While less than 2% of our tenants have had challenges paying rent during the COVID pandemic, for those tenants and their corresponding landlords, the negative financial impact is significant. Fortunately, the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RPR) still has funds available to assist tenants with past due rent balances.
Tenants could receive up to 15 months of rental assistance if they experienced a financial hardship (directly or indirectly) due to COVID-19. Applications can be submitted online, with tenants supplying proof of income, along with a copy of their lease and ledger. Note that the rental relief funds are paid directly to the landlord or property manager, not to the tenant.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is administering the program which is funded through Virginia’s allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. DHCD’s website provides detailed information on the application process which is simple and straight forward.
While our office hours are 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday (by appointment only now due to COVID), our staff and agents are actually ready to jump into action whenever they are needed. Here’s an example of a typical Saturday:
Our Business Development Manager, Nabeel Zahid, has two appointments with new landlords who are considering using our services to manage their rental properties. Nabeel is meeting these landlords at their home to answer any questions they have and to point out any actions that are needed to get the homes in Ready-to-Rent condition.
Our After-Hours Emergency Line received 3 calls from tenants asking for immediate assistance and created work orders. Our office staff jumped into action to assist.
Our Assistant Property Manager, Amy Walnetski, coordinated with a plumber to address a sewer back up caused by a failed ejector pump. She also coordinated to have ServPro clean up the impacted area.
Our other Assistant Property Manager, Andrea Vega-Mendez, coordinated with a separate plumber to replace a pressure relief valve that developed a leak and was spraying water all over the basement.
Our inspector, Nathan Odems, was called out to a...
Tenant screening can be a tedious process and can result in a negative outcome if done incorrectly. With many Americans impacted by COVID, fraud and identity theft are on the rise in the rental market. With RPM Direct’s thorough process, we can minimize the risk of accepting false documentation that often results in unpaid rent.
Hiring a property manager can increase your return on investment by making every effort to secure a financially responsible renter who will care for your property as their own. Our extensive process includes reviewing:
If you choose to self-manage a property, you must take into account the time commitment associated with finding the right tenant. Once you have taken the time and spent the money to review reports and check employment and rental history, there is still no guarantee it will work out. Repeating this process year after year can be frustrating and quite expensive. Property management can increase retention rates by finding financially stable long-term tenants and removing you from this stressful process.
You may be faced with many questions when deciding if you should rent or sell your home, especially in the current “Seller’s Market”. Becoming a landlord might seem like a daunting task if you don’t have a property manager. With a property management company making renting your home a hands-off operation, the financial benefits begin to seem more appealing. So, why rent?
1. Monthly Income
This is commonly seen as the most beneficial part of renting your property as it generates income that requires minimal effort to maintain, especially with a property manager.
2. Mortgage Being Paid
With someone living in your home, you are receiving the cash flow to pay your mortgage down. Thus, increasing equity and creating flexibility of selling once you are in a greater financial position to do so. Essentially, your property is paying for itself.
3. Creating an Investment Property
If you are looking for a long-term investment, this is it. While you are renting your home, it is appreciating in value, creating financial security when it is time for you to sell. Plus, with the ever-changing market...
One year has passed and the negative impacts of COVID-19 are still prevalent. At RPM Direct, LLC we are taking every necessary safety precaution to keep our tenants safe as well as putting all our efforts toward providing our property owners with the quality service they deserve. During the peak of COVID-19, our property management team developed systems and processes to keep business running smoothly and efficiently. If you choose to self-manage your property during this difficult time, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Eviction Moratoriums
Eviction moratoriums have been put in place across the United States making it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants due to unpaid rent. State and local jurisdictions have also passed new laws and implemented new guidelines. Although these moratoriums have made it more difficult to evict tenants, RPM Direct, LLC has been able to continue evicting when necessary but with a longer timeframe than our clients are accustomed to. It is critical that landlords understand how to navigate the new Virginia Laws that have been put in place as the result of COVID.
