PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FAQ

Q. Are you a licensed property manager?

A. Yes Holton-Wise is a fully licensed real estate brokerage who is able to perform sales, leasing and property management services.


Q. Do you keep a "client's trust account" that is used for client accounts?
A. Yes. Holton-Wise maintains a non-interest bearing trust account to hold client’s money including but not limited to security deposits and earnest money deposits.


Q. Does the trust account get audited by regulators / regulating authorities?
A. Yes. The Holton-Wise trust accounts are subject to auditing by the Ohio Division of Real Estate.


Q. How many properties do you currently manage?
A. Holton-Wise manages a portfolio valued around $40 Million+ consisting of 700+ individual rental units.


Q. How many property managers do you have, and how many properties does each manager manage?
A. Holton-Wise has a full management staff who works together to manage our entire portfolio of rental properties. All told our staff is over 50 people and includes various office and support staff, leasing consultants, real estate agents, maintenance technicians, general contractors, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers. 


Q. How long have you been a property manager?
A. The owners of Holton-Wise have been managing their own rental properties since 2009. The owners of Holton-Wise have been involved in the management of properties owned by 3rd party clients since 2013.


Q. Do you carry insurance?
A. Yes. Holton-Wise carries an appropriate amount of insurance coverage.


Q. Do you oversee rehabs / act as project manager for rehabs?
A. Holton-Wise has a full contracting staff to handle all repairs and renovations. Our contracting staff includes over 50 people and includes maintenance technicians, general contractors, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers.


Q. Do you get my approval for maintenance repairs?
A. Yes. Holton-Wise obtains owners approval for repairs unless the expense of the repair is less than $300.00 or Holton-Wise determines it to be an emergency. Holton-Wise considers something an emergency repair if immediate repairs are required to preserve the property, continue essential services to the property, avoid danger to life or property, or to comply with federal, state, or local law.

 

Q. Is there a mark up on maintenance costs etc?

A. Holton-Wise has a full contracting staff to handle all repairs and renovations. Our contracting staff includes over 50 people and includes maintenance technicians, general contractors, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers. Just like any other business, there is of course profit built into our construction business. We are confident that you will find that the pricing at Holton-Wise is market competitive with the construction rates of comparable businesses.

 

Q. A tenant moved out of my property. When will I find out how much the turnover cost is to get it ready to rent to a new tenant?
A. Once a unit goes vacant Holton-Wise will schedule our maintenance team to go to the unit, perform a lock change to secure the property and do a rent ready inspection. We will then provide you with a line by line bid for all of the work that needs to be done to meet our minimum rental standards. Until this bid is created there is no way to tell you what your specific turnover costs will be as every situation is different.


Q. Do you cover the entire metro area?
A. Holton-Wise manages properties in a large majority of the Greater Cleveland area however, there are parts of the Greater Cleveland area in which we will not manage properties due to distance or low quality of housing stock. 


Q. How do you communicate with owners?
A. Holton-Wise communicates with property owners on a monthly basis. Holton-Wise sends every property owner a monthly accounting statement that gives a line item description of every income and expense for the entire month.


Q. When will I receive the rent payout (AKA owner disbursement)? 
A. When applicable Holton-Wise sends every owner a rental disbursement via ACH deposit along with their monthly accounting statement. Accounting statements and rental disbursement go out to property owner on or around the last business day of the month. 

Ex. Holton-Wise manages 123 main street for an owner starting January 1st. Tenant pays rent on January 1st. On or around January 31st Holton-Wise sends the owner the January accounting statement along with any applicable ACH disbursement.


Q. Is there any additional fee for sending accounting statements or ACH disbursements?
A. No. Holton-Wise does not charge additional fees for accounting statements or ACH disbursements. The cost for these items and a yearend statement is included with your monthly management fee.

 

Q. There is a charge on my accounting statement that does not look correct. What should I do?
A. It is infrequent, but occasionally there are accounting errors. Please contact your property manager to report your concern and he or she will contact the accounting department to address the concern. If there was an error, it will be quickly resolved and reflected on your next accounting statement. If there was not an error, you can expect a full explanation so that the accounting report makes clear sense to you.


Q. Would I be locked into a management contract with you? If so, how many days’ notice required to terminate the relationship?
A. Holton-Wise does not lock clients into long term contracts. Property owners are able to terminate their management contract with Holton-Wise with a 30 day notice at any time.

 

Q. I read a clause in the property management agreement that I would like to change. Can I do this?
A. No. While Holton-Wise tries to provide each and every client with as customized of a service as possible, the reality is that when you are dealing with a company who manages hundreds of properties for investors all over the U.S and abroad there must be automated policies and systems in place. Doing it any other way would be logistically impossible. These policies and systems have proven to be the most effective, efficient and logistically sound way protect the rights and interests of Holton-Wise, our investor clients (you), and our tenants.


