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Roles and Responsibilities of a Property Manager

Role of a property manager

Property management involves taking care of and looking into the organizational aspects of real estate. In order to administer real estate properly and to insure a healthy rate of return, a property manager is appointed. This person can be working for a property management company or just be an individual with professional experience in this arena who is manages various operational aspects for the owners or landlords. The property manager should act as a liaison between the owner and the tenant and be able to co-ordinate between the concerned parties in a proficient and affable manner.

In charge of tenants

The property manager is the one who will be responsible for finding suitable tenants and will suggest the best places to advertise along with the kind of promotions that should be used. They might also suggest making changes to a piece of property since they know what appeals to tenants for that particular piece of property or area.

The property manager also deals with the screening of prospective tenants which includes checking their credit background, criminal checks, and any debt issues. Processing the required leasing out documents with specific legalities incorporated as well as the security deposit aspect is their duty too. These tasks occur before the tenant ever moves into the room, apartment, condo, and so on.

In charge of maintenance

Property managers need to look into the overall physical property management as well, such as the up keep of the exterior such as the lawns, lobby, outside garden areas, etc. Interior management such as plumbing, painting, and adequate security needs to be looked into as well. They also need to deal with emergencies which disturb the peace such as noise or any other complaints from neighbors or from other tenants alike. If any repairs are required they must hire suitable contractors and tradesman who find a solution and fix it. When a tenant moves out, they need to check for damages and define if charges need to be deducted from the deposit sum.

In charge of administration

Property managers need to supervise other employees who work on maintaining the property such as security and other contractual employees. They need to see that a thorough and professional job is being done so tenants are satisfied as well as potential tenants. They need to do what they can to work with tenants and to attract new ones. Being professional is the key at all times. They will handle the salaries and pay for these employees. Once in a while they may have to hire and fire an employee as well and know the legalities pertaining to this.

In charge of knowing the law & keeping the appropriate records

A property manager should keep abreast with state as well as national tenancy, ownership, and property laws so they are not caught off guard in this property management arena. They do not want to disappoint the owners and the tenants as well.

New laws regarding tenant screening, managing security deposits, lease termination, tenant eviction, and maintaining property safety standards should be strictly enforced so as to avoid legal entanglements or issues. They can also help owners with property related taxes and file the same for them. It is crucial to maintain soft and hard copy records of all transactions, major and minor, that are used in property management. They should have a computer backup of everything and a secure filing cabinet for all signed paperwork. Every tenant and contractor should be accounted for.

Property Management Best Practices while Choosing Tenants

property management best practices for good tenants

Fair Housing rules codify the laws that Gastonia property management and landowners need to follow while choosing tenants. When it comes to the tenant selection process, there are clear rules that say what can be done and what cannot. Here are a few best practices that will help landowners and property managers choose the best tenants without falling foul of the fair housing laws and rules.

  1. Conduct a Credit Check

Running a credit check is not an expensive affair. For a nominal fee, you will be able to run a potential tenant’s credit reports to understand whether or not they will be a fantastic bet for your rental property.

  1. Calling References

Most potential tenants provide references when they apply for tenancy. If they have not, landlords and Gastonia property management may ask for references. It is prudent to call these references and verify pertinent information about the tenant. If one of the references is a previous landlord, speaking to them might give insight into what kind of tenant the applicant is.

  1. Know the Fair Housing Rules

Understanding the importance of fair housing rules is not enough, you need to know how they apply to you. According to the laws, there are many illegal reasons for refusing tenancy. Under the Federal Fair Housing Acts, you may not discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, past addictions, and familial status. Furthermore, it is important to know the fair housing rules that are upheld by your city and state. For example, some states consider discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal, while others don’t.

  1. Follow the Rules You Set

Consistency is an important word when it comes to choosing tenants. It has to be followed both ways. For example, it is important that you follow a consistent pattern when screening tenants. If you choose to check credit reports or call references, ensure that you follow the same procedure for applicants of all races, marital status and ages. Treating tenants equally is essential. You may think you are doing a wonderful thing by lowering the security deposit for a single parent, but if you are not doing the same thing for other tenants, they may level a charge of discrimination against you.

Legally, you are free to choose one tenant over the other, as long as your decision is not based on personal reasons but on legitimate business eligibility requisites.

Effective Strategies for Handling Common Tenant Complaints

Tenant complaints

Property management Charlotte, NC has to tackle several tenant complaints effectively in order to maintain a sterling reputation of the property and minimize vacancies. Property managers need to prioritize on-site customer service for developing better relationship with the community and for minimizing confrontations. Here are some of the common complaints and ways to handle them appropriately.

High Rent

According to the studies, most complaints are about high rental rates, compared to even disturbance reports or maintenance issues. However, tenants are always going to feel that the rent is high, and the way property management responds to this issue can make a major difference. Forming better relationships with tenants and upgrading amenities can help in creating higher value perception amongst tenants.

Once tenants are able to appreciate the value provided, the issue of the rent being high may not arise. A property manager can maintain an open door policy, where tenants are able to air their grievances about the rent. The manager can explain how the tenant is able to receive much higher value from the property than the rent he is paying.

Maintenance and Repair Complaints

One of the other major tenant complaints is about maintenance and repairs. Satisfaction of the tenant is directly influenced by response time and the quality of service provided. The best approach would be to maintain regular maintenance schedules, so that no complaints are triggered. For handling maintenance and repair issues, there should be an effective communication system in place, so that the complaint is received by the appropriate staff that is able to handle the issue.

The staff should immediately acknowledge the complaint, as that improves the confidence level of the tenant. The system should also enforce accountability to make sure the issue is addressed within a reasonable time. If in-house staff is not available, the maintenance contract should be given to a reputed service provider.

