If you’re someone who owns multiple properties you’ve likely thought about hiring a property management company to take care of the day-to-day operations you may not have time to perform. Perhaps you’re not sure, though, about exactly what it is that property managers do and how utilizing a property management company would benefit you and your business. Property managers and property management companies in New Jersey provide important services for property owners. The fact is that not everyone who owns multiple properties has the time necessary to keep those properties fully occupied, safe, and in good working order. In fact, oftentimes folks who own apartments or other tenant-occupied buildings have other careers that prevent them from managing their properties the way they would prefer. That’s where property managers come in.
Screening and leasing
Job one in property management is keeping properties as close to full occupancy as possible. In the rental game, empty units equal empty bank accounts. However, as anyone who owns rental properties knows, leasing can be a tricky matter. You’re constantly dancing between the desire to keep units rented and the need to rent to eligible candidates. That’s why screening and leasing go hand-in-hand. Property managers must screen tenants properly by performing background checks, credit checks, and employment verifications. Property management companies also are responsible for determining competitive market value for the properties they manage and charging rents and other fees accordingly. When screening has been accomplished, it’s the job of the property management company to collect the required first month’s rent (or in some cases, first and last months’ rent), as well as necessary security deposits, depositing these into interest-bearing accounts, and keeping track of all monies collected. They also must ensure that all paperwork such as leases and pet agreements are properly filled out and signed by all interested parties. Property managers are also responsible for tenant move-ins and move-outs. They must perform inspections (often referred to as ‘walk-throughs), assuring that units are left in clean and orderly condition, keys as well as tenant forwarding addresses are obtained, utilities are properly transferred, parking permits are collected, and all accounts are up-to-date.
Building safety and maintenance
Property management companies are tasked with ensuring that all areas of the property are kept in safe and proper condition. It’s the property manager’s job to see to it that maintenance requests are completed in a timely manner, and all work is performed up to standards of safety and usability. Additionally, property management companies must ensure that all code regulations are followed according to applicable laws.
Rent collection is another major responsibility of a property management company. Monthly, or in some cases weekly, rents must be collected in a timely manner from every tenant. If a tenant doesn’t pay by the lease-specified due date, the property manager must impose a late fee and collect that when rent is collected. It’s also the job of the property management company to begin the eviction process when tenants fail to pay and follow up as necessary.
Tenant complaints and other interactions
The property management company must handle all necessary tenant interactions, such as complaints, maintenance requests, and other activities related to tenancy. For example, when a unit floods or a tenant has a complaint about a neighbor who’s making too much noise, the property management company will take a phone call and take all necessary and permitted actions to assess and correct the situation. In other words, it’s the job of the property management company to keep all tenants happy, paying, and renting for as long as possible.
If you own properties, you don’t want them to be half empty, run down, or unsafe for your tenants. But you may not have the time required to devote to all the necessary activity that goes on in those buildings. Managing rental properties is a difficult and time-consuming business. Tenant screenings, safety issues, tenant interactions, noise complaints, maintenance requests… these are just a few of the everyday goings-on in your buildings that keep you at your buildings and away from all the other things you want and need to do in your life. Contact a property management company for more information about what a property manager can do for your properties and your life.