70 Sample Questions To Ask A Property Manager

A very important part of being a landlord is the property management side. Property managers are a HUGE and amazing asset. The thing to remember when finding a property manager is not everyone is created equally. You want someone you can trust not only with your asset or liability, but also with your money.

Below is a list of 70 questions to ask a potential property manager.

Note: Many of these questions can be solved by examining the lease/property management contract first.

1. Will I have one specific property manager? Who will be my property manager?

2. Who is the head of the office?

3. How long have you been a property manager?

4. How many units do you manage?

5. What is the average length that clients stay with you?

6. Do you just manage or do you sell too?

7. What do you offer that sets you apart from other companies?

8. What do you expect from me as the owner?

9. How often do you communicate with the home owners?

10. Do you provide the owner’s information to the tenant?

11. Do you have a policy about landlords contacting the tenants?

12. Do you have a requirement for your property management clients to use you? Do you charge if the tenant decides to buy the house?

13. How often do you reach out to the owners? Can you give me examples of how and when you would communicate various problems?

14. What is your turn around time on phone calls and emails from owners?

15. What is your Monthly Charge?

16. Who is the lease between?

17. Do you provide a copy of the lease to the owner and when?

18. How long of lease do you do?

19. Do you charge extra for month-to-month lease?

20. Do you do a break-out clause?

21. Do you offer a reverse military clause?

22. Do you have a rental deductible?

23. Do you have lease language that requires the tenant to pay for any damage they cause that is not wear and tear?

24. Do you trouble shoot with your tenants when they call for repairs?

25. Do you do site unseen leases? If yes, do you have a special addendum?

26. Who pays for pest control?

27. Do they do as/is Appliances?

28. How much notice do you require at the end?

29. Is the lease automatically renewable?

30. What is your renewal policy?

31. Do you charge for renewals?

32. Do you do a market evaluation every renewal?

33. How do you determine to raise the rent or keep it the same?

34. What does the monthly fee include?

35. Do you have any additional charges or fees (pet, placement, maintenance, etc), IE what does my monthly charge not cover?

36. Who keeps the fees that the tenants pay?

37. How is the money dispersed?

38. When is the money dispersed?

39. What is your advertising strategy?

40. What rental price do you recommend?

41. Do you recommend any work to be done to get top dollar?

42. How long do you think it will take to rent out?

43. How quickly do you schedule showing/return calls?

44. How quickly does it take you to approve and have a lease signed?

45. What is your schedule for payments when installing a tenant?

46. Do you have a termination clause if it is not rented after so many months?

47. Do you have a trial period?

48. Do I pay any fees when the place is empty?

49. What is your termination policy?

50. What is your late policy?

51. What is your late fee amount?

52. Who keeps the late fees?

53. If fees are not collected from the tenant will you still charge the owner for them?

54. How many “late” payments does it take to have a fee assessed?

55. How many eviction have you had last month?

56. How do you handle eviction process?

57. Is the eviction part of the cost or is it additional cost?

58. What is your application and screening process?

59. What is your screening requirements?

60. Do you run it by me before you approve them?

61. What do you charge for your application process?

62. What form do you use for the move in/move out inspection?

63. Do you take video or pictures? What is your criteria for what you put down on the forms?

64. How often do you do inspections during a tenant’s term?

65. How do you document the inspection and do you send it to the landlords?

66. How do they handle the security deposit (i.e. do they hold it or do you, the landlord)?

67. How do you charge for tenant’s damage during their lease term?

68. If there are damages upon move out who does the accounting (you or the owner)?

64. If the tenant has damages that exceed the security deposit do you come up with the documents and pursue the tenant?

65. When do you return the security deposit? Do you get approval from the landlord first?

66. What is your maintenance minimum/policy?

67. Do you charge for an additional fee for maintenance?

68. What do you consider emergencies What is their definition of an emergency? (heater out, etc.)

69. Do you ask permission or just fix and bill?

70. Do you show the house while the current tenant is in the home?

So now that you have some sample interview questions, you will be equipped with things to ask your property manager. Any professional company is going to be happy to sit down with you and provide answers to your questions.

