You may know that Property Management is a career, but you might not know what exactly a Property Manager (or PM) does. It can vary actually & has a range of possibilities. At White Mountain Property, A PM is a person who works for our clients, ie owners of property here in Romania, to handle the daily operations of their real estate investment. They manage all types of properties, but usually residential homes & apartments, but also a few small offices, a hotel & a few shops.
The responsibilities of a Property Manager will vary based on their skills as we have 4 on our team & so the roles are shared around to best fit the existing slills, but can include the following:
1/ Responsible for Rent
PM’s are responsible for setting the initial rent level (with the assistance of the expert Real Estate brokers on the team), collecting rent from tenants and adjusting the rent.
- Setting Rent- the Property Manager knows how to set the right rent level to attract tenants to your property. They have an understanding of the market where the property is located and have looked at comparable properties in the area.
- Collecting Rent- they ensure optimal cash flow by setting a date to collect rent each month and enforcing late fees where necessary.
- Adjusting Rent- the Property Manager can increase the rent by a fixed percentage each year, according to individual state and/or municipal law. They can also decrease the rent if they deem necessary.
2/ Responsible for Tenants
One of the responsibilities of the Property Manager is to manage tenants. They are involved in all capacities, from helping the Brokers to find the tenants and dealing with complaints to initiating evictions in very rare cases (2 so far inthe past 10 years).
- Finding Tenants Brokers are responsible for marketing the property to fill vacancies but the PM will delegate this task. They know where to advertise and what to include in their ads. They also understand what attracts tenants, so they can suggest making cosmetic improvements to help makeover the property.
- Screening Tenants– they are responsible for sorting through the prospective tenant applications to find the tenant that is the best fit for your property. They have a consistent screening process, including running credit checks and criminal background checks, which can decrease your chances of being accused of discrimination. Experienced PM’s have seen many tenants, so they have a better idea of how to select the right tenants; those who will pay their rent on time, have a longer tenancy and create fewer problems.
- Handling Leases– they are responsible for setting the length of the lease and making sure it has all the necessary provisions to protect the owner. This includes determining the amount of security deposit required.
- Handling Complaints/Emergencies– they are paid to deal with maintenance requests, noise complaints and have the necessary contacts to handle emergency situations.
- Handling Move Outs– when a tenant moves out, the manager is responsible for inspecting the unit, checking for damages and determining what portion of the security deposit will be returned to the tenant. After move out, they are responsible for cleaning the unit, repairing any damages and finding a new tenant.
- Dealing With Evictions – when a tenant does not pay rent or otherwise breaches the terms of a lease, the Property Manager understands the proper way to file and move forward with an eviction, which is usually a smooth & careful approach using legal experts. It does not involve the use of force or aggression.
3/ Responsible for Maintenance and Repairs
Property Managers are responsible for the physical management of the property, including regular maintenance and emergency repairs.
- Maintenance– they are in charge of performing preventative property maintenance to keep the property functioning in top condition. For example, they are personally in charge of, or must hire someone to check for leaks, landscape, shovel snow and remove trash. This maintenance aims to keep current tenants happy and attract new tenants.
- Repairs– when there is an issue, the Property Manager must attend to it themselves or must hire someone to attend to it. They often have a large network of reliable plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other contractors.
4/ Responsible for Knowledge of Landlord – Tenant Law
Good PM’s have a knowledge of tenants rights and laws regarding the proper ways to:
- Handle security deposits
- Terminate a lease
- Evict a tenant
But equally, we rely on good quality legal advice from propfessionals to guide us in these rare situations.
5/ Responsible for Supervising vacant Properties- PM’s are often hired to look after vacant properties to make sure there has been no vandalism and to perform routine maintenance. They also make sure contractors and other repairmen are completing their work in a timely manner.
6/ Responsible for Managing the Budget/ Maintaining Records
Property Managers are responsible for managing the budget for the property and maintaining all pertinent records.
- Managing Budget– the manager must operate within the set budget for the property. In certain emergency situations when the occupants (tenants) or physical structure (investment property) are in danger, they may use their discretion to order repairs or likewise without concern for the budget.
- Maintaining Records– the Property Manager should keep thorough records regarding the property. This should include all income and expenses; list of all inspections, signed leases, maintenance requests, any complaints, records of repairs, costs of repairs, maintenance costs, record of rent collection and insurance costs.
7/ Responsible for Taxes
- The Property Manager can assist the property owner with understanding how to file taxes for the investment property.
- The Property Manager can also file taxes for the property.
Overall, it is a very interesting job, dynamic & fun. THe relationships with owenrs & tenants should usually be a positive one. It is very rare that this is otherwise the case. It demands a quick mind, hard work & being very organised. But it is a job that carries a lot of respect from owenrs & tenants.