Pet Issues

It is often challenging to enforce leash laws, and motivate dog owners to clean up after their pets. One way of tackling the problem is to create awareness of possible health hazards that pets can create, and involve the community in being more proactive. The approach should be sympathetic and non-confrontational, but it should also imply to the pet owner that bad practices would not be tolerated.

Maintenance of Common Areas

According to a recent study, all tenants are concerned about the visual quality of the property, and in fact play a major role in choosing a property. It is therefore critical to maintain common areas and outdoor spaces in top condition. For residents it is a matter of pride to invite their friends and family to visit them when the property is well maintained.

Security and Safety Issues

Tenants are happy when they know property management Charlotte NC has taken adequate steps to ensure their safety. Installing security features can significantly help in improving services to tenants. Property managers should also schedule routine inspections for reviewing condition of perimeter fencing, repairing breaches, and broken locks, and providing proper lighting in secluded spots. 

Importance of Fair Housing in Gastonia Property Management

fair housing in Gastonia, NC

Enactment of fair housing laws was aimed to protect underrepresented groups from discriminative practices in purchasing or renting a house. It is important for Gastonia property management to know these laws, since violations could translate into huge liability and damage to the reputation of the property. Discrimination complaints and lawsuits are on the rise, and a property manager should pay special attention to the following aspects to avoid liability.

Tenant Screening Practices

Most complaints arise from the tenant screening process. The point is to subject every prospect to the same screening process. To ensure that it is seen as a universal requirement, post a written policy of the criteria required for renting the unit. This could include income, employment history, credit history, and so on. Property management should also reveal the steps involved in the whole application process, and that fair housing laws are being adhered to strictly.

Do not include questions about ethnicity, race, age, or disabilities in the application. However, you may inquire about bankruptcy filings, money judgments, and prior evictions. You may also ask the reason why the prospect is changing to a new accommodation.

Advertising Language

You cannot advertise about the type of tenant you are looking for. For instance, even mentioning phrases like “excellent for younger people” could be considered discriminatory by older people. Words that suggest exclusivity should be avoided, as you are posing a restriction on choosing tenants. All ads should also carry a statement confirming non-discriminatory practices or the logo of fair housing.

Transparent Eviction Process

According to laws of fair housing, tenants can only be evicted for legitimate reasons such destruction of property, not paying rent and so on. If you are initiating eviction process, for any other reason make sure the tenant has seriously violated the lease agreement or you have evicted many other tenants in the past for same reasons. If the tenant is causing disturbance or troubling other tenants, keep a record of every written complaint, and steps taken by property manager. Usually, authorities will examine the following documents, if there is a complaint of wrongful eviction:

  • §Eviction notice/s
  • §Warning letters
  • §Police records
  • §Photographs or video evidence
  • §Written records

Employee Training

Property management staff, especially new employees should undergo training regarding policies, and how to comply with fair housing laws. The employee should also be made aware of the consequences of law violations. There should be a documented policy about all forms of harassment and discrimination, and each employee should be given a printed copy of such policies. The employee should also be made to sign agreement that states termination of employment in case of fair housing law violation.

Consistency in Rules

Gastonia property management can frame mandatory rules for tenants, as long as they are not discriminatory and do not violate any terms of the lease agreement. Each tenant should be given a written copy of such rules, and they should be enforced uniformly. When rules are violated, detailed records should be maintained about the type, date, and time of violation, and the actions taken for enforcing the rule. 

Services that can Enhance the Value of Your Property

Enhanced property

Modern renters mainly look for convenience and good amenities in the property. By providing services like a phone, Internet access, and cable, Gastonia property management can effectively enhance the value and popularity of the property. These services will not only set your property apart from the competition, but will also provide added value to residents.

Widespread Usage

High speed broadband services are now easily accessible at reasonable rates throughout the country. According to NCTA (National Cable and Telecommunications Association) more than 90% residents in the country have access to cable TV programming, broadband Internet access, and cabled telephone service. Hence, most residents will be looking for these services and if they are bundled with the rent, it will be an added advantage.

Secondly, there are about 1,100 cable service providers and due to the new FCC regulations for curbing monopolies, these service providers are keen on making bulk retail deals. These deals usually carry incentives of 3 to 5% of revenue returns, which works out quite well for Gastonia property management, and the cable service can be made mandatory for all residents.

Saving Money

Such an arrangement provides genuine savings for residents as well, since the rates are discounted. The monthly fees will be billed and collected by property manager, which will work out as added bonus for the property owner. The service providers are able to provide discounted rates because they do not have to spend more on advertising and marketing their services.

However, before planning a service contract for the whole property or set of properties it is important to collect statistical data about resident preferences and habits. According to certain reports, the number of people owning television sets has gone down. Hence, if most of your tenants are not using television as a medium for entertainment and news, such a deal will be quite unwelcome, since it will increase the rent.

Before considering providing bundled services, it is important to consider the following points:

  1. People using analog TVs are usually unwilling to upgrade to digital sets, while most cable operators are transitioning to digital services.
  2. More residents now prefer internet-based programming, and want the best possible speed. If you are considering Internet package deals, keep in mind the speed expectations.
  3. There is usually resistance in changing providers, especially when residents are satisfied with their current service.
  4. The term of contract with the service provider will usually span a period of three to five years.
  5. Payments for service calls will be the responsibility of tenants. These rates can be up to $75 per call.

Basic and Critical Research

Once you are sure about the preferences of your tenants, most of them will find it convenient to pay their cable bills with the rent at a discounted rate. If you are not sure, run a survey with your existing tenants and maybe find out what most residents in your area prefer. It all depends on perception, and if Gastonia property management plans to bundle services, provide notice and be ready to discuss things with renters who are hesitating. 

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