Choosing Tahoe Property Management Companies
There are a variety of property management companies to choose from in Lake Tahoe and it can be a challenge to decide which one is best for you. The first thing you have to ask yourself is how you intend to use your property. Are you looking to still be able to use your house on a regular basis, seasonally, or not at all? Different property management companies offer specific services to meet these very different needs. In the sections below we will explain how each of these rental types impacts you are the owner.
If you are looking to still have access to your home, short-term vacation rentals is likely the best option. Short-term rentals are 30 days or less and homes are generally rented in a “turn-key” condition. This means that you supply all furniture and kitchen utensils as well as towels and linens. Property management companies generally charge 10-50% for their management services depending on what you require and the level of involvement you want to have. Services can range from organizing cleaning and shoveling to paying taxes. One thing that is important to understand with short-term rentals is the Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax. As an owner you have to pay 10% of the total amount the renter paid to Placer county each quarter.
Tahoe Rental Management only handles short-term vacations rentals. We love working with people who love spending time in their Lake Tahoe home. Our services are designed for home owners to be able to reserve time at their home in advance while allowing for short-term rentals between their stays. In addition, owners can take advantage of last minute available gaps in the calendar via a live shared calendar. For these services we offer two different rental management packages, each of which is based on the rental profit.
Do you enjoy spending winter in the mountains and summer on the beach? If you only see yourself enjoying all that Tahoe has to offer for part of the year you have the choice of either doing a six month lease or short-term vacation renting. In most cases both options will require the house to be fully furnished.
With short term rentals your nightly rate is very weather and vacation time dependant- especially in the winter. In addition to the fluctuation of the income you assume the cost of utilities and snow removal. If your property management company fees are reasonable, you should be able to get a higher gross nightly average by doing short term rentals regardless of utilities, weather, and transient occupancy task.
Six month rentals are a more reliable source of income but the potential to get a higher nightly rate average is better with vacation rentals. With six month rentals you pass utilities on to your tenants and you know that, no matter what the weather is doing, you will get a certain amount of money per month. With longer leases (over 30 days) transient occupancy taxes do not have to be paid to Placer County.
The amount of wear and tear on your house is very renter dependant. Although more people will pass through your home with vacation rentals the amount of time they spend there will be substantially less than with six month leases. This can be good or bad. With vacation rentals your home is getting cleaned and inspected between each renter so you have a better gauge on the condition it is left in but renters are less likely to feel a sense of ownership for your home. With six month leases you have more of an ability to vet your tenants and gauge how they will treat your house. No matter how well you vet them, whatever it is they are doing in your home will be done for 6 months which can either be a good or a bad thing.
The last factor to consider is flexibility. Six month rentals are generally form June to december or December to June. If you are looking at offering six month leases that start and stop outside that window it will be hard to find good renters. For example, if you want to use your home from March to July you will be off the general six month rental cycle. If you are looking for flexibility in occupancy and are willing to gamble a little for a higher potential income, vacation renting is the best option for you. Tahoe Rental Management is more than happy to work with homeowners who want to actually live in their home for certain times of the year. We firmly believe that is is your home and you should be able to use it whenever and however you would like.
If the time is not right in your life for you to enjoy your home but you don’t want to sell it, long-term rentals are a good low maintenance option. Generally these sort of rentals are offered in 6 to 12 month increments and the house can either be offered as furnished or unfurnished. This can be a good hands off option and is relatively manageable without the assistance of property management companies. If you do not want to handle finding a tenant, collecting money and repairing or replacing appliances a property manager is the way to go. Companies generally charge between 8% and 12% of the monthly rate and then for expenses on top of that. Tahoe Rental Management does not handle this type of rental but there are a lot of great companies in Lake Tahoe who do.