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.
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.
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.
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.
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. should 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. There may still be large scale damage that is not covered by the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy and in these cases, we will need to file a claim against your landlord/dwelling policy. Unfortunately, we cannot research every renter’s insurance policy to understand what it covers and doesn’t cover, however, we will do all we can to minimize expenses for our property owners.
Preventative Maintenance Programs
It’s no surprise that regular preventive maintenance can greatly reduce emergency calls, health and safety issues, and unplanned expenses on rental properties. Lee Property Management works with numerous vendors to provide cost-effective maintenance programs for our owners. Some of these programs may be required while others are offered as options to our owners. Below is a list of preventive maintenance services and how they help keep tenants safe and maintenance costs low.
Fireplace/Chimney Inspections & Cleaning
Properties with wood-burning fireplaces are required to have their fireplaces and chimneys inspected and cleaned if necessary every three (3) years. Regular inspections can reveal issues that, if left unchecked, may result in chimney fires or structural damage to your home. For more information regarding the importance of regular chimney and fireplace inspection and cleaning, please visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America at http://www.csia.org.
Dryer Vent Inspection & Cleaning
Properties with dryer ducts that don’t vent directly to the outside (ducts longer than a few feet or those that have angles and curves in their ducts) are required to be inspected and cleaned every three (3) years. Regular inspections and cleaning will dramatically reduce the risk of dryer vent fires – saving lives and protecting property.
All properties with sprinkler systems are required to have an annual Opening/Winterizing contract. Sprinkler systems that are not tested properly in the spring or closed properly in the fall tend to experience far more malfunctions and damage. Winterizing is especially critical to prevent freezing pipes. If your system is currently under contract with an irrigation vendor, we will simply continue that same contract. If your system has not been professionally maintained, we will work with you to select the best plan from a one of our regular irrigation vendors.
We encourage all of our owners to maintain warranties against wood destroying organisms (primarily termites and fungus). In addition to inspecting for termites once per year, most exterminators will provide information about other property concerns they may find during their inspection including possible plumbing leaks in crawlspaces, fungus, insulation issues and foundation or floor joist damage. We are happy to maintain any contracts already in place on your property or schedule a free inspection and estimate for your house from one of our exterminators.
The heating and air conditioning systems in your property are generally the most expensive components to replace. Spending a small amount of money each year to have them properly inspected and serviced can have a huge impact on the life expectancy of these costly systems. As with other preventive maintenance programs, we can continue to work with your existing HVAC vendor or help you to select an annual plan that fits your budget and provides the services that make sense based on the particular systems in your property.
For owners who want to ensure their lawns stay lush and healthy while their property is rented, an annual lawn care program including fertilizing, weed killing, aerating, seeding and disease treatment is well worth considering. Owners may also choose periodic aerating and seeding as an option.
Professional Home Inspections
As properties age (ten years or older), we encourage our owners to consider a professional home inspection approximately every five (5) years. The home inspector will evaluate the property from the roof to the crawlspace including plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC and appliances. This type of comprehensive inspection can reveal structural and safety related issues that could endanger life and property if left undetected. Past home inspections have uncovered bat colonies in attics and plumbing leaks in crawlspaces. Inspections will also provide owners with an understanding of the remaining life expectancy of important systems in their properties and this will allow owners to better plan and budget for replacement of these systems.
There will be an annual inspection of all smoke detectors in each property by Detector Inspector to be sure all homes are compliant with the law. If a detector is over 10 years old, it will be replaced on the spot. Batteries will be checked and replaced if necessary. A certification certificate will be on file for that property.