Things You need to Sort out before You Hire Your Property Manager

If you are a homeowner or investor and have decided that a property manager is best for you, you need to go about hiring one. It is a wise decision especially if you are a rookie investor or have bought a property that is far from where you live, or you have another job and don’t have the time to devote to your property.

Know Your Property

Property management is a demanding task. It requires time and consistency. You need to visit the property on a regular basis, not merely to collect the rent, but also to see that it is cared for and if any urgent maintenance is required. You have to be something of a handyman if you want to look after your property, or else know some of the reliable local contractor in the vicinity and what they charge so you are not taken for a ride.

Circumstances Change

Another feature all property managers must have, and that includes owners and investors, is tact and patience when dealing with tenants. While screening every potential tenant is a must, that’s no guarantee that you will not have trouble at a later date. You might have to face a variety of situations like non-payment of rent, damage to the premises, poor maintenance, noisy parties, accommodating more residents than is allowed in the lease agreement, and conducting questionable activities on the premises such as talking trash to someone who drives an SUV because it uses too much fuel. This is considered an annoyance and harassment. You have to be able to maintain your cool in these situations yet handle it firmly and tactfully. Not everyone is up to it.

Questions You need the Answers To

When hiring a property manager here are some questions you need to ask so you both understand each other:

What is the fee charged?

Most property management companies charge a management fee which typically ranges between 4 and 10 percent of the gross monthly income. It has to be clearly understood that this is not on rent due but on rent actually collected. This protects the owner from having to pay management fees when the property is vacant and drives the manager to ensure that it is vacant for the least possible length of time.

What services does the management fee cover?

Some companies charge a very low management fee which typically includes rent collection, but charge extra for other services provided. You need to be very clear about this point with your property manager. If you decide on a low fee and services extra then find out what the charges are for services like tenant placement, maintenance handling and assistance with taxes or anything else that might be required. You might just find that a low management fee isn’t such an appealing deal after all.

Property Management Services in the Charlotte NC region

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC is a property management company which specializes in high end to mid-range property in and around the Charlotte region. It began offering property management services in 1981 since when it has been the preferred choice of thousands of property investors and absent owners. This is a well-established management company with its own systems in place. It offers either full-service management or service-based and has a set fee structure so there’s no ambiguity when dealing with them.

Do I really need Property Management Services?

Do I really need Property Management Services?

Every investor’s circumstances are unique. But there are some common situations which many investors face which should help you decide if you need property management services, or if you want to go the solo route. Here are some searching questions which might make you see your position more clearly:

How far is the rental property from where you live and how often can you schedule regular visits?

The further you live from your rental property the more difficult will be your visits both in terms of travel time and costs. If you live near enough you can schedule regular maintenance visits. A visit every month should be an inflexible part of your schedule to keep on top of things and to avert middle-of-the-night crises. Can you handle this long-term?


How well do you cope with stress?

 Be honest – property management is demanding, are you up to it? Property management is an onerous task which will test your patience to the limit. How well will you be able to cope with the pressure situations which come with the job? Even a relatively straightforward task such as rent collection every month can be stressful. How will you react to some typical situations common to rental property management?


Your tenant is quarrelsome by nature and frequently gets into skirmishes with neighbors or other tenants

You receive complaints about noisy and violent domestic disputes

You tenants conduct questionable businesses or activities on the premises

They have noisy all-night parties

They repeatedly violate local regulations and antagonize your HOA

They try to smuggle in animals (certainly exotic ones which should be outlawed) or extra tenants

They damage the property

They hold back the rent because they know the ropes and are looking to squeeze every dollar out of the actual owner


Do you have the time or inclination to handle it?

 Even an experienced investor can find managing his property can be stressful and demanding. At times everything seems to go wrong together and you might have to be on call 24/7. Now if you hired an experienced property management company they would know how to handle it and have dedicated manpower to do what’s needed.


How much property maintenance and repairs experience do you have?

