The rent is due on the 3rd of the month. On the morning of the 4th if we haven’t received their rent, we automatically send the tenant a 3-day notice of failure to pay rent which is an eviction notice and we also send you a notice. This generally prompts them into action right away. If they do not pay the rent by the time the notice expires, we can evict them. Generally they pay right away or at least communicate as to what the problem is. We will then communicate with you on it. Being we are strict in our enforcement policy we don’t have many problems with delinquent rent. If the third occurs on a weekend or holiday, we wait until the next working day.
What if tenant creates damage?
If we find damage, we give the tenants a 7-day notice of non-compliance to fix the damage. We make sure and put a reminder on our calendar to verify they took care of it. If the item is a liability or will cause further damage to the property we will have to fix it to stay in compliance with your lease and the law but will then bill the tenants. You will be reimbursed for the bill as soon as we collect it from the tenants. If they don’t pay it upon invoice, we let them know they will incur late fees daily till paid. Very seldom do we find major damages. However, if we do the same policy is followed but we will get estimates to cure the damage and require the tenant pay for this with their next month’s rent. They may approach us about a payment plan which is still better then waiting until they vacate to try to collect it from their deposit. Historically we have been able to work through this situation through payment plans or inspecting tenant’s repairs. However, in the event they do not comply we will contact you to go over your options of eviction and/or collections.
What happens if Tenant is not taking care of lawn?
This too will be handled by giving the tenant a 7-day notice of non-compliance and reinspect it at the expiration of the notice. If they do not take care of the lawn, we will have it done and charge them for it. You will be reimbursed for the bill as soon as we collect it from the tenants. If they don’t pay it upon invoice, we let them know they will incur late fees daily till paid. This generally takes care of the problem. If your home is in a community with homes close to each other we strongly recommend that you maintain a pest control and fertilization service for the lawn or you are very likely to loose your lawn to chinch bugs as they are attracted to the unprotected yards.
What if Tenant brings in unauthorized pet?
We typically find out about this when we do periodic inspections. If we find an unauthorized pet we send them the 7 day notice of non-compliance letting them know that they have to get approval and if approved, there is a $30/per month per pet additional rent added to the lease. If you do not want the pet to stay, we let them know they have to remove it, and then we plan a surprise re-inspection. If upon re-inspection they still have not removed the pet, we notify them they will be charged for the pet fees and will still have to get rid of the pet. If we can’t get them to remove it we will contact you to see if you want us to evict them.
What happens if Tenant has an unauthorized person living in the property?
This also is handled with the 7-day notice. We let them know that everyone living in the property must be approved and put on the lease and failure to do so could result in eviction of all tenants. This generally prompts them to come in and properly add the roommate to the lease.
What happens if there are Neighborhood or HOA complaints?
We like the neighbors and the Home Owners Association to know who we are so that they can be our eyes and ears for the property when we are not there. We do call the HOA management to let them know we are the management company in case they need to reach us. We also send out a postcard to the neighbors letting them know who we are so they can contact us if they have any problems with the tenants. When we get a complaint we thank them for looking out for the home and let them know that we will be giving the tenants 7 days to rectify the problem and we follow up with that notice once it expires. We ask them to be sure and call or email if the tenant doesn’t take care of the problem, or if they ever have any other problems with the tenant. If it is a serious issue, we will get photos or even police reports (if applicable) to assist with documentation.
What are the Local ordinances I need to comply with?
The City of Gainesville keeps a very close patrol on residential rental properties. As a homeowner with a property in the city limits the City ordinance requires that you have a landlord permit and a local agent to be responsible if you do not live in Gainesville. They have become a strict policing force in residential neighborhoods. They will fine the Property owners for the tenant’s non-compliance with the ordinance. Some typical problems they fine for are: parking on the yard, loud noise, grass not being cut, condition of property not up to codes, more than three unrelated people living in a residential neighborhood, garbage not picked up, etc. We make sure and work closely with them so that they will work well with us. If we receive a notice from the city we will contact the tenant right away and make sure they fix the problem, and then contact the city to let them know we verified it has been taken care of.
What are the Legal maintenance requirements?
The city codes, law and the lease sets guidelines for the condition that the property must be maintained in. Basically the property must always be kept up to building codes and lawn taken care of as needed. The lease requires that we maintain everything in the home in good working order. If your air conditioner, heater, hot water heater, appliances, etc. break down, we must fix it. The tenant is renting the home with all of the items in working condition and could legally retain rent if we don’t continue to keep the home maintained. This is critical when it comes to serious problems such as roof replacement, drain field replacement, electrical problems, and anything relating to safety and security of the home and the tenants and their belongings while in the home. We are well versed in this area and will be sure that your property stays in compliance.
