Phone icon

703-569-5702

Safety Tips for the Older Tenant
12-15-2016
12-15-2016

Renting a home isn’t just for the young. In fact, according to a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, “Since 2005, the number of  renter households aged 50 and over has increased dramatically, jumping from 10 to nearly 15 million, and accounting for more than half of all renter growth over the past decade.”

The report also states that baby boomers (aged 50-69) are highly responsible for the increase in older renters. The boomers have all now aged into the 50 category and are driving up renter numbers.

A number of older renters are transitioning by choice. Renting offers them more cost-effective options that require less time, physical effort and money to maintain than a house they own. They can also choose more accessible options, like first-floor or single-floor living, no steps, walk-in showers, and other elements designed for the older population.

Older renters are also more concerned about safety than their younger counterparts—both for their physical safety and security. As an older renter, here are some tips to make your rental home safer.

Safety Tips for Older Tenants

Place a fire alarm in each bedroom and on each floor

To make sure toilets are not too low, add a toilet seat riser

Wipe up spills immediately

Wear non-slip footwear

Secure rugs with carpet tape, and avoid throw rugs, especially around stairs

Add nonslip strips or rubber bath mats to tub and shower floors

Add a portable shower seat and a handheld shower nozzle

Add extra lighting

Use handrails when ascending and descending stairs

Keep bushes around entrances and windows trimmed

Keep the floor and passageways clear

Don’t rush across the house

Replace electrical appliances that have fraying or damaged cords

Don’t overload electric outlets or extension cords

Never leave candles burning in an unoccupied room

Keep windows and doors locked

Plan an evacuation route with at least 2 exit points from each room

Do not let strangers into the house when you are alone

Designate an emergency contact

Safety Elements Landlords Can Add

Relocate electrical outlets to higher access areas

Add handrails in hallways, and grab bars in bathrooms and showers

Repair loose railings and broken steps and walkways

Install floor surfaces that are not slippery when wet

Install lever handles on doors

Always have an emergency contact

Propman Property Management is always concerned with tenant safety, for our tenants at any age.  If you have questions, as a tenant, as to what you can and cannot add to your rental home for your safety, please give us a call. And always call us if you desire to install anything into the house. Permanent additions are often not allowed, or must be installed by a professional and licensed contractor.

If you are looking for a home to rent in Northern Virginia, check Propman’s convenient Available Rentals. Application forms are also available under the Residents section on our website. 

Does Your Regular Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Rental Home?
12-07-2016
12-07-2016

If you are putting your home up for rent, renting out your beach house, or considering listing a room on Airbnb, you need to look at your homeowner’s policy. A regular homeowner’s policy is generally not set up to cover losses in a rental situation; in these cases, you need to look at more specialized insurance, like a Landlord Policy.

At Propman Property Management, we recommend that our homeowner clients acquire Landlord Insurance. We also require that their tenants be covered by personal property insurance, or Renter’s Insurance.

It is best to speak to your insurance professional about your unique situation. He or she can cover the distinctions between policies and coverage.  Here are some of the potential situations in which you would need Landlord Insurance:

Long-Term Rentals

For rental of your home or your vacation property for a period of time longer than six months, or if you do not live in the same home as your tenants, you should have a landlord or rental policy. These policies may cost up to 25% more than your standard homeowner’s policy (generally only a couple of hundred dollars per year), however, they provide property insurance for personal property you have left on site, such as your lawnmower and appliances, as well as physical damage to the home’s structure normally covered. Most also cover the loss of rental income during a specified repair period from a covered loss.

In addition, Landlord Insurance also provides liability coverage that covers medical and legal expenses in case someone is hurt while on your property.

Short-Term Rentals

For short-term rentals, such as a couple of weekends or weeks, most insurance companies may allow your existing homeowner’s policy to cover the rental. However, you must notify your insurance company in advance of the rental, who will then provide you with a rider to your existing policy.

If these short-term rentals become more than occasional, your rentals could be considered a business, under which circumstances standard policies do not provide coverage. In this case you would need to purchase a business insurance policy, such as those offered to hotels or bed and breakfast establishments.

Renters

In all cases, your homeowner’s, landlord or business policies cover only the structure itself. Personal possessions held by your tenants are not included in your policy. You should, as Propman does, require your tenants to provide proof of Renter’s Insurance before signing the lease.

Propman is Here to Answer your Questions

Our professionals at Propman Property Management are always available to answer any questions you might have about rentals or the rental market in Northern Virginia. Before you rent, call us

Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?
12-01-2016
12-01-2016

If you are thinking about preparing your house to be a rental, there are things you need to consider. If you’ve been living in the house a while, there may be broken or worn-out items that you have overlooked, or there may be safety issues or even legal issues that need to be resolved before you put your house on the rental market. It is in your best interest to do some preparation before you post the “for rent” sign.

Just because the house was “good enough” when you lived in it, doesn’t mean that it will stand up to the demanding standards of today’s renters. Some of the things you need to do to prepare include:

Remove all personal property. 

Especially leftover items like paint cans, old tables, yard tools (unless necessary), or things that are cluttering up storage spaces. These items tend to be magnets for additional items left behind by future tenants, and can become unmanageable over time, not to mention unsightly. It is also difficult to inventory items you have left and keep them separate from tenant property.

Clean out the garage.

One of the pet peeves tenants have is a messy garage that can include dirty floors or walls, pet reminders, burned out or broken light fixtures, and cobwebs. Take the time to sweep out the garage and perhaps add a coat of paint.

Repair structural or systems defects.

Tighten handrails, repair steps, and remove hazards inside and outside the home. Make all repairs. Make sure all heating, plumbing and electrical elements are up to code. Elevated decks, and deck rails, flooring and framing should be inspected by a Class A contractor for structural safety.

Supply working appliances.

Repair or replace any appliance that is not working property, to include the refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove, microwave, etc.

Install smoking detectors. At least 1 working smoke detector must be installed on each level of the home.

Your Home Now Becomes a Business

It is important to note that when you become a landlord, or an absentee landlord if you hire a property management company like Propman, you are going into business and need to consider all the things that a business owner needs: special insurance, IRS filings quarterly estimates, quarterly maintenance expenses, tenant damages, HOA violations, etc.

Propman Can Advise You

Although we at Propman Property Management are not professional inspectors, we do have many years of experience in the rental home business and can walk through your home with you to point out areas that, in our professional opinion, need attention.

We can also describe how we work with absentee landlords to attract, qualify and keep high-quality renters, manage rent payments and disbursements, handle repairs and emergencies, and make your job as a business owner easier.

If you have a home you’re thinking about renting out, call Propman. We’ll be glad to walk through your home to help you ready it for the market.

What Happens to Home Rentals in a Seller’s Market?
11-28-2016
11-28-2016

For a while now, we’ve been in what’s called a “Seller’s Market.”  That means that housing inventory is low and there aren’t enough properties around for the buyers who want them.

What’s good about a seller’s market is that homeowners are often selling the property at the asking price – and sometimes higher if several buyers want the same property. It all lies under the principle of supply and demand. When supply is low, prices are up. When supplies become more plentiful, buyers have more options and prices may need to be lowered in order to attract them.

What’s bad about a seller’s market is that for buyers, home prices are usually high and competition for them is strong. Therefore, in a seller’s market, people often turn to renting, or remain in rental properties to await a market shift to a buyer’s market, when properties are more plentiful and prices drop. 

A Seller’s Market Can Be Good for Rental Investors

Propman Property Management is positioned to help our property owners during a seller’s market in two ways.

  1. We Can Sell Your Property For You

First, it’s a great time to sell your home.  If you have been on the fence about selling, now is the time to take a look at preparing your home for sale in the spring. Propman has an in-house real estate sales team led by broker Mark Andersen. They can answer your questions and list your house for sale. Call them at 703-569-8323 ext. 205.

  1. We Can Find and Keep Great Tenants

Second, we can find and retain the best tenants on your behalf. Let us post your rental and screen potential tenants, then manage your property for the duration of the lease period and beyond. You will enjoy regular communication and clear statements from Propman, and, if the need for repairs arises, we pass along to you the special low rates offered by our contractor partners.

It is Propman’s goal to provide excellent services to our clients, no matter whether they sell or rent out their homes. Contact us today.

We Love Hearing Great Things About Propman
11-02-2016
11-02-2016

 

Property Management in Northern Virginia isn’t a glamorous job, that’s why we are always excited when somebody takes the time to give us a great review. We work hard at what we do and it’s nice to be recognized by the homeowners, tenants and Realtors we serve.

 

Here are some of the reviews we’ve received recently:

From a Homeowner Client

“Propman has managed my rental properties for years now and I have never had an issue. Their communication is always clear and prompt and they do a way better job working with the tenants than I would. I would recommend them.”  --Helen M.

From a Tenant

“Propman has never let me down! I’ve been a tenant almost three years and they have been totally accommodating. Great listeners and fast responders, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. THANKS, PROPMAN.”  --Laura L.

From a Former Tenant

“I was a tenant for three years and Propman took wonderful care of our home, and us! Steve and Frank were quick to respond, even about little things. When there was a need for expert assistance (say, an appliance repair), the folks they sent to help were always terrific too. Plus, you will never meet two nicer people. When our lease was up, I was as sad to leave them as I was to leave the house! Cannot say enough good things.”  --Risa M.

We’d Love to Hear From You

We’d love to hear about your great experiences with Propman Property Management as well, and encourage you to post your testimonials using this link. Google Testimonial

If you own a home you’d like to rent out, or an investment property that needs a qualified tenant, and would like to talk to us about professional property management, please contact us. If you are looking for a property to rent, please review our available rentals. We look forward to serving you. 

Six Tips for Decorating Your Rental Home for Halloween
10-27-2016
11-02-2016

At Halloween, some people not only dress themselves up in costumes, they also dress their houses for an enchanted evening. It can be a way of integrating yourself into the neighborhood and feeling a part of the community. But since you are in a rental home, you want to take care not to damage the home in any way, avoiding nail holes or fire hazards.

To make your home look festive while remaining safe, here are six tips for decorating your rental home for Halloween.

 

Use Natural Elements

Decorate with fall leaves, corn stalks, fall flowers gourds and pumpkins to create a beautiful autumn display. Consider a wreath of natural elements or a grouped display of fall elements on the side of the porch. Be sure to keep stairways and entryways clear.

Create Spooky Windows

Colored window clings or cutout black outlines of ghosts, bats or witches can be easily affixed to (and removed from) the inside of your front windows. Backlight them to create a shadow effect.

Carve Jack-o-Lanterns

Carve one or more pumpkins for display along your front entrance or porch. During the day you don’t need to light them, and for safety, use a battery-powered light or small flashlight instead of a flame at night.

