Summit Realty has been managing properties in Whitman County for over 25 years. We are committed to providing excellent service to our owners and to our tenants through open communication and lots of documentation of everything! Our goal is to protect your asset and manage your risk.
SERVICES WE PROVIDE:
- Property Evaluation: Summit evaluates our properties on a yearly basis and compares them to the current market, maximizing the occupancy and income potential of each property.
- Rent Collection and Disbursement: Tenants are given multiple options for payment of rent. Rent is due on the first day of the month and late after the 5th day of the month. We are able to pay any bills for the property that you want us to and then disburse the remaining balance to you. Owner payments are done by the 10th day of the month, or the next business day if the 10th is on a weekend or holiday.
- Mortgage and Bill Payment: Summit Realty can pay most standard property expenses such as the water bill, mortgage, lawn maintenance, etc.
- Web Portal Account Access: Each of our property owners and tenants have secured login access to accounting reports, income and expenses along with a copy of any bills paid, balances, leases, etc. Tenants are even able to submit work order requests online so the owner knows what is going on at their property.
- Tax Reporting: Year-end 1099-MISC are mailed to each owner along with a profit and loss for the year.
- Tenant Screening: We personally call past landlords to speak to them about their experience with the tenant. If the tenant does not have a rental history then we require a parent co-signer for the first term of their lease. Credit and background screening are also available, however since most of our tenants are 19-20 year old college students this does not usually give a good indication of their ability to pay rent and maintain the property.
- Tenant Acquisition and Retention: It is usually most cost effective to retain a good current tenant then to have to turn the property over and get it ready for a new tenant. Summit Realty’s policy is to not raise rent for a tenant that chooses to renew their lease. Due to our many avenues of exposure and advertising, including internet based and word of mouth, Summit boasts a near zero percent vacancy rate.
- Repairs and Maintenance: Repairs and maintenance are a couple of the most difficult aspects of investment property ownership and property management. A poorly maintained property generates less income and has a greater chance for vacancy. Summit enlists the help of only licensed/registered and bonded contractors for plumbing and electrical repairs. Summit employs maintenance staff to perform routine maintenance and repairs. Fees for this service are explained in our Property Management Agreement.
- Deposit Trust Account: We collect a holding/security deposit before the start of the lease. Tenants are provided a written condition report along with pictures of the property at the beginning of their tenancy. We then use this during their move out to compare the condition of the property before and after their occupancy. Summit Realty then completes a security deposit settlement statement which states any deductions from their deposits, and mails their settlement statement within the statutorily dictated number of days after the termination of their lease. Summit Realty maintains a separate non-interest bearing trust account to hold the tenants’ security deposits.
- Education, Laws & Trends: Local, State and Federal laws are constantly changing. Our active membership and participation in organizations like those listed below help us to educate and prepare our clients for changes in laws, building and zoning codes, etc. Our Realtors and Property Managers are required to participate in live and online continuing education classes each year.
- NAR® (National Association of Realtors)
- WAR® (Washington Association of Realtors)
- WCAR® (Whitman County Association of Realtors)
- WCLTA (Whitman County Landlord-Tenant Association)
- NARPM® (National Association of Residential Property Managers)
- SWEDA (South East Washington Economic Development Association)
- Sales and Marketing: Summit Realty offers experienced and highly trained Realtors® who can assist any of our clients with the acquisition or liquidation of an investment property. We offer free property Comparative Market Analysis to our clients, allowing them to know how their property compares to the active and sold sales market, as well as, their potential net proceeds after closing costs.
- Fair Housing Compliance: Summit Realty adheres to all local, state and federal laws regarding fair housing. For a comprehensive explanation of Fair Housing in WA State please go to www.hum.wa.gov/FairHousing .
SERVICES WE DO NOT PROVIDE:
- Short term management under one year in length
- Management of properties outside of Whitman County, WA.
