Peer-to-peer products and services are becoming more frequent in all industries. Everything from direct freelance hire, peer-to-peer lending, and purchasing items directly from independent companies are happening at a high pace with the help of the internet. The hospitality industry is one of the latest that has undergone change, due to home and apartment vacation rentals hitting the open market en masse. While this can be a way to make money for tenants, this can spell legal trouble and damages for residential property management services. Here are some ways to figure out if your properties are being used as illegal rentals without your knowledge.
Your property showing up in internet searches
Ideally, the only ads that will show up when you do a search for your property are the ads that you have put up yourself. If you are the property manager of the building, you should do regular internet searches for your properties name and address. If you find an exact address match or a similar street address pop up, check the photographs to see if the advertisement is for one of your properties. Sometimes tenants will use a street address without the number for privacy, so be sure to check anything that may sound similar.
Odd spikes in utilities
Building utility information is a good way to figure out if your units are being rented out to guests. If a unit with one or two tenants is using the same amount of utilities as a larger unit, or a unit with larger families, this could be indicative of further guests. If the meter readings are inconsistent, this often means that an inconsistent amount of guests can be found inside of the home.
Problems with building entrances
While losing a key or having trouble with a gate can be a problem every once in a while, if there are constant problems with the front door entrance, there may be nonresidents trying to get into the apartment units. If there is constant traffic backed up when trying to get into the front door, you may consider hiring a doorman to make sure each person has expressed permission to enter the units. If keys are constantly being lost by a tenant, this may indicate that the tenant is providing keys to guests that being lost or not returned.
Structure/ room creation in the home
Inspections are an integral part of property management. Inspections make sure the building is up to code, there are no outstanding maintenance issues, and that all apartment units are property inhabitable. If you go into apartment units and notice that there are walling structures meant to create separate rooms, you should inquire about these with the tenant. Many tenants are creating smaller, walled off rooms in order to have spaces to rent. This can become a liability for your company and be against fire codes, so these structures should be removed if they are creating unauthorized rooms. For more information on real estate property management, contact a company like Foreside Real Estate Management.