Property Management Services
Attaché-TMS Associates is a full service property management company specializing in single unit management whether you own one unit or multiple units in several locations. We manage for both investors and transferred personal (temporary job placement out of the city) alike. We are available to clients and tenants 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
LEASING PREFERENCE AND TIPS
Attaché-TMS’s knowledgeable and experienced staff will counsel you with respect to the options available to you as a landlord in setting reasonable requirements for tenancy.
The selection of a management company or other individual to look after a rental property;be it an investment property or your home during an employment posting is a process that you, needless to say, will undertake with careful scrutiny. In most cases, real estate is the single most valuable asset you possess. In our experience we have encountered individuals who have undertaken to leave the care of their investment property or home in the hands of friends or individuals who operate on a part time basis. With few exceptions this has not turned out to be a very wise decision. Several of these investors/homeowners have had to return to Ottawa at their own expense to sort out or to solve problems with the investment property or home and the tenancy.
We would suggest that you engage a professional property management firm, whether that is Attaché-TMS or another credible property management firm. One of the easiest ways to determine the capability of the property management firm is to inquire about the number of years the company has been in service. As well, the number of permanent full time staff and the location of the business facilities will also indicate the firm’s level of professionalism. We at Attaché-TMS take pride in our operation and infrastructure and would welcome a visit from you to our offices.
Finally, the management of your investment property or home is not simply the collecting of rents but a more comprehensive set of responsibilities that require the attention of someone dedicated full time. The staff at Attaché-TMS believes that we have the team, the experience and the infrastructure to carry out these activities in the best possible manner of any firm in this region.
Leaving your residence for even a temporary job assignment can involve many administrative details, such as notifying appropriate utilities, maintenance companies, and other service providers, including your mortgage company and insurance company. Attaché-TMS will provide you with notification forms which you will complete and then Attaché-TMS will notify the various service agencies of your temporary absence instructing them that future payments and contracts will be from either Attaché-TMS or the tenant, as the case may be. For example, utilities and services such as electricity, gas/oil for heating, water, telephone, and cable TV are usage-related services that the tenant would normally be expected to pay. Municipal taxes, insurance premiums, service contracts on furnaces, appliances and so on, are the responsibility of the investor/homeowner. Such things as lawn service/chemical treatment, pool opening and closing, and chimney cleaning would be considered maintenance of the property itself and, therefore, are normally paid for by the landlord. Specifying all of the service requirements that you currently have for your property is important to give us an idea of the type of tenant we would like to occupy your investment property or home.
Renting your investment property or home especially during a temporary job assignment will entail a range of landlord responsibilities and conditions of which you should be aware;and which Attaché-TMS will manage and address in your best interest. Some examples are:
- the possibility of experiencing a vacancy period during which time no rental income is being generated,
- maintaining your investment property or home with professional assistance when required,
- the need for authorization on how to proceed in the event that special repairs are required at a cost which is above a pre-arranged dollar limit, or if insurance claims, rental delinquencies or eviction proceedings need to be undertaken, and
- anticipating “ordinary wear and tear” in your investment property or home during the term of a tenancy that might require minor redecorating or refurbishing upon your return.
The flip side of these responsibilities is the benefit arrived through continuous ownership such as:
- your family will return to a home and community environment that is familiar to you,
- current home financing arrangements are preserved,
- you can participate in continued appreciation in the value of your home or investment
- you may be able to enjoy certain tax benefits as a landlord by performing some upgrades to your investment property or home (consult your tax advisor to confirm how you would qualify),
Some of the things which we do for you:
- tips on showing &leasing your investment property or home
- market analysis
- market strategy &professional advice
- show your investment property or home, tenant evaluation, reference and credit checks
- lease negotiation, preparation and leasing after departure
- tenant move-in inspection
- rental collection
- monthly account status
- repair condition and repair management
- tenant move-out inspection
- landlord move-in inspection and interview
- management agreement
Attaché-TMS will establish contact with you, outline service program features, and obtain preliminary information and leasing preferences.
