Monday, October 9, 2017

Late Fees

New Bill - Act 179 Effective November 1, 2017

Effective November 1, 2017, all new rental agreements or renewals will have to be sure to have late fees of no more than 8%. 

In the past, many companies may have used 10% or even a flat amount as a late fee. 

So if you are managing your own unit, or if you are a professional and have not been paying attention to the new bills that are coming out - please be aware that this is new and taking into effect as of November 1st of this year (2017). 

Amanda Frazier, R, RMP (RB-21435)
Cornerstone Properties

Property Manager and Chief Operating Officer 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Home Warranty Companies

Home Warranty Companies:

Some of our clients ask us what we recommend when it comes to home warranty companies such as American Home Shield. In my opinion, they're not worth it. They not only charge you a premium each year, but they also charge you per visit - whether or not they repair it, how much the repair would cost. and often give you a lot of hassle to replace an appliance. 

Typically, they will use vendors we do not know and cannot recommend - probably the cheapest vendor they can find. This has been our personal experience working with AHS. 

Also, our wait time on the phone is typically an hour or more. This is such a hassle, that we cannot guarantee using them, even if you have a warranty service. 

For example, we are at 4pm on Monday, a tenant calls about a leaking toilet - typically we would call our plumber to go out to the unit, it would be repaired by tomorrow and cost probably around $100. 

Instead, we are trying to get on the phone with AHS, but with the wait time, will most likely have to call back tomorrow during our business hours - and then wait for them to assign the work order - no telling how long that will take the vendor to go out and do the repair. 

AHS requires the person at the door to pay for the visit in order to receive service. Typically, we do not require tenants to pay for repairs unless it was tenant caused. This causes a lot of friction for tenants when we ask them to up-front the money, and then reimburse them.  Imagine if you were a tenant and had to wait for a repair then pay out of pocket. 

Personally, when I bought my first place, my Realtor as a kind gesture offered to pay for one year of warranty services through American Home Shield. I quickly declined the offer, knowing what a true headache it is.

The reality is that you won't know when you'll need to send out someone to do a repair on an appliance, electrical, or plumbing. But when that time comes, wouldn't you rather have quick service, and know who you're sending out to do the repair? I know I would rather have one of my preferred vendors go out to my property and work on my home. 

Amanda Frazier, R, RMP (RB-21435)
Cornerstone Properties

Property Manager and Chief Operating Officer