A good property manager may become one of your greatest assets, even greater than the properties to be managed. This makes choosing an investment property management company one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an investor and reading the contract carefully is your most important task.
What You’ll See in Investment Property Management Contracts
Investment property management contracts can be as short as 3 pages or as long as 10 pages. It varies, and we may be unable to tell you what exactly will be in it but we’re positive it will include the standard items.
Most contracts begin with a statement that the document is legally binding and an exclusive agreement between the parties, which is you and the property management firm. It will also state that the company, which may be referred to as the broker, will work on behalf of the owner.
Investment property management contracts will use the terms “grant” and “appoint” to state that the broker is the owner’s agent. With this clause, you are basically acknowledging that any acts of the property manager are your responsibility and that the property manager’s actions should be considered yours. Don’t worry especially if there’s a due diligence clause, which means that property managers will do their best in managing your property.
In the owner’s representation clause, there will be facts about your property and the relationship between you and your agent. Read this clause carefully to better understand your commitment.
The contract will also outline the services that you will receive from the property management firm. The section will have details of the services will be performed.
Property management contracts may also have a list of services that are beyond the normal management duties and their rates. Normally, the rate is calculated based on the monthly management fee or determined before the work begins. Some companies use this space to list down all of the services that they don’t provide under any circumstances.
Equal Housing Opportunity
Some contracts may have an “Equal Housing Opportunity” section. It only outlines the agreement’s compliance with the fair housing law of the state.
Property management involves a lot of surprises, and some of them are at the property owner’s expense. This is why fund advance is normally stated as not required in investment property management contracts. Sometimes, property managers would like to have the right to advance funds, and this is beneficial if you would like repairs to be done as soon as they’re needed. However, it’s also the property manager’s guarantee that they will be repaid on time because they usually state late repayment fees.
Setup Fee and Reserve Fund
Contracts will also state the details of the setup fee and reserve fund. These are allotted for day-to-day operations to make sure that repair and maintenance services are done right after the tenant calls for it.
At MYND, we offer a one-year package. Other companies require two years, and a few allow a monthly investment property management agreement. Keep in mind that companies offer an auto-renewal clause. If this is included in the contract, read how long you will be committed after the agreement has been renewed and if there’s a way to prevent it. Normally, the property management firm will ask for a written notice two to four weeks before the scheduled auto-renewal. With us, you can cancel the service anytime.