How to Select A Good Property Manager

The right property manager can make the difference as to whether or not you succeed as a landlord. First, have your accountant prepare a budget which includes capital improvements, advertising, taxes, insurance, vacancies and supplies. Interview a few property managers to get an idea of the range of services that are available. The property management agreement should be reviewed by your attorney.

Ask the following questions when interviewing property management companies:

  1. Is the property manager certified? For example, “RAM” is a national certification program sanctioned by the National Association for Home Builders and approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program educates, trains and certifies managers of multi-family housing. Its goal is to set professional competency standards and offer professional training.
  2. Is the property manager a licensed real estate broker? In order to collect rents or lease real estate, the property manager must have a broker’s license.
  3. What are the names, addresses and phone numbers of the manager’s references?
  4. Are there any past or pending discrimination complaints against the company?
  5. What services does the basic fee cover? (e.g. ordering and supervising repairs, paying bills, financial management, emergency services, collecting rents and leasing.) What services will cost extra? The fee is usually a percentage of gross rental income.
  6. Are the employees bonded?
  7. What experience do the key employees have?
  8. Does the company use subcontractors?
  9. Are evictions started at the owner’s direction and by the owner’s attorney? Even if the owner has given the manager a power of attorney, the manager cannot handle the eviction for the owner. Either the owner or his attorney must appear in court.

It is the unauthorized practice of law for a non-attorney managing agent to draft and file legal documents, appear on behalf of owners in court and make legal and factual arguments on behalf of the owner.