I'm going to fire my current PM and want to get any advice on the best way to do it. Is it better to do it during the beginning of the month or the end? How do I ensure the most seamless transition to the new company?
I would take a look at your management agreement there may be a termination clause and possibly termination fee
I would also take a look and see if there is a 30 day notice required I think probably something in writing should be sufficient but again verified by looking at your contract
Read your agreement first, there's generally a notice that will need to be provided.
Best advice, it's just business...and treat it as such. Also, don't make the notification a discussion, keep the emotion out of it. They should keep the emotion out of it.
Generally for me, if I have to (or can) send a certified letter, I do. I then type up an email giving notice and stating my extremely generic reasons for the split. I would call, be extremely brief, explain you'll be following up with an email shortly, say goodbye, and then press send. The purpose of the notice is to protect you and your asset(s) from any sort of penalty.
"We've decided to go in a different direction with Property Management, and we're going to exercise our X day notice now with a last day of X. I want to thank you for all of the service and support you've provided me/us during our time together. If you could please prepare each of my properties for administrative transfer, and give me an YTD breakdown of the financials for each before our last day. I'm going to follow up with an email shortly, for each of our records, and am sending official cancellation by certified mail."
From there get off the phone. I mean I generally ask if they have any questions because I can't help myself, and I always regret asking. You don't need to be crass, but you also don't need to talk it out either. The longer you let the conversation happen the more there's a chance they'll talk you out of it.
I agree with Account Closed above. Your management agreement should have a termination clause. Mine requires 30 days notice; others require more or less. I prefer the beginning of the month because there's an entire month to notify tenants and transfer files, keys, etc.
I agree with giving it to them certified mail, sending an email, and maybe even a phone call. Require them to acknowledge it so there's no confusion.
Is there a termination fee? If you are firing the PM because they suck at their job and aren't upholding their end of the agreement, there should be no penalty for walking away.