Top 20 Most Frequently Asked Questions we get when it comes to property management-
#1 How much can you rent my property for?
There are many key factors to consider when determining what price to list your rental property at. We can say based on our experience higher priced homes that appeal to a smaller target audience take longer to rent then lower priced ones. We will help you determine your rental rate based on market stats of like homes in the area. In many areas competitive pricing and incentives drive the rental market. Ultimately, you decide what to list your property at, we just provide our professional opinion.
#2- How much will it cost for your company to manage my property on a monthly basis?
The Spectrum Group of Arizona at Revelation Real Estate follows a flat rate fee property management model. What this means for you is no surprise fees for routine property management activities such as late rent collection, property visits, tenant communication, repair coordination etc.* If you would like to read about fees that other property management companies spring on their clients that we do not, please visit here
Set Up Fee-
$150 flat fee
This fee covers all of the initial set up of a property management file with our company which includes administrative paperwork, banking, marketing materials, social media blasts, initial property inspection and report with pictures for file, as well as professionally maintained account ledgers and history for each property We offer a low manager to account ratio to our clients which provides for a focused dedicated approach to each client, so you never feel like just a number in a vast file cabinet somewhere.
*If your property has not yet been registered as a rental with your city and county-any fees required to do so will also be the responsibility of you the owner. We will however coordinate this task on your behalf if we are able to do so (some municipalities- Chandler, AZ for example require the home owner to do this and will not allow a property manager to set it up on their behalf)
Property Rent Amount Less Than $700 is $300 flat fee
This is often referred to as a “Leasing Fee” by other companies. This fee covers the commission that is accompanied by placing your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) We also work hard for our portion of this fee by screening applicants including income verification, residency verification, scrutinizing their credit history report, searching public records for evictions and seeking out any criminal records.
At the end of a lease, if the current tenant re-signs a new lease we will only charge a $100 leasing fee.
Monthly service fee-
Rent under $1000 – 10% of monthly gross rent
Rent $1000-$1499 – 9% of monthly gross rent
Rent $1500+ – 8% of monthly gross rent
5+ Properties = 1% discount on above rates
10+ Properties = 2% discount on above rates
How we work for this fee:
Register the property as a rental property with the appropriate county assessor Maricopa or Pinal Rent collection and dispersement Enforcement of all terms and conditions of the rental agreement Periodic interior and exterior inspections of the property for tenant care Hiring and supervising repairs and maintenance by qualified personnel to maintain property value. Paying all approved bills for the owner in a timely manner Creation of accurate and timely monthly statements including a year-end summary statement for the owner’s tax preparation A 24 hour message center for tenant’s emergencies, or owners questions We also offer online bill payment for the tenants to ensure rent is paid on time and in most cases can offer direct deposit for you the owner. *Repair Reserve-
Owners must also fill a “repair reserve fund” with the brokers office to be no less than $300 per property. Any extraneous fees associated with legal proceedings in the event of eviction of tenants or collections, repairs above and beyond the reserve amount remain the responsibility of the owner.
**Clients with more than 8 properties are welcome to meet with our team to discuss your needs and obtain a free quote.
#3 When will I get paid?
As per our lease agreement with tenants rent is due on the 1st of the month. After The Spectrum Group at Revelation Real Estatereceives the rent funds, disbursement occurs. This includes paying the management fees and any maintenance bills that occurred in that month (we also make any deposits needed to keep the repair reserve at its minimum balance) Once this happens a monthly disbursement sheet is prepared and a check is cut and mailed to the owner (or direct deposited if we have that info on file). If rent is received on time we will complete this by close of business on the 15th of each month.
#4 Am I contacted to approve of any repairs that are required at my property before costs are incurred?
Yes, Spectrum Group at Revelation Real Estate will contact owners when a repair cost exceeds the amount agreed upon in the property management agreements. It is strongly recommended that you hold a Home Warranty as this will help stabilize maintenance costs and prevent any unforeseen emergencies from being a shock to your pocket book. If you do purchase a Home Warranty simply, provide us with that information and we will handle repairs directly through them on your behalf and deduct the service call fee from your reserve fund. With each monthly distribution statement the owner will see what if any repairs were done on the property.
In the case of an emergency repair in which several attempts to reach you the owner by phone or email have failed we will follow Arizona State law and approve of emergency repairs. Please refer to the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act Section 33-1324 to familiarize yourself with what constitutes an emergency repair.
