Property Management FAQS
I’m considering renting my home. How does property management work?
When you hire a property manager, you are hiring someone to manage the day to day responsibilities of your rental home. As your property manager, we handle everything from rent collection, dealing with property maintenance and emergencies, tenant relations, handling property related expenses, generating statements, maintaining tenant and owner accounting ledgers and direct depositing funds to owners. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of being a landlord without having to deal with the stress.
What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent?
We will pursue the tenant through all legal means to obtain their rent payment. Rent is due on the 1st of the month, if they have not paid by the 7th before 5pm or postmarked on or before the 7th, they are assessed a late fee. If rent is still not paid by the 10th, we send them a 72 hour notice which gives them until approximately the 15th of the month to pay their rent in full. On or about the 16th we go to the county courthouse and file for an eviction if the rent is still unpaid.
How do you qualify or screen applicants?
Each application we receive is thoroughly screened. We obtain credit, criminal and eviction reports on every applicant. Additionally, we verify income and/or employment and check with past landlords about any rental history. An applicant’s income must be a minimum of 3 times the amount of the monthly rent.
What happens if the tenant breaks their lease?
We do not allow tenants to pay a “lease break fee”. Any tenant that has signed a lease is rent responsible through the end of their lease or until we place a new tenant in the property. That said, sometimes a tenant will move out and not send the rent payment that is owed. We hold all of their security deposit funds and will apply it towards any unpaid rents. Also, we will pursue them through all legal means to obtain the rents and monies owed you, our client. This includes, but is not limited to, collections and small claims court.
How can you assure the property is being well taken care of?
Knowing this is a significant concern to our owners, we take great care in looking after your home. We drive by often, give the neighbors our contact information and complete an inspection of the interior and exterior at least twice per year. We have found our best resource for any concerns or issues is often times the neighbors. At every opportunity we also ask the tenant how things are going. Initiating this conversation often gives the tenant an opportunity to discuss maintenance items they might not otherwise bring to our attention. If there is an emergency maintenance concern, our tenants can use our Renters App and receive assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
May I make repairs to my own property?
Absolutely, you may make repairs to your property. However, if we receive an emergency call from a tenant and the problem is for an essential service, we must take care of it immediately and may not have the ability to contact you in advance. When we initially take your property under management we will discuss a financial limit of work we may have completed on the property without your authorization. Usually this is $500, however this may be determined based on individual needs. Just to restate the concern though, if this is an emergency situation which involves an essential service, we may not be able to contact you in advance.
How often do you inspect my property?
We schedule semi-annual inspections for the property. That doesn’t mean we don’t go more often though. As part of our services we contact the neighbors to your property and give them our contact information. By having their eyes in the field, it give us a definite advantage for monitoring your investment. We drive by all of our properties often to confirm that all is well.
How long will it take to get my property rented?
It is our goal to have a property rented within 30 days of taking management. If the vacancy occurs because a tenant moves out, we work diligently to have a new tenant moved in within 2 weeks of the vacancy.
What happens if there are damages to my property when a tenant moves out?
We can charge a tenant for damages or extraordinary wear and tear on the property. When a tenant moves out they are responsible for returning their keys to our office. Within 48 hours of receiving their keys, we conduct a move out inspection. If we find they have damaged the property or there is excessive wear and tear to the property, we deduct the necessary amount to repair these items from the security deposit. If the cost of repairs exceeds the security deposit, we will pursue collection through all available legal means.
What does it take to get my place ready to rent?
It may take very little. What we are trying to do is create the expectation before tenants even move in for what it should look like when they move out. Have the carpets been professionally cleaned? Are there any stains, tears or worn spots? Are the appliances clean and shining? Are the window coverings clean and free from dust? Have all the nail holes in the walls been filled or patched? Do the walls need to be painted or touched up? Is there any deferred maintenance that may be considered a safety issue? Have the smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors been tested and have fresh batteries? Is the house in the condition you would want it to be if you were moving in?
How often will I receive my money and statement?