For more information on property management services in Michigan, check out http://www.rentalmanagementone.com.

 

5 Property Upgrades That Maximize Your Property’s Rent

Whether you own a condominium, townhouse, duplex or single-family home maximizing your income is always a high priority for an investor. Implementing a good year-round maintenance checklist is a great way to protect your investment, lengthen the life of your HVAC unit and ensure your renter hasn’t damaged the property, but it won’t necessarily get you top dollar when competing against other properties on the rental market.

Your tenant has moved out and now your property is vacant. Before you do the typical make ready projects, put some thought into rental property upgrades. The standard is to slap some paint on the walls, give it a good detailed cleaning and shampoo the carpets. However, doing the minimum will usually lead to minimal returns in terms of money and time of tenant occupancy.

When dealing with your rental property, there are three goals every investor looking to grow their portfolio should desire to achieve

  • Maximum rent
  • Minimize operating expenses
  • Increase the resale value

In order to get the best return on your investment, stay at the high end of the rental rates, improve your property value and avoid tenant turnover every lease term, you will need to invest in the right upgrades: upgrades that will entice tenants to stay through multiple lease cycles. As long as your rental home is structurally sound and in good condition, then you only need to add a few upgrades to make your home stand out. These upgrades will set your listing apart from others sitting on the market and getting it rented faster saves you money upfront.

To appeal to a renter you have to look at your property from their standpoint. Location is always key and a big factor when renters are searching for a home. Aside from that you’ll need to take a closer look at what features or upgrades will make a renter pay more money, stay longer and take excellent care of the property.

We will cover the top 5 upgrades renters are looking for in a rental property and are willing to stretch their budget to get.

shutterstock_230729176

Curb Appeal

When you drive through a typical neighborhood subdivision you can normally separate the homeowners from the renters pretty quickly. It all starts at the curb, the first impression of a home and a spot most investors neglect, is the exterior curb appeal.

Many investors forgo the much needed coat of paint, leave a dilapidated fence up, forget to power wash the driveway and fail to plant flowers or groom trees/shrubs. This is not a good sign to a renter and a potential reflection of how they see your maintenance style.

Yes, this goes for condos, townhomes and high-rises too. Single-family homes are not the only places where curb appeal is taken into consideration. Yes in condos and townhouses some property maintenance is out of your hands but you do have the power to complain and vote. You have a duty and obligation to ensure your monthly HOA dues are put to good use and that the board of directors is allocating enough funds for exterior maintenance. Driveways should be free of potholes, the landscaping should be well maintained, all areas of the property should have ample lighting and all fences working properly.

Additionally, there are a few things you can do to spruce up your exterior curb appeal even in a condo or townhome. Make sure all balcony and patio space is functional and safe. For unsightly patios add green turf and make sure there are no overgrown weeds. You might even add a patio table or extra lighting. Make sure your front door is painted and weather stripped and make sure all exterior storage is clean and usable.

 

kitchen

Appliances

Appliances, appliances, appliances are among the first things a renter usually looks at after entering a potential new home. In some cases it’s just as important as the location. Old, half functioning and mismatched appliances will not get you top dollar. They can also lead to more hassle down the road in the form of unending maintenance calls. Band aiding a problem or temporary fix, always costs more money in the long run. Invest in a good, high quality, matching appliance package and make sure it has a warranty. If your home is setup with washer/dryer connections you can always add a set to further increase the value of your rental property.

Kitchen 3

Countertops

Upgraded countertops really add value to your kitchen and appeal to renters willing to pay more for upgrades. There are so many options to choose from that will add value and style. Cement and quartz are popular in the higher end markets but a good choice is always granite. Invest in durability, functionality and a style that will stand the test of time.

