Twelve Good Atlanta Property Management Practices
Our blog posts cover many Atlanta property management issues, but as we move forward, we want to review twelve practices that we, as your Atlanta property management company, use to protect your investment.
1 - Support Fair Housing
This is crucial to successful Atlanta property management. This covers a vast area such as advertising, showings, tenant selection, equal opportunity practices for the handicapped, and much more. We always work to avoid Fair Housing complaints through set practices of dealing with potential tenants and tenants, treating all prospects equally and following system that are set up to reduce or eliminate Fair Housing issues.
2 – Select good tenants
Continually strive to improve screening practices. Choosing the right tenant is more cost effective than quickly renting to someone who will become a problem tenant, even if it means a longer vacancy. Developing fair criteria and following set guidelines, we screen each prospective tenant with a five point background check which involves looking at their credit report, eviction report, landlord law suites, criminal background report and child molestation database, terrorist database search as well as prospective tenant interviews. Once all the information is collected, we score each prospect on a 100 point scale. Previous landlords are called, employment is verified, and all that data is then transferred to our tenant scoring worksheet. Important to notice, ALL tenants go through the scoring worksheet and must score about a 70 to be able to qualify for a rental property.
3 - Provide reliable documentation
Another key area to reduce risk and keep tenant problems at bay is using good rental documents. This encompasses rental agreements, addendums, property notices, communications, etc. Setting up the right agreements in the beginning can help prevent future disputes. Furthermore, we keep immaculate records for every tenant. Every conversation, every email, every text message is saved, indefinitely!
4 - Maintain the physical property
We continually work to use competent vendors to maintain your property. We probably sound like a broken record on this subject but preventative maintenance is a big key to reducing many maintenance issues. Whether small or large, it always pays to address a problem as soon as possible and resolve them before they escalate.
5 - Tackle mold issues
Ignoring mold issues has produced some of the largest settlements against investors in the United States. We may discover that it is not toxic mold but it is better to clean up any mold before it can become a legal battle. First step we take is to educate our tenants about mold and we do that through an informational brochure we attached with the lease agreement and require them to sign it to make sure it is read. If we find mold, we mitigate immediately. We have a mintigation company on stand by to take care of anything that needs to be done within 24 hours.
6 - Take tenant safety seriously
Addressing anything that could endanger tenant safety is an absolute necessity. The courts have zero tolerance for a property owner who ignores maintenance that endangers a resident. This can include unsafe electrical, flooring, plumbing, door locks, walkways, lighting, landscape, and more. Our maintenance service responds to service requests within 4 hours and emergencies get a 24 hour a day number to call that goes directly to our maintenance manager. All repairs are done within a couple of days and are followed up by out office staff to make sure the tenant confirms completion of all work.
7 - Respect your tenant’s privacy
Even the most basic Landlord/Tenant law provides for a tenant’s right to privacy. Therefore, we contact tenants in advance and serve the proper notices when necessary if we want to enter their residence. You may own the property but it is the tenant’s home and most states have specific laws to address the “right to enter.”
8 - Encourage tenant retention
For obvious reasons, it can increase the return on investment (ROI) to keep a good tenant. There are many ways to encourage tenant retention and it pays to show residents that we appreciate them. We have two programs that show appreciation to our tenants, one is the "Timely Rewards Program" and the other is "Referral Bucks", however, the most important reason our tenants stay with us for years is because we take care of them. We are honest when it comes to dealing with tenants and they appreciate the honesty and the quick responce to maintenance.
9 - Address security deposit issues
Tenants do move and when they do, the security deposit can become a battleground. Although we try to avoid this, a dispute can arise. We settle any deposit issue as quickly as possible., however, we are so thorough at documenting move outs that disputes don't arise. We take 200 to 300 photos of the property at move out, we publish our charges on the website in case there's damage found, we send tenants a list of what needs to be done together with a list of charges, so when the final move out is done is recoreded with photos, disputes occur, but are easilty taken care of with proof of damage.
10 - Provide accurate bookkeeping records
It is important to provide you with an accurate accounting of funds for your property at all times. When you have questions on our bookkeeping, we strive to provide answers to your questions. Accuraracy starts with having the right person do accounting in the first place. Not a data entry person, not a book keeper, we have an accountant supervising all our books. Monthly balancing and dispursing funds. In a minute she can create any report you need.
11 – Update on new or pending legislation
We cannot provide the best service if we do not keep up with legislation or rulings that affect management of your property. There are many ways to do this throughout the year, such as reading publications, attending seminars, workshops, and conferences.
12 - Continue to keep our clients informed
Keeping you informed on what is happening with your investment is always important. We use various means to do this such as email, telephone calls, letters, bookkeeping reports, website, etc. This blog is a vehicle for sharing our property management knowledge and we hope you find this information useful.
Call us if you have any questions. As your Atlanta property management company, we are here to protect your investment and help you when you need assistance.