Property Management

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

In property management, the most important thing we can do for you is to enforce the terms of the lease.

What are the benefits of hiring a property manager?

  • Many clients utilize our services because they simply don’t have the time, energy or desire to manage their own investment property or deal with the day-to-day tenant issues.
  • Some clients are investors and are located many miles away from their investment property and desire our “local representation” so that we can respond and act on behalf of the property owner.
  • Some investor clients elect to utilize a professional property management company like us simply because this avoids involving a relative, friend, or associate, who may be willing and able, but could “strain” their relationship.
  • Many clients elect to retain us simply to avoid the necessity of their personal involvement with tenants, handling tenant disputes, dealing with rent collections, handling rent increases, lease renewals, screening for replacement tenants, responding to “emergency” issues 24/7 which involve arranging ongoing and emergency property maintenance, and the headaches of dealing with multiple contractors.
  • Other clients enjoy the personal “cost savings” to them in terms of their time, effort, and energy, which is needed to manage a rental property on an ongoing basis.

What type of rental properties do you manage?

We manage single-family properties, to include:  houses, townhomes, and condos.

In what areas do you offer property management services?

Big Dog Property Management offers leasing and property management services for homes located throughout the Greater Raleigh NC Area, to include:  Apex, Cary, Clayton, Durham, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, Wake Forest and Youngsville.

How do you aggressively attract qualified tenants to my property?

Please view our Leasing page for all this, and more.

Do you use a well-written lease agreement that protects me and my property?

We have prepared a customized lease agreement prepared in-house, which has been reviewed and approved by local real estate attorneys that specialize in property management.  We feel that the NCAR standard lease is too vague.  We like things to be spelled out and clearly defined – to avoid any misunderstandings as to the responsibilities of all parties involved.

How strictly do you enforce the lease agreement after the tenant moves in?

We enforce the lease agreement very strictly, including:  late fees, pet policy, unauthorized occupants, vehicle limits, HOA rules, lease term, and all additional terms and conditions of the lease agreement.  If we become aware of a lease violation, the tenant promptly receives a violation notice and is required to cure the violation to avoid further action.

What happens to the tenant’s security deposit?

All security deposits are placed in a North Carolina trust account (as required by law) and managed by Big Dog Property Management.  We are not allowed to touch the funds of their security deposit until after the Tenant moves out.  Deposits minus any damages are refunded to the tenant within 30 days of the end of their tenancy.

Who collects the rent?

Big Dog Property Management collects all rental payments from the tenants.

How are rent collections handled?

While it is doubtful that an eviction will ever be necessary as we at Big Dog Property Management carefully screen all prospective tenants, occasionally financial hardships do arise, requiring our prompt collections attention.

All rents are due by the tenant on the 1st day of each month, and are considered late on the 2nd.  On or about the 6th day of each month, Big Dog Property Management sends a Notice Terminating Right of Occupancy to all tenants whose rent has not been received.  This is technically called a “demand letter” and is the first step in the eviction process.

Six days later, if the tenant has still not paid their rent, Big Dog Property Management begins the process to file for summary ejectment (eviction) at the county courthouse.

As you can see, our rent payment policy is strictly enforced.

How often do you visit the property?

A property evaluation will be conducted prior to tenant move-in, after the tenant moves-out, and within the first 100 days of each 12 month lease term.  Additional property visits can be arranged for a small service fee. When your property is vacant, we will tour the property at least once a month to be on the lookout for any potential vandalism, illegal entry, or other damage to your home.

What is the owner’s reserve?

An owner’s reserve is your money that we hold on to pay any potential invoices.  When we do pay invoices that equate to less than the reserve amount, we will replenish that account when we collect rent from the tenant during the following month. At the termination of our managing your property, providing there are funds available in the owner’s reserve, they will be returned to you.

How much money do you hold in the owner’s reserve?

We hold $350 in your account for repairs.  These funds are to be used if needed to pay for a repair after your rent proceeds have been dispersed

How do you handle repair requests made by the tenant?

Our tenants have the ability of reporting non-emergency maintenance requests through their online tenant portal.  They are encouraged to call the office directly for any emergency repairs.  Our vendors are required to contact the tenant within two business days of the non-emergency trouble call being reported.  We strive to complete most ordinary repair requests within 3 business days or less, and all emergency requests within 24 hours.

