Owner Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I use a Professional to manage my home?
  2. Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?
  3. Do you provide me with a financial report of activity on my property?
  4. How do I get my money?
  5. Owner Contingency Reserves and Emergency Expense Funding
  6. May I visit my property once it has been leased?
  7. What if I want to add to my managed portfolio or sell a property currently under management?

  1. Why should I use a Professional to manage my home?

    While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional property management over self-management. Bottom line is that after you add up the increased rent we can often command, quicker turnaround on readying your property for rent between tenants, the discounts we pass through to you on advertising, preferred pricing on many material and vendor services tending to repairs, access to tools of the trade and resources to perform Tenant screening on a prospective tenant, represent you in face to face Tenant dispute resolution communications, and relieve you of the burden and time to perform the bookkeeping, leasing and maintenance coordination tasks, you'll see that you will likely make more money and have less stress than if you managed the property yourself ! 

    1. MAINTENANCE COORDINATION: We manage coordination of routine maintenance and emergency repairs. We have a policy to seek out and utilize experienced local contractors that are properly licensed as required by the state and insured. Our experienced staff is ready to respond on a 24 hour emergency contact availability allowing you to sleep at night. We utilize a comprehensive computerized work order process system to manage the repairs from start to finish. We take care of preparation and filing of required IRS form 1099-Misc for reporting payments made to these contractors.
    2. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: Our state of the art computerized database and accounting program supports our bookkeeping staff to accurately and efficiently track your property transactions. Numerous accounting and reporting options are available to customize the monthly statements we prepare for each property owner. Whether you have 1 property under professional management with us or over 100 properties, we track your account activity in detail and report to you every month. Annual reporting includes providing you with summary reports of the prior years transactions and required IRS income reporting form 1099-Misc. 
    3. THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATION:  Naturally we consult with you on critical matters. However, there are many routine day-to-day acts and decisions that you entrust to us to make on your behalf. We are on the front line for all Tenants, contractor or other interested party contact. Reality is that a Landlord's decision on an issue may not match with the desires of a Tenant or Contractor. A Tenant who is behind on their rent may attempt to pull on a persons heartstrings with tales of woe when they have personal or financial problems. A Tenant may be in violation of a lease provision that needs to be corrected to protect your property or comply with applicable ordinances.  We are experienced in negotiation and dispute resolution which allows you to avoid the emotions and stress of face-to face meetings, conversations, or written communications on disputed issues.
    4. TOOLS OF THE TRADE AND TENANT SCREENING RESOURCES:  We are constantly on the lookout for tools and resources to competently perform the tasks of effectively and efficiently managing your real estate rental property. Many of these are only available to those who are in the industry of professionally managing real estate. Some require special licensing, specialized training or other prerequisite qualifications.
    5. EDUCATION: We continually attend education programs to stay abreast of federal, state, and local laws in an effort to help keep you and your investment out of trouble. We are active members of local, state and national real estate Associations which have services, educational offerings and programs that support the Real Estate and Property Management Industry.
    6. MARKETING: We know the local market, have an extensive network of contacts that refer rental prospects to our firm, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. We utilize local print media, rental property internet site marketing media along with a variety of other promotional activities to gain wide exposure of our managed properties when they come available for rent. Our visible and attractive yard signs are placed on the properties in compliance with local laws and Home Owner Association rules. These and other marketing activities allow us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled as soon as possible. 


  2. Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?

    We comply fully with all Federal and State Fair Housing Acts and Laws. This means that you cannot choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under these laws.

    You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal of a person with disabilities. We love animals; however pets do introduce a variety of risks and liabilities to you the property owner as well as operational issues to us as the property manager of a leased property. Contact us to discuss this in more detail if you think you may want to allow for your tenant to have a pet. If you elect to allow for your tenant to have a pet, we have specific guidelines and lease addendums to address this.  If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please see our fair housing page on this web site.



  3. Do you provide me with a financial report of activity on my property?

    Yes, we will provide you a monthly report of rent and other income received, and maintenance, repair, and other expenses incurred. This will be provided automatically once per month, typically distributed on the 10th of each month (or the next business day thereafter if the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday). Annually we will automatically provide you with a financial report covering the entire calendar year along with the required IRS form 1099-Misc showing the rents we collected on your behalf.  These reporting documents are distributed in January. Additional account review and customized statements are available upon request. If you have questions regarding your statement or wish to request a personal account review, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  4. How do I get my money?

