You’ll need a form for the owner to describe all the features of their property including number of bedrooms, baths, schools, community amenities, which appliances are included, utilities included and other features. Don’t let them ‘push this off on you.’ If there is an error they will blame YOU and THEY should have the information in THEIR files. Often you’ll advertise a property with a washer/dryer and the owner will take it, leaving you to buy one for the tenant (or other crazy things like this). We’ve made the mistake many times of identifying the wrong schools, listing the microwave when the owner takes them, forgetting that the security system was the tenant's expense and so on. There are lots of ways to screw this up so make the owner complete it. There is more than one way to do this. This format is sufficient for most rental houses but will need to be tweaked by you to fit your model.
“The longer you’re in property management the more you realize that it’s sticky, often hostile, sometimes even litigious. Over 35 years I’ve been burned many times by owners, tenants, vendors, staff and third parties and after the second or third time (I’m a slow learner) I would go back to the attorney and have her draft a document that prevents it from ever happening again. Blaming property managers has reached an all-time high and isn’t going away anytime soon. So, understanding this reality, smart managers need to spend extra time, money and effort building/crafting documents designed to protect themselves, even from the folks they are trying to serve. We’ve pulled these documents from our archives and have listed them here for your review and downloading individually (or in packages by topic). We’ve laid this material out in the Property Management Life Cycle categories for purposes of giving the discussion some order.
Protecting yourself from Owners is what these documents are all about.
Download (PDF, 381KB)
The Property Management Lifecycle by Crown Investor Institute LLC