Owner Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
- Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?
- Do you provide me with a report of activity on my property?
- What year was Ashford Management established?
- Could you provide references upon request?
- What is the management fee? Is this charged regardless of vacancy?
- What is the New Lease-up Fee/Leasing Commission? Is there any refund if the tenant is evicted?
- What is the lease renewal fee?
- What are the advertising costs? Where and how do you advertise/market my property?
- What are you business hours?
- Do you charge Administrative start-up fees? Do you offer multiple property discounts?
- Do you charge an accounting fee or other admin fee?
- How are maintenance issues handled? Who is responsible for repair charges?
- When a tenant is late with their rent are any of the late fees/charges shared with the owner?
- What is the penalty for canceling management?
- Is there a yearly renewal fee for management?
- What other fees can I expect? I’ve been told management companies are charging for lockboxes, signs, and even showing fees!
- Do you screen the tenants in-house or do you outsource your applications?
- Do you use the Arizona Board of Realtors lease?
- What if the tenant is late with their rent? Do I receive the payment whenever the tenant produces it? Do I receive the late payment penalty fee?
- Your agreement said you do
- Is the tenant fully responsible for landscaping maintenance? Weeds? My home also has a pool. Normally, does the owner or tenant take responsibility for pool maintenance?
- What if tenant damages the home? Will the tenant be fully responsible for repair charges? What would happen if tenant refuses to take responsibility for damages? I do not want to pay for repairs that were caused by tenant.
- What if the tenant decides to break their lease. Am I responsible for paying you any fees?
- I read something about a requirement to provide Liability Insurance? What exactly is that and how do I obtain it?
- Do you retain from the tenant any Cleaning deposits or Pet deposits? I would allow pets only with my permission (only certain types of pets).
- I understand that I will be responsible for the normal monthly HOA fee. If the tenant is not following HOA rules and is fined by the HOA, am I responsible for paying the fine?
- Upon leasing, do you do a walk-through inspections report with the tenant?
- What if I decide I want to evict a tenant due to negligence care of the property, damage to the property or any other extreme case? Am I at that point responsible for paying you any fees?
- If I remember correctly, you said that the lease-up fee would be waived if I bring my own tenant. Is that correct?
- What is the emergency reserve fund amount?
- What do you need from me to get started managing my property?
- Who pays for utilities at the property when vacant? Do they need to be on?
- Where are the best places to purchase a rental property? What are tenants looking for?
- How long will it take to rent my property?
- Can I go into my rental property when there is a tenant living there?
- How can I send funds to Ashford for my property?
While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management:
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
- We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
- We know the local market, have an extensive network of contacts, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled.
- After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you'll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you'll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself!
We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. This means that you cannot choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under the act, which includes children. You can choose to disallow pets in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal. We believe that restricting pets can reduce the tenant pool, as many people have at least one pet of some kind. We feel it is better to list pet acceptance "on lessor approval" and address it on a case by case basis. You may wish to only allow small dogs or cats only. If you choose to allow pets, we do ask for pet references and make every attempt to verify any previous pet damage or aggressive behavior with previous landlords. All of our leases have a no smoking clause, which states the tenant is charged for repair and cleanup including ozone machines if smoking inside the home has occurred. If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please see our fair housing page.
Yes, we provide you with a monthly report of rent and other income received, and maintenance, repairs, and other expenses incurred. All property paperwork including the tenant move in paperwork, paid invoices, correspondence and property photos are uploaded to your owner portal for real time access to your property's performance. All of these items can be sent hard copy upon request. Property financial activity is uploaded throughout the month and statements are uploaded at month end. We are always available to answer any questions regarding any of these materials.
Our company, Ashford Management Services, was established in 1997. Ashford is A plus rated with the BBB and was named in the top 20 property management companies in Phoenix. Ashford focuses 100% of its time on the expert management of your investment. NO sales.
We are happy to provide references upon request. We receive many referrals from seasoned Realtors selling to investors since they have confidence in our ability to get the properties rented and managed correctly. Also, we have many out of state and out of country owners. We realize how difficult it is for owners residing outside of Arizona to manage a property. We do everything in our power to make it effortless.
Our monthly management fee is a flat $75.00 regardless of the rent charged. There are no management fees collected while the property is vacant.
Ashford's fee to list your home for rent is a flat $500.00 regardless of what your home is renting for.
