Pitfalls of hiring a professional property manager

Long-distance ownership sometimes comes at a cost

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DEAR BOB: Why didn't you warn me? You should have told me about the pitfalls of hiring a so-called professional property manager. When I moved away, I hired a local Realtor to supervise my rental house. She charged me 10 percent of the gross monthly rent. Several months after my tenant vacated without notice and left the house a mess, she finally phoned me to say, "We have a problem." At that point, I reluctantly sent her a $2,000 check to pay for fix-up work. Then she re-rented the house. But the next tenant was a deadbeat. It turns out my so-called professional property manager never even ran a credit report on the new tenant. When I recently fired the property manager, after she got the deadbeat out of my house, she said I breached her property management contract. What should I do? – Ben R. DEAR BEN: Either decide to sell your rental house, or try to find a better so-called professional property manager. Your situation shows why it is often so difficult owning a rental house ...