Frequently asked Property Management questions
(and detailed answers)
Provided below are answers to some common questions about
our Property Management services. Click on any line to see the
answer for that question. Our goal on this page is to paint a clear
picture of what you can expect if you hire us to manage your home.
Property Management and Leasing Questions
What type of properties do you manage?
What experience and credentials do you offer?
How big is your staff?
What do you do to get my property leased?
What, specifically, do you do to qualify a tenant after they have applied to rent?
How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my property?
What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should?
What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?
How informed will I be about what happens with my property?
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Do you use the cheapest maintenance people you can find?
Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?
How do I know you won’t spend money on large repairs without my approval?
What if I want you to use my plumber, A/C company, etc.?
When do you mail the Owner's checks?
Can you put the money directly into my checking account?
Do you pay the bills for me?
What will I receive with my monthly statement each month?
How much do you charge?
Are your fees negotiable?
Are there administrative fees or other service charges?
Who holds the tenant's security deposit?
How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?
How soon can you start managing my property?
What type of properties do you manage? We specialize in residential properties. The majority of our portfolio is single family homes and duplexes, however we do manage multiple unit buildings also.
What experience and credentials do you offer?
Larry Ness has been active in property management in Manhattan since 1986. He has a Master’s Degree in engineering and has over 20 years experience in environmental engineering.
Nancy Ness has been active in real estate management, leasing, and customer relations in Manhattan since 1986 and is a college graduate in elementary education. She worked for various school and city libraries concentrating in reference departments.
Both Larry and Nancy are members of the Landlords of Manhattan, Inc. and regularly attend meetings to stay abreast of current issues dealing with landlords and tenants. Larry is currently serving on the Board of Directors.
How big is your staff?
Our staff consists primarily of only Larry and Nancy. Our Owners appreciate the small office atmosphere and personal service we deliver.
What do you do to get my property leased? We
give it maximum exposure.
FOR RENT SIGNS - Posted at the property with a 24 hour information number so drive by prospects can find out immediately - even at 7PM on a Saturday - what the price and size of your property is and when it will be ready for move-in.
NEWSPAPER - Classified ads in the Manhattan Mercury and/or the Kansas State University college paper, The Collegian, as appropriate.
YELLOW PAGES - Generates many calls from tenant prospects.
WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS - Current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, referrals from other agents that we network with.
INTERNET LISTINGS - Our properties are posted online and updated regularly.
What, specifically, do you do to qualify a tenant after they have applied to rent my property? This is the most important aspect of the successful management of rental property. All application processing is done by us in-house. We don't send the application to a third party for processing like some other property managers do. 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 as well as meeting our financial criteria
LANDLORD REFERENCES - We personally talk to past landlords and ask detailed questions about the applicant's past performance.
CREDIT REPORT - 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 have current clean credit to qualify.
DRIVER LICENSE VERIFICATION - We make a copy of the applicants public drivers license data. This tells us not only if the addresses given on the application are consistent but also when and what the last drivers license activity was, such as a renewal or change of address. This is important because if someone says they have been living at a certain address for the past three years, but then we see they renewed their drivers license a year ago at a different address, a red flag goes up and we often find in that situation that the applicant is trying to hide bad rental 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.
EMPLOYMENT/INCOME - We call the employer to verify length of employment, status, and income. An applicant needs to earn at least 3 to 4 times the monthly rent in gross income to qualify for rental.
PUBLIC DATA SEARCH - Along with the credit report we have access to public records that tells us if the applicant has ever been sued for eviction.
PETS - We don't allow animals/pets into managed properties (unless you the owner direct us to do so). Nothing good can come from allowing an animal into your property.
How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my property? There are several ways we have of knowing this. Above all, careful tenant selection from the outset protects 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, we will schedule a preventative maintenance walk-through to make sure the furnace filter is being changed, that the smoke alarms have batteries and that there are no unreported problems at the property.