Do you have in-house maintenance personnel?

We utilize outside subcontractors and in-house maintenance personnel  to perform services.  Think of it this way:  If we only had in-house maintenance crews, then we would need to keep them busy full time.  Hence, we are sending them out to your property to “look for things to do”.  You don’t want that…and neither do we.

Our vendors can handle most any repairs.  All of our vendors are insured, professional, competitively-priced and responsible.  Should one of our vendors begin to decline in one of those areas, they are dropped from our approved vendor list.

Do I have to use your vendors for repair/maintenance items?

No, you do not.  As long as your pre-approved vendor is licensed, has general liability insurance and provides us with a Complete New Vendor Package, we are okay with using them.  We frown upon home warranty companies though, as the responsiveness of the subcontractors they use is questionable.

Should I purchase a home warranty?
The team members at Big Dog Property Management have had consistently poor experience working with home warranty companies to maintain and repair the homes we manage.  The problems typically have to do with the response times from the home warranty’s contractor.  They are typically very slow to respond.  As we are not the contractor’s client (the home warranty company is), we have no ‘influence’ over the contractor to get him to respond in a timely manner.  Nothing can destroy a tenant’s confidence more than a slow response to water heater, a/c or heat issues.

If you do not have a home warranty, please do not purchase one.  If you do have a home warranty, we request that you let it lapse and do not renew it.

That being said, we will utilize a home warranty if that is your preference.

Am I responsible for all repairs to my property?

Yes, as the property owner, you are responsible for damages occurring from normal wear and tear or functional or economic obsolescence.  Tenant-related damage is carefully covered in the lease and is charged back to the tenant (after the vendor is initially paid by you).

When will I receive my owner statement and funds each month?

Owner statements and payments are reliably processed before the 15th of each month – PROVIDING rental payments are received by your tenant no later than the 5th.  (This gives the time necessary to ensure the payment from the tenant does not come back as NSF).  If your tenant pays after the 5th, your payment and owner statement will be processed within 10 days after funds are received by the tenant.  Rental proceeds will be deposited into your bank account via ACH (electronic transfer).

The Owner’s Report (as available on your online owner portal) shows all income received, expenses paid, and any owner contributions made.  Additionally, end of year reports (along with a 1099) will be prepared and sent to all owners for tax purposes.

What are the leasing and property management fees?

  • Setup/Marketing Fee: None
  • Leasing Fee: 75% of one full month’s rent (min. of $750)
  • Leasing Renewal Fee: $150 covers 12-36 month lease renewals
  • Management Fee: Flat $95 per month

Are there any additional fees that could be charged?

Sometimes property owners ask us to provide property evaluations that are above-and-beyond what is included in our basic scope of services.  For those instances, our fees are as follows:

  • Additional Interior and Exterior Evaluation: $95 per trip
  • Additional Exterior Evaluation: $50 per trip

When late fees are collected from the tenants, what happens with that money?

The choice is yours. If the Agent retains the late fees the Agent files summary ejectment court papers without labor charges.

How am I protected if the tenant damages the property?
The security deposit collected at move-in is intended to cover tenant damage.  If the tenants leave the property owing more than is covered by the security deposit, they will be billed.  If they do not pay, they may be turned over to a collection agency.

What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
Should the tenant wish to be let out of the initial lease on “good terms”, we will prepare an agreement for them to sign that basically states they are responsible for continuing to pay the rent, the utilities and the maintenance on the home until a new tenant’s lease commences.  They are also responsible for paying our leasing fee.  This keeps your costs to a minimum and is part of our tenant replacement guarantee.

How long is your property management contract?

The initial term of our agreement is only 90 days – beyond that, it is a month-to-month agreement, where either party can terminate with 30 days’ written notice.

What do I need to do to get started?

That’s easy!  Just complete and return our Complete New Owner Package found on the “Forms” page of our website.  The Residential Leasing & Property Management Agreement is included in that package as a draft copy only.  We will email a copy to you for electronic signatures.  By our providing it to you initially as a pdf, that gives you time to actually read through the agreement before signing.  We will also need the keys to the property along with a check for the $350 owner’s reserve.  From there, we’re ready to go!

We can start as early as today!

We truly look forward to working with you and caring for your property.  We are available to answer any additional questions you may have.

Contact a Property Manager today.

Ready to learn about our Property Leasing services?