Our entire staff met (via Zoom) with our attorney, David McKennett, to come up to speed on the latest status of the Eviction Moratoriums. This is one of the most important topics for Property Managers to keep on top of since it is constantly changing, requires strict adherence to legal processes, and can significantly impact landlord’s cash flow.
Here’s an overview of the current Eviction Moratoriums, laws, and restrictions at the Federal, State, and County levels….
HHS/CDC TEMPORARY HALT IN RESIDENTIAL EVICTIONS TO PREVENT THE FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19 – This Federal Level “moratorium” remains in place through March 31, 2021 and stops the eviction process If a tenant provides a written declaration that they have been financially impacted by COVID.
VIRGINIA LAWS THAT IMPACT DOCUMENATION AND TIMELINES FOR EVICTION – Rather than issuing a 5-Day Notice when tenants are late with rent payments, landlords and property managers must now issue a 14-Day Notice. This notice must also include notification of tenant rights and information regarding the “Virginia Rent and Mortgage Re...
Happy New Year! Hoping that 2021 is already off to a great start for you! During late December and early January, we often receive calls from self-managing landlords who have made a decision to hire a professional property manager. Sometime these decisions are due to challenges with rent collection or maintenance coordination. Other times, these self-managing landlords are just ready to focus their time and energy on other aspects of life and are ready to take advantage of professional management services.
At this time of year, we also get calls from landlords who are using a property manager but realize that now may be a time to change in order to meet their goals for the property.
We welcome your interest in our services and would like to highlight a few thoughts that we can discuss in more detail when we talk by phone (or Zoom).
While you’ve likely heard that the CDC Eviction Moratorium expires at the end of this month, Governor Northam included emergency legislation in the Virginia Budget last week that significantly impacts the eviction process in our state. Effective immediately the following regulations are now in place through at least June 30, 2021.
The initial notice given a tenant regarding late rent must include a 14-day notice to pay rather than a 5-day notice to pay before any legal action can begin.
Along with the standard notice regarding late rent, tenants must also be provided information regarding their rights and information regarding resources available to them including the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.
If tenants have not applied for the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, landlords must apply on their behalf.
We’ve written several blogs regarding deductions from a tenant’s security deposit at the end of the lease term. Landlords also often ask about charging tenants for maintenance needed during the term of the lease that seem to have been caused by tenant actions.
Sometimes it’s easy to determine when the tenant should be charged for a service call or repair. For example:
If the toilet is clogged and the plumber pulls out Legos or a toy soldier, the tenant will be charged for the service call. The tenant will also be charged for any damages a related overflow caused to the ceiling below.
If a disposal is not working and the plumber finds aquarium rocks or broken glass inside the unit, the tenant will be charged for the repair or replacement of the disposal.
If a tenant backs into a garage door, that tenant will be charged for the repair to the door.
For other damages, it may not be as easy to determine whether the tenant is at fault and should be charged. If a bathroom floor tile is broken, is it due to the tenant dropping something on the tile or because the surface below is not stable enough? If there is a sewage back up is it d...
When I speak to new landlords, they have usually decided to have their property professionally managed because they don’t want to get a call in the middle of the night about a clogged toilet or because they don’t want to worry about tenants trashing their home.
In the past 12 years managing approximately 400 properties, we’ve only had a handful of late-night toilet issues and only two properties that I considered “trashed” by the tenants.
Here are some of the things that our Maintenance Coordinators have actually been working on recently:
A family of skunks borrowing under the front steps of a property
A gas leak behind the wall of a condo which caused the gas to be turned off for the entire block of condos
Dead birds in a chimney
All of the smoke detectors in a single-family home going off in unison at 3AM due to an electrical issue rather than to any smoke being present
A garage door that opens on its own several time per day
Bats in an attic of a townhome due to an entry point in a neighbor’s siding
Participation in a neighborhood project to install and tie together French drains through th...
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