3 Reasons Why You May Need a Lawyer if You are a Property Manager
1. Assembling the lease (rental agreement) and the property management agreement OR reviewing existing legal documents.
We can't stress enough how important it is to get procedures agreed upon in the beginning through the lease and property management agreement (if applicable). Here are few examples of what a lawyer may help you implement into your lease or property management agreement. The lease is the agreement made between the tenant and landlord. The property management agreement is the agreement made between the property management company and the landlord.
For the lease:
- Your guidelines on firearms in the property
- Policies on rent payments
- Pet policies
- What needs to be fixed by the tenant vs. the landlord or property management company
- Policy on security deposit being returned
- Policies against subletting
- Procedures for eviction upon default in payments
For the property management agreement:
- Who handles the eviction process, the landlord or the property management company
- Who's responsible for handling maintenance
- Terms of payment for property management fees and owner percentage
- Property manager responsibilities for advertisement of the property
- Rental agreement terms (6 mos., 1 year, etc.)
- Additional fees - how will those be allocated, such as credit card fees or late fees
- Duration of the manager agreement
- Insurance responsibilities
2. Past due rent collection
If one of your tenants hasn't paid rent on time, you need to know what the process is for collecting that rent. For example, some companies may allow a grace period of a few days before they collect a late fee. This needs to be clearly stated in the lease and your tenant should firmly understand these terms. If you have to turn the tenant over to collections, you may need to get a lawyer involved. This could eventually result in eviction.
3. Maintenance discrepancies
When a property management company hires an outside maintenance company to fix something in the property, it needs to be fixed completely. There's a possibility that the tenant could come back and say, "They never showed up" or "They didn't actually fix it." If that happens, legal help may be needed. An experienced litigator can help you handle a dispute between the maintenance company and the tenant.
Get Legal Help for Your Property Management Business
Our Camden County attorneys are here to help you with your legal needs. From assembling a rental agreement to legal processes behind eviction of a tenant, we are here for you. Legal problems in regard to property management can be unpleasant to deal with and you shouldn't have to handle it alone. Call the law office of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch today for your free consultation or visit our website at www.PMCWLaw.com for more information. We have evening and weekend appointments available. Our firm is conveniently located by the Camden County courthouse, and we have an open door policy for clients to just stop by and discuss their legal needs.
Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
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