June 2012

The Services of a Property Management Company Explained

The primary functions of a property management company are twofold: a) to handle all aspects of the leasing, managing, marketing and maintenance of a real estate property; and b) to take over the responsibilities of the property owner with the tenant. In exchange for these services, which directly benefit the property owner, the property management company charges a fee that is deducted from the rent.

Benefits for the Property Owner

In hiring a property management company, the property owner benefits by not having to worry about the myriad of problems that go hand in hand with being a full-time landlord. Property management is time-consuming and often involves a lot more than insuring, listing and periodically maintaining a rental property. Such tasks include: knowing the legalities tied to renting and leasing a property; listing, screening and approving tenant rental applications; and being available round-the-clock for any tenant demands or issues related to the property. When the property owner neither has the time or the inclination to perform all these duties, s/he hires a property management firm to take over his or her responsibilities as a landlord and to make sure that the tenants and the property are properly taken care of.

The Services of a Property Management Firm in Detail

The property management company’s fee collected from the overall rent goes to covering the services the company provides to the property owner. Because of this, the interest of the property management company in securing reliable tenants and keeping them happy is aligned with that of the property owner. As a result, property management firms rigorously screen all tenant candidates with – at the very least – a background check, a credit check and an evaluation of the candidate tenant’s rental history. This is one of the primary obligations of a property management firm.

A second obligation includes handling all the legal documentation tied to renting the property, which must also be in compliance with government regulations and the Fair Housing Act. A third obligation of the company is to handle the nitty gritty details of the rental, that is, assessing the rental marketplace to determine a fair rent value, maintenance and repair, handling on-site inspections, enforcing rent collection from the tenants, and managing all aspects of the advertising and marketing of the property to secure tenants.