with thorough communication. However, property owners have responsibilities beyond caring for tenants. If a tenant gets hurt on your property and it's deemed to be due to your negligence, you will need to be financially responsible. Even with insurance, you could experience a legal case that could cost you time and money. Professional rental property management can come between you and your tenants in a positive way, by reducing your personal liability.

In many cities, the condominium market is hot. In Seattle, some folks are looking to catch the tech wave and live in a place that's close to work and entertainment, while others want to live in high-density, low maintenance homes in walkable neighborhoods. As a property owner, this inflow of motivated buyers can also mean an inflow of keen tenants, as many people decide to commit to a location but not to home ownership. This means that as an owner, you need to learn how to work with the unique condominium market.

It's ten o'clock in the evening and the phone rings. It's your tenant. She's just gotten in, and the leak that she noticed in her water tank earlier has grown to a small flood. You're tired, but you know you need to deal with this before tomorrow, or more damage will occur. You can't get across town, so you call a maintenance company about the emergency. The cost is astronomical, and your tension builds. Being a landlord isn't always easy. In fact, it's rarely simple. Working with a property management company can help prevent you from falling into these property management nightmares.

It's summertime, and moving is just as complicated as it's ever been. Summertime is often move-in or move-out time for many rental properties. Families get settled in new neighborhoods, singles move with school schedules, and others make the decision to settle in a new city. Before an existing tenant leaves and another tenant moves in, owners can follow certain steps to make the move-in and move-out process as smooth as possible, or they can work with a property management company to navigate this busy time. Here are four repair and maintenance things that should be on your permanent to do list.

What's the status of the Seattle rental market? The prognosis is good for landlords. Vacancies are low, and rents are moving up. There is strong job growth in the Seattle area as well, while home prices remain high, so there's a large interested market for rental housing. If you're a landlord in the Seattle area, you're in an excellent position, but you need to make sure that your investment in Seattle rentals remains strong. Here's how to get more from your investment in Seattle rentals.

Where do your tenants fit? From college students to seniors, from work-at-home parents to tech-savvy and highly mobile Millennials, your prospective tenants are diverse and have hugely different needs. The opportunities for carving out a niche in Seattle rentals are as diverse as the neighborhoods of the city. As a landlord or property owner, you need to have a feel for the neighborhoods so that you can understand what neighborhoods attract certain tenants. That way, you can choose properties that attract the tenants you want to work with, and you can target your marketing of those properties as well.

If you manage your own properties, you're strong, you're educated about the market, and you may be just a little bit tired. Being a self-managing landlord is a huge job. If you need help with your property management, you have many options. You might decide that you'd like to move to a management company's full-service management program or you could also seek out a more limited selection of services to help you as you lease your property.

What's going on with your property when you're not there? If your property is sitting vacant, it's probably weighing on your mind as well. Empty properties can be targets for vandalism and theft. What can you do to ensure that your empty property is not only free of vandalism but also ready to show to prospective tenants?

Who needs property inspections? While it's tempting to think that your tenants will treat your properties the way that you would treat them, the fact is that every family is different. By conducting regular property inspections, you ensure that your tenants and your property are meeting your expectations. If you can't inspect your property yourself, you'll need to ensure that you have someone you trust who can examine your property regularly and thoroughly.