OWNER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
How much do you charge?
BAY PROPERTY GROUP’s fee schedule can be found at Management Fees. Our standard rate is 6% with a lease-up fee of first month's rent.
Can I use my own contractors for repairs?
Yes and No. Over the past decades, we have put just about every contractor to the test. Cost is always important, but as you know, sometimes you get what you pay for. The contractors we use have proven to provide low costs and quality work.
Most of our contractors are small companies with little overhead. We believe that this is how we can keep costs down as well as ensure quality of work. Also, we give them a lot of work, so we typically get better pricing than anyone else.
With that said, we are always willing to try someone new to put them to the test. However, we do require that they have all appropriate licenses and registrations, complete a W-9, have worker’s compensation insurance, and have a general liability insurance policy.
If we and the property owner agree to test out their contractor, the instructions need to come through our office. We have a work order system and if we do anything outside of the system, things can go wrong.
What is your advertising and tenant lead generation procedures?
Often owners think that advertising is paid by the management company, when in actuality it is most likely charged to the Owner. BAY PROPERTY GROUP posts listings onto our website and hundreds of other sites. Our GOOGLE and YAHOO search engine placement is very high. Additionally, we advertise in local rental magazines, as well as the classified section of the local paper.
Who pays for advertising?
The Owner is responsible for all advertising costs. The management agreement allows up to $50 per week in advertising costs, which we are always able to be below.
Can tenants apply online?
Our website is simple in design but probably the most powerful property management website in the Bay Area. Each of our listings allows the prospective renter to either download our application to rent or complete an online application. Our tenants can pay online, submit a maintenance request online, as well as view our tenant FAQs and maintenance FAQs and troubleshooting guide.
Our owners have similar functionality. BAY PROPERTY GROUP understands that everyone communicates differently.
How long does it take to rent out a house?
Renting a property depends on price, condition, location, and the market. Our goal is to select a qualified tenant as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days. Since we have access to valuable rental statistics, it’s our job to advise you on price, condition, location, and market conditions so that we can achieve this goal.
What is your tenant criteria?
Our rental policies are posted on our website. We hire a third party company which checks credit, criminal background to include sex offender records, landlord references, prior rental history, eviction, bankruptcy, lawsuits, judgments, liens, collections, fraud, bad checks, FICO score, Social Security ID check, Patriot Act records, name verification, address verification, identity validation, and employment and income verification. Some property managers do very little screening. Many owners are very tempted to go with these companies, because they also boast higher rents and shorter rent-up periods. Unfortunately, that tends to be a short-term gain, as the damages, eviction costs, and re-rent costs are much greater. BAY PROPERTY GROUP is confident that any lower rents or any longer rent-up periods caused by our strict screening process actually improve our property owner’s bottom line.
Can I find my own tenant?
Of course you can, but BAY PROPERTY GROUP will require that the tenant complete an application, pay the application fee, and be submitted to our screening company. All of this screening isn’t just there to find you a quality tenant, but it is also there to reduce risk to both the property manager and you as the property owner. With all of the identity theft and lawsuits arising from landlord/tenant relationships, thorough tenant screening is becoming more and more the norm. These are also the reasons why so many landlords are hiring professional property managers to manage their rentals.
What is a quality tenant?
Most property managers look for A-tenants, while the rest of the world is looking for B-tenants. A-tenants are motivated, ready to move, and are qualified. They have good credit, stable jobs, and funds for the security deposit. A-tenants are less likely to try and negotiate the rent or security deposit and more likely to pay their rent on time, each and every month.
In general, A-tenants are going to be easier to manage. However, B-tenants can be just as good, which is why we do allow for some exceptions to some of our criteria which are cured by either a co-signer or a larger deposit.
May I get out of the management agreement?
BAY PROPERTY GROUP demands that our staff provide you and your tenants with prompt and satisfactory service. If you ever have a question or concern, you can contact any of us, to include the President, at any time. If after talking to the principals and Bay Property Group, you still are not 100% satisfied with our service, BAY PROPERTY GROUP will agree to allow you out of your contract, free of penalties and fees.
May I get out of the lease with the tenant?
The lease we use is a legal binding document, but we can try and negotiate on your behalf. If both parties mutually agree, the lease may be terminated. This process, however, does require upfront and honest communications with BAY PROPERTY GROUP. The owner is not to contact the tenant directly for any reason.
BAY PROPERTY GROUP has never had a dispute with a property owner that required a judge to decide. Our management agreement is designed to protect BAY PROPERTY GROUP and the property owner. We do not allow any changes or omissions from the management agreement because once executed, it is filed away and never looked at again. Our systems are built around that management agreement and we won’t know that your agreement is different from anyone else’s.
BAY PROPERTY GROUP exerts all of its energy the first week of each month on collecting rents. Adhering to trust accounting requirements, we must let rent checks season before dispersing funds to the owner. Therefore we hold off on completing owner statements and depositing funds directly into our property owner’s accounts until after the 10th of each month. Additionally, if we pays any bills on your behalf, we generally do these between the 1st and 10th of the month, as we need the rent money to make those payments.
Collecting late rent is a very difficult job. We could actually get away with less staff if all tenants paid their rent on time. And if tenants would just communicate when they don’t pay their rent on time, it would be a lot easier. But as it is, our leasing agents have to turn into debt collectors and begin a very aggressive regime to collect money on behalf of our property owners. So, BAY PROPERTY GROUP retains all late fees to help pay for this extra and unpleasant labor.
Inspecting your rental property is just something that needs to be done. At the same time, we also want the tenant to feel like the rental is their home. We want to minimize any interference with their peaceful enjoyment of the home. We have learned over the years that the more we leave the tenants alone, the longer they tend to stay.
With that said, there are times that an inspection is needed. First, let us explain all that we do to make sure that your home is well taken care of, and then explain the process for additional inspections. When we take the property on, we conduct an initial inspection which generally includes a written report and photos. Next we conduct move-in inspections and move-out inspection with all tenants. The property owner receives a written report with photos after each and every move-out inspection.
Additionally, we conduct visual inspections at least once a month. If a visual inspection suggests any reason to be concerned, we will give notice to enter and inspect. Also, if the tenant fails to pay rent and fails to communicate to the office, we give notice and inspect.
Rents are due on the 1st of the month, but not penalized until after the grace period Once grace period has expired, our leasing agents put on their debt-collector hats and start calling. Soon after, we deliver 3-day notices to pay or vacate for all tenants who failed to communicate and/or make arrangement to pay rent. If we still don’t hear from the tenant after the 3 days, our owners will be notified and we give the tenant notice to enter and inspect. About mid month, our General Manager will be contacting you and giving you a full report of what actions have been made as well as make recommendations on how to proceed.
Because BAY PROPERTY GROUP’s tenant screening is so thorough, tenant damages are limited. However, even with the strictest criteria, things happen. The hope is that their security deposit will cover the damages, but unfortunately the market has caused security deposit amounts to drop and in many cases there won’t be enough to pay for the damages. In that event, we get a judgment and collect the funds in small amounts over a period of years. Basically, this concern is why our acceptance criteria is as strict as it is. It can take months of rent to cover the costs of one bad tenant. This is also why more and more landlords are turning to professional property managers to manage their rentals.
The property management company is a neutral third party. It’s one of the reasons that tenants come to a property manager. In today’s economic environment, tenants want to make sure they know that their security deposit is safe.