Property Manager Ignoring You? Here’s What to Do!

20 Mar, 9:22 am

As a property owner, you partner with a property manager to sit back, relax, and watch your investment grow. As a tenant, you look for a property manager to make sure you find a property that will suit well with your needs.

On both occasions, having a property manager is beneficial whether you are an owner or a prospective tenant. But what if having one only turned out for the worse? Unanswered calls, emails, and you haven’t seen them since after signing the contract. Worse, your property and tenant are already in bad shape and you wouldn’t even know.

In this article, we’ll guide you in handling situations where your property manager goes AWOL, how to boost communication and prevent this from happening, and steps to enforce if they are ignoring your concerns. Let’s begin!

 

Key Traits of Top Property Management Companies

 

For property owners, a good property manager is not just any property manager, you need someone you can rely on, go the extra mile, and take care of the property and the tenant as their own, which separates a good property manager from the great ones (1)

For tenants, a property manager facilitates everything that needs to be done from applicant screening to signing a contract, making a security deposit, conducting scheduled property inspections, and securing monthly payment collection.

Effective communication is a key factor that greatly reflects how well they handle tenant-manager or client-company disagreements. The responsiveness of property managers leads to better relationships between property owners and tenants and between the property management company and their clients.

Being flexible and easily accessible also helps property management service providers take control of the rental property well. They are able to cater to tenants’ needs, comply with legal obligations, and follow statutes from state regulations and landlord-tenant law.

 

Warning Signs That You Have a Bad Property Management Company

 

Maintaining the habitability of the rental property is a vital part of the landlord’s responsibilities. When you have a property manager, they can represent you on your behalf since they are more knowledgeable about managing your properties.

Unfortunately, it takes time to spot if you have an inefficient property management service provider. You will not immediately notice bad property managers with just one meeting over coffee.

If you are a property owner and you may have experienced these, they can be red flags that will have a larger impact against you:

  • Frequent unanswered phone calls or emails, delayed response times, and unaddressed requests
  • Inability to screen tenants and potential clients as seen in consistently having bad renters and a high turnover rate
  • Ineffective performance metrics like short occupancy and long vacancy rate, high eviction and contract termination rate, high frequency of late payment fees, and increased delinquent rent payment rate
  • Lack of updates on what is going on, monthly or weekly reports depending on your agreed period, and property maintenance especially if the rental property is vacant

 

frustrations from landlord because the property manager is ignoring them in LA

Canva/Elnur

 

On the other hand, here are some signs that tenants may have dealt with a bad property manager which puts at risk the habitability and maintenance of the property including:

  • Issues regarding mandatory disclosures (pests, mold, lead, flood, or contamination hazards) are unaddressed. Lead paint and mold issues, it can be harmful to any person’s health, especially children. Ignoring chipping or peeling paint could become a housing code violation.
  • Lack of essential services like electricity, clean water, or heating, is considered an emergency maintenance is not addressed promptly.
  • The presence of broken plumbing fixtures and structural concerns caused by natural calamities and disasters are both major safety issues. A roof leak may cause it to collapse and failure to take action may prompt the local Health Department to intervene.

If you have felt your property manager acting unethically or illegally including threatening you, ripping you off with unjust fees and excessive charges, or random increase in rates and ignoring you without explanation, you may have gotten a bad property management company.

 

Crafting Success: Essential Actions for Property Owners

 

Property owners need good property managers to take over administrative and management tasks that an owner may need more time and expertise to be able to do. Here is what you can do if the property manager is ignoring you:

1. Try to evaluate credentials more extensively

The property manager may be aloof when you have requests but they may be keen to answer your queries regarding their work. You can check in on their communication provisions and if they are aligned with the agreement you have signed.

This may include contract statements when they should give regular updates or reports, copies of changes made with the lease agreement, copies of vendor invoices, tenant screening procedures, rent collection, and security deposits, and routine maintenance concerns.

2. Initiate proactive ways to disseminate information

As a property owner, you can remain in control by documenting concerns and issues in writing. Emphasize the importance of maintaining professionalism while dealing with property owners as their clients. Ask for their most convenient time and measures how to deal with emergency situations, and place them within the contract.

Keep your lines open so you can provide opportunities to be accessible. Use multiple communication platforms by connecting through email, social media, business, or work phone, so they have no opportunity to hide from you.

Make sure you have a copy of your tenant records that are accessible and organized properly not only for legal presentation, but also for financial reports, and smooth tenant turnover in the future.

 

Initiating ways to disseminate information to the property manager in california

Canva/Blue Planet Studio

3. File a case

Worse comes to worst, you will only realize the impact of the mismanagement too late, and more costly damages have already been done. (2)

As property owners, you can get monetary compensation for the damages when you take action by filing a negligence case with the small claims court. If representation by a lawyer is preferred, they can take it to the civil court for regular legal proceedings.

