Contract and starting out
Can I see a copy of your Property Management Agreement?
Yes! Please download a sample copy here. Please note: The fee amounts shown are typical of an average single-family rental property. Multifamily or higher end properties will have different numbers. Please contact us to discuss pricing to manage your property.
Do I have to pay anything up front to use your services?
Generally, no. We do not charge setup fees for a normal property management start-up. If your property requires an unusual amount of work to get started, we may charge an appropriate administrative fee, which would be outlined up front. The vast majority of clients will not need to pay any setup fees!
The basic property management fee is 8% of monthly rent. There is a Leasing Fee once we place a tenant for you. For basic service management clients, this is the greater of $600 or 50% of 1 full month rent. This includes a commission for a referring agent who may bring the tenant, and our premium rental marketing services.
Please see Pricing for more detail.
Can I stop using your services at any time?
Yes. We are confident in our services. You are welcome to leave at any time with an early termination fee. Please see our sample property management agreement.
How do I get paid?
We pay electronically through direct bank deposit at the end of the month. This eliminates the need for us to hold a "reserve" on your funds, and provides you the convenience of receiving your monies at the beginning of each month.
Foreigners with EIN / ITIN - You must have a US bank account to get paid. We do not mail checks.
Foreigners without EIN / ITIN - You will need to obtain an EIN or ITIN in order to avoid FIRPTA withholding. We can refer you to a professional to help with that. You must also have a US bank account to get paid.
Do I have to pay a “reserve”?
No. Since we pay owners at the end of each month, we will simply deduct the cost of smaller repairs from the rent. 50% up-front deposit may be required on larger jobs.
Are there other fees?
There is a $150 admin fee for Lease Renewals, which includes a property visit. This property visit is performed before offering the tenant the option to renew, and if we find excessive damages we may opt not to renew their lease. If you use the Basic management service package, there is an Administrative "accounting" fee of $10 or 5% of the bill amount, for paying bills on behalf of the Owner. There may be costs related to performing evictions, unless you enjoy Eviction Protection under the Premium Management Service.
Can I as the owner collect rent directly, while you manage my property?
No. This creates too many problems with tracking, tenant confusion, and liability. We are a property management company, not a maintenance coordination service. As a licensed property management team, we have an effective system in place and we are happy to help. However, we do not make exceptions to the rules, and this is one of those rules.
What is Landlord Insurance?
Most homeowner insurance policies will not cover your property when it's rented. You need a "landlord policy" to cover your rental property. Our brokerage (Strawberry Property Management LLC) must be named "Additional Insured" on that policy with $500k minimum liability coverage.
Note: "Additional Interest" is not the same as "Additional Insured" and will not work. All standardized Las Vegas property management contracts require the owners to add the brokerage as "Additional Insured".
Here are some insurance agents who have helped our clients with this:
4458 N Rancho Dr Ste 110
Las Vegas NV 89130
Contact: Michelle Youshock
6070 S. Eastern Av Ste 400
Las Vegas NV 89119
Contact: Iliana Lima
4013 E Sunset Rd
Henderson NV 89014-0215
6345 S Rainbow Blvd Ste 103
Las Vegas NV 89118
Contact: Stephanie Martinez
As the owner of the property, do I get copies of the keys?
No. This creates more liability risk for you as well as our company. Specific reasons:
1) If we manage your property, our team takes care of the day to day issues, walk-throughs, repairs, etc. There is no reason for the owner to have to deal with any of this.
2) If you have keys, and a tenant experiences a break-in or stolen belongings, then they can potentially blame you. This is an unnecessary risk.
3) Tenants want and need privacy and quiet enjoyment at home. It's not ok for owners to just "stop by".
4) We perform property checks so you don't need to.
Tenant Placement and Leasing
How do you market rental properties?
2019 Update: 360° virtual tours! We have invested in this technology to make the most of online vacancy marketing. Some websites give preference to listings with 360° photos and/or 360° tours. Very few property managers or real estate agents will provide this kind of service. We like to be ahead of the curve.
Online syndication - We pay for a syndication service which pushes listings all over the internet, to 60+ real estate related websites. This generates the most traffic.
Social Media - We have a healthy social media following and often find leads this way. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. We may also use Boosted Posts.
Sign on Property - Yes, when appropriate. A sign on a vacant property can attract vandals and squatters, so we use this method judiciously and with owner approval.
How fast can you get me a tenant?
Our average placement time is 13 days (median is 9 days). However, there are factors that affect this, and the biggest is price.