#5 How are repairs handled?
We have a wide network of professionals to contact depending on the specific need at the property, the location of the property and the time frame the issue needs to be handled in. When a tenant log an issue into our online maintenance request system we will choose someone from our list to give us a quote or estimate for the job. If under the amount agreed upon in your property management agreement we will approve it. If above that amount we will contact you for approval. We work with only licensed and insured contractors that have done business with us in the past and we are confident that any job will be handled with quality work at a reasonable price. We also welcome the names and info on any preferred vendors you may wish to have us utilize. In the event that those individuals are not licensed, we would simply request your acknowledgement and approval to use them prior to sending them to do any job on your behalf.
#6 Am I responsible for minor maintenance such as light bulbs, air filters, smoke detector batteries, pest control and landscaping?
Each property owner views these responsibilities differently so we customize our lease agreement to represent your desires. Some owners want to provide landscaping or pool service to insure the upkeep is to their standards This can be done monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. In some cases your HOA may provide some of these services. Others prefer that the tenant be responsible for these aspects of home maintenance. We do require a security deposit, non refundable cleaning deposit, and if applicable a pet deposit (from the tenants) in order to remedy any issues that the tenant would have been responsible for that they did not handle properly while living there.
Most owners offer at minimum a semi annual pest control service to their tenants. Light bulbs, air filters, batteries etc would be the responsibility of the tenant and would be highlighted in their lease.
The owner is responsible for all normal “wear & tear” maintenance. Any repair that is caused by the tenant due to neglect is the responsibility of the tenant.
Each new tenant should start off with all working bulbs, charged batteries and fresh filters.
#7 How long will my house be vacant?
Each owner we work with brings different variables to the table that we weigh to determine vacancy rates. Based on the type of home, its location, amenities and its price range we can offer you our professional opinion of how long it will take to place a tenant. We work hard to place a quality tenant as soon as possible.
#8 What do I need to do to “ready my home” for the rental market?
All personal belongings need to be removed and stored off premises Professional cleaning that includes details such as appliances, windows and screens and all cabinets & cupboards (coordinated by our team at owner expense) Professional cleaning of all floors. (coordinated by our team at owner expense) All appliances, fixtures, windows in working order- all repairs completed (coordinated by our team at owner expense) In general, people want to rent clean quality homes in good neighborhoods. Amenities such as window treatments, ceiling fans, landscaping with some grass, automatic sprinklers, and shrubs, along with tile flooring instead of vinyl are also desirable.
We will do an initial property visit and give you our professional opinion of what needs to be done. We can also coordinate these services for you as part of our services rendered in our set up fee, but the cost of the actual services and fees would be the responsibility of you the owner. It should be noted, especially when placing your property on the rental market for the first time- even those who prepare ahead of time, may find a tenant discovers a repair once they move in that was missed in the transition. These are usually small things that are not noticeable until you actually live in a place.
#9 How is my property secured while it is vacant?
As we market your home in search of a quality tenant, we will utilize an iBox which requires an ActiveKEY to obtain the keys to your property. Only members of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) own keys to these lockboxes. The boxes electronic features allow it to keep track of which keys are used (who) and when (date) as well as how often the key to your home is accessed from the box. This information is also helpful in our marketing of the property. At times and as per owner direction we will also utilize contractor lockboxes on the home.
#10 Who is responsible for my home owners association dues?
As the home owner any Home Owner Association dues that the property is subject to are your responsibility. This is something that can be “rolled into” a monthly rent amount. However, you are ultimately responsible for paying this bill and making sure payment is sent to the appropriate association each time it is due.
#11 What about HOA violations? Who pays for those?
In most cases the HOA will require that you the owner sign a form assigning our team as the main point of contact for all HOA communication and violations. At that point we will handle them on your behalf and deal directly with the tenants to work towards a resolution.
If the tenant violates the Rules of the Association and the HOA will only send communication to you, we ask that you fax a copy of the violation to us at 888-395-3558.Once we receive the violation, we contact the tenant and send them a copy of the notice and a letter that explains what needs to be done to repair the violation. Depending on the violation, we will inspect the property to insure the violation is repaired. If a second violation occurs and the owner is fined by the HOA, then the tenant will be billed for the violation. The owner will need to pay the violation to the HOA so a lien is not placed against the home. If the tenant fails to reimburse the owner for the violation, then the fee will be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit at time of move-out.
