I manage many properties for out or area owners, absentee owners, or local investors who don’t like dealing with tenant issues. Recently I advertised one of my properties, for rent and had dozens of calls within the first day. The price must have been right. 🙂 I actually had to increase the rental price because of so many calls, the owner was pleasantly surprised when i gave them that news. The shocking information I found out from one prospect was sad, scary, and down right immoral. What a professional Realtor(R), Property Manager being immoral, who would have thought.
One property manager had collected over 20 applications for a property over a 14 day period and charged all the applicants $150 fee. Really? Yes, really. This property manager was so arrogant that he bragged about it to my perspective tenant. My perspective tenant also found out that none of her references where called, her credit was pulled, and so in the end the immoral property manager just collected $3000 to put in his pocket. I am not sure how you would go about finding if a property manager you are considering to hire does such practices, but I am willing to bet the companies that charge low fees to owners, end up making these types of business decisions to prospective tenants. Maybe that is why tenants are so gun shy when it comes to rental applications.
Don’t get me wrong, charging an application fee is a must, charging the fee to more than one tenant happens (although we properly disclose to tenants if we have more than one applicant, since the law requires FULL DISCLOSURE). And we never take multiple applications over a 14 day period…come on. If you are working with the Houseguy.org as your Property Manager, you can rest assured that we only take applications from tenants who are an 8 out of 10 in our book when we meet and greet them at viewings. Anything less we pass on knowing it is in the best interest of our landlords.