What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should, or you discover unauthorized pets? We give them 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? On the 4th of each month, we send late notices to and/or telephone all tenants with unpaid rent. We will post an eviction notice before the 10th day of the month if payment is not received by then. Whether or not we eventually have to proceed with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is always financially better for all involved if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which caused them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous problems with them, it is better for you, the manager, and the tenant if we give them a chance to get paid up - if there is reason to believe they can do so. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises about payments, and evasiveness, eviction is the best course of action. Each case is unique and we make our decisions based what is best for you and the property in the long run. That said, we always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward making payment. Evictions in Kansas do work as there is no way a tenant can prevail in court if they have not paid rent and the landlord has properly executed the notices and filing.
How informed will I be about what happens with my property? Without 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 major repair), we will let you know about it right away. Other than that, the old 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 call or e-mail anytime you have a question or wish to discuss anything.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may email, or mail their requests to us. For emergencies, they may
leave a voicemail message that we have immediate access to 24 hours a day.
After we receive a repair request, we 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: 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 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 are
usually able to do so. Air conditioning, no hot water, and problems of that
nature get highest priority. We don't perform repairs after hours or on weekends
except for emergencies.
Do you use the cheapest maintenance people you can find? No. Our people are middle of the road in price and are competent and reliable. Larry has and continues to perform minor maintenance tasks, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and appliance repairs. He charges $25 per hour, with a $30.00 minimum service charge. Our other outside vendors range in price from about $30 to $45 per hour, and sometimes more for things like an after-hours emergency sewer backup. We try to have Larry handle most of the multi-trade and make-ready stuff and use other vendors only when necessary. This saves our owners a lot of money on multi-trade repairs by cutting down on the number of service calls to the property by different vendors.
Do you hold some of my money for repairs? Absolutely not, even though we always pay our vendors quickly.
How do I know you won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval? This is the greatest fear of most new owners. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $250, we take care of it without notifying you. You will find out when you receive your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed $250, 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 a large expense, such as a replacing a bad water heater, or a roof leak that needs patching or repair, is 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, we will initiate the repair work and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it.
What if I want you to use my plumber, A/C company, etc.? We will use your company under certain conditions. They must perform their work in the same expedient and professional manner that our regular vendors do, and we will ask them for references. They must be someone who is actually in the business of performing repairs and maintenance. They must be licensed and insured to perform the work. Our professional reputation, both with tenants and owners, is largely determined by how well we handle maintenance. So, this is very important issue.
When do you mail the owner's checks and statements? Owners checks are mailed out on or before the 10th of each month but absolutely no later than the 15th for the prior month's activity.
Can you put the money directly into my checking account? We will be happy to send your check directly to your bank for immediate deposit while sending the statement to you.
Do you pay the bills for me? We can pay your Insurance, Mortgage, Homeowners fees, etc. There must be sufficient cash flow from the property to cover such expenses and we will ask you to set up an additional reserve fund for this purpose.
What will I receive with my monthly statement? The statement shows all income and expenses for the accounting period and the original receipts for any repairs. We don't add additional costs on repair invoices; we send you the original copy so you'll see exactly what was done and what was charged.
How much do you charge? Our normal management fee is 10% of the gross collected rent each month, however, a lower fee can be negotiated depending on the number of properties and the rent to be collected. All advertising costs are passed through to owners.
Are your fees negotiable?
Yes, but we don't try to compete against low-rate companies. It costs a little more to run a professional operation but, again, good management doesn’t cost, it pays! We strongly feel that our services, systems, experience, and expertise are a good value for the fee structure.
Are there administrative fees or other service charges? There are no administrative fees or start-up costs. We don't charge for copies, long distance calls, mileage, or other incidentals. We don't mark up maintenance costs as many property managers do. The only other expenses you could incur would be for services which fall outside the normal scope of our management agreement (such as contracting a major renovation or room addition). That could not happen without discussion and a separate agreement between us.
Who holds the tenant's security deposit? If you are already holding your current tenant's deposit, you may continue to do so until they move out. Any new deposits that we receive will be held in our deposit trust account.
How much security deposit do you charge the tenant? As a general rule of thumb we usually get one month's rent for deposit.
How soon can you start managing my properties? We can start the process immediately. Contact us so we can find out more about you and your property and see if we would be a good match for your wants and expectations.
Please contact us if you have other questions or wish to
discuss letting us professionally manage your rental property.