    A typical cash flow cycle might look like this. Rent from the Tenant according to our lease is due on the 1st day of each month. Tenants have until the 5th day of the month to pay their rent before we assess them a penalty. Thus, most rents arrive in our office between the 1st and the 5th days of the month.

    Once rents are posted, we pay bills that are outstanding on your account for maintenance repairs or other expenses that have presented themselves since your last accounting period closed.

    We do ask that each of our property owners maintain an appropriate account reserve to be held in an escrow account solely for their use as a contingency fund.  This is like a having a personal "petty cash" contingency reserve for the property owner (see Frequently Asked Questions "Owner Contingency Reserve Fund". 

    Once all income and expenses are posted, on the 10th of the month (or the next business day thereafter if the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday), we will draft a distribution check to you the property owner. The check will be to the amount of all funds in your account that are in excess of your agreed "Owner Contingency Reserve Fund". We can send your check to you by mail or arrange to send the funds directly to your bank account. Yes, we can accommodate you if you are a partnership or other business entity and wish for us to customize and separate your owner distribution to multiple parties according to a percentage allocation among your partners or shareholders. 



  5. Owner Contingency Reserves and Emergency Expense Funding

    CONTINGENCY RESERVE FUNDS

    To adhere to general accounting practices and comply with the law, we cannot allow your individual financial account to fall below a zero balance.   

    We can never know when a repair event may take place. In an effort to be able to timely fund nominal expense issues on your properties such as minor repairs, utility and advertising expenses during vacancy, etc. we ask that each of our property owners maintain an appropriate account reserve to be held in our escrow account solely for their use as their personal contingency fund.  This is like you having a personal "petty cash" contingency reserve for your property.

    Each Owner's property portfolio is unique. The number of properties, age of properties, routine scheduled property services such as lawn care or extermination, etc. all factor in to the picture when estimating what reserve would be appropriate.  A nominal reserve of $500.00 is typical for a single property that is in generally good repair. Contact us to discuss what may be appropriate to accommodate your portfolio and investment goals.

    EMERGENCY and MAJOR EXPENSE FUNDING:

    It has been our experience that most all routine expense events can be addressed out of the funds that are held in the Owner's contingency reserve fund or out of the rents when they come in.

    There may be a time that you choose to do a remodeling or extensive redecorating of one of your properties. Funding of this can be planned. However, with real estate there always exists the possibility for the unexpected such as the unfortunate case of a calamity from a weather event, failed heating or air conditioning system, etc. Insurance or warranty proceeds may be forthcoming but we need to act now. We will contact you when such an event presents itself to discuss options that you have available to you at that time to fund your account with us to address such an expense.

    In the unforeseen circumstance that you are not reachable to discuss the emergency event, the emergency does not go away and reaction time is often critical to protect your property or persons. We will act on your behalf as best we can to address the matter at hand and discuss with you upon the first available contact opportunity solutions to funding the actions that were initiated.



  6. May I visit my property once it has been leased?

    Yes, while the Tenant has a lease on the property which includes their rights of use and possession, as the owner you are permitted to visit the property. However, to respect the rights of the Tenants and to comply with the terms of the lease any property site visit must be coordinated through our office so we can arrange the appointment and send out proper notices to the tenant. 



  7. What if I want to add to my managed portfolio or sell a property currently under management?

    Our property management and leasing agreements only engage our services to manage and lease your property. However, we also offer general brokerage services to assist clients with the acquisition of additional properties or to divest themselves of ones they already own. You do not need to be a management client of our office to utilize this service offering.

    When you are a client of our management services you are not required to use our brokerage services to sell or purchase property. We are experienced in this regard and welcome the opportunity to interview with you for providing this service. When a rental property is considered for purchase or sale, as your property manager, Mountain Valley Management is uniquely experienced and equipped to guide you in this type of transaction.

    However, we recognize and respect that you may have prior established real estate broker relationships which you may wish to continue and are free to choose whomever you wish to assist you in this regard. Maybe your property transaction is part of an IRS 1031 Exchange. If you choose a broker or have a third party advisor other than Mountain Valley Management to assist you on the sale of a property under our management or one that you contemplate purchasing then placing under management with Mountain Valley Management, we will need to clarify and affirm all respective parties roles in the transaction to facilitate a smooth process.

     

     




 

 

Mountain Valley Management, Inc.   420 E. Market Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Phone:  540.434.1173   Fax:  540.434.4372   Email:  info@landlord4rent.com


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