We process owner disbursements every month on or about the 15th of the month. This varies slightly depending on what day of the month the 15th falls on. We can electronically deposit your funds directly to your bank account by ACH (Automated Clearing House) or we will mail the check to you. At this same time we will send you an owner statement for the current accounting period (typically this is from the 15th of the previous month through the 14th of the current month). It is our preference to email this statement to you, however, if you prefer it may be mailed. Also, we offer all of our owners to look at their accounts online through a secured owner portal.
How much do you charge?
The quick answer is 10% of the rent. Of course there are other charges and fees. We would be happy to discuss the options with you either by telephone or face to face.
In response to the numerous questions we receive regarding evictions, here are some common questions and answers regarding the process. All procedures, fees and time frames are based on the Missouri General Statutes and Landlord/Tenant Laws.
When do we file eviction papers?
- Eviction papers are filed on the 16th of every month. We file on all tenants that have a balance of $300 or more in outstanding rent.
How long does it take to get the tenant out?
- Each State has different time frames for evictions. All papers for both Missouri and Kentucky are filed with the court system on the 16th. In Missouri, the courts will notify us of the date and time of the hearing. The hearing is usually scheduled around the first week of the following month in which were filed. During the hearing, if the judge grants us possession of the property, the tenant will have ten days from the date of the hearing to pay their account in full, voluntarily move out or appeal the ruling. In Missouri, once the case is filed, the sheriff’s office has to personally serve the tenant with the eviction paperwork. Once the paperwork is personally served, possession is granted if the tenant does not respond within the 10 day answer period. After possession has been granted the Writ of Possession can be filed immediately. In many counties, the Writ of Possession expires within 30 days so it must be filed prior to the 30 days.
What happens if the tenant does not pay or move out after the court date?
- In Missouri, on the 11th day after the court hearing, we will file a Writ of Possession with the court. If the 11th day falls on a weekend, the Writ of Possession will be filed the following Monday. The Sheriff’s department will then notify us of the date and time of the lock-out. The lockout is typically scheduled 2 weeks from the date that the Writ of Possession was filed. If the tenant does not pay their balance that the eviction was filed for by the lock-out date, they will be locked out of the property. The tenant will then have a 10 day window to make a one time appointment to remove any personal belongings left on the premises. If the tenant does not collect all their belongings within the 10 day window, all items left on the property are surrendered and disposed of.
How much does this cost and who pays for it?
- The cost of filing eviction papers with the courts vary based on the county in which they are being filed. Stoddard County charges $181 plus an additional $30 per tenant. To file the Writ of Possession it costs $85 plus an additional $30 per tenant. York County charges $80 for the eviction filing. To file the Writ of Possession in York County, it costs $35. There is also an additional expense for changing the locks on the property which will vary based on the number of locks and the type of locks at the property. The cost is typically around $150 but may vary as stated above. Since these fees must be paid upfront, they are initially charged to your trust account. If payment is received from the tenant, your account will be reimbursed. For a tenant to make an appointment to remove the belongings in the unit, the tenant must pay, in advance, a $49 service charge plus $60 per hour. Payment for the appointment to collect belonging must be paid in certified funds.
Will I ever get the money owed to me?
- The tenant’s security deposit will be applied to their outstanding balance which can include unpaid rent, fees, maintenance repairs and any damages to the property. The remaining balance owed will be billed to the tenant. They will have 30 days from the date of invoice to pay the balance or make payment arrangements with us. If the balance is not paid and they do not setup payment arrangements their account will be turned over to a collection agency to attempt to collect the debt. It will also be reported to the credit reporting bureaus by the collection agency. If any payments are made by the past tenant to the collection agency, the agency will deduct their fee from the amount collected and forward the difference to us. The fees charged by the collection agency are 40% of the amount collected. The amount we receive will be credited to your trust account upon receipt.
What if the collections agency is unsuccessful in collecting the debt?
- Unfortunately, there is not much else that can be done legally. Their credit history report will have a collection account on it as unpaid. The blemish on their credit report will make it difficult for the tenant to finance anything or rent another property in the future. We will also give negative rental histories for the tenant to anyone who asks. There may be some tax advantages to this unpaid debt. Please consult your tax advisor for advice regarding write offs for uncollected debt.