10 important questions to ask your property manager
When hiring a property manager, it’s highly important to determine whether they’re the perfect fit for you and your property. The questions you ask will help you to determine their knowledge, skills, and level of service. When you first call or meet your property manager, ask relevant questions like…
1. Are you certified and licensed?
In most states, rental managers are required to have a license in order to show apartments. Similarly, you may want to know if the manager has acquired the training and knowledge required to receive proper certification.
2. Do you have local experience?
To get an overall picture of the property manager’s experience, ask them how long they have been in business, what type of properties they’ve managed, how many properties they’re currently managing and if they have experience dealing with a property like yours.
3. What is your pricing structure?
Most property managers charge a management fee. Besides that, ask if there are additional charges for services like advertising, maintenance, evictions, tenant placement etc. Talking of services, ask…
4. What types of services do you offer?
Generally, property management companies provide numerous services, including maintaining/repairing your property, advertising your property, collecting rents, etc. However, the services offered can be tailored to your personal needs and expectations. So, make sure your needs and expectations are covered in the contract.
5. Do you perform property inspections & repairs?
Know what types of property repairs and maintenance the property manager performs. Also, find out how long they take to respond to tenant repair requests, and if you need to deposit a certain amount of money up front into a repairs/maintenance fund.
6. Where do you hold funds and how do you handle money?
Determine when and how you’ll receive your money and whether you’ll be paid by check or by direct deposit. You may also want to know where the building funds will be held and where the tenant’s security deposits are kept. Make sure the manager sends you the monthly expense and income reports.
7. How do you deal with problematic tenants or difficult tenant situations?
Ask the property manager to describe an instance where they faced a difficult tenant situation, plus how they managed to resolve the situation. Of importance, ask how they deal with tenants who default on rents, break the tenancy rules or cause damage to the property.
8. What procedures do you take to fill vacancies and retain tenants?
Establish exactly how the rental manager finds and screens prospective tenants and how long they take to fill vacancies. What’s more, they should tell you how they set the right rents for the property, plus when and how they collect the rents each month.
9. Are you conversant with the tenant laws?
Property managers who are familiar with the landlord-tenant laws can save you headaches associated with lawsuits. The manager you hire should be knowledgeable about the state and federal housing laws, your property’s safety codes and pet policies.
10. Can you provide references?
Reputable property management firms should give you names of clients – past and present – who you can speak to and ask about their experiences.
Lastly, make sure you ask your property manager how they communicate. Communication is very important, particularly if you live far from your property. Whether you’re in regional South Australia or in Adelaide there are great property managers across the state. We hope you’ve found these 10 questions to be helpful when dealing with your property manager.