1. What services do you offer, and what fees do you charge?
Full Service Property Management with an In-House Property Maintenance Division.
2. I’ve read the information package. What’s the next step?
Contact Realty Shop & Property Management at 910-750-7780. We will be happy to answer any questions and furnish you with the paperwork necessary to start the management process.
3. Do I need liability insurance on my property?
All properties that we manage must be covered by liability insurance. You will need to change your homeowners insurance policy to a landlord’s policy with $300,000 liability. Contact your insurance agent to discuss the costs associated with this insurance.
4. How will I be paid my monthly rent?
Rent is collected from tenants at the beginning of each month. At the end of every month, we will send you a detailed report of any activity in your account. Your monthly rental proceeds, minus our management fee and any other expenses, will be deposited electronically directly into your bank account each month.
5. Once my property is rented, who holds the security deposit?
The security deposit is given to us by the tenant to hold during the term of the lease. It is their money and will be returned to them when they satisfactorily complete the terms of their lease agreement. We are required by law to hold the security deposit in a special trust account. The account bears interest, which we keep.
6. Why do you keep the security deposit interest?
It is simply not practical to attempt to compute the monthly interest owed to each individual tenant on their security deposit. With many tenants, this is an administrative impossibility.
7. Why do I need to pay Owner’s Funds?
Owner’s Funds are a lump-sum payment of $150 used to pay any emergency expenses, minor repairs and other expenses incurred while we are managing your property. In other words, it is your money and will only be used to pay for costs directly associated with your property such as water leaks, heat or AC repairs, etc. If this money is used it will need to be replenished to have on hand for other emergencies.
8. What is the Set-Up Fee?
This fee of 25% of the rent covers the expenses associated with setting up your account and performing the initial assessment and marketing of your property. These activities include a thorough property work-up, photos, Multiple Listing Service input, inclusion on over 50 websites and advertising in a variety of media. 20% of this fee is paid to any agent who shows and secures a qualified tenant for your property. This fee will be required with every new tenant.
9. Can you give me an idea of the expenses I should expect while the property is vacant?
You should expect to have the following expenses when the property is vacant: utilities, necessary maintenance, yard maintenance and touch-up cleaning prior to tenant move-in. We can help facilitate these items, but it is your responsibility for the cost.
10. Can you give me an idea of the expenses I should expect while the property is rented?
You should expect to have the following expenses when the property is rented: management fee, necessary maintenance or repairs and improvements at your request.
11. When should I make my property available to prospective renters?
The property should be advertised for rent at least 60 days prior to its availability date. Most renters are looking for property one or two months before they’re ready to move in.
12. How long will it take to get my property on the rental market?
We do our best to get each and every property available for rent as soon as possible. Factors that affect our speed include the overall condition of the property, time of year and whether or not all the information needed has been provided to us.
13. How do you handle maintenance on my property?
The management agreement stipulates that we have discretionary control over the handling of minor repairs and expenses. For any major repairs, we will contact you for approval prior to beginning the necessary work. The only exception to this policy is an emergency that requires us to act quickly to protect the property from sudden and severe damage.
14. Who performs the maintenance on my property?
We have an In-House Property Maintenance Division that will respond promptly to emergency situations. For less urgent issues, we will schedule our Maintenance Division to address these issues in a timely manner depending on other scheduling appointments or tenant who requires appointments before entering the property (usually due to pets). While this may cause a slight delay in fixing the problem while scheduling issues are worked through, it benefits your property in the long run. We have good working relationships with our In-House Property Maintenance Division and they will become familiar with your property over time.
15. Should I allow tenants to have pets?
These days, many tenants have pets that they treat as members of the family and they expect to find housing that will accommodate them. Your home will have a better chance of renting if you allow pets. A policy that works well for us is to advise tenants that the owner must approve all pets prior to move-in. We also charge a non-refundable pet fee which is paid directly to you. Those tenants willing to pay the fee are typically responsible pet owners. If you decide to prohibit pets in your unit, keep in mind that you may be reducing your tenant pool by as much as 50%.
16. Who signs the lease?
As your agent, we sign the lease. You do not have to sign the lease agreement.
17. In whose name are the utility bills?
While the property is vacant, you put the utilities on in your name. When the property is rented, you then turn off the utilities in your name on the first day of the new tenant’s lease so that the new tenant can put the utilities on in their name and become responsible for payment.
18. No one has lived in the property for months. Why does it need cleaning?
Even if you or the last tenant left the property clean, if a house sits vacant for several weeks or months, dust and dirt build up. In most cases, properties need a touch-up cleaning before a tenant moves in.
19. Can I prohibit smoking in my property?
Yes you can. We encourage you to prohibit smoking in your property and it is not a deterrent to renting it. Most smokers are used to being told to smoke outside only. Smoking in a home can do far more damage than a pet.
20. What happens if a tenant stops paying rent?
Once the rent is late, we send a letter notifying the tenant of the late fee and request immediate payment. If the payment is not made by the 16th of the month, we begin court proceedings to recover the amount owed. All associated court costs are included in the total amount owed by the tenant when court papers are filed. Although the entire amount is not recovered 100% of the time, we do our best to recover as much of the cost.
21. What happens if a tenant leaves town owing money?
When a tenant moves out, we hold their security deposit until we can perform a thorough move-out inspection. If damage has occurred or they haven’t paid rent, their security deposit may be used to pay for the repairs or lost rent. If the rent owed or cost of repairs exceeds the security deposit, we will bill the tenant the remaining charges. If payment is not received in 30 days, we will turn over the remaining balance due to a collection agency per your request. * Collection agencies do charge a fee for their services.
22. What happens if a tenant gets Military Orders?
Our “Early Termination By Military Personnel Addendum” to the “Residential Rental Contract” permits a member of the United States Armed Forces with permanent change of station orders or deployment of more than 90 days to be able to terminate their lease with a copy of official military orders. A 30-day notice is required and all cleaning provisions still apply.