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Owner FAQs

Owner FAQs

These are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions from Owners

How long will it take to rent my property?
How do you determine the rental rate?
How will you advertise/market my property?
How do you check the applicant’s credit/reference history?
How much do you charge to lease my home?
Who collects the rent?  When do I get paid?
What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent?
What happens if the tenant has a maintenance problem?
How much do you charge to manage my property?
Can I sell the property to the tenant?
Can I sell the property to someone else if the tenant can’t buy it?
Does retaining a management company mean I won’t have any problems with my
property?

How long have you been in business?

How long will it take to rent my property?

We will recommend a rental rate and terms that we think will attract a qualified tenant within 30 days. Market conditions vary and we can’t make any guarantees as to when we will get a qualified applicant. Some properties lease immediately. Others take longer. We will provide you with updates as we get feedback from the market so that we can modify the price or terms if necessary.

How do you determine the rental rate?

We manage several hundred rental homes. We also have access to listing information on many more units through the multiple listing service and internet. After inspecting your home we can make recommendations to you on items that might enhance your homes value. Once we know your home and your goals we can use our knowledge of the current market situation to recommend a rental rate. It’s your property- we recommend and you decide.

How will you advertise/market my property?

Almost all of our applicants tell us they found the house on the internet. Choice Homes Atlanta posts properties on several national web sites in addition to our own site. We also use signs and newspaper ads to promote properties we manage. We analyze each property based on its own unique circumstances to design a specific marketing plan which promotes your property under the most favorable conditions.

How do you check the applicant’s credit/reference history?

One of the most important aspects of making your experience as a Landlord rewarding is placing the right tenant in your property. While no one can discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, or familial status we can discriminate on the basis of credit and rental history. Once we have an application generated from our marketing efforts we conduct a detailed background check on the applicants. We want to make sure we avoid the applicants that know how to hide their previous bad credit and landlord history. Some applicants can be very deceptive, even to the point of having friends or family members pose as former landlords or employers so that the information sounds good to the landlord conducting the background check.  To reduce the possibility of being deceived by an applicant Choice Homes Atlanta uses a multi-tiered background check to cross-reference each applicant. Our background checks consist of: Our agents will ask to see a picture ID to confirm that the person on whom we are about to run the background check is the same person that will reside in the property. Some applicants will use another person’s name and social security number so that you won’t see their true credit.  We are on-line with CBI/Equifax and pull an original credit report on the individual. We compare the addresses from the credit bureau with the addresses on the application. We examine their credit history carefully to look for other payment problems.  We send the information through a company called National Tenant Network, which has a database of Magistrate’s Court filings in major cities. They scan their database to see if the applicant has had dispossessory warrants filed against them, which often don’t show up on a credit report.  We will contact their employer to confirm their source of income. To ensure that we are talking to the correct party we will cross reference using the telephone book to ensure that the company does exist, that the applicant and “supervisor” really do work there, and that the “supervisor” can validate the applicant’s employment. Some applicant’s have had us call a co-worker who would validate a higher income than that which the applicant actually earns.  The most important indication of the applicant’s qualifications is often the landlord reference. Verifying residency with another professional property manager is normally simple, straight forward, and accurate. However, most residents of single-family homes lease directly from the property’s owner. After contacting the individual listed on the application and asking a series of questions regarding the applicant’s rental history, we try to verify that we are talking to the legitimate landlord.  We have the ability to check property ownership based on county property tax records. When the landlord is an individual we try to cross check the tax records to ensure we are talking to the actual owner. On several occasions we have caught applicants trying to deceive us by giving us a name and telephone number of their “landlord” who was actually a friend or acquaintance. When we reached the actual owner and got the correct
information their application was denied.  A thorough background check is crucial to avoid costly mistakes with your property. A bad tenant can be a very expensive ordeal due to lost rent; extra time spent having to deal with them, and damage to the property. While no background check can eliminate the risk of a problem tenant, our thorough examination of their rental history can significantly reduce your risk.

How much do you charge to lease my home?

Generally we charge a $300 fee to place a tenant for a one year lease term.  We call this a “Procurement Fee”. We offer monthly management discounts for owners that have multiple properties. These discounts are quoted on a case by case basis.

Who collects the rent? When do I get paid?

The tenant makes all payments to Choice Homes Atlanta. The security deposits are maintained in one escrow account. All rents and other
payments are deposited into a separate escrow account. We will deduct our management fee and any other expenses that have been authorized and send the balance to you. We send out statements on the 9th of each month (or the next business day thereafter). We can mail you a check with the statement or we can deposit the money directly into your bank account for you (direct deposit).

What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent?