Q. How many evictions do you have each month?
A. Holton-Wise manages 700+ properties in varying neighborhoods and asset classes. We perform an average of 5 evictions per month. Generally speaking the nicer the property and location is the fewer evictions a property will encounter. The majority of the evictions Holton-Wise performs every month are for properties that are located on the lower end of the investment spectrum i.e cheap properties in bad neighborhoods are were most of the evictions occur. 


Q. What kind of reserves do you require?
A. Holton-Wise holds a reserve amount of $1,000 for every management client.

 

Q. If you manage more than one property for me will I receive a discount?

A. Generally speaking Holton-Wise does not give out discounts. However once an individual has more than 25 units under management with Holton-Wise discounted pricing may be available depending on the type of units in the portfolio.

 

Q. How long are the leases Holton-Wise issues to tenants? 
A. Holton-Wise leases out all residential properties on 12 month terms. We lease out commercial properties on varying terms with the typical lease length being 60 months.


Q. How long does a typical tenant stay in a property?
A. Holton-Wise manages properties in varying neighborhoods and asset classes. The average stay will depend on the type of property you purchase. Generally speaking apartments in Cleveland have the most turnover and suburban single family homes have tenants who stay the longest.


Q. How long do properties usually stay vacant before being rented?
A. After Holton-Wise performs all the repairs necessary to get a property rent ready we strive to have all of our properties re rented within 30 days.

 

Q. How do you market vacant properties?
A. As one of the largest property management companies in the area Holton-Wise has a huge neighborhood presence performs top notch advertising on multiple media platforms including
•    Zillow
•    Truilia
•    Facebook
•    Twitter
•    Instagram
•    YouTube
•    LinkedIn
•    Google+
•    Yard signs
•    Lettered vehicles
•    Billboards
•    City Murals

 

Q. Why hasn't Holton-Wise found a renter for my property yet? 
A. Holton-Wise is very aggressive when it comes to leasing properties. Our goal is to get every property rented in 30 days or less. We make every effort to frequently update ads online, answer the phones when prospective renters call, and show the property as many times as necessary. Some of the most common reasons for properties sitting on the market too long are

  • Time of the year. Cleveland gets cold so November, December, January and February have the lowest rental demand.
  • The property is outdated or has maintenance issues that have not been resolved which turns off prospective renters.
  • The price is simply too high and prospective renters can rent a comparible product for less.
  • There are other irregularities such as size or location that greatly limit the amount of interested renters.

If we run into a situation where your property is not renting quick enough Holton-Wise will develope an action plan to get your property rented as soon as possible. Lots of times a price reduction or cosmetic upgrade does the trick.

 

Q. How do you screen tenants?
A. Holton-Wise performs a thorough background check that includes a credit and criminal check as well income verification and when possible an interview with the tenants previous landlord.

 

Q. What qualifications do you look for in tenants?
A. Holton-Wise looks for tenants who have an income of 3x rent, a consistent history of paying their bills and no violent felonies or prior evictions.

 

Q. Is it okay to give my contact information to the tenant?

A. No. This is not a good idea. In almost every situation that an owner has provided this information or access to the tenant, they have come to regret it because the tenant will call the owner instead of the manager. Sometimes the tenant will feel that they can gain the owner's sympathies when the manager is trying to enforce the lease. Interaction with the tenant allows for more legal liability as well. Holton-Wise knows the laws well enough to know what is and is not allowable. Holton-Wise will treat all tenants with respect and administer its services according to applicable laws.

 

Q. Do you ever visit the properties you're managing, just for inspection, rather than for specific maintenance requests?
A. Once a year Holton-Wise offers an optional Yearly Maintenance Tune up & Inspection. Holton-Wise will perform a property inspection & replace the furnace filter, change out all smoke detector & CO detector batteries in one unit. 

 

Q. I have a friend that lives near my property and the told me that there is a problem with my property. Why didn’t Holton-Wise contact me about this problem?
A. Typically, Holton-Wise is able to catch and address the majority of concerns that are not reported by the tenant through our property inspections. However Holton-Wise manages hundreds of properties and there are times in which problems can arise when Holton-Wise is not physically at the property. The only way Holton-Wise would know about a problem at the property is if the tenant or some other person such as a friend, neighbor or city official called to report the problem to us. Holton-Wise places a small sign with our contact information on every property to encourage people to contact us in these situations. If your friend has reported an issue to you simply send us an email and we will take the necessary steps to address the concern.

