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Owner FAQs

Why work with a NARPM Property Manager?

NARPM® property managers have heightened expertise and industry knowledge to assist them in doing the best possible job. They are real estate professionals who know first-hand the unique challenges of managing rental property in today’s constantly changing economic and legislative environment. And they know how to manage those challenges to everyone’s benefit. They can maximize rents and income for you; and they will manage the property efficiently, professionally and economically.

A NARPM® member stands apart from other property managers and landlords. Unlike many of them, NARPM® members:

  • Have access to numerous educational opportunities.
  • Adhere to the highest Standards of Professionalism and Code of Ethics.
  • Know the landlord/tenant laws for your city, state and federal governments.
  • Know rent values and vacancy factors.
  • Have rental applications and consistent screening policies to meet legal obligations.
  • Perform thorough move-in and move-out property evaluations.
  • Are personally familiar with reputable painters, electricians, roofers, chimney cleaners, carpenters, landscapers, furnace and appliance repairmen, and other maintenance professionals.
  • Can effectively negotiate with tenants, handle difficult issues and enforce the terms of the rental agreement.
  • Have the ability to recover NSF checks, evict tenants and collect bad debts.

Your rental property is a very valuable asset. Entrust it to someone that can help you maximize your investment and minimize your headaches!

What is needed to onboard my property? How long does the onboarding process typically take?

We will need;

  • property information (you can streamline the process by filling out our onboarding form: https://scudore.com/onboarding-form/)
  • A W-9, signed
  • Bank information for direct deposits
  • Any current leases, ledgers, outstanding work orders, and resident contact information for occupied properties.
  • We can typically onboard a vacant property within 1-business day, and an occupied property within 3-5 business days of all information received.

Can you contact my current property manager to handle the transition?

Yes, we are happy to work with your previous/current property manager. We request that you intro us via email to make sure all parties are aware of the transition, then we can take it from there!

My residents may be disgruntled/I don’t want to upset my residents by switching management, how do you handle that?

This is why you’ve hired us! In any management transition, we reach out to the resident(s) via all contact methods available and help educate them on where to pay rent moving forward, how to submit work orders, and to collect information on any outstanding maintenance items. We honor the terms of their current lease agreement, or issue a new agreement for signatures if they do not have a valid lease in place. There are occasionally discrepancies regarding rent balances, or the security deposit amount, which we will try to validate via the lease ledger (if provided), with the previous PM, or with your records.

I’ve always done everything myself, is it really worth it to hire a property manager?

If you’re here, you’re probably already realizing that day to day management can be time consuming and overwhelming. Most of our Landlords are time-poor individuals who realize the value in removing what can be a stressful and time consuming part of owning rental properties. The value of hiring a professional property manager is realized almost immediately. We take maintenance calls 24/7/365, have loyal vendors who prioritize our requests and provide a competitive rate due to the volume of work provided. We are knowledgeable and compliant with local and federal laws and regulations. We have been in the business long enough to see “everything” and are typically prepared and well versed in most situations. We have tons of proactive communication in place to help educate your residents throughout their stay with us, and set all parties up for success. We protect your privacy, and field disgruntled residents on your behalf. What could be awkward or emotional conversations between a Landlord and residents are handled by our trained staff. We have professional systems and processes in place to troubleshoot and schedule work orders, collect rent, enforce lease agreements, screen prospective tenants, etc.

I’m a super “hands on” owner. Is no news good news?

Most business owners dream about having a business that they interact with when they want to, but are not in the day to day operations. As a Landlord, who is in the business of owning rental property, we want to take care of the day to day so you can focus on the big picture. This may be acquiring more property, or just prioritizing the life moments that are important to you.

I’m a super “hands on” owner. Is no news good news?

No news is good news, however, we try to share good news whenever possible also! We appreciate any owner who likes to take great care of their tenants and property, and who understands that owning investment properties is never completely hands off. We have several standard communication touchpoints in place to keep you informed. During your onboarding process, and first month of management we will be in frequent contact throughout the entire process. We will update you on all milestones, including; notice when the property is ready to rent, weekly rental activity reports, notifications when applications are received, lease is signed, a property documentation report has been completed, all funds have been collected, tenant has moved in, and when we send your first owner statement. Outside of that, you will hear from us at minimum monthly when financial statements are issued (barring no large scale repairs or urgent situations arose throughout the month). Many owners use that time monthly to go over any non urgent questions or concerns. We are super responsive, and love chatting with our owners. We simply ask that the communication be thoughtful and sensitive to the time of both parties involved. Written communication is always the preference so we can ensure no items are missed. When a call is requested, please reference the topics you’d like to cover in an email so we can have everything prepared and ready to review at the start of the call. 