 When a crisis arises you have two choices – either you handle it yourself or you hire someone to do the job for you. Are you able to identify the problem and would you know whom to call? Maintenance contractors and handymen are expensive and you could just wind up hiring someone who is unethical, or not up to the job and burn your fingers, apart from a hole in your pocket. Repairs and maintenance are an integral part of property management and unless you can handle this effectively you’ll land in real trouble. A dedicated and proficient property management company has a string of known handymen they can rely upon or might just have their own personnel if it’s a large company.


Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC is one of the oldest and most reliable property management companies in the area. Over the years it has established its own systems and has a well-established infrastructure in place. Talley Properties is known to be the preferred choice of many investors who have multiple rental properties in and around the Charlotte region.

Security Deposits and How to Handle Them

The rules and regulations governing security deposits are much misunderstood by both landlords and property managers. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that these laws vary from state to state. Many states limit the amount of deposit which can be held, but the amount varies according to the state.

What security deposit can you hold in North Carolina?

In North Carolina where Talley Properties operates, the rules are briefly as follows:

For tenants who occupy on a week-to-week basis the maximum is two week’s rent

For tenants who occupy on a month-to-month basis the maximum is a month-and-a-half’s rent

Beyond month-to-month, the maximum security deposit which the tenant can be asked to pay is two-month’s rent.

In addition the tenant could be asked to pay a reasonable amount as pet deposit. Pet deposit is non-refundable.

Do you have to pay interest on the security deposit?

Another factor is that in some states the landlords or property managers are required to pay interest on the deposit. As a safeguard:

In North Carolina the amount must be deposited in a trust account in a financial institution or licensed and insured bank located in NC.

Alternatively the landlord/property manager could decide to post a bond for the security deposit amount within the state. After that a trust account can be opened outside the state.

In North Carolina the landlord/property manager must inform the tenant within thirty days of the name and address of the financial institution or bank where the deposit is being held, or the insurance company which posted the bond.

What if I have broken the rules?

The landlord/property manager might be denied the right to keep the security deposit if these rules are violated so it’s important to know the rules that prevail and abide by them. If the right to security deposit is lost and the tenant causes considerable damage, there is no remedy. What’s even worse is that a judge could rule against the violation which might cost the landlord/property manager two or three times the amount of the deposit which will have to be paid to the tenant.

What are the reasons for you to withhold a security deposit in North Carolina?

Some of the reasons are:

If the rent is unpaid

If utility bills are unpaid

If the lease is breached

The cost of re-renting the property

If the tenant has to be evicted the cost of moving and storing the tenant’s possessions

Court costs

If the tenant has run up any unpaid bills which could cause a lien against the property

When is the tenant’s security deposit to be refunded?

In North Carolina generally within 30 days of the tenant moving out the landlord has to return the security deposit in person or by mail unless there are deductions when the period can be extended.

Talley Properties

Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC is an icon among property management companies in the region having been in the business for over three decades. Because of its efficiency and satisfactory services, the company has now expanded its area of operations to management of commercial and residential rental properties into the surrounding counties.

How to Increase the Rental Value of Your House

How to Increase the Rental Value of Your House

With the economy in stagnation, it is hard to believe that some parts of the real estate market are looking up. There is once more a surge in buying and renting properties and you should strike while the iron is hot. There is stiff competition in the rental market and you should make sure that your house grabs the eyeballs of prospective tenants. And how? Increase the rental value of your house with some quick and easy renovation work.

Get a pro to inspect your house. Ask a property management consultant to inspect your house and suggest changes that will increase its appeal. The experienced and reliable contractors at Talley Properties, Inc. of Charlotte, NC, do a thorough inspection job and identify all that that needs to be fixed, patched, sealed, replaced, or repaired so that you can command a higher rent for your house in almost pristine condition.

Get a paint jobdone. A house in shipshape order not only entices prospective tenants but also fetches you a higher rent. And one extremely cost-efficient way to make your house look like new is to have a paint job done. Freshly painted rooms and exterior walls look clean and enhance the appeal of your house.

