Santa Rosa landlords hire a property manager to relieve themselves of the burden of handling the property and maximizing the cash flow. But despite hiring a manager, if you are experiencing severe issues like insufficient maintenance, consistent vacancies, or significant losses, it is high time you change your property management company. Changing your property manager could be a big decision, but you must do what’s necessary to protect yourself and your investment in the long run.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs, we recommend switching your Santa Rosa property management company.
There Are Bad Tenants In Your Santa Rosa Property
You hire a property manager because you want them to place qualified tenants for you through a rigorous screening process. However, if you face frequent issues in your rental or an interrupted cash flow, the tenants placed by your manager aren’t good enough.
For example, if you experience a consistent delay in rent payments, the chances are that the property managers did not check the tenants’ income stability and credit reports well.
Neglected maintenance, or disregarding the terms on the lease, also shows that the tenants were not reliable in the first place and that the property managers were inefficient at the screening. It could be risky to work with such property managers, as their inadequate assessments may also lead them to place tenants who are potential threats to your property.
So, switch your property management company before you land in any legal troubles and experience further loss of rental income.
Responsible property managers rigorously inspect your property while the tenants move in, during the lease and as the tenants prepare to move out. They also carry detailed checklists to document their observations. Also, their inspection plans are designed to minimize the repair issues and promote accountability amongst tenants.
It is essential to keep track of the frequency of inspections to maintain the condition of your unit and see how well the tenants are abiding by the lease terms. It’ll help you determine if the Redwood property management company is doing its work with efficiency and integrity.
However, if you notice an irregularity in inspections and inefficiency in their work, it’s time to switch your property management company.
Lack Of Maintenance
You let property managers maintain your asset because they have the necessary skills, experience, and most importantly, a strong network with licensed contractors and trade workers to keep your property in good condition. However, if they are neglecting the upkeep of your rental unit, you may need to switch your property management company.
Check the Interior Condition
Your manager must ensure that your rental is in a habitable condition at all times. If the property condition is not up-to-the-mark, with broken tiles or appliances, mold, dysfunctional smoke alarms, or carbon monoxide detectors, it is evident that the rental manager has not fulfilled their responsibility.
Poor Curb Appeal
If you find that the curb appeal of your rental has deteriorated, you need to reconsider working with them. An unimpressive entrance, crooked roof or wall shingles, cracked window screens, and overgrown lawn indicate a lack of attention to curb maintenance.
Frequent Repair Issues In Your Rental
Your property manager is expected to be associated with a licensed contractor who does quality repairs that last long. However, if you need to call the plumber for the same faucet issue, or the roofers for unclogging the gutters every two months, it is clear that the tasks have not been completed satisfactorily at the first time. Besides, frequent repairs increase the maintenance costs and lead to losses. In such situations, we recommend that you think of switching your property management company.
Delayed or No Response To Tenant Requests
Property managers are responsible for resolving the tenants’ concerns, whether related to maintenance, utility bill payments, or any other clause in the lease. But, if your tenants complain that they are not being heard and helped, it is time to question your manager about the problem.
Think about when was the last time you received an update about the repairs or rent from your manager. Ideally, they should send you detailed weekly or monthly reports about different aspects of your rental property. Here are some of the crucial reports that you should expect from your managers.
It helps you track the condition of your unit and plan better for further renovations. If they fail to provide descriptive inspection reports, you will not know about the damages and the necessary repairs or security deposit deductions to be done.
Status of Maintenance Requests
Property managers should inform you about the maintenance issues and the status of repair requests until they are resolved. Such updates become even more crucial if you are an out-of-state investor since you cannot visit the unit yourself that often.
Property managers should be very particular about the financial reports. They should tell you the exact numbers, whether the rent is received every month, application fees, routine maintenance charges, or repairs or renovations costs.
Property managers should ensure that the lease is enforced and inform you about the breach of the terms without any delay. For instance, if the tenants smoke in the property despite the no-smoking policy or accommodate more tenants than mentioned on the lease, the managers must report it to you.
The purpose of hiring a manager is not served if they fail to report precisely, effectively, and on time. In such situations, it is best to switch your property management company.
Careless Accounting And Bookkeeping
Error-free bookkeeping is essential to track your investments and estimate the expenses and the income. If your managers are not maintaining separate accounts for all your investment properties, not using any reliable system to track the costs and the revenue, and not calculating any hidden costs, you are not receiving any benefits from your existing property management company and are facing financial losses due to inaccurate accounting instead.
High Vacancy Rate In Your Santa Rosa Property
If the vacancies in your property are increasing, likely your property manager isn’t using effective advertising techniques. They should be able to tell you exactly what changes to make in the rental, such as enhancing its curb appeal, adding smart upgrades, and useful amenities. They should also discuss the need for revising the marketing tactics to attract more tensions. However, if the vacancy rates remain high and the manager is not doing anything about it, it is a major concern.
Failure To Stay Updated With State and Federal Laws
Property managers should know the crucial laws like the California Landlord-Tenant Law, the Fair Housing Laws, the rent control law, the allowable application fees, the Implied Warranty of Habitability, and the eviction process. Other essential things they must inform you of are:
- Sending a notice 24 hours before entering the property
- Increasing the rent only once in 12 months up to 5% plus the local rate of inflation
- Charging an application fee that is not more than $52.46 and providing an itemized receipt of the same
- Not discriminating applicants based on their race, color, nationality, sex, religion, disabilities, or familial status
If your current property managers are failing to ensure that all your documents are compliant with state and federal laws, you may end up facing legal hassles.
Consider switching to a more responsible property management company that has legal personnel on the team and in-depth knowledge of updated California housing laws.
Charging An Excessively High Property Management Fee
The fee structure of every property management firm differs depending upon the type of property, the services you need, the size of the company, and the resources it provides. However, if your property management company is overcharging you for the smallest of services, you may want to consider a more affordable and holistic option.
Standard leasing fees include management, periodic maintenance, leasing, rental analysis, showings, and tenant screening. If they are charging you separately for each of these services in addition to the flat/percentage property management fee, they are likely overcharging.
Self-managing your rental property can be a tiresome task. But working with a property management company that doesn’t meet your expectations could also lead to losses. Hence, choose a company with proper local market research.
Get associated with one of the most reliable property managers in Santa Rosa, Redwood Residential Property Management. We have helped landlords in Santa Rosa with exceptional management services for decades. We prioritize your expectations and aim to exceed them.
For more information, contact us at Redwood Residential Property Management.