Ending a landlord and property manager relationship can be incredibly painful for both parties, so here are three things to consider before you do.
Ending any relationship can be difficult, especially those where you’ve become dependent on for support, advice and cheering on.
Recently, I’ve talked to a slew of members who have expressed some sort of disheartening commentary about their property management company.
Ironically or maybe not so ironically, these service providers have worked with these members for years and have become an integral part of the family (or business).
They are the shepherd of rental properties— guiding owners through the sometimes complicated and the always challenging task of being ‘home providers’— and to hear about such dissatisfaction is off-putting.
Here’s the rub: I don’t like navigating these breakups. And that’s what they are… breakups. It always comes down to money, share of responsibility, property rights/ownership and hurt feelings. Sounds just like a divorce between mom and dad, right?
It sorta is. But all jokes aside, ending a landlord/property management relationship can be incredibly painful for both parties. These breakups also force a complicated line to tow as a landlord association. Members ask us tough questions and don’t always like our response.
We find we play an interesting role of mediator, defender and therapist. Our first priority is to listen to our members and provide advice where appropriate. And then more often than not, we have to explain the decision of the property management company, if their actions are up to snuff.
Occasionally one party is right and the other is wrong, other times neither party is right. But most of the time, both parties have justifiable reasons for their actions. Remember, there really are three sides to every story.
3 Things To Think About Before Breaking Up With Your Property Manager
Think long and hard before you pull the trigger
ARPOLA believes every landlord given the right training, support and services can successfully manage their rentals without the need for a management company.
HOWEVER (notice the caps here, guys) not all landlords want or have the time to commit to the daily task list that comes with owning an income property. And that’s okay. So make sure you have the desire and drive otherwise find a new property manager before ending your current relationship. Property management companies do provide a wonderful service.
Document, Document, Document
You are the customer, and while you can argue you should always be right, this doesn’t excuse you from being proactive. You need to do your own due diligence and keep copies of things. Keep records of emails, phone conversations and the like. It is possible for things to get lost and communication to breakdown. So before you point fingers, be sure you have a solid case (especially if you are looking for a refund).
Make a clean break
Don’t pussyfoot around the decision. If you are unhappy with the service and feel like you are being taken advantage of you need to sever the relationship. It is hard and you’ll have to find a new service provider but it is worth it. When you drag out the relationship too long, despite being unhappy, you set the standard for shoddy work and poor communication. Again, it comes down to being a proactive consumer.
I hope you never have to end your relationship with your property manager but if you do remember—breaking up is hard to do but it is possible.
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