Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management:
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
- We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
- We know the local market, have an extensive network of contacts, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled.
- After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you'll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you'll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself!
How will you find tenants for my house? How long will it take?
- Your property will be entered into our Multiple Listing Service. In addition, it will be advertised on our website, as well as several other national third party rental websites.
- We are in frequent contact with many real estate agents in the Metro area as well as the relocation offices of major companies.
- It normally takes two to four weeks to rent a home. It sometimes takes longer in the winter. A property is activated on our website as soon as we receive notice from the existing tenant and permission from the owner to re-rent.
When do I get my money each month?
We deposit the rent in our account as we collect it and it takes a day or two to clear. Once the funds are cleared, we electronically deposit the funds into your bank account. Again, it usually takes a day or two to clear your bank. Generally, we disburse daily at the first part of the month so you should receive your funds about 4 days after the tenant pays us.
What documentation will I need to provide my manager?
If your property has an HOA or condo association, you will need to provide us with copies of the Rules and Regulations and the name and telephone number of the Management Company. We will need your Insurance Company’s contact info along with policy information. If your property is currently rented we will need a copy of all current rental agreements. You will also need to provide us with your bank account and your Routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
How do you make sure that the tenant is taking good care of my home while renting?
Above all, careful tenant selection from the outset protects your property from being rented to irresponsible people. During the lease term, we may have occasion to enter the property for repair or maintenance reasons and will use that opportunity to have a look. If we are fortunate enough not to have any repairs or maintenance at your property over an extended period of time, your property manager will schedule a preventative maintenance walk-through twice a year so that there are no unreported problems at the property.
What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?
The rent is due on the first of each month and considered late after the 10th. On the 10th of each month, we send late notices to all tenants with unpaid rent. Within a few days we are calling all past due tenants. We will file for a writ of possession in the Landlord Tenant court about the 20th of the month if payment is not received by then. Whether or not the property manager eventually proceeds with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is always financially better for all involved if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which is causing them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous problems with them, it is better for you and the tenant if we give them a chance to catch up – if there is reason to believe they can do so. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises about payments and/or evasiveness, we know from experience that eviction is the best course of action.
Each case is unique and the property manager will make a decision based what is best for you and your home in the long run. That said, we always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward resolution. Full evictions, when necessary, can often take up to 2-3 months.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may call us with their requests, but most fill out an online form on our website. After we receive a repair request, the property manager may contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we normally will contact the owner, especially if the repair will be more than $350, to get approval. We will then send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair.
We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days, and in fact are usually able to do so. Comfort items such as Air conditioning, no hot water or heat, receive highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.
Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?
We will hold back $200 per unit in your account so that we always have funds to pay our vendors quickly.
How do I know your property manager won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval?
This is a legitimate fear. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $350, the property manager can take care of it without notifying you. If we think a repair might exceed $350, we will call you and let you know what is happening, what we think should be done, and what the estimated cost might be.
Sometimes expenses such as a replacing a bad water heater, a roof leak that needs patching or repair, or emergency A/C and furnace repairs are unavoidable. In those cases where 1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue, or 2) in instances where there is only one option to consider or 3) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, the property manager will initiate the repair work, even if it is higher than the $350 limit, and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it. Mainly, we don’t think important repairs should be delayed while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.
What if I want you to use my plumber, A/C Company, etc.?
We already have a stable of very qualified and reasonably priced vendors that we have used for many years. If you would like to nominate a service company to be added to our vendor list, they can contact us and we will interview them and let them know what documentation and references we need, what our invoicing and payment policy is, etc. We cannot guarantee however that your favorite company will be sent on all service calls to your home. Our concern is always to resolve repair problems in the most efficient way possible with the best available vendor at the time. Property managers can’t keep track of a pre-established roster of vendors assigned to certain properties – it would be a cumbersome and inefficient property management system and would not achieve the best service to the tenant and your investment property.
Our professional reputation as property managers, both with tenants and owners, is largely, if not almost entirely, determined by the effectiveness with which we handle maintenance. We follow a practice that is most likely to insure the best possible response and resolution to maintenance and repair problems for your property.
What is the supervisory fee and when is it charged?
The supervisory fee is a fee charged when RGPM’s maintenance department uses outside vendors to complete work on your property. RGPM uses its purchasing volume to get discounted rates when working with vendors. The RGPM rate can be up to 25% off what these vendors normally charge if you were to purchase these services direct. The fee is 10% of the repair cost with a limit of $50 maximum on any single repair.
Does your property management agreement give you exclusive right to sell my property?
No. We can sell your property if you would like us to, but we don’t bind you to that in the management agreement. This is another trick that discount property managers use. They manage your home at little or no profit knowing they have you locked into an eventual sales listing. We think, at the time you decide to eventually sell, you should be free to decide who the best listing agent will be for your property given its location and characteristics..
Who do I contact if I have a question on my monthly statement?
Please contact Kitty via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone 301-258-4271.
Who handles the middle of the night calls?
We do! We are on call 24 hours a day. Why worry you? That’s why you hired us! Most emergencies are prioritized and often can wait to the next day.
Do I have to pay interest on the security deposit?
Yes. The State of Maryland requires you to pay 3%. Unfortunately, our bank account earns next to nothing so you would be charged most of the 3%.
What type of insurance do I need for my property?
You will need to have Landlord policy naming Realty Group Property Management as an additional insured.