SW Florida Property Managers - Sarasota
Market Analysis & Marketing
Once you list your property with us, our first job is to visit the property and do a complete market analysis with pictures and comparative data from other properties that have previously rented in the area. We will then contact you to discuss our recommended pricing range for your property. Once we agree on an initial asking price, we will begin to aggressively market your property. This includes placing the property on the most effective rental web site in Sarasota. Our web site will feature your property along with up to 10 pictures, a map link to show the property location as well as links to information regarding local schools and weather. We also place your property on the local board of Realtors MLS , other rental web sites that have partnerships with us and advertising in the local classified section of the newspaper. We also place a sign on the property where permitted.
Show Property & Screen Tenants
We will then facilitate viewings of your property to interested parties, and once we receive applications, we then begin our extensive resident screening process to determine the applicants suitability for your property. Our screening process includes checking credit history, criminal background; including the FBI’s most wanted list, National Terrorist data base, Statewide Department of Correction records, and Sexual Predator list. We will then check statewide eviction records, verify employment and income, interview previous landlords and determine the overall risk level of the applicant.
Once an applicant has been properly screened, we will have the foremost Landlord Tenant attorney in the state of Florida draw up a lease which specifically protects your interests from many of the legal pitfalls of owning rental property. We will have the tenant sign the lease and then forward it to you for your signature.
We will then conduct a thorough move in inspection of the property and carefully document the condition prior to occupancy. This will insure that any damage caused by a tenants neglect will be properly charged against their security deposit at the end of their stay.
Sarasota Property Management Services
Once the tenant takes occupancy, our management services begin. This includes collecting the rent, handling maintenance and repair issues, dealing with any problems associated with the tenant such as non payment of rent, early move outs, neighbor complaints or any other tenant related issue.
Rents are paid by the tenant into our state regulated Trust account and disbursed to owners on the 10th of each month. Owners can view their property statements at any time of day or night by accessing their own secure page on our web site. If questions come up while reviewing the statement, a quick email link is available to get prompt answers from our staff.
Non-Payment of rent
One question frequently asked is “how do we handle non payment of rent?”. Rents are due on the first day of each month, and late after the 5th. If we have not received rent by the 10th of the month, we serve a 3 day notice which is the first step in a legal eviction. Usually, this causes the rent to be paid. However, If it is not paid by the end of the 3 day period, we file an eviction. If the tenant is then able to come up with the money for the rent and reimburse the legal costs, we would have them sign a stipulation agreement agreeing that if they ever get behind again, they would waive the right to eviction proceedings and we would be entitled to an immediate writ of possession. If they cannot come up with sufficient funds to “buy off” the eviction, we would proceed with the eviction until the house is vacated at which time we would then make a claim against the tenants deposit and any other escrowed funds that we may have to compensate you for any loss. Although the vast majority of tenants do not require evictions, especially after our extensive tenant screening process, you never know when someone may lose their job or have a break up in a relationship that can turn a good tenant into a problem one. And it is critical to get the property back and on the market as soon as possible to protect your cash flow.
All this being said, we are happy to work with a tenant who has only temporarily fallen behind, and is making every effort to get caught up, however, it is important to maintain control of the situation in a professional manor.
Eviction Protection Program
To further protect our owners from interruptions to cash flow in regards to evictions, we have created a unique program called our Eviction Protection program. Eviction Protection is an optional program that only costs $9 per month if one chooses it, but if an eviction is required, all legal expenses are covered including attorney fees and court filing fees. Therefore, our owners can have the peace of mind knowing that this potential negative scenario will not cost them an arm and a leg.
Maintenance & Repair
Maintenance and repairs are handled in an efficient and professional manor so that costs are reduced and at the same time, your property is kept up in good, rentable condition. Tenants may notify us of maintenance issues via our web site at any time of day or night, or call us 24 hours a day on our emergency maintenance hotline. Our experienced Sarasota property managers then determine whether a maintenance call is necessary, or if a tenant may simply be “talked through” the problem. If a maintenance call is required, our first option is to select a lower priced vendor such as a handy man rather than a more expensive licensed contractor such as a plumber, air conditioning tech etc. And all vendors that we send to your property are covered by workers comp and liability insurance. This is an important consideration in order to protect an owner from potential injury liability or accidental damage to the property.
Our maintenance company; House Calls Maintenance, Inc. provides our owners with low cost solutions to necessary maintenance by providing quick effective repairs whenever possible to minimize cost while maintaining the quality of your investment and keeping the revenue source (the tenant) happy.
One final note regarding maintenance for your property: You never have to worry that a SML property manager could spend your money without your consent. Our management agreements contain a clause limiting how much can be spent on your property without your permission.
During the course of the lease, we want to make sure that the tenant is taking care of the property and not letting it stand out in the neighborhood as a “thorn among roses”. Therefore, we do periodic drive by inspections as well as interior walk throughs to look for maintenance issues such as grout in the showers and leaks under sinks and to make sure that there is no tenant caused damage or neglect.
Lease End Services
At the end of the lease, we do a final inspection and compare the results with the initial move in inspection to see if charges need to be made against the tenants security deposit. If there are damages, it is essential that Florida Statutes regulating security deposits be followed to the letter to make sure your right to make the claim is protected.
The cost for our services is one months rent (taken from the tenants first payment) for a leasing fee to cover costs of marketing, showing, screening and executing a lease and conducting move in inspections, and 7% per month for managing the rental and the property.
Owning rental property can be a rewarding and profitable undertaking provided that it is done correctly. If not, it can be costly and an unpleasant drain on your life. Hopefully, you have come to an appreciation of what professional property management can do for you. We hope that this information was useful to you and look forward to speaking with you personally about managing your rental property.