 

Q. I don’t feel like my property manager contacts me enough. Why is this and what can be done about it?
A. Holton-Wise is experienced in real estate investment and property management. We have hundreds of properties in our management portfolio and our employees are trained to know what to do without bothering the property owners. Our goal is to provide property owners with the most hands off investment possible. One of the most challenging parts about property management is the time it takes for property managers to adjust to the preferences of each individual property owner. It may take a few months before your property manager really understands your preferences regarding communication. Some property owners never want to be contacted while others want to be contacted about every occurance. Please convey to your agent what you are expecting as far as frequency and kinds of communication. Holton-Wise is committed to providing quality communication and if you feel that after working with us for a few months that the communication is not sufficient for your needs and preferences please convey this concern to us and we will provide a solution that will work for your needs and preferences.


Q. What do you do if a tenant doesn’t pay rent?
A. Holton-Wise has a zero tolerance policy for nonpayment of rent. We begin the eviction process for all delinquent tenants on or around the 10th of every month.


Q. How does the eviction process work? How long does the eviction process take?
A. Generally speaking the eviction process takes about 6 weeks. The typical steps involved are as follows.

•    Holton-Wise places a 3-DAY notice on the tenant’s door.
•    Holton-Wise and our legal counsel file for eviction.
•    Holton-Wise and our legal counsel appear in court on behalf of the property owner.
•    The judge hears both sides of the case and makes a ruling.
•    The tenant is usually forcibly removed from the property within 14 days of the court proceeding.


Q. Do you charge the tenants late fees? If yes, who keeps the late fees?
A. Holton-Wise retains any and all late fees collected from tenants. Because we retain these fees we do not charge property owners for collection efforts including but not limited to multiple collection phone calls and placing 3-Day notices on tenant's doors.

 

Q. I would like to charge the tenants for water and sewer. Will you bill my tenants?
A. No. The City of Cleveland, Division of Water will not pass water and sewer charges onto any individual other than the property owner. The water and sewer bill will ALWAYS remain in the Owner’s name therefore the ultimate responsibility of the water and sewer bill will ALWAYS fall onto the Owner.


See http://www.clevelandwater.com/customer-service/faq for more info.


Holton-Wise does not charge the tenants for water and sewer usage because of all the legal difficulties put in place by Ohio Landlord Tenant Law and the City of Cleveland, Division of Water. Holton-Wise recommends building water and sewer costs into the rental price because evicting for non-payment of a utility that is not in the tenants name is much more difficult than evicting for non-payment of rent. If the Owner wants to pursue an eviction case against a tenant for non-payment of water and sewer bills The Holton-Wise Property Group will have to refuse all future rental payments from the tenant and that Holton-Wise DOES NOT guarantee victory in any court case. Odds are very good that the Owner may lose the case. In the event of a lost eviction proceeding Holton-Wise will still bill the Owner for the normal eviction costs.


5321.04 Landlord obligations.
(A) A landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:

(1) Comply with the requirements of all applicable building, housing, health, and safety codes that materially affect health and safety;
(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
(3) Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition;
(4) Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances, and elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;
(5) When the landlord is a party to any rental agreements that cover four or more dwelling units in the same structure, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of a dwelling unit, and arrange for their removal;
(6) Supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water, and reasonable heat at all times, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection;
(7) Not abuse the right of access conferred by division (B) of section 5321.05 of the Revised Code;
(8) Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, give the tenant reasonable notice of the landlord's intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
(9) Promptly commence an action under Chapter 1923. of the Revised Code, after complying with division (C) of section 5321.17 of the Revised Code, to remove a tenant from particular residential premises, if the tenant fails to vacate the premises within three days after the giving of the notice required by that division and if the landlord has actual knowledge of or has reasonable cause to believe that the tenant, any person in the tenant's household, or any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant previously has or presently is engaged in a violation as described in division (A)(6)(a)(i) of section 1923.02 of the Revised Code, whether or not the tenant or other person has been charged with, has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of, or has been determined to be a delinquent child for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a violation as described in that division. Such actual knowledge or reasonable cause to believe shall be determined in accordance with that division.
(10) Comply with the rights of tenants under the Service members Civil Relief Act, 117 Stat. 2835, 50 U.S.C. App. 501.

(B) If the landlord makes an entry in violation of division (A)(8) of this section, makes a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful that have the effect of harassing the tenant, the tenant may recover actual damages resulting from the entry or demands, obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, and obtain a judgment for reasonable attorney's fees, or may terminate the rental agreement.

 

Q. Do you know the market value of my property?
A. For a FREE MARKET ANALYSIS of your property CLICK HERE 
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