Rental Process


Where do you advertise my property?

We advertise on many different web sites including the military’s AHRN.COM (Automated Housing Referral Network), MilitaryByOwner.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, Hotpads.com and Homes.com. We periodically will test other web sites and add them to our list of regular sites if they generate good leads.

Who Pays for Advertising?

Lee Property Management pays for all the upfront costs involved in renting your house including advertising, professional photography, showings, processing applications, the time of the dedicated Transition Manger, etc. There is no upfront fee to list your property with us. Owners reimburse us for our initial investment in time and advertising through the “Leasing Fee” which is a percentage of the 1st month’s rent. Leasing fees are set in advance as part of the Management Agreement. A Leasing Fee is paid each time we have to secure a new tenant for your property. However, if a tenant renews their lease year after year, there is no Leasing Fee charged.

How long does it normally take to find a tenant?

Although there are no guarantees in this business, we generally find it takes between 30-60 days to secure a tenant. There is generally a higher demand for housing in the summer months and lower demand in winter months. Season, as well as listing price and property condition, have a significant impact in the time it takes to rent a property.

How is the listing price set?

LPM will do a market analysis just before beginning to advertise the property. We will discuss a recommended listing price with you, but ultimately you will set the price and control any price reductions while the property is listed.

I only want to rent to military families. Can you do this?

Federal Fair Housing laws as well as the ethical philosophy of our company prohibit us from any type of discrimination based on race, color, religion, familial status, gender, sexual orientation, elderliness, or disability. We are committed to the practice of fair housing.

What criteria do you use for approving applications?

Applicants are approved based on credit worthiness, rental history (if applicable), level of income and income stability.

What if I don't want pets in my house?

There are no laws regarding “pet discrimination." You can define various rules and restrictions against pets and these will be listed in the Management Agreement. Restrictions may include “dogs ok but no cats,” “only pets under 25lbs,” “limit 1 pet,” etc.

If I do allow pets, how do you go about approving them?

We have standard restrictions for pets regarding age (no puppies or kittens), size and breed. Our goal is to ensure that the pet is a good fit for the house and the house is a good fit for the pet. We will always charge a refundable pet deposit for each animal. This deposit is a minimum of $250 but can be higher depending on the situation.

Do you allow smoking in the properties you manage?

We do not allow smoking in any interior portion of the property to include the garage. This is clearly identified in our ads as well as in the lease each tenant signs.

Accounting & Owner Payments


When do owners get paid?

Owners who are paid electronically should expect to receive a payment of rental proceeds on the second business day after we receive a rent payment from the tenant. Rent is due on the 1st of every month and is considered late on the 5th day of every month. Owners who have requested printed checks be mailed to them are subject to delays caused by the USPS and we cannot therefore guarantee when these owners will receive their rent payments.

When are monthly account statements sent to me?

Statements are emailed or mailed by the 10th of each month.

What does my monthly account statement show me?

The monthly statement will show you all income and expenses since the prior month’s statement was issued. Your account should begin with a positive amount ($200-$300) called the Building or Maintenance Reserve (explained below). Next, you will see a section showing income which will include rent paid by the tenant and possibly refunds and/or reimbursements paid into your account by tenants, utilities or vendors. The next section shows expenses paid from your rental account including our management fee, maintenance and repair expenses, utility payments if applicable, HOA dues if applicable, and the amount disbursed to you as your owner payment. After income and expenses are reconciled, your account should display a remaining balance equal to the amount at the top of the statement.

What is a “Building Reserve” or “Maintenance Reserve”?

The reserve is withheld from your first rent payment and maintained for the life of our relationship. This money provides funding for repair and maintenance items or other expenses such as Home Owner Association fees. When you terminate your management contract with LPM, the balance of your reserve is refunded to you.

Note that our accounting software program allows us to create multiple “Reserve” accounts. Owners may choose to fund a secondary reserve account as a way to budget for future expenses such as roof replacement, new windows, flooring, etc. Please contact our office manager, Karen Kern, to discuss this option.

I don’t understand a charge I see on my monthly account statement. How can I get more information or a receipt?

Just reply to the email and ask for clarification or call the office at 757-265-1525. We will be glad to research the expense and provide additional details or send you a copy of a specific invoice.

Why didn’t I know about one of the expenses I see on my statement? Shouldn’t you ask me for approval for all repairs?

The terms of our contract with you allow us to take care of any minor maintenance or repair that we feel is necessary as long as the work costs less than $250. We also don’t seek initial approval for emergency situations such as water related issues, electrical shorts, heat issues in winter, air conditioning issues in summer, etc. We will notify you of emergencies and how we handled them as soon as it is feasible to do so.

What do I do with the Annual Owner’s Statement you send with my 1099?

The Annual Owner’s Statement is a consolidated profit and loss statement for your rental property. It includes a summary of expenses by category that is helpful in preparing your taxes. If you can’t match the total year-to-date charges with your statements, check your monthly statements or just contact our office via phone or email.

Who pays the HOA fees if they are required for my neighborhood?

You may continue to pay HOA fees or LPM can pay them from your property’s rental income. Many owners prefer to have LPM pay all of the expenses on their property to make tracking expenses easier. If your property is in a covenant-protected neighborhood, you will need to contact the HOA to let them know we manage your house either way. If we will be paying the HOA dues, you need to let the HOA know to mail dues notices and coupons to us.

Who pays for termite and other contracts?

