Common Owner Questions About Property Management
1. When will I receive my statement, and what documentation will it contain?
Generally, we close our books around the 20th of the month. A link to your monthly statement is emailed the first week of the following month. The Owner Portal allows you to access your account and all your monthly statements in a PDF format 24 hours a day.
Your ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transfer occurs around the 20th as well. However, delays can occur, and we must also allow for holidays and weekends.
Management statements include: a monthly and year-to-date profit & loss statement for each property, a detailed activity page showing each transaction for each property, and a copy of all invoices. This is important, as most property management companies do not provide copies of invoices. We believe that you should be fully aware of every expense that occurs at your property.
The 20th of the month is the earliest possible date for us to close our books due to the possibility of a resident’s rent check being returned from the bank NSF. Banks can take as many as 14 days to process a check for which there may not be sufficient funds. If we were to transfer funds to you and the resident’s check did not clear, your account would go into a negative balance.
2. Do I have to allow pets in my property?
No. As the owner of the property it is your decision whether to allow pets or not. Some owners will unequivocally not allow any pets; others will approve only small dogs, while others will accept a dog of any size. Some will allow only one pet and others will allow multiple pets. Some will allow cats, some will not, and others will allow cats only if they have been declawed and spayed or neutered.
If you decide to allow pets, Class Act always requires tenants to pay an additional deposit and additional pet rent. You may determine the minimums to charge for each. Additionally, we offer a free Pet Damage Guarantee! Click this for more details.
If you decide not to allow pets within your home, be aware that you will be eliminating almost 68% of the rental market, and it could be substantially more difficult to rent your home. If the management company has done its due diligence and properly qualified the resident(s) and collected the proper deposit, the risk from having a pet is minimized.
3. Who will do the maintenance on my property?
Residents are required to do basic maintenance on your property. They must replace burned-out light bulbs, change air filters, fill water softeners, and change smoke alarm batteries. Additionally, we also expect them to be able to tighten a loose door handle, push the reset button on a garbage disposal, or reinstall a window screen that may have fallen off. Residents are usually responsible for lawn care unless they are in a property where an owner provides that service. Lawn care is defined as mowing, trimming, watering, and keeping flowerbeds weed-free.
When repairs need to be done outside the scope of the resident's responsibility, one of our in-house maintenance technicians or one of our sub-contractors will be sent to the property. Our maintenance staff is available 24 hours a day, and we guarantee their work.
4. What needs to be done to my property for it to be leased as quickly as possible?
Experience has taught that the better the condition your property is in, the better tenant you will attract. The better the quality of the tenant, the lesser the likely-hood of a property being intentionally damaged. This means that the property should be clean, and walls should be painted if they are dirty or marred. Carpeting, flooring, and appliances should be up-to-date. It is best to have window coverings, such as 2” vertical blinds, on the windows. Generally, the property should be in good repair inside and out. Lawns and flowerbeds should be in top condition, as curb appeal is critical to the resident’s first impression.
Many residents begin to make up their mind about your property the moment they pull up to the curb. If the yard, entrance area, and interior look sharp, the agent will be much more successful in leasing your home. A quality resident is motivated to take care of your home and will leave it in good condition when they leave. This means lower operating costs for you.
5. What control do I have over who leases my property?
You can specify whether you want to allow pets and smokers. However, the more restrictive you are, the longer it could take to rent your property. This is especially true with pets since studies have shown that up to 68% of people looking for a property own a pet.
Federal and local Fair Housing laws are very specific and clear about discrimination. Class Act Property Management LLC believes in and upholds all aspects of the federal, state, and local Fair Housing laws. Our experience has been that it is best that you leave the selection process up to us. We are leasing professionals, and in order for residents to lease from us, they must meet our qualifying criteria.
6. What happens if a tenant leaves my property owing money?
Class Act Property Management is proud to be the ONLY management company who provides a Rent Recovery Service in-house. When placing a tenant, we charge a higher deposit than most managers, and we are careful to screen tenants very thoroughly. However, any experienced landlord will tell you, occasionally a tenant will lose a job and fall behind on rent, or they may cause damage to the property that exceeds the deposit. When a tenant moves out owing money, we try to convince them to sign a 12-month payment plan to preserve their credit rating. If they fail to follow through with their promise to pay, we will file suit in Small Claims court, and after getting a judgment against the tenant, we will garnish wages and other assets. Over the years we have become exceptionally good at collecting money owed.
7. Will you allow smokers in my property?
No. All our properties are non-smoking within the interior of the building. Some owners will also specify no smoking on the property at all; other owners will allow smoking outside only in a designated area. This is entirely up to you and we will enforce your rules. There are substantial financial implications for a tenant that smokes in a property.
8. Do you add a charge on an outside vendor invoice?
Yes. We add a 15% surcharge on all invoices. This charge covers the man-hours to process work order requests from tenants, supervise work being done, follow up to make sure the work was done in a timely manner and to code, and track the work orders in our system. Keeping properties in good repair and responding to tenant’s needs is a time consuming function. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide this service for free.