Check the roof and repair/replace if necessary. The quality of your roof is a key determinant of the amount you can charge as rent. It is after all, one of the most critical structural components of your house. Check for leaks, weak joints, and mold and mildew growth and act on what your property management consultant advices.

Fix the electrical issues. This often is overlooked in a renovation or makeover simply because the wires tend to remain concealed. But faulty electrical works are potential fire hazards and pose risks to life, limb, and your property.

Fix the plumbing issues. A dripping faucet or a leaking pipe will shoo away prospective tenants. So make sure that you comb the house thoroughly for plumbing issues before showcasing your property to agents and/or potential tenants.

Get rid of any eyesore. To make your house more inviting to prospective tenants, you may need to spruce up the interiors. Besides a customary paint job, you can think about pulling down any eyesore like a garish wallpaper, a threadbare carpet, or a rundown fireplace that serves no purpose but manages to clutter your room. These are less expensive measures to add appeal to the interiors than many other renovation and/or makeover projects.

Get a landscaping facelift. Do not raise your eyebrows at this suggestion. Your garden and/or the front yard are actually what that will create the all-important first impression in a visitor’s mind. Your backyard is crucial too if you want to extend that pleasant impression. So make sure that you have the weeds pulled out, the broken fountain replaced or removed, the fence painted, and the swimming pool cleaned and disinfected before you invite prospective tenants. And relax, you do not need to ship exotic plants from half way around the world to beautify your lawn.

The above are some of the most basic renovation jobs that you MUST complete before attempting to rent out your house – if you want to rent it out faster and for top dollar. This will not only increase the value of your property in the market but will also attract tenants.

A Firm in the Know

Talley Properties have been in the business of rental property management for more than three decades now. With so much experience and an in-depth knowledge of tenant needs, it is not surprising that homeowners in the area trust them implicitly to give their houses THE makeover that will ultimately attract tenants – awesome tenants.

Tenancy and Occupancy Management by a Property Management Company

No matter how well-designed or comfortable a rental property is, and how desirable the location, it is unlikely to generate the expected returns or become a profitable venture if the manager is not able to manage tenants well and ensure a high occupancy rate.

When tenants are disgruntled they vacate when their lease terminates or in some cases, even before then. It’s not just the income which is affected by unpaid rents and the property remaining vacant but also the additional cost of marketing to find new tenants. To effectively manage tenants, a property manager needs to:

Adopt Healthy Practices in Rent Collection

As a solid and reliable real estate property manager collecting the rent begins far earlier than the date the rent falls due. The process actually begins at the time the tenant fills in their rental application. The various steps the property manager must go through is collection of proper rental references, initiating credit checks, and conducting an interview with the prospective tenant. If everything is satisfactory so far then processing the lease agreement is the next step. Your lease agreement must clearly spell out the following:

The date and time the rent is payable

Where it is to be paid

The penalty if the rent is not paid as stipulated

It may be that an otherwise honest and dependable tenant might go through a bad patch. A virtuous and considerate property manager should have read out the tenant by now and know instinctively how much latitude the tenant could be given.

Swift Response to Repairs and Maintenance

For a rental property to enjoy long-term rental occupancy and low tenant turnover which is the way to a consistent return on investment, efficient maintenance is a pre-requisite. This entails:

Ongoing and preventive maintenance

Timely repairs to correct malfunctions and problems

Remodel and construction

Ongoing and preventive maintenance of rental properties needs a complete knowledge of the property, its upkeep requirements, staffing needs for the job at hand, and the funding required to achieve the objective. The property manager has to perform a balancing act between costs, benefits, and results.

Timely corrective action is needed when something breaks or goes wrong. At times it might be an emergency like a malfunction in the heating system during winter which must to be attended to on a war footing. Other repairs and maintenance can be done on a schedule basis or in groups. The property manager must know the property and be able to satisfy the needs of the tenants while yet keeping a watchful eye on the expenditures.

Property Management in the Charlotte Region of NC

One of the oldest and leading property management companies in the area is Talley Properties. The firm has been providing rental property management services for over three decades now. Its specialty is in mid-range to high-end commercial and residential properties. A mark of its efficiency and effectiveness is the fact that the firm has, over the years, extended its area of activities and its footprint now covers many of the surrounding counties where it continues to render its exceptionally high standard of service.

