FAQ : Owners

FAQ Homeowners (Management) < click here

FAQ Home owners (Leasing Agency) < click here



FAQ Homeowners (Management):

Are you bonded and insured? (top)

Southern Premier is insured to practice Property Management regulated by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.

What do the reports look like? (top)

The reports feature a checklist of visual inspections that the property manager uses to inventory the property status. Owners can specify certain instructions such as leaving on patio lights or moving mail from the mailbox into the property for safe keeping until the owners return.

What other services do you offer? (top)

The monitoring service is highly specialized to owners requests, Southern Premier will meet whatever owner demands are made within reason.

What if I have bad credit? (top)

Request a pricing sheet and signed contract from Southern Premier. After you review the contract, and make specific requests Southern Premier will contact you and make arrangements to commence the contract. Keys and security codes are kept at Southern Premiers home office, any exceptions should be requested by the owner.

Who owns the company and how many employees’ work there? (top)

We currently have a second property manager and a part time account manager. We work with a personal network of Realtors and contractors on a daily and weekly basis. We work closely with other businesses in our building to handle merchant services and legal proceedings, all of which enhance the residential property management services we provide. We are located downtown across from the US Customs Office.

How long has your company been in business? (top)

Our company was formally founded October 2006. 

How long has your company been managing property? (top)

Our Company managed property since the day we opened our doors. I personally got my feet wet in the rental market through my own properties starting in June 2004. I have had experience in residential construction from 1998 with a background in architecture.  

Are you certified?  Where can I check on the certifications? (top)

I am the Licensed Property Manager in Charge (PMIC) and I am responsible for the trust accounts under Southern Premier's management. My License number is 62917 expiration date 06/30/2012. We are also members of the National Association of Realtors, The South Carolina Association of Realtors, and the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. In addition to the above, I am a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve and licensed in engineering or logistic. I graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2003. I have an extensive mechanical, structural, and electrical distribution, refrigeration, HVAC, air handling, and other various systems to name a few. (They apply to shore residential properties.) I have renovated entire rental homes as individuals and are familiar with the challenges facing homeowners and investors who choose to renovate and maintain real property as a source of reliable rental income.

How many other properties does your company manage?  (top)

We are constantly growing and as of July 2010 have over seventy-five properties under our management. 

Are there any other charges? (top)

For our management services: No.   We also offer our services as leasing agent at 40% of one month's rent when we advertise your property, screen tenants, and sign a lease for your property on your behalf. 

I need someone who uses email, and is responsive to both the telephone and email.  Are both used? (top)

Yes. Our phone is manned 24/7 to take voice or data. Either myself or employees are designated the responsibility of taking calls. If a call does not connect through the main line the incoming call is forwarded to one of our personal cell phones. 

Is the property manager available part-time or full-time? (top)

I do not have other jobs (other than our Naval Reserve commitments.) When it comes to decision making with regards to maintenance items a manager will make decisions whenever they are required. Managers will stay within the guideline authorized by the owner for maintenance expenses. Typically these are items under $200 without written permission from the owner while corrective maintenance in excess of $200 requires written authorization from owners. Decisions pertaining to the management of tenants are usually handled during normal business hours: i.e. 9-5  with the exception of nuisance or domestic violations. 

What number does a tenant call after hours? (top)

843-735-0129

Is this number good 24 hrs? (top)

Yes a property manager has all calls received on this number sent to a mobile device.

In the event that our “relationship” does not work out, what will it take to terminate the agreement? (top)

We will offer your first right of refusal at the conclusion of the current valid lease and management agreement or after the first 60 days that your property remains vacant under our management. 

Is there a charge for breaking your contract? Penalties? (top)

We are flexible and handle clients on a case by case basis. If, for example you decide to break the contract with the first 60 days we generally invoice for an amount equal to our advertising expanses and less than $100. Should we sign and execute a lease on your behalf you would obviously be legally obligated to fulfill your  side of the lease and we would remain your property management company for the duration of the lease. We wont bail on you when the going gets rough.

Do you require a 30 or 60 day notice? (top)

If you do not choose to continue our management services we would like 30 days notice to close your account. 

Does the company have their own maintenance crew, or do they contract out to a handyman? (top)

We contract maintenance out to several local, licensed, bonded, and insured contractors.  We don't use companies out of the phone book because they generally charge an arm and a leg. We have guys that range from cleaners, carpet cleaners, plumbers, electricians, refer techs, painters, carpenters, and the like.

Can your company handle all kinds of repairs? (top)

Yes, we have guys that will finish that last 5% to complete the job.

What happens if they can’t do something? Do they have other contractors that they work with?(top)

Yes, our contractors are well networked. I am also a licensed engineer and can take care of items as soon as I notice them to save you on cost.

What is the maximum that the company can spend without contacting me? (top)

As mentioned above this value is normally $200 but you can set the limit at $0 if you would like. We have several clients that have chosen that option and who take an active roll in providing our tenants with quality housing.

Do you provide invoices/receipts for expenses? (top)

Yes, our contractors email us invoices where we can either pay from the trust account or where were you can pay via credit card. Our book keeper also tracks all expanses to provide you with a year end operating statement.

Does the company send out monthly statements? (top)

Yes. We provide statements through regular mail and or email if you prefer.

How does the company handle evictions? (top)

Rent is due on the 1st and late on the 5th. If we do not receive the rent by the 5th we submit the eviction paper work at the courthouse because the process takes over 30days. Obviously we prefer to avoid such an occurrence and have used negotiations with delinquent tenants to arrange for payment plans and early termination of the lease in exchange for not reporting delinquent tenants to credit agencies.  Our tenant verification and screening services also provide debt collection service. We have begun the eviction process in three separate incidents but managed to come to a resolution that benefited all parties. (Two of these incidents were the result of tenants who were signed and screened by the owners.)

