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How to Transition to a New Property Management Company

Despite ongoing price increases, Vancouver boasts a low rental vacancy rate of just 2.7%. So, if you're a Vancouver landlord or considering investing in real estate in this city, you can look forward to ongoing income from your rental properties.The secret to maximizing your investments lies in finding the right property manager for your needs. If you buy a property with a management team in place, you're under no obligation to continue with their services.Keep reading for more about how to transition to a new property management company and what happens when property management changes.

Why Choose a New Property Management Company?

If you own several Vancouver properties, it makes sense to have one management company oversee them all. This is one of the most common reasons to change property managers when you buy a new house.Some investors hire one property management firm only to discover it isn't a good match for them. The following are some reasons why landlords decide to choose a new property management company:

Cost-Related Issues

Your contract should outline the property management fees and the services they include. Unexpected fees or increasing costs without a valid explanation are red flags for landlords.Always compare property management services in terms of value rather than price alone.

Legal Considerations

Occasionally, a landlord might discover that their property manager hasn't complied with certain laws. For instance, property managers must collect and account for security deposits according to the Residential Tenancy Act.They may also be guilty of contractual infringement for not fulfilling their obligations as outlined in your contract.

Property Maintenance Issues

When you hire a property management company, you expect them to uphold the value of your investment. They should keep up to date with routine maintenance and see to repairs promptly.If your property management firm allows your property to become run-down, you'll experience difficulty keeping tenants and incur extra expenses.

High Tenant Turnover

Tenants tend to come and go in rapid succession during times of economic stress or if the neighborhood deteriorates. Otherwise, it's your property management firm's job to keep your tenants in place for as long as possible.If you're having difficulty getting your tenants to commit to lease renewals, it's time to consider a change.Keeping your tenants happy is one of the reasons to hire a property manager. Frequent tenant complaints are a sign that your property management team isn't performing as they should.You should review all tenant complaints and investigate any unresolved issues.

Bad Tenants

Bad tenants are worse than no tenants. These individuals repeatedly pay their rent late, don't take good care of your property, and disregard the terms of their leases.They may even carry out illegal activities on your property. If you have bad tenants renting a property from you, it's a sure sign that your property manager didn't complete adequate background checks.The best property managers carry out rigorous, legally compliant tenant screening processes.They conduct regular property inspections to safeguard your investment. They ensure your tenants meet their lease obligations.

Old-Fashioned Systems

There are many technologies available to property managers nowadays. This software helps streamline and refine their tasks and also helps reduce the costs involved.Property management software ensures accurate record-keeping and accounting.Online portals are an excellent way to manage convenient rental payments. They're also convenient for maintenance requests and tenant communications.Written checks and snail mail have no place in modern-day property management.Committed property managers embrace the latest technology to help make things easier and more cost-effective for both landlords and tenants.

Poor Communication

Your property management team should provide you with regular updates concerning your property. If you never hear from them or struggle to contact them when necessary, it's time to switch to a more responsive company.Routine status reports, instant messaging, and access to the information you need are integral parts of effective modern property management.

Transitioning to New Property Management Services

Ending your relationship with a property manager is always a little awkward, even if the previous owner hired them. Change can also cause anxiety for your new tenants.To ensure a smooth transition, it's important to research prospective new property managers before you make a move. Having a clear course of action will help put your tenants at ease and make the transition easier for you, too.Your first task is to check your property management agreement to make sure you go about termination correctly. In rare instances, the contract may have a clause that requires you to pay fees until the end of the agreement.Property managers who are confident in their service levels rarely use this tactic.Most contracts allow you to terminate the agreement if you have just cause. The agreement should define what this means.Sometimes you might have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of the agreement. You'll most certainly need to put your request to cancel the service in writing.Be sure to check how many days' notice you must provide.If you've bought a property with a property management agreement in place, you needn't consider these aspects. In this case, you haven't signed an agreement with them.Once you've broken the bad news, your new property management company should work with your existing one to ensure you leave on good terms and to ensure a smooth transition.These two entities will work together to hand over all the necessary information related to your properties.

Transferring the Necessary Documentation

Your new property manager needs access to a wealth of information to assume management of your investment property. Some of the documents they'll need for tenant-occupied homes include:
  • Tenant information form with their contact details
  • Copies of rental applications and supporting documents
  • Signed lease agreements and addenda
  • Copies of all keys and security information
  • Accounting records reflecting all income received from the tenants
  • A tenant ledger
  • Copies of tenant correspondence
  • Move-in inspection photos and reports
You should inform your new property manager about any ongoing issues with the home or tenants. These may include unfulfilled maintenance requests or overdue rent.Before you hand over the property, it's best to inspect it yourself with the new property manager. This helps them start with a clean slate.

Communicating Changes to Your Tenants

You needn't reach out to your existing tenants.Your new management team will take care of that for you. It's one of the duties of a property manager to inform tenants of any changes that affect their tenancy.They'll likely send a letter introducing themselves. This will include their contact details and explain how to handle rent payments and maintenance requests.Despite this, it's usually best for the landlord to reach out to their tenants and reassure them about the change. Most tenants will feel apprehensive about possible rent increases or even lease termination.A visit from their new landlord and property manager will help put them at ease and encourage good future relations.To avoid any confusion, it's advisable to update the ownership details and contact information on the tenant's existing lease. Tenants don't need to sign this amendment, but they must have access to your details.

What Happens When Property Management Changes?

When the new property manager receives all the relevant documentation, they will review it and may recommend some changes.They'll assess whether your rent is appropriate for the market and investigate your tenant's payment history. They'll also review when the lease is up for renewal.Under British Columbia's landlord-tenant law, you can't implement any changes to the lease agreement until your tenant's current lease expires. You'll have to put off any changes until then.Vancouver limits the allowable annual rent increases. The maximum increase allowed in 2024 is 3.5%, and you must notify your tenants about rent increases at least three months in advance.One of the most common mistakes during a change in property management is neglecting to check security deposits. You must transfer the security deposits over from your previous property manager.If the original manager neglected to collect a security deposit, you must secure one if your tenant renews their lease. Otherwise, you could end up in a costly court battle over damages to your property.Be sure to follow up on any outstanding maintenance or repair requests promptly. If you don't, you risk losing your tenants and harming your future relationship with them.

Consider Vancouver's Best Property Management Company

When you switch to an experienced team of property managers, like Axford Property Management, you know you're covered no matter what happens when property management changes.We will reach out to your tenants, explain the changes to them, and take care to get your property back on track. We will implement our trusted property management systems and explain them to everyone involved.Our team has the expertise to ensure a smooth transition for both landlords and tenants. Both parties can count on clear-cut communication at every stage of the process.Get in touch today to sign up with Vancouver's top property management firm.