Price: The speed of placing a tenant is a function of price. Some owners believe that higher rents attract better quality tenants - that is absolutely not true. The more qualified tenants can choose any rental they want within their budget, so they tend to take the better deals, which are priced at or below market rates. This leaves the overpriced rentals to the tenants whose qualifications are less than perfect. If you want a super high price for your rental, it will languish on the listing pages forever. If you price your unit a little below market, we can get a qualified tenant much faster. Typically, we use rental listings which are active or leased within the last 6 months, within half a mile of the subject property, to suggest a price range. We don't use "Zestimates" - those are often very inaccurate.
Vacant Ready: The "vacant ready" clock starts ticking when the place is ready for move in. Most "rehabs" take a few days. It will take 7-21 days if the property was really thrashed. It will take several weeks if the place was stripped of copper and plumbing. We can sometimes line up tenants while a property is still occupied or being rehabbed, but that is NOT likely if the place is not in good shape. Most people like to see what they will get, before signing contracts and paying in their hard-earned money.
How do you screen tenants?
We use an online application that performs a nationwide background check including credit, evictions, and criminal history. We look at the overall picture and use a standard "grading" system for all applicants.
The normal security deposit amount is equal to one month of rent. If an application is weak, we may require an increased security deposit as a condition of approval. Learn more about our Rental Requirements here.
Proof of Income - We require verifiable income at least 3 times the monthly rent. For more than 2 adults, we will require higher income.
Rental History - We look for tenants who have a history of paying rent on time. Tenants with eviction history in the last 5 years will not be accepted. Eviction history more than 5 years old would require further consideration and/or increased security deposit.
Credit History - Most renters in Las Vegas have less than stellar credit history. A low credit score does not necessarily indicate they won't be a good tenant. As policy, items like money owed to previous landlords, recent eviction, and unpaid utilities, payday loans, or vehicle payments, will result in automatic decline. Essentially, we look for applicants with a history of paying their living expenses. Those without a history can still qualify with increased security deposit.
Criminal History - Active issues result in decline. Applicants with criminal history of violence, property damage, or drug sales/distribution within the past 5 years will be declined. Registered sex offenders will be declined. We perform local checks as well as national screening.
Can owners review applications before approval?
No. This creates a Fair Housing liability risk. We follow Fair Housing guidelines and look for qualified renters. In the case of multiple applications, we process complete applications in the order received. A complete application means it includes all supporting documents. If the first complete application is not acceptable, we will move to the next. If more than one acceptable application is received within the first 2 business days, we will accept the most qualified.
What about occupancy?
As policy, occupancy on all rental contracts is limited to 2 persons per bedroom. Studios are limited to two persons total.
Can I see a sample Lease Agreement?
Yes! Download a sample Lease Agreement here.
What happens to the security / cleaning deposit?
Deposits go into our trust account which is monitored by the Nevada Real Estate Division. When a tenant moves out, we complete a walk through of the property and pay any damages out of the deposit. Generally, we video the walk through so you can see what needs to be done, if anything. 2019 Update: We are incorporating 360° photos into our processes, so we can have a complete view of every room before move in, and at move out. This makes proving damages easier than ever before.
We no longer use cleaning deposits. Instead, we use a cleaning FEE. If a tenant leaves the place so dirty that the actual cleaning cost is more than their cleaning fee, then we will charge the overage to their security deposit.
What about tenant damages?
The condition of property is documented prior to tenant move in. This is used to compare the condition at move out. Any damage beyond normal wear is charged to the tenant's security deposit. If the tenant paid a cleaning fee, then any excess cleaning costs are also charged to the tenant's security deposit. If damages or excess cleaning costs exceed the amount of the tenant's security deposit, we will place the tenant in collections for the balance due. In that case, the owner pays for repairs and cleaning, and the tenant's security deposit is transferred to the owner's account.
How do you handle pets?
This issue is up to you. According to these statistics, 68% of US households include at least 1 pet, and most of those have at least 1 dog. By not allowing pets, you eliminate the majority of the tenant pool, which means it will be harder to find a qualified tenant. When accepting pets, we will require a minimum $300 pet fee for up to 2 pets. It's totally ok if you don't allow pets. It simply means you will get fewer tenant prospects and may lose income due to longer vacancy. However, Fair Housing rules require us to accept valid service animals / emotional support animals without restriction, fee, or other requirements.
We use PetScreening to collect information and verify animals as part of the rental application process.
Rent Collection and Tenant Rules
What happens when a tenant pays late?
Reminders, late fees, Pay or Quit notices, etc. Typically, there is a 3 day grace period, then a late fee is added. 2019 Update: As of July 1, state law has capped late fees at 5% of the monthly rent amount. Our system automatically charges late fees on unpaid balances. If tenants don't pay by the 5th day of the rental month, we post a Pay or Quit notice and charge another $35 Administrative Fee + the cost of paying a process server to post the notice. These fees are specified in the lease.
