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Jason Rush's Blog

By Jason Rush | Agent in Cincinnati, OH

Property Management Companies Gone Bad

Yet another residential management company receives a "cease and desist" order from the Arizona Department of Real Estate earlier this week. 

This not only impacts the property owner but the tenants and even the employees. This occurring during a time when folks don't have the margins that will allow for the financial impact of an account deficit to the tune of 3/4 of a Million dollars. 

Tenants are left with unanswered maintenance issues, potential move-ins derailed and a resident that would now like to leave at their earliest opportunity. While it is not the same thing everyone knows of a tenants that was made to relocate unexpectedly due to property owner foreclosure. This can give that same kind of feeling.

We choosing a management company there are so many more components than "what are your start up costs, your management costs"? It is so easy to offer a fee schedule that appear low initially but when factoring in the additional fees for services not included (HOA compliance, inspections, vendor/contractor coordination fees, etc). How can a company propose to manage a property and have no inspection factored in unless it comes at an additional cost. The management company should offer inspections at no fee, pay HOA dues at no additional cost, no fee for HOA compliance, offer direct deposit of rent rolls, online owner account portals, provide the owner the ability to approve the tenancy after all the background and screening is complete and say they have been in business for over 2 decades. Check out ONEprop, Inc

The question seldom asked or considered is "how do you treat your tenants?" Do you offer on line payments? Do you offer online maintenance requests? Do you provide monthly billing to your tenants? Are your tenants treated as customers past the ink drying on the lease? How the tenants are treated? is seldom a question I have been directly asked in all the years of property management. You would think it to be a keep component seeing as how the tenants is "how all the bills are paid".

While the tenants have a contractual obligation to pay (and pay on time) as well as take care of the property, but there is one thing I have seen in this business; how quickly motivated or demotivated they are to do so based upon the relationship with the managing body. Meaning whether it is an owner landlord, RE agent or property management company; if that relationship goes sour it will cost every especially the property owner. 

Tenant must be treated like customers while the owner are the clients. The term customer should come with an elevated level of service but lets not forget some of the tenants are the people you may see on the video "The People of Walmart"

There is always a bad apple in the bunch but the good part is the bucket is always full of GREAT apples.

Comments

By Shelley,  Sun Nov 4 2012, 16:17
We are victims of the "tenants (not) treated as customers past the ink drying on the lease". The accountant and property management will not let me speak to the owner of the firm and even the owner of the firm responds to my concerns with his two employees treating me harshly with "their the two you need to speak with". I have had five different property management contacts since signing the lease 21 months ago and every month the rules change. When I was late on my rent for the first time in 15 months, I called and the accountant to tell her we had a hardship and I and my 6 year old were going through chemo, she asked we'll whose going to paying the rent now and ran a credit report on my "so called dead husband" that day; though it wasn't my husband that died it was the father of my two oldest children who was killed. The accountant curses at me constantly and has even had "her people" drive by my home to report any bikes on the porch or anything out of order, then they call HOA to draft up a warning. Recently, I made her aware of late fees paid on my account that should not have been and she stated, the grace period was only a grace period she came up with to be kind to be during my battle with chemo therapy and after 20 months of thinking I had a grace period for rent, they now tell me rent is late on the 2nd. Had I not questioned the mistake, I wouldn't of had the grace period removed. I am lost for what to do and scared what will happen at move-out. Our rent was raised 150.00 a month the day we moved in stating there was a typo in the ad. Every month leads to fear of the unknown. We have even been served with an eviction notice for not including a 25 fee that we were unaware of for having a basketball court out.
Every one in the neighborhood has a basketball court in their driveway except us. We would love to extend our lease as we don't want to leave and would even love to purchase the home in the near future, but we can't handle the hardship Shield Property Management has put us through during each encounter with them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have saved all email and phone messages.
By Johnpitter72,  Sun Jul 14 2013, 20:14
It feels so nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really thank full to you for starting this.
phoenix property management

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