Hang Spider Webs

Purchase spider web filaments or cotton batting from your local craft store and drape them in the corners of your porch or entryway, or in tree branches or on bushes for an eerie effect. For more impact, create or purchase large spiders to dangle or sit amidst the webs.

Install Props

Make, purchase or rent spooky props like headstones, body parts or witches cauldrons and create a scary display in the yard.

Play Eerie Music

Don’t forget that sound can also add an element of suspense to your Halloween decorations. Play a sound effect CD during trick-or-treat times.

Propman Property Management wants you to enjoy living in your rental property and neighborhood, so make the home your own with a few decorating touches. The kids – and neighbors – will be more likely to stop by and say “hi” when they see you as a more permanent part of the community.

If you are looking for a rental home in Northern Virginia, or need a professional property management company to represent your home, please give Propman a call.  Also check our online resources such as our rental policies and application and landlord FAQs.

 

Help! My Landlord Isn’t Responding!
10-25-2016
10-25-2016

When a friend of ours called Propman Property Management recently to complain about their landlord’s lack of response to a simple issue, our thoughts were, “We hear that a lot.” In this case, the tenant is in a home of a private landlord and had asked for a repair for several months in a row, with promises to fix it on the first month, and no responses the subsequent months. She is frustrated and said she is considering making the repair herself and asked our advice on how to do it.

She may or may not be qualified to make the repair, and if she isn’t, the result could be a shoddy job that may cause future problems for the landlord. In addition, her frustration with the landlord causes her to think that the landlord just doesn’t care about her or the property, and that leads to her lack of confidence in him and her decreased sense of caring for the property as well. She is likely to stop caring for the home as if it were her own, quit reporting problems, or move to a new location – all of which create potential losses for the landlord – just because he didn’t respond.

Unfortunately, many tenants who live in homes not represented by a professional property management company are subject to the whims of their landlord when it comes to fixing or repairing simple issues. Landlords are required to respond when major issues like plumbing or heating arise, but for the little things…not so much. We hear this complaint far too often.

Propman Takes Every Call Seriously

At Propman Property Management, we take every tenant call seriously, and respond immediately. We never know whether the issue is truly small, or whether the tenant is trying to make it sound not so serious. If it is small, we can take care of it quickly and immediately, and if it is a large problem, or will lead to a large problem, like a small leak, we can fix it or be aware of it before it becomes disastrous.

Responding quickly to tenant requests also places value on both our company and positions both us and the home’s owner as caring, involved and responsive. Our tenants are happy, our owners are happy, and the property is well-cared-for.

If you are a landlord, you may not want to or be able to respond quickly to tenant requests. That’s why you should considering hiring a professional property management company – like Propman. Give us a call and we’ll review our policies with you and show you how we can take the burden of being a landlord from you. With us on call, you can relax and enjoy the monthly rental income without the hassle of being on call for repairs. As another benefit, if a repair is necessary, we use our dedicated team of repair personnel who provide us with bulk-discounted rates, which we pass directly along to you.

Don’t forget that we also have a stringent screening process for all tenants and can help place only the best into your home here in Northern Virginia. We want to find the tenants who will care for your property as much as you do. Call Propman today.

 

3 Things You Need to Do if You Are an Absentee Landlord
10-20-2016
10-20-2016

 

If you don’t live in the area where property you rent out is located, you are what we call an “Absentee Landlord.” And although it’s wonderful to have rental properties, not being nearby can cause challenges. Who is looking after your property? What are the current Landlord/Tenant laws? How do you find not just a qualified, but a GOOD tenant?

 

 

Here are three things every absentee landlord needs to do.

  1. Hire a Professional Property Manager

Your first step is to hire a professional property management firm that specializes in the region where your rental property is located. Don’t hire one that works where you currently reside; it will be difficult for them to be responsive to issues or to really know the marketplace. A good property manager, like Propman Property Management, adds a real estate professional to your team and can provide many services that can make your life easier, like finding the right tenants, handling repair issues, and protecting your property.

  1. Provide Complete Information

Once you have chosen a reliable property manager, provide as much information as you can about the property, your expectations, and your current situation. The more your property manager knows, the better they can represent you and your wishes. Keep an open flow of communication going and be responsive. Sometimes issues come up that need your immediate attention. On our part, Propman also lives by these rules of communication. We keep our owners informed with regular reports and monthly statements, and contact our owners immediately in case a situation arises concerning their property. We can be reached 24 hours a day for emergency situations.

  1. Keep Your Property Maintained

Properties that are in tip-top shape tend to attract and retain the best tenants, so keep abreast of not only repair issues, but regular maintenance as well. Select a property manager that performs regular inspections, as well as offers suggestions for ongoing maintenance. Let them be your eyes and ears on the ground. At Propman, our owners benefit from our dedicated service teams who provide Propman with discounted service costs for repairs, replacements and maintenance – which we pass along to you.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having someone nearby to look after your property. When tenants know a property manager is nearby, they are less likely to take advantage of an absentee owner. In addition, with regular inspections, thorough tenant screening, and a network of service professionals, you can rest assured that your property will retain its value for years to come.

If you have questions about the benefits of a property manager here in Northern Virginia, call Propman. We’ll be glad to help. 

What Millennials Want in their Rental Property
10-18-2016
10-18-2016

Loosely defined, a millennial is a person who is generally between the ages of 18 and 35 in 2016. They have also been called “Gen Y.” Mostly children of Baby Boomers, millennials are the first generation who aren’t aware of life before the Internet and personal communication devices.

When it comes to renting properties, millennials know what they want and will look for homes that meet their specific needs.  Here are some of the items on their list:

Space

Cleanliness and room to spread out are top priorities for millennials, along with plenty of natural light. Kitchens are also high on their list, with updated appliances and modern features taking precedence over original fixtures. They are also value-conscious, and won’t mind spending money for a place they like.

Neighborhood

Millennials tend to prefer an urban neighborhood where they can walk to stores and entertainment, and enjoy history and character. They also prefer having a fitness center nearby and a place to walk the pets, like a dog park.

Technology

Most millennials do not have land lines, and a majority do not have cable TV. Instead, they want high-bandwidth Internet access. Properties should have plenty of electrical outlets to accommodate multiple electronic devices.

Since millennials make up the largest generation since their parents, Propman Property Management is seeing more and more millennials apply for rentals. As representatives for our property owners, we update owners on trends and advise them as to repairs or updates to their properties that will suit this generation and ones to come. We find that a sadly-outdated property is more difficult to rent, and does not garner as high a rental price as one in better condition, with updated amenities. In addition, tenants care more about the property when it is obvious that the owner cares about it too.

If you have a property in Northern Virginia you’d like to put on the rental market, contact Propman Property Management. 

Renting To Students
10-11-2016
10-11-2016

Fall marks the return to school, and with a number of colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning here in Northern Virginia, there are plenty of students in our area looking for housing.

As are all property managers, we are prohibited from discriminating against potential renters just because they are students.  We do, however, must adhere to laws and policies surrounding rental properties.

One such ruling is the limitation on the number of “families,” or unrelated people living in one dwelling. Although students may desire to split the rent with a group of others for financial reasons, habitation laws limit the number of unrelated persons to three.

When students rent a place together, each occupant of the dwelling is required to submit an application and undergo our strict vetting process. We can only accept applicants who meet our qualifications, and all residents must be named on the lease. Additional residents who are not on the lease are prohibited from living in the property, and discovery of additional tenants can result in termination of the lease.

In addition, students renting from Propman require a personal guarantee from a third-party guarantor. If the student fails to pay the rent, Propman can then require payment from the person who guarantees they will step in.

Properties rented to students are subject to Propman’s periodic inspections, just the same as all of our rental properties, and renters are required to maintain the property. A list of maintenance items and tenant responsibilities is provided at the lease signing.

Propman Property Management is responsible for the care of the homes entrusted to us by our property owners, so we are strict about our rental policies with all of our tenants. This way we can ensure a pleasant experience for all.

If you are looking to rent a home, please check our current rentals online. If you see a property you’d like, we invite you to submit an application

How Propman Prepares a Tenant for a Move-Out
09-29-2016
09-29-2016

When you think of the term property management, you think of renting out and caring for properties that are under the manager’s supervision. But there are other aspects to property management as well, such as moving tenants out.

At Propman Property Management we utilize a well-constructed system for the move-out process that begins at the lease signing. From the very first, we establish our move-out policies, giving new tenants a list that includes what the tenant is responsible for in terms of maintenance and cleanliness during their stay and what they are required to do to ensure a smooth move-out.

When a tenant gives notice or a lease is terminated, Propman issues a move-out letter that reminds the tenant, highlighting the items within the lease for which they are responsible to complete prior to moving out in order to recapture their security deposit. Items not completed create grounds for deductions from or complete forfeiture of the security deposit, as it takes our time and staff to clean up a mess or replace broken items. Normal wear and tear is acceptable.

Once move-out is completed, Propman performs a post-tenant inspection, working from our checklist and inspecting the property for issues. If issues are found, and are caused by or neglected by the tenant, they can also create grounds for loss of the security deposit.  Items that are required to be returned, such as keys, garage door openers, remote controls and parking passes are additionally enumerated on the checklist pertinent to the particular property. Missing items will be charged to the tenant.

Most of the time, move-outs occur without a hitch; the inspection goes well, the renters receive their money back and new tenants can move in sooner.

If you are interested in renting out your home or in finding a rental property in Northern Virginia, please contact Propman Property Management. We’ll be glad to walk you through the process.

 

Helpful Moving Tips
09-20-2016
09-29-2016

 

Moving can be fun and not fun at the same time. It is exciting to look forward to a new place to live, but at the same time, the process of moving all of your stuff from one location to another can be daunting.

 

Here are 15 helpful tips from Propman Property Management to help make your move a little easier.