1. TIPS ON SHOWING AND LEASING YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY OR HOME
Attaché-TMS’s knowledgeable and experienced staff will counsel you with respect to the options available to you as a landlord in setting reasonable requirements for tenancy, such as:
Renting unfurnished versus furnished: We recommend renting unfurnished, since the wear and tear on furniture cannot be recovered through the rents received, the increased rent for a furnished property over a non-furnished property being marginal. Tenants with few exceptions have their own furniture.
Renting to prospective tenants with pets: Covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code, refusing to rent to a prospective tenant is not discrimination under the OHRC. It is up to each landlord to decide whether or not he wants to rent to prospective tenants who have pets.
Renting to non-smokers versus smokers;we recommend renting to non-smokers as there is less potential interference with neighbours as well as other tenant’s quiet enjoyment. Damage from smoking can be quite expensive.
2. MARKET ANALYSIS
A preliminary inspection will be arranged at your convenience in order to evaluate the physical condition of the property. If necessary, we will recommend changes be made in preparation for renting and to identify conditions which may require attention.
The purpose of the preliminary inspection is to protect your interests by highlighting at an early date those conditions in and around your investment property or home which may be significant enough to cause damage to your investment property or home in your absence or cause injury to a tenant or visitor, and to maximize the amount of rent collected. As an example, a water heater that may be ready to rupture, electrical wiring which could be exposed to water or which has been frayed by contact with moving parts. We believe that problems should be corrected and repairs completed prior to your departure and before the investment property or home is advertised for rent. We will also point out those areas which may require either complete painting or simply touching up to increase the rentability of the property.
Before any efforts are made to advertise and lease your investment property or home to a qualified tenant, a reference point must first be established as to property’s comparative rental value in the current market. An Attaché-TMS representative who is knowledgeable about local market conditions will perform a Rental Analysis, which will compare your property with recent rentals, and where possible, competing listings. The approach taken with the Rental Analysis is quite similar to the appraisal process used to estimate a likely sales price on an investment property or home so that appropriate marketing decisions can be made.
The following sample observation might be included in a Rental Analysis.
Rent could be higher if the kitchen was repainted and the floors refinished.
Lot size is small relative to the comparables, but the property is much closer to schools.
Subject property is adjacent to a large recreational area, complete with wooden playground structure. Such access could be desirable to a family with children and would be much more desirable as a result.
3. MARKETING STRATEGY & PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
Using the Rental Analysis to establish a target range for the rent, a Marketing Strategy is developed to attempt to achieve this rent in as short a time frame as reasonably possible. We will ensure that you are a participant in the development of this strategy.
Advertising and market techniques to be considered include sign posting and selected print media advertising (including daily newspapers, local weeklies and real estate listing services). Circulars about the property might also be strategically placed at certain locations in the area, such as hospitals or other institutions where we feel we might find quality tenants.
We will also maximize your property’s exposure by utilizing our own local contact network for developing the best leads. Often, the tenants who might want to rent your investment property or home will be a family moving into your area on a company-supported, temporary assignment. Attaché-TMS has contacts with many of the larger corporations within the region.
4. SHOW YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY OR HOME, TENANT EVALUATION, CREDIT CHECKS & REFERENCES
Allowing strangers to live in your investment property or home while you are away can be disconcerting to some people. Attaché-TMS’s competent staff will take all reasonable steps to minimize your worries and place the right tenant in your home. Each applicant will be thoroughly screened as follows:
Verification of employment. Current and previous employers will be contacted in order to verify the tenant applicant’s stability and ability to pay the rent.Verification of previous residence. Current and previous landlords will be contacted in order to verify the tenant applicant’s history of timely rent payments and responsible care of the premises.Verification of credit. The tenant applicant will disclose banking references and other credit services in order to verify his/her outstanding financial obligations as well as credit payment history.
5. LEASE NEGOTIATION, PREPARATION, AND LEASING
After a tenant candidate has been identified, we prepare a lease agreement for the tenant’s execution which addresses the particular terms of the tenancy. This lease form was developed through years of experience in dealing with many different properties, tenants and situations. The objective of the lease form is to protect your interests within the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act of the Ministry of Housing for the Province of Ontario. We will customize your lease to your specific needs and requirements.
