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Owner Frequently Asked Questions

What type of properties do you manage?
We specialize in Single-Family homes, Condos, Townhomes, Duplexes, Triplexes, Fourplexes, Eighplexes and Apartment Complexes.

What type of properties do you not manage?
Currently the only time of properties that we do not manage is commercial properties.

Are property managers required to be licensed and are you licensed?
Yes, we are licensed Property Manager with the State of South Dakota.

Are you members of any other business associations?
Yes, we are members of the following:
• Better Business Bureau

What do you do to get my property leased?
Renting homes is highly dependent on marketing. We acquire tenants through internet web searches, sign placement, walk-in business, and referrals from satisfied clients.

  • FOR RENT SIGNS – “For Rent” signs are normally placed on a rental property thirty (30) days prior to the property’s availability date. Unless restricted by Neighborhood Associations or City Ordinances, signs are placed in the yard where they are visible to traffic.
  • WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS – We regularly receive referrals from our current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, and from other Broker’s agents.
  • INTERNET LISTINGS – We have developed a comprehensive web presence, which provides information on rental homes that are currently available.
  • CORRECT PRICING – Even the best properties will not lease quickly if overpriced. We analyze the market to be certain your property is priced according to current market conditions.
  • THOROUGH PREPARATION – The most desirable properties, even when priced well, will not lease quickly if they are not in top condition. Properties must show well and have “curb appeal”. We make sure your property is presented in a clean and attractive condition so that it will catch the attention of a good, qualified tenant.
  • WE SHOW YOUR PROPERTY PERSONALLY – We have motivated leasing personnel, who personally show your property. Potential tenants ARE NOT permitted to take keys and view properties.

Normally, there are several factors that can make a property difficult to rent – undesirable neighborhood, the property doesn’t show well, pets are not allowed or the rent is not competitive. If one of the last two problems appears to be a factor in marketing your property, we will make suggestions to correct them. We do our utmost to keep all properties rented, not only for your benefit but also because our income is based on a percentage of the rental income.

What do you do to qualify a tenant after they have made application to rent my property?
We look at an applicant’s past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same or similar. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant as well as meeting our application requirements, as outlined below.

Our application requirements are the following?

  • Credit Score: All applicants must have a minimum 600 FICO (credit) score to qualify. If your FICO score is between 550 – 600 we allow for a qualified co-signer who has a minimum FICO score of 600 and an additional deposit.
  • Income: All applicants must earn a (combined gross income) minimum of 3 times the monthly rent. A co-signer and/or a double deposit will be asked for if the income is not 3 times the rent.
  • Criminal: Background checks will be conducted. No felonies are accepted or misdemeanors of a violent or sexual nature are accepted.
    Rental History: A clean rental history free of evictions or outstanding balances.
  • Pets: Pets are allowed at the owners discretion, no dogs of an aggressive breed (list can be found on our website). An additional deposit for pets is collected as well.
  • Multiple Applications: In the case of multiple applications we do not operate on a first come/first serve bases. We run credit on all fully submitted applications and the final decision is based upon a point system mainly derived on Credit Score. In a case that there was a more qualified applicant Rushmore Property Management, LLC will hold the application for 6 months should applicant decided to move the application to another listing in Rushmore Property Management, LLC portfolio.

This is a level of scrutiny that most other property management companies do not perform.
If accepted, the applicant’s in-processing includes an explanation of the lease, lease signing, collecting pro-rated rent, information about rental payments, tenant portal activation, lawn care and maintenance, pets, work orders, emergency repairs, lease renewal and termination, utilities, security deposit, etc.

What is the Duration of the Lease?
All leases are in writing and normally cover a period of one year. Longer or shorter leases are approved after discussion with the property owner. During slower rental periods, we accept leases for less than one year in order to have the lease expire during a more active rental period. On occasion we may elect to place a tenant on a month to month to accommodate a sale of the property by the owner or moving the property into a more active rental period like the summer months.

How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my property?
During the lease term, we may have occasions to enter the property for repair or maintenance reasons and will use that opportunity to examine the property.

In addition, we will generally schedule a property survey walk-through to see how the tenants are maintaining the property. We make sure the air filter is being changed, that the smoke and CO alarms have batteries and that there are no unreported problems at the property.

We will also schedule a renewal survey prior to offering a renewal on a lease. This protects both you and your property. The right for us to make routine inspections of the property is part of the tenants lease agreement.

What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should?
We give them an opportunity to correct the situation, and usually they will. If a problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation.

What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?
If payment has not been made by the 5th day of the month, we send the tenant an email letting them know that we haven’t received the rent. If we get no response from the tenant then we post a three day demand for rent or possession of the property.

How informed will I be about what happens with my property?
We will update you with progress reports as we handle situations outside routine maintenance or if there has been an emergency.