With cabinets sometimes a fresh coat of paint and new fixtures will go a long way. However, if you have the old particle board cabinets that have outlived their usefulness, then you should upgrade to a more modern and functional option. Remember storage space is a hot commodity and an appealing bonus to a rental property.

living room flooring.jpg

Flooring

This is a big one and also a tricky one because everyone has an opinion and you won’t please all potential renters. It’s the battle of carpet vs. wood flooring and in the end, wood flooring always wins. For this purpose we are lumping all flooring together: laminate, hardwood, bamboo, plank and faux wood. The options range from reasonable to pricey but all flooring immediately raises the value and rent in a rental property.

Carpet is one of those items that may have to be changed out every other renter and that is expensive and has a negative impact on your annual rate of return. One Kool-aide stain or bleach spill can ruin a new carpet forever. However, some tenants like carpet, especially in their bedrooms and during winter. On the other hand the majority of renters may have a carpet allergy or a child with carpet allergies.

Some owners opt for a mix of the two by putting carpet in the bedrooms and flooring throughout. Others opt for a blend of wood flooring and ceramic tile. You most definitely should get rid of old vinyl or linoleum flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. It is unsightly and usually lower quality than ceramic or travertine tile and a major turnoff for renters.

dining room

Fixtures

Investing in higher quality light fixtures, adding new ceiling fans, upgrading all faucets (kitchen – bathroom), will give the rental property a more polished pulled together look. It will also give the normal wear and tear items higher durability if you purchase a quality brand. Tenants even notice door handles, locks, and window blinds. Spending a few dollars more to get the nicer 2 inch wood or even faux wood (painted or unpainted) blinds really adds a more lavish touch.

The benefits of adding rental property upgrades extends beyond appearances. Investing in better quality upgrades not only will maximize your rent, it will improve your annual cap rate or rate of return, improve your home’s value and the majority of the expenses will be tax deductible. Most importantly, it will allow you to develop a healthy, legal relationship with your tenants. When competing in an active rental market you need your property to stand out above other properties listed for rent. Quality upgrades done professionally will get your rental property filled faster and maximize the income on your rental investment.

If you need assistance with upgrading your rental property and professional management, go to http://www.rentalmanagementone.com.

 

Original Article written By: Ray Wei,  https://www.onerent.co/property-management/5-important-property-upgrades-that-maximize-your-rent-rate/

Municipalities Can No Longer Invade Tenant Space

Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 107 into law on November 28, 2017.  The bill, popularly called the “Tenant Permission Bill,” was promoted by the Rental Property Owners Association of Michigan (RPOA-M), Apartment Association of Michigan (AAM) and the local Rental Property Owners Association in Grand Rapids (RPOA).  The law, now Public Act 169 of 2017, will take effect 90 days from the Governor’s signature which is February 26, 2018.  The law changes various aspects of the Housing Law of Michigan rental inspection enforcement regulations.

 The most prominent change under the new law is the removal of the right of a municipality to enter a rental premise for an inspection—without the tenant’s permission–under the landlord’s contractual right within a lease to enter the premises.  Several U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, have ruled time and time again that municipalities must obtain permission from a tenant before entering their unit for a rental inspection, except in cases of an emergency.  This new law will now require municipalities to obtain permission or an administrative warrant or wait until the unit is vacant before entering for an inspection.

 Specifically, the new law requires a tenant to allow a municipality entry in the following situations:

·                   The lease authorizes an enforcing agency inspector to enter the leasehold for an inspection. (A clause in the lease must specifically state that the tenant agrees to allow the enforcing agency inspector to enter the premises for a municipal rental inspection.)

·                   The lessee has made a complaint to the enforcing agency.

·                   The enforcing agency serves an administrative warrant ordering the lessee to provide access.

·                   The lessee has given consent.

What about units where there are more than one tenant/leasee?  Requesting and receiving permission from one leasee satisfies the permission for the entry requirement.

 What about a landlord’s rights?  The same Federal courts which have ruled that tenants must give permission have also ruled that municipalities have a right to carry out rental inspections for health and safety purposes and may enter a unit if the tenant gives permission—with or without the consent of the landlord.