 

 

  1. Donate unneeded items. It doesn’t make sense to pay to move items you no longer use. Donate them to a local charitable organization. Clear out clutter and trash.
  2. Create a playbook. Use a spiral-bound notebook to record everything. Include mover contact numbers, friends’ numbers, schedules and to do lists. If you’re really organized, number each box and write a brief contents list in your playbook for each box. Keep important papers in a location you can access quickly.
  3. Pack an overnight bag. Put what you will need today, tomorrow and the next day into a small bag or suitcase and keep it handy in the car so it doesn’t get mixed in with the other boxes.
  4. Pack a “first open” box. For the items you will need first, like cleaning supplies, toilet tissue and cookware, pack them in a clear box, or a clearly-marked box on which you write “open first.”  Place this box on the truck last and designate a spot where this box will be delivered in the new home.
  5. Pack like things together. Keep a theme to each box, like shoes, daily dishes or office supplies to make it easier to find things later. Include cords with electronics.
  6. Mark boxes by room. With a marker, write on each box the name of the room it goes to in the new home. Be specific; assign numbers to bedrooms and bathrooms.
  7. Pack plates vertically. When placed in boxes vertically, rather than stacked, plates are less likely to break. Mark “fragile” on these boxes.
  8. Secure valuables. “Hide” valuables in a box mismarked with a label like “miscellaneous kitchen items” or plan to store them away from the home prior to the move.
  9. Hang a plastic bag over clothing. Bring a large plastic bag up over a bunch of clothing still on the hangers and pull the drawstring around the top with the hangers showing for an instant clothing carrier.
  10. Eat up groceries ahead of time. Stop buying groceries about two weeks ahead of the move and eat up what is in the house.
  11. Keep snacks on hand. To stave off hunger pangs, keep a variety of snacks and drinks on hand during the move.
  12. Defrost the refrigerator a day or two ahead. Empty and unplug the refrigerator a day or two before the move, and wipe up any condensation or water.
  13. Hire a pet or baby sitter. Free up your attention by hiring someone to watch your pets or children while you’re packing or unpacking the truck.
  14. Put masking tape over picture glass and mirrors. This will help keep glass in the frame and help absorb shock.
  15. Maintain a sense of humor. Moving is stressful, so keep that in mind, and keep a sense of humor about the little things that might go wrong.

Propman Property Management is a leading property management firm covering Northern Virginia. If you are looking to rent out your home, or are looking for a place to rent, please contact us.

Capital Improvements Can Increase the Value of Your Rental Home and Your Rental Price
09-07-2016
09-07-2016

 

Once you’ve had a property for a while, whether it is your own home or a rental you own, there are bound to be some improvements that need to be made. Some are necessary maintenance items like a new furnace or roof, while others can be more cosmetic, like replacing carpeting or outdated appliances. Where you get your real value, however, are in the capital improvements.

 

Capital improvements are defined as 1) renovations that add something that was not already there, 2) upgrading or adapting an asset for a new use, and 3) those items that will extend the “useful life” of the property for years to come.

Capital improvements can include:

                Appliances                

                Cabinetry

                Flooring

                Windows

                Bathrooms, additions or upgrades

                Heating and Air Conditioning upgrade

                Security system

                Additional electrical outlets

Tax Savings of Capital Improvements

Capital improvements can offer tax relief as well as they can be deducted over a set depreciation schedule. They differ from repairs, which is the maintenance required to keep the property in good working condition. Repairs can also be deducted, in the year that the repair was completed. Please check with your tax professional for details.

Consider the Renter’s Point of View

You must take into consideration how renters’ needs change over the years. Not only does new technology play a factor, aesthetics do too. Tenants notice things like avocado appliances, gold shag carpet or stuck windows. And they pay attention to energy savings, looking at old appliances, outdated HVAC systems and leaky windows as potential money pits.

With capital improvements you will be able to command a higher rent amount and get better quality tenants who will respect and maintain your property. Plus, if you decide to sell your property, you will be able to ask a higher selling price.

As your property manager, Propman Property Management can act as your advisor. We can note items during our regular inspections and make recommendations we believe will either save you money or make you money on your rental home. We will also look for areas for potential repairs, hoping to fix any problems early before they become disasters. Propman can even help you set up a fund for repairs and improvements, setting aside a portion of the monthly rent towards these expenses.

If you have a property you’d like to rent or are looking for a new home, please contact Propman Property Management.

 

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Property Management Company
08-25-2016
09-07-2016

 

Sure you could rent out your house yourself, but why take on the problems and headaches involved in being a landlord when there are excellent property management companies – like Propman Property Management – available?

 

 

Here are 10 reasons you should hire a property management company:

 

  1. Thorough tenant screening

The last thing you need is a terrible tenant. As experienced property managers, we have screened thousands of applicants, so we are likely to spot any potential red flags in an application.

  1. Less tenant turnover

Finding good tenants means finding ones who can and will stay in your property. When your property sits empty, that is money out of your pocket. And because people know and respect Propman, they come to our website regularly to check for current available rentals, resulting in a regular flow of people looking to rent homes.

  1. Local contact for tenant problems

If a tenant has complaints, like a barking dog issue, or if something breaks, you have a local contact who can field the call and handle the situation on your behalf. This is especially important for out-of-town owners.

  1. Emergency contact

Do you really want tenants calling you in the middle of the night because their heat went out?  Our staff is trained to handle any type of emergency situation. We have the staff and resources to take this worry off your mind.

  1. Rent paid on time

Propman has a strict policy on rental payments. We make our monthly fee when the rents come in, so we are especially motivated. If there is a problem with rent collection, we are versed in the proper steps to take, including eviction if necessary.

  1. Repair resources always available

Would you know what to do if the plumbing stops up or the air conditioning goes out? Propman maintains solid relationships with vendors in all the trades. When a problem happens, we can immediately jump to action.

  1. Save money on repairs

Since have long-term relationships with vendors like plumbers, roofers, electricians, appliance repair and suppliers, for example, they give us priority pricing based on our volume. We pass along this pricing directly to you.

  1. Increased property value

When properties are maintained properly, they generally increase in value. Propman provides regular inspections and repairs, and initiates conversations on property upgrades or maintenance issues to help maintain the value of your property.

  1. You stay within the law

You don’t want to have to learn Virginia’s laws against discrimination, landlord/tenant issues, collection processes, and inspections. Our knowledge of these regulations is part of the value we offer our property owners.

  1. You have freedom

You get to enjoy all the benefits of property ownership without any of the headaches. That means extra money in your pocket and more time to enjoy it without worrying about your property.

If you are considering renting out your property, please give Propman Property Management a call. We are experts in the Northern Virginia market and can make the process of renting out your home profitable in more ways than one.

How to Make Your Rental House a Home
08-23-2016
08-23-2016

 

Even though you’re not the owner of the home in which you are living, there is no reason why you shouldn’t make it a home. There are hundreds of ways you can incorporate your personality without risking your security deposit. Here are just some of the simple things you can do.

 

Unpack

You will never feel at home while your belongings are still boxed up. Unpack everything and get rid of the boxes.

Add Lighting

You can change the mood of a room with lighting. Swap out high-wattage bulbs for softer ones, use table lamps instead of overhead lighting, or strategically place floor lamps for reading nooks.

Use Plants

Add color to your outdoor space with plants. Use a tiered plant stand to hold several varietals, place pots around the entryway or plant a small herb garden outside the back door. Fill a vase with fresh flowers and display it on your dining table. Be careful to insulate any containers against water that could damage floors or surfaces.

Buy Real Furniture

There’s no reason to live with your old college couch. Start investing in good furniture like a bed, couch or dining table that you can take with you when you eventually move. If you don’t want to spend the money on high-end furnishings until you get your own home, haunt the consignment stores for perfectly-good bargains.

Hang Curtains

Even if your rental comes with window blinds, hang curtains to soften up the room, coordinate with your furnishings, and add a real homey touch. They can also function as insulation against the outdoor elements and lights.

Lay a Rug

Lay an area rug down on a hardwood floor for instant warmth or to cover any flooring you consider ugly.

Accessorize

Accessories can brighten or coordinate any room, so invest in throw pillows, cuddy afghans, colorful guest towels, and meaningful knickknacks.

Use Real Dishes

Get yourself a set of real (matching) dishes and glassware, and use them. The act of cooking and eating at home brings the feel of the hearth to the family. Invest in a colorful tablecloth and create a beautiful table tableau.

Paint

Call Propman to get permission of the landlord, you may be able to paint a room or an accent wall to personalize your rental space. Check on their regulations on restoring the property to its original condition and colors.

Hang Pictures

Decorate the walls with a strategically-placed painting, or hang framed photos of the kids. To try to keep nail holes to a minimum, however; don’t overly-decorate the walls. And check with the landlord beforehand for their hanging policies.

Just because you’re renting, it doesn’t mean you have to stare at white walls. Use this time to experiment with your decorating tastes and hone your skills in selecting just the right accents to make your house a home

We Love Realtors Who Find Us Tenants
08-18-2016
08-23-2016

 

Propman Property Management lists numerous properties each and every year and we are excited to work with so many fine Realtors who direct renters our way. Thank you!

To make sure your client’s application goes smoothly (and you get paid), we’ve listed a few ways you can help us with the application process.

 

Deliver a Complete Application

Double check to make sure the rental application is completely filled out. Many times applicants tell the Realtor that they will fill out the application and send it in, but we often have incomplete applications submitted by prospective tenants. And that really holds up the process. You can make their job (and ours) easier by simply double checking the application before submitting it for the approval process. The quicker they are approved, the sooner they can move into their new home.

A complete application should include:

Full Name of all occupants

Applicant Social Security Number

Confirmation of income

Current landlord

Copy of driver’s license attached

For convenience, access our online Rental Application form.

Include Your Business Card

Propman is pleased to pay Realtors a percentage of the first month’s rent as a commission for helping to lease a property, so please attach your business card to the application so we know where to send the check!

Call Propman if You Have Questions

If you have questions about the application, how to earn a commission, or our rental process and policies for our Northern Virginia properties, please pick up the phone and give us a call at 703-593-8637. We’d rather have you ask questions now than go back and forth later when you are submitting an application. We don’t want to hold up the process for you or your client.

Propman is On the Job 24-7
08-17-2016
08-17-2016

 

When you’re in the business of property management, you have to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Because that’s when life – and its unforeseen emergencies – happen.

For Normal Problems

When non-emergency problems arise in your rental property (and they do from time to time), please try to contact Propman Property Management during Monday-through-Friday office hours. This way we have our full team of resources available to help you.

Non-emergency problems include things that are inconveniences, but do not cause potential harm to either tenants or the property itself. It can include a stopped-up drain, clogged disposal, fallen gutter, or an ant invasion. Please reserve the after-hours emergency number for true emergencies.

For Emergencies

If, however, your problem is a true emergency, like your heat has gone out in the winter, you have no water, or a tree limb has fallen through the roof, please call us immediately at 703-593-8637. We are available 24 hours a day for emergency calls.

Tell Us About Potential Problems

Since you are living in the home, you have the best viewpoint for any potential problems and can alert us ahead of time so that an emergency situation is not created.  For example, if you hear that the air conditioner is making a lot of noise or that it is not issuing cold air, call us as soon as you suspect or detect a problem. It is better for us to hear about this on a Tuesday than wait until Friday night to call us as we have many more resources available during the business week to get to your problem much more quickly. We surely don’t want you to be inconvenienced any longer than necessary.