What do you do if your tenant will not vacate?

What do you do if your tenant will not vacate?

It’s all part of a property manager’s job. Sometimes, despite all the care you take and the screening you do, you come across a bad tenant. It’s something you as a property manager have to handle. There are many different situations which arise because of which a tenant might refuse to vacate a rental property. They could be just losers or they could be severely inconsiderate. Some people do not know how to let go very easily.

As a property manager you have to handle the situation with tact, diplomacy, and professionalism. Your approach should be firm yet fair and reasonable. Invariably this works well even if at the end of the day you lose some money.

More often than not if you treat you tenants with respect – and they are your bread and butter – you lessen the chances of a dispute which invariably is unpleasant and leads to a loss of money.

But there’s no guarantee this approach will always work. Sometimes a situation arises where the tenant-property manager relationship goes sour. It’s all part of property management.

No Two Situations are the Same

State and local rules vary as do tenants. And each crisis has its own peculiar set of circumstances. You might come up against a situation where you need legal advice. Unfortunately, this may cost you money but you have to grin and bear it if your tenant refuses to vacate when the lease has expired.

Here is some general guidance on different scenarios to handle difficult situations:

Situation 1: Your Tenant Pays the Rent and Refuses to Move

There are various reasons why you want the tenant out – you might want to renovate, move in yourself, there is a problem with their tenancy which is in violation of the lease, the tenant may have lost their job because of government regulations or high taxes just like so many other people are experiencing and now they cannot afford to pay rent, or maybe you just want to raise the rent and they cannot afford it nor refuse to accept this higher monthly bill. Call them on the phone and explain your point. A prudent way of going about this is to grant them with some extra time to get things situated so they can move out with a decent place to go. Hey, at least they are still paying something.  

If this doesn’t work then give them a written notice as a follow up. But always ensure you adhere to local laws which apply to the tenant notice.

Situation 2: Your Tenant is Broke

They do not have any money so they cannot pay the rent (a circumstance already mentioned). See if you can work with them and find a mutually acceptable solution. If that’s not possible you may have to file a lawsuit for eviction of an unlawful detainer. But make sure you give them proper notice first according to the law.

Possible Solutions:

Sometimes it pays you to meet with your tenants. Offer them money to move out and leave the premises in good condition.

Alternatively you can bring in a mediator to negotiate on your behalf. This is one approach that produces solid results and costs a lot less than legal fees plus it’s a fast-track solution than going through the court system.

If despite your best efforts they just won’t leave, then an eviction lawsuit might be your only option.

Talley Properties Inc.

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC is an established property management company who has been around the block a few times. Its specialty is rental residential and commercial properties in the mid to high-end segment. This is one of the best known property management companies in the area which has earned an enviable reputation with property owners and tenants alike.

How to Tackle Damages by a Tenant

A nightmare for a property manager and something he does have to face at times is when a tenant significantly damages a rental property. No doubt you hold the security deposit against such events but it’s preferable to take steps to prevent it and know what you have to do if repairs become necessary. The security deposit does not cover the extent of the damage many times either.

Damage or wear and tear?

Reasonable deterioration resulting from normal conditions is to be expected and may be written off as regular wear and tear. Examples of this are broken wall switches, faded paintwork, wear of tiles or carpet, and similar occurrences, all of which form part of maintenance expenses borne or owned by a landlord.

Damage is a different matter and which constitutes an abuse of property or the result of an accident. Examples are stained carpets, broken windows, holes punched in the wall, broken doors, cabinets, knocked down ceiling fans, and an extreme accumulation of dirt. Such instances of damage fall within the purview of the tenant for which he/she is responsible.

Prevention Preferable to Cure

It’s far better to take steps to prevent damage rather than have to handle it after the event. Your starting point is before the lease is signed; this is when you must ensure that the prospective tenant is fully aware of his responsibilities in taking care of the rental property. It pays to tactfully remind the tenant about the security deposit you hold and how it will be applied in event of a contingency.

