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Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe you have just inherited a property and don’t have the experience or you are a busy professional with no time. Maybe you are relocating or finally retiring. Perhaps you administer a trust and need a third party to handle the trust’s affairs. Whether you are a first-time home buyer, property investor or an experienced apartment owner, SPM can assist you with all your real estate needs. We have great success in making sure that properties are leased to qualified tenants and that they are properly maintained. SPM approaches property management as an income-generating business. We are not doing our job if we do not keep your expenses low and your income high. To do this, SPM maintains a high standard of reliability and accountability and gives owners the true peace of mind that comes with knowing that their property is in the best hands possible.

Once I start with SPM, who do I talk to? Who handles my property? Who do tenants call?
Communication is the key to a successful property management relationship. You have an experienced Property Manager/Rental Agent familiar with the area in which your property is located. The Property Manager/Rental Agent is available at the office or via email, and will be your day-to-day contact. Many questions can also be answered by our staff, including bookkeepers, maintenance supervisors and senior staff members. Similarly, tenants have direct access to the Property Manager/Rental Agent. In addition, they can make maintenance requests on our website.

How do you decide what rent to charge when there are vacancies?
Your Rental Agent will do a market survey of rents charged for similar rental units in your area. We are also leasing units on a daily basis, and are very familiar with the market and changing rents. Based on this information the Rental Agent will determine rent that is competitive.

How do you advertise your vacancies?
SPM markets vacancies by whatever means that have proven effective, we start the marketing process as soon as we are advised of a vacancy. We place ads on our website daily, as well as in the weekly Bulletin Board, Suddenlink Cable TV in their Rental Property Program aired three times daily, the monthly Ohio Valley Homes Magazine, & other news venues. We update and rotate these ads until your vacancy is rented. Because of our reputation many prospects contact our office for a free list of our vacancies and look at our website on a daily basis. Applicants are also able to apply directly through our website. We will put eye catching signs on your property giving rental prospects access to our services. Ads are also placed in the print media, and with the Marietta Chamber of Commerce.

Can I see the application and approve the tenants?
SPM typically screens and approves the tenants, as our staff is trained in issues such as background screenings and fair housing. In addition, we check all applicants’ rental history and verify income. We are very careful in choosing tenants, as we have to interact with them on a daily basis. In other words, it’s to both our advantage to choose carefully!

How do you handle Security Deposits?
When your tenant vacates, we will provide all required accounting of the tenant’s security deposit within the time legally allotted. If there are damages they will be deducted from the security deposit. We are allowed by law to charge the resident’s deposit for rent, damages above normal wear and tear, and cleaning. We want you to know that we consider this an important time in the management cycle, and we will protect your interests.

How often do you visit the property?
When a property first comes under SPM management, an interior and exterior inspection is scheduled as soon as possible to determine if there are any health and safety issues which need to be addressed. This includes such items as smoke detectors, water leaks, or trip hazards. Obviously, if there is a vacancy, the property will be shown as appointments are scheduled, sometimes on a daily basis. Once the property is full and the initial inspection has been done, the maintenance staff will schedule regular drive-by inspections. All interiors of units are inspected a minimum of once per year.

Who collects rent?
Tenants can pay rent by either mailing it or dropping it off at our Marietta office or by paying the on-site Project Manager by the first of the month. When rent is received it is immediately placed in our client trust account. At this point, all bills that SPM is directed to pay are paid. The remaining disbursements are made to the owner in the last part of the following month, and will be mailed in check form with your monthly report.

When do you serve 3-Day Notices? Who handles evictions?
SPM is very aggressive in rent collection. If rent has not been received from a tenant by the 3rd business day of the month, SPM will serve a three day notice to pay or quit. We do our best to work with tenants to keep units occupied, but if a tenant has lost their job, or falls ill and cannot pay rent, and chooses to stay in the residence, SPM works with an experienced attorney to regain possession of the unit.

What happens if there is an emergency after business hours?
When you hire SPM, we become responsible for your property 24 hours a day. There is always a staff member on call to quickly address emergencies, and, we have access to vendors who can respond in an emergency.

Can I use my own vendors?
While we are happy to use your vendors, one important benefit of SPM’s management is that we have developed relationships with vendors, such as plumbers and HVAC contractors. You, as the owner, benefit from these vendors’ excellent service and prices.

I am really nervous about racking up big maintenance expenses. How do you control expenses? Can I approve all work?
SPM always attempts to improve your bottom line, and one way is to control expenses. For major repairs, such as re-wiring or re-roofing, several bids are obtained, and SPM will get your written approval. However, if there is an emergency, such as a burst water heater, or a government inspection requires certain work, or, a routine repair is requested, such as a leaking faucet, or broken toilet, then SPM will go ahead with the work. Our vendors are reasonable and reliable; otherwise SPM would not utilize their services. In addition, if it is discovered that a tenant caused the damage, we charge the tenant for reimbursement of the repair expense.

When do I get my financial report and what does it include?
A detailed report is sent out by the end of every month, for the entire previous month. These reports are easy to read, and can be tailored to your specific needs. In each report, at a minimum, we include a Rent Roll with all receivables tallied, an Expense Register with copies of all bills paid, and a maintenance log with details of every task. Reports are mailed with accompanying checks.

We own the property with several partners. Can we get separate disbursements?
We can easily disburse funds based on pre-assigned percentages.

Why do I need liability insurance for my property?
You wouldn’t drive without car insurance, or go without health insurance. Similarly, as a landlord, you must have insurance to protect you from the unexpected. If you don’t have insurance in place, SPM can provide you the names of several agents to contact and obtain proper coverage.

Are your prices competitive?
Our management fees are very competitive and reflect our expertise and commitment to excellent service. We have found that poor management can have a very high cost. When ALL fees are considered, we are actually less expensive than most companies around.

Why should I choose SPM Properties?
When we say, Professional Property Management, we mean it! There is no better choice for your investment and peace of mind.

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