Lastly, we know that some Landlords are better suited to self-manage. It may be a good idea to identify if you are ready to hire a professional property manager to take over the day to day items. There is no right answer, and we understand professional management isn’t a good fit for every Landlord. If you find yourself wanting to be heavily involved, and in management of every detail, you may not be ready for a property manager, and that’s ok! Our services are optional, and best suited for Landlords who appreciate being involved when they need to be, and not when they don’t have to. 

Either way, please know we will not keep you in the dark. You will be informed, and made aware of all pertinent information. We hope to earn your trust in our decision making and day to day processes so that you are able to realize the full value of our services. We are available to you for any questions, concerns, or consultations in your investment journey. 

How do you screen prospective tenants?

We set clear expectations from the beginning: https://scudore.com/application-requirements/ and then have every resident/co-signer/roommate complete a background check that checks for credit score, criminal reports, eviction records, sex offendor and terrorism watch list.

How do you set the rent price?

The KC Metro is unique in that the MLS is rarely utilized for rental listings, or it’s not common and consistent enough to be a reliable tool. This means an inherent market knowledge developed over years in the industry is our most valuable tool. We utilize other rental comparison tools that pull data from the major listing sites & our own management portfolio, but ultimately the final number is determined by our experience. 

Can we shoot for a little higher than market rent price? We can always reduce later, right?

This is not recommended. Just like listing a home for sale, rental listings can grow stale or cold if they do not get immediate traction on the market. Every month that a rental home sits is nearly a 2% hit to your investment. Lowering rent to a desirable number is often less damaging to final numbers than sitting for a whole month, or over a month vacant.

I’d like to save on the lease up fee and secure a tenant myself, then have you manage, is this a good idea?

We understand why this sounds like a good solution, but it very rarely works out in the Landlord’s favor. It can be very difficult to prevent a resident from contacting the owner throughout the duration of the lease, or looping the owner in whenever they have a question or concern. It prevents us from being able to protect you from the day to day management of the property, which is why you’ve hired us. In addition, the lease agreement you’ve used most likely will not be nearly as effective as SCUDO’S lease. Our lease agreement has been formed by management of hundreds of different residents, reviewed by several legal teams, and addresses items that often wouldn’t be thought of without years of experience. We are trained to pre-screen residents, and then thoroughly screen them at time of application, including verifying their Landlord references and proof of income. Many of the current screening solutions targeted to self-managing Landlords are not as comprehensive as our reports.

If you do choose to lease a property independently, please be sure to familiarize yourself with fair housing guidelines.

Can I call the tenant? Can I provide the tenant with my contact information?

As a practice, we never provide the Landlord’s contact information to residents, and protect their privacy. Generally, when Landlords request this, they mean well, and we understand that. Unfortunately, this very rarely works out in anyone’s favor. Residents will often bypass the property manager and contact the owner directly for any work orders, questions, or concerns. Essentially, the Landlord will perpetually have to be a relay between the tenants and SCUDO. This means that the resident’s are not educated on the proper channels of communication in place to protect all parties. This leads to missed work orders, the Landlord’s phone ringing in emergencies, and “he said/she saids.” Property management requires a lot of coordination. Most tasks require coordination between residents, vendors, the Landlord, and SCUDO. Not utilizing the proper channels means there is a breakdown in this chain of communication, which leads to miscommunications, or balls being dropped.

What if the tenant quits paying?

We adhere to the tenant’s lease agreement. If they are on a SCUDO lease, they are considered late on the 3rd. We submit files for eviction on the 10th if no payment or communication is received. It is imperative that we follow the exact same process every time and do not show favoritism to any resident by allowing some to be late, while others cannot. We provide several payment options (free online ACH, free recurring ACH, by debit card, by credit card, by cash at participating cash locations). If residents choose not to pay or to communicate, we move forward as outlined in their lease agreement.

Do you handle evictions?

Yes. We submit the resident’s file for eviction, post notices, oversee the eviction process and appear in court if needed.

When should I expect my monthly rent payment and financial statement?

Direct deposit payments are initiated from our account on the 10th. Financial statements are posted by the 15th. We do not mail physical payment.

What is on my monthly financial statement?

What is in my owner portal? How do I access it?

Why do you need a W-9 for me?

We collect a W-9 at onboarding to capture information for your year-end 1099. Your 1099 provides a report of all rents paid to you for the year.

Do you provide a year end financial statement for tax purposes?

Yes. We provide an annual report that captures all income and expenses for the year.

Can I hold the security deposit?

For liability and practicality reasons, we no longer offer this option. SCUDO holds all security deposit funds in a secure trust account.

Are there any incentives for referring someone to SCUDO for a property sale or management?

Yes. Learn more here under “For Landlords”: https://scudore.com/refer-a-client-to-scudo/

Why don’t you accept properties with Home Warranties?

