Frequently Asked Questions

What is my Greatest Cost?   Will you use my home warranty?
Why do I need a property manager? Will I receive a monthly statement?
What is the difference between a property manager & a real estate agent? If I request copies of leases or inspections, will I have to pay extra?
How do you determine rent? What is Patriot Properties, Inc.'s online system?
How long will it take to rent my property? Will you inspect my property?
Where will you advertise my property? Do I have to change my insurance policy?
How do potential applicants apply to lease my property? Is the tenant required to have insurance?
What is the screening process? When do I get my rent?
Should I agree to a month-to-month lease? How do you pay for repairs? 
How do you limit vacancy? What if a tenant damages my property?
Do you provide emergency maintenance services? Do I lose the home mortgage deduction when I rent my property?
What happens if a tenant call in with an emergency and it is not a true emergency? Are there tax benefits to leasing my property?
Do you use outside repair men or do you have a maintenance staff? When is the rent due?
Am I contacted before repairs are made? What happens if the tenant does not pay the rent on time?
Do you provide copies of repair invoices? What happens if the tenant does not pay the rent?

What is my greatest cost?

The greatest cost in leasing a property is vacancy. Vacancy is the only thing that you pay for in which you get nothing in return. Our lease renewal policies and procedures are designed to limit the risk of vacancy. Each year we are able to severely limit or completely avoid vacancy in about 95 percent of our existing portfolio of properties.

Back

Do I need a property manager?

Yes, few landlords have the resources or knowledge needed to effectively lease and manage a residential rental property. Ask yourself, do you or your real estate agent truly have the knowledge and resources needed to market the property, effectively screen the tenants, prepare a lease that protects the landlord, arrange for needed repairs, enforce the lease, determine proper and legal security deposit deductions, keep clear accounting records, provide vendors with 1099 forms, etc. In most all cases the answer is no.

Back

What’s the difference between a property manager and a real estate agent?

All of our property managers are real estate professionals who have chosen to specialize in residential property management. In fact, we have more than 50 years of property management experience. Our backgrounds include extensive education and experience in all facets of real estate management to include tenant selection/screening, maintenance management, lease preparation, lease execution and lease enforcement. We are dedicated experts in our field. Real estate agents vary considerably when it comes to experience, education and knowledge concerning rental properties. Most real estate agents focus their time on the sale of properties and take on rentals either as a last resort or to try and provide service to an existing client.

Back

How do you determine the rent?

We provide you with our professional assessment as to the recommended rent value for your property. However, it is your property and we will place the property on the market at the rent you instruct. There are a number of variables which can significantly impact the rental value of your property. These variables include but are not limited to: timing, condition, location, scarcity, owner's terms, and recent rental activity. We will review each of these variables and discuss our findings and recommendations with you. 

Back

How long will it take to rent my property?  

Properly priced properties in good condition typically rent within thirty to sixty days. It is important to remember that rental properties are in effect a seasonal commodity with the peak of the rental season in June/July; it can take longer to rent a property during the winter months.

Back

Where will you advertise my property?

We market properties through the realtor’s Multiple Listing System, thereby making the information readily available to approximately fifteen thousand real estate agents in the local area. In addition, we use numerous online venues such as Realtor.com, Homerentals.com, our web site, etc. We are very proud of the fact that approximately 95% of our properties are leased back to back. This means little or no vacancy or lost income for our owners.

Back

How do potential applicants apply to lease my property?

We make it easy and convenient for applicants to apply. They can do so through our website. Nevertheless, we firmly believe you are better off with a vacant property rather than a poor tenant. Therefore all applicants go through a comprehensive screening process.

Back

What is the tenant screening process?

Our comprehensive tenant screening process is so effective we have never had to evict a tenant we recommended. We do not outsource any portion of the screening process. We verify the identity of the applications, verify income(quality and quantity), debts, review the credit report, and verify landlord references. If the tenant has a pet we require a picture of the animal. We then take all of the information, determine the RISK and make a written recommendation to the property owner.  

Back

Should I agree to a month to month lease?

Typically a month to month lease is not in your best interest. Our goal is to always represent the best interests of you, our client. Therefore, we only recommend month to month leases in very specific circumstances. We would be happy to discuss the rational behind this policy in more depth with you.

Back

How do you limit vacancy?

We limit vacancy by being proactive. Our lease renewal process starts approximately four months prior to lease expiration with a letter to the landlord. The landlord is reminded of the expiration date and given our rental rate recommendations. We then notify the existing tenant of the option to renew and the new rental rate. On average, 90 percent of all of our tenants renewed their leases year to year. If the tenant has not renewed 60 days prior to lease expiration than we place the property on the rental market. In the cases where the tenant does not choose to renew, we have about a 95 percent success rate in moving in a new tenant the day after the existing tenant vacates.

Back

Do you provide emergency maintenance services?

We maintain a manager on call at all times in order to quickly and effectively handle any emergency situations. When we receive an emergency call, we take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of your tenant and take all actions necessary to protect your property.

Back

What happens if a tenant calls in with an emergency and it’s not a true emergency?

