The property management industry is certainly not immune to sticky situations. There are always legal considerations, moral concerns, and the occasional gray area involved even in your day-to-day operations. So imagine when you’re in the midst of a new venture, say, acquiring a new property or transferring ownership. The events that unfold following the transition from one property management company to the next are pivotal to the health of the property under new management, but often times it’s the tenants who are left stranded in the middle.
To avoid any hard feelings as a result of the changeover, consider these critical details to help ease the transition for your tenants:
1. New Property Maintenance Staff and Vendors
If you’re bringing on new staff as a result of your recent acquisition, be sure you prepare the current tenants to expect new faces around the property. Likewise, ask your maintenance team and any other regular vendors to introduce themselves when the opportunity arises, and make sure everyone is dressed in the appropriate uniform for clear identification.
The last thing you want is to surprise your tenants with unfamiliar staff, which could cause them to quickly lose their sense of home. For security reasons, it’s important for everyone to know who is authorized to work in and around the property.
2. Security Deposits
Depending on how you settled the purchase of your new property, the security deposits of existing renters were either transferred to you via a check or deposited into your escrow account, or the previous management company held on to the deposits and is responsible for returning them at the appropriate time. Either way, make sure you get the details straight. When the time comes for your first tenant to move out in the property, you should know exactly how and when they will get their rightfully-owed money returned.
We’ve heard several recent horror stories of tenants sent on a wild goose chase to track down their own deposit after a property has been acquired by a new company. Putting your tenants, even if they’ve already moved out, in the middle is simply bad business—be sure you’re up to snuff on who has the correct amount and see that it gets returned.
3. New Policies
A new management company may come with new community rules. Don’t forget to brief your tenants on any changes being made to the property in regard to things like quiet hours, utility metering, and late payments. You’ll likely be making some adjustments that will impact the current renters, so be sure to provide ample explanation and have patience until things have settled into place. You can include any new items in your welcome letter, which we suggest you distribute to every tenant as soon as possible.
The acquisition of a new property is an exciting time for any expanding business. Take a moment to bask in the light of this new milestone for your company, but don’t forget to help your tenants through the transition. Together, you can begin your long-lasting relationship as trusted management and tenant.