How does Real Property Management handle lease violations?

Non Payment of Rent

Rent is due on the 1st of the month. State law requires a 3 day grace period. On or around the 4th of the month we prepare 3 day pay or quit notices for each Resident that has not paid rent and have the Sheriff’s department serve the notices on the Resident. Most Resident pay or make payment arrangements before the 3 day notice expires. If payment has not been made we come up with a plan depending upon the Resident’s history. For example we look at things such as: Does the Resident owe more than a full month’s rent? Is there hope of payment? Has the Resident broken agreements to pay rent in the past? How past due is the Resident? How many times has the Resident been past due? Has the Resident applied for help from the county or other financial aid organizations? Have we been able to contact the Resident? Has the Resident abandoned the property? Based upon the answers to these questions, we will recommend a course of action to the owner. Once agreed upon, we will carry out the plan to either get the rent paid, or the Resident removed.

Damage to the Property

Resident caused property damage can be a wide variety of things. Property damage does not include normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear might include small nail holes from hanging a picture. Damage without be a fist sized hole punched in a wall. When tenant caused damage is found or reported, we fix the damage and bill the Resident on your behalf. In some cases the Resident’s insurance will cover the damage. In others they will have to pay out of pocket. Be prepared for the Resident not to pay for the damage all at once. Often we will put together a payment plan to recover the amount over several months. We do not recommend waiting until the Resident vacates and then using the security deposit for the repairs. Often the security deposit needs to be used for final cleaning or unpaid rent. We want to Resident to start making payments while they are still living at the property.

Unauthorized Occupants

Residents can have guests for up to two weeks without permission from us. If someone intends to move in, they need to go through our application process and be added to the lease. If the occupant does not qualify they will be asked to vacate the property. In some cases eviction may be necessary. Because an eviction is expensive and takes time, it may be wiser to let the lease expire and then not renew the lease. If the lease is not renewed, the Residents must vacate. We look at the entire situation before making a recommendation on a course of action.

Unauthorized Pets

If your property does not allow pets, it is quite common to find an unauthorized pet at your property. This is simply because a high percentage of Residents own pets. We can document the pet and demand that the pet be removed. This may or may successfully remove the pet. Eviction can also be considered. While it may be a violation of the lease, an eviction action to remove the Resident with the pet is expensive and is not guaranteed to succeed. In some situations it can be better to charge the Resident a monthly pet rent and allow them to keep the pet. If the pets cause damage you will have the pet rent and the security deposit to make the repairs. If those two sources of funds do not cover the damage, the remaining amount can be sent to collections.

City Code Violations

The most common city code violations we see are not mowing the law, not shoveling snow, or other public nuisance violations. These violations often result is a citation and fine from the city. If not corrected quickly, the city will correct the violation by mowing or shoveling and sending the bill to the owner. If you received a code violation notice, it is imperative that you contact us immediately we can take corrective action. If we find that the Resident was responsible for the code violation, we will bill the tenant for the citation and the cost to fix the violation.

Criminal Activity

We ask that all criminal activity be reported to the police. If the Resident or their guest have committed the activity, it can be cause for eviction. At other times the Resident is the victim of criminal acts. Sometimes the only action we need to take is to change the locks to protect the Resident’s safety and the property. In cases of domestic abuse or other physical harm, it may be necessary to allow the Resident to break the lease and move. These situations are handled on a case by case basis.

Neighbor Complaints

Complaints from neighbors often are directed to the owner of the property. We ask that if you receive a neighbor complaint, you forward it to us rather than handling it yourself. You can even give your neighbor our phone number and have them call us directly. Neighbors are a good source of information to determine if the Residents are abiding by the terms of the lease. We will follow up with the Resident and document the complaint. While there are always to sides to a story, proper documentation is vital if an eviction action needs to be filed in the future.

We understand property management and property investments. With over thirty years’ experience in property management and more than 300 offices in the United States and Canada, we have become the largest property management franchise in North America.