Gain Management FAQ
Is Gain Management a real property management company?
Yes! Gain Property Management, Inc. (dba Gain Management) is a licensed and insured Real Estate company. With our highly qualified and experienced team you are in safe hands for all your management needs. To see our licensing click here.
What is the setup process?
Call or email us, we will discuss your specific needs and help you decide whether self-management, full management or something in between is right for you. We will tailor a management program to suit your situation and prepare a written proposal so you know exactly what we will do.
How do I receive the rent in my account?
Clients can arrange to have tenant payments made via our site, but paid directly to the owner’s bank account. There’s no waiting and you can have funds transferred immediately! You must open a business bank account and there is a one-time set-up fee of $99to accommodate this process.
Are there any hidden fees?
No. We lay out everything in our agreements and include any additional fees that may apply to your situation. If you have any questions or need clarification, please call or email us so that we can make sure you are happy and confident in what you will receive.
If this is so great why aren’t other management companies offering it?
This system allows you, the owner, at your discretion to be much more involved in the running of your investment. We are reinventing how property management is done, but don’t be surprised to see copycats in the future. For now, though, only Gain Management offers this amazing concept.
Do I have to use your vendors and are they any good?
You can use anyone you choose. It really is your call! Our offered vendors are checked for licensing and insurance and must maintain great customer relations to be on our list. Further, they are paid via our site so we make sure funds are tracked right in the software from order to quote, and payment to completion.
Can my tenant pay me outside the system?
We strongly discourage it. If a tenant is trying to circumvent the system we have to wonder why. We urge you to require the tenant to pay through our system at no cost to you. We automatically track payments and add late fees, automating the entire process and making it easy for you to review in the future.
How do I terminate my current manager?
If you currently have property under management and want to switch to us you will need to notify the other company in writing, usually 30 days in advance of the end of your contract. Be sure to submit this in writing and get confirmation of delivery. We can set you up in advance on our system though, so the transition is as smooth as possible.
Common Property Management Questions
What are the most important aspects of marketing my rental?
Remember the 3 Ps: price, presentation and property manager.
After location, Price is the top thing potential renters usually search for. Pricing your space correctly translates to shorter vacancies and the opportunity to make money from your investment faster. At Gain Management,our industrymemberships allow us to review recently leased comparables and see what they actually rented for in your market, which is the most accurate method of determining rental value.
Presentation is key in renting your property, too. At any given time you are competing with many other vacancies on the market. So, how do you compare? Having your unit well maintained, professionally cleaned and “move-in ready” are all important investments that quickly pay off with shorter vacancies and better tenants.
Your Property Manager is a crucial component in renting your unitby effectively representing you to potential tenants. Consider if they are professional and well presented. Also, do they show up on time for appointments? Do they answer their phones on evenings and weekends when prospective tenants may be looking? 9-5 doesn’t get it done! To find out, try calling as a tenant and see how you are treated.
What do you ask a tenant when taking an application?
The Federal Fair Housing Act and Equal Opportunity Law is very specific in regard to what you are allowed to ask about someone’s personal situation. Our proven screening system reviews housing or business history, income and credit. At Gain Management we have a numeric system that takes these factors and then compiles a score, giving yes/no approval. We also have a method for increasing deposits for higher risk tenants. We NEVER base a decision on a person’s appearance, ethnicity, or name. This is not only illegal, but it simply provides no basis for determining whether a prospective tenant will end up being a good one.
What is the limit on the security deposit that I can require?
This varies state-to-state, but typically a deposit of no greater than two months rent will always be acceptable. It is likely that if you try to charge more than this, you will have difficulty renting in most situations. At Gain Management we never match the deposit exactly with monthly rent. This limits a tenant from later claiming confusion and wanting to apply the deposit to monthly rent.
I approved 2 tenants and now 4 people are living in the property. What can I do?
Your lease should always state specifically who will live in the home (including children). If you discover unapproved people are clearly living at the property, you can send a lease violation notice. At this point, you may choose to have the extra people submit to background checks, increase deposits, or demand that they leave the home. Consider adding a rent premium for additional wear and tear or coming up with another solution rather than forcing the issue. Compromise is almost always better than court action.
This also applies in a commercial setting where the tenant is performing a business service that was not approved in the lease. We can negotiate new terms or consider eviction.
