A property owner should find out as much information as possible about the property management company. Here are some questions to consider, with answers from BCI Properties, LLC Manager Donald J. Leske II the Broker:
- How much experience does the manager have in property management?
*Over 30 years!
- What State License or other credentials does the manager have?
*Washington State Licensed Real Estate Broker.
*HUD Certified Agent. (Foreclosure sales related)
*Member of NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers.
- Does the manager have errors-and-omissions insurance?
- If the property has becomes vacant, will the manager get it ready for the next tenants to move in?
*Yes. See our management contract.
- Will the manager interview prospective tenants and show them the home?
*Yes. We provide online and in-person showings 6 days a week, plus screening!
- Will the manager advertise the vacancy for the owner and at whose expense?
*Yes, at managements expense... unless the owner wants more than normal advertising.
- Will the manager help the owner comply with fair housing regulations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable local, state and federal laws?
*Yes. Manditory. In fact we will not accept a management contract unless the rental meets our requirements for health and safefy.
- Will the manager collect and deposit rent payments?
*Yes. We deposit funds as instructed by the owners, either electronically or by mail. Please read the contract for exceptions such as waiting time for checks to clear. With 5 days grace period and a possible waiting time of another 7 days for personal checks..., it can take 12 to 13 days just to clear funds to post into the owners account. Our owner contract states "Mid Month" for owners to receive payments, but we try to pay by the 10th if we can. We realize that owners have a mortgage to pay.
- What will happen if the rent is late or a resident has to be evicted?
*We try to negotiate with a tenant before an eviction, if at all possible. We avoid evictions many times by working with a tenant. When an eviction cannot be avoided, we use Landlord Solutions Inc. of Tacoma for professional evictions when needed. This can take 2 to 6 weeks generally at worst. Cost can be from $200 to $900 in some cases, which the owner must pay. However, we then attempt to collect those costs and fees from the tenant through a Collection Agency and garnishment of their wages etc.
- Is the management qualified to handle bookkeeping and accounting?
*Yes. Our team has extensieve training in both Bookkeeping and Taxes. Emily also has worked in the past as a Comptroller for Government. She is also a Licensed Real Estate Agent.
- How much money will be the manager be authorized to spend without prior authorization for the expenditure?
*Our maximum is $200 per unit for emergency maintenance or other urgent needs/costs. Past that we must contact the owner to consult and approve per our contract.
- Will the manager be authorized to sign checks on the owner's account?
*NO. We process all funds from tenants internally, then issue a check or electronic payment direct to owners per their direction for deposit only without the ability to withdraw once funds are in an owners account. This is not our account, but the owners own Bank account.
- If so, what types of controls are in place to protect the owner from misuse of funds?
*The only money we have access to is the monthly rent received initially..., which we deduct our fee from and then the funds are dispersed to owners own Bank account. Funds are disperersed only after the tenant funds have cleared the trust account we keep.
- What types of reports will the manager submit and how often?
*Monthly billing & invoicing for account settlement. Repair and/or maintenance invoices are sent to owners if and when needed. Plus if the owners have email we send photos of needed repairs with a concise estimate of cost break down in most cases. We follow up with final invoice and finish photos via email.
- Who will perform maintenance and repairs on the property?
*We hire only Licensed and Insured contractors, maintenance companies, cleaners and landscapers etc. that we trust and who will give us the best price possible, yet they must also do a good job. We have a vendor list.
- Who will shop for property and casualty insurance?
*Owners are required to keep up their home owners insurance and name BCI PROPERTIES, LLC on their policy also as "Additional Loss Payee" for liability. In turn we also carry a Million dollar umbrella policy. We require this cross coverage due to requirements from our own insurance company and as a protection for our owners.
- Will the manager inspect the property on a routine basis?
*Full inspections with photos inside and outside are planned once a year. Other inspections durring the year are on an irregular basis so that tenants will not expect us and clean up or hide issues that we need to see. The property is thus expected to be kept up at all times in good order.
- Will the manager secure the property in the event of a disaster or emergency?