The Best Way to Contact Propman

The best way to let us know about any problem or emergency is to call. And when you do, please leave a complete message including your name, your property address and a return phone number. You wouldn’t believe how many people leave out this basic information. This especially happens when people try to text us (which we don’t recommend). We have hundreds of tenants, so we need to know who you are in order to respond quickly.

Propman’s goal as one of the premier property management companies in Northern Virginia is to provide an excellent tenant experience while protecting the properties of our property owners. We can best achieve this with your help, so don’t be afraid to give us a call. That’s what we’re here for. 

What Can Cost You Your Security Deposit?
08-11-2016
08-11-2016

When you complete a rental application, you are required to submit a first month’s rent and a security deposit, usually in the amount of one month’s rent. This security deposit is not used as your last month’s rent, it is held as collateral in case there is damage to the rental unit. If, following a move-out inspection, all is determined to be well, the security deposit is returned to the tenant within 45 days. The tenant has the right to be present at the final inspection.

 

Normal wear and tear is taken into consideration during an inspection, and the inspector will note anything that is not considered “normal.”

According to Propman Property Management’s guidelines, tenant damage can include:

Carpet stains

Cigarette burns

Wall and ceiling damage caused by tenant

Damage to HVAC system caused by a dirty or clogged filter

Water damage caused by plants or leaving windows open during rainstorms

Broken windows

Damaged doors

Damaged or missing blinds

Pet urine stains

Broken refrigerator shelf

Stopped-up toilet

Other reasons to withhold the return of your security deposit could include out-of-pocket expenses for items that were tenant responsibilities, cleaning fees, and replacement costs to include:

Dirty appliances, sinks, tub/shower, surfaces

Excessive filth

Gutter cleaning

Fireplace cleaning

Lawn and shrub maintenance

Burned out light bulbs and inoperable batteries for smoke detectors

Loss of garage door openers

Clean out of trash or left-behind items

Key replacement

Each lease list lists requirements that are a tenant’s responsibility. In addition to maintaining those items, tenants should strive to keep a clean and healthy household, respecting the property and its contents. We don’t like having to hold a security deposit and encourage our tenants to report any problems as soon as they happen to avoid future damage.

If you are looking to rent a property in Northern Virginia, please review Propman’s list of Available Properties.

What is the Summer Rental Market Like?
08-09-2016
08-09-2016

 

The summer rental season is the most active time of year, according to our experience at Propman Property Management. People are moving in between school sessions and using the nice weather to look for new lodging.

 

 

This summer’s rental market has already shown to be hotter than last year’s. The rental demand rose in May, and more potential tenants are active in their rental research, contacting the listing agent directly rather than using a leasing agent.

People are Using Technology to Find Homes

We contribute this increase to the development of user-friendly real estate websites (like ours) directed at the rental market, and easy access to the Internet through mobile devices. In one case, we even “showed” a property to the wife of a serviceman who could not make the showing using Facetime as a live video feed. He was able to view the entire property while asking questions about the unit, and we were successful in renting the unit without the need of an additional showing.

At Propman, we like to contract with our property owners before the busy season, often in winter or early spring. This gives us time to prepare the property for incoming renters to make them most attractive before the market heats up. After all, a desirable property can earn you more monthly income.

Preparing a Property for Summer Rental

To prepare a home for rental, we suggest that owners overseed and fertilize the lawn, powerwash siding, and perform spring maintenance, like cleaning gutters and inspecting chimneys. We also recommend that they repair or replace broken or damaged appliances. For example, a 25-year-old rusty appliance can show lack of interest in your rental property and in almost all cases, be reflected in your tenants’ attitude toward the property during their tenancy.

Owners should also deep clean their unit, professionally cleaning the carpets and painting if needed. Wood cabinets and floors should be cleaned and treated.

In our experience, the biggest mistake a homeowner can make is to place their property on the market when it does not show well. It is a big waste of time for rental agents and applicants, and if you do get a tenant, they will likely not respect the property as you would like them to.

Propman Property Management tries to make it easy for potential tenants to learn about our rental properties. They can search online through our “Available Rentals” and even answer questions (FAQs) and submit an application online.

Our property owner clients rely on Propman’s expertise in preparing properties for rent, and in finding the right tenants. If you have a property to rent, or are looking for a rental home, please contact Propman.

Help, I have Ants!
07-20-2016
07-20-2016

 

With the first warm days of summer, you might be surprised to find a few ants exploring the inner regions of your kitchen or here and there throughout your home. Hopefully, it’s just a few. Most of the time you can solve your ant problem yourself, without the use of chemicals. Here are some useful tips to try.

              Tips for Avoiding Ants

 

Clean up crumbs

Ants love to look for easy food sources, and once they find one, they tell the rest of the colony. Head them off at the pass by cleaning up after food is served or prepared, and vacuuming regularly.

Don’t leave pet food bowls out

Ants love pet food because it is close to the ground and easily accessible. Feed your pet and remove and wash the bowl. Or if you must leave it out, place the bowl into another bowl filled with soapy water that will form a barrier between ants and the tasty morsels.

Use old-fashioned remedies

Ants are deterred by both chalk and baby powder. For ant protection, sprinkle either one in areas where ants may be entering, or create a barrier line around window or door sills. Ants also do not like vinegar, so use vinegar as a cleaning agent; its acidity level is ideal to kill bacteria, mold and germs as well. Outdoors, you can use coffee grounds to repel ants (and cats).

Try TERRO®

For a small infestation, a few drops of a borax-based ant killer like TERRO® Ant Killer liquid can often do the trick. Place the drops on a piece of cardboard near where they are entering, and don’t be surprised to see more ants over the next several hours. They’re telling their friends. In a short while, all ants should be gone. Be careful when using around pets.

Call Propman Property Management

If all home attempts have failed, or you have a large ant infestation, please contact Propman Property Management (or your property manager). We can engage a pest control crew to chemically spray the area.

Pool Safety Tips
07-14-2016
07-14-2016

With Memorial Day came the unofficial launch of summer—and the opening of pool season here in Northern Virginia. Whether you have a pool at your home or whether you visit your local pool, we at Propman Property Management thought we’d share a few safety tips that can keep your family healthy and happy this summer.

Watch the Little Ones

Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Please keep an eye on your children at all times to ensure their safe enjoyment of the pool and never leave a child unattended in or near the water.

Teach Your Children to Swim

Knowing how to swim is a skill all children should have. Enroll them in a swim class or swim school, or simply teach them yourselves. Check the YMCA and Parks and Recreation for affordable lessons.

 

 

Stay Away from Drains

Children’s hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can become sucked into drains or suction openings, especially in spas and shallow pools. Teach your children to avoid playing near these openings, and never enter a pool that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover.

Ensure Proper Barriers

For your own pool, you are required to provide a self-closing, self-latching gate. A four-foot fence, barriers, pool alarms and pool covers are other safety measures. If you are renting one of our properties with a pool, please make sure proper barriers are in place and in working order. If they are not, contact Propman Property Management immediately.

Learn CPR

Bystanders are often the first responders for a drowning victim and knowing CPR can enable you to save a life. Take a course through your local hospital, community center or the American Red Cross to become CPR certified, and keep your certification current.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Summer’s rays are strong and unprotected exposure could lead to future skin damage, including melanoma. Take care to apply a protective sunscreen, and apply it often.

Propman Property Management wishes everyone a happy and healthy summer.

 

Should a Tenant Take Matters into their Own Hands?
06-28-2016
06-28-2016

Sometimes Propman Property Management gets a call from one of our Northern Virginia tenants who wants to handle an issue on their own instead of having us do it for them. For example, they may want to repair a washing machine themselves, replace a refrigerator with their own or find another tenant to take over their lease.

While it may seem that the tenant is doing us a favor, their taking matters into their own hands can create a liability issue for both themselves and our management company.

We are paid representatives of our property owners, and as such, we are the decision makers and overseers of the properties we represent. Our owners trust us to maintain certain standards and safety requirements on their behalf. And often the equipment, appliances and fixtures in a home are their personal property.

If a tenant performs a repair themselves, no matter how small, it could potentially cause issues as well. Perhaps they didn’t know enough about electrical wiring when replacing an outlet—which could cause a fire down the line. Or maybe they used the wrong brand or style of paint that doesn’t quite match what is already on the wall—causing us to have to repaint the entire room after they leave, and quite possibly costing them their security deposit.

A tenant may want to exit their lease early, and think they can find another tenant to take over their existing lease (subletting). This is not allowed because each and every leaseholder on the property must qualify as a renter, through our required application and investigation process.

If you, as a tenant, have an issue or spot a problem, please contact Propman Property Management.
We have a full maintenance team on call to handle any problem. We encourage open communication and will make every effort to respond quickly to your needs.

Safety, aesthetics, and legal regulations are all issues we have to consider—for your safety and ours.

I’m Already Living Here, Can I…? (Part 2)
06-16-2016
06-16-2016

In this second post in our two-part series, Propman Property Management fields some of the more common questions we hear from our tenants. Be sure to read Part 1 for more insight into what tenants can and cannot do in their rental property.

 

 

I’ll Stay if You Don’t Raise the Rent!

Q: Tenants sometimes challenge us when it comes to lease renewal, telling us that they will stay in the property if we don’t raise the rent.

A: As a property management company, we must represent the interests of our client—the property owner—and seek to provide them the best value for their investment. We have to consider market values, time of year, increased tax burdens, etc. when making pricing decisions. Perhaps the property has had to have a number of repairs, or has increased in value. Our rental pricing must reflect any and all conditions.

May I Paint the Rooms?

Q: Once in a while tenants ask if they can paint the home’s interior to colors they like. “My daughter wants a purple bedroom.” Sometimes they want to do an accent wall or a single room; other times, they want to paint the entire house.

A: This question is answered on a case-by-case basis. We must check with our owner to get their opinion first. If we do allow you to paint, we require that you hire a professional painting company to return the walls to their original color when you leave, and provide us with the receipt as proof. If you do not repaint, or do not do it satisfactorily and we must use our own professional painter, the fee will most likely be taken from your security deposit. You are also liable for damage caused by spilled paint on floors, carpets or walls.

Can I Use My Own Washer and Dryer?

Q: Sometimes, especially with military relocations, tenants ask if they can install their own washer and dryer instead of using the equipment that is already in the home.

A: The problem here is that someone needs to remove the existing washer and dryer and find a place to store it. Most houses do not have an extra place for storage. It also can be detrimental for the equipment to sit for an extended period of time without being used. We must determine this answer on a case-by-case basis, checking with our property owner as well. It is best to ask this question up front, when applying for a rental lease.