How much time do I have to make repairs if something breaks and what happens if I can’t afford it?
As an owner, you (or your property manager) must respond promptly to any major property failure, for instance air conditioning in the summer or heating in the winter. Also, an electrical issue that could cause a fire or a plumbing problem that has water shut off to the property should be addressed immediately after it is reported. If the property becomes unsafe or unsanitary, the owner must act to fix the situation quickly.
Less serious issues such as a leaky faucet or broken garbage disposal may take up to 10 days, but remember, when it comes time to renew the lease the tenant will make that decision partly on how well you cared for their needs during their tenancy. If you can’t afford repairs you are failing to honor your side of the contract and your tenants may have the option to move out.
The tenant trashed my property. How soon can I kick them out?
Ouch! Unfortunately this does happen and it hurts, but the correct process is to file for eviction and have a judge order your tenant to vacate. Legal processes must be followed and you cannot, under any circumstances, deny your tenants access without the court’s approval. First, consider the extent of the damage and the cost to repair. It may actually be better to let them stay on revised terms when you consider the cost of repairs, vacancy, and the associated expenses of re-leasing. It’s important to make a financial decision, not an emotional one. That brings us to #7 on our list:
The tenant hasn’t paid and the property seems empty. Can I just change the locks?
The short answer is no. The easiest and fastest way to resolve the issue is to have the tenant sign to terminate the lease and return the keys to you. Under almost no circumstances is it legally okay to deny the tenant occupancy without their written permission or a court order calling for their removal. If you believe you have good reason to reclaim possession of the property, file the correct paperwork for eviction/lease termination. By all means, don’t end up on the wrong side of the courtroom as a defendant!
How often can I inspect the property?
Your tenant has the right to “quiet enjoyment” of the property, so turning up every week to inspect will probably cross that line. However, a twice-a-year inspection is certainly okay. Once the tenant has taken possession it becomes much more difficult to enforce standards. This is where being proactive about conducting a quality review of a potential tenant — before they move in — improves your chances of a good owner/tenant relationship. Always verify previous renting histories directly with a landlord or manager and check credit for evictions or things like unpaid or late utility bills that indicate a tenant may have trouble paying the rent or maintaining your property.
Who decides how much deposit the tenant gets back?
The holder of the deposit returns the appropriate funds. However, and this is a big one for landlords, the tenant does not have to agree with you and may file court action or a complaint against you with the local real estate commission. Deposits never stop belonging to the tenant, even while held. If you plan to keep part of the deposit for damage, cleaning, or other fees, it’s important to have a solid paper trail of items like receipts and photos to back you up. Remember that normal wear and tear is allowed, even if you freshly painted the house before they moved in. Reasonable amounts of wear and marks to carpet are also considered normal and you can’t charge for this.
How soon should I send an eviction notice if the rent is late?
No one likes to evict a tenant and that includes us. However, at Gain Management we realize our clients retain us to take these actions for them. We send notice of intent to evict the moment the rent is late. This doesn’t mean the tenant can’t pay the rent (with late fees) and remain in the property, but it puts them on notice that we are serious about collecting the rent. It also starts the process to replace your tenant if they can’t bring the monies they owe up-to-date.
When can I use my tenant’s deposit to cover expenses?
Generally state laws say the tenant’s deposit cannot be used for ANYTHING during the lease and only after the end of the lease can a landlord deduct expenses tied to a tenant. If the deposit does not cover all of these expenses, then you need to submit an accounting of the charges to your tenant with a demand for payment. Always keep a detailed account of all of your expenses and repairs and be sure to hire only licensed professionals to do the work. When the time comes to not release the entire deposit back to your tenant you will have a much stronger case if you have invoices, bills, photos and other evidence to support your decision.
Are home warranties worth the price?
In our opinion, yes, they generally are. Think of a home warranty as a type of insurance policy. Your home insurance covers a major incident like fire or flood. The home warranty covers many of the other things that can go wrong like a broken appliance, water heater or AC unit. These things can easily run into hundreds and even thousands of dollars to repair. Unless you have the funds put away or credit immediately available to cover these expenses, a home warranty is a wise investment. Home warranties may even be tax-deductible (consult your tax professional).
As a commitment to the quality of every service we provide to our many clients, Gain Management is a proud member of several professional organizations, including: