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Owner FAQs

  1. Are Property Management costs and expenses tax deductible?
    Per the IRS many costs for your rental houses are tax deductible including Management fees please see  http://www.irs.gov/publications/p527/ch01.html
  2. Do you handle evictions?
    We will hire a professional Eviction attorney to handle the Eviction process.   The approximate cost to the owner for an un-contested eviction is $600-$650 in attorney’s fees.  
  3. Do you have references?
    Of course,  please see our ratings on Zillow (Sheri Drake)
  4. Does Elite obtain owner approval before doing any maintenance work?
    Our standard Property Management agreement authorizes us to approve repairs up to $300 per occurrence (some agreements may vary).   Anything in excess will need to be approved by the owner in writing or email. Through your owner portal you will be able to view maintenance requests we receive from tenants and are welcome to call us to discuss any you are concerned about.   
  5. How do you advertise my home for rent?  
    Your home will be advertised on all the major  rental websites including Zillow,  Rent.com and Craigslist.   It will also be featured on our own Rental website.   A Yard sign will be placed on the home and buyers can access information about your home 24/7 on our website.   Additional advertising is available upon seller request and  at seller’s expense.
  6. How do you qualify tenants, do I have any say?  
    Our goal is to provide you with a well qualified tenant with as little vacancy time as possible.   We will run a full credit report that includes eviction judgment history and criminal history,  in addition tenants will be required to submit paystubs for 2 months and we must verify employment history by calling and speaking with the employer.   Tenants should have been employed for 2 years at the same location or in a similar line of work.   Please see our Tenant Qualifications Tab for a full run down of our screening requirements. There are some cases where a tenant has extenuating circumstances,  a co-qualifier or a good compensating factor.   In these cases we will call to discuss the potential candidate with the owner.  
  7. How does Elite choose what contractors and vendors to work with?   
    Our vendors are chosen for many factors,  first we work with reputable companies who have proper licensing,  past history with us and are dependable and will respond timely to repair requests.    We are familiar with standard industry pricing and expect our vendors to provide fair pricing,  timely response and ethical evaluations of the repairs needed.   When we feel a price does not make sense we will question the price with the vendor.  In emergency situations and after hours some costs will be higher than during business hours.   We treat your rental like we treat our rentals and use the same vendors on our own rentals. Currently we have no affiliated business interests in the repair people we use.
  8. How long does it take to find a renter?
    Most of our properties rent with in 30 days or less,  however we can’t  guarantee how quickly a home will rent.   Many factors will affect your time on the market such as price you are offering,  condition of the home, amenities your home has,  location of the home and price range.   Our property management contract allows us 3 months to rent the home.
  9. How much can I rent my home for?
    We will do a rental evaluation on your home after we see the interior of the property.   We will discuss the pros and cons of your home and suggest a rental amount to you.   We have lots of experience pricing rentals and can help you make a good decision.
  10. I have a rental home currently occupied by a tenant… will you take it over?   
    Yes
  11. I have a rental home with a problem tenant… will you take it over?  
    We will sit down with you and review your current situation,  your contracts with the tenant and discuss the problems you are having.   We are here to help !!   If we feel it’s a problem that can be dealt with we will take it on!  Many times tenants respond more favorably to professional property manager than they do the owner of the home.   We have lots of legal knowledge in our arsenal to help you with tenant problems.
  12. I need some help repairing or rehabbing my home… will you help me?   
    Yes,  for a fee we coordinate major repairs  Minor repairs we will help you coordinate for free.   We will review with you the scope of work and discuss a fair fee.
  13. I own a rental home that has lost value. How long will it take for my home to recover the equity I’ve lost in my home?
    Although we do not have a crystal ball to predict the market,  we can certainly keep you updated on the market values .   We also sell homes and would gladly make you aware when it is time for you to sell your home !!
  14. I see that Elite is a newer property management company. Why should I hire you?
    Our DBA is new,  our company is NOT.   Sheri Drake has been a broker for over 15 years.   She once owned a large RE/MAX Franchise in town,  managing over 40 agents many of which handled property management.   In addition she was hired by Federal Home Loan Mortgage corporation as a broker to manage their corporate owned inventory and has managed literally 1000’s of REO properties through the years.   Being a rental owner herself and having hired property manager for her personal homes she is very aware of what kind of communication and service an owner desires and is willing to go the extra mile for her clients.
  15. I see there are different kinds of inspections available. How does Elite inspect my home?   
    Elite will conduct drive by inspections every 3 months and also upon request or need.   Interior inspection will be done annually.   Interior inspections may also be done if there is an emergency or legally justifiable purpose and will be done proper legal notice.   There are many legalities surrounding entering a rental unit (even if you are the owner) and Elite will always following good legal protocol on such matters to keep you,  the owner in legal compliance.
  16. I want to buy an investment property… will you help me?  
    Definitely,  we have helped hundreds of investors with the purchase of investment properties and own our own as well.
  17. I want to rent my home… Can you advertise my home before I’ve moved out?
    Yes,  we can advertise occupied homes and work with you to find a renter before you move so that your vacancy costs are lowered.
  18. I would like to do the repair work on my rental property myself. Is this permissible?  
    Yes and No.  99% of our owners direct Elite Property Management to handle all repairs because of our volume, we get discounted rates and we have a long list of professionals who can jump right on the job and get it done.  Because of this, we have developed systems so that these repairs are done timely, cost effective, and with professional workmanship.  So when an owner requests to do work, it’s outside of our systems and the opportunity for error is greater. With that said, we have had some owners that are professional tradesmen, such as an owner of a heating and cooling company.  In this case, it makes sense to utilize the property owner’s own company to service their rental property.  In these cases, we do require all of the paperwork to include licenses and insurances as we do from all of our other vendors.  However, in the case of an afterhours call, we cannot guarantee that the owner or owner’s company will be called, as these calls are made afterhours and the on-call person does not always have access to the computer system.  In such event, they will call our primary on-call vendor.