In our experience, home warranties aren’t best suited for rental properties and do not create a winning situation for all parties involved. This video helps explain further.

Can you pay my other bills, like pest control and lawn care?

A 10% processing fee will be added to any bills paid on your behalf. Bills must be provided at least 10 days prior to their due date with complete information available for payment.

Can you pay my mortgage, insurance, and HOA fees?

We do not process payments for mortgages, insurance, or HOA fees.

Will you get my approval prior to completing all work orders and payments?

We have a $250 repair authorization threshold for non-emergency expenses. Non emergency expenses exceeding $250 will require approval prior to authorizing. SCUDO’S PMA includes authorization to coordinate and schedule true emergencies at time of occurrence.

What keeps tenants from submitting a lot of unnecessary work orders?

We troubleshoot every work order before ever scheduling repairs. We also provide a troubleshooting guide for resident’s to reference: https://scudore.com/quick-fix-reference-guide-for-common-maintenance-issues/ In addition, we clearly outline in the lease which items would be considered a resident responsibility. We follow this guide throughout the duration of the lease, and educate residents on items that would be their responsibility, or are optional for the Landlord to complete.

Do you handle after hours or holiday emergencies?

Yes. All maintenance calls are answered within 3 rings. True maintenance emergencies are scheduled immediately. Residents may submit requests at any time, including weekends and holidays.

What is a “security deposit free” option? Is the tenant still responsible for damages at move out?

We are the first property manager’s in the KC metro to offer this program via Obligo! Obligo offers a security deposit guarantee to Landlords, while allowing residents to avoid the up front cost of a security deposit, making your property one of the most desirable on the market! Obligo guarantees the standard security deposit amount for tenant related repairs. Meaning if there is a $1000 security deposit, and $1000 worth of damages, Obligo will immediately pay the $1000 in repairs. Learn more here.

What if the tenant moves out and still owes money?

Their security deposit can be used towards funds owed. If they opted into the Obligo program, then their security deposit amount will be paid towards funds owed by Obligo’s guarantee. Any additional funds can be submitted by SCUDO to a collection agency. Should you choose to pursue the resident for damages or funds owed by taking legal action, we can provide you with local, reputable, lawyer referrals.

Can I write off repair expenses?

Yes. You will receive a year-end report capturing all repair, management, and leasing expenses for your property. You will still need to track other expenses like mortgage interest, taxes, etc. View the full list from the IRS here.

How do you pick vendors?

We have recently kicked off an in-house maintenance division (learn more here: https://scudore.com/scudo-maintenance/) and continue to utilize 3rd party vendors as needed. We have built fantastic local relationships with vendors over our years working together. We work hard to find partners who are competitive, efficient, and professional. In addition, we stay informed with satisfaction surveys that are used after every work order to rate efficiency, professionalism, and overall experience.

Do your vendors upcharge?

No. We do not require our vendors to pay us referral fees, kick-backs or compensation (that is ultimately passed along to the property owner). This means they are able to keep their rates competitive while enjoying the perks of being one of our preferred vendors.

Can I use my own vendor, or complete my own repairs?

We love vendor referrals. If you would like to utilize your own vendor, we will need to collect their insurance and licensing information, a W-9, and set them up in our payment and scheduling system. We reserve the right to deny use of any vendor. We strongly discourage Landlords from scheduling their own vendor outside of SCUDO as it creates unnecessary additional work for all parties involved, and typically ends with Landlord or resident frustration. Best practice is to refer the vendor to SCUDO, allow us to properly set them up, and let SCUDO coordinate repairs with the vendor and resident, removing the Landlord from being the go-between.

We strongly discourage owners from completing their own repairs. This now places you as a contact point for the resident, and makes you liable for repairs completed, including future issues that may arise from repairs not being done properly. It can lead to resident/Landlord resentment towards each other for delays in repairs, or repairs not properly done.

Please remember that cheapest is not always best. The cost of having a vendor re-complete a repair, or having a new vendor out to fix a bad repair is not fun. It also creates disgruntled residents who are inconvenienced by inefficient repairs.

Why did I get 2 trip charges for the same repair?

Occasionally a first trip is necessary to identify the problem and to assess what is needed. The vendor then needs to order parts, replacement, or wait until specific temperatures or conditions to complete the repairs at a second visit.

The tenants just moved in, or transferred over from previous management why so many maintenance requests?

This can happen from time to time. For newly moved-in residents, we work hard to educate them about realistic expectations, what type of items should be submitted, which items will be a resident responsibility, and which items are “optional” or “cosmetic.” While a lot of this is proactively communicated and outlined in their lease agreement, the first month is usually a time where the resident is learning the ins and outs of the home. Even with our thorough property reports, some items just can’t be caught until they are in daily use, or were working fine until they were used. This usually decreases dramatically once the tenant is settled and better understands expectations.

