FAQs for Property Owners
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for below…please call us today for a no obligation meeting to discuss your challenges and how we can help, whether you have one or multiple units. You can reach us at 573-228-9022
What type of rental properties do you manage?
Modern Property Groups manages residential properties. This includes single family homes, townhomes, condominiums, duplexes, fourplexes and larger, (multi-unit buildings), and apartment buildings.
Why should I hire you as my Property Management Company?
Turning over your rental property to the care of an unknown property manager can be an emotional and frightening experience. That is why you want to choose a company with experience and the right hands on approach. Modern Property Groups is personally invested in the community as it was the management of our own real estate holdings that led to the opening of Modern Property Groups.
We pride ourselves on being educated on housing regulations. There are a multitude of applicable laws related to rental property, leases, and rent control for different cities. You need an educated firm to handle all the different property laws that come with renting out your property. Why deal with it yourself and hold the responsibility, let us carry the burden for you.
How soon can you get my property up for rent?
Modern Property Groups will perform a rent ready inspection to ensure your home meets our move in ready criteria. We are able to get your property up for rent as soon as your property meets our move in standards. Why waste precious time with a vacancy, lets start right away and get your property on the market today! The quicker it rents, the quicker you can start collecting your money!
I’m a Property Owner, how much are your management fees?
Management fees vary based upon size, occupancy and location – Average fees range from 6% to 9% of gross rents collected. Call today for more details.
As an owner, when will I receive my rental income?
Remittance of collected money will be submitted to the owner on or before the 25th of each month. The timing of when rent can be remitted to an owner is dependant on the method of payment by the tenant. Cash or cash equivalent rent payments can be made quicker than payments via a check as we must wait for the check to fully clear our account before it can be remited to the owner.
Why do I need a property Manager?
With changing regulations and the growing number of legal issues, managing a property is more challenging than ever. Having a professional property manager to protect your investment and help you avoid the unexpected difficulties is a sound business decision. Whether you are a seasoned investor or a first time landlord, the business of owning investment real estate can be complicated without skill, experience and guidance of a professional.
What are your hours of operation and how are emergencies handled?
Our office is open Monday – Friday 8am-5pm. We have a 24 hour emergency maintenance line.
How will you market my rental property?
We give it maximum exposure while it is for rent and we carefully scrutinize all interested parties.
FOR RENT SIGNS – Posted at the property with our website and phone number clearly displayed. Prospective renters can find out very easily the price and size of your property and when it will be ready for move-in.
INTERNET LISTINGS – Our available homes for rent in the Columbia area are posted online complete with photos, maps and property details for the convenience of those searching for a new home.
WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS – Current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, referrals from other agents that we network with.
CORRECT PRICING – Even the best and nicest homes will not lease quickly if overpriced. We make sure your rental home is priced according to current market conditions.
THOROUGH PREPARATION – Even the best located and well priced rental homes will not lease quickly if the rental home is not in top showing condition. Homes for rent in the Columbia area absolutely must show well and have an attractive “curb appeal” or they may sit empty for extended periods. Part of our job as property manager is to make sure your rental home is presented in a clean and attractive condition so that it will attract a good tenant.
What do you do to qualify a tenant after they have applied to rent my house?
This is the most important aspect of the successful management of a rental property. In general, we look at an applicant’s past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meeting credit/income standards.
LANDLORD REFERENCES – We send a landlord reference form or personally talk to past landlords and ask detailed questions about the applicant’s past rental history.
CREDIT REPORT – Our property manager and leasing agent has a direct connection with a credit reporting service. We obtain a credit report which tells us the applicant’s current and past performance toward meeting their financial obligations. It also tells us their monthly debt and shows their previous addresses (which we compare to addresses listed on the application). An applicant must meet established credit standards.
CRIMINAL HISTORY REPORT – We pull a copy of the applicant’s criminal history report to verify if they have a criminal history.
PROPERTY TAX SEARCH – If a private individual is listed as previous or current landlord, we will pull the tax records and verify that the person listed actually owns the property. The property tax record crosscheck is what reveals most of the fraud attempts that we encounter and is a level of scrutiny that most other property management companies do not even perform.
EMPLOYMENT/INCOME – We contact the employer to verify length of employment, status, and income and also require that the applicant provide a copy of a recent paystub and/or income information.
How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my home while renting?
Above all, careful tenant selection from the beginning provides the highest ability to protect your property from being rented to irresponsible people. During the lease term, we may have occasion to enter the property for repair or maintenance reasons and will use that opportunity to have a look. If we are fortunate enough not to have any repairs or maintenance at your property over an extended period of time, your property manager can, upon your request, schedule a preventative maintenance walk-through to make sure the air filter is being changed, that the smoke alarms have batteries and that there are no unreported problems at the property. As the property owner you may elect to have annual, semi-annual or quarterly property inspections performed for a small fee.
What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should, or you discover unauthorized pets?
Your property manager gives the tenant an opportunity to correct the situation and usually they will. If a problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation.
What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?
