HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE TO MANAGE MY PROPERTY?
Generally speaking we charge as little as 10% and as much as 12% of the amount we collect from the tenant as our management fee. There are no additional fees. The range depends on the rental rate of the property, the age of the property, and the type of property. There is no minimum monthly fee. If you don't get paid - we don't get paid! We can mail or email your statement and we can deposit your rental payments for you or mail you a check.
Rather than trying to beat everyone else’s price, we focus on beating everyone else’s service! Our actions speak for themselves. We manage your property as if it were our own. Some important items to consider when comparing our fee structure to any other management company:
- No hidden fees, everything is explained up front
- No termination fees after first year
- No lease fees
- No lease renewal fees
- No set up fees
- No mailing or statement fees
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 Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC 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?
Julie our property manager started in Real Estate in 2005 and Property Management in 2007. After working for several companies over the years. Julie decided it was time for her to start her own company. Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC was established in 2016.
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. 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, Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC uses a multi-tiered background check to cross-reference each applicant. Our background checks consist of:
- We require a picture ID of the applicant(s).
- We pull a copy of their credit report including their FICO Score.
- We check to see if the applicant has had a Forcible Entry & Detainer/Eviction filed against them.
- We get copies of their paystubs or contact employer to confirm their source of income. If they are self-employed we ask for copies of their tax returns.
- We confirm their landlord reference or residency history (mortgage payments).
- We require all tenants to have renters insurance.
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 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 receive feedback from the market so that we can modify the price or terms if necessary.
HOW LONG OF A LEASE SHOULD WE SIGN?
The term of the lease can depend on the property owners own needs. But if the rental is an investment property, the property owner is typically going to want a 6-12 month lease. However, the time of the year does play a factor. For example, if Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC fills the vacancy in November, a 12-month lease would end in December and if the tenants decide not to renew the lease, the property owner is looking at filling a vacancy in the worse month possible. So Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC encourages leases to expire in any months outside of September, October, November, December, and January.
WHAT TYPE OF INSURANCE DO I NEED?
Be sure to communicate with your insurance agent that the property is a non-owner occupied rental property. There are additional riders and coverage’s that do not cost much that provide you with added coverage. The most important is the ability to recover lost rents. A common example is a severe water loss or fire, which requires the tenants to vacate in order to make the necessary repairs. With the proper coverage, your insurance company will cover the damages plus the lost rents.
WHAT IS THE RESERVE MONEY FOR?
Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC requires reserves for each of the properties managed. The reserve funds are there so that repairs and bills can be paid after rents have been dispersed. Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC is happy to pay mortgages, HOA dues, property taxes, hazard insurance premiums, and any property related bills at no additional costs to the property owner. However, we do require reserves equal to these funds so that the bills can be paid on time. A full accounting of reserve funds are provided on each statement each and every month.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE RENTAL RATE?
We have access to listing information on many more units and the internet. After inspecting your home we can make recommendations to you on items that might enhance your home’s 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 DO YOU ADVERTISE MY PROPERTY?
Signs: Yard signs are the least expensive form of advertising, yet very effective, which is why we post our signs on the properties the moment notice is received by the tenant.
Classified Ads: The local print classified advertising is becoming less and less effective and is the most expensive. However, should you wish to utilize print media, we will place an advertisement in the local newspaper and Nickel ads at your request.
Web site: Almost all of our applicants tell us they found the house on the internet. Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC posts properties on several national web sites (Apartments.com, Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads just to name a few) in addition to our own site. We also use signs and Craigslist to promote properties we manage.
The Internet is far-reaching and assists in bringing us highly qualified tenants. Our internet advertising posts all available rentals to over a hundred websites and the top rental search engines.
CAN I CLEAN THE HOUSE MYSELF?
Yes. But you may not want to do that. The professional cleaning companies have the experience, tools, and chemicals to get the job done quicker and better. Additionally, cleaning a vacant unit is just way different than cleaning an occupied and furnished home. What could take you days, or even a week to clean, can take one of our crews of just a matter of hours. The sooner we have your rental property looking good and ready for a new tenant, the sooner we can get it rented. Trust us; you are ahead financially, and time wise, by allowing the professionals to take care of it.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TENANT HAS A MAINTENANCE PROBLEM?
The tenant contacts us to report all maintenance problems. We can be reached any time, day or night, including holidays. In the management agreement we have set a "repair limit" of $300.00 which tells us when, based on the estimated cost of the repair, we will involve you 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. 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.
CAN I DO THE REPAIRS MYSELF?
Yes and No. Most of our owners direct Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC 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. As a result of this, we have developed systems so that these repairs are done timely, cost effective, and with professional workmanship. We do require all of our vendors to have appropriate licenses and registrations, complete W-9, have worker’s compensation insurance, and have general liability insurance policy. So when an owner requests to do work, it’s outside of our systems and the opportunity for error is greater.
However, if you do your own repairs and in the case of an afterhours call, we cannot guarantee that the owner will be called. In such event, we will call our primary on-call vendor.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TENANT DOESN'T PAY THE RENT?
In our lease form we give the tenant a 4 day grace period to pay the rent on time. On the 5th we tell the computer to post late fees for any tenants that have not paid yet. If the tenant has not paid by the 5th day of the month (or the next business day thereafter) then a "3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit” is generated and posted on the property. Under Colorado 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 Forcible Entry & Detainer/Eviction can be requested from the court.
If we still haven't received the rent within 3 days of the posting, depending on the particular circumstances with each tenant, we start filing the Forcible Entry & Detainer/Eviction. As needed 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 crew to remove the tenant and their things from the property. Why the tenant cannot pay the rent is not really relevant. Whatever 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 cannot pay the rent we need to find a new tenant that can.
WHO COLLECTS THE RENT? WHEN DO I GET PAID?
The tenant makes all payments to Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC. The security deposits are maintained in one escrow account. All rents and other payments are deposited into a separate escrow account.
Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC 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 Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC holds off on completing owner statements and printing checks until after the 10th of each month. Additionally, if Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC 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.
We will deduct our management fee and any other expenses and we send the balance to you. We do our best to send out statements by the 13th of each month (or the next business day thereafter.)
WHO KEEPS THE LATE FEES?
Collecting late rent is a very difficult job. We could actually get away with less work 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, we have to turn into debt collectors and begin a very aggressive regiment to collect money on behalf of our property owners. So, Columbine Realty & Property Management, INC retains all late fees to help pay for this extra and unpleasant labor.