Free Resources for Property Managers

What To Expect From a Property Management Company?

108 views March 6, 2024 Karina Jugo 0

Owning rental properties can be a lucrative investment, but it also comes with many responsibilities. From finding and vetting tenants to handling maintenance requests and ensuring compliance with landlord-tenant laws, the day-to-day tasks can quickly become overwhelming. 

This is where a professional property management company can prove invaluable. A good property manager acts as your representative, taking care of the nitty-gritty details so you can enjoy the benefits of owning rentals without the hassle. 

From marketing vacant units to collecting rent and even pursuing evictions, we’ll walk you through the 10 comprehensive services to expect from a competent property management company.

What do property management companies do?

Here is a quick rundown of tasks you should expect from a property management company:

    PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICE

WHY YOU NEED IT

Tenant Screening Ensure tenant quality
Rent Collection Arrange timely and consistent payments
Property Maintenance Reduce the risk of costly repairs and preserve its value
Inspections Ensure the property is well-maintained
Handling Tenant Concerns Address maintenance requests and resolve disputes
Marketing and Advertising Attract potential tenants to minimize vacancy periods
Lease Management Draft lease agreements, renewals, and terminations, and enforce of lease terms
Financial Reporting Better financial management and planning to maximize returns
Legal Compliance Conform to all relevant laws and regulations
Eviction Procedures Handle the eviction process in case of non-payment or lease violations

1. Tenant Screening

Property management companies screen potential tenants by conducting background checks, and credit checks, and verifying employment and rental history to ensure reliable tenants. These are some of the processes involved in tenant screening:

  • Credit Check – Review the applicant’s credit report and score to assess their financial responsibility and ability to pay rent on time.
  • Income Verification – Confirm the applicant’s income source(s) and that their monthly income is at least 3 times the monthly rent.
  • Employment History – Look for stability in their current and previous jobs, which can indicate reliability.
  • Rental History – Check references from prior landlords about their payment history, property care, and whether they gave proper notice when vacating.
  • Criminal Background Check – Screen for any criminal convictions that could pose a safety risk or make them an undesirable tenant.
  • Eviction Records – Avoid applicants who have been previously evicted, as it signals potential problems.
  • In-Person Interview – Meet face-to-face to evaluate personality fit and discuss expectations/rules upfront.
  • Pet Policies – If allowing pets, screen for acceptable types/breeds and require pet deposits/rent.
  • Number of Occupants – Ensure you comply with occupancy standards based on rental unit size.

tenant screening application

2. Rent Collection

Property managers handle the collection of rent payments from tenants, ensuring timely and consistent payments. Here are some of the tasks related to rent collection:

  • Set Up Online Rent Payment System – Provide tenants with a convenient way to pay rent electronically.
  • Send Rent Reminders – Proactively notify tenants when rent is coming due to avoid late payments.
  • Keep Detailed Records – Meticulously log and account for all rent payments received.
  • Pursue Delinquent Payments – Follow up promptly on any missed rent payments with notices and enforcement.
  • Assess Late Fees Fairly – Ensure late fees comply with state/local laws and are applied consistently.
  • Enforce Late Fees – Clearly communicate the late fee policy and consistently apply fees for overdue payments.
  • Issue Payment Receipts – Provide tenants with documentation confirming their rent payments.
  • Deposit Rent Promptly – Don’t hold onto rent payments; deposit them into the property owner’s account quickly.
  • Comply with Security Deposit Laws – Properly handle, account for, and refund security deposits per regulations.
  • Report to Owner Regularly – Give the owner periodic statements showing rent collected and any delinquencies.

online payment technology

3. Property Maintenance

Property management companies oversee regular maintenance and repairs of the rental property, ensuring it remains in good condition and addressing any issues promptly.

  • Routine Inspections – Conduct regular interior/exterior inspections to identify maintenance needs.
  • 24/7 Emergency Response – Provide tenants with an emergency hotline for urgent repair requests.
  • Landscaping Oversight – Coordinate regular lawn care, trimming, seasonal cleanup as needed.
  • Preventative Maintenance – Schedule regular servicing for systems like HVAC to prevent breakdowns.
  • Oversee Repairs/Renovations – Coordinate and oversee any necessary repairs or renovation projects.
  • Vendor Management – Maintain a network of trusted, licensed contractors for various maintenance tasks.
  • Maintain Detailed Records – Thoroughly document all maintenance requests, work orders, and contractor invoices.
  • Manage Maintenance Reserves – Budget for and fund reserves to cover major repairs or replacements.
  • Enforce Property Rules – Ensure tenants follow rules related to property upkeep and report violations.
  • Comply with Safety Standards – Ensure all systems and the property overall meets safety codes.
  • Turnover Unit Prep – Handle cleaning, repairs, and getting units rent-ready between tenants.

maintenance work order

4. Inspections

Regular inspections of the property are conducted to ensure that it is being properly maintained and to identify any potential issues early on.

