Owner FAQ

What are the different types of rental properties that you manage?

We specialize in long-term (usually 1 year or more) leasing of single family homes, condominiums, town homes and duplexes within Hampton Roads & Coastal Virginia.

What areas do you service?

We service Southside Hampton Roads also known as Tidewater or Coastal Virginia to include: Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Smithfield & Isle of Wight County.

HOW MUCH WILL MY HOME RENT FOR?

This is the number one question for new owners. Many factors come in to play when determining a home’s rental value including comparative properties, competition, condition of the home and current market trends to name a few. One thing is certain, we will take the time to thoroughly analyze all these factors and work together with you to determine the best listing price. John Berger graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS degree in Economics and proudly served as a Finance Officer in the U.S. Army. John & Lisa own several investment properties and possess the expertise to accurately determine the fair rental value for homes located within Hampton Roads, Virginia.

WHAT WILL YOU DO TO MARKET AND LEASE MY HOME?

We will maximize exposure of your home to the rental market and provide thorough tenant screenings to include credit checks on all applicants.

YARD SIGN - We always place a professional highly visible and clean "For Rent" sign in the front yard unless restricted by associations.

MLS - We will enter complete and accurate information in the REIN Multiple Listing Service (MLS) providing Realtors and their clients with the features and amenities associated with your home.

INTERNET - We market your home on the top real estate search portals including Realtor.com, Rentals.com, Trulia & Zillow to name just a few. Your home will be searchable on every local, regional and national real estate company website as well which includes REMAX.com. Because we live in an area with a high concentration of military service members, we list your home on websites specifically designed to help military families find rental homes such as the Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN.com) and provide information about your rental property to the local military housing referral offices.

PRICING - Even the most beautiful home will not lease easily if it’s overpriced. We will conduct thorough market research and provide you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you determine the best listing price.

PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO – We take professional high dynamic range photographs of your home and walkthrough videos which are uploaded to the REIN MLS and syndicated to all of the major homes for rent and real estate company websites including Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Apartments.com, HomeFinder.com, Realtor.com, AHRN and Remax.com to name a few. Recent studies show more than 90% of people looking to rent are searching online first. More than 60% are searching on their mobile devices with over 70% viewing photographs of the property before choosing to go see it. We also provide aerial photography on homes that warrant it.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO QUALIFY A POTENTIAL TENANT AFTER THEY APPLY TO RENT MY HOME?

This is one of the most important aspects to the successful management of your home. We process all applications personally. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meet industry standards such credit worthiness and ability to pay. We give you our recommendation and provide you with the necessary documentation for you to make an informed decision.

LANDLORD REFERENCES – We verify the applicant’s rental history with past landlords and ask detailed questions about the applicant’s rental payment history and inquire about how well they took care of the property.

CREDIT REPORT - We always pull a full credit report for every applicant which tells us their current and past performance towards meeting their financial obligations. It also shows us their monthly debt, credit score and previous addresses. We will inform you if they have had any eviction proceedings, bankruptcies or any judgements/collections. All applicants must meet your established credit worthiness and ability to pay standards.

IDENTIFICATION - We require a copy of an applicant's picture identification such as a driver’s license or other government issued picture identification (e.g., Military I.D., Passport, etc.).

EMPLOYMENT/INCOME – We request employment records to verify length of employment, current status and income. An applicant needs to earn at least 3 times the monthly rent in gross income to qualify and we want to see a copy of their pay stubs, military LES, government award letters, self-employment tax returns, etc. as verification. In addition, we further evaluate their ability to pay the rent based on the industry standard of having no more than a 40% monthly income to debt ratio.

PETS – Surveys show over 70% of renters have at least one pet. We leave the decision to allow pets or limit the size/type of pet up to you. If you decide to allow pets, we charge a standard $300 one-time non-refundable pet fee that is credited to your owner’s account. (Qualified assistance animals excluded).

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TENANT DOES NOT PAY THEIR RENT?

Rent is due on the 1st of each month and late by the 3rd. If on the 3rd we have not received the rent we immediately send the tenant a “Notice of Default-Failure to Pay Rent” giving them 5 days to make payment. If they do not pay by the 5th day, then we recommend owners pursue eviction proceedings thru an attorney of their choice who in turn will petition the court to grant owner possession of the property as well as secure a judgment for unpaid rents, attorney fees and court costs. We are available to attend the court proceedings as witnesses for the owner and work with their attorney to provide any documentation needed. We will make an appointment to meet the sheriff at the property on the court’s final order for eviction date. During the eviction process, we do continue to communicate with the tenant regarding their lease obligations in paying rent as well as any legal remedies afforded the owner under their lease agreement for non-payment of rent. We do on occasion have to remind some tenants to pay their rent but rarely if ever have we had to evict anyone. When you place responsible people with good credit in properties you just don’t experience this problem very often.

HOW INFORMED WILL I BE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY PROPERTY?