We take a very proactive and hands on approach as it relates to the handling and management of tenant delinquency accounts. Our dedicated collection staff utilizes a combination of letters, phone calls and hand delivered notices to tenants with delinquent accounts.
Given the large number of properties we manage we are able to offer tenants a convenient rent drop-off location.
How informed will I be about what happens with my property?
Absent any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or non-emergency repair), we will let you know about it right away. Other than that, the saying “no news is good news” is most appropriate. Non-emergency items will be communicated along with your monthly statements and, of course, we encourage you to contact the property manager anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
We know some owners desire a level of involvement that our property management system is not designed to accommodate. We try our best to make sure you are a good match for our style of property management. Part of that process is this Question and Answer page so you can obtain a sense of how we think and how the manager will manage your investment property.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may fax or mail their requests to us, but most fill out an online form on our website or via phone. After we receive a repair request, the property manager may contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service employee/vendor to make the repair.
We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days, and in fact are usually able to do so. Emergency service calls receive highest priority followed by comfort items such as air conditioning.
Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?
We can establish and hold back for you any amount you wish.
How do I know your property manager won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval?
This is a legitimate fear. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs we will set a predetermined amount to use without notifying you. You will find out when you receive your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed the predetermined amount, we will call you and let you know what is happening, what we think should be done, and what the estimated cost might be.
Sometimes expenses such as a replacing a bad water heater, a roof leak that needs patching or repair, or emergency A/C and furnace repairs are unavoidable. In those cases where 1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue, or 2) in instances where there is only one option to consider or 3) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, the property manager will initiate the repair work, even if it is higher than the predetermined amount, and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it. Mainly, we don’t think important repairs should be delayed while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.
What if I want you to use my plumber, A/C company, etc.?
We already have a stable core of very qualified and reasonably priced internal staff and vendors that we have used for many years. If you would like to nominate a service company to be added to our vendor list, they can contact us and we will interview them and let them know what documentation and references we need, what our invoicing and payment policy is, etc. We cannot guaranty however that your favorite company will be sent on all service calls to your home. Our concern is always to resolve repair problems in the most efficient way possible with the best available employee or vendor at the time. Property managers can’t keep track of a pre-established roster of vendors assigned to certain properties – it would be a cumbersome and inefficient property management system and would not achieve the best service to the tenant and your investment property.
Our professional reputation as property managers, both with tenants and owners, is largely, if not almost entirely, determined by the effectiveness with which we handle maintenance. We follow a practice that is most likely to insure the best possible response and resolution to maintenance and repair problems for your property.
You guys seem sort of picky about the clients and properties you take, why is that?
Well, we’ve been property managers long enough to have seen and experienced everything imaginable, and we prefer to anticipate and avoid common problems rather that deal with the same ones repeatedly.
We believe you and your investment property are best served by a property management system that is as free of problems and chaos as possible. We try to distinguish what will consume a disproportionate amount of a property manager’s time and distract from the care and attention that your good property deserves.
We strive to maintain a group of “like-minded” clients with properties that are at the same time diverse, yet homogenous enough that our systems, methods and style can be applied uniformly across all properties we manage. The worst property manager you can hire is one who good heartedly tries to accommodate every special circumstance or request from his various owners until his operational system is so scattered and ill defined as to be dangerous. We like the consistency and predictability that comes with welcoming owners and properties that are compatible with our system of property management.
If you think about it, when you hire a property manager, you are for better or worse, employing that property manager’s system (or lack thereof). We promise you our system of property management is mature, stable and time tested. We will make good decisions for you. Your property will receive professional care and maintenance. Your lease agreement with the tenant will be enforced in a cordial businesslike manner, and we will always act in your best interest while at the same time insuring that your tenant receives fair and ethical treatment. You can expect also that we are always looking for ways to improve our service.
We do want you to thoroughly examine our company, ask for references, ask any questions that are not answered for you on this website, and make sure that ours is the property management system you want serving you and your property.
Are your property management fees negotiable?
No. The ultimate cost of using a property manager is determined by many things other than the fee charged. The efficiency and manner in which maintenance and tenant relationship problems are handled, and the attention to detail during the leasing process are two of many areas in which we excel. We feel that our set of services, our systems, and the experience and expertise we offer are a good value at the fee structure we have established.
Does your property management agreement give you exclusive right to sell my property?
No. We can sell your property if you would like us to, but we don’t bind you to that in the management agreement. This is another trick that discount property managers use. They manage your home at little or no profit knowing they have you locked into an eventual sales listing. We think, at the time you decide to eventually sell, you should be free to decide who the best listing agent will be for your property given its location and characteristics. Most of our owners do choose Modern Property Groups to represent them in the sale of their home.
Who holds the tenant’s security deposit?
Modern Property Groups holds all tenant security deposits in an escrow account.
How much of a security deposit do you charge the tenant?
As a general rule of thumb for a single-family home we usually charge one month’s rent for a security deposit. This is up to the owner of the property. Security deposits vary as it relates to apartments and other rental unit classifications.