Q: How does HomeRiver Group® Chicago communicate with owners?
A: We believe in prompt and thorough communication with our clients. Every staff member has his/her own telephone extension, voice mail and e-mail. We send out monthly statements in an effort to keep our clients informed. Below are some of the instances that we will initiate additional communication:
- Eviction Summary
- Acceptable applications
- Notice to vacate from tenant
- Expectations when a tenant moves out
- Lease renewals
- Extraordinary maintenance items
Q: Can I enter my property after it is rented?
A: We do not enter the property and recommend the owner not enter the property except in emergency situations or when repairs have been requested by the resident. HomeRiver Group® Chicago will conduct interior inspections of the property every six months. History has shown that repeated disturbances prompt residents to become unhappy and are not as willing to renew their leases. We are required by law to give the resident 48 hours notice before we enter unless it is an emergency situation or we are given prior permission by the tenant.
Q: How much notice does a resident have to give before they can properly vacate a property?
A: Our lease provides that the resident give a minimum 30 day written notice that the lease will be terminated.
Q: What does HomeRiver Group® Chicago need to start managing my property?
A: In order for us to begin the process of managing your property we need the following:
- Executed property management agreement
- Keys to the property, including mail box keys, if applicable
- Garage door openers, if applicable
- Certificate of insurance, with HomeRiver Group® Chicago, Inc named as an additional insured
- IRS W-9 form
- Lead Paint form
- ACH Authorization (Direct Deposit of funds)
If there are current tenants in the property:
- Lease for current tenant(s)
- Contact information for tenants (phone/email addresses)
- Rent Roll
- If any HUD tenants: HUD Contract
Q: I have questions about my monthly statement, how do I get my questions answered?
A: You can contact us by email or call your property manager Monday through Friday, 9 am until 5 pm CST.
Q: What is Pre-paid Rent?
A: Sometimes a tenant pre-pays all or a portion of the next month's rent before it is due. The rent charge is not entered or due until the first of each month. That pre-payment then is held in trust for the tenant until the month it is due. This shows on the owner's statement in the "Unallocated funds" line item indicating that funds for the next month have been received. On the statement for the period that it is not yet due, it will show as a positive number in the current and YTD columns. On the statement for the month that the payment is applied, it will show as a negative amount in the current column of the “Unallocated funds” line item showing that it is being removed from the trust account. It is at the same time reflected in the rental income as a positive number although this may not always be obvious if the tenant has made an additional payment in the same month.
Q: Why does my beginning balance not match my last statement?
A: Unless otherwise requested, we email statements as soon as we process payments to you, the owner. Usually this takes place in the first half of the month. We continue to manage your property all month so sometimes there will be activity that takes place after you receive your initial statement that will change your ending balance.
Q: What types of transactions cause my beginning balance to change?
A: The most common transactions are:
- Any utility bill received after proceeds were paid out that is due prior to the following month.
- A tenant move-out that takes place after proceeds were paid out.
- A tenant payment that has been returned NSF by the bank.
Q: How does HomeRiver Group® Chicago handle evictions?
A: When a tenant is late paying the rent our first action is to send late notices, emails and make phone calls at 7 days late, 10 days late and 21 days late. When the tenant account becomes 30 days past due a 5-Day Notice is sent to the tenant via a Process Server. When the 5-Day Notice has been served and properly notarized it is sent to the Eviction Attorney. The Eviction Attorney files the appropriate paperwork with the court system. We continue to follow-up with the Attorney to determine court date, date of possession, judgment amount, trial date and Sheriff’s service date.
Q: How much does an eviction cost?
A: An uncontested eviction will cost about $900-$1000.
Q: How are Security Deposits handled?
A: HomeRiver Group® Chicago requires a security deposit, usually an amount that is equal to one month's rent from all suburban properties and some City of Chicago properties. For the lower priced apartments in the City of Chicago we require a non-refundable Move-In Fee of $250. These funds are sent to the Owner to hold. Security deposits cannot be disbursed until the resident vacates. The law requires a damage accounting provided to the tenant within 30 days of vacancy. The security deposit must be returned to the tenant within 45 days of vacancy minus the costs of any verifiable damage.
Q: How do I pay management fees?
A: Management fees are deducted from your monthly distributions.
Q: Will you pay my monthly bills for me?
A: Yes, through our accounting system we are able pay utility bills and vendor invoices as long as there are funds in the owner account. We will not pay HOA dues and mortgages.
Q: Who takes care of the mowing and snow removal?
A: Typically in a single family home the tenant is responsible for the yard care and snow removal. Multi- family complexes are an expense of the owner or HOA.