We’re the answer to your questions.
Working with a property management company may be new to you, or it may be something you’ve done many times before. In either case, we’re sure you have questions and we’d like to be the answer to all of them.
Arbors Management works hard to make owning a rental property simpler and more lucrative. We’ve provided the answers to some frequently asked questions to help jumpstart your decision making process. For more specific questions about pricing, timetables, or receiving a proposal, please contact us directly.
How long has Arbors Management been in business and what kind of properties do you manage?
Founded in 1982, Arbors Management Inc. has been managing properties in the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia regions for more than three decades. Our core difference is that we offer the capabilities of a large company, but provide the personal touch of a small business. Our portfolio currently boasts more than 4,500 units and includes properties such as apartments, condominiums, townhomes, one-family homes, condo associations, homeowners associations, large multi-unit apartments, and commercial buildings.
What accounting do you handle and do you provide any reports? Also, will you pay the bills for the property?
Arbors Management can handle all the monthly accounting for your property, including collecting rent, paying bills, keeping track of utilities, and, of course, reporting. The reports we provide often range from basic income, expense, and owner statements to annual budgets and tracking lease expirations. The reports we provide are based on your unique needs and the number and types of reports can be adjusted to accommodate any situation.
In addition, Arbors Management can also handle the payment of bills associated with the property, including the mortgage, utilities, and maintenance vendors. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of rental income without the hassles.
Can you also assist with taxes and insurance?
In addition to the normal operational bills, Arbors Management will also handle the payment of taxes and insurance bills for the property, if this service is requested. The bills must be sent to us, and the funds will be drawn from an operating account. Please note that you must keep property insurance on the space for your protection, at all times, while also naming Arbors Management Inc. as additionally insured.
Who handles my property and can I be involved in the management as well?
Arbors Management designates one property manager to each property: an experienced individual who understands the area and price range your property fits into. They will work diligently to manage and maintain the unit, as well as lease the space to suitable, well-screened tenants. And because we are focused on the unique wants and needs of each property owner, we tailor our programs to fit the level of involvement you are comfortable with.
How often is the property inspected?
Arbors Management makes sure to inspect each and every property we manage at least once a year, given the property is currently occupied by a tenant and there have been no problems during the year. The number of visits can increase, of course, if there have been issues, the property is currently unoccupied, or if some other arrangements have been made in the Management Agreement.
What is your typical management fee? Are there any other fees that you charge?
The management fees for our services vary depending on the amount of properties being managed, the number of property locations, the prices of rentals, the accounting services needed, maintenance, and a variety of other services. We can provide you with a specially tailored proposal that outline these fees clearly, based on your specific situation and needs. To learn more or to receive a specific proposal for your property, please contact us directly.
How are maintenance requests handled? Will I be notified if something needs done at the property and, if so, when?
Arbors Management accepts all maintenance calls made during regular business hours, directly. In the event of an after-hours call (i.e. after 5pm on weekdays and/or on the weekends), the request is submitted to an answering service. These after-hours calls are then evaluated to determine the nature of the request and the appropriate response:
- If it is an emergency, a vendor is dispatched immediately to address the issue.
- If it is not an emergency, the request is handled the next business day.
In general, property owners receive a monthly report detailing all work completed on their property, as well as the costs associated with that work. This includes all work orders and invoices from vendors. However, if a maintenance request exceeds the predetermined dollar amount, or Maintenance Limit, set in the Management Agreement, we contact the property owner immediately to receive approval for the work. This ensures you have the ability to be involved in any large expenditure decisions.
Who performs the maintenance on my property?
Arbors Management is dedicated to using only the most skilled and reputable vendors possible to maintain your buildings. Our vendors have all the proper insurances, including general liability and workers compensation. In addition, our vendors provide fair, equitable pricing for services rendered, ensuring you receive the best possible work for the best possible price.
How is rent collection handled? If a tenant does not pay, what is your eviction process and do you charge extra for handling this?
Arbors Management utilizes a strict screening process to help ensure tenants have the ability to pay the rent, as this is the best way to avoid any delinquencies. Tenants that have passed the screening and become residents are informed that rent is (typically) due on the 1st of the month and is considered late after the 5th.
If a tenant has not paid by the 10th of the month, we send out late letters. This is followed by phone calls around the 20th - 25th of the month, requesting immediate payment. If a tenant has still not paid by the first week of the second month, we will file for eviction at the local district justice's office. Arbors Management will attend any and all hearings required and move forward with eviction, if necessary. The only fee the owner is responsible for are the filing fees* as time associated with this process is included in the management fee.
*In the extremely rare case that a tenant appeals, the case goes to the Court of Common Pleas. As a result you must either appear with Arbors Management in court or hire an attorney to work on your behalf as we are not allowed to represent the property owner at this level.
When do I get paid?
Arbors Management distributes your earnings at the end of every month, after all the bills on the property have been paid. You will receive a direct deposit (ACH) into the bank account of your choosing. Arbors Management will also provide you with selected monthly reports that have been chosen to suit your specific needs.
What must a tenant do or provide in order to qualify to rent from Arbors Management?
In order to become a tenant, an applicant must past five (5) screening qualifications, as well as fill out all of the required paperwork with addenda, have a credit check pulled, and pay the rent and security deposit before the move in. The screening qualifications are:
- Credit Screening
Applicants must meet certain credit criteria (which becomes tougher as the rent amount increases), and the results are broken into three tiers. The first tier is Accept, which means the tenant must pay the first month's rent and security deposit to move in. The second tier is Low Accept, which means tenant must pay the first month's rent, last month's rent, and security deposit to move in. The final tier is a Decline, meaning the applicant is not accepted as a tenant.
Arbors Management asks applicants about their criminal histories, and our decisions regarding accepting or declining their application are based on their response. Our criminal policies use factors such as the severity of the crime (felony, misdemeanor, and petty/summary) and length of time since the offense to form a judgement. You may contact Arbors Management directly to learn more.
Arbors Management will pull the local district justice records to see if the applicant has ever had a complaint filed against them as a tenant. If they have had an eviction in the last five (5) years, or another type of judgment in the last three (3) years, we will deny their application.
In order to be approved, an applicant must make three (3) times the monthly rental amount. This is based on either their gross wage earnings (if they are employed by a company/business), or their net income (if they are self-employed). Income is verified either by using two recent pay stubs or using last year’s tax return with two recent bank statements. Arbors Management will also accept an offer letter from a company if the applicant is switching jobs or just moving to town.
Arbors Management will contact the applicant’s current and previous landlords to ensure they left in good standing. Based on the response, we will decide whether or not to accept the application.
Approximately how much will my property (apartment, condo, house, unit, etc.) rent for?
A property’s rental price depends on several factors, some of which can fluctuate with time. These include but are not limited to:
- Size of dwelling
- Condition of dwelling
- Amentities included
In order to get a better sense of pricing, please contact us directly and we will provide you with an assessment of your property as well as a proposal.
Are tenants permitted to have pets?
Pets are completely up to you, and that provision can be different from property to property. If you choose to allow pets, Arbors Management will make the appropriate addendum to the lease and handle the pet rent from the tenant. We will also handle the move out inspection and will charge the tenant for any damages caused by pets.