Seek professional help from rental or tenancy experts with real estate knowledge. Lotus Properties has over two decades of experience and up-to-date information on property management legislation and other issues. Contact us for help with your properties in Malibu, Culver City, and Hollywood.

 

Empowering Tenants: Actionable Steps for Rental Success

 

Property managers share the responsibility for maintaining a safe and habitable property. Even if they are not responsible for health and safety issues caused by the tenant’s neglect, a property manager should not ignore requests to make the unit safe and fit to live in. (3)

1. Start by sending a notice to the property manager

Send a notice to the property manager describing the issue. Take note of the steps you made for the damages that need emergency repair, payment concerns, and other property matters. Research the ample period to wait for a response and take note of the time when you took action and sent a notice.

Property management companies must also be given a copy of the correspondence sent so they are aware of the condition and take necessary action in place of the property manager’s negligence.

2. Identify the situation and the frequency

If there is no response, take all circumstances into writing by identifying the nature of the concern. Focus on what is the expected action from the property manager, and how many times did you, as a tenant, try to contact them.

Provide names and contact details of any witnesses to the events if there were any. You can also provide the response given by the property manager, and how long it takes to receive a response/send another follow-up.

3. Properly documenting all communication and record-keeping of ignored requests

Compile detailed records of letters, screenshots of email and text messages, copies of lease agreements and contracts, repair requests, and pictures of property damages These documents will serve as evidence against the property manager’s negligent behavior.

4. Escalate the issue

When you haven’t heard anything from the property manager after giving a sufficient amount of time, you can send a written notice to the property management company assigned to the rental unit that the property manager is ignoring your requests. You can also seek assistance from a tenants’ association or advocacy group.

When all else fails, you have no other option other than file a formal complaint with your bad property manager.

5. Seek legal advice or file a complaint if the problem persists

It is important to seek legal help especially if the non-action has severed federal housing laws. As a tenant, you can also ask the use of local law enforcement officials if the concern is in violation of rental property state laws.

When making a legal complaint, you can start by filing with the local real estate association where the property manager holds their licenses. They can have their licenses revoked or suspended, or they may have to pay substantial fines before they can renew.

You can also lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) so your grievances may be answered directly by the company or other clients will be made aware of red flags.

 

Owner seeks legal advice about a property manager ignoring requests from them

Canva/thecorgi

Know Your Rights: Understanding Your Legal Standing

 

You may be paying rent as a tenant or screening tenants as an owner wrongly but this does not make you a bad landlord or tenant. Having a property manager that should mediate between the tenant and the landlord but ends up taking your rights for granted should be held accountable for disregarding the laws. 

Both property owners and tenants have legal rights and obligations in the case where a property manager ignores taking action to protect their safety and the property as well.

Read federal regulations and local provisions for updated information. Look into California local laws and statutes that protect property owners and tenants in case of negligence or failure to address issues.

Having an attorney that is well-experienced when it comes to handling property management cases and real estate laws. This is important for legal representation when you sue over an unanswered complaint or non-observance of federal Fair Housing laws.

 

Addressing Poor Property Management: Steps to Take Action

 

Once you’ve filed a complaint, you must wait for legal resolution. Refrain from doing anything that would sway the court’s decision in favor of the property manager. Always act in good faith maintain a good relationship with your renters assure that you are not an accomplice to the property manager’s negligence.

Once the investigation results are over and you have a go signal to take over the property, now what? 

It’s better that you are back to looking for a new property management company again, instead of keep losing money and draining your cash flow or having your property gain a bad reputation.

When all alternative solutions have been exhausted, it is important to take steps in finding an experienced and reliable new property manager from a great property management company.

Be sure to employ the services of a property manager who can respond quickly especially to address necessary repairs. This will ensure your property is taken care of while a reduced tenant turnover rate will optimize your net income too.

 

Choosing the Perfect Property Management Partner

 

If you think you have a property manager that ignores you or your tenants, you should keep tabs on the signs that would do your property harm, and talk to them through different communication channels. If they are still negligent, you may take your case to court.

If you are a tenant whose maintenance requests have been ignored, you may send notices and keep copies of unanswered requests so that you have proof when you take your complaints to the next level.

The next step is to take legal action, which can be in the form of revoking their license, suspension of their services, or monetary compensation for the damages.

Yes, you may be looking for a property manager that has already several listings and solid years of experience under their belt, with both factors helpful in choosing which one you should get.

But don’t forget to also take into account a trustworthy property management company that offers a commitment to their responsibilities, keeps you in the loop with all property concerns, and maximizes where you put your hard-earned money, like Lotus Properties.

Lotus Properties provides property management expertise with a solid reputation all across the Greater Los Angeles area. Our property managers are trained and licensed to efficiently manage properties so you can be assured that your requests are taken care of and your investment is safeguarded.

Partner with Lotus Properties and save yourself from all the hassle of hiring delinquent and negligent property management service providers. Request a callback from us today.

 

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. Entrepreneur 
  2. Forbes
  3. Forbes