Property mgmt contracts

7 Replies

The pluses and minuses have been mentioned before about property management companies. 

Starting out in MT with new condo, #1, and will commit at least one year to a property Mgr to get the lay of the land at least.  That being said. Is it useful to have a property mgmt contract reviewed by an attorney, similar to an employment contract?

Do people usually negotiate any terms of the contract?

Exciting times!

Thanks


I would if I were you. Especially look at any termination clause whether it is for non-performance or if you ever decide to go a different direction. Typically contracts are very friendly to the party that put it together.

Agreed, know what you're getting into, and if you don't, ask an attorney. Most PM contracts have exit clauses for both the PM and you, just know what needs to happen if you are not satisfied (and you've tried to address the issues). Regarding negotiating the terms, that depends. How many units do they manage? If it's a few dozen, they might be willing to. If it's several hundred, likely not. The bigger the company, the more they have to keep track of, and the less likely they are to change anything for your 1 unit. When you get a dozen or so, you might be able to negotiate a little. Congrats on your first property!

In our opinion, the #1 mistake landlords make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.

It's often a case of not doing enough research, so they don't know what they don't know!

Landlords mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact same services and operate the exact same way, so price is the only differentiator.

So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services!

This also leads them to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.

The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it.

We have a 12 page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.

We don’t know anyone in the area, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/member-blogs/3094/91877-how-to-screen-a-pmc-better-than-a-tenant-part-1-services-and-processes

We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services the cover and, more importantly, what some may leave out.

Yes, this will take time, but take the time to educate yourself and avoid potentially costly surprises!