If the Tenant does not pay within 7 judicial days after the Pay or Quit notice is posted, we file eviction with the court. Since we must wait 7 full judicial days after posting a notice, we normally file eviction in the middle of the month. We also have a reminder system for tenants and make other attempts to collect the rent before going to eviction. However, we will waste no time evicting someone who does not pay.
Who keeps the late fee?
We do. Here's why: Our management fee is dependent on both owners and tenants abiding by the rules. When tenants pay late, this causes a lot of extra work for us. We must spend time and resources sending notices, listening to their sad stories and complaining, repeating the lease terms, collecting certified funds, spending extra time to deposit the certified funds, and so on. The late fee is our compensation for that extra work.
Furthermore, Late Fees are not a profit center for us. We don't want to deal with late payers' stories and excuses - we would prefer to avoid that disruption entirely. We make every effort to place good tenants who pay their rent. In fact, almost every late payer we've had, was an existing tenant when we took over a rental property, not someone we placed. When tenants pay late, we work hard to collect so we can get owners paid on their correct payment date. The owner never notices the late payment unless the tenant does not pay at all. Bottom line: we do all the work to collect, and it is an extra service, so we keep the late fee.
If this is a dealbreaker for you as an owner, we invite you to find another property manager who will bend more easily. However, we would question how great an advocate they will be for you, when they have to deal with challenging tenants.
At what point do you evict a tenant for not paying?
We post a Pay or Quit notices on the 5th of the month (or the next business day after). After that, tenants have 7 full business days to pay. At that point if they have still not paid, then we file eviction (around the middle of the month).
Once we start eviction proceedings, we are evicting the tenant. That typically takes 1-3 weeks from the time of filing with the court.
Do you enforce the rules of the Lease?
Yes. The lease governs how we handle tenant issues. If we take over management of a property with an existing tenant, their existing lease will govern, until we renew with our lease.
Can you make exceptions for my tenant?
NO. We must follow the lease. We will not make exceptions for your tenant, as that is a potential Fair Housing issue. If you ask us to make exceptions for your tenant, we will give you the opportunity to make a graceful exit. We would question the integrity of a property manager who is willing to bend the rules for a tenant or client.
How do you handle evictions?
Most problem tenants leave gracefully. We have specific procedures for evictions and we don't mess around. (More info on Las Vegas evictions)
If we get a fighter, we will have to go to court. The most common excuse fighters use for not paying rent is "pests on property" - this does not work. If they don't pay rent, they get evicted. In most cases, we can get a bad tenant out within about 22 days. However, it CAN take as much as 3 months in some very rare cases. Eviction regulations dictate that we can only perform eviction procedures on business days. Example eviction timeline (if we have to go to court, it may add another 1-2 weeks to the process):
1st day: Rent due
4th day: Late fees added
5th day: Pay or Quit notice
13-16th day: Eviction filing
17-19th day: Constable notice
Day 18-22: Lockout
What do my eviction costs look like?
We make every effort to find good tenants, but even the best processes can let a problem slip through once in a while. Fortunately, we rarely have to evict a tenant we placed. When we have to perform an eviction, these are the typical costs involved:
- Pay or Quit Notices - $45-55 (approximate) depending on distance, for the Process Server - We add this fee to the tenant's rent. If the tenant doesn't pay before we have to move to full eviction, we must charge these costs to the property owner.
- Eviction Filing - $150 - This is the first step in eviction process and some tenants will leave at this point. Court filing fee is included.
- Court Appearance - $300 - If the tenant fights and we have to suit up for court, this is the cost to represent you.
- Lock Outs - $250 - In the rare event a "lock out" is required. This includes the constable, lock change and a video of the property.
Repairs and Maintenance
How do you handle repair / service calls?
Tenants make maintenance requests directly to our team. Depending on the nature of the request, a vendor will be requested immediately, or within 1 business day. We take emergencies seriously and have vendors who are happy to work with us as needed.
- Calls Under $400 - It is cheaper, faster and better to fix the problem right away. We will dispatch an appropriate vendor and get the item fixed in a timely manner, then charge the cost to your owner account. Normally, the cost is simply deducted from your rent. Examples of non-urgent calls may be: broken garbage disposal, broken closet door, minor irrigation leak... things that don't immediately jeopardize your property or the health and safety of the tenant.
- Non-Urgent Calls Over $400 - We will get a bid from a trusted vendor and request your approval before getting the work done. Depending on cost, we may collect a payment from you up front. Examples of non-urgent calls over $400 may be: major appliances, pool equipment failure... bigger ticket items that don't immediately jeopardize your property or the health of the tenant.
