Multi Family vs. Single Family Renton Rental Property Responsibilities

Renton rental properties come in a lot of shapes and sizes. There are several unique neighborhoods and communities in this area of Washington, and investors can choose between single-family homes, multi-family buildings like duplexes, or even townhomes, condos, and small apartment buildings.

Deciding whether you want to invest in multi-family properties or single-family properties will depend on your investment goals and the amount of responsibility and interaction you want to have with your management team and your tenants. The responsibilities are a bit different with each property type, and we’re talking about that today.

Providing Utilities for Multi-Family Units

With single-family homes, it’s easy enough to require your tenants to set up their own utility accounts. They have their own electricity, gas, water, and trash services and you can require in the lease that they set up those accounts before they move in. The tenants will be responsible for receiving and paying the bills every month, and they may also have to pay deposits and handle turning off the utility services when they move out.

Multi-family homes are a bit different. If you’re renting out units in a building or you have a four-plex, for example, you might find it easier to pay for the utilities for the entire building. You can send tenants separate utility bills based on usage, or you can just incorporate the general cost of utilities into the monthly rental payment. In this case, you’ll maintain the accounts, receive the bills, and handle when the services are turned on and off.

Landscaping and Exterior Care

Rental property owners will also have to be flexible with landscaping and maintenance when they’re deciding between single-family and multi-family investments. For apartment buildings and multi-unit properties, the owner will be responsible for all communal areas and outdoor spaces like patios, decks, pools, and pathways. You will have to keep the bushes trimmed and the grass mowed. You’ll need to pay attention to the condition of the building’s structure, including the handrails and driveways or parking areas.

With single-family homes, owners are still responsible for the exterior maintenance. If roofing repairs are needed, it will be your responsibility. However, you have a bit more flexibility with the landscaping and lawn care. Some owners prefer to maintain control. One option is to hire a professional lawn crew and include the cost in the tenant’s rent. Other owners require their tenants to maintain the lawn and outdoor space. This will depend on whether you trust your tenants to take care of it the way you want it cared for or if you’d prefer to have professionals manage the landscaping.

Tenant Relationships and Preventing Conflict

Your responsibilities in managing tenant disputes and conflicts may also change depending on the type of rental property you own. When you’re renting out a single-family home, your tenants have a lot of privacy and there isn’t much required of you when it comes to managing neighbors. But with a multi-family situation, tenants are in close proximity to one another. They may share laundry space, parking spots, and communal areas. This can be a huge benefit to your renters but it can also create situations where there are arguments, misunderstandings, and confrontations. Be prepared for how you will handle complaints and issues between your tenants.

Tenant Relationships and Preventing ConflictThese are just a few of the things to think about in terms of your responsibilities as an Renton rental property owner. For more information on single-family and multi-family investments, please contact our team at People’s Real Estate & Property Management.