Unless a unit has been purchased with the intent to make it a rental, most other ownersare being forced into the rental scene because they cannot afford to keep makingpayments on a property they are not occupying. For these giving up control/oversight of amajor investment is unnerving at best. At times I have felt some of these owners wouldhave had less stress by just having to worry about making the monthly payment. So thefirst question should be – Am I willing to relinquish control and be able to accept the factthings may happen to the property which will be upsetting, possibly cause unrecoverablecost and most certainly leave the property different. If the answer in not yes, it would bebest to seek another avenue of dealing with the situation.
All owners usually consider their properties in at least “good or acceptable” condition.The reality is though that very few units are “rent ready” when they are initially turnedover including those that are meticulously cared for. 99% of the time we still have to dosome detailed cleaning, painting / touch up painting, make repairs clean up yards or getthings in compliance with rental ordinances. In some cases it is because owners havelived “comfortably” with issues because they have never had the time or money toaddress them. In other cases the décor required custom paint colors which are hard totouch up and will not be good for the majority of renters. If not every surface has beentouch by the cleaning rag inside and out the unit is not clean. So the second question is –Am I willing to allow my property to be made rent ready at whatever the cost is. The factof the matter is that the better the condition of the property, the better the tenant and thefaster it will rent at a reasonable rent rate.
We cannot discriminate. Once the property is signed up it is rentable to anyone whomeets the criteria set by the owner in the management agreement. Though we mayable to find a “perfect” tenant on “paper” it does not mean that their living habits are thebest and unless you can prove criminal activity/damages or have a health departmentcomplaint situation there is little chance of a judge granting an eviction. No amount ofinspections will change a tenant’s living habits; if anything it will just cause feeling ofintimidation/harassment. We cannot control the tenant’s actions or the condition of howthey leave the property when they move out. Third question – Can I deal with a possibleslob in my property?
Your mortgage is your responsibility. We DO NOT guarantee that the rent will be in youraccount by a certain date and there is no way to ensure that the tenant’s payments arealways timely. Even the best of tenants can be late or bounce checks. Fourth question –Can you afford to carry the house if the rent is not there?
If you have gotten past the initial costs of paying the one month’s rent as finder’s fee andgetting the house ready, now get ready for the tenant related costs. The general mind setof most owners is that the house is now in perfect condition and anything that goes wronghereafter is because the tenant caused it. Regretfully even the nicest of tenants are notalways completely honest about how things happen and unless one can, with absolutecertainty, prove that the tenant is at fault, you the owner are going to get stuck with thebill. Since we as your property managers have requested the repair service you are liablefor the bill to the service provider regardless of whether we are going to try and recoverthe cost from the tenant or not. At move out the tenants never admit to damaging thingsand never draw your attention to the unobvious “dings” which the next tenant then callsin about wanting them fixed. Though the house was in good condition when they movedin – you paid to have it put that way – unless it is “blatant” the cost to get the house “rentready” again is considered “wear and tear” expense. Question five – how upsetting isthis going to be?
This is your property. It is our obligation to see that all issues with the property are dealtwith quickly and efficiently in order to preserve and protect your investment and becauseyou are now dealing with the public by being a “landlord” through us managing theproperty for you, your liability for the safety of the tenant becomes paramount. Wetherefore encourage the tenants to call us with all issues as soon as possible regardless ofthe cause so that any further/residual damage or safety issues can be minimized. Thisapproach gives the tenant a sense of caring on our part/your part which usually makes fora happier and ultimately more caring tenant. In order to accomplish this however it isessential to the smooth flow of things that owners do not try and micro manage theproperty by requiring prior authorization on every cost and require use of serviceproviders other than ours unless time is not of essence. This is why we have a $200 peroccurrence (not per month) blanket service authorization written into our managementagreements. Even though often owners believe that their service providers are cheaper orthere are cheaper providers out there, the downsides to using these people way outweightheir use. It disrupts our ability to call providers that we know will answer the callespecially in emergency situations, people we have established a long time rapport withand understand how we work and what our expectations are, providers that we can trustto do the job timely, properly, reliably, professionally and without worry ofinappropriate/criminal behavior, invoice us verses require payment on site and be anadditional set of eyes when at the property that will report things they feel could be ofconcern. Certainly our people too make mistakes or have things go wrong but we neverhave to worry about them being willing to go back and correct the problem. It is our goalto provide both tenants and owners with easy accessibility to our management team forall needs through voicemail, fax, email and emergency pager -24/7. Our accounting sidedoes its best to process payments and provide documentation as quickly as possibletaking weekends and holidays into account. Questions and concerns are always takenseriously and addressed accordingly.
We hope that this information will assist in the decision process while outlining realistic expectations for owners who do decide to place their property in our care.
Phil. Keller (937) 776 4496
Shana Drew (937) 673 2426
REALTOR, Sales and Rental Agent and Property Manager