What does your management - Posted by Rich-CA
Posted by Rich-CA on November 17, 2008 at 12:31:13:
agreement say? That is what you agreed to and the starting point if you go to an arbitrator or before a judge. Many agreements have the “pay off the balance to terminate” clause in them. I normally cross them out.
Also, do you pay her while the unit is vacant? If so, then depending on your contract, you are likely stuck paying her off to go away. If not and she just takes a % of the gross, you can pay her the % you ow through the end of the agreement. Since she has not placed a tenant, you would owe her zero under this scenario.
I did one PM’s relative and regretted it. It was fine for a year but into the 2nd year, they went down hill fast. Left me with a huge bill in the end and fled the state. The thing is their screening was solid, so its not the PM’s fault. Its just that the PM relied on their being relatives for them to take care of their end of things. Instead of keeping up with them the way they did with others. Nothing intentional, just assumed that blood was enough. Its not and can make an eviction even worse. The PM even started work before my insurance adjuster could look at the damage.
In many markets it takes more than a month to place a tenant. You might want to ask her for a rental CMA including days on market for at least a hundred similar rentals. This will give you a feel for (1) if your rents are reasonable and (2) how long it really takes.
For myself, in AZ it takes about 6 weeks, in TX it used to take 3 weeks and now is up to 5 weeks. In CO (not Denver) it has been taking 2 - 3 weeks. When I had property in the SF Bay Area it took between 1 week and 4 weeks depending on the rent and the state of the economy at the time. Get data, then decide if she’s above or below average.
If you do decide to terminate, make sure you pay her for any advertising she has done on your behalf (that means property specific not general ads for her company). Get receipts and reimburse them. Some PMs count on the leasing fee to pay for this, so that is money you owe.
You also do not provide any details that could be considered “unprofessional”. What is unprofessional? Have her accounting statements been wrong? Has she over priced the rent for the market? Has she failed to advertise the property for rent? Has she failed to document the pre-move in condition? Has she failed to return your 22 phone calls per day when all she has to say is: no news? What has she failed to do that makes you conclude she is unprofessional?
One other thing. As owner YOU have the legal responsibility and relationship with the occupant of any property you own. I require all three of my property managers (AZ, CO and TX) to provide the application (with SSN intact), copies of leases, condition records and so on. All of these are REQUIRED if you sell the property with the tenant in place because they go with the property to the new owner. They are also REQUIRED if you have a tenant who is evicted or abandons the property and you send their file to a collections agency. These things are required of YOU the owner and the PM as your agent has no business interfering with this. Since HIPAA is Federal if this were a real problem, it would affect my PMs in AZ, CO and TX just as much as it affects the PM here in CA. There are requirements about where you store such records, including that the file cabinet MUST lock, but if you meet these requirements or not is between the Feds and you.
Your PM is in error.
Oh, and I also require they send me copies of all property keys. Once I had to send them back because the PM could not find their copy after the tenant had left in the middle of the night.
If you need more info, get the Nolo Press books. They are based here in CA and while some details may not apply in other states, the info does apply here in CA.
You can also e-mail me with other questions. I was a landlord in CA for 15 years before we sold off and went to other states. I am also working on my broker’s license for PM here in CA (not a solicitation for business: I do not have a start date and will work for someone else first to develop my reputation locally).