How to Be a Long-Distance Landlord

how to be a long distance landlord

There are several reasons that may have led to becoming a long-distance landlord. You might have been relocated to another branch out of State for work and instead of selling you choose to rent your old place. Another common reason for becoming a long-distance landlord is retirement or deciding to go from part-time to full-time and investing in properties out of state. 

Many homeowners will decide to rent out their property when they move out of State, whatever the reason, instead of selling it. 

Being a long-distance landlord comes with its own set of challenges. You don’t have easy access to the property and it can lead to some issues with the tenant. To help you with your new landlord status, the team from Halcyon Real Estate Services has put together this article.

Rent to High-Quality Tenants

Landlords are advised to rent their properties to quality tenants. As a long-distance landlord, having tenants you can trust is important to running a successful rental business.Living far away from your tenants, you won’t be able to quickly address an impromptu issue should it arise.

After you successfully manage the property, many interested tenants will reach out. Don’t be quick to lease out the property to the first tenant who answers your ad. Carry out a comprehensive tenant screening service to ensure you rent your unit to a quality tenant.

a family unpacking boxes the child draws on one with crayons

Tenant screening calls for you to do rental history checks, employment checks, income and credit history checks, sex offender checks, and social security verifications. If you don’t have the experience, network, or resources to perform a thorough job, consider relying on a local property expert who can guide you on the process.

While it might seem like a lengthy procedure, screening tenants offers you peace of mind.

Maintain Open Communication 

Even when you have a high-quality tenant on the property, there is always the possibility of an impromptu event. It could be in the form of a water leak or a faulty HVAC unit. Regardless of the issue, it is best if the tenant can get in touch with you in the shortest time possible.

Being able to reach you quickly and have the issue resolved gives the tenant peace of mind. Should there be an emergency, you can instruct the tenant on the measures to take as you look for a long-term solution.

Always ensure that you have given your tenant your up-to-date contact info. It is also best to reach out to the tenant monthly to check on the status of the rental and their well being.

Regular Visitations

Even if you have a trustworthy tenant it is still important to make regular visitations to your property. 

a key in a lock of an open door

Regular visits allow you to understand the true condition of the property and keep track of any tenant damages. A tenant may not be able to understand what to look out for since they don’t view the property from the same perspective. 

In addition, visiting your rental can provide you with tax benefits. You may be able to subtract the cost of travel, hotel stays, and other expenses from the taxable income when you visit your out-of-State rentals.

Assess the Market

The local rental property market can be quite competitive. Every landlord is looking to attract and maintain long-term, quality tenants. If you are not equipped with the latest amenities, you can find yourself losing lessees.

During your visits to the area, do research on newer properties in that neighborhood. This way, you will be able to tell if there are any differences between your rental and others in the area.

What amenities are other rentals offering? What lease policies do the current set of tenants find attractive? By accessing the rental market when you’re in town, you will be able to make similar changes to make sure that your tenants want to stay.

By keeping up with the latest information on local government regulations, ordinances, demographic changes, the business environment, and property rental analyzes you will be able to make the necessary adjustments to remain competitive.

Build a Local Network

It is essential that all long-distance landlords create and develop strong relationships with local service providers. A trusted handyman with experience and expertise can easily fix a clogged toilet, a leaky tap, or other emergency requests.

someone drawing a line on wood using a measuring tape

Having a network of local services that are willing to attend to your rental properties is essential when becoming a long-distance landlord.


Relocating a few hundred miles away does not have to be a reason for you to sell your property. You can be a long-term landlord and enjoy all the benefits that come with property leasing. By screening for high-quality tenants, maintaining open communication channels, and visiting your property regularly, you can be a successful long-distance landlord.

The team from Halcyon Real Estate Services is well-equipped and trained to handle all your long-distance properties. We are members of both the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. With us as your property managers, you can be assured that your property is in the best hands possible.

Get in touch with us today and get a quote for our property management services!