This is Part 2 of our 2-part series.

Since we strive to create a positive experience for our tenants, and when possible, Propman Property Management will take your request under consideration and check with our property owner clients for their answers. If we cannot honor your request, we hope you understand. We must adhere to both legal requirements and our clients’ rules for their own properties.

If you are looking for a professional property management company in Northern Virginia, or a rental home, please contact Propman.

I'm Already Living Here, Can I...? (Part 1)
06-09-2016
06-09-2016

 

As a property management company representing our property owners in Northern Virginia, Propman often fields questions from tenants about what they can and cannot do in the property once they are living there. Sometimes they have a legitimate concern; other times they simply want to bend the rules in their favor.

 

Here are some recent questions we’ve heard, in Part 1 of our two-part series, and our answers.

My Roommate’s Leaving; Who’s Responsible for the Rent?

Q: A tenant called Propman to tell us that one of their roommates is moving out before the end of the lease term and asked if she was going to be responsible for the entire rent or just her share.

A:  Whomever signed the lease is legally responsible for the entire rent, whether jointly or severally. This means the entire rent needs to be paid every month, no matter who is still living in the property. If one roommate moves out, the remaining roommate must either gather the rent from the roommate for the remainder of the lease or pay the entire amount on their own.

Do You Think the Landlord Will Let Me Have a Dog?

Q: A tenant went to the SPCA and fell in love with a dog, then called Propman to ask if the landlord would approve of a dog.

A: The problem here is that the tenant already fell in love with the dog before finding out whether pets are allowed in their rental property. Generally, property owners have strict rules about pets, which we as their manager need to follow. It isn’t merely a question of “going back and asking the landlord.” Your pet policy is most likely outlined in your rental agreement. We recommend checking it, or checking with us, before falling in love with a potential pet.

If you are caught with a pet that has not been approved it is a default on your lease and your lease can be terminated and you can be evicted, which goes on your credit report. Then when you go to apply for another rental property and that landlord checks your background, your application can be denied.

Can My Mother Move In?

Q: My mother left the nursing home and wants to come live with us. I hope the landlord doesn’t mind.

A: We don’t want to be the bad guy here, but legally, anyone over the age of 18 needs to be on the lease, and Propman Property Management needs to approve anyone moving in, including your own mother. Because it is an additional adult, we must consider liability for another tenant, insurance issues and additional wear and tear on the property. Your mother will have to apply and be approved just as you did, and additional considerations may be involved, such as an increase in rent for example.

This is Part 1 of our 2-part series.

Propman Property Management is a professional firm pairing rental properties with tenants. We love our property owner clients and our tenants and want to ensure that each party has a pleasant experience. If you have a property you’d like to rent out, or are looking for a rental, please give us a call. Review our Available Properties for current rental opportunities. 

Spring Maintenance Items for Tenants
06-07-2016
06-09-2016

 

 

If you are renting a house, townhouse or condominium, there are certain activities tenants should perform in the spring.

 

 

Now that the weather is warmer, get outside and take an assessment of yard conditions. Tenants should cut back dead branches on bushes, remove twigs, broken limbs and leaves, and deadhead spring flowers. Clean the gutters if they need it. (Your lease will define your responsibilities.)

Mowing should take place about once a week, so the lawn does not become overgrown following spring rains. If the summer months are dry, mow as necessary. Do not mow on the lowest-to-the-ground setting as this can kill the grass and allow weeds to take root. If the lawn is in poor condition, let us know. We may need to have the lawn treated, aerated and seeded.

 

 

Bring in the sunlight by washing the windows and sweep sidewalks and porches. Turn on the main valve to your outside water supply and re-hook up hoses to wash away any mud or debris. Take pride in your home and enjoy how nice it looks!

 

 

Walk the grounds as well and perform a visual inspection. Are gutters hanging or pulled away from the roof due to ice and snow? Are roof shingles missing? Did the fence get broken or the siding damaged? Check the exterior of your home as well as the entire grounds for problems. If there is an issue, please contact your property manager as soon as you identify it. We will want to take care of it as quickly as possible.

Propman Property Management can also perform periodic inspections for you. Simply contact our office to schedule your inspection.

We enjoy our tenants and want them to enjoy living in the homes we represent. If you are interested in renting from Propman, see our Available Rentals. Or, if you have a home you’d like to rent out, please give us a call

Questions to ask a Landlord Part 4
06-02-2016
06-02-2016

 

This is our fourth and final post in Propman Property Management’s series of questions to ask the landlord before you rent. We know it seems like a lot of questions, which is why we broke them up into a convenient series, but not all of these questions will come up. Most, if not all, will be covered by our representative at the time you sign your lease.

A lease is not only a legal transaction; it defines the responsibilities held by each party signing the lease (you and us).  Therefore, it is best to ask and answer all questions up front so there are no surprises later.

Here are the final questions to take into consideration before renting:

 

 

Moving

  • How early can I move in?
  • May I move in early if the previous tenant leaves early?
  • Is there an early move-in fee?
  • If my property is not clean, or items are in disrepair, when will these items be completed or fixed?
  • When moving out, when do I need to be out of the property?
  • What parking provisions are available?
  • Do I need a parking permit?

Living in the Home

  • What is the allowable length of stay for visitors?
  • Where can visitors park?
  • Can I get a roommate? If so, do they need to be on the lease?
  • What is your policy on pets?
  • Are there any extra fees if I have pets?
  • If I want to make a custom change to the property (like painting a white wall a different color), what is your policy? Do you make the change, or do I?
  • Is smoking allowed inside the home?

Emergencies and Repairs

  • If something breaks while I’m living here, who is responsible for fixing it?
  • Who should I call, and when?
  • Do you have regular workday hours, weekend hours, or after-hours contacts?
  • Do you have an emergency or after-hours number?
  • Do you have a maintenance staff (either on site or off site)?
  • How quickly can I expect repairs to be made?

We hope you enjoyed this series. Be sure to review the lists of questions covered in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as well. 

And if you wish to rent from Propman Property Management, feel free to review our Available Rentals. If you see one you like and you qualify, we welcome you to submit a Rental Application. All forms are conveniently available online in our “Residents” section.

How Does Propman Communicate?
05-19-2016
05-19-2016

 

For Propman Property Management, a large part of our job is communication with our owners and tenants. Once we list and rent a property, our job is just beginning. Now comes the task of making sure the lease term is a pleasant one for everyone involved.

To us, communication is key. We need to let our owners and our tenants know what is going on with their homes at all times. We also need to get feedback from them on a regular basis.

 

Propman Uses Technology to Communicate

Not long ago, we upgraded the Propman website to enable more communicative and interactive features such as online application forms. We also feature a secure owner portal where home owners can log in for updates on their properties.  For frequently asked questions, we conveniently divided our FAQs into tenant and homeowner sections, to address those particular audiences.

Another way Propman communicates with owners and tenants is through our blog, Facebook and Google pages where we feature relevant information and informative tips each month. Owner messages also appear on our monthly statements.

How Can You Reach Propman?

Propman is on call 24/7, year-round to handle emergencies, so we have to have the latest technologies in place. We can be reached during office hours via telephone (both landline and cellular connections), fax, email, and text, and after hours on our emergency contact telephone.

Propman Property Management strives to be the best property management company in the Northern Virginia area. If there are ways we can communicate better, let us know!

Using Propman Has Its Tax Advantages
05-12-2016
05-12-2016

Ah, it’s spring, warmer temperatures, and tax deadlines. We can’t do anything about the first two items, but using a property management company like Propman can certainly have its tax benefits.

First, as a property owner, the professional services you use to maintain your investment may be tax deductible, including property management fees. By using Propman Property Management, you can most likely claim a deduction on the cost of our services, but be sure to keep your invoices and owner’s statements as proof of payment. Contact us if you need replacement copies.

Propman can also help you organize your filing paperwork by maintaining and issuing the required paperwork. That way, if you are not the most skilled at organization, you can rely on us for the necessary records. This allows you to take the maximum deduction and eligible credits. We can also share information about investment opportunities.

For any repairs or work done on your property, Propman also retains receipts and reports and can provide them for your tax records. These items can serve as deductions or can provide tax credits as with deductible energy-efficient upgrades. Our accounting can be of great assistance to property owners who live out of the Northern Virginia area, as well as local owners.

If you need additional information regarding your paperwork with Propman Property Management and your northern Virginia rental properties, please contact us anytime at Propman.

Propman Property Management is not a tax expert. If you have questions about your taxes, please contact your CPA or tax professional.

 

 

Before You Rent: Questions for the Landlord Part 3
05-05-2016
05-05-2016

If you’re looking at a home to rent in Northern Virginia, you should be asking questions of your landlord. These questions not only familiarize you with the policies and services offered by your property management company, they can prevent any disputes later on down the road.

Here is the third installment in the Propman Property Management series “Before You Rent: Questions for the Landlord.” Be sure to refer to our first two posts for additional questions.

Facilities

  • Are kitchen appliances provided, and if so, which ones?
  • Are a washer and dryer provided? If not, where are the closest laundry facilities?
  • Are blinds or drapes provided?
  • Are there screens or storm windows?
  • Are there fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in the property?
  • Is there a storage area?
  • If I am to do the yard work, are the tools provided (lawn mower, rakes, etc.)?
  • For what maintenance am I responsible (gutters, light bulbs, etc.)?

Security

  • Are the locks changed after the current tenant moves out?
  • Are there secure locking devices such as deadbolts on the doors?
  • Are the locks or security devices on the windows?
  • Does the property have an alarm system?
  • Does the property have security lighting or any special security features?
  • Are the peepholes in the doors?
  • If I lose my key, what is the process?
  • If I am locked out, what is the process?
  • Are cars towed from the lot if they are not registered?
  • Do I need renter’s insurance?

Right of Entry

  • If your staff or repair personnel need to come into my home, how much advance notice will I receive?
  • Do I arrange any repair appointments with contractors or vendors?
  • If it’s not convenient for me, do I have to let the person into the home?
  • If I’ve given notice of moving out, what is the policy on having people come in to look at the property?

Propman Property Management lists Available Properties for Rent on our website. We also represent homeowners who have a property to rent. If you are looking for a home, please review our listings and submit a rental application. You’ll find we’re great to rent from.

Communication is a Key Propman Value
04-19-2016
04-19-2016

 

 

One of the most important – if not the most important – aspects of Propman’s business as Northern Virginia Property Managers is communication.

 

Emergency Communication

Most people expect us to be available to handle any emergency, at any time of the day or night. If a tenant’s heat goes out, or a storm punctures a roof, tenants or owners can call Propman Property Management on our emergency line and someone will respond.  Emergency responsiveness keeps property damage to a minimum and fosters trust in our company.

But communication doesn’t end here.

Responsive Communication

One of Propman’s values is responsiveness. Whether a tenant, owner or Realtor contacts us, we act to respond as quickly as we can. Then we put into process the necessary responses, whether it is to connect people, send a repair team, or react to an inquiry. If there is an issue, we also follow up with the parties to ensure satisfaction once our repair teams have completed their work. To keep stress and anxiety levels to a minimum, each communication is a high-level priority.

Regular Communication

Propman regularly communicates with everyone in our network: homeowners, tenants, Realtors, vendors, partners, repair teams, etc. We spend years building these valuable partnerships and recognize that the key to our success is our relationships. Communication might take place via a telephone call, email, text message, letter, note, notifications on our invoices and statements, or through our blog.

In addition, Propman regularly contacts our owners to keep them up to date on their properties, we schedule twice-a-year inspections with our tenants, and we promptly post new rental listings on our website. Regular communication keeps our company competent and accountable, and we see the benefits of time management from it.

We’d love to communicate with you. Contact Propman Property Management if you have a property to rent, are looking for a rental home, or have a referral.

Vandalism in Your Community? How Propman Property Management Can Help.
04-07-2016
04-07-2016

A friend of ours recently called Propman Property Management and told us about some minor vandalism that had been happening in her Northern Virginia community. It involved several teenagers who were pulling pranks on the homeowners and causing minor damage in the neighborhood.  She didn’t know how to handle the problem – whether to confront the vandals herself or call the authorities – so she turned to us.

The right thing to do was to call the property manager, who could then make the correct decision on how best to handle the problem.  The property manager is experienced in handling small incidents like vandalism and can best determine the next step of action, whether it is to contact the offending residents or bring in the police.

It is important not to approach the perpetrator yourself, as this could involve you in liability, or stimulate retaliation from the vandals. It is best to let the professionals handle the situation, after all, that is why you have a property management company. We not only monitor and secure your property, we can serve as your advocate in cases of problems such as vandalism.

Another reason to contact your property manager is to build a record. The property manager may already be aware of other incidents or witness reports, and this can help build a case against the offending parties. If you have photographs or videos of the perpetrator, these can also be helpful, but do not put yourself in harm’s way to take them. Also, provide photographic evidence of the damage if you can. This creates a documentation chain.

Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, and you deserve the right to live in your home without fear. If you witness vandalism occurring, see evidence of it, or have had it done to your property, please do not hesitate to contact your property manager.

For information regarding Propman’s property management services in Northern Virginia, call us today at 703-569-5702.

Questions to Ask the Landlord, Part 2
03-30-2016
03-30-2016

 

This post continues Propman’s series on the questions you should ask your landlord before renting a property. In Part 1 of this series, we covered questions on rent, security deposits, and utilities.  In this post, we’ll list a few more of the important questions that will affect your stay in your new home.

 

Lease Application & Terms

  • How do I know if I quality to rent the property?
  • Do you perform a credit and background check?
  • What forms do I need to fill out?
  • What fee is required with the application, and what money is required when I sign the lease?
  • What do I do when my application is accepted?
  • Who is the landlord or property manager?
  • How many people are allowed to live at this property, and does everyone who lives here need to be on the lease?

Lease Termination

  • Will my lease renew automatically each year?
  • What notice is needed to renew or terminate my lease?
  • Is there an early termination option or fee?
  • Can I sublet this property or assign my lease?
  • Is there a sublet fee?
  • Do I have to pay for professional cleaning when I move out?

Inspections

  • Do we do a walk-through move-in inspection?
  • Is there an end-of-lease walk-through inspection?
  • Do you perform periodic inspections, and what kind of notice do I get for these?
  • If damage is found, do you help me repair it, or provide resources for repairs?
  • If my property is found not to be clean when I move out, who is responsible for cleaning it?

You’ll find that when you rent from Propman Property Management, that most, if not all, of these questions will be covered in your application process, or be listed in your lease. If, however, you want to ask additional questions, please feel free. We want to help make your rental experience a great one.

If you are looking for a rental property, please take a moment to review our Available Rentals and submit an application if you meet our qualifications.

For additional important questions to ask, see Part 1 of our series, and stay tuned for more questions next month.

Propman Sells Homes
03-24-2016
03-24-2016

Propman Property Management is well known for its excellent properties and service in managing properties for owners in the Northern Virginia area.  But did you know that Propman also sells properties? We have 40 years’ experience!

A number of our home owners decide they want to sell their property, for one reason or another, and we’re glad to provide the same stellar service to help them there. Our sales division is under the same roof as our property management services.

Meet Propman’s Principal Real Estate Broker: Mark Andersen.

“The best way to transition from renting to selling is to notify your property manager that you want to sell rather than renew the lease,” Realtor Mark Andersen said. “It’s a very simple process, and we give our owners a discount on the commission.”

“In addition, our properties usually sell very quickly because we keep them up and they are in good shape. I’d say our average sale is in about 30 days,” Andersen continued.

Because Propman has been managing the property we have experience with it, and with its condition. We have the marketing system in place to sell as well as to rent, and we list your property in the MLS system and on other online websites for you. We have one other broker and two salespeople with our sales team who would be delighted to help you.

If you want to sell a property, or just find out more information about selling, please give our sales team a call at 703-569-9323 ext 205 , or contact Propman online.

Questions to Ask Landlord Part 1
03-17-2016
03-17-2016

 

If you’re thinking about renting a property in Northern Virginia, you are about to enter into a contract with the landlord. And any time you enter into any sort of agreement, you should ask the right questions before signing on the dotted line.

We’ll cover some of the most common questions in a series of blog posts, but here are the first ones you should consider asking the landlord or property management company:

 

Rent:

  • How much is my monthly rent?
  • What is the length of your lease?
  • Can I rent for longer or shorter periods?
  • Where is my rent to be paid, and when is it due?
  • What forms of rent payment are acceptable?
  • Is there a penalty or late fee if my rent is late?
  • Is there an “escalator clause” in my lease, whereby the rent increases at a certain point?

Security Deposit:

  • How much is your security deposit?
  • When do I pay it and when will it be returned?
  • Do I receive interest on my security deposit?
  • What would prevent my security deposit from being returned?
  • If you allow pets, is there a pet security deposit?

Utilities:

  • What utilities are included in the rent and which am I responsible for?
  • What type of heat does this home have?
  • What type of air conditioning system does this home have?
  • What form of garbage collection is available?
  • Which cable TV and Internet services are available?
  • Why utilities are required, and what is their typical monthly cost?

If you have questions about renting a home through Propman Property Management, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to answer them. You can also find some of these answers on our FAQ for Renters page.

Also, review our Available Properties, listed on our website. If you see a property you like and meet our renter qualifications, we encourage you to put in an application.

We Love ALL American Appliance Service Inc
03-03-2016
03-03-2016

 

At Propman Property Management, we couldn’t operate as efficiently and effectively as we do without a little help from our trusted vendors. One company we rely on is All American Appliance Service Inc. For more than 20 years, AAAS has been providing analysis and repair services on large appliances including stoves, ovens, laundry units, dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, icemakers, etc., with experience in most major brands including G.E., Whirlpool, Kenmore, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, Maytag and more.

 

 

We like All American Appliance Service for many reasons. They:

  • Are always professional in demeanor and work
  • Coordinate appointments with the tenant (taking the middleman out)
  • Offer affordable pricing which we pass along directly to the owners—we don’t take a cut
  • Respond immediately, both for analysis calls and repairs
  • Provide Saturday service at no additional charge
  • Employ factory-trained technicians
  • Give an honest opinion on whether the appliance should be repaired or replaced

Our homeowners rely on Propman to not only rent, but care for their properties, as we rely on our vendors to provide excellent service. Working with owner Bonnie Woolsey has been a pleasure, and we look forward to many more years of working together.

Smoke Detectors Are the Law
02-25-2016
02-25-2016

Safety is one of our top concerns at Propman Property Management, and it is our goal to ensure that both our tenants and our landlords benefit from our diligence to safety measures.

One way we protect property and renters is by the installation of working smoke alarms.

In many states, including Virginia, working smoke alarms are required by laws that set habitability requirements. But even if it wasn’t mandated by law, we’d take the initiative to make sure each and every one of the properties we manage here in Northern Virginia has a working smoke detector.

According to facts provided by the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms can double your chances of surviving a fire and greatly reduce property damage. About 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home, most at night while residents are sleeping, and the best way to survive is through early fire detection and a rapid escape.

Ideally, smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home, and for additional safety, they may be installed in every sleeping room. Battery operated, or hard wired, smoke alarms will sound when smoke is detected.

As per Virginia law, the owner of any rental unit is responsible for providing smoke alarms, but it is the job of the tenant to make sure they perform interim testing, repair, and maintain these units. That includes reporting to Propman if one is not working, and changing the battery when it is needed.

Tenants should also take care to prevent fire hazards, like accumulations of flammable materials near heating sources, and keeping a portable fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen area.

If you have questions about fire alarms or fire safety, please give Propman a call.

Renters and Pets
02-17-2016
02-25-2016

We love pets, and we know you love your pets as members of your family. But how do pets and rentals go together?

Through years of experience, Propman Property Management has developed a pretty solid and fair pet policy to deal with a variety of issues that may arise with pet ownership. Many times, the pet policy is set by the home’s owner, who may decline to accept pets, or make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

What Types of Pets are Allowed

In general, the types of pets allowed inside a home include small dogs, cats, birds, fish, and small mammals and reptiles. Some of Propman’s properties also include exterior facilities like barns, where tenants are allowed to keep horses.

Number of Pets

Generally, we try to restrict pets to one per household, but this depends on the type and size of your pet and the facilities provided.

Security Deposits

Tenants will be required to pay an additional security deposit to cover any potential damage their pet may cause. Refundable security deposits will be held in reserve to defray damage costs, if applicable. Security deposits may be used to clean or replace carpeting from urine and feces stains, repair wood damage, or other damage caused by your pet.

Disclosures

You will be required to disclose what type of pet, the age and weight of your pet you are interested in housing.

The reason we require policies regarding pets is to protect both our tenants and our landlords’ property.  This way everyone knows where they stand and what is expected. It is standard in the industry.

If you are interested in renting from Propman in Northern Virginia, please take a look at our available rentals. If you see a home you like and are interested in finding out more about our pet policies, please give us a call.

Why is Northern Virginia a Great Rental Area?
02-09-2016
02-09-2016

As a property management company, Propman is often asked, “How’s the rental market in Northern Virginia?” We can almost always answer, “It’s great!”