You want to incentivize your property manager to keep up on common maintenance items. Firms that do not charge for their time to do maintenance often look the other way when maintenance items come up because it is too much trouble. Over time, small issues become very expensive issues if not addressed in a timely fashion!
We do allow an owner to do their own repair work if they want to save some money. The only thing we ask is that the owners not introduce themselves as the “owner” when they meet with the tenant to make repairs. Owners should maintain anonymity by only saying they are the “handyman” there to make repairs. All questions from the tenant should be directed to Class Act management. Please refrain from answering questions from the tenant as it may conflict with what we have already told them which could lead to legal cases being thrown out in court.
9. Can you use one of my preferred vendors or handymen for repairs?
Yes. We would be happy to have one of your vendors fill out a vendor packet to see if they meet our vendor qualifications. In addition to being fully insured, a vendor must agree to a certain level of quality, response time, and warranty provisions.
10. Are the vendors you use qualified, insured, and competitive in their rate structure?
Yes. Because of our size, we are able to negotiate better rates than you may be able to get on your own. Each of our outside vendors must agree to adhere to the guidelines of our Preferred Vendor Program in order to do business with our company. This program requires vendors to:
- Provide free estimates and competitive pricing,
- Submit detailed invoices,
- Be available 24 hours a day (if we need them in an emergency),
- Perform criminal background checks on employees going into your property,
- Guarantee the highest quality work with a warranty of labor and materials,
- Alert us to any problems at the property,
- Call for an approval for any repair out of the scope of work they were sent to perform,
- Call for approval if the cost of the repair is going to exceed preset limits, and
- Carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance and general liability insurance.
11. How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may submit requests through their tenant portal. For emergencies, they may call our emergency line. Once we have determined whether or not the issue is considered an emergency and needs to be handled after hours, we will dispatch the appropriate vendor to control and handle the emergency. Tenant safety is absolutely the top priority.
After receiving a routine repair request, we will contact the tenant and ask them questions in order to help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker, etc.) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair.
12. Are you insured, and how does that protect me?
We carry General Liability insurance and Professional Liability insurance (commonly known as Errors and Omissions). When considering which property management company to choose, you should ask whether your property management company has the capability to reimburse you if they made a mistake which cost you money? The court may give you a judgment against your management company, but what would keep the manager from declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying the claim? Most other management companies do not carry E&O insurance. Fortunately, no one has ever had to make a claim against our policy. Every day we strive to ensure that the need will never arise.
We also carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance. This means that every employee at Class Act Property Management LLC is covered by worker's compensation insurance. If someone were to get injured on the property, it does not become a liability to you. We also require that all contractors be covered as well. Many property management companies do not require their contractors to have this coverage. However, without this protection, your liability is far greater than the small amount of money that would be saved from using an uninsured contractor.
13. Can you help me if I already have a resident?
Yes, provided that the current lease is one we can enforce. Once the current lease concludes, we will sign your tenant onto our attorney-approved lease agreement. In cases where the resident is behind in their rent, we can take the necessary steps to either get them to pay or evict if we cannot obtain payment. Many residents will suddenly find a way to pay the rent or move as soon as they hear that a management company has been secured to follow through with collection.
14. Why do you need a good move in inspection?
The move in inspection is the benchmark for what you are going to withhold for damages. If there is not a good move-in inspection, there is nothing to compare the move-out damages to and therefore no deposit can be withheld. The tenant will just tell the judge “it looked that way when I moved in” and you will not have any evidence to the contrary. If you can’t prove otherwise by a move-in inspection, the judge has no option but to order the deposit refunded.
15. Why does Class Act have to hold the security deposit?
When we are managing a property, and the tenant moves out, they will be looking to Class Act to do a move out inspection and properly withhold (or refund) the security deposit. As the manager of the property we are liable for this deposit and must have the funds in our escrow account before we take over the property. If we manage it, we need to hold the deposit. Some exceptions can be made if you have us manage multiple units. You can instruct us to deduct the deposit money from the first rent we receive from the tenant(s) if you like (rather than cutting us a check) but we must have it in our escrow account.
16. I have an existing tenant. Is that OK?
The easiest part of this business is leasing a vacant property. The hardest part is taking on someone else’s tenant. Most owners are asking us to do this because they have discovered how hard it is to manage a property and want to get out from under the stresses of tenant relationships.
Most of the time we are rebuilding a previous management style and it can be very difficult. It is twice as hard to manage a tenant someone else placed in the property. The previous manager has set the standards; used their lease rather than ours; they have trained the tenants as to when rent is due; they have shown them mercy and now we have to retrain them to our way of doing things.
It is like entering a marriage where the other spouse already has children or having a computer programmer finish a program another programmer started. It is much harder taking over than starting from scratch. Occasionally, owners decide to remain the manager until the current tenant moves out and let Class Act pick it up from there. Whatever you want to do is OK with us. We just know from experience how many man-hours it takes to assume an existing tenant.
17. Are you ready to cut all ties with the tenant?
The biggest problem we have with taking over an existing tenant is not the tenant, but the owner. When owners have managed their own property they feel like they should control things. They have an established relationship with the tenant and have a hard time terminating that relationship.