Ashford's upgraded listing fee includes adding your listing to MLS, the upgraded listing fee is 7% of the Gross Lease. Gross Lease is calculated as the monthly rent times the number of months in the lease (usually12 months).
The 7% leasing fee is ONLY if you choose to list on MLS OR if you are hiring Ashford simply to find a tenant and you do not intend to have Ashford manage your home. Call for details regarding our “Lease-up” services.
If we have to evict a tenant, all files are sent to collections, any monies recovered are given to the owner of the property less legal & collection costs.
A flat fee of $80.00.
Advertising costs are included in the lease-up fee. The exception: an owner wants to manage the marketing campaign and choose the specific advertising media for their property (e.g. newspaper or additional signage).
Your property’s listing is uploaded to various internet sites such as Zillow http://www.zillow.com, Trulia http://www.trulia.com, Postlets https://postlets.com, Rentbits, Yext, Google , Craigslist https://phoenix.craigslist.org and more. Your property’s listing will be featured on Ashford’s webpage as well as our Facebook "featured listing" page. Ashford’s Facebook page has over 1.1k followers, like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ashfordmgmt for market trends and more.
MLS is available for an extra fee, the fee is a percentage [7%] (not a flat fee) this is because we offer a co-broke to attract other MLS Realtors to show your listing. Generally, the MLS feature is used with our luxury properties. We have had great success with the market saturation and extensive internet listings that we create. We recommend starting with the flat lease-up fee and upgrading if needed.
Our sign is placed on your property, and of course a lock box. We provide showings by appointment, application processing, lease/other move in paperwork preparation and the new tenant walkthrough- there are no extra fees for any of these services. We also log every prospective tenant’s call coming into our office. By doing so, we may find a prospect for your property that may have contacted us 2 months ago on another property. In short, marketing is a multimodal approach, everything mentioned above coming together to produce just the right person for your property. You have final approval for the tenant. We don't rely on any one activity. We feel that everything mentioned can and does contribute to the successful lease-up of a property. We do not charge our tenants any hidden or extra fees!
Unlike the majority of property management firms that are closed by 5:00 PM and closed weekends, our leasing services are open, by appointment, seven days a week and we answer evening calls live as needed. In some cases, we utilize Rently http://www.rently.com for extended hour showings (no charge to owner). Check out our LiveChat to chat with a property management specialist now. Our maintenance professionals are available 24/7 for emergencies.
There are no hidden fees or administrative fees to open a property management account. We do require that you submit $200 for your reserve account (used for any potential repairs to the property and replenished to $200 from the monthly rent collected if any repairs are necessary). Of course, the reserve is fully refundable and returned should you decide to leave management. We offer multiple property discount as well as discounts for our Military and Public Safety Services personnel. Email or call us for details: email@example.com. 877-517-HOME (4663)
No. Our fees are straightforward. No surprises. UPDATE: The Arizona Department of Revenue’s law takes effect 01/01/2016. This law says that any "business" has to have a sales tax license, rental property included. Call Ashford, we can help ensure you are ready, we will ensure you are in compliance. In addition, we will help you to ensure you are in compliance with the Maricopa County Assessor. Please be advised that should you want Ashford to manage and pay your rental property's sales tax burden effective 01/01/2016 there will be a $8.00 per month per property charge. Here are a couple of links for more information regarding the upcoming AZDOR changes.
Repair charges are always the responsibility of the owner and thus are billed to the owner. We are authorized by our management agreement to make repairs up to the limit of $200. Repairs exceeding this amount require owner authorization, except in a rare case (ex. summer A/C breakdown) where we cannot establish contact with an owner and not proceeding with a repair would threaten the health, safety and welfare of residents.
No, these fees are retained by our company and are used to defray the costs of preparing and serving some of the legal documents/5 day notice to the tenant when their rent in not paid on time.
Here is the excerpt from our management agreement:
"a. Owner agrees to the following fees for services rendered: $500.00 flat fee for the rental of single family homes, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses and all advertising fees. OR 7% of gross lease if utilizing MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
b. Monthly management fees shall be assessed $75.00 per occupied month. Lease Renewal fees shall be $80.00.
If after 90 days asset is vacant and owner cancels management agreement, *Owner agrees to pay a cancellation fee equal to $75.00." *This is negotioable and depends on various circumstances.
Currently our average days on market are 27.
There are no hidden fees.