Since our region is so close to Washington, D.C. and the governmental operations and its contractors, there is a plethora of government work in this area. And since the government is always in operation, the area experiences some of the best employment stability in the nation. When the rest of the country goes into a recession, you don’t really feel it here.

We also find that government employees and military personnel are very good tenants. We have several military bases nearby, including Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Myer and Marine Corps Base Quantico, and we are practiced in the intricacies of working with government and military employees.

Northern Virginia is also a higher-income area, meaning that you can generally receive a higher rent on your investment property than if it was located in another region of the state.

If you have an older property to rent out, you can particularly benefit because your mortgage is typically lower, or you may have paid off your house. This means you can start reaping benefits from your rental investment immediately.

To understand more about the Northern Virginia rental market, give us a call here at Propman Property Management. We’ll be glad to review the marketplace and give you advice on how you can rent out your property or properties safely and securely with our professional property managers. Our region includes the counties and cities of Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun and Prince William.

Preventing Vandalism in your Rental Property
01-21-2016
02-09-2016

 

Protecting your property is a 24-hour a day job, and by putting measures into place, your property can help defend itself from break-ins and vandalism. Here are some action items Propman Property Management can suggest that you can use right now.

Light up the Night

Criminals prefer dark areas in which to do their dirty work. Keeping your property well lit acts as a deterrent to criminal behavior. Ensure that outdoor lighting is working and is adequate to illuminate your property on all sides. Install motion detector lighting around doorways. This helps the tenant as well as deters potential problems. Ask the tenants to keep interior lights on as well when they are away.

Trim Shrubbery

In order to prevent places for criminals to hide close to entryways, shrubbery around doors and windows needs to be kept well-trimmed. Propman recommends that bushes be no higher than one foot tall.

Install Alarms

Having an alarm system can be a great deterrent when signage is posted around your property, and in case of a break-in, will alert security personnel. It’s not a bad idea to have at least a minimum local alarm system installed that sounds a siren when doors and windows are tampered with. The loud siren should chase off any intruders.

Make it Look Cared For

Oversee the general appearance of your home and make sure it looks like it’s being lived in and not abandoned. Abandoned properties are prime targets for vandalism. This means keeping the exterior looking fresh, keeping up the lawn, and disposing of yard debris, whether it’s the tenant’s or the owner’s responsibility.

If Vandalism Does Occur

If a break-in or vandalism does occur, call the police immediately, and then call Propman about making any necessary repairs. If you don’t repair items like broken windows immediately, it tends to attract more vandalism.

Your rental property is an investment, and a business venture. You must put time and effort into protecting it. As your property management company in Northern Virginia, Propman is here to assist. Contact us with any questions.

Managing Rental Properties is a Business
01-14-2016
01-21-2016

 

When I was younger, I used to manage my own properties. I realized then that with the constraints of my job and my responsibilities to my family, I didn’t make the best property manager. What I’ve learned since, working at Propman Property Management and as a Real Estate Agent is that I really missed out. Here’s why.

I tended to repeat the same mistakes over and over again because I didn’t understand the intricacies of managing my rental properties as a business.

 

We, at Propman, are always reminded that we have to educate our property owners, especially when they ask, “Why do I have to put money into my property?” or “Why should I have to do that?” when we make a recommendation.

Your Rental Investment

We are in the business of protecting your rental investment. That’s right, it’s not your home any more, it’s a business investment, and as with any investment, you have to reinvest in it to ensure it remains profitable.

That’s why homeowners hire Propman. We handle maintenance issues, whether for something that breaks or for preventive reasons. This can include painting, cleaning, trimming, powerwashing decks, and cleaning roofs of algae and moss. (Gutter cleaning is the tenant’s responsibility). We also make repairs. We have a complete and trusted vendor network who work for us that we call upon on a regular basis.

Maintenance is One Thing We Take Very Seriously

If a tenant requests a repair, we take it seriously. We find that if you don’t, the tenant gets the impression that you don’t care about the property, then, as a result, they don’t care either. That’s when things can go from bad to worse.

Take the example of a leaking roof. The tenant complains. If you don’t fix it, the next thing you know, the water starts coming in through the ceiling, causing even more expensive repairs. After a big storm, the water damage is even worse. Not only does the tenant become enraged (“I TOLD you it was leaking”), your simple repair has now become a more extensive—and expensive—one.

If you’ve been managing your own rental property, or are thinking about renting out your home, please give us a call first. We can help give you guidelines, whether you use our services or not. 

What You Need to Know About Propman Lease Renewals
01-07-2016
01-07-2016

 

Propman Property Management manages residential property for our property owners, and part of that process is renewing tenant leases. To ensure the smoothest transition from one lease to another, or for renewal from year to year, we have solid systems in place.

 

 

 

The Propman Lease Renewal Process

The renewal process actually begins 60 days before the lease termination date. We check with each landlord to ensure that they want to renew a current lease. Then, we contact each tenant listed on the lease, asking them if they wish to renew. If both are in agreement, and there are no adjustments such as rent increases or decreases, we issue a lease extension that covers the same terms listed in the existing lease, and extending the expiration date for one year. If the tenant chooses not to renew, they are required to give us 30 days’ notice.

After the tenant vacates the property, we make sure the utilities are put back into the landlord’s account and inspect the property and make or suggest needed repairs, if there are any. We strive to make the process seamless for owners.

In addition, at the point of lease renewal, the property owner has the option of putting the property on the market instead of issuing a new lease. He or she can also sell the property with a tenant in place at any time of the year, with the tenant’s lease conveying to the new owner.

Do You Need to Rent Out Your Home?

Since 2003, Propman Property Management has been providing professional property management and rental of residential properties in Northern Virginia. If you have a property you’d like to rent, please contact us.

Are the Holidays a Good Time to Rent or Sell a Property?
12-29-2015
12-29-2015

At Propman Property Management, we often get asked the question whether the holiday time is a good time to rent or sell a property or not.

Here in Northern Virginia’s property management market, we find that people are generally not thinking about renting at this time of year. Renter cash flow is low and it is a relatively dead time in the market. We do find, however, that the military market moves no matter what the season.

We also believe the rental market is slowing because the people who lost their homes a few years ago with the market downswing, and have been renting, are now becoming qualified to purchase a home again. Their three-year waiting period after filing bankruptcy is now up.

Advice We Give to Our Rental Property Owners

For Propman’s property owners whose leases end in December, we often recommend partially extending the lease if they can to at February or March when the market opens up again.

With our owners’ approval, Propman can negotiate lease terms with the tenant who is already in your home on your behalf, with the goal of extending the lease until more favorable rental times are available.

Propman Can Also Help You Sell Your Home During the Holidays

If you want to sell your home during the holidays, we can also help. With the proper staging and marketing, any time of the year is good for selling, although the peak season falls between mid-February and early June. Contact our sales team at 703-569-5702 ext 205.

The holidays might not be the most popular time to think about renting, selling or buying a home, but people do relocate during this time, so there is always a market. For more information, please contact Propman Property Management.

Propman's Winterizing Checklist For Your Home
12-15-2015
12-29-2015

winterize

As a property management company, Propman is dedicated to taking care of your home on your behalf. That’s why we provide our tenants with items they need to do to winterize their rental property here in Northern Virginia. These same tips apply to anyone who owns a home.

 

  1. Turn off outdoor spigots 

    Spigot turnoff should be done inside the house where the water line extends to the outdoor spigot. Simply turning the knob to the right until it stops will quelch the water flow for the winter. In the spring, simply turn the same knob to the left to restore water flow. If spigots are left open, water trapped within could freeze, consequently cracking water pipes.

  2. Bring in the hose

    Don’t leave your rubber hose attached to the outdoor spigot or in the yard or water trapped inside will cause it to split. Detach it, drain it and bring it inside the shed or garage for winter storage.

  3. Change the furnace filter

    During the winter months your furnace runs continually. Increase its efficiency by installing a new furnace filter now.
  4. Clear leaves

    Rake leaves and bag them for removal from your lawn, patio, deck, and other surfaces. Leaves left on the ground will stain outdoor furniture and decking and kill grasses and plants trapped below.
  5. Clear Gutters

    After all the leaves have fallen from the trees, thoroughly clean and rinse all gutters. This prevents ice from forming on trapped leaves and backing water up into the house or causing gutters to separate or crack.
  6. Inspect your chimney

    If you used your fireplace often in the past year, or used unseasoned or soft woods, hire a professional to clean your chimney every year. If you did not have heavy use, a simple chimney inspection performed by a professional will let you know if your flue is safe to use for the upcoming winter season. You don’t want a chimney fire caused by creosote buildup.
  7. Store lawn furniture

    Most outdoor furnishings do not fare well in freezing and snow-covered conditions. Store them indoors, or provide covers to winterize them.

Make it a point to winterize now, before the snow starts to fall. If you have questions about winterizing your home, please contact Propman Property Management.

Why Renter’s Insurance is a Requirement
12-02-2015
12-29-2015

Propman Property Management requires all tenants to acquire Renter’s Insurance. This is an insurance of which a basic renter’s policy covers provides both personal property and liability coverage. It not only protects the tenants, it gives property owners peace of mind as well.

 

Here are a number of reasons why renter’s insurance is important for tenants:

  1. It protects the tenant from having to pay for damages accidentally caused to the building or any other resident’s property.
  2. It shields the tenants for accidental injury to another person’s body, like if your guest falls in your home or is bitten by your dog.
  3. It protects your personal belongings, but check your particular policy for specifics on what is or is not covered.  A landlord’s insurance does not cover a tenant’s property; it covers the building structure and common areas.
  4. Your personal property is protected while you are away from the home.
  5. It is a minimal cost. Renter’s insurance is provided at an extremely affordable rate, generally less than $200 a year.
  6. You may get cross-insurance discounts on auto insurance by having the same agent provide both coverages.
  7. Riders are available. Special policy additions are available for tenants who require additional coverage, and can add protection for valuable jewelry, earthquake, hurricanes, or floods.
  8. You have peace of mind if a loss occurs. You never know what is going to happen down the road.

Take a Personal Property Inventory

A renter’s policy will cover assets up to the dollar amount specified in the coverage, however, it is a good idea to create an inventory to document your assets in the event damage occurs. Go room by room, documenting each item into a notebook or checklist form. Don’t forget to look into closets, on shelves, and under the bed. The checklist should detail the home’s full contents, noting the year the items were purchased and how much you paid for it. At the very least, use a camera or video camera to take photographs of the rooms and the items within them.

