Top 20 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Management Company in Maryland

Owning property in Maryland certainly a viable investment opportunity for a large number of people. But managing investment property is not a fun chore. There are lots of issues which need to be tackled carefully. It is better to hire a professional management company in Maryland to handle the issues. There are lots of perks and benefits of hiring professional property management firm. Key benefits are better tenants, shorter vacancy period, on time rent collection, fewer legal concerns, saving time, proper maintenance, and smooth eviction. Obviously, having a right, reliable and professional property management firm to manage your rental properties is absolutely imperative. If you are a person like me, then you will certainly like to hire the very best company you can find to have the best management of your rental properties. There are many property management firms in Maryland to choose from. It can be quite challenging, tricky and difficult task to find the legitimate company. In order to find out the right property manager, you need to take your time. You ought to interview multiple property management companies to figure out the best-suited one. Proper research will result in availing the right management agency for your investment property. Here are top 20 questions you should ask when hiring a property management company in Maryland for your investment properties.

1. What are the main services that you offer to your landlords?

Asking this question is vital because you want to make sure that you find the best property management company in Maryland that can advertise, lease, and manage your property very well. You want to find out the right firm that can find good tenants for your property and provide the best maintenance of your property.

2. How long have you been in the business of managing rental properties?

This is the question you must ask while interviewing with property management companies. Some companies have never manager even a single rental property. And you will never like to hire an inexperienced company. Experienced property management companies will be able to handle any situation in better ways. So, it is imperative that you ought to understand how long the company has been working in the real estate property management business.

3. How many rental properties in Maryland do you manage?

It is also a good question to ask. By asking this question you will be able to understand the size of companies. If a company manages too few rental properties then there are two possibilities, either the company is inexperienced or have lost clients because of poor service. If a company manages too many rental properties in Maryland again there is an issue. It is likely to you will get lost in the shuffle. So, it is imperative to look for a property management company in Maryland that manages neither too few properties nor too many properties.

4. Are you a licensed property management company?

You will never like to hire an unlicensed property management company as it can disturb you if there are any legal issues with the properties. So, make sure the answer to this question is certainly “Yes”.

5. What type of properties do you manage in Maryland?

Not all property management companies specialize in the management of both types of properties – residential property and commercial property. Some companies are experienced in commercial property management, while others are specialized in managing residential properties. By asking this question you will be able to know the nature of companies. Make sure you hire the right one that has experience in what you actually need.

6. Is your company insured?

It is one of the main questions you must ask while interviewing property management companies in Maryland. General liability insurance, tenant discrimination insurance, and errors & omissions insurance are some different insurance property management companies should have. Make sure that the property manager has at least liability insurance.

7. Is your company registered with relevant organizations?

You should always go with a property management company that is registered with the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, you should also make sure that the company is also registered with the National Association of Residential Property Managers. The more relevant organizations the company is registered with the better service you can expect.

8. How do you conduct screening of tenants?

Tenant screening is one of the core services provided by professional property management companies. And you must understand the process they conduct to make screening and find good tenants. You want responsible tenants for your property. Hence understanding the tenant screening process is vital. Ask this question and make sure that the property manager will a credit check, background check, eviction report, rent payment history on all potential tenants and renters.

9. Can you show me copies /samples of contracts or lease?

Before finalizing a property management company for management of your investment property, make sure that you see the samples of contract or lease. Make sure the lease meets all legal codes and regulations. It is imperative to review these important documents before confirming they will work well for you.

10. How do you advertise/market rental properties?

Advertising of rental properties is one of the main responsibilities of property managers or management companies. It would be a better idea to know the ways they will market your property. Make sure they will use good and right marketing techniques to attract better tenants for your rental property. The rental property management company you hire to manage your property should be marketing the property through a variety of advertising channels such as placing newspaper ads, internet advertisements, real estate listing, etc.

11. Do you perform regular property inspection?

Ask this question and try to understand how often they will perform the inspection. You should go with a property management company that performs a periodical inspection of your property in order to keep the property well-maintained. Remember, your investment property can be at risk if the property manager does not perform regular inspections. Regular inspection will ensure you catch the problems on right time before they go out of control.

12. What are the charges for the services you will offer to manage my property?

To hire property management services you will have to pay a significant amount of money. So it is vital to understand the charges for the services you will avail of hiring professional property management firm. Know the precise management fees. Review documents property. Make sure there are no hidden fees.

13. What is the tenant eviction process?

Make sure that the property management company will provide you efficient and smooth tenant eviction. Also, make sure that the company does not have a high amount of evictions. High evictions mean the company is not screening the tenants properly.

14. How do you collect rent from tenants?

If you hire a property manager for managing your property then you will not have to collect the rent from the tenant on your own. The property manager will collect the rent from your side and transfer to your account. Make sure the company will collect the rent online to speed up the collection process.

15. How do you determine the rent amount for my property?

A good property management company must conduct a market analysis to determine the rent amount for the rental property.

16. Can you provide me references for your work?

When you will ask this question to a property management company then you will get some solid references of their existing customers. Your research does not end here. You must cross check it with these references and understand what they have to say.

17. Do you provide report and statement?

Good property management companies provide monthly and early statements to landlords. In the statement, they provide all the details, dates, payouts, repairs and activities that happen on your rental property. Make sure your property manager will provide you report and statement on the monthly and yearly basis as well.

18. Can I cancel my management contract, if I am unsatisfied with your service?

You must ask this question to property management companies before hiring the one. You don’t need to get locked into a contract you cannot escape while you are unsatisfied. There are some companies who will try to lock you in on a yearly basis. You must avoid such companies. Go with the company that provides you great service and an option to cancel the contract whenever you are unsatisfied.

19. How long does it typically take to fill a vacancy?

It is an important question to ask the property manager. You must know an expected time frame. Make sure that the vacancy period is not more than the average vacancy rate of your area.

20. What are the communication means to contact you by landlords and tenants?

You must know the communication means by which property management can be contacted by you or your tenants. Generally, property management companies prefer to be contacted via phone, email and online portal. You should also ensure the response time should not be more than a few hours.

These are the top 20 questions you should ask while interviewing with property management companies in Maryland. This will help you figure out the right and legitimate property manager for your rental property.

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