Firing my Property Management Company

12 Replies

We bought a property in Baltimore from a turnkey operator. The turnkey operator recommended a property management company. The property was rented  a tenant. After two months the tenants stopped paying the rents. The property management didn't even know that the tenants were paying rent until we complained it to them. It has been 5 months since the tenants paid the rent. The management company has done nothing to collect the rent nor reached out to the tenant to make alternate arrangements. They don't return our calls nor respond to our emails. 

We later came to know, almost all the investors bought property from the turnkey operator were using the same Management company and they all have bigger complaints than us. The irony is that no legal actions were taken against the management company and they are still in business. 

We want to move to a different property management company. We emailed them saying our intention to move to a different company. We requested to send a copy of the ledger. But they are not responding to our calls and we are are at a loss. 

My question first questions is what is the process to fire them and move to a new management company? Second question, if at all possible, how to collect the unpaid rents from the tenant?

I'm sorry you are going through a tough time. If I were you, I would seek advice from a competent attorney. 

Most states require a license to manage for others.   You can contract the Real estate commission or board that oversees this.    Try stopping in at the office if you are in the area as well.    If you find another PM they can often take care of this for you as well.  

Sorry for your bad tenants. I would suggest stopping by their office unannounced and making comments on any customer facing platforms they may have, such as google reviews, yelp etc. Most important would be contacting a lawyer who can go through your PM agreement/contract and see what the transition process is and if it is possible to hold them liable for any financial damages incurred due to their negligence. Best of luck.

Did you sign a PMA (Property Management Agreement)?  

The PMA - if you signed one - should outline the process for cancellation.  

I would normally not advocate going to the Real Estate Commission, but in this case I don't see a lot of other options if they won't respond to you.  You need to get ahold of the unit keys, security deposits and leases in order to take over management. 

I hate hearing stories like this that give my industry a bad reputation. Best of luck. 

Wow, not knowing they weren't paying rent for 5 months is crazy. 

In maryland you don't have to be an agent or have a license to be a PM so going to the real estate commission may not help.

Let me know if you want me to drop by their office unannounced! That sounds like fun to me.

It's not hard to return phone calls, so logically, there can only be a few possibilities:

1) They are totally unorganized

2) They just don't care

3) They are thieves

You'll need to hire a better PMC and have them contact the tenants directly. You'll want to do this ASAP, but not too quickly and hire another bad company. You can do this while still trying to contact the current PMC.

Thanks for your overwhelming response and good suggestions. I love this community. This morning I had reached out the turnkey operator complaining about the PM and asked them to intervene. We finally heard back from the PM and they agreed to the transition. We have started the process of transition. I will keep you all updated here.

I would say give @Stephen Kehoe a chance, he does property management in Baltimore, let him handle the situation and if he gets it resolved then give him your business.  Just saying the guy is offering to take care of your problem (or at least try) sounds like a win-win to me.  Best of luck!

Also find a way to stop the payments to the property management company, that should get their attention.