OWNER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What services do you provide?
EPM is a full service property management company. We manage residential, commercial and industrial properties. Our services include, but are not limited to: Property Management, Property Maintenance, Inspections, Vacancy Preparation, Remodels, Leasing Services, Advertising & Marketing, Tenant Screening, Vacation Home Management, Detailed Accounting, Judgment Collection, Eviction, Sales and more. If there is a specific service you require please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
How much are your management fees?
Our management fees depend on the type and complexity of the property. Below is a breakdown of our “typical” management fee schedule:
Management fees vary depending upon the type, size, location and services requested by the owner, but generally fall into this range. Owners with multiple properties may qualify for discounts. With EPM on board, efficient property management doesn’t cost, it pays!
Can EPM pay my bills?
Yes. EPM can pay bills associated with your property including maintenance bills, utilities, property taxes, insurance, mortgages, etc. After we receive rents from the tenants, we pay the expenses associated with your property. The remaining balance will be sent as an owner disbursement.
Can EPM help me if my property is currently occupied by a tenant?
Yes. EPM can continue to service the existing lease until the end of the term or sign the current tenant onto our lease. In cases where the tenant is behind on rent or not satisfying the terms of the lease, EPM can take the necessary steps to get them current and satisfy the terms of the lease or start the eviction process. In our experience, hiring EPM as an independent property management firm will suddenly get tenants who are behind to pay up in a timely manner or move because they know that a professional management company will follow through on all collection issues.
Do you perform inspections on my property?
As a complimentary service, EPM will conduct periodic exterior inspections on your property when a tenant is occupying the property. Upon tenant move out we will complete a property inspection to determine any charges the tenant may be responsible for. As an optional service you may order Equitable's Preventive Maintenance Inspection (PMI). This highly recommended service gives us the opportunity to inspect the exterior and interior of your property. This inspection usually takes 1-2 hours (varies depending on property size) and we will provide you with a written report and pictures of the inside and outside of your property and a list of recommended repairs and maintenance items. An annual inspection is highly recommended as it will allow us to catch and repair small preventive maintenance issues before they become major costly repairs that could cost you thousands. Please ask your manager for more details.
How are Rental Rates Determined?
We continuously monitor the market and conduct objective Rental Surveys for current rental rates. We understand that every owner wants to get top dollar for their properties and inexperienced property managers may tell owners what they want to hear, but this may lead to an unhappy owner due to an extended vacancy. In our experience, rental rates are determined by market demands, not by property managers or owners. If you think your property is unique or better than the competition, you can price it for higher than what the average property is renting for to test the market and see what the response is like. If the market agrees with your pricing and your property is rented quickly—great! If your property gets very little interest or does not rent out within a week, we recommend you lower the rent because a vacant property is an expensive liability.
How are security deposits handled?
EPM holds the tenant's security deposit until the tenant moves out. EPM will perform a move-out inspection and return the tenant's security deposit minus any charges the tenant is responsible for.
How do you advertise for prospective tenants?
We advertise vacancies on our website, craigslist and other online media, place our distinctive “For Rent” lawn sign at the property giving prospective tenants who drive by our contact information and access to our website to view the details of the properties online. Approximately 1 out of 4 applicants come to us from our distinctive “For Rent” sign at the property. We can also advertise in local newspapers and online rental databases which will give you the needed exposure to fill vacancies as quickly as possible.
How do you handle maintenance calls?
Tenants may submit maintenance requests through the Tenant Portal, call, write, or e-mail us with their repair requests. Our maintenance department will furnish a work order so we have a maintenance history of your property. We also have a record of the dollar limits for repairs set by mutual agreement and will contact you if the amount is over this amount. Sometimes we are able to assist tenants by walking them through a procedure over the phone or we can send one of our vendors out to assess the problem and give us a repair estimate. If the cost is over the pre-set maintenance limit, we will contact you for approval. Unless it is an emergency, we try our best to give you notice prior to any work being performed.
How do you screen prospective tenants?
We require a detailed written application from each adult to be named on the Lease. We process the application by verifying rental history and employment/income information. In addition, we also order a credit and eviction report which give us an accurate accounting of the tenant's financial capabilities, payment history, and eviction history.
How much do you require in reserve and what is it used for?
The amount of reserve depends on the size and type of property. All accounts are required to maintain a reserve amount. This reserve amount is placed in a trust account and is used to cover any charges or unexpected maintenance bills that may arise when there is no rent or not enough rent to cover those charges. The standard reserve amount is $300 for residential properties.
What happens if you have to evict my tenant?
There are occasions where we may have to initiate eviction proceedings. All of our evictions are handled through a California licensed attorney specializing in tenant/landlord law. There are many nightmare stories about evictions taking up to several months before the owner can regain possession of their property. Be assured this is usually not the case. Most of our evictions are uncontested, meaning the tenant does not file an answer with the court, and possession is obtained in approximately four weeks. If a tenant does file and answer with the court, a hearing date will be set, and the tenant essentially has "bought themselves’ two more weeks of possession. In most cases the eviction process does take 4-8 weeks from initialization. Stringent tenant screening on our behalf keeps evictions to a minimum with our company. You as the owner will be responsible for the cost of the attorney, which is approximately $750 for the entire eviction process but we will coordinate with the attorney on your behalf for no additional cost.
What liabilities should I look out for as a landlord and what can I do to protect myself?
As a property owner, you are potentially liable for known and unknown conditions at the property. With a competent insurance agent, your fire/liability insurance policy should adequately cover you in most cases. Your agent can recommend the appropriate insurance limit for your situation.
When can I expect my report and check to be sent to me every month?
We disburse owner’s funds along with a detailed report typically by the 15th of every month.
When do you start advertising your vacancies?
We start our marketing process at the time we receive an Intent to Vacate Notice.
Who pays for the application fee to process the prospective tenants?
The prospective tenant pays for the application fee.
How do I get started?
CONTACT US and we will get in touch with you to discuss more about your property and your needs or complete the form below.
Benefits of EPM:
EPM is your local full service property management company that can provide any or all the following for residential, commercial and industrial properties:
When you're searching for a company to manage your investment, you want to know that you're in the best of hands. With more than two decades of experience, we can proudly say we've learned a thing or two about real estate – and that knowledge helps you. With EPM on board, efficient property management doesn’t cost, it pays!