Q: Do I need to keep my utilities on in between tenants?
Yes. It is important to be able to keep the landscaping up and lights on to be able to show the property. It will cost you more in the long run if you allow all of your landscaping to die and you may lose a potential tenant if it looks as though the property will not be maintained during their stay. Company policy is we do not show properties after dark when there is not adequate lighting.
Q: Should I pay any utilities?
Yes. Most renters will expect to pay a majority of the utilities. Trash and Water is typically paid for by the property owner. We strongly suggest that you keep your gardener or we can get you one. All renters are not created equal, some may not have the proper tools or landscaping knowledge as others. In order to insure the look and quality of your landscaping you should be prepared to pay for this service. This goes double for a pool.
Note: This also gives us another set of eyes on your property weekly.
Q: How long will it take to rent my property?
Typically between 14 – 28 days. That’s why it’s always recommended not to wait until the last minute to contact your Property Manager. This allows ample time for advertising and screening. A clean, painted, ready to move in property will rent much faster than one that needs lots of repairs. Of course if you have an unusual property location or living arrangement that may also factor in the timing. Owners should be able to make payments for 2 months without a renter.
Q: Can I do my own repairs?
Once we have placed a tenant in your property, NO. We only work with vendors that are bonded and insured. This is important to protect you and the resident. In addition there should be a certain amount of anonymity between you and the tenant, but when the unit is vacant, absolutely. Talk with your Property Manager for more details.
Q: When do I get paid?
We send out all payment by the 10th of the month. We typically receive payments between the 1st and the 3rd. Most tenants pay by ACH and the deposit takes a few days to clear the bank. We then pay the bills on the property and then forward you your payment. If you have chosen the direct deposit option of course you will receive your payment much sooner than by check. To ensure a faster turnaround time of your monthly income talk with your Property Manager about our Automatic Deposit Option.
Q: How often will you contact me?
During the marketing phase of your contract, you will be informed weekly as to the activity on your property. We will discuss any issues with you that need resolving. Once we have taken an application for rent, we will call for your approval. Once your property has its new resident, we will contact you only if there are large repairs that need to be dealt with (water heater replacement or roof leak). We will not be contacting you to replace a disposal or minor plumbing repair. At any time you may access the Owner Portal and see, in real time, any communication, repair orders, etc… on your property. Contact your Property Manager for more details.
Q: Who pays the bills for my property?
There are no extra fees for 5th Avenue Property Management Inc. to pay all or part of the bills for your property. This is all inclusive of your monthly management fee. You can choose to have one, all or none of the bills paid by us. We can develop a package that is specially suited for you. Your Property Manager will discuss this further to get an understanding of your needs.
Q: How much rent do I ask for?
This is strictly determined by the market. Your Property Manager will research your property’s location and market rents for the area. Due to the present market climate, we can only ask for what the market will bear in your area. Ultimately you will have the final say, but you won’t want to end up losing income month after month, when you could have asked for a current market rent and filled the vacancy quicker. If you have an unusual property or situation, your Property Manager can discuss different marketing techniques to fill the vacancy.
Q: What if the rent is late?
In the event this were to occur, we have procedures in place to handle the situation. You can trust that we will take decisive action with appropriate late fees, notices and postings. Tenants are late after the 3rd business day of the month. Once rent is collected you will be paid immediately. Talk with your Property Manager about Automatic Deposit, this could save you valuable time in collecting your income.
Q: Should I allow pets?
This is entirely up to you; however, we recommend that you do in fact allow pets as the vast majority of potential tenants have pets. If you didn’t allow pets you would dramatically reduce eligible tenants. We screen each client and ask questions as to kind and size of pet. We always take additional security deposits appropriate for the pet in the event there is damage. When we take on your property to manage, we can see based on the size and style of property what type of pet would be acceptable. If you do not wish to allow pets, your Property Manager will make sure to screen applicants accordingly.
Q: Can you find a qualified tenant and let me manage it myself?
Yes. We will search out a qualified tenant for you as if we were going to do the ongoing management. We will prepare your property for market, advertise, screen calls, show the property, perform a move in inspection for your records, negotiate and draw up all contracts. Once we have found a qualified tenant the fee for this service is 50% of one month’s rent with a minimum of $600.00.
Q: Why 25% of first month rent to find a tenant?
Most Property Management companies charge much more than 25% to place a tenant. We believe, based on our obligations listed below, our fee is more than reasonable.
These duties include but are not limited to:
- take video of your property to assess what is required to fix/repair
- if there is considerable amount of work, act as a general contractor
- engage appropriate vendors
- prepare your property for market
- Contact HOA and get common area keys, rules and regs, gate openers/codes etc.
- advertise property
- screen calls
- set-up appointments for prospective tenants
- show the property multiple times
- application and screening process
- perform a move in inspection
- negotiate and draw up contracts
Q: What am I getting for the monthly management fees?
In addition to peace of mind and professional service you can expect:
- Full access to the Owner Portal for real time updates
- Direct Deposit of monthly proceeds with monthly reports
- Payment of your taxes and mortgage and bills should you wish us to do so
- paying of other bills should you wish us to do so
- Monthly rent collection with payment options for your tenant
- Handling of all maintenance supervision with our Licensed and Bonded Vendors
- Property Inspections
- Interaction with tenant as required
- handling of late rent, NSF checks,
- dealing with the HOA on your behalf
Q: I’m managing my own property, the tenants are paying later and later can you help?
Absolutely! Many of our clients started out managing their property and eventually came to us for help. For example you may have a hard time collecting rents from tenant. You have come to like your tenant and may have become very friendly. They start paying later and later each month. It’s now the equivalent of collecting money from a friend and can become very uncomfortable. You now will simply be happy to get it late and not have to confront the tenant. When in fact you have entered into a legally binding contract with your tenant and they have now become comfortable paying whenever because they “know the owner”. When you use property management, this situation won’t happen. We have procedures to legally give notice so they understand we mean to keep it all business. Once you have entered into a Management Contract with 5th Avenue Property Management Inc. we will give your tenant notice and let them know whom they will communicating with and paying rent to from now on. This usually is enough to start getting your rents collected in a timely manner.
Q: Are your fees tax deductible?
Normally yes (consult your tax preparer to discuss your particular taxable deductions), in addition at the end of the year we email you a detailed Year End Report for you to hand over to your tax preparer. Please consult your tax preparer for additional deductions regarding your investment property, such as; repairs, updating and maintaining your property, landscaping service, pool service, etc…
Words of wisdom
It is far better to have NO tenant than to have a BAD tenant. Be patient with the process; you may be wondering what’s taking so long; when in fact we are working hard screening out BAD potential tenants.
Avoid not properly preparing your propertybefore the tenant moves in:
Nothing starts out a Tenant/Landlord relationship worse than having a disappointed tenant at move in. If you have been living in this property and become accustomed to idiosyncrasies of the property that is normal. BUT…your new tenant is not used to the door knob that needs that special jiggle to open or the missing or broken fixtures. If you want a great tenant make your rental property one that a GREAT tenant will be attracted to.
Lastly communicate with your Property Manager; this goes doubly when you are handling all the repairs and property preparation. In order to save yourself time and money make sure you are on the same page with what is required by law and how we expect to turn over a unit to a tenant. We will be happy to help assist you with a honey do list to make this as easy as possible.