Property managers need to be up-to-speed on the basics of landlord-tenant law, especially if they will be choosing tenants or serving termination notices. But even managers who are just accepting rent checks or coordinating tenant repair requests can get into legal trouble if they don’t know the laws in your state. One good approach is to give your manager a copy of Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, or, (if your rental property is in California), The California Landlord’s Law Book: Rights & Responsibilities. In addition, you’ll want to provide detailed instructions that cover potential trouble issues, such anti-discrimination rules. It’s also a good idea to sign a Residential Rental Property Manager Agreement with your manager, spelling out the details of the job.
Here is a sample set of instructions for a manager with fairly broad authority. You can tailor these instructions to fit your own rental situation. Be sure to add any requirements that are imposed by your state law—for example, stricter notice requirements to enter a tenant’s rental unit that are outlined in these sample instructions.
Have a manager sign a copy of your instructions, verifying that he or she has read your instructions and understands them. The manager should keep the original and give the copy to you for safe keeping.