Questions to Ask a Property Management Company
Mid Florida Property Management of Charlotte County, LLC has complied a list of common questions that should be asked when considering a management company for your largest asset(s).
- How long have they been in business in the area?
You want the company, specifically the agent managing your property to be experienced in the field, as well as the local area.
- How many properties do they manage and how many agents do they have?
A good company will be managing a minimum of 100 units. Generally, each agent should be managing no more than 50-75 units to provide efficient, responsive service.
- Does the company handle any other business, aside from managing rentals?
Some company's handle sales as well as rentals. You may be better served by a company that specializes and dedicates all of their time and resources to management only.
- What are the management fees?
Management fees are typically taken out of the rent and can vary from 7-10%. Be sure to go over the fees in the management agreement, prior to acceptance.
- What do they charge to find a new tenant?
Typically, you will see a flat fee taken out of the first month's rent. That fee can range anywhere from 30-100% of the first month's rent.
- Do you still have to pay a fee when the unit is vacant?
Make sure the company does not charge a fee when the unit is vacant. A good company will not expect an owner to pay fees when no income is being collected.
- How is the property marketed?
Ask for a list of websites your property will be visible on. Make sure the company is putting in a yard sign, at minimum.
- What is the tenant screening process like?
You want to make sure the company is carefully screening tenants by in-depth credit, criminal, employment and prior residency reports.
- What is the repairs process?
Is there a limit on the amount of repairs they may perform without consulting you? On large jobs, will they provide you with more than one estimate? Are you allowed to contract your own repairs?
- When will you receive rent money?
Generally, management companies will either deposit or mail proceeds by the 15th of every month.
- What is their eviction process?
When do they start the eviction process? Typically, a company will post a 3-day notice after rent is not received by the 5th of the month. Each state has separate laws regarding evictions. Check with the company and make sure their time frame is in line with the state's requirements.
- What are your guarantees?
Can you cancel your contract if you are unhappy? What if a tenant breaks a lease?
- Do they perform property inspections?
You want to be sure the property is being inspected periodically to catch any issues that may arise. Be sure to ask what they inspect and how often.
- How long does it take to fill a vacancy?
This can depend on many things. Competitive pricing, property condition and the local market all play a crucial role in how long a property may or may not sit vacant. Make sure the company's time frame is in line with the local market conditions.