Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to rent my property?
We will recommend a rental rate and terms that we think will attract a qualified tenant within 30 days. Market conditions vary and we can’t make any guarantees as to when we will get a qualified applicant. There are many more tenants in the rentals with rents less than $1,600 so these properties spend less time on the market. High-end properties take a little longer to rent. We will provide you with updates as we get feedback from the market, so that we can modify the price or terms if necessary.
How do you determine the rental rate?
We manage several hundred rental home’s and have over 12 years of experience in this market. We also have access to listing information on many more units through the multiple listing service and internet. After inspecting your home we can make recommendations to you on items that might enhance your homes’ value. Once we know your home and your goals, we can use our knowledge of the current market situation to recommend a rental rate. It’s your property- we recommend and you decide. An overpriced listing will not receive any prospects, so we can quickly determine if we’ve aimed too high and make adjustments.
How will you advertise/market my property?
We are proud of the fact that 50% of our homes are rented to tenants that are referred to us. Almost all of our other applicants tell us they found the house on the internet. Relax Realty Group posts properties on several national web sites in addition to our own site and on Facebook. We also use limited signs to promote properties we manage. We analyze each property based on its own unique circumstances to design a specific marketing plan, which promotes your property under the most favorable conditions.
How do you check the applicant's credit/reference history?
One of the most important aspects of making our experience as a Landlord easier is placing the right tenant in your property. Of course, we don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, or familial status, but we can discriminate on the basis of credit and rental history. All prospects start with an online application. Once we have an application generated from our marketing efforts, we conduct a detailed background check on the applicant. Some applicants try to be very deceptive, having friends or family members pose as former landlords or employers, so that the information sounds good to the landlord conducting the background check. To reduce the possibility of being deceived by an applicant, Relax Realty Group uses a multi-tiered background check to cross-reference each applicant. Our background checks consist of:
* Our agents will ask to see a picture ID of the applicant.
* We pull a copy of their credit report including their FICO score.
* We check to see if the applicant has had criminal charges filed against them.
* We get copies of their pay stubs or contact their employer to confirm their source of income. If they are self employed/retired we ask for copies of their tax return or bank statement.
* We confirm their landlord reference or residency history (mortgage payments).
A thorough background check is crucial to avoid costly mistakes with your property. A bad tenant can be a very expensive ordeal due to lost rent, extra time spent having to deal with them, and damage to the property. While no background check can eliminate the risk of a problem tenant, our thorough examination of a prospective tenant’s rental history can significantly reduce your risk.
How much do you charge to lease my home?
Generally we charge a fee equal to one half month’s rent to place a tenant for a one-year lease term. We call this a “Procurement Fee.” This fee covers the efforts of initially marketing the property on the Internet, showing your property as many times as it takes to procure a qualified tenant to apply, processing the application, signing the lease and going through the initial management processes.
Who collects the rent? When do I get paid?
The tenant makes all payments to Relax Realty Group. The security deposits are maintained in one escrow account. All rents and other payments are deposited into a separate escrow account. We will deduct our management fee and any other expenses that have been authorized and we’ll send the balance to you. We post statements to your portal by the 5th of each month (or the next business day thereafter) and issue the direct deposit (ACH) the same day. It usually takes 2-4 days for the ACH to reach your accounts. We can mail you a check with the statement if this is preferred.
What happens if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
In our lease, we give the tenant a 5-day grace period to pay the rent on time. On the 6th of the month we generate 3-day notices and post them on every door where rent is not paid. We will also contact the tenant and find out why the rent hasn’t been paid. Most tenant will communicate if they are going to be late. If they are paying after the 3-day notice period, they must sign an agreement to vacate if they do not pay their rent as promised. If we still haven’t received the rent by the expiration of the 3-day notice and haven’t received a signed agreement to vacate, depending on the particular circumstances with each tenant, we start filing eviction. As needed, we will go to court, arrange to get the “writ of possession” from the court and, if necessary, meet the sheriff at the property with a crew to remove the tenant and their possessions from the property. Why the tenant can’t pay the rent is not really relevant. We can help tenants with legitimate problems find help from different charitable organizations. But we are retained by you to protect your interests. If the tenant can’t pay the rent we need to find a new tenant that can.
What happens if the tenant has a maintenance problem?
The tenant contacts us to report all maintenance problems. We can be reached 7am-11pm, including holidays. Our property managers rotate being “on call” so that someone is always available to handle emergencies. In the management agreement there is a “repair limit” which tells us when, based on the estimated cost of the repair, you want to be involved in handling a maintenance problem. For non-emergencies, we will contact you first or we will handle the repair on your behalf depending on the repair limit you set. You can choose a dollar limit of zero or some higher figure at your option. Please note that this repair limit is based on non-emergency repairs. We will handle emergencies immediately, based on our judgment and experience, to protect your property from suffering any further damage. If we cannot reach you for your approval and it cannot wait (like AC in August) we will use our expertise and pick your best option while making sure the tenants have a habitable home for their family.
How much do you charge to manage my property?
Our management fee is 10% of rents collected.
Can I sell the property to the tenant?
Yes! If you (we) sell the property to a tenant that Relax Realty Group placed, our management agreement sets out that you will pay us 3% of the purchase price. After all, Relax Realty Group brought you the “buyer”. We will help prepare the contracts, arrange financing, and coordinate all of the tasks required to successfully close the sale. However, if Relax Realty Group did not place the tenant then we don’t expect to get paid a sales commission if the tenant buys the house (unless you ask us to represent you and help with the transaction). You can list your property for sale with any Broker at any time and Relax Realty Group will help your Realtor by coordinating the showings with the existing tenants. You will be asked prior to any lease renewal or tenant turnover if you wish to sell your home, because this would be the perfect time for you to make a change and list your house for sale if you wish. Because of our reliable management skills, many of our clients are referred to us by local Realtors in the area. We are advocates of theirs and will make it a smooth transaction for the tenants and buyers.
Does retaining a management company mean I won't have any problems with my property?
NO! If you own rental property, over a period of time, you will have some issues arise. Whether they are related to maintaining the property or dealing with the tenant, there will be things that need to be resolved. Retaining Relax Realty Group to manage your property will eliminate some, but not all, potential problems. Our experience will help reduce potential issues and keep the costs to a minimum. We can’t stop all bad things from happening, but we can solve problems for you, so that you don’t have to handle them yourself.
How long have you been in business?
The Broker, Jill Lyons worked for another local brokerage beginning in 2015. Relax Realty Group opened its doors managing 110 properties in 2012. When we first started, a hedge fund came to us to exclusively place tenants in all of its investments resulting in over 300 placements in 10 months. The hedge fund opened its own management division, which was the plan from the start, but this initial opportunity gave us a great start. We quickly became a well-respected management company in the area and gave investors confidence in our ability to handle portfolios.
We are now managing over 500 units in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. We specialize in handling owners that have multiple investment properties. We can help them gain better cash flow or tax write-offs, whichever their goal may be.
Marc Pelletz is Jill Lyons’ partner in Relax Realty Group. He has a large investment portfolio and has flipped hundreds of properties in the last 5 years. He has over 28 years of real estate investment experience and actively enjoys mentoring young, hungry new investors. He is a valuable asset for our clients and offers experience to them to make the best investment choices if growth is their goal.