For tenants who have transferred over, there are almost always deferred maintenance items. We intentionally collect these from tenants at our introduction, and create a “punch list” of necessary repairs. The requests generally decrease dramatically after our first month together, and once the resident feels secure with our responsiveness, and we’ve had the opportunity to set expectations for both sides.

Can I get multiple quotes for any repairs needed?

We do not require our vendors to provide quotes for standard, day to day maintenance or replacement items. We value our relationships with our vendors, and have selected them because we have already priced them out against competitors. In addition, most vendors do not complete free quotes. If we frequently requested free quotes from our vendors for common items they would get burned out and discontinue working with us. Quality, competitively priced vendors are hard to come by, a huge benefit of hiring SCUDO is having access to these relationships.

How often will you put eyes on my property?

3 times minimum. At minimum, there will be a move-in, move-out, and periodic property report. Typically, there is also a renewal walk-through, and often a “quality control” walk-through after a make-ready/turnover to ensure all punch list items have been completed. Lastly, our in-house lawn care and maintenance team has been trained to look for lease violations, property upkeep concerns, unauthorized pets, etc whenever they visit the property.

Can I write off the property management fees?

Absolutely. These will be included in your monthly management statement, as well as on your year-end financial report.

How long does it usually take to lease a property?

Most properties lease in <30 days. This is greatly dependent on the quality of the home, quality of prospective tenants, season (holiday and winter season sees a dramatic slow down in KC), and initial pricing. We have no incentive to leave a property vacant. We respond to leads instantly, have a dedicated leasing line, and allow showings at their convenience, 7-days a week. That being said, rushing to fill a property with a prospect that does not meet our standard requirements may kick the can down the road, but can result in more financial duress caused by late or deferred rent payments. Please rest assured that no one wants a property filled quicker than us! We will send you weekly reports on # of leads, # of showings, feedback, and any suggestions.

Do I have to accept pets?

Over 75% of the renter pool has pets. Not allowing pets means more days on the market, and vastly decreasing your rentability. We’ve implemented pet screening: https://scudore.com/pet-screening/ to collect information about each pet as well as to authenticate service animals, which are protected under fair housing laws. In addition, we audit adherence to the pet rules and guidelines at our property visits (minimum of 3 times a year- see above). Accepting pets is not a requirement with SCUDO, however, we have done our best to make it a win/win situation for all by offering pet screening at no additional cost to the landlord, and frequent property visits.

Who is the lease between?

The lease is between you, the Landlord, and the Tenant(s), with SCUDO as your appointed agent. SCUDO will sign the lease on your behalf, as outlined in the property management agreement.

Do you assist with property sales also?

Yes! Whether you’re needing assistance identifying additional investment properties, knowing when it’s time to sell your current property, or looking for a family home- we can help! https://scudore.com/help-me-find-a-home/ or simply email [email protected]

How much do I pay when a property is sitting vacant (i.e. getting ready to re-list on market)

SCUDO does not charge a vacancy fee. If we are managing a larger make-ready project, a 10% project management fee will apply.

Am I responsible for any maintenance?

Landlords are responsible for any maintenance that affects the daily use of any liveable area of the home, repairs to items that were operational at the time of renting, or should be operational.

What is the tenant responsible for?

The tenant is responsible for repairs to any items that were previously functioning, but no longer operational due to misuse, negligence, or breakage. Pest control (not including termites), missed vendor appointments, HVAC filters, lightbulbs, and smoke detector batteries.We also require tenants to have liability insurance (protecting your asset) and renter’s insurance (protecting their personal belongings).

I’d rather give the Tenant some time to see if they pay instead of evict them, is that possible?

While the majority of our Landlord’s prefer to receive rent, and have residents in place who pay rent monthly, on time, we occasionally receive this request. We understand that this comes from a good place, however, we can not accommodate this request. We must follow the same process every time, for every tenant. We are not allowed to selectively offer special treatment to certain tenants. We must be able to stand in front of a judge and swear that we treat all tenants equally. If you would like to process rent on behalf of your resident prior to the 10th, we can accommodate this, but do not suggest or encourage it.

I have an idea about a service you should offer, or something that I think most Landlords would find helpful, are you interested?

We have implemented many solutions based on the feedback of our Landlords, residents, and from other industry professionals. We are constantly improving and growing, and know that the needs of tomorrow may not look like the needs of yesterday. If there is a service we can provide that would better meet your needs, or a process we can improve, let us know! Is this service or process something that you would be willing to pay for? Would it add tremendous value to your experience, or be a deciding factor in selecting a property manager? Shoot us an email at [email protected]  and let us know what awesome ideas you have!

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