Rental Property Owner FAQ
Will I forfeit control if you manage my property?
Definitely not! Once we start managing your property, we will always ask for your guidance when making decisions. We will also keep you up to date on matters regarding your investment. And, we will always pay attention to your instructions.
Our goal is to be completely transparent with our clients in all matters regarding their properties.
How does Own It Detroit ensure competitive rent rates for my property?
As a professional property management company, we consider a variety of methods to ensure that properties under our management are competitively priced. Chief among these methods are market experience and various comparative market analysis. The result? A high return on your investment.
We have been in the business for a fairly long time. We have mastered the techniques on how best to maximize potential profits of our clients. To ensure accurate market rates, we make use of a unique formula that draws from our many in-house comparatives.
Our goal here is to ensure your property is rented as quickly as possible, to the most qualified tenant, and at the highest rate possible.
How does Own It Detroit market clients’ properties?
To get the most qualified tenants for our clients’ properties, we employ an effective marketing strategy. We will only charge you a marketing fee once we get a good quality tenant as a result of our marketing efforts.
This means that there is no upfront marketing fee. You only pay once our efforts have results. In the meantime, we will keep you updated on matters regarding leasing.
We always begin the marketing process either when we are taking in a new contract or when a tenant is vacating their rental property at the end of their lease term.
We encourage pre-advertisements for various reasons. One important reason is that it allows potential renters to see the property’s details before we begin the process of leasing. Pre-advertisements also allow us to minimize vacancy levels. In some occasions, it has helped us sign new tenants even before declaring a property vacant.
To maximize exposure, we also maintain a comprehensive list of top rental listing sites, which we use for syndication purposes. The result – quicker occupancy of a vacant property.
Examples of the rental listing sites in our marketing arsenal include:
How soon do you fill vacancies?
With our aggressive marketing strategies, we ensure that we fill vacant properties at the earliest possible time. Our pre-advertising strategy is especially effective in making sure vacant properties are rented quickly.
In certain situations, we have been able to fill vacant properties within a day of it being vacant. However, at other times, it can take up to a month. Since we are incentive-based, this means that we have a shared interest with our clients to ensure properties are rented as quickly as possible.
At Own It Detroit, our goal is not only to fill vacant properties quickly but to also ensure that they are filled with long-term, quality tenants. Quality tenants will pay rent on time, will care for the property, and will rent for relatively longer periods.
What is your policy on pets and smoking?
We have a zero policy regarding smoking inside our properties. In the event a tenant violates this policy, we swiftly take action as per the terms of our lease or rental agreement.
In terms of pet policy, we leave this decision solely to property owners. The property owner has the final say on whether or not to allow pets on their properties.
We do advise our clients to consider allowing pets. This is based on our observation that tenants with pets are generally more responsible.
At Own It Detroit, we provide our clients with regulatory provisions if they choose to allow pets in their properties. These regulatory provisions ensure that the property owner isn’t burdened in case they allow pets.
We can dictate the number, breed, weight, and size of the pet. To have even more control over the types of pets allowed, we advertise that all pets are conditional and that we don’t allow aggressive breeds.
What is your tenant screening process like?
To maximize our chances of landing the most qualified tenant, we follow an elaborate, thorough, and fair screening process for all prospective tenants. We use a four-pronged approach in this regard.
That is, we check the prospective tenant’s credit and rental history; we check and verify their income; and lastly, we run background and criminal checks on them.
While screening prospective tenants, we also ensure adherence to the Fair Housing Rules.
We then move forward to execute a lease once the tenant has passed this screening test. Throughout the process, we always keep property owners informed. We also take into account any advice they may have.
Are tenants required to provide security deposits before they move in?
Yes, they are! Tenants must pay the full security deposit amount before we give them the keys to the property. We charge one month’s rent as a security deposit. Moreover, it is during this time that we also require tenants to pay the rent and any additional fees in full.
