As an owner of a property, what services will I receive from Pelican Realty?
Pelican Realty is a full service real estate company, specializing in asset management. When you contract with Pelican Realty rest assured that your property is being handled as though it were our own. We process and handle the rental applications from prospects, reviewing their credit, job and rental history. From that information we will make a determination regarding the suitability of becoming a resident. In addition, we process monthly rents and provide you access to your monthly owner statements, monthly expenses, receipts and owner distribution information. We handle incoming maintenance orders and/or complaints of work needed on the property. The management agreement authorizes Pelican to perform certain jobs without having to bother you. If you have more specific needs or questions please don't hesitate to call our office.
How often do I receive updates about my property?
Our job as your property manager is to ensure that you are not unnecessarily bothered taking the day to day items off your plate. After building our relationship, as with all other owners, we should only need to contact you at the point of a major emergency or for maintenance issues exceeding our contracted approval amount. Owners feel comfortable that by hiring Pelican Realty they are entrusting us to not bother you unless the need absolutely rises.
How much are the management fees?
Our management fee is 10% of the rents collected. Currently we have a single tier management meaning we offer full service only.
Do you have any fees for maintenance items?
Yes. Our team handling the incoming work orders from the residents will try to eliminate the need for a technician/vendor to visit the property, as some items can be corrected without having to send a technician/vendor to visit the property. If a technician/vendor does need to go to the property, there is a coordination fee of 10% of the overall invoice from the vendor.
What is the total activation cost as an owner?
We have a new owner setup charge of $150.00 which covers the administrative costs of setting up a new account. In the future, we will be offering additional start up services, such as professional photos. These photos will belong to you as the owner and are retained by us during the time we are your management team. The photos will be used anytime the unit goes vacant for marketing, as long as the interior colors and layout doesn't change.
How does Pelican Realty determine how much rent to charge for my property?
We will conduct a local analysis to determine a rental rate. This could include use of our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other national websites such as Showmojo, Trulia, Zillow, etc.. This will give us a basis for a starting rent. In our experience if a property sits on the market for more than 30 days it's either over priced or the interior needs work.
What is the application process for a tenant?
After a prospective resident has been shown a property and expressed a desire to lease it, the next step is for the prospective resident to complete our online application and pay the non-refundable application fee. The application fee is retained by Pelican Realty to defray the cost of processing the application. As part of the application process, we look at an applicant’s history and current information including employment, credit check and tenant history, where possible. We feel that past behavior is generally a good predictor of future behavior. In addition we review information to include family size, pets, etc. using this information to decide on the application. It is our policy to choose the BEST applicant, not always the first. Credit is not always the most important aspect of screening an applicant. Upon approval of the application, Pelican Realty will collect the reservation fee for that unit/property. We do not remove a unit or property from MLS until an application is fully approved and reservation fee has been received by Pelican Realty via certified funds or via our online portal. We will continue to show the property or unit until such time as this occurs.
How does Pelican advertise my property is available for rent?
We market properties using the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), signage on the property, and many national websites such as Showmojo, Apartmenthunterz, homefinder, rentals, realtor.com and others. In our market, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Showmojo is the most effective marketing tool. For best marketing we recommend professional pictures which is an added option available to owners. We display the best four pictures first (Front, Kitchen, Living Room, Etc…). In addition, a “For Rent” sign is placed on a rental property approximately thirty (30) days prior to the property’s availability date (when possible). For new property, the sign is placed on the date the unit first comes under our management or when the property is in a showing condition if the property is under renovation or repair at the time the management agreement is signed.
If a unit or property has been listed for 30 days without being rented, we will review the asking price to determine if the current rental rate is too high or there have recently been changes in the market causing the unit to not yet be occupied. This information will be discussed with the owner as we don’t want the property to sit vacant.
How much is the Security Deposit?
The security deposit is usually one month’s rent which is collected prior to the resident taking possession and after the reservation fee has been paid. The deposit is held by Pelican Realty in a Security Deposit Trust account, with the funds being held until the resident departs from the property. Within 30 days after departure, as per Louisiana state law, the deposit is returned to the former resident if all provisions of the lease agreement have been met. Payment for damage to the property, due to neglect by the resident, is deducted from the security deposit to cover any cost of repairs. If the lease is broken, as per the lease agreement, no portion of the security deposit will be eligible to be returned.
