Frequently Asked Questions by Owners
HPM has put together a list of the “most frequently asked Owner questions” that may help answer many of your concerns in advance.
What makes your company different than any other management company in Fayetteville, North Carolina?
In its simplest explanation, we provide: “Worry free management and communication solution” all in one package. Our Property Managers work in Teams, so you will have 2 managers for your property with added special teams that exclusively handle the Leasing functions and Inspectors that handle the maintenance inspections. We strategically balance with systems vs. overwhelming one manager expected to handle all aspects of your management. We are one big TEAM here and work that way from the front to the back of the company.
Do you have any upfront fees for a new client needing management services?
HPM charges a one-time fee of $100 for new client processing and management set-up.
How much do you charge for the ongoing management of our property?
HPM charges a 10% management fee on the rent amount as indicated in the Residential Rental Contract (Lease) that is between the Landlord (you) and the Tenant. There is a $75 admin fee for a new Tenant at move-in and then a $35 new Lease term fee at time of renewal or month to month status change for the same Tenant.
What other expenses would I have in the management of our property?
HPM only has the listed fees above. Any other expenses would be directly associated with the maintenance and preservation of the property itself.
What is the maintenance repair/escrow reserve account for and why the $400 balance?
When your tenant reports a maintenance issue, HPM needs to respond to it promptly. If a property is well maintained, we find that routine, “break-fix” repairs can be completed for $400 or less. HPM will not assign a vendor unless funds are in the Owner’s account (unfortunately, history taught us and thus it became our policy… no funds = no vendor sent out to make the repair.) We simply cannot top management services if our time is spent pursuing the funds to pay the vendor, when the vendor has completed the work and is due the pay. Also, faster we pay service vendor invoices the more of a priority our work orders are with them to get completed and you definitely want “first in line service” with all vendors.
Is there a way for me to view my account information online during my management?
Yes, you will have an Owner Portal that has your login with access to just your personal account. Your login is located on our web site, top menu (far right) and is labeled Login. If you mouse over it a dropdown will indicate the Owner link to click. Your portal will contain information about your account balances, work orders, monthly statements, documents (both you and Tenant), etc. Here is a link to the GUIDE to visually see all the features available to you. Access to your account is available 24/7, to include our conversation log feature that keeps open dialogue going with your Property Manager at all times (much like a blog, but set just for you.)
Do you send me my rent by a direct deposit transfer or by a printed check in the postal mail?
Our first preference is by an ACH direct deposit, but should you require a check be put in the mail we can do that as well.
How thoroughly do you screen prospective Tenants?
HPM uses a screening service through our software vendor, Propertyware, that enables us to check credit reports, criminal backgrounds, prior evictions, rental history, to include employment and income verification. This service gives us results quickly so that we can process interested prospects and move them from application to executed Residential Rental Contract for your property.
How frequently will my home be inspected or checked-on?
When you begin your management with HPM a full inventory inspection is completed documenting all aspects of the property. This report can have in excess of 500 photos. Once a tenant is secured for the property a move-in inspection in conducted with the Tenant. At mid-term of the annual lease, HPM contacts the Tenant and schedules a maintenance inspection. This inspection notes any lease violations, health, safety, or security issues, to include preservation and/or maintenance. Upon the Tenants move-out, an inspection is conducted and reviewed with move-in for any damage charges to the Tenant’s security deposit being held by management company. All of these noted reports are published to you and remain on your Owners Portal for accessibility.
Is the Tenant’s security deposit held by the management company the Tenants money or mine?
The Tenant’s security deposit held with the management company is the Tenant’s money and is not the Owners. It is just being held in an escrow/trust account for them until the time of the Tenant’s move-out. It can be used for any owed rent at that time or damages noted that can be charged to the Tenant, but there has to be justification for not returning it to the Tenant. An Owner cannot just keep it without cause, per the Landlord-Tenant Law.
How are repair or maintenance work orders handled?
When a Tenant places a work order, we quickly troubleshoot the order to see if we can assist with resolving the issue, i.e. garbage disposal does not work and we talk them through the reset process. Should a vendor be required, your Property Manager places the work order with a licensed vendor (if industry required) and fully insured (both liability and workers compensation.) If repair is extensive and beyond the max amount set in your Property Management Agreement, your Property Manager will contact you directly to discuss strategy plan for resolution. Should we find preservation or maintenance items that need to be addressed, we will present that to you for directive on how you would like us to handle getting those items completed. Should a repair or maintenance item be determined as Tenant caused, we will get documentation from the vendor and the Tenant will be back charged appropriately, thus re-paying you for the costs of repair that you paid for the vendor invoice.
If something quits working, do I have to replace it or can I simply just remove it from the property?
When a Tenant leases a property and signs the Residential Rental Contract, it covers all that the property has available to them at the start of the leasing term. For example, if the refrigerator is a 21 cubic foot stainless double sided setup and it stops working, you cannot replace it with a plain white refrigerator that is half the size. Replacement has to be equal to or greater than what was there originally as that item was part of the rental contract. Also, you have to replace in a timely manner (days to a week, not month) or you would be in Breach of the contract and that would allow the Tenant to vacate the property and in some cases sue you in small claims court for rent abatement, which means they could get some of the rent they paid you awarded back to them. Last item, you cannot just remove something that no longer works as it was there originally in the contract and you are obligated as the Landlord to provide that item in working order to the Tenant during their tenancy. Once the current Lease ends and Tenant vacates the property, remove item before the next Tenant if you desire to no longer offer that item. Example could be a hot tub at the property.
What do I have to do to get my home ready for you to manage?
HPM will only take a new property into management that is market ready. That means it cannot have any health, safety, security issues, and it must be cleaned to our level of standards that we hold Tenants too. Extensive cosmetic repairs that are still outstanding will be an issue since we know from experience this would cause a great delay in renting the property. HPM uses an Evaluation Form to help with determining condition of a home and what would need to be done for market ready status.