Property Management Issue - Worcester, MA

6 Replies


I own a triplex in Worcester, and have had a PM in place since I purchased it June. After a long and messy eviction, I was hoping to get back on track but rents are coming in later and later each month and I have questioned a large expense several times, which I did not approve. I have emailed PM several times with no response. I email everything as I learned to have a paper trail for all communications. I just  got my Oct rent statement and find several emergency work orders for a broken oven and broken heater. I find it odd that I find out about a gas leak from my statement...

I think I just  answered my own question, but should I dump these guys and find a new PM? 

Any recommendations in the Worcester area? I just want someone that wants to work with me and can communicate.  This is my first investment but I hope to have more and I need to find a good PM before I can do that.

Any help would be appreciated!




@Alan Lambkin  , check your management agreement for spending authorization limits.  If you authorized the PM to complete repairs under a certain dollar threshold then he's just doing what you hired him to do unless you specifically asked him to communicate all repairs.  

He might also complete major repairs without your approval that would be deemed an emergency.  My management contract states "An emergency is defined as any event or occurrence that relates to the health, welfare or safety of the Tenants or the general public or is necessary to preserve the Property from material damage."  Even in the case of an emergency, he should have communicated any emergency repairs to you before the monthly statement.  

As much as I would like to say you should dump your PM and hire me, I think it's good business to at least be sure he knows what issues you have with his services by clearly stating what you think he's done wrong to see how he intends to remedy the situation. If you've been pretty clear about the issues and are getting no apologies then that's a different story.

Rents coming late. I went to having the PM deposit checks in my account (set one up at his bank)  and invoicing me for his fee. They were telling me I was getting paid when the rents came but it was always late and they never implemented late fees even when the tenant paid on the 19th.  Now Rent late fees are insisted upon by me and there were only 2 incidents in the last 10 months and wow the rent is like on the 1st to the 4th (surprise , surprise)..instead of the 15th.   I am guessing it wasn't just the tenants...

Repairs, another thing to do  on appliance repairs is always have them contact you.  You may not want to spend $200 repairing a  10 year old fridge. You might see if aside from a dollar limit they always notify you of certain types of issues (appliances, furnace, gas).  Some things that generate lots of repair calls just need to be replaced. You may need to add this to your contract.

I am also thinking now of having a survey to the tenants on the amount of interaction with the PM and what they contact them about and how satisfied they were. He doesn't send me lots of repairs because the tenants come to us for non-emergency stuff but I want to know what I am paying him for aside from not calling me at 3am if the heat goes out.    I am not investing in Worcester so can't help you on the PM side.

Thank you @Beverly Rogers ,

I understand the heat and oven are emergencies and I'm definitely ok with them doing whatever is necessary. It would have been nice to get a heads up call or email saying oh by the way we just spent $600 on emergency work. Maybe that is too much to ask.

But as for the large expense, the line item says Prep to rent - $1100. So I questioned that, given we have a $250 max before they need my approval. They did say a light fixture in the bedroom needed to be replaced and a possible rug to cover a beat up hardwood floor, but they said they would get back to me on estimates. I never saw estimates, just the bill. So I contacted them 3 times over the last month and no response at all. 

They did admit to putting a tenant in there with bad credit which cost me a few months rent and $1500 of cleanup & $900 in legal fees to evict. (Blaming it on a past employee they had). 

I guess in other words, I'm looking for a new property manager.:)

Beverly, if that's something you do,? I will email you to start the discussion.

I would dump them. It doesnt seem that they care about your best interest. Always remember that you are the boss, you hire them to do a job if they cant do the job find someone else that will do it to your standards.

@Alan Lambkin   I  just noticed  we are in the same town!   I  am almost on the Worcester border not far from the HS but that little one next to you tells me you are not likely to know where that is.  Not far from W. Boylston either.  I don't actually invest in Worcester , we considered but I am pretty sure RI is more our long term plan. 

If they blame the lousy placement on an old employee just tell it is their business and they are responsible for their business. I had that same song and dance in RI with a bad tenant. It is always the fault of the one that just left. Hope you get a better PM 

For the prep work I would want the actual what I got for my 1100.00.   You can't have invoices like that when it comes to do taxes.  It is either an expense or a depreciation item. This is why I only have the PM do emergency stuff and call  people myself for repairs who bill me direct. Good luck

@Alan Lambkin I was wondering if you ever got your management issues straightened out?

I've self managed properties in Worcester for years. We are now acquiring more units in Worcester and other areas I'm planning on hiring a good management company or hiring employees and starting one. 

Since we are practically neighbors I thought I would check in and see how it worked out.

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