  • Move-In/Move-Out Inspections – Document unit condition before new tenant moves in and after they move out.
  • Routine Interior Inspections – Perform scheduled inspections of occupied units on a regular basis (quarterly, annually, etc.)
  • Exterior Property Inspections – Inspect outdoor areas, parking lots, landscaping, etc. routinely.
  • Preventative Maintenance Checks – Inspect HVAC systems, appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc. to identify potential issues.
  • Lease Violation Monitoring – Look for any unauthorized renovations, unreported damage, unauthorized occupants, etc.
  • Tenant Communication – Provide advance notice to tenants about upcoming inspections per laws/lease terms.
  • Detailed Documentation – Use consistent inspection checklists and file reports with photos/videos.
  • Follow-Up Enforcement – For any violations found, initiate follow-up notices and enforcement actions.
  • Tenant Education – Explain proper maintenance responsibilities and housekeeping standards to tenants.
  • Life-Safety Inspections – Ensure all fire protection, safety, and security systems are functioning properly.
  • Code Compliance – Verify property and units meet all applicable building/housing codes.
  • Vendor Oversight – Monitor quality and ensure accountability when contractors perform inspections.

5. Handling Tenant Concerns

Property managers act as the point of contact for tenants, addressing their concerns, handling maintenance requests, and resolving disputes.

  • Clear Communication Channels – Provide tenants with methods to easily submit requests/complaints via phone, email, portal, etc.
  • Prompt Response Times – Set standards for acknowledging tenant concerns within a reasonable timeframe (24-48 hours).
  • Provide Repair ETAs – Set clear expectations on timeframes for completing requested repairs.
  • Maintain Transparency – Keep tenants informed on the status/progress of their concerns.
  • Documented Tracking System – Log all tenant inquiries and follow-up actions in a centralized system.
  • Empathetic Listening – Take the time to understand tenants’ issues and respond with empathy.
  • Fair Conflict Resolution – Act as an impartial mediator when disputes arise between tenants or with neighbors.
  • Enforce Lease and Rules Consistently – Objectively apply lease terms and community rules across all tenants.
  • Protect Tenant Rights – Ensure tenant rights related to security deposits, habitability, privacy, etc. are upheld.
  • Manage Reasonable Accommodations – Properly handle accommodation requests for disabilities.

property management company messaging

6. Marketing and Advertising

Property management companies advertise vacant properties, attract potential tenants, and manage the marketing process to minimize vacancy periods. Here are the primary tasks that a property management company should cover:

  • List Vacancies Online – Utilize rental listing sites like Zillow, Apartments.com, etc. to market available units.
  • Optimize Property Websites – Ensure company and individual property websites are search-optimized.
  • Leverage Social Media – Promote listings and highlight properties on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Professional Photography – Invest in high-quality photos that showcase units and amenities.
  • Create Virtual Tours – Offer 3D/360° virtual tours to allow remote viewings of vacant units.
  • Develop Marketing Materials – Design brochures, flyers, and signs highlighting property details and amenities.
  • Host Open Houses – Coordinate open house events to allow prospective renters to view units.
  • Manage Online Reputation – Monitor and respond to reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and ApartmentRatings.
  • Offer Incentives/Specials – Promote rent concessions, move-in specials to attract new tenants.
  • Target Local Advertising – Use direct mail or local publications to market to nearby areas.
  • Conversion Tracking – Implement tracking to measure lead sources and ad effectiveness.
  • Stay Current on Market – Continuously analyze rental comparisons to price units competitively.

7. Lease Management

Property management companies  handle lease agreements, including drafting, renewals, terminations, and enforcement of lease terms. Specific  tasks should cover:

  • Lease Preparation – Draft comprehensive, legally compliant lease agreements for new tenants.
  • Lease Renewals – Proactively manage the renewal process for existing tenants near their lease expirations.
  • Rent Increases – Analyze market data to implement appropriate rent increases upon renewal per local laws.
  • Move-In/Move-Out Inspections – Conduct thorough unit inspections when tenants move in and move out.
  • Security Deposit Management – Comply with laws on collecting, holding, and returning security deposits.
  • Communicate Lease Changes – Properly notify tenants of any changes to lease terms or community policies.
  • Lease Violation Enforcement – Issue notices and take action for any violations of the lease agreement.
  • Early Termination Procedures – Handle proper procedures if a tenant needs to terminate their lease early.
  • Legal Compliance – Ensure leases and practices conform to all federal, state, and local rental laws.
  • Eviction Coordination – In cases of non-payment or other violations, coordinate the eviction legal process.
  • Record Keeping – Maintain orderly files with executed leases and all associated documentation.
  • Lease Clause Updates – Periodically review and update lease clauses as laws and policies evolve.