How long are leases for?
All leases generally cover a period of one year or twelve months. Longer leases can be approved after discussion with the property manager. With the manager’s approval, we will accept leases for less than one year but this is an exception that may involve the owner and an increase in the monthly rent, depending on the circumstances of the potential resident. For example, we may decide to place a resident on a month to month or a six month rental agreement to accommodate the sale of the property by the owner or a resident’s pending departure.
Who is on the lease?
Each person who lives in the property must be named on the Lease Agreement whether they are a lease holder or occupant. It is our policy that a guest staying with the tenant longer than 10 days is no longer considered to be a guest but a roommate or resident, therefore, if the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older, he/she must provide a valid state ID and complete additional paperwork as an occupant.
When is rent due for the residents and how is rent collected?
Rent payments are due on the 1st day of each month, late on the 5th. If a resident moves into a property during the middle of the month, rent for the month will be prorated, and the rent for the ensuing months will be due on the 1st. Rents due are posted to the resident portal at which point residents receive notice that their charges have been posted and they are able to go online and begin paying rent. We also send a follow up notice on the 3rd of the month as a reminder for the residents if their rent has not yet been paid. Lastly, for any rents still not paid by the 5th, we send a late notice on the morning of the 6th after late fees post. If the 6th falls on a Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, we will file eviction if we feel it's warranted. If a resident is working with us and hasn't defaulted in the past, they may be allowed a little more time to pay prior to eviction filing. This is always handled on a case by case basis.
When does Pelican disperse funds and send statements to the owners?
We process statements and funds on the 15th of each month, provided it does not fall on a weekend or holiday. If that occurs, it will be processed the following business day. Funds are disbursed by ACH direct deposit into the owners’ accounts. Statements are posted into the Owner Portal.
How will I know if a resident hasn't paid or is being evicted? What is the eviction process?
On the 6th, a late notice is sent via the portal to any resident who has not yet paid their rent. If the 6th falls on a Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, we will file eviction if we feel it's warranted. If a resident is working with us and hasn't defaulted in the past, they may be allowed a little more time to pay prior to eviction filing. This is always handled on a case by case basis.
We offer eviction protection (not insurance) from Pelican Realty for a cost of $18.00 per unit billed to the owner monthly from rent proceeds which will guarantee that residents that must be evicted will be evicted at no additional cost to the owner. This guarantee covers the filing, to the Writ of Possession and includes one hour of labor for putting resident belongings to the curb as required. Any additional time required in larger homes or hoarding situations or where residents didn't remove items will be billed accordingly for any additional labor hours.
How informed will I be about any repairs regarding my property?
We require a minimum balance and approval of $300 in the owner account as a reserve to cover the expense of small maintenance items at the time your management agreement is signed. For any repair exceeding $300, Pelican Realty will notify the owner of a pending estimate in the Owner Web Access requiring written approval.
What type of properties do you manage? Do you manage commercial properties?
Pelican Realty manages all types of properties, both residential and commercial. We manage single family properties, duplex and multi-family. In addition, we manage various small commercial properties.
How is pest control handled for my property?
Owners have an obligation to provide a residence that is relatively free of pests upon occupancy. If not, the owner is responsible for treatment(s) during the first 30 days after the resident’s original possession date. The owner is responsible for maintaining the residence in a reasonable rodent-proof condition and rectifying any condition that would allow squirrels, birds, etc… to enter and nest. Infestations of mice, squirrels, vermin, and or poisonous insects need to be taken seriously, as they can cause damage to a property and can be a health risk to people. Infestations of this type are treated at the owner’s expense. This does not release the resident from their obligation to keep the property in a clean and sanitary condition so as not to promote the attraction of rodents and or pests. In recent years one of the biggest issues has been rodents entering a house and bed bugs. We confirm when a property is vacant that there are no bed bugs and residents acknowledge in the lease there were no bed bugs at the time of possession. Residnts will complain if bed bugs are located inside the unit. While it's hard to confirm if the resident actually brought them in we usually recommend treating the property. If the treating vendor can determine the resident caused the infestation, we may be able to bill the cost back to the resident. In multifamily situations with adjoining walls we also aggressively respond and treat for bedbugs to avoid an infestation from spreading. In most not all cases our vendors are able to pinpoint a unit as the cause. At that time we submit an invoice to the resident for reimbursement.
