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The Dark Side of Property Management

BlameWhen you first visit a property as a potential tenant, everything is designed around you seeing the best that the property has to offer. The management office (hopefully) is spotless, the staff are friendly and helpful, and there’s usually a candy dish for you to enjoy while you look over lots of glossy, colorful paperwork. But everyone knows the flipside of this idyllic situation. Once you sign on the dotted line and move yourself in, you’re able to see the real property, warts and all. Sometimes it’s nothing major -- maybe the lock on the gate to the dumpster sticks. Sometimes it’s unbelievable -- theft, invasion of privacy, and things you’d never dream a property management company would allow. As a property manager, you can only do what you can do. There are only so many hours in a day and your budget is what it is. But if you’re not receptive to tenants’ complaints, things can get ugly very fast. There was a situation not too long ago at a Virginia property where the residents came close to rioting because they felt that the property management company was not living up to its responsibilities. Management, for their part, claimed that the residents were unreasonable, slovenly, and constantly disobeying the property rules. So as a property manager, what do you do in a situation like this? Hire a mediator? Serve mass evictions? Break out the water hoses? Before you resort to those sorts of extremes, here are a few tips. Isolate the problem. ......
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