What are the costs to me for an eviction? (top)

We will file all necessary paperwork on leases we sign. If you need to evict someone on a lease we did not sign we could point you in the right direction or depending on your location and situation we can file the forms ourselves, because of our built in motivation to lease properties  a.s.a.p. with quality tenants while avoiding unnecessary vacancy periods.

Are there any reserves funds required? (top)

Typically no. If repairs come up toward the end of the month we apply those expenses against the rent collected on the 1st. If you do not want a reserve and prefer to pay for bills at the beginning of the month we wouldn't need a reserve. If you travel a lot and communication is difficult or your house is 150 years old. (which I can see that it is not) we would recommend your account to carry a reserve. We recommend warranty companies that offer yearly coverage for maintenance items but if the annual cost is below the industry standard of about $500 it would be smarter to handle thing if and when they come up. 

When will the management company mail the check to me? (top)

We can mail you the check or deposit the check into your bank account and send you a copy of the statement. Most of our homeowners prefer direct deposit because they receive rental income funds in a timely manner.

How does your company handle deposits? Are they commingled, or separated with all other income for my account? (top)

Tenant deposits are all placed in a non-interest bearing account. Rental income is also commingled and disbursed from this account in accordance to SC Real Estate Commission guidelines for trust accounts. We have a book keeper and CPA in our building that oversees the record keeping of these accounts.  

How do you collect the Rent?  Do you allow the tenant direct deposit or bank deposits? (top)

At this point we collect all rental income via check. We however have accounts in place for automated clearing house (ACH) transactions.  (This service provider is also located in our building.) 

Do you charge a late fee on late rent? (top)

Yes. We can charge whatever you want for a late fee whether its a daily fee or a one time fee. Most of our properties currently under lease charge a one time $75.00 late fee if the rent is collected after the 5th of the month.

Do you guarantee the rent? (top)

Unfortunately we do not currently guarantee the rent but have many resources and procedures in place and available to us that ensure all leases and contracts are carried out properly.

What is the company’s penalty if you are late sending the remaining balance to me the Owner? (top)

We do not have a penalty for late payments sent to owners as we make all efforts to adhere to SC trust account guidelines. Our late fee is sent to you. We can better guarantee on time rent collection and disbursement with our ACH system in place and may give a 100% guarantee on rent payment with late fees distributed to Southern Premier.  But at this point this is why the owner receives late fees when collected. 

Are there any fees for vacancies? (top)

No. There are no vacancy fees.

Where does your company advertise properties?(top)

We provide a FREE aggressive internet advertising campaign where after a manager meets with you at your property we post your property on the MLS,  sppm-llc.com, charlestonlease.com, vflyer, craigs list, kijiji, vast, hotpads, olx, geebo, oodle, backpage, google base, socialserve, lycos classifieds, need2lease, musc housing and cofc housing. We do require advertising fees at cost for periodicals in print at cost. The post and courier is popular but averages around $65.00 a week. Because of this we recommend gauging demand from our internet advertising for the first two weeks.

How many property managers work there? (top)

There are only two managers that will handle your property. We will be considered the primary point of contacts for your property.

Do You Outsource Any Duties? (top)

Does it state in your property management agreement whether or not you outsource or subcontract any of the duties. It does not state in our management agreement that we outsource our duties. From an owner's perspective we provide complete and thorough management services at our contracted rate. We delegate technical and labor intensive duties (such as book keeping, report writing, legal supervision, and web design and maintenance) to provide our clients with the best services possible.

Can my property manager provide references?  (top)

Yes. We have many references we can provide you whether they are property owners, tenants, business and trade references, or personal references.

Finally, Is ALL the above stated in the Management Agreement? (top)

For the most part YES. We can add any or all of the above to our management agreement in Section 15 "Other Stipulations", or any other preferences you may have that we did not cover.

FAQ by Home owners (Leasing Agency):

How soon can you locate tenants?top)

We begin advertising the property as soon as we get owner access. The usual process takes around a month, but can be longer if we are holding the price high as per owner request. We have also rented out properties as soon as one week.

Where do you advertise?top)

We advertise across the internet using any free service that we run across. This advertising is all free of charge to the owner.

Who shows the property?top)

One of Southern Premiers licensed property managers will show the property.

What if I locate the tenants first?top)

Southern Premier offers discounts to owners who find their own tenants and sign a valid lease. Please keep in mind that we professionally screen tenants that we locate and cannot vouch for owner located tenants.

Can I advertise too?top)

Yes, of course, it will help increase the visibility of your property.

How do you screen tenants?top)

We use Tenant Verification Services, and they provide the credit check and rental history. Based upon their findings, we approve or deny tenants.

Who approves the tenants?top)

This is done at the discretion of the property manager, but ultimately the home owners wishes are honored. All decisions are based upon Fair Housing Laws.

What about specific negotiations?top)

All specifics are outlined in writing on the lease. This is done so that it is enforceable if any litigation is necessary.

Who signs the lease?top)

The lease is signed by the prospective tenants and a licensed property manager from Southern Premier

Who collects the security deposit and rent?top)

The security deposit and rent is collected by Southern Premier and placed into our non-interest bearing account. The rent is paid to the owner after fund verification, and the security deposit remains in the trust account until the lease is fulfilled.

When do you get paid?top)

Rents are collected on the 1st of the month, and late by the fifth. All homeowner funds are dispersed after rental income clears the bank. This typically occurs within the first ten days of the month.

What happens if we have a question or problem during the lease?top)

Good communications is the key to a successful business deal. Southern Premier will provide clear answers within a timely manner. Questions can be posed via email or over the phone.