 Under the previous and new modified Housing Law, landlords must, in good faith, seek to obtain permission of the tenant for a municipal inspection.  Landlords are not allowed to discourage, in any way, a tenant’s choice to allow entry.  Doing so could endanger the landlord’s protections under the law.  This does not, however, mean that a landlord cannot inform the tenant of their right to refuse the inspection.

The law also includes two very important protections for the tenant and the landlord, namely that neither the tenant nor the landlord can be discriminated against for the tenant exercising their right to refuse an inspection.  For the tenant this means the municipality can’t threaten the tenant with condemnation of their rental unit or otherwise fine the tenant for refusal of entry.  For the landlord, this means that the municipality cannot condemn the property, remove a certificate of compliance or otherwise charge a fee or fine for the tenant’s refusal of entry if the landlord has fulfilled their obligations under the other parts of the law.

 So, when do landlords have to allow the municipality entry?  Here are specific circumstances under the new law when a landlord must provide entry:

 ·                   The lease authorizes an enforcing agency inspector to enter the leasehold for an inspection. (A clause in the lease must specifically state that the tenant agrees to allow the enforcing agency inspector to enter the premises for a municipal rental inspection.)

·                   The lessee has made a complaint to the enforcing agency.

·                   The leasehold is vacant.

·                   The enforcing agency serves an administrative warrant ordering the owner to provide access.

·                   In cases of an emergency.

 The changes to the law were necessary to protect tenants from aggressive municipal tactics that used threats of eviction and more to enter a rental premise—all of which were contrary to the rights of all citizens under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Clay Powell, Director of the RPOA-M and RPOA, stated that it has taken nearly four years to get these changes made and wishes to thank all the legislators that were involved along the way to make the changes reality and bring Michigan into compliance with Federal Law.

As always, except in cases of an emergency, a landlord/property manager must give tenants a 24-hour notice before entry.

Property Owners and Tax Time

The key to saving money on your tax return is to take advantage of the many deductions offered to full-time rental property owners. Your property is considered a full-time rental if you allocate fewer than 15 days for personal use.

Some of the most basic deductions that landlords could easily overlook are costs related to cleaning and maintenance, property taxes, management fees, mortgage interest, advertising, and even property insurance.

Want to save even more money? You can also deduct expenses related to traveling to manage your property, depreciation of your property, HOA fees, insurance claim deductibles, operating expenses, and even your utilities. Basically, any cost you incur to keep your rental property up and running can be filed as a tax deductible expense.

If your rental property expenses exceeded your rental earnings, you can even deduct your losses. If your annual income (adjusted gross income) is below $100,000, you are eligible to deduct up to $25,000 of your rental losses. As your annual income increases, the rental loss deduction is reduced.

One of the best tips any landlord could get is to keep meticulous records or better yet, hire a professional property manager to keep these records for you. You must treat your rental property like a business. The more expenses that you document, the better chance you have to get those tax deductions and keep more of your money. Rental Management One provides detailed expenses reports and even copies of expense receipts for our Owners to turn into their CPA making this important task a “non-stress” related task.

New to the Rental Game

With the popularity of travel websites such as Airbnb, many people are interested in the opportunity to turn their primary and/or secondary home into a money making property, which is a great idea I might add. The good news is, for rental experts and noobs alike, you can dramatically benefit by adding a professional property manager to your business team. The cost is low but the value is worth every penny. Call Rental Management One at 248-208-3882 and start getting the most money out of your rental property.

