Owner Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose us to manage your rental property?
How your rental property is managed can make or break your investment. To be successful in the rental property business, you need a property management company that has high standards of ethics, professionalism and expertise.
At Tacoma Property Management, you can rest assured that we’ll provide you with these and more. Our services are second to none. It’s no wonder we have such a high client retention rate.
We understand that a vacant property means zero income at the end of the month. When you hire us, we make it our business to get a resident in the shortest time possible so you can achieve your investment goals.
Do you require tenants to pay a security deposit?
Yes, we do. By asking a security deposit from a successful applicant, we help cushion you against the financial strain of a negligent or careless tenant.
We require tenants to pay the equivalent of the first month’s rent as the security deposit. It’s only after they have paid it and the first month’s rent that they will be allowed to move into the property.
Once we receive the security deposit, we then transfer it to a brokerage trust account where it can’t be accessed until the tenant moves out. We’ll then refund it to the tenant minus any damage exceeding normal wear and tear.
What can a security deposit be used for?
The goal of collecting a security deposit is to cushion the property owner from preventable financial strain. The security deposit acts as leverage for the tenant to leave the property in the condition that they found it.
In the event they don’t, the security deposit will help restore the property back to its original condition. Examples of things that the security deposit can be used to cover include:
- Broken refrigerator shelf or dented front panels.
- Dryer that won’t turn on because it’s been overloaded, or the lint trap was never cleaned out.
- Missing or broken blinds or curtain.
- Clogged sinks or drains due to any stoppage (hair, food…).
- Shower mold due to lack of regular cleanings.
- Broken windows.
How much security deposit do you collect?
At Tacoma PMC, we require successful applicants to pay the equivalent of one month’s rent as security deposit before keys can be exchanged.
We can also require an extra deposit, depending on whether or not pets are permitted. If permitted, a tenant may need to pay an additional deposit for every pet they have.
When can I expect to be paid?
As our valued client, we make sure that we disburse payments to you as quickly as possible. We’ll pay you through ACH direct deposit into your bank account. If tenants make timely payments, you can expect to be paid on the sixth day of every month.
If, however, a tenant makes a late payment, then you can expect a payment within 2 days of the funds clearing our account. Late payments from tenants are uncommon, though.
How long does your leases usually run?
We usually recommend a one-year lease. In some instances, we can authorize a short-term lease that are between three to nine months, or long-term leases running for up to two years.
Of course, this will be at your own discretion.
How do you come up with the rental price and how much can I get?
We use a variety of tools to determine the rental price a unit should rent for. One such tool is using a Comparative Market Analysis.
With this nifty tool, we’ll be able to help you determine the right rent for your property. A price that is competitive and that allows you to earn as much income as possible.
Is my property ready to rent?
When trying to market your property, it’s important to make sure that it’s rent-ready.
A rent-ready property is clutter-free. Nothing puts off a prospective tenant like a property that is cluttered and dirty. They need to be able to see your property as a place they could call home.
If your property is painted colors like blues, green, or other custom colors, particularly dark ones, you may have a hard time landing a tenant. To appeal to a greater mass of prospective tenants, paint your home in neutral colors.
Make sure that you have made all the necessary repairs. This will make it easier for you to hold the tenant accountable for any damage they have caused to the property when they move out.
You should also have appliances available. Many prospective tenants aren’t looking to own their own dishwasher, stove, washer/dryer, or refrigerator.
Should I allow pets?
This is at the discretion of the property owner. However, we encourage you to allow pets.
According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households own a pet. Allowing pets in your property will enable you tap into a huge pool of potential tenants.
Yes, there are a lot of horror stories about pets destroying homes. From our experience this usually stems from having a poor-quality tenant and NOT because of the animal itself.
We’ll make sure that a tenant with a pet adheres to our pet policy. Among other things, our pet policy puts restrictions on the size, number and type of pet a tenant can keep.
What’s more, we usually require such tenants to pay an extra deposit of anywhere between $250 and $500.
How does Tacoma PMC qualify tenants?
We only rent to tenants that are above the legal age and who have passed our screening process.
Our screening process checks the tenant’s income, employment status, as well as credit, criminal and rental background.
It’s only after a tenant has passed this process that he or she can be allowed to live in one of our managed properties.
How will you keep me updated on the performance of my property?
When you hire us, you have 24/7 access to an online Owners Portal.
With this account, you’ll then be able to follow up on the performance of your property in real time. You’ll be able to access past and present statements, real time accounting, and maintenance accounting.
We are one of the few management companies that regularly inspect clients’ properties every year and we will send you a full report through the portal as well.
What happens if I’m an out of state investor?
If you are an out of state investor, you can rest assured that you have left your property in safe hands.
Many of our clients live out of state. With our effective communication, you can rest easy knowing we are taking great care of your property.
How soon can I expect you to get a tenant for my property?
Whereas the industry average to fill a rental vacancy is 42 days, ours is 17 days.
That’s how quickly we can help you get a tenant for your property. Our marketing strategies are effective and result-oriented.
Are your property managers fully licensed?
In Washington State, both the property management company and the property manager must have all the necessary licenses and insurance.
We are fully licensed to operate a property management company, and each property manager is a licensed real estate broker.
Does Tacoma PMC belong to any professional association?
Yes, Tacoma Property Management (a division of Miller Laine Property Management) belongs to several professional associations:
- CBA – Commercial Broker’s Association
- NWMLS – Northwest Multiple Listing Service
- BBB – Better Business Bureau
- RHAWA – Rental Housing Association of Washington
- NARP – National Association of Residential Property Managers
Will I need to change my insurance coverage?
It’s in your best interest to carry sufficient insurance coverage. We require current proof of insurance to be on record for all properties under our management.
We also require naming Tacoma PMC as additionally insured on your insurance policy. Moreover, we also require tenants to get renters insurance. While not a requirement under the law, it can prove extremely beneficial in the event that disaster strikes.
What happens if there is a middle of the night call?
Whether emergency or non-emergency, any middle of the night calls will be handled by our team.
Why do you require an application fee?
We require that all applicants pay an application fee. The fee helps facilitate the screening process. Once this process is ran on a tenant, the fees automatically become non-refundable.
What process must a tenant go through to be released from their lease?
We’ll conduct a thorough checkout inspection to determine whether the tenant has caused any excessive property damage.
If the tenant passes this inspection, we’ll then release them from the lease and return their security deposit.
What happens if a tenant pays rent late or does not pay at all?
At Tacoma PMC we believe that to be successful in the rental business, strict enforcement of the lease is necessary.
In the event a tenant pays rent late, our immediate course of action would be to charge them a late fee.
If the tenant still continues to neglect to pay rent, we’ll have to initiate eviction proceedings against them.
How do you handle utilities?
In Washington, some utilities can be kept in the tenant’s account while others in the owner’s account.
Tenants are usually allowed to set up their own account for gas, electric and garbage.
Owners, on the other hand, usually handle those for water and sewer. It’ll be our job to make sure that the tenant receives and pays for all utility invoices.
How does Tacoma PMC handle property repairs?
We handle all maintenance requests on behalf of our clients. We will coordinate with vendors and tenants to make sure any repair is done efficiently and in the shortest time possible.
How long does the management contract last?
For peace of mind, we usually offer our clients a Cancellation Guarantee.
If you ever feel dissatisfied with our services, you can terminate the agreement using the Cancellation Guarantee.