Frequently Asked Questions by Owners
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding your property management investments.
How is my rent money disbursed to me?
Delivering your rental income is Hometown’s priority. Most owner disbursements are done by electronic transaction and are completed during the first week of each month. Since residents have a free option to pay online, many sign up for automatic monthly payments which further speeds up the owner disbursement process. Paper checks, if elected, are sent via USPS.
When do I receive my monthly statements?
Hometown monthly statements are sent when your rental income is disbursed to you. If you have elected to receive electronic disbursements, monthly statements are sent via email. For owner-clients that receive paper checks, the monthly statement is included with the check via USPS. Current and past statements can be viewed online 24/7 through our easy-to-use Owner Portal.
How are repairs handled?
Property maintenance and repairs are a reality in real estate. Protecting your property is an important responsibility for Hometown. We quickly analyze repair issues and dispatch the proper professional to bring the problem to resolution. Most tenant repair concerns are communicated to Hometown via their online Tenant Portal. These electronic work orders are received immediately and enable our team to react without delay.
Our carefully vetted network of vendors not only perform quality work but invoice at preferred pricing due to overall repair volume. Because Hometown does not directly employ maintenance contractors, we receive the most competitive prices in the market. Our service agreements and vendor relationships allow us to pass along other perks such as waived service call fees for appliance replacements or other major fixtures.
All repair items will appear with a detailed description on your monthly statement. However, a Hometown team member will contact you when something other than a minor repair issue occurs.
What if my property requires an emergency repair?
Hometown has a 24/7/365 emergency maintenance line for calls that come in after-hours and on weekends. Worry free property management is Hometown’s goal and it is our job to handle emergency situations when the timing is less than ideal. Of course, after-hour emergency concerns may need immediate attention and are dealt with accordingly. However, our on-call maintenance crew is trained to stabilize other situations until they can be fully addressed during normal business hours (when service fees are less expensive) and when the property owner is more accessible.
How do I know that my property is being properly maintained?
Hometown knows that a properly maintained property creates a higher return for our clients. Prior to signing on as your Property Manager, we conduct an initial exterior and interior assessment of your property free of charge. This helps to address more immediate issues right away and to prepare for problems that may occur down the road.
Hometown conducts systematic routine inspections and maintenance service checks. This ensures that all properties are being cared for by the renter and to catch a maintenance issue that may need to be addressed.
How much do you charge?
Hometown is confident that our fee structure is among the most competitive in the market. Our fees vary on circumstance and property-type which is best explained through a free on-site or phone consultation. Please call 717-617-2108 to speak with one of our licensed property managers.
How do you screen prospective tenants?
Hometown prides itself in using the most thorough screening process in the industry. Our standards for qualification are equal for every individual as we fully comply with the Fair Housing Act.
All potential tenants must apply through our online application and screening system. Individuals are evaluated by analyzing credit rating, credit history, rental history, income and employment situation.
A licensed real estate agent from our office always accompanies prospective tenants while touring your property. Once the tenant is qualified, we collect the security deposit and secure the first month’s rent. We closely coordinate the move-in process to be sure the property is clean and the tenant has keys and working utilities.
What does the Hometown lease agreement look like?
Hometown uses the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors lease agreement (form LR) with addendums covering Crime and Drug Free Housing and also specific Rules & Regulations. Lease agreements are typically one year in length with monthly auto renewals.
All tenants are required to acquire renters insurance.
Pets are negotiable where allowed; Hometown prepares a lease addendum specifically for pets and collects an extra refundable pet security deposit.
Security deposits, as required by law, are held in escrow in a bank separate from operating funds and owner funds.
How do you handle problems with tenants?
At Hometown, we are fortunate that we have few problems with tenants, which is a direct result of our robust screening process. Still, issues do arise from time-to-time. We are equipped to handle these issues by first attempting to solve the problem. If it is money-related, we are familiar with the court system and eviction process. Hometown will file the proper paperwork and attend hearings to reclaim property if necessary. This is just one of the reasons why Hometown is your answer when you are looking for a professional to manage your property.
How do I get started with Hometown managing my property?
It’s actually quite easy. Although every situation is different, we have seen it all so we are ready to manage your property right away. From handling the entirety of property managing to listing properties for rent, we deploy very quickly in our property management services. Call us at 717-617-2108 for a free consultation or contact us here to make an appointment.
What type of technology do you use?
Hometown uses the industry standard in property management software technology. This software handles all aspects of the management process and allows us to handle our day to day business with ease. Advantages include being able to market vacant properties, make lease signing appointments, process electronic work order submissions and provide free direct deposit for owners and tenants alike.
Are you taking on new clients?
We sure are! And there is nothing we need from you except the keys.
Additionally, Hometown is known to help our clients find the best investments available among other things such as liability insurance, home inspectors and recommended mortgage providers. Call us at 717-617-2108 to make an appointment or contact us here.
What is your process when a property becomes vacant?
Hometown prides itself in having a vacancy rate well below the national average. Our well-maintained properties lead to more responsible tenants who stay in your rental units longer and make turnover faster.
It’s unfortunate when it happens, but tenants do give notice to terminate their lease agreement and move out. Hometown has it handled. We immediately list the property on our website and analyze if the property is rent-ready. If so, we immediately market the property to minimize any downtime.
When the move-out is complete, we inspect the property thoroughly for any damage, necessary repairs and cleaning prior to processing the security deposit. We work diligently and quickly to have the property ready for the next tenant. Our minimal downtime is the lowest in the industry. And there is never a charge if your property sits vacant; if you don’t make money, neither do we!