Under your system of property management, how informed then will I be about what’s going on with my property?
Our general rule of thumb is this; if something has happened, or is about to happen, that will disrupt your ordinary monthly cash proceeds by more than $200 amount in your reserve account; we will let you know about it. We will call to let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact on the following month’s statement.

If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or major repair), we will let you know about it right away. Otherwise non-emergency items will be notated in your monthly statements.

How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may submit requests through their tenant portal or call out 24hr maintenance center. Once we have determined whether or not the issue is considered an emergency and needs to be handled after hours, we will dispatch the appropriate vendor to control and handle the emergency.

Tenant safety is absolutely the top priority.

After receiving a routine repair request, we will contact the tenant and ask them questions in order to help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker etc.) before your money is spent on a service call.

After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair. We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days. Comfort items such as air conditioning, no hot water or heat, receive highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.

Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?
Yes, we require a $200 reserve for all Owners per property in your account so that there are always funds to pay the vendors for minor repairs.

How do I know you won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval?
This is the greatest fear of most new owners. We promise in writing not to do that. Ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $200 are paid out of your account, and you will see this in your monthly statement.

If we think a repair might exceed $200 and if we are unable to reach you, we may initiate repair work even if it is higher than $200 as stated in the management agreement; for the following cases:

  • the health or safety of a tenant is an issue;
  • the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken,
  • In instances where there is only one option to consider.

We would only be acting in your (the owners) best interest.

If I have a family member that is very handy; will you use him to perform repairs?
No, we only use our qualified vendors. We are not able, for liability reasons, to use your friends or relatives to perform work on your home unless they are in fact licensed vendors and they can provide us with the necessary documentation and insurance.

What if I want you to use my plumber, HVAC Company, etc.?
We will be happy to invite them to join our vendor list if they are qualified and insured, and they agree to sign our Vendor agreement. We already have a stable list of very qualified and reasonably priced vendors that we have used for many years. If a company you prefer wants to be added to our vendor list, they can contact us and we will interview them and let them know what is required.

Our professional reputation, with both tenants and owners, is largely, if not entirely, determined by how well we handle maintenance. Therefore, we follow a practice that is most likely to ensure the best possible response and resolution to problems.

Can I use a Home Warranty Company for repairs, is that ok?
We prefer that the owners do not use a Home Warranty Company to make repairs at their rental property. We have had lots of problems with home warranties.

You don’t have control over who does the work and neither do we. The home warranty provider contracts with local service companies to perform the actual inspections and repairs. You don’t get to choose, and scheduling repairs can sometimes be very difficult. Sometimes the service technician may also try to sell you unneeded services.

So what is a homeowner to do?
Many consumer advocates would say it’s better to “self-insure” — setting aside a reasonable sum each year to cover routine maintenance and finding reliable local contractors to do the work.

When do you process the ACH deposits and statements?
You should receive your statement and rent proceeds no later than the 10th providing the property is occupied and the rent has been paid on time. Rent proceeds disbursements are made by ACH direct deposit into the owners’ accounts and statements are available the same day. We email owners the same day that they receive their deposit that their statement is available through their Owner Portal.

Can you put the money directly into my checking account?
Absolutely! We can deposit your rent proceeds directly into your bank account by ACH direct deposit.

What bills will you take care of getting paid for me, related to my rental property?
We will pay your lawn service and any other bills or invoices generated as a result of repairs, utilities or other services to your property. We are able to pay some mortgage or insurance payments on your behalf. Additional we will also pay your HOA dues.

What is your Monthly Management Fee?
Please contact our office for more details.

Are your fees negotiable?
Our fees are very competitive, but are not negotiable. We realize you can probably find a cheaper property manager, but price should not be the determining factor in deciding whom you hire to manage your property.

The ultimate cost of using a property manager is determined by many things other than the fee we charge, namely, the efficiency and manner in which we handle problems. We feel that our services, our systems, and the experience and expertise we offer are a very great value at the fee structure we have established.

Can Rushmore Property Management, LLC help me sell my property?
No, however Rushmore Property Management, LLC does as a good working relationship with may local relators and we would gladly recommend one to you.

Is the management agreement a standard, widely used form?
No. We use Attorneys to develop and write our Property Management Agreement. It is not likely that two different property management companies will have the same agreement. We are responsible for our own agreements.

Security Deposits

Who holds the tenant’s security deposit?
All security deposits are held in our deposit trust account until the end of the tenancy.

How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?
Normally we require an amount equal to one month’s rent.

What should I do if the tenant calls me?
As the owner of the property, it is best that you avoid any communication with the tenant(s) and refer all inquiries to our office. We maintain a diplomatic relationship, between you and your tenant, but it avoids “personal requests”.

How soon can you start managing my property?
We can start the process immediately. Contact us so we can find out more about you and your property and see if we would be a good match for your wants and expectations.

Please contact us if you have other questions or wish to discuss letting us handle your property.