We do not send outsource applications to Screening Companies since we get better and more reliable information when we talk directly to landlords and employers etc.. Since the present landlord may sometimes give a great reference to a bad tenant in an effort to have that tenant leave their property, we check previous landlords who have not likely seen the tenant in several years and who will present a truer picture of their experience with the prospective tenant. An Arizona criminal check for felony convictions is done on each applicant. We also do a detailed credit profile to determine the tenant’s credit priorities (who they pay, and who they don’t pay). Additionally, we also check income to rent ratios, and also past and present employment history to ascertain whether the prospective tenant’s employment is in an ascending or descending trend. There are NO hidden fees or charges applied to our tenants.
Yes. This document has withstood the test of time and is a document that the Judges are familiar with. It offers balanced protections for both the landlord and tenant.
If the tenant is late, they are sent a 5-day notice demanding payment. Late payment fees are retained by Ashford and used to defer the cost of preparing and serving the legal notices to the tenant. Rent is due on the first of the month... there are no grace periods extended to the tenant. You receive payment when we receive payment. Rent is due on the first, late on the second, and delinquent notices are prepared and delivered to the tenant on or around the 5th of the month. We are very strict regarding the timely payment of the rent and encourage tenants to send their checks early since we will never deposit their checks until the first of the month. Tenants have no valid reason to be late with this "deposit" policy in place.
Bi-monthly drive by inspections; an interior inspection 90 days after move-in; and another interior inspection prior to lease-renewal are included in the contract. Additional inspections are available at a cost of $50 per scheduled inspection.
The tenant is responsible for maintaining the landscaping but not for rehabilitating the landscaping... keeping the property weed free and irrigated etc is the tenant’s responsibility. However, if a 60-foot palm tree was diseased and needed to be removed, this would not be considered normal maintenance and would be the responsibility of the owner. Typically tenants are responsible for any vegetation under 6 feet tall. Regarding the pool, it is advisable to have the pool professionally maintained to insure that proper water chemistry is maintained at all times. Improper water chemistry can do enormous damage to the surface finish of your pool. Few tenants are skilled in "water chemistry." It is actually cheaper to call in the professionals than to repair or re-plaster a damaged pool that has not been properly maintained.
Charges for damages are immediately billed to the tenant. If the charges remain unpaid, the delinquent amount is considered “unpaid". The tenant will be delivered a 5-day demand notice to pay the charges in full. If the outstanding balance is not paid, eviction proceedings can commence and collections thereafter.
Ashford offers a tenant guarantee (variations may apply call for info). We are confident that our detail oriented approach and our extensive screening process provides our clients the best chance to obtain your property's optimal tenant. Our goal is resident retention, as investors ourselves, we realize that resident turnover is a property’s biggest money loser. Vacancy equals no money for you ,the investor, and no money for Ashford and we don’t get paid until your home is occupied! With some of the most affordable lease-up fees in the valley we are confident in our placements PLUS you have the final approval.
You would need to advise your insurance company that the property is being used as a "rental." You need to protect yourself from liability in the event there is an accident on your property. Since you are only insuring a rental properties structure and not the personal interior contents owned by the tenant, you will often times find that the insurance policy is less expensive than the typical homeowner’s policy that covers interior contents. The liability insurance is very inexpensive to purchase... ask your agent for a quote.
Cleaning and pet deposits are always charged to the tenant and are in addition to the one months rent paid as a security deposit. We do not, as a rule, accept aggressive breeds. It is your choice as to whether or not you will allow a pet on the premises. However, restricting pets will reduce the tenant pool, as many people have at least one pet of some kind. We feel it is better to list pet acceptance "on lessor approval" and address it on a case by case basis. You may wish to only allow small dogs or cats only. If you choose to allow pets, we do ask for pet references and make every attempt to verify any previous pet damage or aggressive behavior with previous landlords.
A clause in the lease clearly makes the tenant responsible for all HOA violation fees. Failure to pay the fine and or refusal to correct the violation can trigger a “Notice of Non-Compliance” and can trigger an eviction. It is doubtful any tenant would choose to remain in violation of any HOA rules and regulations and incur an "eviction" and a negative notation on their credit report/history.
All tenants are responsible for completing a Walk-Through Inspection form where they would list any damages or defects they notice with the property. This information is verified by Ashford at the first interior inspection appointment. The walk-through sheet must be returned within 10 days of the tenant moving into the property. If the sheet is not returned within 10 days, tenants are held liable for all defects observed by Ashford staff.
