Michele - Thursday, September 29, 2016
Steven M. R. Covey published a book entitled “The Speed of Trust” which explains how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.
When I read this book, I understood that it was imperative for our company to establish trust with our landlords at the very beginning of our business relationship.
Since most of our landlords plan to sell their rental properties once the market reaches a break-even or profitable level, our property management relationships typically last 4-6 years. During most of that time frame, our direct interaction with landlords will be minimal. We will collect rents, react to minor maintenance concerns, renew leases, or procure new tenants. Rarely, but possibly, we may need to contact a landlord in the midst of an emergency situation that requires a prompt decision and/or a significant and unexpected expense.
For instance, if a gas hot water heater leaks on a Friday night, a decision needs to be made whether to replace it immediately to allow tenants to have hot water over the weekend. Or if it is nearly 100 degrees on a hot August day and th...
Michele - Sunday, September 27, 2015
Earlier this year, one of our landlords who lives locally stopped by his rental property, knocked on the door, introduced himself and let the tenant know that he wanted to sell the home at some point in the future, so he offered to be flexible if the tenant had any interest in terminating the lease early. (Sorry M.R. you know this post is about you!). Coincidentally, the tenant had been thinking about buying a home, so a week later, he ratified a contract to purchase a new home and let the landlord know that he’d be moving out within a month. Certainly, that isn’t what the landlord meant when he said he’d be flexible; he assumed the tenant would provide a 60 to 90 day notice, and would likely do so in the springtime. He did not anticipate that the tenant would take immediate action and expect to be let out of the lease within the month. Fortunately, the owner was able to further negotiate and we prepared a lease termination agreement that worked out well for him, but the communication initiated by the landlord set off a very unexpected series of events that needed swift reaction.
We find that conversations between landlords often lead to miscommunications or discussions of options that are inconsistent wi...
Michele - Monday, May 25, 2015
Most of our managed properties are located within communities that are governed by a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) or Condo Association. The lease will require that the tenants comply with all HOA regulations. In order to do so, the owner must provide a copy of the HOA regulations that pertain to parking, trash pick up, use of grills, exterior maintenance, etc.
Some HOAs also require that a landlord notify them when transitioning a home into a rental property and provide the association with a copy of the lease. Owners will need to check with their HOAs to find out if what specific requirements are in place for rental properties.
Owners should also let us know what additional coordination will be needed between our office and the HOA such as ensuring tenants have parking passes, visitor hang tags, pool passes, club house passes, gate entry cards, etc.
Owners must also provide the HOA with their forwarding address to ensure that they are notified promptly of any HOA violations. Many owners choose to have violation notices sent directly to our office so that we can take immediate action when notified.
Owners will c...
Michele - Thursday, March 26, 2015
Most landlords who are considering using a property manager are looking for someone to handle the “middle of the night emergency calls”. In reality, handling of those calls are very rare and are not the primary benefit of having a property manager. While a burst water pipe, a failed sump pump or a main drain back up will need immediate action, the more common challenges for landlords are enforcement/administration of the lease and handling of tenant requests.
We do have several plumbers on call to handle late night emergencies. But with 245+ properties, we typically have no more than 2-3 emergencies per year. What we do handle on a regular basis are tenant requests for early move out, HOA violations, repairs that are needed which may be due to tenant abuse or neglect, tenants requesting repairs that owners do not feel necessary, and tenants not clearly understanding their responsibilities under the lease.
I feel that the primary benefit of hiring a property manager is having a professional handle the enforcement of lease terms in a manner that maintains good rapport with the tenant while protecting the owner’s interests. Our knowledge of the lease terms, landlord tenant ...