If you own a house and are considering hiring a property manager to help you with the management of your property, it's essential to ask the right questions to ensure you make an informed decision. Here are some questions to ask a potential property manager:
- Experience and Background: a. How long have you been working as a property manager? b. What types of properties have you managed in the past? c. Can you provide references from other property owners you've worked with?
- Licensing and Credentials: a. Are you licensed and insured as a property manager in this state? b. Do you have any professional certifications, such as Certified Property Manager (CPM) or Realtor credentials?
- Property Management Services: a. What specific services do you offer to property owners? b. How do you advertise and market vacant properties? c. How do you screen and select tenants? d. What is your process for handling maintenance and repairs? e. How do you handle rent collection and late payments?
- Fees and Costs: a. What are your management fees, and how are they structured? b. Are there any additional fees or charges that I should be aware of? c. How do you handle expenses and disbursements to me, the property owner?
- Tenant Relations: a. How do you handle tenant complaints and disputes? b. What is your eviction process, and how do you handle difficult tenants? c. Can you provide information on tenant retention rates in properties you manage?
- Communication and Reporting: a. How often will you provide me with updates and reports on my property? b. What communication methods do you use with property owners? c. Do you have an online portal or system for owners to access property information?
- Legal Knowledge: a. Are you familiar with local landlord-tenant laws and regulations? b. How do you stay up-to-date with changes in rental laws and property management best practices?
- Maintenance and Repairs: a. How do you handle emergency maintenance issues? b. Do you have a network of reliable contractors for repairs and maintenance? c. What is your policy on obtaining owner approval for repair expenses?
- Tenant Screening: a. What is your tenant screening process, including background and credit checks? b. How do you determine if a potential tenant is a good fit for the property? c. What are your criteria for approving or denying rental applications?
- Exit Strategy: a. How do you handle the end of a lease or tenant turnover? b. What is your process for preparing the property for new tenants? c. Do you assist with lease renewals or finding new tenants when the property is vacant?
- Management Agreement: a. Can you provide a copy of your standard property management agreement? b. Are there any termination clauses or fees associated with ending the agreement?
- Tenant Lease Agreement: a. Do you use a standard lease agreement, and can I review it? b. What lease terms and conditions do you typically include in your agreements?
By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of the property manager's qualifications, approach, and the level of service they provide. This information will help you make an informed decision when selecting a property manager for your house.