In our lease form we give the tenant a 5 day grace period to pay the rent on time. On the 6th we tell the computer to post late fees for any tenants that have not paid yet. Then “Demand Letters” are generated and mailed. Under Georgia law we must first notify the tenant that they are in default on the lease and the Landlord must “demand possession” of the property before a dispossessory warrant can be requested from the court. We send these demand letters out on the 6th. We will try to contact the tenant and find out why  the rent hasn’t been paid.  If we still haven’t received the rent by the middle of the month, depending on the particular circumstances with each tenant, we start filing warrants.  As necessary we will go to court, arrange to get the “writ of possession” from the court and, if necessary, meet the sheriff at the property with a “put out” crew to remove the tenant and their things from the property. Why the tenant can’t pay the rent is not really relevant. What ever their circumstances, they do not become your own personal charity case. We can help tenants with legitimate problems find help from different charitable organizations. But we are retained by you to protect your interests.  If the tenant can’t pay the rent we need to find a new tenant that can. Back to Top

What happens if the tenant has a maintenance problem?

The tenant contacts us to report all maintenance problems. We can be reached any time of the day or night including holidays. Our property managers rotate being “on call” so that someone can always be available to handle emergencies. Upon receiving an “emergency maintenance” message our voicemail system will page the manager on call so that we can get the emergency under control. In the management agreement you set a “repair limit” which tells us when, based on the estimated cost of the repair, you want to be involved in handling a maintenance problem. For non-emergencies, we will contact you first or we will handle the repair on your behalf depending on the repair limit you set. You can choose a dollar limit of zero or some higher figure at your option. Please note that this repair limit is based on non-emergency repairs. We will handle emergencies immediately, based on our judgment and experience, to protect your property from suffering any further damage. In general, the repair limit is set to $200.

How much do you charge to manage my property?

Generally speaking we charge  8% of the amount we collect from the tenant as our management fee. There is no minimum monthly fee.  If you don’t get paid – we don’t get paid!   For owners that choose to have their statements sent out on the 9th of the month AND they want the statement mailed by U.S. Post, the management fee is 8%.  If you have multiple properties you will receive a flat rate of $80 per property.  No matter what the rental rate, your management fee on each property will remain the same.    Back to Top
Can I sell the property to the tenant?  Yes! If you (we) sell the property to a tenant that Choice Homes Atlanta placed, our management agreement sets out that you will pay PPM 3.5% of the purchase price. After all, PPM brought you the “buyer”. We will help prepare the contracts, arrange financing, and coordinate all of the tasks required to successfully close the sale.

Can I sell the property to the tenant?

Yes! If you (we) sell the property to a tenant that Choice Homes Atlanta placed, our management agreement sets out that you will pay PPM 3.5% of the purchase price. After all, PPM brought you the “buyer”. We will help prepare the contracts, arrange financing, and coordinate all of the tasks required to successfully close the sale.

Can I sell the property to someone else if the tenant can’t buy it?

Yes! Many leases include a clause that allows the tenant to terminate the lease early in exchange for paying certain penalties. Our lease form also has a clause that allows the owner to terminate the lease early. If you need
to sell your property, and the tenant is not willing or able to buy it, we would try to get the tenant on a month to month basis so you can sell the property and only be required to give the tenant a 30 day notice to vacate.
If you can’t wait until the lease term expires then the clause described above still gives you the option to sell the property even though the lease hasn’t expired. Our management agreement places no limit on you selling the property to someone other than the tenant. You can sell it yourself, list it for sale with another broker, or list it for sale through PPM. We have a great deal of experience selling property that is occupied by tenants.

Does retaining a management company mean I won’t have any problems with my property?

NO! If you own rental property then over a period of time you will have problems of one sort or another. Whether the problems are related to maintaining the property or dealing with the tenant there will be problems that need to be resolved. Retaining Choice Homes Atlanta to manage your property will eliminate some but not all potential problems. Our experience will help reduce the number of problems related to rental property. Those problems that can’t be avoided must be solved. Our expertise will help reduce the aggravation and potentially higher expenses related to solving these problems. We can’t keep all bad things from happening but we can handle solving the problem for you so that you don’t have to handle it yourself.

How long have you been in business?

Our company has been in business since January of 2005. Our experience enables us to make recommendations to you, which help assure that your property continues to grow in value. Our goal is to maximize your return on investment. We are members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers which is an organization of professionals that specialize in the management of single family homes and small apartments. Our property managers, agents, and employees receive industry specific continuing education and market information. Our expertise will help improve your net cash flow. While our experience and expertise help us avoid making most costly errors, no one can guarantee that a problem will not occur related to your property. Excellent service results in a more rewarding and enjoyable experience for you as a landlord. It is important that you entrust your property to an organization with a proven ability to perform.

 

Request Information

If you would like a package of information to review, which includes a copy of our lease and management agreement, click here.