 

Propman Property Management is not a licensed insurance agent and cannot provide advice on policies. For complete information, please contact a qualified insurance agent.

Rental Pest Control—Who’s Responsible?
11-05-2015
12-29-2015

One of the issues any property management company has to deal with on a regular basis is pest management in rental properties. And questions often arise over who is responsible for removing or controlling pests: is it the landlord’s or the renter’s responsibility? 

Here is a brief overview on how Propman Property Management looks at the issue of pest control for renters and landlords.

 

What is considered a pest?

Pests are considered any animal, insect, plant or organism that is in direct conflict with humans. They can threaten human health, damage property or landscaping, or create a general annoyance. Specific pests we can see in property management include: ants, rodents, termites, bees and wasps, for example, and sometimes roaches.

The landlord’s responsibility

A landlord must provide and maintain livable conditions for its tenants in a rental property, and many landlords provide for seasonal maintenance and prevention, such as with regular termite inspections or spraying. But just because the landlord can make these arrangements, it doesn’t mean that they always pay for pest control.

The tenant’s responsibility

If pest infestation is linked to a tenant behavior or actions, it is then up to the tenant to cover the costs for pest control. For example, ants and cockroaches can be drawn to unclean areas such as in the kitchen, around garbage cans, or under food areas in the pantry. Pests can also be drawn to wet areas caused by unchecked leaks or moisture caused by pets.

If there is a pest infestation, it is the responsibility of the tenant to contact the landlord immediately. Failure to do so could cause the problem to escalate.

The landlord, on his or her part, is required to investigate the situation and provide the correct solution, whether it is to take care of the infestation themselves or require the tenant to do so. The process and its resolution will be documented.

This is a general observation on this topic, and specifics may need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Leases also vary in their specifications for pest control, so check your lease to see what is required by your landlord.

Smart Reasons to Use a Property Management Company for Multiple Properties
10-28-2015
12-29-2015

 

 

Managing one property is one thing, managing multiple units or properties is another. That’s where a property management company like Propman Property Management comes in. Unless you’re in the business of being a full-time landlord, there are many benefits to hiring this job out.

 

Reasons to Use a Property Management Company

  1. You don’t want to handle hands-on management. Finding and vetting tenants for multiple properties, handling the billing, and responding to issues are tasks best left to those with the experience, manpower, and resources to do the job well.

  2. Your time is limited. You are spending your time in your own business and shouldn’t be using the time you could be building your career or business handling rental issues including repairs and their financing, remodeling, interviewing tenants, showing the property, etc.

  3. You don’t want to be an employer. For multiple property management you may need to hire a resident manager, maintenance staff, or other employees to help, and along with this comes payroll and other legal requirements. Your property management company is an independent contractor, not an employee.

  4. You don’t have the maintenance resources. Most property owners don’t have the resources to handle maintenance or emergency issues around the clock, nor do they wish to receive and have to handle emergency calls in the middle of the night.  A property management company has complete resources to handle any issue that arises—24/7.
  5. Your properties are complicated. Are your properties part of the affordable housing program or do they present particular challenges?  It’s best to use a company versed in the legalities and nuances of managing certain properties.
  6. Your rental properties are not nearby. If your properties are in another state, located a distance from where you live, or scattered in different areas, a property management company is best used to handle issued you cannot deal with from afar.
  7. You have the money. You can afford the management fees that are generally a percentage of the rental income.

At Propman Property Management we’ve developed a system that works for owners of multiple properties. Some of the benefits we offer include:

  1. Keeping expenses, security deposits and leases separate.
  2. Providing detailed monthly revenue and expense reports
  3. Providing an annual report and a co-mingled 1099 review report, with copies for the IRS and the Landlord.

Unless you want to be in the business of being a landlord, it makes sense to look at using a property management company. If you have questions about property management companies, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

Our Favorite Excuses Tenants Give for Not Paying Their Rent
10-15-2015
12-29-2015

 

 

 

 

 

It is understood by the terms of a lease that there is rent to be paid...clearly outlined as to how much is expected and when it is due. But that doesn’t mean that this actually happens 100% of the time. People are human, and life happens. And at Propman Property Management, we hear it all.

Here are some of our favorite excuses why tenants couldn’t pay the rent:

They have other priorities:

  • “My BMW is in the shop and I can’t afford to pay for both.”
  • “I had the choice of paying the rent or buying a car. I bought a car. I thought you would understand.”

It is out of their hands:

  • “My paycheck comes out of Japan and the plane crashed.”
  • “I deposited my paycheck in the bank’s ATM and it got caught in the rollers. It took six days for the bank to tear apart the machine.”
  • “My daughter ate my husband’s paycheck.”

They have poor money management skills:

  •  “I am straight broke.”
  • “My income tax return was supposed to arrive a week ago, so I spent all the money from my paycheck, and now my tax return check has been delayed until two weeks from now.”

Who me?

  • It’s your fault. You deposited my check too late. My automatic withdrawals went through the bank before the rent check.”
  • I’m sure I paid you—YOU must have lost it!”

Aren’t you glad you use a property management company to deal with tenants?

Have Questions about the NoVa Rental Market? Ask Propman.
09-28-2015
12-29-2015

 

We understand that you might have questions on what the rental market is like in our area. Perhaps you’re thinking of renting out your home, or simply want to know what the conditions are.

 

 

Common NoVa Rental Questions

Propman Property Management is fully engaged and “in tune” with the Northern Virginia real estate rental market, and we’re glad to speak with you. We can answer questions like:

  • Is the rental market hot or slow currently?
  • What is the best or worst time to market my property?
  • How much rent could I get for my property?
  • How long would it take to lease my property?
  • How can I find the best tenants?
  • How can I ensure that my property is taken care of?
  • How is rent collected, and how do I get paid?
  • Who fixes something if it breaks?
  • Who handles emergencies?

Some of the questions we hear have to do with renting out a property or whether to rent it out, while others concern how the rental management process works. Feel free to ask us either type.

The NoVa rental market changes over time, and we make it our business to keep our finger on the pulse in order to provide the best property management services to our owner clients.

Whether you want to rent your property through Propman, or just have questions, we’re available to help. Just give us a call.

Give a Referral, Get a Month’s Fee Free!
09-23-2015
12-29-2015

 Propman Property Management loves to get property owner referrals. In fact, we get many of them due to the highly-professional way we operate our business. And with the rental market hopping, we could use more homes to serve all the applicants who want to rent properties from Propman.

 

Refer a new client and get the rewards yourself

As a homeowner/ landlord yourself, you probably know other people who want to rent out their home either on a temporary or ongoing basis. Send them to us!

When you give Propman a referral that turns into a new client, we’ll give you the reward…in the form of one month’s management fee.

That means for each new client you refer to us, we’ll remove one month’s management fee from your account. If you refer 12 people who become clients, it’s like having a year of our professional property management for free!

If you’d like more information, please contact Steve or Frank directly.

Propman’s New Website Offers Expanded Benefits
09-17-2015
Steve
Propman’s New Website Offers Expanded Benefits
12-29-2015

A home with landscaping

   

Propman Property Management recently launched its new website with a number of new features to benefit you.

Check it out! 

 

Benefits For Home Owners

  • Expanded Owner FAQs. If you have a question about how Propman represents your property, check here.  You may find your answer among our frequently asked questions.
  • Rental Safety and Maintenance Checklist. As a landlord, you’ll want to know what items need to be checked regularly. That’s why we’ve provided this handy checklist.
  • Expanded Management Services. We define what is included in Propman’s management services through a number of categories.  And did you know we also can sell your home for you if you decide you’d rather not be a landlord any longer?

Benefits For Renters

  • Available Rentals: If you’re looking for a home to rent, check our available rentals to see what we have available. Your perfect home may be waiting.
  • Application Instructions and Policies. If you’re interested in renting a home through Propman, be sure to read through our instructions and policies to see if you qualify. If you do, feel free to apply.
  • Online Rental Application. To make applying to be a renter easier, we’ve posted an online application form. After you read our instructions and policies, complete and submit the form for review. We’ll notify you within 1 to 3 business days whether your application was accepted.

At Propman Property Management, it is our pleasure to provide the best property management services in Northern Virginia

Propman Inspections protect Both Owners and Tenants
07-14-2015
Steve
Propman Inspections Protect both Owners & Tenants
12-29-2015

 

 

Propman Property Management is known for the care we take of our  rental properties. We believe it is our mission to provide safe and  pleasant housing and to protect the owner’s investment at the same  time. One way we ensure a favorable outcome is through regular  inspections.

 

 

Move In Inspection

Before a tenant moves in, a Propman representative will walk through the property with the new tenant. We run down the list of items left by the landlord that can include the number of keys for entry and mailbox, remote controls, and any mechanical equipment such as lawnmowers. We also point out major systems and show tenants how to change their filters, including those for the furnace, refrigerator water system, and smoke alarms, and explain to the tenants their responsibility in maintaining the property. Overall, we note the condition of the property prior to move-in, using pre-printed Inspection Reports that are uploaded to the landlord’s online account once completed.

This procedure protects not only our client’s investment, it helps the tenant avoid problems down the line as well. If they understand how to operate and maintain the property as defined in their particular lease, fewer maintenance issues, and certainly fewer emergencies, will occur.

Periodic Inspections

Periodical, scheduled inspections are performed to check for water or tenant damage, safety hazards, and filter operation. Our Propman representative will help turn off outside spigots for the winter, and check for lease violations such as pets, additional roommates, clogged gutters, leaves, or tall grass, for example. We speak with the tenant to see if they are experiencing any problems and find out if any repairs are needed. We also advise the tenant if we find an issue and encourage tenants to properly maintain the unit. These inspections are also reported to the landlord or owner.

Move Out Inspection

Once a tenant vacates the property, Propman’s inspector will check for tenant damage, inventory owner items, inspect all appliances and appliance literature, and review the property’s lights, filters and carpet and gutter cleaning receipts. We thoroughly inspect the kitchen: its cabinets, oven, refrigerator, microwave, cooktop. In the bathrooms we check functionality and the caulking (tenant responsibility). Any repairs necessary to prepare the property for the next tenant are noted. Owners are informed of any maintenance items to which they need to attend as well, including painting, deck cleaning/staining, or power washing.

If you are considering renting out your property, or are looking for a rental, please contact Propman Property Management. You’ll find a listing of our available properties on our website.


  • Propman’s New Website Offers Expanded Benefits
  • Propman Inspections Protect both Owners & Tenants
  • Safety Tips for the Older Tenant
  • Does Your Regular Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Rental Home?
  • Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?
  • What Happens to Home Rentals in a Seller’s Market?
  • We Love Hearing Great Things About Propman
  • Steve