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10 Things You Should Know About Residential Property Management Companies

rental home in AlbuquerqueThe Basics

Property management companies come in all sizes and can manage any number of properties.

Property management companies can regulate what type of home they are willing to manage, and as long as their methods fall within federal and state housing laws, they have the right to qualify a tenant before allowing them rental rights to a home.

Property management companies can also decide what types of services they offer.


10 Things to Know About Property Management Companies

Every state and municipality is different in how they choose to regulate the property management process . However, there are certain similarities between all of them. Here's the list we've come up with: 

  1. Your property management company is not your landlord. Unless a property is broker owned, meaning the real estate broker managing the property is the owner, the home you've just rented is owned by a homeowner using a management company to handle leasing, rent collection, and maintenance on the home.
  2. HOA violations are not sent by your property management company. Your management company is passing them on to you, and you are responsible for fixing the issue if it falls within your lease agreement. Yard maintenance, proper garbage storage, illegal parking, and driveway/concrete care are usually a tenant's obligation.
  3. Property management companies are suppose to follow federal and state housing laws.
  4. Property management companies usually have state and local landlord regulations they must follow. 
  5. Management companies create their own application process. Lease documents and application processes should not violate federal, state, or local laws. 
  6. Property management companies are not responsible for turning on your utilities unless the cost of a utility is included in your monthly rental payment. However, depending upon where you live, the management company may be required to keep certain utilites operable while the home is vacant and request that you move the utillity into  your name once the lease is signed. Check your lease to see if there are specific circumstances for your rental.
  7. A management company handling single-family homes does not keep your yard groomed. Unless the company has a yard team that maintains the grass and shrubs, the tenant is usually responsible for upkeep and liable for damage to the yard due to negligence.
  8. Your property management company can take you to court when you don't pay your rent on time. Make sure you review your lease agreement to see what parameters your management company follows for late payments.
  9. A property management company can have you evicted for violating your lease. FYI If you've lied on your rental application, you've violated your lease. If you're smoking in the home and your lease requires no smoking on the property, you've violated your lease. If you have a pet in the home and you've not been properly approved to have that particular pet or any pet in the home, you're violating your lease. If you allow other people to live with you without going through the correct process to add them to your lease documents, you're violating your lease.
  10. A property management company may be prevented from showing you your own credit report. It's crazy, but it's true. Credit reporting agencies can prevent a property management company from releasing the credit report to the very person the report is about. However, you have the right to obtain a FREE copy of your credit report each year from every credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union).


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