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What Power Do Owners Give to the Property Manager?

Working with a Property Manager is different than working with a Real Estate Agent to lease out your property. A Property Manager is a General Agent and is given more power and authority to act on your behalf; whereas a Real Estate Agent only has limited power and will have to consult with you on most decisions.

Property Managers have various powers and responsibilities that they wield on behalf of the property owner. These powers can vary depending on your specific Property Management Agreement, as well as the local laws and regulations.

When you work with us, here are some of the key powers you delegated to us as your Property Manager:

  1. Setting Rent Amount: We have the authority to set the rent amount most suitable to your property condition and the market condition within the range you have approved. When we market your property, we can adjust the rent amount as needed. Our goal is always to maximize your rental income and minimize your vacancy.
  2. Marketing and Advertising: We are responsible for marketing your property when it is vacant to attract potential tenants. They may use various advertising channels and conduct property showings. Although marketing the property while it is still tenant-occupied is allowed by Virginia law and the standard NVAR lease, we generally prefer to make the property rent-ready first before we market the property.
  3. Tenant Screening and Selection: We have the authority to screen potential tenants, review rental applications, and select suitable tenants for the property. We conduct background checks, credit checks, and reference checks to assess the applicant’s qualifications according to our Tenant Screening and Minimum Requirements guidelines.
  4. Rent Collection: We are responsible for collecting rent from tenants on your behalf. We ensure timely and proper rent collection and may enforce late fees for late payments. Late fees are kept by us for the extra time and effort to collect rent from delinquent tenants.
  5. Security Deposit: We maintain an escrow account to hold your tenant’s security deposit. Based on Virginia law and the standard NVAR lease, and our best judgment regarding reasonable use and wear-and-tear, we decide on how the security deposit should be disbursed at the end of the lease term.
  6. Property Maintenance and Repairs: We have the authority to arrange and oversee maintenance and repairs for the property. This includes hiring contractors, handling emergency repairs, and ensuring the property remains in good condition. We will consult with you (the property owner) about repairs that are not considered health and safety issues, non-emergency repairs, property improvements, or cosmetics in nature.
  7. Utilities: We have the authority to set up utilities under the Owner’s name when the property is vacant.
  8. Lease and Rental Agreements: We can draft, negotiate and execute leases, renewals, and subsequent leases on your behalf using our best judgment to provide a fair return to you, and consistent with your instructions. We ensure that the lease terms are followed and may handle lease renewals or terminations.
  9. Tenant Relations: We serve as the main point of contact for tenants. We address tenant inquiries, concerns, and complaints, and we may facilitate dispute resolution between the Owner and Tenants.
  10. Property Inspections: We conduct discretionary property inspections to assess property conditions and ensure that tenants are adhering to the lease terms. We identify any maintenance or safety issues that need to be addressed.
  11. Financial Management: We handle financial aspects of the property, such as budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting to the property owner. We set up a Repair Reserve account for the owner and may increase the reserve amount in case we anticipate a major repair. The Owner is still responsible for mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and HOA/Condo fee.
  12. Evictions: In unfortunate cases where tenants violate lease agreements or fail to pay rent, we will initiate and handle the eviction process in compliance with local eviction laws.
  13. Compliance and Legal Matters: We must ensure that the property complies with all relevant laws, regulations, and safety codes. We may also represent you in legal matters related to the property.

It’s important to note that the extent of these powers can vary based on the terms outlined in your specific Property Management Agreement. We always act in the best interest of the property owner and follow the guidelines set by the property owner and local laws.

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