Who ever said getting a property management company for your rentals was a good idea? Granted, if you've got multiple properties with no extra time and a property management company you trust with your investment, GREAT! This is not my situation though ...
I live in San Antonio, Tx and purchased a duplex in Corpus Christi, Tx which was suppose to be a quick buy and resale, but turned out to be a bust when we had a realtor try to sell it. I have never owned a rental before, but found out REAL quick that a lot of investors wouldn't give the duplex the time of day because they could not see the cash flow, which is understandable. I decided to hire a property management company to put tenants into the duplex before putting it back up for sale after having no luck with the realtor. I called around and finally hired a property management company in the Corpus Christi area which turned out to be a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE!!
•Left doors unlocked (window a/c unit and gas stove stolen due to it) Management company refuses to reimburse me for the gas stove.
•Charged me $500+ in "materials" and refused to provide me with receipts and just gave me a generalized itemization and charged me for debris removal when I had done it MYSELF.
•Had a November move-in special for the end of the month and decided upon themselves that the tenant that moved in December 5th would get the November move-in special. So instead of paying the $625 for the month of December, they paid $200 ... When I received my billing statement for December I called and they told me they granted the move-in special to the tenant because she filled out the application and was approved before December 1st.
I'm sorry, but isn't that why its called a "November Move-In Special" not a, oh well you filled out the paperwork before Dec 1st special.
Needless to say, the management company is about to be short lived. The duplex is under contract and from this moment forward, I will do my own property management for my rentals.
Fire them, move on.
Same as contractors: many are lousy, few are good. when you find the good ones leech onto them like a stage 5 clinger.
Don't let the obstacles hem you up too much. Just keep working to find a better PM. I advice someone who owns property themselves. Someoen you can align your long term goals with.
I had a similarly horrible experience in Birmingham.
It's amazing how poorly those "management" companies are allowed to operate.
Very little accountability.
I'm sorry to hear that but you live and you learn! Now you know, this is usually why almost everyone recommends self managing your first few properties so you know what to do and look for when hiring a property management company because you have an idea of how things should be run. I've always heard and recommend that people screen their PM companies just like a tenant, check their google reviews, ask for references and call the references and see what they have to say, drive by properties they manage and ask tenants how they feel about the management. You will find that a lot of people in the real estate world operate like this not just PM so be careful and do your homework on them. Good luck and don't let this discourage you!
I included reviews as part of my due diligence when looking for a PM. Obviously some were terrible and you had to really dig through them to see why they got a "low" review. But there were also some that had stellar reviews. The things I was looking for were how they responded to maintenance calls, handled showings, and treated the tenants.
But I can say that ideally you'd get a local referral from a group of people w/ similar experiences.
Read your contract with the PM and figure out what you will owe them upon termination. I interviewed a PM that told me that they would be paid for every tenant for the whole course of the lease. So, even though there were existing tenants that they DIDN'T place, they would be paid on ALL tenants for the rest of their lease. So, make sure your cost to fire them is not another nightmare.
Thank you for all the feedback!!
This is definitely a live and learn experience.
I'm sorry that this happened to you, but we aren't all bad! Vetting is an important part of property management from both sides of the aisle. I might suggest finding a real estate investors group or meeting local to your rental property and ask some folks for referrals on who they use for their investment properties. Unfortunately there are many PM companies that offer terrible service and give us all a bad name.
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