The Rules of Property Management

In every sphere of human endeavour, there are written and unwritten rules of operation. Sometimes, the unwritten rules are even more important than the written rules. When it comes to property management, there are several unwritten rules that are important to note if you are saddled with the responsibility of managing a property or you are a property owner that decides to handle this task yourself. We have heard it said many times that ignorance of the law or rules is not an excuse, meaning that your ignorance will not protect you from the consequences of violating the law.Property management is an essential aspect of the real estate investment equation for several reasons. First of all, rental income flows from leasing or renting your property and managing it well. Secondly, having a poorly-managed property will negatively affect your return on investment. If the property is not properly maintained by the tenants, it will depreciate faster. If the tenants are not paying their rents, then you are not earning income from your property. If you must engage in litigation over the property, then you are also losing money. While some of these issues are unavoidable no matter how ethically or professionally you manage your property, you can significantly reduce this risk by following simple rules of property management.One of the basic rules is that you should avoid managing a rental property directly except that is something you also do for a living. The experience of several real estate investors revealed that it is often better to have a professional manager interface between you and your tenants. Property management is time consuming with the possibility of several issues coming up that you have not planned for. If you own several properties, the burden of its management will simply drain you. To avoid the emotional and physical stress that comes with this, it is usually better to hand it over to professionals who do this for a fee. The fee is a percentage of the rent collected.Written by: Abiodun DohertyCopyright: PUNCHOriginal article: http://punchng.com/salient-rules-on-property-management/

DIY Upgrades That Make Your Property Feel Like a Luxury Rental

Renovations can be expensive, especially when you want to turn your property into a luxury rental to attract higher-paying tenants. While materials and furniture can be expensive, the prices really start to climb when you bring a professional into the mix. Luckily for your budget, that isn’t always necessary.

Instead, try these DIY upgrades, all of which will make your property feel like a truly luxurious rental.

Update the Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen isn’t just a place to cook and eat; it’s often the space where tenants spend time with friends and family. A simple way to turn the kitchen in the most lavish space in the home is to update the kitchen cabinets. This gives the space an instant facelift at a fraction of the cost of re-doing the entire space.

The lowest-cost update is to paint the cabinets a fresh new color. If you have a little more budget, consider refacing the current cabinets or replacing them altogether. Finally, take it one step further and replace the hardware on your cabinets for another visually impactful, yet simple DIY project.

Source: Freshome.com

Update the Fireplace

The fireplace is a coveted feature, but one that’s not in top condition can be an eyesore and detract from your property’s value. Not to mention, it’s a centerpiece of the home, which means the smallest changes can make a big difference. A few ways to upgrade the fireplace include:

1. Replace the doors with tinted glass: Tinted glass looks classy, and keeps the mess covered: “Your fireplace is the ugliest place in your home. It’s covered with soot, ashes, and is a grayish blackish mess. Glass doors with tinted glass do a great job of hiding the unsightly mess. It’s like closets. No matter how well organized they are, most people still like a door to keep them out of sight,” says Sam Wilhoit, of Brick-Anew.

2. Paint the brick: Bring your fireplace to life with a fresh coat of paint. Consider re-staining or painting the mantle as well to create an entirely new look that elevates the entire room.

Update the Backsplash

An easy and economical DIY project is updating the backsplash in the kitchen. Fresh tile has a significant visual impact without being expensive. “This is another tenant appreciated upgrade that can be very economical if you get tiles on sale and install yourself. Even if the tiles are not on sale, you’re usually only covering an area that is 2 feet by 10 feet = 20 square feet of area = 20 tiles,” shares Nathan Richard with Revnyou.com.

If you want to skip the sometimes-tricky installation, go with peel and stick subway tiles instead. These are both inexpensive and easy to use, giving the kitchen a luxurious look without the high price tag or extensive sweat equity.

Update the Garage Door

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to boost curb appeal and the value of your property is to replace the garage doors. Having worn out or out of date garage doors can make a poor first impression, losing potential tenants before they even step inside.

The best part: garage doors can easily be replaced, and you can also upgrade or replace the hardware on the doors to make an impact without the extra work of a full replacement.

Upgrade Lighting

Lighting has an immediate impact on the feel of a home, making it feel dark and closed off or well-lit, open, and inviting. “One of the worst things about rental units has got to be the outdated light fixtures. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest switches. Simply swap out that light fixture for something more your style. Just be sure to reattach the original fixture before moving out,” says Keri Sanders with HGTV.com.