We communicate with owners via phone, text and email concerning all aspects of your home including recommended/required periodic maintenance (HVAC, gas fireplaces, smoke detectors, etc.) and any tenant repair requests for prior approval. We provide owners detailed written move-in and move-out inspection reports with extensive photography to completely document the property’s condition. A copy of the move-in inspection report is provided to the tenant and used during the move-out inspection to address any discrepancies. Exterior and interior inspections of the property are conducted during the tenancy. Photographs are provided to owners for items discovered in need of attention. Estimates are provided by qualified contractors or the home warranty company is called if item is covered. Should a discrepancy be caused by the tenant, they will be notified in writing of the need to remedy the issue within 14 days. A re-inspection is then conducted with all documentation provided to the owner. We strive to keep tenants fully informed of their lease obligations and answer any of their questions or concerns in a professional and timely manner. We treat your tenants with courtesy and respect. Keeping you well informed about your property is paramount.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE MAINTENANCE REQUESTS?

If a tenant calls in a request for repair services, we will take all of the information and notify you prior to any repairs being initiated for your approval. We only used qualified, licensed and insured vendors to make repairs specific to the job needed. We always request your approval for needed repairs and ask the vendor for an estimate for your consideration. Once approval is given for the repair, we will insure the work is done timely. The vendor will invoice our firm and the payment will be made from your owner’s account. This will occur after the next month’s rent is paid so funds will be available. We usually ask that you maintain $250 in reserve each month in your owner’s account so you have funds on hand should a vendor want to be paid at the time services are rendered. If you purchased a home warranty we will inform you of the repair issue, contact the warranty company, set up the assigned vendor repair with the tenant, notify you of the resulting remedy via the technician’s repair report and forward the home warranty service fee invoice to our accounting department for payment from your account. All pertinent repair documents will be emailed to you for your records.

WHAT IF I WANT YOU TO USE MY PLUMBER, HVAC COMPANY, ETC.?

If an owner has a vendor they would prefer to use for repairs, that is fine with us. We recommend they be licensed, insured and qualified to perform the repair/service. Over the past 25 years we have developed relationships with honest, competent and qualified contractors who charge reasonable prices for the quality services they provide us and our landlord clients. Some vendors offer our clients discounts due to the volume of business we have sent them.

MY HOME HAS A POOL? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?

Based on our experience, we prefer not to manage homes with in-ground or above ground pools due to the maintenance and liability issues.

WHEN DO OWNER’S RECEIVE THEIR FUNDS EACH MONTH AND STATEMENTS?

Owners are paid via direct deposit to the financial institution of their choice. Auto rent debits from tenants are processed on the 1st of each month by our accounting department (unless the 1st falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal Bank Holiday then the debit will occur on the next bank business day). Accounting allows 3 days for the tenant’s debit to clear. Owners will see the payments in their accounts usually no later than the 9th or 10th of each month.

Monthly owner statements are available via the Owner Portal on our website. Owners have their own secure log in and may view monthly invoices and statements anytime. In addition, you can access end of year income and expense statements as well as rental income 1099s for tax filing purposes thru your owner portal. Please feel free to view the owner tutorial located on this site.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR MONTHLY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FEE?

We charge 10% of the rent plus a small monthly processing fee when rents are collected. Ask us about our Military Discount!

ARE THERE ADMINISTRATIVE FEES OR SERVICE CHARGES IN ADDITION TO THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FEES?

Some property management companies charge $200 - $500 for set up and advertising fees. We do not charge any setup fees to advertise your home in our Multiple Listing Services or to syndicate your listing to the myriad of homes for rent and real estate company websites. The industry norm is to offer a finder’s fee to the real estate agent that shows your property resulting in an approved applicant for lease. The amount of this fee can vary and we offer our recommendation to you for your approval. In addition, there is a leasing fee charged to process the initial approved tenant’s lease paperwork (10% of the full month’s rent). Both of these fees are usually paid out of the first month’s rent via our accounting department. Should you agree to renew the tenant’s lease, there is a $100 renewal fee to process the necessary paperwork.

IS THE LEASE AGREEMENT A STANDARD WIDELY USED FORM?

We use the standard lease for our area that meets the guidelines of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA); in addition, we have addendums and disclosures in the tenant lease package including security deposit disposition, move-out procedures, consumer disclosures, aircraft noise, lead paint & pet addendums.

WHO HOLDS THE TENANT’S SECURITY DEPOSIT & HOW MUCH IS IT?

Our firm holds the security deposit in an escrow account in accordance with state guidelines. Normally one month’s rent is held for the security deposit paid at lease signing. No interest is due to the tenant or paid to the owner at lease termination.

Lisa Berger
LISA BERGER, MRP
(757) 635.3787 Cell
lisaberger@remax.net
John Berger
JOHN BERGER, CRS
Office (757) 436.4500 x117
johnberger@remax.net

MANAGE MY PROPERTY

Owners, Inquire about our Property Management Services