Renting through property management companies

16 Replies

Right now I'm looking for another rental since I learned last week or so that the one I'm currently living in is selling.

I found a place that I'm interested in. I went to look at it but it's a little more than I want to pay but I do know that you can negotiate rent. I've done it a couple of times with no problem when looking for the house I'm currently living in. One place I was considering was even with a property management company. Agent simply called the owner and owner said that would be fine and that was all there was to it....no fee required.

The property management company I'd be dealing with with this place says they won't talk to the owner of the condo until I submit an application with the 50.00 app. fee. They won't budge.

All I want to know from the owner is if they would accept the amount I'm willing to pay. If they won't then I'm moving on. It just seems odd that they require me to pay 50.00 before just asking the owner that simple question.

When asking, they say that the 50.00 will qualify me for all their rentals so if I didn't get the one I like, there are others. I'm not interested in any of their other listings...they don't even have that many listings and most are in a different area than where I am looking.

50.00 seems awfully high to just ask one question. I'd definitely qualify...over 800 credit score, rave reviews from my current landlord, etc. I don't have wild parties, don't have any kids or animals and keep a nice place. It would be just me living there.

Does this seem normal that a property management team requires this type fee just to ask the owner a question?

They probably get 10 calls like this a week, and do not want to call 100 owners asking this for applicants that are not even qualified.  

You have to understand, if the PM asks the question for you and then you don't qualify then he has just wasted the owners time. After the 3rd or 4th time this happens the owner is going to start thinking "what the hell do I even have a PM for?". So I'm sure that is their fee for qualifying you and after that they would be willing to ask the owner the question for you.

Although you may have great credit and be the perfect tenant, every tenant will say that to get a place, that's why we have to check. I don't blame the PM for this at all, and to be honest most people do not negotiate on rental price (at least in the places I have been), and if they do it is either because you are a great tenant and they want you, or because they set rent too high in the first place. 

Originally posted by @Kevin Harrison :

You have to understand, if the PM asks the question for you and then you don't qualify then he has just wasted the owners time. After the 3rd or 4th time this happens the owner is going to start thinking "what the hell do I even have a PM for?". So I'm sure that is their fee for qualifying you and after that they would be willing to ask the owner the question for you.

Although you may have great credit and be the perfect tenant, every tenant will say that to get a place, that's why we have to check. I don't blame the PM for this at all, and to be honest most people do not negotiate on rental price (at least in the places I have been), and if they do it is either because you are a great tenant and they want you, or because they set rent too high in the first place. 

 I use a property management company.  We have a lowest price set.  So they do not need to call me.   Example:  I have rent set at $875 but I will expect $850.   So if you make a offer than the PM company should be able decide if that is fair offer.

Originally posted by @Brian Johnson :
Originally posted by @Kevin Harrison:

You have to understand, if the PM asks the question for you and then you don't qualify then he has just wasted the owners time. After the 3rd or 4th time this happens the owner is going to start thinking "what the hell do I even have a PM for?". So I'm sure that is their fee for qualifying you and after that they would be willing to ask the owner the question for you.

Although you may have great credit and be the perfect tenant, every tenant will say that to get a place, that's why we have to check. I don't blame the PM for this at all, and to be honest most people do not negotiate on rental price (at least in the places I have been), and if they do it is either because you are a great tenant and they want you, or because they set rent too high in the first place. 

 I use a property management company.  We have a lowest price set.  So they do not need to call me.   Example:  I have rent set at $875 but I will expect $850.   So if you make a offer than the PM company should be able decide if that is fair offer.

 That's a new one on me, I set the price for my market where I am comfortable with it and I know it will rent. I guess its nice to hope for a little more but I would be more concerned that I would be missing out on a portion of the market that is looking in a particular price range by having 2 different numbers (a hope and a bottom line).  

I just turned my properties over to a management company so this is new for me as well.  They just ask me what my lowest point is and they set to the point at which we went to get rented for.  I just assumed it was the norm. 

@Brian Johnson It may be for your area, I honestly don't know. I would make sure to get original signed lease documents from the PM though to make sure they aren't renting it for more than they are telling you and keeping the difference. I'm not saying they aren't trust worthy but trust is earned no given.

Originally posted by @Kevin Harrison :

@Brian Johnson It may be for your area, I honestly don't know. I would make sure to get original signed lease documents from the PM though to make sure they aren't renting it for more than they are telling you and keeping the difference. I'm not saying they aren't trust worthy but trust is earned no given.

 I would think that would be illegal to do.  That would be very bad in every aspect if they did that I would think.  I get the copy of the lease agreement but never anything other than that.  Them making $10 or $20 extra on a property would not be worth the outcome if they were cough doing such a act I would assume.