- Properties that are at risk of foreclosure, trustee sale or other forfeiture
- Court evictions: A property manager (unless a licensed attorney) is not authorized by the Washington Supreme Court to practice law, by signing pleadings or appearing in court to present pleadings. The property manager is the property owner’s representative. RCW 59 appears to make the representative the proper plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action. The statute does not confer the authority of the property manager to practice law. A nonlawyer property manager who selects, signs or files unlawful detainer pleadings is engaged in the unlawful practice of law. (Practice of Law Board, State of WA. #05-29 Advisory Opinion, August 2005, Who May Represent Landowners in Unlawful Detainer Actions). We will provide a written statement, documentation and reports for the owner to present in court, but we do not actually file the eviction or appear in court.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- How much does it cost for Summit Realty to manage my property? It depends on how many units there are, their condition, proximity to Pullman (we like to drive by our properties at least once a week), etc. Call Jeannette and we can discuss fees.
- When do I get my money each month? Rent is due on the first day of the month, late after the 5th day. The tenant’s check must clear their account before we can distribute money to bills and owners. Owners are paid by the 10th of the month or the closest business day to the 10th. At no charge to you we will electronically transfer payment of your monthly net rent into your checking account. You will need to provide a voided check to get this started.
- How many properties does Summit Realty manage? We are currently expanding our property management division and have hired a full-time and a part-time property management assistant. As of December 2018 we manage about 230 units.
- Do you collect first and last months’ rent up front? Since we live in a college town the “rent up” process starts extremely early compared to other rental markets. Lease terms typically run June-May. We send out our renewal notices in January and expect tenants to renew their leases in February. At this time we collect a hold deposit. We do not collect any rent. First months’ rent will be due on the first day of the lease and last months’ rent will be due in the last month. We have found out this works best, especially with our owners who have mortgages and need money each month.
- What happens if the house is vacant? Summit Realty’s goal is to never have a vacancy, and we’re pretty good at achieving this. However, there are times when it may take a few weeks to get the property rented. During this time Summit Realty does not make any money. If no one is paying rent then we do not collect a fee. Because of our unique “college town” rental season your property may be vacant for the first few days of June. We typically “turn” 60-70 properties in the first few days of June. This is to give us time to have the carpets cleaned, have the house professionally cleaned, yard mowed, repairs completed, etc. in preparation of the new tenant. You may be responsible for a few days of utilities and/or rent during these few days.
- How do I get my property ready to become a rental? We believe it is most profitable, long-term, for your property to be kept in good condition. Better homes attract better tenants, and your resale value and rents will remain higher if the home is kept in good repair. Provided below is the minimum property condition standards required prior to a new tenant moving into your home. A detailed list will be provided with your New Owner Packet.
- Do I have to allow pets? Smokers? Children? Most of Summit Realty’s rentals are pet friendly. We live in a college town with a vet school…so A LOT of tenants have pets. This usually allows for a higher rent to be charged. In our experience pets do not usually cause as much damage as their owners. We charge an additional $100 security deposit for pets. You do not need to allow pets in your rental property, that is up for you to decide and we can give you the pro’s and con’s. All of our rentals are non-smoking. This includes smoking of any substance (ie cigars, cigarettes, marijuana, hookahs, e-cigs). Children are part of a protected class under “familial status” therefore we will never discriminate against having children in our rentals (unless it is a 55 and over community).
- How are repairs and maintenance handled for the property? Regular, yearly maintenance of your property can be decided between your property manager and you. Single family home leases usually provide that the tenant be responsible for furnace, air conditioning, humidifier servicing, gutter cleaning, lawn maintenance, etc. at least once a year. Other multi-units require that the owner pay for the servicing once a year and the tenants change the furnace filters at least one other time. Summit Realty handles repair requests through our online portal. Owners can see what the tenants are requesting and how we respond to their requests. Usually, repairs under $300 are taken care of as needed and taken out of the next months rent proceeds. If repairs are estimated to go above this $300 cap then we would contact the owner to let them know.