#12 Who is responsible for the utilities while the home is vacant?
Owner is responsible for maintaining active utilities at the property during any period of vacancy. This includes receiving and paying any bills for those utilities while the services are on in your name. Utilities will need to be turned on in the owner’s name during vacancies. Several utility companies offer the owner the ability to schedule services as a “default” name on the account, that way if the tenant should ever schedule utilities ‘off’, the landscaping and pool (if applicable) will constantly be protected with utilities never lapsing. Some municipalities such as unincorporated areas at the edges of the city offer separate sewer services that are only available in the home owner’s name, if this is the case we can build the cost for this bill into monthly rent, and the funds would be distributed to you to make payment.
The tenant is responsible for all utilities while they are living in the home. (Unless this is an incentive offered by you the owner in our marketing strategy-or unless they are services provided by the HOA)
#13 Can I require my tenant to have renters insurance?
No, you cannot require the tenant to have renters insurance but our lease recommends that they do. The owner is not liable for a tenant’s personal belongings.
#14 What is the procedure when a tenant doesn’t pay rent?
All rents are due on the 1st day of the month and late on the 2nd.
We do not allow grace periods and expect all of our residents to have their full rent to us on or before the 1st. We will send 5 day notices after the 2nd of the month for any rent not received.This is a written demand letter delivered by certified mail to the property notifying the resident to make payment immediately to avoid an eviction proceeding or to vacate the property.
If rent is not received after the legal notice period, (which when sent via certified mail is 10 days from date letter sent) then our attorneys file a forcible detainer eviction lawsuit against the resident for non-payment. If payment in full has not been received by the hearing date, and the tenant fails to appear at the hearing, a judgement will be ordered in favor of the plaintiff and the tenant will have 5 days to vacate the property. Should the tenant fail to vacate the property withing 5 days, a Writ of Restitution must be filed in order to have the Constable physically remove the tenant from the property and to return to the property to the owner.
#15 Who pays for the eviction process?
Although the tenant may be held responsible for the legal costs, the owner will be initially billed for filing fees and attorney’s costs. Any judgement issued by the court may be sent to a collection company upon agreement from the property owner.
#16 Will the tenants ever contact me?
We will never give the tenants your contact information. The only way they would contact you is if you first contacted them. However, with the use of public records and the ease of obtaining information via the internet, it may be possible to find you. If this happens, you can refer them to us.
#17 Am I allowed to go to the home when it has a tenant in it?
You are free to drive by whenever you like, however the Property Management Agreement requires 5 day notice to the property manager prior to any contact with the tenant. We encourage you to contact us if you feel a property visit is necessary.
We will perform monthly drive by inspections and when deemed necessary interior inspections.
#18 What other issues are covered in the Landlord Tenant Act?
If a tenant desires to terminate their lease prior to the ending date of their contract or the agreed upon renewal date there are several options an owner may take. Please contact your property manager for more details.
The one exception to contract breaks that favors tenants over landlords would be military order or deployment.
Under the Service Members’ Civil Relief Act, a military member can break his lease upon receipt of Permanent Change of Station orders or upon receipt of orders deploying him for at least 90 days. 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535(a). If one of those events occurs, then the landlord cannot refuse to allow the military tenant to leave. This provision of federal law also applies to any of the military member’s family members who may have responsibility under the lease. 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535(a)(2). A military tenant who is either moving or being deployed is still responsible for any reasonable repair costs to the residence beyond normal wear and tear.
To terminate a lease under this law, the military member must provide the landlord with written notice and a copy of the orders. 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535(c)(1)(A). The military member can either deliver this notice in person or mail it certified mail, return receipt requested, to his landlord. 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535(c)(2).
#20 What work is necessary on a typical move-out? Re-key? Cleaning?
Spectrum Group at West USA Realty Revelation staff will inspect the property within 48 hours of move out. We utilize the Property Pal app on an iPad to conduct this walk through which helps us to thoroughly document the property condition with notes and photographs for our records and help justify any reduction of the tenant’s security deposit if applicable.
Certain tasks must be completed to prepare the property for the next tenant once a tenant has moved out at the end of their lease period. A complete listing of rent ready procedures will be sent to you as part of your new client information.