I don't barter on terms; ANY TERMS.  Maybe tenants ought to send in their version of the rental agreement.  Sorry, after 18yrs I find that those playing the 'I can out negotiate you' game are difficult later, so if I don't volunteer pay, I don't have problems.

I know that seems harsh to a tenant, but everything we do sets perception of who we are. Sorry

Originally posted by @Michael Noto :

@Jane Jones Your best case for negotiating the rent down is to pay the $50 for the background check/income verification check and let them see how qualified you are.

You have to understand that PMs deal with tire kickers on a regular basis and they have an application process for a reason.

 Nope, they aren't getting my money. I've dealt with property managers in the past and they were happy to talk to me and happy to relay my price to owner and to get back to me for free. If terms were agreed on, then I paid any fees required but not before terms were agreed on. If this company can't answer a darned question without me paying 50.00 then they lose out on a good tenant that would have stayed a good while, paid on time each month, kept the place looking immaculate, had no animals, etc. Tenants are people too and need some respect also. 

Even when buying a home, if interested in a place, you put up earnest money to show you are serious. If the deal doesn't work out because of financing, don't you get that money back? 

If buying a car, does the dealership ask for money from you to keep before negotiating? 

Down here in the south, rent is negotiated for all kind of reasons. Maybe the market is slow, people are in a hurry to rent a place, etc. Rent IS negotiated. 

I have moved on and won't use that property management team. After reading reviews of the company, I probably should stay away and happy I didn't pay 50.00.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Now if the property has been sitting for a while with no rental offers then a PM may negotiate the price if they raised the rent too high.  If the unit has only been on the market for 2 weeks I wouldn't expect them to budge on price. I would think the PM would have a good handle on market pricing.

Originally posted by @Jim Adrian :

Now if the property has been sitting for a while with no rental offers then a PM may negotiate the price if they raised the rent too high.  If the unit has only been on the market for 2 weeks I wouldn't expect them to budge on price. I would think the PM would have a good handle on market pricing.

 If a property management company is going to list your rental, I like the idea of the home owner giving the company their lowest price they'd accept. Then if the potential tenant want to offer a lower rent, the company can say this is the lowest price the owner is willing to negotiate and then the potential tenant can decide if he/she wants to proceed or move on to other rentals. That way, the tenant has no need to pay 50.00 and the owner need not be 'bothered'. Absolutely crazy to pay 50.00 and perhaps not get the rental in question. That's too big a gamble for 50.00....no matter if you're rich or poop....that's just crazy to take a potential tenants money like that up front when it's not a for sure deal.

@Jane Jones  

Did you ever think the lowest price is what it's listed at? I think you may be barking up the wrong tree on this topic.  Have you ever thought about buying a house? You have a great credit score of 800, where it should be a problem to get a loan.  A mortgage payment is cheaper than rent!  Good Luck

Originally posted by @Jim Adrian :

@Jane Jones 

Did you ever think the lowest price is what it's listed at? I think you may be barking up the wrong tree on this topic.  Have you ever thought about buying a house? You have a great credit score of 800, where it should be a problem to get a loan.  A mortgage payment is cheaper than rent!  Good Luck

 Not barking up the wrong tree. Rentals can be and have been negotiated in my area. Did it twice when I got my current place. Last time the property manager was happy to make a call to the home owner and get their ok on my price offered....no big deal and no 50.00 fee required. Most things in life can be negotiated. Buying is not an option right now. Only here for a few more years...maybe longer..not sure.

Home I'm currently in is beautiful and I've kept it up well and paid on schedule each month. I had rent on bill pay so it is sent to him automatically each month. I have a great landlord and he feels so bad that I'm having to move. He said I've been a great tenant. I will be a great tenant any place I go because I have respect for people's property and would care for it like it was my own. I told that to my current landlord before moving in and have lived up to what I promised.

I still think it crazy that a property management company want 50.00 of mine just to ask the owner if they would accept my one offer. Ask the danged question and if they say no, then I move on. If they say yes, then they have a great tenant that they will see from my great pay history and references. But like I said, since they require this fee they lose out. They may get someone that tears the place up, doesn't pay on time if at all and is loud with many animals in the home. But so be it, they got their 50.00 from the people up front.

Sorry, but I want terms met with both parties before parting with any of my money. Don't want to 'bother' the owner but don't feel bad about taking 50.00 from a potential tenant? That makes no sense. Probably if I posted this in a 'tenant' forum, more people could see a different side but people in this forum are going to stick up for property managers. I get that.

Thanks again everyone for your input.