8. Financial Reporting

Property management companies provide owners with detailed financial reports, including income and expenses, allowing for better financial management and planning.

  • Monthly Financial Statements – Provide owners with detailed monthly income and expense statements.
  • Rent Roll Tracking – Maintain updated rent rolls showing collected/delinquent rent for each unit.
  • Bill Payment – Pay invoices for property expenses like repairs, utilities, and mortgages from funds collected.
  • Owner Disbursements – Issue periodic disbursements of net income to property owners after expenses.
  • Annual Reporting – Compile yearly financial reports and tax documentation for owners.
  • Banking Reconciliations – Reconcile property bank accounts and income/expenses each month.
  • Accounting Software – Utilize professional-grade property accounting and reporting software.
  • Operating Budgets – Develop annual operating budgets projecting income and expenses.
  • Capital Expense Planning – Track capital expense needs and budget reserve funds accordingly.
  • Accounts Receivable/Payable – Properly manage outstanding balances owed and amounts due to vendors.
  • Customized Reporting – Offer customized reporting and financial analysis based on owner needs.
  • Financial Auditing – Conduct periodic internal audits to verify accuracy of financial data.
  • Investor Reporting – For multi-owner properties, provide tailored investor reports and distributions.

9. Legal Compliance

Property management companies must ensure that the property complies with all relevant laws and regulations, including fair housing laws, building codes, and landlord-tenant laws.

  • Fair Housing Compliance – Ensure all policies and practices adhere to fair housing laws prohibiting discrimination.
  • Landlord-Tenant Law – Stay up-to-date on federal, state, and local landlord-tenant regulations and statutes.
  • Safety and Habitability Standards – Maintain properties that meet all safety and habitability requirements.
  • Security Deposit Handling – Follow laws precisely when collecting, holding, and returning security deposits.
  • Lead/Asbestos Disclosure – Provide required disclosures about presence of lead-based paint or asbestos.
  • Lease Agreement Review – Regularly review lease agreements to conform with any legal changes.
  • Eviction Procedures – Strictly follow legally mandated eviction processes including proper notices.
  • Service Animal/ESA Policies – Comply with reasonable accommodation requirements for assistance animals.
  • Accessibility and Modifications – Allow reasonable unit modifications for residents with disabilities.
  • Screening Criteria Compliance – Ensure tenant screening policies are non-discriminatory.
  • Privacy Law Adherence – Handle tenant data and recordkeeping per relevant privacy laws.
  • Legal Counsel Coordination – Work closely with attorneys on any litigation issues that arise.
  • Staff Training – Provide ongoing legal compliance training for all leasing and management staff.

10. Eviction Procedures

In case of non-payment or lease violations, property management companies handle the eviction process in compliance with local laws.

  • Legal Grounds for Eviction – Ensure there is a valid legal reason such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, etc.
  • Proper Notice Requirements – Follow all state and local laws regarding appropriate notice periods and formats.
  • Accurate Documentation – Maintain detailed records of all rent payments, lease violations, and communications with tenant.
  • Court Filing Process – Properly file eviction lawsuits with the appropriate courts if the tenant does not vacate.
  • Judgment for Possession – Obtain a court order or judgment terminating the tenant’s right to possession.
  • Coordinating Law Enforcement – Work with local law enforcement for legal and peaceful removal if tenant refuses to leave.
  • Fair Housing Compliance – Avoid any discriminatory practices and apply eviction policies consistently.
  • Security Deposit Return – Handle any remaining security deposit refunds properly after accounting for damages.
  • Unit Preparation – Coordinate any repairs, cleaning, re-keying to make unit ready for new tenant.
  • Financial Accounting – Track lost rental income, legal fees, repair costs related to the eviction case.
  • Eviction Prevention – Work with tenants proactively on payment plans if possible to avoid eviction.
  • Staff Training – Ensure staff understands eviction protocols, tenant rights, fair housing laws.

8 tips for choosing a property management company

The key is finding an experienced, full-service company that can effectively market your property, handle the entire rent process seamlessly,  and maximize your investment returns. 

Here are a few valuable tips for selecting the best property management company.

1: Check their experience and track record in your area.

A company’s experience demonstrates its ability to navigate the complexities of property management effectively. The longer a company has been in business, the more likely it is to have encountered various situations and developed strategies to handle them efficiently. 

Additionally, a strong track record indicates consistent performance and client satisfaction over time. By examining a company’s experience and track record, property owners can assess its reliability, professionalism, and capability to meet their specific needs. 

2: Verify they are knowledgeable about landlord-tenant laws.

Certain laws govern various aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship, including lease agreements, rent collection, eviction procedures, property maintenance, and tenant rights. Being  well-versed in landlord-tenant laws ensures legal compliance and mitigate potential risks.

