F.A.Q. for Landlords
√ Question 1: How do I get started?
Once we have received a signed property management contract and have collected your $200 reserve for your reserve account, we will add your property to our advertising. When someone is interested in your property they will be given an application.
Our application involves:
- A Credit Check
- Current employee verification
- Two years past rental history
If the applicant passes our screening process, we will ask them to sign a lease with us for one year, unless you have instructed us that a shorter term is agreeable. A security deposit will be paid at the lease signing. Any applicable pet fees (to cover professional carpet cleaning at the end of the lease) are due as of the lease start date. The pet fee will be mailed to you with the first month’s rent proceeds to cover professional carpet cleaning, deodorizing and flea treatment (if applicable) at the end of the tenants lease. (Deposits are usually equal to one month’s rent. Non refundable pet fees are usually $250 per animal (no more than two) unless agreed upon otherwise).
Then a copy of the lease is mailed to you!
The tenant’s security deposit is held in an escrow account following NC Real Estate law. At the end of lease and per our move out inspection, it will be reissued to the tenant minus any damages beyond normal wear & tear/pet damages, etc. The escrow account is managed under STRICT NC real estate guidelines.
√ Question 2: When is rent due & what is done to collect it?
- All rent is due by the 1st of the month
- Rent is considered late on the 6th and the 5% late charge is assessed at that time.
- A delinquency statement is mailed out on the 6th to any tenant who has an outstanding balance.
To avoid bounced checks for late rent we do not accept personal checks from tenants after the 5th & a 5% late fee is charged to the tenant.
If rent is still unpaid by the 15th, eviction papers will be filed on the 16th. You will be contacted before any papers are filed with the courts. A court date will be set approximately one week after the papers are filed. It is NOT necessary for you, the owner to be present in court, we will take care of the proceedings for you. If eviction is awarded, the tenant will be ordered to vacate the property approximately 10 days from the court date. If the tenant does not vacate at that time, we will file a writ of possession, which will be delivered by the Sheriff’s office. If the tenant does not vacate within 10 days of the writ, we will show up at the property on the 10th day with a sheriff’s deputy to remove the tenant from the house and to change locks.
√ Question 3: How will I know if my tenant renews their lease?
About 60 days before your tenants lease expires, you will be contacted about renewing your tenants lease. This is to determine if you still want to rent out your property and/or if you desire any rent increases. With your permission, a lease renewal letter is mailed out to your tenants. This letter gives them the option to renew for one year, 6 months, month-to-month lease (which requires an automatic $100.00 rent increase for month-to-month) or give their 30/60 day required notice. If your tenant renews, you will be mailed a copy of the renewal. If they give notice, you will receive a letter letting you know when they plan to move out. If they remain on a month-to-month basis, you will see the rent increase on your statement after the lease expires. We do require a 60 day written notice w/ leases longer than month-to-month; which only requires a 30 day written notice.
√ Question 4: What happens when my tenant moves out?
When a tenant moves out, whether due to an eviction or lease expiration, a final inspection of the property is made. This inspection will determine if any charges need to be withheld from the tenants security deposit. We will determine any necessary turnover repairs and will report to you the owner what, if any repairs are needed to make the property ready for a quick re-rental. If funds are withheld from the tenants deposit, they will be transferred out of our tenant security deposit escrow account into the owner’s rental account to be used toward outstanding bills. If you received a non-refundable pet fee at the beginning of the lease, we will deduct that charge from your rental proceeds to cover costs for carpet cleaning / deodorizing since that is what that money is designated for in the tenants lease.
√ Question 5: When do I receive my rent check & statements?
Owner statements are mailed out on the 15th of every month. If the 15th falls on a holiday weekend, we will mail checks out the next possible business day. If your tenant has not paid rent by the 15th, you will still receive your monthly statement, but it will not include any funds, you will not be charged a management fee at that time until rent is received and the statement will be stamped “No rent received to date.”
√ Question 6: Do I still get statements when my property is vacant?
If your property is vacant you will still receive a monthly statement. It will include any outstanding bills that cannot be covered by funds in your reserve account. Please send payment for these bills immediately so that our vendors can be paid in a timely manner. You will receive copies of all work orders in your monthly statements when the bill is paid.
√ Question 7: How do I read my statements?
Some owners may see water & sewer charges on their statements. Properties that have their water and/or sewer with New Hanover/Brunswick Counties or Porter’s Neck community are unable to have these utilities put into tenant’s names and the bills must therefore remain in your name. After a lease is signed, we fax a form to the utility company asking them to send the bill to us and then we charge the tenants for them. However, in order to protect your credit, we pay the bills out of your account and the tenant reimburses you for it. You will notice “pass thru” charges on your cash flow statement. The negative charges show where the bill was paid and the positive charges show where the tenant has paid. These “pass thru” charges also are used for any maintenance charged to your tenant, either during tenancy or at move-out. Pass thru maintenance means that the bill is paid out of your account and reimbursed by your tenant. If you notice that any of these utility companies are still sending you the bill please contact us immediately. If the utility companies have all the appropriate information you should not be receiving any copies.
√ Question 8: What other services can I take advantage of?
Essential Rental Management Company offers some additional services to help make your financial life a little easier. If you pay homeowners’ dues for the property we manage, we can pay them directly for you out of your rental account. We can also pay mortgage payments on your behalf. All we require is either your HOA coupon books or the necessary account information. Understand, however, that if your tenants’ pay late, this can make payments late. We suggest saving at least one to two months worth of payments to protect against this possibility. This is also a good action for when properties become vacant and the market is slow or for emergency funds. If you live out of state or out of country, we can also directly deposit your monthly proceeds into your bank account. You will still receive your monthly statements in the mail, but your check will be deposited into the bank account you provide. All that is needed is deposit slips and/or mailing address of the bank.
√ Question 9: Anything else you provide?
Yes! The additional services we provide to all of our clients upon request are duplicate keys, notary service, internet access, & a cd with all documents related to your transaction.