Legal costs are always the responsibility of the owner but also become the liability of the tenant. If the tenant refuses to pay the legal fees, a judgment can be pursued, which will also appear on their credit report. An advantage of management is the fact that we have attorneys who are Real Estate specialists and are very inexpensive.
For management only, you pay the monthly management fee and are not charged a lease-up fee, the assumption being that you are turning over the property occupied.
If you find that you are not successful in finding the most qualified tenant for your property and contract Ashford for its lease-up services only and are not interested in management, the cost for the lease-up only service is 7% of the gross lease payable upon the move-in of the tenant.
If you hire us for the lease-up at the onset, you are charged a lease-up fee since we have incurred expenses to market your property and charged the monthly management fee thereafter.
$200.00, which is completely refundable if you ever leave management. This amount is used for repairs that may need to be made to the property. Also, the majority of repairs are made by proven, reliable handyman that is not on our payroll. If we need their services, we hire them for the repair. Since we do not have to worry about a weekly payroll, you will find that this policy keeps us honest, and keeps your repair bills in a reasonable range. I warn you that many property management firms make an exorbitant amount of money by billing for repairs made by their in-house maintenance department. We don't have that expense, and as I mentioned, this policy keeps us honest and above board. We do not ever add a profit margin to our repair charges. Your monthly statement will describe the repair and charges for the service performed.
To begin management, we will need the following:
- Signed management agreement
- Completed owner/property packet
- Keys to property or contact to obtain keys
- $200.00 reserve funds
- If occupied, current lease agreement and tenant contact information
It is highly recommended that water and electric are turned on while vacant to allow for repairs and cleaning to be done if needed. Additionally, if your home has a sprinkler system or pool, the utilities will need to be on to allow these to operate. Please note that if the utilities are not on, it may affect certain maintenance and cleaning that can be done at the property. We do not recommend that natural gas be on in a vacant property due to the potential hazard this may present.
Due to recent changes and regulations with municipal utility providers, effective 11/1/2009, Ashford is requiring owners to have utilities turned on in their name. This often reduces the amount of deposit, if any, an owner must pay, especially if the owner has had utilities on in their name previously. This also reduces the amount of reserve that we require. We will be happy to assist in coordinating the turn on of such utilities and provide contact numbers upon request. We advise informing the utility company of our contact information in the event of an emergency and so we may inquire about utility issues on your behalf if needed.
As the real estate market in Arizona is constantly changing, there are many areas that are seeing growth. We would be happy to provide you with a current market analysis at your request.
Tenants are looking for homes or townhomes that are clean and in good ondition, close to jobs, schools, and transportation. We find that providing appliances such as refrigerator and washer/dryer in addition to the standard appliances will help your property rent faster. If you need assistance in obtaining these appliances at a lower cost, we can assist with that. Additionally, amenities such as ceiling fans, blinds or window treatments, soime type of landscaping with sprinkler system will assist in quicker lease up.
There are many factors that determine how quickly a property will rent, including location, price and the condition of the property. Ashford Management Services will aggressively market your property utilizing a multi-tiered marketing strategy including internet/MLS advertising, on site signage, flyers and email blasts to local agents, and if applicable, notifying local employers, colleges, and housing assistance authorities. We provide frequent feedback on activity on your property including weekly email marketing reports showing a breakdown of activity through our website as well as constant monitoring of market trends.
Here is an important distinction between Ashford Management Services and many of its competitors. Ashford does not charge ANY ancillary fees to the tenant. The tenant pays an application fee to apply and that’s it. Many of our competitors have chosen to insert administrative and other costs/fees into the lease requiring tenants to pay over and above the rental rate and basic sales tax. Tenants are savvy and are more and more unwilling to pay these cost/fees. Tenants are looking specifically to lease properties that do not include these gauging tactics. Ashford doesn't engage in these practices, this helps to ensure our listings get the most exposure and the most qualified tenant. Currently, our average days on market are 27.
As an owner, you can drive by the property as often as you like. However, if you wish to enter the property, we must provide the tenant with a 48 hour notice of landlord access. Additionally, there are certain guidelines outlined in the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act which allow tenants the right to "quiet enjoyment". Please contact one of our property managers if you wish to access your rental property and we will be happy to assist you.
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