A thorough understanding of these laws also helps the management company protect both the landlord’s interests and the tenant’s rights. It ensures that all actions and decisions taken by the company are in accordance with legal requirements, reducing the likelihood of disputes, fines, or legal liabilities. 

3: Review their inspection and maintenance procedures.

Thorough inspection protocols ensure that potential issues are identified early, preventing costly repairs and minimizing tenant complaints. Effective maintenance procedures ensure that repairs are handled promptly and efficiently, maintaining the property’s appeal and functionality. 

By examining these procedures, property owners can assess the management company’s commitment to proactive property care and tenant satisfaction. Additionally, well-defined inspection and maintenance protocols demonstrate professionalism and reliability.

4: Ensure they have a 24/7 emergency response system.

Emergencies can occur at any time, such as plumbing leaks, electrical issues, or security breaches, which require immediate attention to prevent further damage or risks. 

A 24/7 emergency response system ensures that tenants can reach out for assistance promptly, regardless of the time of day or night, fostering trust and satisfaction among tenants. It also demonstrates the management company’s commitment to providing reliable and responsive service.

 Moreover, timely resolution of emergencies helps minimize property damage and liabilities, ultimately preserving the property’s value and reducing potential costs for the landlord. Overall, a 24/7 emergency response system is essential for ensuring tenant satisfaction.

5: Ask what property management tools they use.

Evaluating the tools employed by a company can serve as a valuable indicator of their  capabilities and suitability for partnership. For instance, the price and features of property management software can vary significantly, reflecting the company’s investment in technology. 

Utilizing high-end, enterprise-level software suggests a serious approach and financial strength. Conversely, reliance on free, basic,  or limited tools may indicate potential shortcomings in professionalism and property management effectiveness. 

6: Ask to see the team of property managers

Meeting with the management team empower owners to make informed decisions when choosing  a property management company that best suits their needs and preferences.

In-person interactions offer valuable insights into the team’s professionalism, communication style, and expertise. It allows owners to gauge the company’s commitment to client satisfaction and understand how they handle challenges. 

Personal meetings also facilitate the establishment of rapport and trust, crucial for a successful long-term partnership. Through direct communication, owners can convey their expectations clearly and ensure alignment with the management team’s approach. 

Additionally, meeting face-to-face provides an opportunity to ask detailed questions, address concerns, and assess the team’s knowledge of local market conditions and regulations. 

7: Get testimonials and examine their case studies.

Testimonials offer firsthand accounts of past clients’ experiences, providing insight into the company’s performance, professionalism, and customer satisfaction. By reviewing testimonials, owners can gain confidence in the company’s ability to meet their needs and expectations.

 Case studies offer in-depth examples of the company’s work, showcasing their problem-solving skills, efficiency, and success stories. Analyzing case studies allows owners to assess the company’s track record in managing properties similar to theirs and handling various challenges that may arise. 

Ultimately, testimonials and case studies offer valuable information that helps owners make informed decisions, ensuring they partner with a property management company that has a proven history of delivering exceptional service and results.

8: Be careful of the “We’re an award-winning company” line.

Rental property owners should exercise caution when encountering the “We’re an award-winning” claim from property management companies. While awards can signify excellence, they may not always reflect the company’s suitability for a specific owner’s needs. 

Some companies prioritize winning awards over delivering quality service to clients. Moreover, certain awards may be self-proclaimed or obtained from obscure sources, lacking genuine industry recognition. 

Instead of solely relying on awards, owners should prioritize factors like reputation, client testimonials, and track record of success. Ultimately, focusing on tangible results and compatibility with individual requirements is more prudent than being swayed by accolades alone.

How RentPost™ helps you manage rental property 


The RentPost™ property management software offers valuable benefits to both landlords renting out a couple of investment properties and property managers overseeing multiple properties for multiple investors. 

A significant percentage of our clientele are landlords renting out townhomes, small multi-family units, or several investment properties in various counties or states. RentPost™ streamlines rental processes such as tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance requests, enabling efficient management of their investment properties remotely. 

For property managers, RentPost™ centralizes property data and automates tasks, increasing productivity and scalability. Our software enables property managers to efficiently handle a portfolio of properties, ensuring timely rent collection, maintenance, and compliance with regulations. 

RentPost™ also provides tools for tracking income and expenses, simplifying financial management and reporting whether you’re managing 10, 50, or over 100 units.  Additionally, features like online portals enhance communication with tenants, facilitating quick responses to inquiries and concerns.

Overall, the Rentpost™ software improves operational efficiency, enhances communication, and enables effective oversight for both landlords and property managers, regardless of the scale of their operations.

Author

  • Karina Jugo

    Karina Jugo is a content administrator at RentPost who works directly with real estate and property management experts to create resources and guides for property managers. She has more than 15 years of experience in content research and writing for various industries.

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