6. TENANT MOVE-IN INSPECTION
Appended to the lease will be the List of Real Assets which will be signed by the tenant, and a representative of Attaché-TMS. This will acknowledge from the perspective of all parties the particular condition of the premises and its contents upon the beginning of the tenancy as per the Lease. The basis of all future inspections and transfer of tenancy will be served by these documents.
7. RENT COLLECTION
Attaché-TMS will collect rents directly from tenants and will maintain appropriate records. The lease stipulates that rents are due and payable on the first of each month. Posting of rents and the expenses will take place up to 11th of the month followed by electronic funds transfer (EFT) of the net income to your bank account for the 15th of the month.
8. MONTHLY ACCOUNT STATUS & PROPERTY CONDITION REPORTS
As the owner of the property, you will receive a monthly Operating Statement. These statements provide monthly expenses and year-to-date totals. Should you have any difficulty or questions relating to these statements, you are encouraged to contact us.
9. REPAIR CONDITION AND REPAIR MANAGEMENT
Acting as your agent and therefore the landlord of the property, Attaché-TMS has the duty to address any routine or special maintenance repairs for three reasons:
- to protect the physical well-being of your investment property or home,
- to guard against harm or danger to the tenant due to a problem condition in your property, and
- to satisfy the requirements of the Landlord and Tenant Act which states that the property must be kept in a livable state at all times.
In accomplishing required repairs, Attaché-TMS will, at your request, utilize those contractors with whom you have established a positive relationship and who are already familiar with your home. In the absence of any such request Attaché-TMS will utilize its network of supplier contacts and obtain bids from qualified suppliers before authorizing repair work, where practical.
Should a necessary repair cost be above the authorized dollar limit of the agreement between Attaché-TMS and yourself (as per the Management Agreement), We will contact you or your representative with the problem status, our recommendation, the necessary cost estimates if available, and request your approval to proceed or not.
10. TENANT MOVE-OUT INSPECTION
When you have notified us of your intention to return or at the conclusion of a lease prior to the move-in of a new tenant, we will arrange the inspection of the home following the vacating and cleaning of the property by the tenant. At this time we will accompany the tenant through out the home to confirm its condition in relation to the Condition of Premises report made at the time of original occupation
11.COMING HOME / RETURN COUNSELING
If requested, a representative of Attaché-TMS will perform an inspection of the home at least three months prior to your return for the purpose of advising you of work which you may wish to carry out prior to your return to take full advantage of all allowable tax benefits.
Upon your return we will arrange a walk through of your home and will be present to identify any condition, which we consider to be beyond “ordinary wear and tear.” We will then discuss the options available to you and strategize the best method to pursue. We would like to point out that such a situation is extremely rare as most of the time the tenant whom we have selected leaves the home in good condition.
The return of the keys to your home is a pleasure that we enjoy.
12.THE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT
Before we can formally proceed with the process of leasing your home, we will need to have an agreement executed between Attaché-TMS and the legal owners of the home. The Management Agreement is designed to be consistent with most clients’ relocation requirements. Essentially, the Management Agreement empowers Attaché-TMS to act as your agent in regard to the leasing and comprehensive management of your home in your absence. As your agent under the Management Agreement, Attaché-TMS can perform the following activities on your behalf:
- order “FOR RENT” signage for the property
- advertise the property for rent
- screen potential tenants
- negotiate, prepare and execute a lease or leases.
- arrange for the performance of routine and/or special repairs
- collect rents
- control disbursements
- initiate and needed action against a tenant
- perform tenant Move-in and Move-out Inspections, and
- issue a property condition and an accounting status report to you on a regular basis.
We have designed this guide to give you a general look at the Rental Management Services program provided by Attaché-TMS. You may have additional questions about how certain aspects of the program work which we may not have addressed. If this is the case please feel free to jot them down so that we may address them during our evaluation visit. We would like to ensure that you have a complete understanding of all activities that we will perform on your behalf during your absence.