  19. I would like to reserve part of my property (a garage, shed, or other room) as personal storage space that the tenant does not have access to. Is this possible?  
    If your lease states that a portion of the property will be reserved for Landlord’s storage purposes and the lease is clear on the matter this is possible.  HOWEVER,  it is NOT recommended.  There are many issues surrounding this arrangement.  For example,  if you need something that is in storage you can not simply walk onto the property and get your belongings,  you would have to give the tenant legal notice to enter the property.   Also the lease would need to spell out that the tenants are NOT responsible for the security or safety of your belongings and you would have to assume the risk of vandalism,  theft or your belongings being destroyed.  There may be other insurance issues also involved.   We have seen many problems arise from these type situations and discourage this.  Let’s talk !
  20. What are your credentials/qualifications?
    Elite Property Management (Sheryl Drake, Broker)  is  licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).
  21. What areas do you cover?
    Many areas of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. (See our Coverage Map)
  22. What happens if my renter is late making rent payments?
    Your lease agreement gives the tenants a 4 day grace period (Due on the 1st,   Plus 4 days grace =   They must have their rent in by the 5th).   If the rent is not in they will be served with a legal 3 day notice to pay rent or quit by email,  delivery to the home and we will call the tenant.   If no communication is received after the 3 day notice expires we will contact you the owner to discuss Eviction options.
  23. What happens if my tenant needs after-hours emergency maintenance?  
    They will be able to go on line to their tenant portal and request maintenance and they will have a 24 hour phone line that reaches a member of our staff.  We have vendors available to handle emergency’s 24/7.
  24. What kind of Insurance should I get for my rental home?  
    Most insurers will recommend what is commonly referred to as a “Landlord’s Policy”.  This is not the same as your regular “homeowner’s insurance”, there are important differences.  Please  consult your insurance provider for the best advice.
  25. What percentage of tenants requires eviction?
    Nationally the average is somewhere between 5-7% of tenants requiring eviction.    Our average is much lower as our screening criteria is strict.   However,  even the most unlikely tenants can lose jobs,  get divorced or face illness that changes their personal circumstances and ability to pay rent.   
  26. When do I receive my rent check?   
    We distribute paid rents (minus management fees) by the 12th of every month.   
  27. Who holds the tenant’s security deposit?  
    Security Deposits are held in the Broker’s trust account.
  28. Who pays for repairs at my rental home?  
    You do.   We require you to deposit $300 into the Broker’s trust account as repair reserves.   When this amount is depleted it will be replenished either when the rent arrives or we will request a check from you.   We have an approval process we follow to allow you to authorize repairs.  It will be part of your property management agreement.
  29. Will you find a renter for me if I want to manage my own home?
    Yes,   we do this as well.  Call for a quote.
  30. How often will you inspect my home?
    Elite Property Management does annual Property Maintenance inspections which allows us to ascertain the condition of the home and confirm that plumbing, electrical, health and safety issues are addressed and the home is in habitable condition.      We also do a drive by/exterior inspection every three months and at various other times if we are alerted of issues or have concerns.   
  31. How do inspections work?  
    Legal notice must be given in non-emergency situations.   Although a 24 hour notice of entry is sufficient in some situations,  there must be legal cause for this.   Annual inspections are usually schedule 1-2 weeks in advance. 
  32. What if my tenant is not keeping up the yard?
    The lease contract does cover maintenance of the yards and watering,  however  condition is very subjective and hard to legally enforce.    In the event the tenant is not keeping up the yard their lease agreement does allow us to hire a gardener and charge the tenant for upkeep.   However,  many times it is a watering issue and the tenant is paying the water bill.   If you are concerned about the exterior landscaping of your home we suggest that you have the lawns maintained by a professional gardener and consider paying the water bill.  This can be part of the original lease agreement and can be accommodated for in the rent amount.   During the summer months tenants try to save money by lowering their water bill, thus lawns are not as green as we’d like to see them.    Even well intentioned tenants sometimes let the lawns go.
  33. What about the inside condition?   What if they don’t take care of the house?
    We find that when we stick to our strict screening standards we attract a higher quality of renter.   However,  there will be times when even the best renters do not take care of the home as well as the owner would like.  Condition is very subjective and normal wear and tear is expected.  We always look to our lease agreement in determining if a tenant is inside or outside of his legal obligations regarding condition of the home.   If we determine the tenant is not acting in accordance with the lease we will take the appropriate steps.   We can provide you with some great  some great publications that discuss issues such as condition of the home and what is legal and what is not legal in handling the situation.
  34. What About When My Tenant Moves Out,  how is that handled?
    Prior to move out the tenant may request a pre-move out inspection with us,  we also provide them with a list of items they must clean ,  we go through the home and make them aware of any conditions that would cause us to deduct from the security deposit so that they may fix the issues prior to moving out.   It is our goal that with our strict screening,  pre-move out inspections and  cleaning standards the home will be left in good condition with expected wear and tear.   The security deposit will be deducted from in the event there is damage.   Curing the final inspection after move out,  we photograph the condition of the home and will review the prior condition.   We will consider the time they have been in the home and normal wear and tear.   There are common industry standards in regards to what conditions can be deducted from based on the time the tenant has been living in the home.   We have 21 days to provide the tenant with a breakdown of what they are being charged out of their security deposit.