When a landlord works with a property management company in Georgia, the landlord wants to be sure that the property management company is tied to a licensed real estate broker. The status of the property management company's real estate broker can easily be verified by the Georgia Real Estate Commission at their webiste.
Once the property management company has located a suitable tenant, a part of the negotiation of the lease agreement involves the handling of repairs. Depending on the experiences of both the landlord and the tenant, the handling of repairs can be a nightmare issue. The landlord wants minimal phone calls and contacts about the repairs and tenants on the other extreme want everything fixed NOW. While we try to nail down as much as possible in the lease agreement, sometimes there are situations that go into the gray and require an amicable solution between all parties.
This is one place an experienced property manager can be of great assistance. Once I have established a threshhold for the expense the landlord will O.K. without prior approval, I always get a quote for any amount above the threshhold and send to the landlord for written approval prior to authorizing the work to be done.
Here are some recommendations I make to landlords who have used my services or currently use my services:
1) Budget approximately 10% of the monthly lease payment towards repairs. If you don't use that money, great because you have increased your return on investment. But better to be prepared than to wait until a crisis hits.
2) Get a home warranty. Most home warranties cost between $350 and $500 for general coverage throughout the home. Special items such as hot tubs most likely will not be covered. Sometimes the landlord can purchase a separate rider for increased coverage.
3) Let the tenant be responsible for the initial payment of the home warranty service. Most home warranties require an upfront fee of about $65. If the tenant is responsible for this initial $65, he/she will think before engaging the home warranty in the pursuit of a frivolous repair. No calls to the home warranty company about replacing light bulbs and such. Often tenants coming from an apartment situation may be used to receiving such services. When renting a single family home in Georgia, they will need to make the adjustment and buy light bulbs.
4) Let the tenant handled any repairs period under a certain threshhold. For example some landlords use $100 the threshhold. Tenants will a repair less than $100 are responsible for the repair and making payment.
5) Always get a reconciliation of any repairs made. For example if you get a quote for $300 for an air conditioning repair, be sure the repair person provide you with a record of the work actually performed and the final cost. And keep this information for your future records. If a landlord is leasing longterm, he/she will have some evidence of what expenses are associated with the property.
A happy tenant is a paying tenant and a source of peace for a landlord. A happy tenant wants a thorough process in place to handle repairs. Get the help of an experienced property manager to make sure the process is agreeable to both parties and has some flexibility.
For assistance with property management in metro Atlanta, please call our office at 404 923 4210. Thank you!
Office 404-418-8092 Cell 404-246-3210 Fax 404-991-3770