Why do I need a property lease manager?
Investing in rental properties is a great way to generate consistent income, build long-term equity, and diversify your portfolio. It can also be a time-intensive job—which is why it’s important to team up with a property manager who knows the industry and your local market exceedingly well. We let our property owners focus on portfolio strategy while we handle lease renewals and around-the-clock phone calls. Here are the benefits of working with a Second Avenue:
- Less work for you: Property managers is responsible for all of the administrative and operational business, so you can focus on optimizing your investment strategy.
- Expert advice: Make more informed decisions regarding your rental properties. Your lease manager can handle quotes for repairs, property maintenance and occupancy, as it’s their passion.
- Investing freedom: Having a trusted property lease manager on the ground lets you buy in the best markets for property investing, no matter where you live.
- Due diligence, done: All Second Avenue property managers are experienced and selected based on a list of criteria and given complete background checks.
What does my property manager handle for me?
Your Property Management Agreement is your guiding governance model. For the majority of questions regarding your property manager, this mutually signed contract contains all of the details describing the business relationship between the owner and the property manager.
Typically, a property management agreement includes:
- Services provided and fees
- Manager responsibilities
- Owner responsibilities
- Contract duration
- Termination clauses
Review this document carefully and make any necessary amendments with your property manager before signing off.
Here are the typical responsibilities of a property manager:
- Collect and disperse rent
- Address all tenant needs and concerns
- Handle all tenant communication
- All repairs
- Preventative maintenance/seasonal care
- Scheduling & conducting routine inspections
- Hiring third party contractors and providing quotes
- Lease and market your property if vacant
- Respond in a timely manner to any owner questions
- Provide regular updates or a monthly owner statement detailing property profit and loss
- Handle move-in/move-out inspections and security deposits
- Tenant screening and tenant applications
- Ensure requirements are met for section 8 tenants
When do I get paid and how does it come through?
This will differ for everyone since it depends on what you set up from the outset.
- To find out when rent is due, refer to your Tenant Lease Agreement
- To find out when you can expect to see the money in your account, refer to your Property Management Agreement
Your property lease manager will have a system in place to make sure the payment process is easy for everyone. Typically this is a direct deposit, but if you want the money another way, discuss it with your PM and have it stipulated in your Property Management Agreement.
What happens when the lease expires?
Your property lease manager will contact the tenant within 60-90 days to determine whether the tenant plans to renew or terminate the lease.
If the tenant wants to renew: Your property lease manager will advise on whether the rent is below market, and make a recommendation to raise or keep as is.
If the tenant wants to vacate: Your property lease manager will…
- Conduct a move-out inspection and keep any portion of the deposit as deemed appropriate, per the leasing agreement.
- Provide you with a proposed scope of work, repairs, cleaning, etc. required to get the property move-in ready for the next tenant. The property manager will either execute these tasks in-house, or outsource and oversee as necessary.
- Handle all marketing of the property. This typically begins even before the property has been vacated.
- Receive and process tenant applications; screen tenants; and make recommendations for approval, denial or increase of deposit. Sometimes, property managers will also provide a tenant scoring sheet to help you make a more informed selection (for example, tenants will receive a quality rating based on a 1-10 scale).
- Once a tenant has been approved and selected, the property manager will conduct the move-in inspection, onboard the tenant, and collect/hold the deposit.
What happens if a tenant breaks the lease early?
Typically there is a fee for breaking the lease early. Your property lease manager will collect this fee and follow the same process outlined above.
Can I contact my tenant directly?
It is standard practice to always go through your property manager if you need to contact your tenant for any reason. Just remember: Communicating with tenants is something you’re paying the PM to handle. Let them be your advocate and work on your behalf!
Now that I own it, can I visit it?
If you want to visit the property, get in touch with your property manager first and they will set up a time. Landlord-tenant laws vary from state to state,and some states have specific laws on how much notice a landlord must provide before coming over (typically it’s 24 hours). Your PM will coordinate visits in accordance with these regulations.
What if something is a tenant's responsibility and they refuse to pay?
standard lease will explicitly stipulate tenant responsibilities vs. landlord responsibilities, and should be treated as the governing document. If a tenant fails to execute a responsibility outlined in the lease, it’s the property manager’s job to address this. Even if the situation escalates, your property manager should be equipped to navigate the situation and find a solution.
Your Tenant Lease Agreement can also stipulate whether fees will be incurred if a tenant breaches any part of the lease. Feel free to review and discuss this topic further with your property manager.
What happens if my tenant pays rent late?
Late payment policies will vary per Property Manager Agreement. Don’t hesitate to ask your property manager how late charges are handled. Even if a tenant consistently pays late, it won’t necessarily affect when you receive your disbursement.
What if I'm having issues with my property manager?
If you’re a Second Avenue customer working with one of our certified property management partners, contact your Customer Success Manager for immediate support. If there’s a dispute or disagreement, Second Avenue is always there to step in. This is extremely rare, but it gives our buyers added peace of mind.
If you’re not a Second Avenue customer or went with your own property manager, it’s important to surface your concerns as soon as possible. While most problems can be solved with effective communication, keep the following tips in mind if you feel it’s time to part ways:
- Start researching a replacement company first
- Check for ‘breach of contract rules’ and ‘termination fees’ in your agreement
- Notify your current property manager of the change
- Your new property manager will work with your former PM to manage the transition
Am I getting a deal using one of Second Avenue?
In many cases, yes. Property managers typically charge a monthly management fee between 6-10 percent of gross collected rent (if property managers don’t collect rent, they don’t get paid). If you go through Second Avenue, you’ll likely pay 8 percent or lower since Second Avenue is collectively able to negotiate down those fees. Some property managers also charge a flat fee instead of a percentage of gross collected rent.