What is your pet policy?
While many owners prefer a NO PET policy property, we know that over 80% of today’s renters have pets of some kind. We recommend that owners allow PETS in your unit(s) but under strict guidelines. First, the potential resident must process their pet(s) through www.PetScreening.com which is a premier service to gather information on the potential resident’s pets at no cost to owners. They validate that the pet is up to date on immunizations and obtain other essential facts. Additionally we will charge a pet deposit, a pet fee and/or a monthly pet rent. In the case of any pet damage these funds would apply to pet damage above and beyond the security deposit. It has been our experience that most pet owners are usually more careful with the units as they love their pets and would not do anything to cause the loss of their pet.
Are you licensed?
Yes. We are licensed REALTORS® affiliated and licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. We are also members of the Louisiana Realtors Association, and the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR). We are also a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). We do have unlicensed assistance working with us but they handle business under the care and supervision of the Broker.
Can Pelican Realty help me sell my property?
Yes, we are a full service Real Estate Brokerage offering buying, selling and specializing in property management/asset management.
What should I do if a tenant calls me?
As the owner of the property, it is best that you avoid direct communication with the resident and refer all inquiries to our office. We maintain a diplomatic relationship between you and your resident. We understand that this is your property/asset and there are some owners who like to be in direct contact with residents. However, we don’t recommend this because if a difficult situation occurs that requires strict action, we find that tenants will “mommy / daddy” the situation. For example, the property manager tells the resident “no, you can’t pay late this month because you paid late last month.” They don’t like that answer and turn around and contact the owner. If the owner gives in to the resident, it negatively impacts our ability to enforce the lease properly, thus defeating the purpose of why you hired a property manager in the first place.
How is a vacant or unoccupied property handled?
While a property is unoccupied, periodic inspections are made to ensure that lawns are maintained, the property is presentable, and that no vandalism has occurred. During periods of vacancy, it is physically impossible for our staff to accomplish the task of watering the lawn and shrubs. If this service is needed, we will assist in contracting the service at your expense.
How are lease renewals and/or rent increases handled?
Prior to the end of a lease we will notify a resident that they have one of 3 options:
option 1 - renew at either the same or a greater rental amount
option 2 - allow the lease to go month to month at an automatic increase of $75 per month as per lease agreement
option 3 - provide Pelican Realty with notice to vacate at the end of the lease
Unless we receive notice from an owner of their need to take possession of the property/unit 90 days prior to the lease expiration we will be locked into either a month to month or lease renewal.
As your management company, we will make the determination on whether or not a rental rate increase is warranted. This determination will be based on market trends, resident payment history, length of occupancy, property condition and time of year.
Our standard rental increase is on average between $15 - $25 per month. Residents are informed of this type of possible rental increase prior to lease signing.
What is your Smoking Policy?
Smoking is not allowed inside any of the units/properties managed by Pelican Realty which is stated within the lease agreement. We will rent to residents who smoke, but we require them and their guests to smoke outside. We make this very clear to them; they are required to sign that they fully understand this at the time of their lease signing.
What if I want you to use a Home Warranty for all covered repairs?
We prefer that the owners do not use a home warranty company to make repairs at their rental property. It is possible for us to accommodate a home warranty, but you need to understand that there is a HUGE problem in the home warranty industry. Based on our experience, home warranties are not worth the money. Many times the service needed is denied for various reasons. When it is approved, there are often issues with getting the work completed in a timely manner and/or completed properly. As the owner, and for us as the property manager, we have no control over the vendors used. It doesn’t make sense to entrust vendors we don’t know, and whom we have no relationship with or control over. If you google the name of a warranty company with words such as “fraud” or “complaints”, you will see exactly what people have experienced. For these reasons, we do not recommend a home warranty.
Many consumer advocates would say it’s better to “self-insure” by setting aside a reasonable sum each year to cover routine maintenance. Even with a home warranty, you can’t shift all the risk of home repairs to a home warranty company because, as stated above, many repairs won’t be covered by your warranty agreement.
What if a resident breaks the lease?