Frequently Asked Questions about Property Management and Tenancy

1. What services do you provide?

We do everything required to maintain the property and provide you with the greatest return on your investment including, but not limited to:

  • Locating and screening prospective tenants
  • Inventory and condition reports
  • Collecting and disbursing rents
  • Sending out maintenance fees, etc.
  • Deposits to client accounts, if desired
  • Coordination of cleaning, repairs, and regular maintenance
  • Periodic property inspections

2. What type of properties do you manage?

Northfield Property Management currently manages single-family homes and individual condos, multi-family units (duplex, triplex, etc.), apartment buildings of all sizes, homeowners associations, condominium associations, and commercial property.

3. Why should I hire Northfield Property Management to manage my rental property?

If you lack the time or expertise needed for day-to-day management of your real estate investments, we can help. Northfield Property Management can help you:
Market your rental property to minimize vacancies and maximize income. We know the rental market, what comparable properties are renting for, and what potential renters are willing to pay for a rental property. We have the marketing know-how to reach potential renters and have the experience and resources to weed out potential bad renters;
Fill vacancies with the best possible tenants;

  • Maintain and keep your rental property in good condition. We handle and coordinate routine repairs as well as emergency repairs;
  • Track income and expenses to determine profitability;
  • Negotiate rental agreements;
  • Collect rent and track tenant deposits;
  • Comply with federal, state and local laws; and
  • Respond to tenant requests and deal with problem tenants

4. Why shouldn’t I manage my property myself?

The time involved in collecting rents, arranging repairs and leasing units, most owners have found that their time is more valuable spent elsewhere. Today’s world is more complex than ever, lawsvaryy from city and county, government programs are always changing owner requirements and responsibilities.  We are well versed in landlord tenant law, and are aware of the constantly changing Federal and State mandates governing them.

5. Does Washington State require that property managers be licensed?

Yes. Washington State requires that any person managing properties through a management company be licensed. Both property managers at Northfield Property Management are licensed Real Estate Brokers, requiring proven experience in the field and extensive education.

6. Can Northfield Property Management help me find and keep good tenants?

We can accomplish this by a complete credit report on each of our adult applicants, a complete verification of their rental history from past landlords, a verification of their employment, an eviction search and a criminal search.

7. Can you help me avoid bad tenants?

“Bad” tenants will typically target owner-managed rentals because they can’t pass the application process with property managers. They know that when a property is for rent by owner, the rent is likely to be less and there will be less scrutiny of their financial situation. Because bad tenants can’t be evicted without notice and an eviction can take months and cost you money, we will verify references and do whatever possible to avoid potential bad tenants and associated eviction problems.

8. How quickly do Northfield Property Management process monthly rents and statements to property owners?

We generally process and mail the rents and statements by the 10th of each month.

9. How often and how are the property inspections conducted?

We perform periodic inspections at which time we check to see that the tenants are taking good care of the premises and that they are not violating any terms of their lease. We also take these opportunities to go over any general maintenance the property may require.

A property inspection is done prior to residents moving in. This is known as the “move in inspection”, where we detail the condition of your property on a move in inspection form. We inspect the exterior of our properties on a periodic basis and we also conduct other inspections when requested, or if we determine that an inspection is warranted. We also inspect your property when renewing the tenants lease with them.

We perform another inspection, known as the “move out inspection” when the tenants move out of your property. The move out inspection is done to ensure that the residents returned the home back to the condition they leased it in. Pictures will be taken if necessary. If there are any damages found, we will have the damage repaired and deduct the expense from the tenant’s security deposit. Once all repairs have been made, we will refund any remaining deposit in accordance with Washington State law.

10. What happens if my tenant is not looking after the property?

If it is noticed that your tenant is not keeping the property to the required standard, then a notice to comply is issued, stating the items that need to be resolved. If this is not done within the stipulated time frame, usually 10 days, then a termination notice is issued requiring the tenants to vacate the premises or the rent will be raised to pay for services needed.

11. Who maintains the lawns and gardens?

The maintenance of lawns and gardens at a rental property is the responsibility of the tenant unless otherwise stated on the Rental Agreement. If requested, we can refer the tenants to a landscaper.

12. What happens when a tenant stops paying rent?

Rent payments are monitored on a daily basis. If rent is not paid when due, steps will be taken to arrange payment. Tenants will generally be posted with a 3-day pay or vacate notice, notifying them that they are behind on rent and requesting that they pay current. In the rare case, the tenant does not pay, the tenant’s information is given to our attorney’s to begin the eviction process. It is very important that everything is done legally and at the correct time.

13. What if a tenant needs evicting?

Even though we will do everything possible to avoid problem tenants, an eviction may still become necessary. We will help you with the whole process, from providing the required eviction notices to filing court documents and working with the local sheriff to have the tenant removed.

14. Will I have to pay for property repairs?

Yes. Just as you would if you were to manage the property yourself, you are still responsible for maintaining the property. The advantages of allowing us to handle the maintenance issues of your investment property are extensive. We have the capability of negotiating with vendors for discount prices based on volume. These savings are passed directly on to you. We also have in-house maintenance for general repairs and an on-call emergency service for those late night repairs that just cannot wait until business hours. Our maintenance men are trained to identify problems caused by normal wear and tear (the owner pays) versus damage caused by tenant abuse or neglect (the tenant pays). The management agreement will give Northfield Property Management authorization to perform necessary maintenance work at the property up to a predefined monetary limit. We will contact you for any jobs over that limit.

15. How much does your professional property management cost?

Our management fee is a percentage of the monthly gross rent. The percentage will vary depending on property type and size. We give discounts based on the number of units you have/would have under management with us. We only collect a fee on the rent collected. We do not collect any fees if the property is vacant or if the tenant doesn’t pay rent. For full details, please request a personalized proposal.