Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Property Management Blues Part 2

When I returned from Laughlin, I was excited to stop by my post office box. Since it was June 1, I should have a check for May's rent waiting for me. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was not there.

I was furious. I had been told the tenant paid some rent on the 14th and a bit more on the 21st. That left him still owing $100 plus a bunch of late fees. Even if he hadn't paid in full, some of that money should have made it's way to me by now! Looking at the calendar, there were three full weeks between his first payment and the day I checked the mailbox. There was no excuse for this.

When I got home, I forced myself to wait a couple hours to cool down before composing a fax. Here is what I faxed last Saturday:

Dear PM's name,

I last spoke with you on the phone on Tuesday, May 29th. I asked for an update on the rent situation with my rental at property address. At that time, your computer showed a discrepancy between two different screens with one screen showing the tenant still owed money and another showing he was paid up. You said you would investigate and get back to me before the end of that day with either a phone call or an email. You did neither.

Additionally, I still have not received any rent for May. You told me in a phone call on May 17th, that the tenant paid $550 of the rent on May 14th. In a phone call on May 23rd, you told me you had received another $100 of the rent, bringing the total to $650. As of today, June 1, 2007, I have not received any of that money from management company. It is bad enough when my tenants don’t pay rent on time. I do not need a property management company that also cannot manage to pay on time.

I’ve been using your company for two months now. Let me recap the service I have received in that time:

· The first month’s rent you collected was mailed out in April 10 days late and I did not receive it until the 24th of the month. I was told this was because your accounting department was running behind. You said it was “only” 10 days late. As I am sure you are aware, if a tenant was 10 days late, I could start the eviction process. Why should I hold management company to a different standard?

· Management company has collected at least $650 of rent for May and has not forwarded it on to me. Perhaps even more has been collected, including all the late fees the tenant owes. I don’t know and apparently, neither do you.

· You’ve told me you would investigate these problems and get back to me and you never have.

As I am sure you can see, this is truly horrible service. I would like a written explanation of where the breakdown in your procedures has occurred and what steps are being taken to ensure these problems don’t happen again next month. You can fax this to me at my fax number listed on the first page. Unless I see some improvement in service, I see no reason to continue using management company to manage my rental property. I also want you to send the rent you have collected so far to me by the close of business on Monday.

Thank you,


So what was the response to this fax? Not the requested written response, but a phone call, which I purposely let go to voice mail. And what message was left? All the manager said was "Your check was mailed on the 25th." That's all. No mention of if the tenant finally paid all his rent and late fees, no mention of anything else in my fax. That's pretty crappy, if you ask me.

This morning, the rent check was in my mailbox, but there are still issues. First, although the check was printed on the 25th, the postmark shows it was not actually mailed until almost a week later - on the 30th. Second, the check only was for the first $550 collected. Where's the rest of the money?

From my dealing with the company so far, it is obvious they only print checks once a week on Friday. However, I can think of no explanation for why it takes so long for the checks to be mailed after they have been printed. Nor can I explain the two week delay between them receiving the rent from the tenant and sending it out to me. Perhaps they want to make sure the tenant's check clears. However, my tenant paid me with a money order, so I would expect they would continue paying that way.

I am starting to investigate other management companies.

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