- Urgent Calls Over $400 - If we can't reach you immediately, we will make a decision for you. We are required by Nevada law to take care of health and safety issues right away. Examples may include broken pipes, AC failure in summer or heating failure in winter, leaking roof... things that immediately jeopardize your property and/or the health of the tenant. This is not frequent and may never happen to you. If it happens, we take care of it ASAP. Depending on the cost, we may require payment from you before getting the work done.
What about maintenance fees?
We do not charge a fee for coordinating maintenance. This is part of our Las Vegas property management service.
Do you use vendor kick backs?
No! Contrary to some folks' belief, all property managers are not crooks out to rip you off on repairs. We have a long list of tried and tested vendors at our disposal, so work gets done efficiently and at a reasonable price.
In addition, we pay vendors quickly upon completion of work, instead of the typical "net30". This helps us keep costs down, and keeps vendors who are happy to prioritize our service requests. This helps keep your tenants happy, which leads to better tenant retention!
Can you do rent collection only, while I handle maintenance?
No. We have tried this in the past, and it caused many more problems than it was worth. WHEN that cheap handyman or your friend's cousin's buddy becomes unreliable or fails to fix a problem correctly, and a tenant is harmed as a result, that tenant will sue you as well as us. Our management and professional maintenance team are worth much more than the few bucks you hope to save by using this method. We do not advocate stepping over dollars to save a few dimes.
Can you use my favorite handyman for repairs on my property?
Probably not. If the main reason you want to use them is price, chances are they are not the best in availability or service quality. We will not let an important repair wait for 1 particular vendor to answer the phone. We reserve the right to choose which vendors we feel are best suited for the job, based on the work needed, availability etc. If a repair is needed immediately, we will use whichever trusted vendor is available asap.
However, if you have a vendor who is a rockstar, we will be happy to test them. If they work out, great! But if they don't pass muster, we won't keep using them. Again, WHEN a cheap handyman fails, the tenants will blame us as well as you. We have a long list of tested vendors who will do the work at a fair price. They give us priority and fair pricing because we use them frequently and we pay quickly. Over time, this will definitely be worth much more to you than the few dollars you hope to save by using someone super cheap.
Will there be a repair issue after a new tenant moves in?
Probably. If you have recently purchased the property, or if a tenant was recently evicted, brace yourself mentally for a repair list. This is normal and to be expected. If we have already been managing the rental, there may be fewer repairs needed after a new tenant is placed. However, we are not Home Inspectors and some tenants may not report every issue, so there could be something someone missed. A new tenant will often discover something wrong after living there a few days. It is usually nothing major but it happens. If there are no repair requests within a month after a new tenant moves in, consider yourself lucky! (ha)
What happens if I purchase a home warranty?
We do NOT recommend using home warranties for rental properties. Warranty companies are notorious for taking way too long to get repairs done, often requiring multiple visits to the property. They are also notorious for not getting bigger ticket items fixed correctly, if at all.
However, the process goes like this: The tenant calls us and we start a work order. Not all events will be covered by a home warranty. You or your tenant will pay the deductible, depending on lease terms. Each contract is a bit different so please make sure you are clear on the terms. If you have a warranty before we place a tenant, we will need to know this up front so we can discuss lease terms with you and tenants.
We may charge a $40 administrative fee to deal with home warranty calls because this takes up a lot of extra staff time. Most home warranties are not recommended except *maybe* for big ticket items like water heater, roof, or HVAC. If you have ever had to deal with a home warranty company taking weeks to get a repair completed, you will understand why we don't recommend home warranties!
Be advised, if a home warranty company takes too long to fix an item, we will exercise the right to skip the warranty company and get the item repaired at your cost. At that point, you can submit your invoice to the warranty company to see if they will reimburse you. Our real estate and property management licenses require us to ensure necessary items are repaired in a timely manner. Waiting days or weeks for a warranty company to do something will put you and our company at risk. It is our job to protect your property and you, so we won't wait too long. We will notify you via email if this is happening.
How do I get started?
Please fill out the quick form below to get started.
Do you pay my property taxes, HOA fees or utilities?
We are happy to pay these bills on your behalf. We will need you to provide us with documents to help us get that started.
Note: Unpaid property taxes, HOA fees, sewer and trash bills can trigger liens on your property. Therefore, it is ALWAYS best for owners to receive these notices. We strongly recommend you get the HOA to set you up for EMAIL notices, as mail is slow. It is imperative that you ensure the county assessor, HOA, and utility companies have your correct mailing address. See the Landlord Checklist for more info on that.
What about income taxes?
We are required to issue a 1099 for all rents we collect on your behalf. We must collect your completed w9 before we can pay any rents to you. We provide detailed statements every month, so you can track your income and expenses. You are responsible for filing and paying your income taxes.