While no property manager wishes to sound aggressive with a prospective tenant, it doesn’t hurt to caution the tenant diplomatically, especially if this is one who is living on his own for the first time or one who has a track record of infringements in previous rental premises. It will pay you in the long run to make your views clear. This is when you have the tenant sign off on what you have said and that they understand the policy.  

Be Clear

Once the lease agreement is signed and you are walking your tenant through the rental property, point out specific areas where additional care is required. This is particularly important in older properties with original windows and fixtures. Some tenants, especially first-timers, might not be aware of how to keep everything in sterling condition and might have to be enlightened on basic maintenance practices.

When Property is Damaged

If a responsible tenant intimates you of damage, if it is minor you might recommend a reputable tradesman who can repair it, the cost of which the tenant will have to bear. Extend your assistance so a tenant can repair the damage to your satisfaction at the cheapest possible price.

If the damage is extensive you might have to have it repaired yourself and send the bill to the tenant to pay. But first explain to the tenant what you plan to do.


If you have had to make the repair and the tenant won’t pay, gently remind him about the security deposit you hold from which it will be deducted. If the damage is in excess of the security deposit then send the tenant a detailed bill. If he cannot pay this amount with one payment, work out a schedule. If he refuses to pay, then serve him notice to either pay up or they will have to be evicted and if the damage is severe enough, they could be sued.  

Talley Properties

Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC is an icon in the region having been in the property management business for over three decades. Because of its efficiency and satisfactory services, the company has now expanded to manage commercial and residential rental properties in the surrounding counties.

Tenant Screening:An Absolute Must

With property prices dropping to new lows, many more people are beginning to invest in real estate. Novice investors firmly believe that the key to success in real estate investment is to strike a ‘great deal’ after which the money will roll in. Many property managers are plagued by first-time investors who just want their property tenanted as soon as possible because the rent money is needed to meet the mortgage. But as any seasoned property manager will confirm this is not quite how it works, and being in a hurry to tenant a property often results in bad decisions which return to haunt the owner.

Who is this person?

To minimize the risk of making a bad tenant selection, tenant screening is an absolute must. It is only through tenant screening that a clear picture of the tenant’s background will emerge. You’ll be able to learn his/her rental history, credit report, employment record, and whether the prospective applicant has a criminal record. Based on this information, you as the owner or property manager can make an informed decision as to whether the tenant will be a proper fit for the property. This is something which shouldn’t be taken lightly because making a bad decision and signing a lease agreement with a bad prospect could well have avoidable and serious consequences.

Going No Where Fast

To cite an example, if an applicant has a track record of not paying bills on time then chances are that he will have the same attitude toward his rental obligations. A renter of this nature could easily turn a profitable real estate investment into a millstone within months.

Then there are tenants who neglect their rental homes resulting in big repair bills. A situation like this can be avoided with a quick call to their earlier landlords.

But a seasoned property manager will tell you that today’s tenant screening process is far more complex than ever before.

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC, which has been in the property management business for the last three decades, has developed a scoring system or its own to decide if an applicant comes up to the standard they set for occupying a property they manage. When the applicant provides details of all information required, points are awarded under the various heads, and based on the total the prospective tenant is advised whether or not he or she is acceptable.

Designing a Scoring System

A well-thought scoring system ensures consistency of tenant screening. This also protects the property manager from any Fair Housing claims a denied applicant could bring. Since the current economic situation is not improving and the specter of another recession looming and with high unemployment rates, you have to protect yourself because you do not want to have a lot of people living in your property who cannot or refuse to find work. This is another significant factor to bear in mind.

In the final analysis, an investor or owner should not allow the pressures of a mortgage payment cloud their judgment. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Keep Your Hands Clean and Look to Talley

Talley Properties is the preferred choice of a property management company for many homeowners and investors with rental properties in and around the Charlotte region. It has achieved this status through experience, being ultra-careful, and developing a sixth sense for making the right choice.

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