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 

Monday, September 25, 2017


Both as a home owner, and as a tenant, you will want to make sure you are properly insured. As we see with the recent hurricanes sweeping our nation, you never know when you will need that insurance to kick in. 

Home Owners:
Some home owners think they are covered by their association/building's general overall policy. This is not always the case. If your property is a rental - you should always have your own policy. 

Usually, the main building policy will have a high deductible and will not always cover liability, etc. Check with your insurance provider and be sure that you are covered. 

As a professional Property Management company, we always require that our clients have their insurance providers add us as Additional Insured under their policy. This is standard business practice - if your current company is not requiring this, you may want to reconsider if they are a qualified, professional company. 

The reason we need to be added, is that as your representative, if anyone were to go after your insurance for a claim, they will not only go after you, but also the building, association, and us. Since we are representing you, we require this layer of protection. 

For around $100 a year, you can get covered through renter's insurance. Renter's insurance can cover things such as your property if there is a break in; cost to replace food in your fridge if the refrigerator goes out; the cost of repairs to the unit if you are responsible for accidentally setting a house fire. Check with your current insurance agent whom you use for your car insurance, etc - they will usually give you a discount for adding on another policy. 

Amanda Frazier, R, RMP (RB-21435)
Cornerstone Properties
Property Manager and Chief Operating Officer 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Current Market

For over a year now, many rental proeprties on Oahu have had to lower rental prices in order to get renters. Our market is directly affected by the military presence here - more soldiers and their families have been moved off island than have come in. In addition, new batches of housing have become available on base for those families that are here - which has significantly decreased not only the demand in the rental market but also the money available from renters.

Keeping a higher price means your property will most likely sit vacant longer. In the past when demand was higher than supply, we would get multiple applications for one property, and properties would rent in one to two weeks.

Today, when we show a property, we get feedback that the potential tenant is looking at 5-10 other units that same day/week, and we have seen many rentals sit for several months empty. It's rare to receive applications these days, and we are not the only company seeing this. This is being seen across the island for all types of properties and from all property management companies.

Having a nice unit in a good location will not be enough to get a good renter these days. Price is one of the biggest factors because of the large amount of inventory. Keep this in mind when pricing your rental unit in today's market. 

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

Property Manager and Chief Operating Officer