What happens if mold is discovered on the property?
Mold can be very dangerous to some people. Most mold is due from a leak of some sort. If your property develops a leak that is not quickly caught and remediated, mold will develop. Sometimes the leak can be in an area that you don’t see like a roof or a slow leak in a plumbing pipe in the wall etc. If this is the case you will often get a work order request from the tenant complaining they smell mold or they see mold. Our property manager will immediately assess the property and take pictures if she finds an affected area, and send out the necessary repair people. Once the leak is stopped, mold remediation may be needed by a certified company. The work needs to be started immediately and carefully to contain the mold from spreading. If this were to happen our property manager will contact you and keep you advised of the progress and answer any questions you may have. Mold is an additional rider on most insurance policies. We recommend you add it to yours.
Environmental mold is mold not from a leak but due to a moisture build up inside the home caused from the way it is being used. It is from air not allowed to circulate and dry. This can be from excessive hot showers without venting the bathroom or keeping heavy shades on windows, doors in the home closed, heat or air not being ran which dries out the air. It is common in concrete block homes and we educate our tenants on how to prevent mold build-up. Tenants are required to run their air conditioning system and heating systems in a reasonable manner and to properly ventilate the home. Tenants are encouraged to report any sighted mold in order to address it in a timely manner. Owners are encouraged to install ceiling fans in bedrooms and exhaust fans in the bathrooms to help prevent mold issues. If the mold is found to be dangerous to residents, the tenants will need to vacate the property until a mold remediation company can come to the property.
Non United States Citizen required form
Use Form W-8 or a substitute form containing a substantially similar statement to tell the payer, mortgage interest recipient, middleman, broker, or barter exchange that you are a non-resident alien individual, foreign entity, or exempt foreign person not subject to certain U.S. information return reporting or backup withholding rules.
Management Contract typical questions and answers:
Why do I have to pay you a termination fee of $300 if you were not able to secure me a tenant?
A lot of work is put into preparing to put your property in management and on the market. We take pictures, video tape, transcribe into reports, and document all appliances, warranties, HOA, Schools, etc. We also add the property to the numerous web sites to market the properties, bulletins to realtors, corporations, etc. We coordinate showings, answer questions about the property, etc. We do all of this without getting paid upfront. Our fee comes out of the first month’s rent collected. A $300 termination fee is actually not enough to cover our upfront costs. If you are not sure you want to rent the property you should wait until you’re ready. Once you have made the decision and signed a contract with us if you change your mind the fee is assessed.
Do I have to pay you to prepare my property for the tenant or can I do that myself?
During the course of the management if you want to make the repairs and improvements between tenants you are welcomed to do so. Keep in mind you may find it costs more in your travel, and down time of the property (weeks of no rent), then it may be worth to you. We are accustomed to turning properties over in a timely manner.
If you need us to do the initial make ready of the property by coordinating maintenance prior to securing the first tenant we charge a 15% mark up on the work needed as we are not collecting management fees at this point.
The terms state that you will receive management fees through the end of the lease. If we do not feel your doing the job we hired you for, we should not have to pay for the management fee and would want to terminate your services without a penalty.
If we are not providing the management services that our contract and information packet states that we will give you then we are violating our contract and we would ask that you first let us know what you are unhappy about and give us a chance and opportunity to fix the problem. If we are not able to correct the problem and we have violated our contract you would be able to terminate the contract without a fee. Secure Investments Realty & Management Corp. has very good reputation for Quality service and we value this. If we made a mistake, we will do what we have to in order to fix it or make it right so we can move on and continue a good business relationship.
What happens if tenant does not make good on a check within 10 days. How long before a possible eviction?
Thankfully we have not had that happen before in that kind of scenario, but the first thing we would do is turn the check over to the states prosecutors’ office for immediate action. We would also send the appropriate 3-day notice of failure to pay and when that expires after getting your approval we would turn the file over to an attorney for eviction. Eviction takes about 30 days and cost about $870.00 if you do not elect to use our Attorney Prepared Lease program that is offered for $100.00. With the Attorney Prepared Lease we have the lease drafted by an attorney and he would defend that lease for eviction for no additional cost. It is like prepaid legal fee. I highly recommend it and most of our owners do elect to take advantage of it. However, in the past 20 years while managing on average 250 properties, I have only had to do 11 evictions. We are very strict up front with credit and reference checks.
Your contract states you will charge a 6% commission if the tenant you secured buys the property. I don’t want to be obligated to sell my home through your company and pay you a commission.
This paragraph in the management contract can be misleading. What it states is that if the “Tenant” (someone we have entered into and have a current lease with) contacts us and asks if the Owner is interested in selling the property. I will contact you and if you are interested, and we can negotiate an acceptable contract for all parties we will charge you a real estate commission of 6%.