Termite contracts, HVAC contracts, irrigation contracts, etc., are best paid by LPM and paid from your rental income. This makes it easier for us to be sure the services are performed and also allows you to better track your property expenses. At the end of the year, we’ll send you a consolidated profit & loss statement that neatly categorizes your year-to-date expenses. We ask that you contact all vendors and provide them with our contact and billing information.

What happens if there is a large expense such as a new roof? Do I have to pay all at once? Can I use a credit card?

Many of our vendors accept credit cards and you may either pay them directly with a credit card or we can use an LPM corporate card to pay the expense. If vendors do not accept credit cards, we can frequently work with vendors who provide us with interest free financing. Credit cards and payment plans allow us to work with you to get the required work done in a timely fashion while providing some relief from large, upfront costs.

As another option for large planned expenses like roofs, windows or exterior painting, we can build up extra money in your maintenance reserve over time before making the purchase.

Property Transitions


What is a “Transition” and how does it work?

A Transition is the process of moving out one occupant (owner or tenant) and moving in another occupant (tenant or returning owner). The transition process begins when we sign a management agreement with a new owner or receive notice to vacate from a current tenant. The process ends when a new tenant checks into the property.

The transition process includes advertising a property for rent, performing a “pre-move out” inspection at the property to identify any issues, working with an owner or tenant to prepare the property for “check out”, scheduling utility transfers as appropriate, getting estimates for maintenance work, communicating with owners regarding recommended work, scheduling vendors to do work while the property is empty, working with the incoming tenant to ensure a smooth “check in”, taking photos and preparing an inspection report to document the “pre-tenant” condition of the property, etc.

LPM assigns a dedicated Transition Manager to handle each property transition. This staff member will see the process through from beginning to end and will keep you informed of all that is happening during the process.

Can I do my own transition maintenance?

Yes, you may do your own transition maintenance but you will need to meet the timeline set forth by your Transition Manager. Again, we offer you our list of Preferred Vendors because we know and trust these vendors to quality work in a timely fashion and at a reasonable price.

Why am I being charged for grass mowing during transition?

If a property is empty for a week or longer in the summer, it is necessary to cut the grass to maintain the house in good condition. We may also need to weed landscape beds and prune shrubs depending on how long the house is empty. Landscaping and lawn work between tenant occupancy is an owner expense. This includes leaf removal in the fall.

Why am I being charged for rekeying locks?

Whenever a tenant moves locally, we have the locks rekeyed. We don’t do this when tenants are moving out of state or out of the country unless the incoming tenant specifically request it be done. This is an owner expense.

Repair and Maintenance


Can I choose my own contractors?

You are free to list on the “Owner Information Sheet” any vendors you would like us to use. As long as those vendors provide responsive, quality service, we are happy to use them. If you do not specify particular contractors, we will assign repair and maintenance items to our standard list of Preferred Vendors because we trust these vendors to do good work promptly and at reasonable prices.

Can I trust the vendors on your Preferred Vendor List? Do you check on the performed work?

We select the best contractors/vendors possible based on personal recommendations and experiences. We do check on their work and they will be removed from our list if ever we are displeased with their service.

Why don’t you call me to get approval for ALL maintenance & repair work?

Unfortunately, there is no way we can contact all owners every time there is a problem at their property. We simply don’t have enough time and staff to do this as well as provide responsive service to your tenants. Our contract with owners allows us to make maintenance and repair decisions for work under $250 or in emergency situations. If a non-emergency repair will cost more than $250, we will contact you for approval. If there is an emergency, we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know what happened, how we handled it and how much we estimate it will cost.

Will you handle insurance claims for me?

Absolutely! Owners are required to list Lee Property Management as “additional insured” on their property insurance policy. In addition to providing liability coverage for us as your Agent, naming us on your policy also grants permission to your insurance company to work with us on claims. If there is a catastrophic loss at your property (flood, storm damage, fire, etc.), we will handle all the paperwork and coordination between the insurance company and vendors.

What if the tenant causes damage that needs to be repaired?

Our vendors are always looking out for our best interest which is one of the reasons we use them consistently. If a vendor suspects that a repair must be done due to tenant neglect or abuse, they will notify us of that fact. We will pay the vendor for his work and then will send a letter and copy of the bill to the tenant for reimbursement. Common items charged back to tenants include jammed garbage disposals, clogged plumbing, and resetting tripped circuit breakers.

Large scale tenant-caused issues such as water damage from by overflowing washing machines or clogged toilets, appliance breakage, garage door damage, etc. would be covered under the tenant’s Renter’s Insurance policy. All tenants are required to have insurance to cover their personal property in case of catastrophic loss and also to cover any damage they do to the property during their tenancy.

Property Inspections


I'm coming to town. Can I see my property?

Yes. Call the office and let us know when you will be available and we can arrange for one of our agents to meet you and the tenant. Please provide as much notice as possible so that we have time to make arrangements with the current tenant.

How do you make sure my house is in good shape and the tenant is following the terms of the lease? Do you inspect the homes on a regular basis?

We inspect every property at least once a year to make sure that tenants are taking good care of your property. If we have any cause for concern, we have the right to inspect the property more frequently. You will be notified of any concerns after an inspection and we discuss with you how to handle the specific situation.

During these inspections we are also taking note of any maintenance and repair items including exterior pressure washing, moisture damage, deck & fence issues, etc. In addition, we note items that should be considered during the next transition such as new flooring, light fixtures, appliances, etc. This helps to lessen work required at transition time and it maintains the value of your property, assuring an optimum rental rate.