Hands-on owners often try to micro-manage the property manager and tell them how it should be managed. After 17 years we think we know how to do this in a way that will keep you, and us, out of court. The problem is the owner won't end his relationship with the tenant and take his hands off the control panel.
Unless you are ready to step back and let Class Act manage the property, do not turn it over to us (or anyone else). No one will like it unless you are ready to let it go. If we do, and you are not ready to let us manage it, we will just end up giving the property back to you. Just keep the property and let us be an advisor unless you’re willing to end all communications with the tenant and let us do the managing.
To help with this issue, there are letters that will go out from Class Act (and you) to the tenant. The one from you (#6 below) tells them that you are no longer involved with the property and that Class Act is now their property manager. The one from Class Act (#7 below) reinforces the transfer and gives additional details. These letters will help make the transition successful.
18. Are you asking us to take over a property because the tenant needs to be evicted?
For tenants that Class Act placed into the property: Class Act has evicted many tenants over the years and understands the process better than most lawyers. We have a system in place to process the eviction economically and efficiently. We will send the proper letters, file the proper notices with the court, have the tenant properly served, stand in front of the judge, negotiate a reasonable settlement with the mediator, schedule the Sheriff for a forced move-out if necessary, and then send in a cleaning crew and repair crew to make the unit ready for the next tenant. As long as we are both in agreement with exactly what Class Act is responsible for we will accommodate you in this process. We will get the management papers executed, establish your escrow account, and go to work.
For tenants that were in the property prior to Class Act assuming management: The laws in Oregon are some of the strictest in the nation and are extremely favorable to the tenant. If the paperwork and rental agreements are not just right, there is a good chance the tenant may successfully defeat an eviction action in court, especially if they seek legal counsel. When we take over management, we quickly attempt to get the existing tenant to sign our lawyer-approved rental agreement which is designed according to current Oregon laws and has proven successful in court. We can’t make them sign a new contract, so if they remain on the existing rental agreement, and subsequently need to be removed from the property, our policy is to recommend that you have your own lawyer evict the tenant. It will cost more to evict using a lawyer, but keep in mind that if a tenant wins in an eviction action, they can get a judgement for legal costs, plus you may not be able to file another eviction for up to six months!
19. Sample letter from the owner to the tenant
You certainly can say what you want in the letter to the tenant, but less is generally better. After turning over management to us, if a tenant contacts you, the phrase you should memorize and repeat back to the tenant goes like this, “I am no longer the property manager. All communication must be addressed to Class Act. Please send them an email or call them directly at 971-599-1440.”
Copy and paste the following into your notification letter or modify as desired:
RE: Change in Management
I no longer manage this property. I have hired Class Act Property Management LLC to handle all property management issues from this date forward. Please do not contact me with rent payment issues, maintenance, or other problems with the property. This property is no longer under my control.
Please contact your new property manager, Mark Bellamy, at 971-599-1440 ext 5 concerning paying your rent and other issues. Pay all rent to Class Act Property Management LLC at 189 Liberty St NE, Suite 211A, Salem, OR 97301. They will be contacting you soon to give you further instructions.
20. Letter from Class Act Property Management to the tenant
RE: NEW MANAGEMENT
This letter is to inform you that your property has undergone a change of management. Class Act Property Management LLC will be the new management company effective immediately. We wanted to introduce ourselves and inform you of some policy changes. We desire to make this transition as easy as possible for you. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. You may verify this transition by calling XXXXXX at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Please make all future checks or money orders out to Class Act Property Management LLC and mail them to the address listed at the top of this letter. All rents are due on or before the 1st of each month and it is advisable to mail them several days before the due date (First Class only, Certified or Registered Letters will not be accepted). You may also drop rent off at our office at 189 Liberty St NE, Suite 211A, Salem, OR 97301. (This is the second floor of the Reed Opera House in downtown Salem. If the office is closed, you can place rent in the secure drop box outside the office. Be sure to place the rent in a sealed envelope with your name and address on it. No cash is accepted.) You can also pay online through your Tenant Portal (see below).
Repair requests must be submitted online at your Tenant Portal. Please go to www.ClassActPM.com and click the “Tenants” tab, then follow directions to set up your account. We will then send you a password reset by email. From your tenant portal you will be able to submit repair requests, look at your ledger and statements, and pay rent online.
All agreements with the previous management company or property owner will be honored. However, any verbal agreements you have made with the prior management company or property owner are hereby null and void. As a management company, we must abide by the written rental agreement. If you do have a written contract other than the rental agreement, please provide a copy to us so that we can follow its instructions.
Mark Bellamy, Licensed Property Manager
In this section
- How We Manage
- Pet Damage Guarantee
- Placement Services
- Free Rental Comps
- Institutional Owner/REO
- Our Technology
- Questions and Answers
- Owner Portal
- Owner Handbook PDF
- Overview PDF Download
Contact UsWillamette Valley:
189 Liberty St NE, Suite 211A
Salem, OR 97301
587 NE Greenwood, Suite A
Bend, OR 97701
By Appointment Only
541-719-8200 Sales Only