10 Things You Should Look for When Choosing a Property Management Company in Lexington, KY

By
Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT Realtors--Bluegrass Living

 

1. Screen potential tenants.  Your Property Management Company has to have some sort of system in place to effectively determine what sort of tenant you will have in your property.  This is usually done by pulling a credit report to see if there have been past evictions, history of late payments, or charge offs.  Another thing they should check for is whether they have a past criminal history.  Some companies will check personal references which I find to be pointless.  Lastly, employment verification or other income verification will need to be checked to determine if they indeed can afford to rent from you and checking with their prior landlords.

2. Make repairs.  Whether the Management Company or YOU make the repairs, it is extremely important to know who is responsible for this action and make sure it is done promptly.  In Lexington, KY, you can actually have the tenant file notice against you for not making repairs.  This can lead to them legally breaking their lease and possibly suing the owner of the property.  This is very important.

3. Handle security deposits properly.  In Kentucky they will have deposit all security deposits in an account solely for that purpose.  They cannot commingle funds.  Additionally, they need to do a walkthrough and list any existing issues or defects currently existing with the property.  At the end of the lease the property is to be re-inspected and a determination of whether additional damage occurred.  This could lead to court proceedings.  For the state of KY you can find more details HERE .

4. Get it in writing.  The property management company needs to have a very effective lease that clearly states the starting and ending points of the rental period.  Who handles repairs and time frame for completion?   It should contain the account number and lending institution where the security deposit is being held.  Are there late fees?  The condition of the premises, names of all parties, property address, and on and on.  Also, it is important to have a number of forms for rent collected, walkthrough sheet, notice of non-payment, etc.  Bottom line they better be good and record keeping and documentation. 

5. Provide secure premises.  This varies a bit by the type of property but it is important to change or rekey locks when a tenant moves out.  The Property Manager should make sure the property is secure and not easily accessible to criminals.  They should make sure the exterior is well lit and free of overgrowth that could hide an assailant.

6. Provide notice before entering.  They should be well aware of state law concerning notification to enter the premise.  In Lexington, Kentucky it is 24 hours.  They must notify the tenant 24 hours prior to entering or be in breach of Landlord-Tenant Law.

7. Inform tenants about environmental hazards.  There has become increasing awareness about environmental factors that are causing a number of health hazards.  If the owner is aware of these hazards they must disclose it.  It is the Property Management Company’s job to ask and determine base on a walkthrough if there are any issues not being disclosed.

8. Keep in Contact.  This is a two way street.  It’s pretty simple concept.  The property manager and the owner both have a big investment to manage.  Those who are successful on both sides make the other aware of what is happening with that investment over time.

9. Obtain insurance.  Yeah, they may want to have insurance but what I really mean here is they better make sure your property is insured and that you place the Property Management Company on another insured.  This will keep the both of you on the same team if a tenant were to file a lawsuit.  Otherwise a Property Management Company could settle with the tenant and testify on their behalf.

10. Resolve disputes. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that failure to quickly and attentively resolve disputes is the number one problem a property manager will face. If you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise, or some other issue that doesn't immediately warrant an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. 

 

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