We do receive calls from tenants claiming emergency situations that are not true emergencies. For example, a Sunday call stating that my air conditioning is not working and the outside temperature is seventy degrees. Although potentially annoying and something that will need to be addressed, it does not need to be addressed at overtime labor rates. We explain to the tenant that they need to turn the system off and that we will address the problem on Monday. In addition, we do define an emergency as loss of heat in the winter, fire, flooding, or anything that will cause immediate harm to persons or property.

Back

Do you use independent vendors or do you have a maintenance staff?

All repairs are handled by outside companies who we have fully vetted. Each repair company must provide us copies of their business license and insurance. In many cases our vendors provide us with volume discounts that are passed along to our clients.

Back

Am I contacted before repairs are made?

In most situations we will make minor repairs without notifying you beforehand. In the case of major repairs we will notify you of the need for repairs and discuss available options with you. The exception would be emergency action taken to mitigate damage to the property or to maintain habitability for the occupants.Back

Do you provide copies of the all repair invoices?

Yes, ORIGINAL copies of all paid invoices are scanned into your online account.

Back

Will you use my maintenance warranties?

We will use maintenance warranties that you have whenever possible.

Back

Will I get a monthly statement?

Yes, digital statements are posted to the online system at the beginning of every month. They are normally posted to your online account on the first business banking day following the 5th day of the month.  Note you can track daily account activity through the online system.

Back

If I need information such as copies of the lease, repair bills, etc. will you charge a fee?

We believe that you should have all information relating to your property available to you at all times, without having to ask and at no additional charge. In order to meet this goal, we will upload copies of leases, lease extensions and all repair invoices to your online account.

Back

What is Patriot Properties, ONLINE system?

Our online system is comprised of a secure web site in which you can have immediate access to all documents and financial transactions concerning your property from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. You can view or download documents such as leases, invoices, and correspondence regarding your property. Account statements and daily financial activity are also available. This easy to use system can also be set to automatically send you email notifications whenever a new document or statement is posted.

Back

Will you inspect my property?

Yes, we perform comprehensive check-in and check-out inspections as well as annual walkthrough and drive by spot inspections. Our check in and check-out inspections consists of a detailed written report complemented by a complete photo essay of your property. Annual walkthroughs consist of a written report to the tenant (identifying any deficiencies or a thank you) as well as an owners report with photos showing the overall condition of the property. We conduct drive by inspections all year long, these consists of a simple drive by the property to see if the exterior is being maintained.

Back

Do I have to change my insurance policy?

Yes, you will likely need to change your homeowner’s policy to a Landlord’s policy. Fortunately, the costs are similar. Note, we do recommend that your insurance include the following: a minimum $500,000 in liability coverage, replacement cost insurance, and a loss of rents provision. 

Back

Is my tenant required to have a renter’s insurance policy?

All tenants are required to provide proof of renters insurance before they can occupy your property.

Back

How do I get the rent?

Owner’s proceeds are disbursed on the first business banking day following the 5th day of the month. This is typically between the 6th and 10th day of each month (holiday and weekend dependent). Your funds are electronically deposited into your bank account. The banking system takes up to 48 hours to process an electronic deposit therefore funds will be available in your account between the 8th and 12th day of each month.

Back

How do you pay for repairs?

Repairs will be made with available funds from your account. In the event of a major repair, you may need to provide funds to ensure that repairs can be paid for upon completion. 

Back

What if a tenant damages my property?

The best approach to avoiding property damage is by properly screening the tenant and then properly documenting the condition of the property at move-in. Tenants who are well qualified and know that the property condition is well documented typically do not cause property damage. The importance of comprehensive tenant screening cannot be overstated. In the event that a tenant damages your property, they can be held accountable, as tenants we recommend are collectable (qualified) and the property condition is well documented (photos). Any property damage above reasonable wear and tear will be charged to the tenant. If the tenant does not pay those charges, appropriate deductions will be made from the tenant’s security deposit.

Back

Do I lose the home mortgage deduction when I rent my property?

We understand all of the interest paid on your mortgage or trust is deductible on the Federal Tax return. Note, we are not tax preparers and all information provided regarding potential deductions must be verified with your CPA. 

Back

Are there tax benefits to leasing my property?

There may very well be tax benefits to leasing your property. As we all know the tax code is very extensive. As a result you will need to speak with your tax preparer to determine all of the benefits that may be available to you. These benefits may be in the form of depreciating the property or deduction’s such as property operating expenses which would include association fees, management fees, repairs, etc…

Back

When is the rent due?

The rent is due on the first day of each month and is considered late if not received by the close of business on the 5th day of the month.

Back

What happens if a tenant does not pay the rent on time?

If the tenant pays the rent but pays it late than a ten percent late fee is charged to the tenant. The late fee is designed to be punitive in nature as you deserve to receive your money in a timely fashion as agreed in the lease agreement. Note 98 percent or more of our tenants pay the rent on time. 

Back

What happens if a tenant does not pay the rent?

In the event that the tenant does not pay the rent we will initiate collection procedures to include eviction if necessary. Our collection process is swift, extremely effective and quite aggressive. In short, we expect each and every tenant to comply with the provisions of the lease agreement. This expectation is shared with the tenants during the lease application process and every step thereafter. As a result we have less than a one percent delinquency rate.

Back