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15 Questions to Ask a Potential Property Management Company | Chicago, IL

Preston Letts - Thursday, December 21, 2017
Property Management Blog

1. How long has your property management company been in business?

Letts Property Management has been the premier residential property management company in the Chicagoland area for over 10 years.

2. What percentage of your monthly rent is your property manager charging you to manage your properties?

Letts Property Management charges a standard 8.5 % management fee with a per unit minimum for occupied units to all owners.

3. Does your property manager carry sufficient and proper insurance?

Letts Property Management carries full liability and operations insurance in addition to professional errors and omissions insurance.

4. How does your property manager advertise your property when seeking new tenants?

Letts Property Management advertises in the most comprehensive and proven ways in our market. We use visible signage, our website, and a vast network of websites.

5. What is the average annual vacancy period your property manager has on their properties?

Letts Property Management averages between 4-6 weeks vacancy of any of our properties. This vacancy timing starts after the property has been cleaned and made fully "rental ready" and ready for marketing.

6. What does your property manager charge to find a new tenant?

Letts Property Management charges a leasing fee of 100% of the first month's rent. This fee covers finding and screening all applicants, as well as any necessary documentation. The fee also covers the costs of signage, lockboxes, photos, and advertising.

7. How does your property manager handle background and credit checks on rental applicants?

Letts Property Management performs a multipoint check on everyone that applies to live in our managed properties. This check includes credit and credit score, criminal (local & national) background, including the national sex offender registry, eviction and rental history, employment and income verification, and contact with provided current or former landlord.

8. How does your property manager pay you and how long does it typically take for you to receive your rent money?

Letts Property Management uses ACH to automatically process direct deposits for those clients who wish to use this service. This eliminates the possibility of lost items in the mail and places funds in our clients’ accounts several days quicker than mailing checks.

9. Does your property management company offer your tenants the ability to pay online with credit card or electronic checks?

Letts Property Management has numerous options available to assist tenants in paying on time. They can pay either at our Chicago or Westmont office with a personal check, money order, or use their bank provided online bill pay. Additionally, they can pay via a tenant portal on our website using a credit/debit card or electronic check.

10. How much does your property manager require you to pay into a reserve account to cover possible repairs?

Letts Property Management requires an owner "reserve" on their investment properties. The reserve amount is on a sliding scale based on the number of units owned. We make repairs and upgrades as they are approved by owners, and deduct expenses from the reserve. The reserve is reimbursed monthly out of rent collected. These expenditures are then clearly marked & explained in a detailed accounting statement sent to the owner.

11. Does your property manager have a full accounting staff that is licensed and full compliant with state and federal laws, while providing detailed and transparent statements?

Letts Property Management utilizes a very robust and comprehensive double entry accounting system to track all transactions for our clients. We provide detailed monthly statements for each one of our clients. We provide detailed monthly statements for each one of our properties to help our clients stay informed and assist in tax preparation. All this information, as well as a variety of reports are available at any time to the owner through an owner portal on our website.

12. Does your property management company have a full-service maintenance crew that is available 24/7?

Letts Property Management has an on-staff maintenance crew that specializes in a variety of repair needs. There is a dedicated phone number line for emergency calls after office hours and on weekends.

13. Does your property management company perform inspection of the property during occupation by the tenant?

Letts Property Management performs a full interior and exterior inspection of each individual unit and property every 6 months. First, we guarantee the tenant is adhering to the terms of their lease with regards to caring for the property, number of residents, and approved pets. Second, maintenance inspects the condition of the property's plumbing, roofing, yard, and any other preventative maintenance.

14. Does your property manager have a lawn service or snow removal for multi-family properties?

Letts Property Management dedicated an employee to mowing and lawn care during the grass growing season and to snow removal during the winter months. Our employee is trained to pick up any trash in the yard, do string weed trimming every cutting, as well as walking the exterior unit to check the condition of the property. Prices are set at the start of the season and are billed monthly to the owner.

15 Questions to Ask a Potential Property Management Company Free PDF

15. Is your property manager up to date with the laws regarding the Fair Housing Act?

Letts Property Management regularly attends training and seminars regarding fair housing issues. Based on Federal Fair Housing and Chicago Fair Housing laws we do not discriminate based on the following; race, religion, gender, ancestry, disability, military discharge status, color, national origin, age, familial status, gender identity, and source of income.