- I have a tenant moving in. Why do I need to have the house cleaned?
- When do I get paid?
- How do I get paid?
- I saw that there was a deduction on my statement. Why was this maintenance charge deducted from my proceeds check?
- Why do I need to have a reserve amount with LPM?
- I saw a large payment from the Tenant and only a portion was paid out to me. Why?
- Why did my reserve amount increase this month?
- Why do you re-key the locks when a tenant moves out?
- My tenant hasn’t paid rent. What do we do now?
- Who pays for an eviction?
- Do I need to keep utilities on?
A vacant house never stays clean. Unused toilets become rancid, dead bugs accumulate, dust gathers, prospective residents and contractors track in dirt and debris, light bulbs burn out, air becomes stale and cobwebs accumulate. Often visitors and contractors use toilets and they need cleaning. Tenants always remind us when they are moving out of how dirty the house was when they moved in, thus trying to justify leaving a dirty mess for you to clean up.
We generally pay out Owner proceeds on the 10th of the month if the Tenant has paid on time. Then we send Owner proceeds every Friday thereafter until the 25th of the month when Tenants are moving out.
You have three choices for being paid your Owner proceeds. Most of our Owners opt for the ACH Deposit. If funds are paid through our bank on the 10th, you should receive credit in your bank account generally within 1-2 banking days. The second option is to have a check mailed to your address on file. The third option, is to come by our office and pick up the check during office hours.
Trust account laws prevent us from “incurring expenses against a property without having funds in the account to pay for them.” We must get money in advance of any expenditure. Although it looks like we are charging you out of your proceeds, we are actually paying this amount from your reserve but then just replenishing the reserve amount back to the previous standard balance.
Georgia law mandates that we act as trust account managers when we handle other people’s money, just like stockbrokers and closing attorneys do. The big requirement of that law is that ‘we cannot incur and expense on a property without the owner’s money in the escrow account to fund the expense’. It is about ‘what the law requires of every licensed Broker in Georgia’.
If a Tenant pays rent early, you do not get proceeds from this rent until the month in which it is due. LPM does not make interest on this prepaid rent; it is required by law to hold the money in our escrow account until the funds are due.
For larger issues (and vacancy expenses), we are required to estimate the cost, get your approval, and receive your funds before we begin the project. Your funds must be in the escrow account before we can move forward on any major repair.
Management agreement clause says in part…
“…Owner agrees to immediately send funds to Manager whenever the balance in the trust account is anticipated to have fallen below or has actually fallen below the minimum required balance because of pending or actual Expenses. The amount to be sent to Manager shall at least be sufficient to pay the actual or pending Expenses plus restore the minimum required balance in the trust account.”
Re-keying significantly reduces the chances of a break-in and possible lawsuit against you as the Owner. If the locks do not work and the property is burglarized, the Tenant can sue you for failure to provide “usable locks” with keys. When we re-key, the locksmith re-keys as many locks as possible alike so it is more convenient. You have transferred “right of possession” and thus you are promising “quiet enjoyment” to the Tenant. Therefore, it is not advisable to have a copy of the key and possibly be accused of a violation of privacy.
LPM sends late notices in the form of a “Demand Letter” on the 6th day of each month to all Tenants who have not paid. If rent is unpaid by the 10th, this is when dispossessory forms are filed with the Magistrate Court to begin the process to take back possession of the property. During this time, we are monitoring the Tenant’s activity, trying to negotiate an acceptable resolution and trying to minimize your costs while complying precisely with the letter of the law. Fortunately, Tenants generally move or pay before they are evicted.
The charges for filing a dispossessory, court costs, buying the writ, actual eviction charges, trashing out the property, re-keying, etc. is paid by the Owner until it can be collected from the Tenant. Many times, there is money available to refund the Owner from the Tenant’s security deposit.
Yes. Turning the utilities off is not an option due to many reasons: we may need to clean, paint, show the property, etc. so the home needs to have a comfortable climate and lighting for all of the above. Due to the temperature extremes and humidity in South Georgia, if you have laminate or hardwood, this flooring could possibly buckle due to the weather.