Updating lighting fixtures can be as inexpensive as your budget needs, with a wide variety of options at varying price points. Consider some of the most popular modern styles, including unique chandeliers and wood and metal materials.

Finally: Clean the Property

Never underestimate the impact of a clean rental, especially if you want it to have that luxurious feel—it’s hard to sell relaxation when the space is filthy: “Nothing will turn off a potential renter more than a dirty place,” says Patricia-Anne Tom with Realtor.com.

It can seem almost too simple, but a good cleaning is a great opportunity to make the rental shine—literally—to prospective tenants. Deep clean the rental twice yearly, if possible, and hire a professional if possible. Don’t forget the often overlooked areas like baseboards, window treatments, ceiling fans and appliances.

A small budget can go a long way to turning a mediocre rental into one that looks could be in a luxury home magazine. Use these ideas to take your space up a notch and attract renters who are ready to spend more.

Find out which rental property kitchen and bath trends are making a statement in 2017.

Original article: https://www.propertyware.com/blog/diy-rental-upgrades/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=diy-rental-upgrades&utm_term=20170822-tpw&hootPostID=8f976df8d8034c60cbe1a343bfe91da9

Hey Real Estate Agents, we can help you!

  • Do you  have a client interested in leasing their home while they work abroad for a few years?
  • Do you have a client currently underwater on their home but would like to buy a new home?
  • Do you have a client who wants to lease their home but is nervous about being a landlord or lives in another state?
  • Do you own investment properties and want to see how property management services could make your life easier?

Rental Management One (RMO) is a great resource when dealing with any of the above scenarios. We are a full service property management company and proud to be a part of the Real Estate One Family of Companies. We have the entire state of Michigan covered offering operational oversight, efficient leasing and marketing strategy, financial reporting and top notch Owner and Tenant Services.

Here are a few things we offer your clients:

  • 24/7 Online Owner Portal
  • 24/7 Online Resident Portal
  • Careful 5 Point Tenant Application Screening
  • Rent Collection including e-payments
  • Direct Deposit of Owner Proceeds
  • Emergency, Preventative and Routine Maintenance Coordination
  • Lease Docs and Compliance Review
  • Complete Security Deposit Handling
  • Property Inspections
  • Owner Reports & Tax Statements
  • Payment of All Property Expenses
  • Eviction & Legal Services

What we offer you:

  • Agent Referral Fee – We will pay you a referral fee (See attached Agent Referral Program)
  • Lead Loyalty – We carefully protect your lead so if the Owner should want to buy another home or sell the current one, you are given back the lead.
  • The ability to offer your clients an additional option when selling isn’t possible.

Other Important Information:

  • We do not list and sell real estate. At Rental Management One we manage commercial, single family, multi-family and vacation property exclusively. Because we do NOT list and sell homes, local brokers and agents have found us a reliable ally and partner in their efforts to service their customers and clients.
  • We have a combined 75+ years in property management experience on our team. When the client you refer experiences our professionalism and quality service they will thank you.
  • We can manage all your rental inventory.Most Brokers or Agents manage rentals because they feel they must in order to get repeat listing and sales from their clients. Now you don’t. We will take over your inventory of rentals, pay you a referral fee, give your clients and customers great management service, and when your client is ready to sell, or purchase again, you get the client back. We have done this for other brokers and agents and it works great for the both of us. It really is a win, win.
  • You can refer the property management services and still do the lease listing. Many agents don’t recommend management services because they don’t want to lose the leasing commission. However, this is not a problem. You have the option to refer the lease and management services or just the management. Many agents prefer to refer both as a lease listing can be very time consuming but you do always have the option to refer management services only. We will still provide you with support for your lease listing such as lease doc preparation and tenant screening services.

To send your referral to Rental Management One, it’s easier than ever. Just visit our website at www.rentalmanagementone.com and click on “client referrals”.