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.

 

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.