Owning a rental property is an excellent way to procure a steady income. It takes a lot of work to manage the property, find reliable tenants, and take care of day-to-day operations. Though some property owners prefer to take a hands-on approach to managing their rental apartments, others prefer to use a professional apartment management company to get the job done and protect their investment.
Unfortunately, not all property management companies have the knowledge and expertise to take care of their clients’ needs, resulting in a waste of time and money on behalf of the owner. Consider these warning signs to learn when it is time to seek out a new apartment management company.
1. You Have Little to No Communication With the Apartment Management Company
When you hire a new apartment management company, you will likely hear from them when they need money to cover repair expenses for tenants or handle operational costs. As a result, you may not hear from them every day, but they should be available via phone calls, emails, or another preferred communication method to update you on the business. Depending on your preferences, your company may provide you with monthly or quarterly statements so that you will always know what is happening with your investment.
The problem occurs when you never hear from the company. If they do not return your calls and never appear available when you check on them, your tenants likely aren’t communicating with the management company, either.
2. The Vacancy Rate or Income Is Off
Though residents will come and go, your rental property should not remain vacant for too long. During tough economic times, your property management team may need to make reasonable concessions to obtain reliable tenants. Knowing how to negotiate rental terms without straying too far from market value requires a delicate balance and skill, which not everyone has when dealing with property management.
If your team cannot secure tenants or if they negotiate terms that drive your income down, you may need a new apartment management company.
3. Your Tenants Are Problematic
Your apartment management team needs to vet all potential tenants accurately and thoroughly to weed out those who could cause problems for the owner and the apartment. A problematic tenant can cause property damage, participate in criminal activity, be a nuisance to neighbors, or frequently pursue frivolous legal cases. These residents can cost the property owner money in repairs and court costs and can severely damage their reputation.
Filling your apartments with qualified residents will significantly reduce issues that could affect your ability to maintain a profitable property. Your property management company should verify each applicant’s identity, proof of income, and references. They should conduct thorough face-to-face interviews before giving the tenants a lease to sign. Even though a lousy resident may occasionally make it through the vetting process, this should not be a regular occurrence.
4. Repair Expenses Are Unreasonable High
Some apartment repairs can be costly, especially investments in HVAC systems, plumbing, and flooring. Your management company should seek your approval before paying for expensive repairs, but they should be able to handle smaller situations themselves, as long as the costs stay within your budget. You shouldn’t find any unauthorized charges for significant repairs.
Another cause for concern with repair expenses is if the amount is higher than the average in your area. While some contractors charge more than others for similar services, you don’t want your management company to fall prey to dishonest contractors who intentionally overcharge. You also don’t want anyone managing your property that will say the repairs cost more than they did to profit off the difference.
5. Your Property Has Too Many Negative Online Reviews
Your reputation is crucial for securing and maintaining qualified tenants and keeping your income growing as a property owner. Bad reviews online from popular sources like Yelp can deter potential residents from choosing your property when you have a vacancy. Your management company should take online reviews seriously and work to reduce resident dissatisfaction.
Your existing apartment management team should work diligently to keep residents happy and accrue more positive reviews than negative ones. A drop in ratings could mean it’s time to switch to a new apartment management company because the existing one is ineffective.
6. The Rent Is Always Late or Incomplete
The purpose of having a rental property is to make money by collecting rent in exchange for a dwelling and on-site amenities and services. The terms for paying the rent, including the due date, late payment requirements, and penalties, are outlined in the lease—but it is up to your management team to collect the payment and enforce the lease’s rules. It is generally acceptable for management to occasionally make a reasonable judgment in good faith for a tenant who may need an extra day to pay their rent in full, but this should never be a habit.
According to the lease agreement, it is your management company’s responsibility to obtain rent on time from each tenant. Failing to meet this standard can cause residents to pay too little or never pay on time, ultimately affecting the owner’s income and payments for maintaining the property.
7. Your Tenants Would Rather Speak to You
Most rental apartment owners don’t deal directly with their tenants unless they handle the daily operations and collect rent. If you have a property management company, they will likely be the party to whom the residents will speak when they need repairs, pay rent, or have concerns about their unit.
If you have a management company in place, but your tenants look for you for help, your team has a significant issue. They may be not responding to the tenants or maybe dismissive of their concerns or needs. Your tenants should never seek your assistance for an issue that is the management company’s responsibility.
Expert property management is critical for the success of any rental property. Hiring an effective management team will ensure your tenants’ satisfaction, improve your property’s reputation, and increase your income. If you need a new apartment management company for your estate, please contact us at NYC Apartment Management. We have the expertise to maximize your property’s value to you.
The professionals at NYC Apartment Management understand the importance of putting your needs and requirements first. They offer each client a personalized, comprehensive package with various services, including monthly expense breakdowns, budget preparation, rent collection, and board application processing.
If you’re ready for a new apartment management company for your property, contact NYC Apartment Management today at (212) 787-1214.