If another broker sells the property do we still owe a 6% commission?
The only time we would participate in the sale commission would be if our tenant were to purchase the home. In which case I would be the one calling and giving you the tenants offer and working as a transaction broker would handle the purchase and sale transaction. However, if you have a Realtor that you have been working with that referred you to us then I would ask that you contact that person and we would work together on it and split the commission.
Is the monthly association fee something that can be assessed in addition to rent?
It is standard for the homeowner to pay the association fee monthly and not the tenant. We can handle making the payments for you out of your rental proceeds with no additional fee.
With regard to pets, if I were to allow a small pet, could the damage deposit be adjusted? If so what are the reasonable ranges? If there were damages above the damage deposit amount could these be recovered?
Approximately 75% of people who rent have pets so if you say “no pets” you do cut out that portion of the market and it is a high vacancy market. Tenants are charged an additional $30 per pet per month pet fees that is sent to the Homeowner as additional rent.
With regard to possible eviction, can those fees associated with a lawyer and the process be designated to be recovered from the tenant?
Yes, the tenant can be charged with the legal costs associated with eviction. However, if we have to evict a tenant chances are they don’t have any money, so you may have to settle with turning them over to collections and putting it on their credit report. However, I can tell you we have very few tenants leave owing after the security deposit is applied due to the periodic inspections and stiff application and screening process.
Why can’t you contact me for all repairs and why can’t I take care of them myself?
We will notify you of and obtain your approval for all non-emergency repairs costing in excess of $300. For repairs under this amount, however, or for emergency repairs, we will proceed as necessary and deduct the cost from your distribution.
There are several reasons for this policy.
It allows us to handle the day-to-day management of your property without having to call you in the middle of the night if a pipe bursts, or if a toilet stars overflowing. This is a large part of what property management entails, and it is the job you hired us to do.
It allows us to have minor repairs completed immediately when a vendor arrives at the scene, rather than having to get an estimate, obtain your approval and send the vendor back out, which would result in another trip charge to you. This is also more convenient
for your tenants, who would not respond well to having to make multiple appointments with a vendor for a minor repair.
It simply is not practical for us to contact you prior to every repair due to complications that arise from tenant and vendor scheduling; there is no guarantee that we would even be able to reach you when a repair needed to be done and both the tenant and vendor were available. (For repairs over $300 this is not much of an issue, since larger jobs typically require that the vendor locate parts and prepare to do the work, and we can use this time to obtain your approval.)
We must for liability reasons remain in control of necessary maintenance. When a tenant signs a lease with us they expect maintenance to be completed properly and in a timely manner, and we have a legal and ethical obligation to see that it is. We also have a responsibility to act fairly on your behalf and to protect your interests, and we take this responsibility very seriously.
We do not perform unnecessary maintenance, we do not deal with vendors who overcharge, and we act on repair issues as quickly as possible to safeguard both you and your property. This approach to maintenance is part of what has made our office as successful as it is. We hope you will understand the reasons behind our policies and continue to trust us to act in your best interests.
Why should I sign up for the attorney prepare lease program for $100.00?
Every prospective tenant is subject to a thorough criminal background check as well as a careful review of their credit history. Only those who pass our screening process will be approved.
While we expect every tenant to meet his/her obligations pursuant to our lease agreement and Florida law, infrequently a tenant violates the lease in some manner or fails to make the rental payments as required. Be assured your property manager will make every effort to resolve the problem and cure the non-compliance. So long as your property is not in foreclosure if an eviction becomes necessary, it will be provided at no cost to you. Secure Investments Realty & Management Corp. has retained an attorney with more than 28 years of experience who specializes in landlord-tenant law to protect your rights at no cost. You will not be charged for any of the following eviction related expenses:
- Fees required for filing the eviction with the Clerk of Court
- Charges for summons preparation
- Charges for having tenant served (service of process)
- Sheriff’s charges for posting the writ of possession
- Attorney’s fees for preparing the eviction.
- Attorney’s fees for trying the eviction.
In summary, if an eviction is necessary, it will be pursued at no cost to you. Your property manager will coordinate with the attorney.
The following costs or services are not provided:
- Services in federal court (for example, actions needed should the tenant declare bankruptcy).
- Actions taken to procure a money judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent, physical damages, late fees etc.
- Actions in which the property owner is sued by the tenant.
- Actions against anyone other than the tenant, such as contractors, HOAs, condo associations etc.
- If LANDLORD is in foreclosure, an eviction will not be filed. If foreclosure is filed during an eviction, the eviction will be dismissed.
Contact us today to learn more!