Security deposits help cushion property owners against property damage resulting from a tenant’s carelessness or negligence. To ensure the tenant returns the property in the same way they found it, we document the condition of the property at move-in with a checklist.
This helps us identify any property damage in excess of normal “wear and tear” during the tenant’s move-out. Should there be any damage in excess of normal wear and tear at this time, we deduct the cost of fixing the damage from their security deposit amount.
How do you handle utilities?
At Own It Detroit, we prefer not to handle utilities. We prefer that the tenant handle these instead. However, this is dependent on the property type. Regulations may still require us to handle certain utilities such as water, sewer, and trash.
To help ensure a smooth transition for all parties, we will help guide the tenants on the utility process for each property.
We copy all utility bills and include them as part of the monthly cash flow statements.
How do you handle rental property repairs and maintenance?
At Own It Detroit, we know that timely property repairs and maintenance may mean the difference between success and failure in this business. From our vast experience, we’ve come to learn that different owners usually often have different ideas regarding repairs and maintenance.
We have clients who prefer that we handle them. We also have some clients who prefer full control over them. If that responsibility is left to us, we always ensure that the highest standard is attained.
Over the years, we’ve cultivated good relationships with tried-and-tested professional contractors. Due to the volume of work we have, we’ve been able to attract not only the best contractors in the business but also those that provide work at competitive prices.
In addition, we also work with home warranty companies as well as existing service contracts.
Aside from providing photo and video documentation, we also keep detailed invoices of the works done. Needless to say, at Own It Detroit, our goal is to maintain transparency in all of our undertakings.
Before we begin these works, we often liaise with property owners after having performed an inspection. You can rely on our rich experience to help improve cash flow and reduce costs.
How does Own It Detroit handle tenants who have rent issues?
We are an incentive-based management firm. We get paid a percentage of collected rent. This means that we don’t get paid if a tenant doesn’t pay rent. This is enough incentive to ensure we collect rent on time.
In case of rent issues, we invoke all the necessary legal procedures as per our lease or rental agreement. In serious cases, we swiftly file an eviction lawsuit against the delinquent tenant. And when necessary, we will help represent the owner in court proceedings.
We are fully versed in all matters regarding tenant evictions. We’ll make sure the process takes the last time and that it costs the least amount. Other than the court filing fee, we will represent you free of charge.
We however only resort to eviction as the last resort. Based on our experience, communication may be all that is needed to solve issues with tenants.
If tenants are late on payment of rent, we charge them a five percent late fee which we retain.
How do you ensure that my rental property is taken care of?
First and foremost, we ensure that your property is only occupied by quality tenants. Quality tenants are those who are drama-free, neat, honest, creditworthy, responsible, are respectful, and even more importantly, are able to pay rent on time.
Next, we document the condition of the property on two occasions: when the tenant is moving in and when they are moving out. Our goal here is to ensure that tenants are held accountable for any property damage in excess of normal wear and tear.
We also ensure routine property inspections. Routine property inspections can help recognize any maintenance or damage issues before they escalate and become a major issue. We generally carry out four inspections for each lease period.
What happens when a tenant moves out before the lease expires?
A lease agreement is a contractual agreement between us – the management company, and the tenant. Breaking a lease agreement is breaking a contractual agreement. The first thing that we do once this happens is that we work towards finding a replacement tenant using the tenant’s relisting fee.
Until we find a replacement tenant, the existing tenant will be bound by the terms of the lease. Our goal here is to ensure that our clients don’t suffer any financial loss.
Aside from finding a replacement tenant, we also permit the tenant to buy out the lease. We liaise with our clients throughout this process to get the best solution possible.
When do you usually send a monthly report and money check to clients?
At Own It Detroit, we always ensure that our clients get monthly reports as quickly as possible. Generally, we send owner proceeds between the 10th and 15th of every month. Each report is provided via e-mail.
We also have an online owner portal where owners can conveniently access all information regarding their properties real-time.