Should I self-manage my Jacksonville rental property?
There’s a lot to consider - you’d need to educate yourself on tenant landlord law, contract law, regularly monitoring the changes in these laws and the complexities of self-management. Making a mistake or dealing with a problem tenant can cost you 20x the cost of professional management. Ask yourself: Can you stick to policies and procedures? Are you versed on how to deal with a problem tenant and the eviction process? Are you knowledgeable about tenant landlord law and regulations? If there is an emergency, and you are not available, do you have a back up plan and contact for the tenant? Do you have a network of vendors that are vetted that can provide quality service at fair prices? Do you know how to professionally screen tenants? Are you able to enforce lease terms, collect late fees and prepare legal notices if the tenant does not pay? Do you have procedures in place for proper accounting and managing security deposit funds? Most of the time, owners find that professional property management is well worth the cost considering the time and potential liabilities saved.
What questions should I ask a Jacksonville property management company?
- Do they have a professional website?
- Do they have good reviews with Google and Yelp? Is their overall rating 4 stars or higher?
- How quickly are calls and emails responded to?
- Do they belong NARPM (National Association of Property Management).
- Are there any setup fees or miscellaneous fees that are not disclosed on their website?
- Do they offer service guarantees?
- When are owner distribution payments made and how often?
- Do they have an online portal for owners and tenants?
- How transparent are they?
- How do they market your property?
- What makes them better or different from other property management companies?
- What are their average days on the market for vacant homes?
- What is the average rent amount for all the properties they manage?
- What is their eviction rate?
- What is their average make-ready time frame?
- Do they upcharge on maintenance?
What is your fee for property management?
We offer 3 different plans to fit your specific needs:
Nest Tenant Placement:
One time fee: One month’s rent
Nest Property Management:
Tenant Placement Fee: 75% of one month’s rent
Mgt Fee: 10% of monthly rent
Nest Rest Easy:
Tenant Placement Fee: 75% of one month’s rent
Mgt Fee: $229
Own more than 5 properties? We can discuss your needs and put together a custom plan to maximize your benefit from our Jacksonville Property Management services!
- Nest Tenant Placement:
What kind of properties in the Jacksonville area does NestFinders manage?We manage single family homes, condominium units and small apartment complexes 15 units or less.
How will my property be marketed in the Jacksonville area?Marketing and advertising are posted on the Multiple Listing System (MLS) used by all Florida Realtors, Rentlinx and our website. The MLS has over 23,000 agents and over 50,000 views per day and syndicates with 100+ websites. Rentlinx syndicates with multiple websites and our company website connects to hundreds of additional websites including Trulia, Redfin, Homes.com, etc. We also work with local Realtors, insurance companies, and relocation companies.
How do I make sure my Jacksonville property is ready to rent?All major appliances must be in working order, as well as fire alarms in each bedroom & main living area, and one carbon monoxide detector on each level. Any health & safety issues present need to be addressed, and the carpets and the house should be professionally cleaned before tenants move in.
Who is responsible for maintenance costs?If the repair is necessary due to natural wear and tear, typically the homeowner is responsible. If the repair is necessary due to tenant negligence the tenant will be billed and homeowner will be reimbursed for repair costs. We provide before and after pictures of each repair so that our owners can verify any repairs made and that the charges are reasonable and fair.
Who determines the rent for my Jacksonville area property(s)?NestFinders processes a rental analysis report on your property and will provide our recommendation for an aggressive price, fair market value and pushing the price. It’s up to you to determine your priorities in renting your property, consider our recommendations, and decide your asking rental price.
Do I have to allow pets?About 70% of renters in Florida have a pet. You do not have to allow pets, but doing so will widen your tenant pool, and it lowers vacancy rates. Tenants with pets tend to rent longer-term and protections are put in place to protect landlords from pet related damage with Renters Insurance and the NestFinders Pet Guarantee. You will not have to worry about your property’s condition!
Are property management fees and repair costs tax deductible?In most cases our fees and the cost of property repairs are tax deductible, but we do recommend consulting with your accountant to be sure as individual situations can vary.
Can we meet in person before I sign a contract for property management?Absolutely!. We prefer to meet prior to signing the contract. This allows us to evaluate your property, provide you with the rental analysis and answer any questions you have so that you can make an informed decision about your property management.
Can NestFinders help me to purchase a Jacksonville area property?Yes, NestFinders is a full realty Brokerage office and employs several licensed and experienced Real Estate Agents in addition to providing Jacksonville Property Management. Our agents are happy to look for investments properties for you.
Can NestFinders help me to sell my Jacksonville area property?Absolutely! NestFinders. is a full realty Brokerage office with licensed Realtors, and we can help you buy or sell property.
How will I receive rent payments?We pay owners each month on the 8th and periodically as needed. Payments are directly deposited into the owner’s account.
How will I receive financial statements?Your monthly statement will be emailed on or before the 8th of each month. NestFinders also has an online portal for owners, where your monthly statements are available and can be accessed 24/7.
Why does receiving my rent payment take so long?Tenants are able to either mail a rent payment or pay electronically through their tenant portal. If a check is mailed it regularly takes 1-3 days to receive payment + 24-48 hours to clear the bank. If the tenant pays electronically via ACH (Automatic Clearing House) it can take 3-5 business days for the payment to clear. This is simply how long it takes for financial institutions to process (an on time) payment, and NestFinders cannot expedite the process.
Can you provide a different type of financial statement?Of course! Contact your assigned Property Manager to let them know what type of statements you need, and we will be happy to gather the necessary information for you.
What is your process for screening and approving tenants?
NestFinders completes an extensive background and credit check on each potential tenant to assess the likelihood the tenant will fulfill the terms of the lease and will also take great care of your rental property.
SCREENING OBJECTIVESIt is critical to make the right decisions when selecting renters for your rental property. Our process is built around verifying 4 critical questions:
- Are they who you say they are?
- Do they have a history of paying their bills on time?
- Do they have the financial capacity to afford your property’s rent?
- Will they be a good resident and take care of the property?
- Approve the applicant
- Approve the applicant conditionally (such as requiring an increased deposit or cosigner)
- Deny tenancy
What qualifications do tenants need to rent a NestFinders managed property in the Jacksonville area?
TENANTS MUST SUPPLY WITH APPLICATION:
- Copy of Driver’s License or Government Issued ID
- Photos of all Pets
- Personal bank statements for previous 2 months (Must include ALL pages)
- One of the following for Proof of Income:
- If employed, copy of last 2 paycheck stubs containing year-to-date information.
- If just starting a job, a copy of your employment agreement or offer letter.
- If self-employed, a copy of prior two years tax returns and business bank statements for the previous 3 months (each document must include ALL pages).
- If unemployed or full-time student, a parent or legal guardian must complete online application as a guarantor.
- If retired, copy of award letter from social security and/or copy of last 2 checks.
- If in college, copy of grant award notice, scholarship award notices and/or student loan award notice.
INCOME VERIFICATION: Income must be verifiable through the documents that applicants provide. We will contact their employer to verify current employment.
RENTAL VERIFICATION: Rental history will be verified through contact with the previous landlord(s). Applicants must provide contact information including direct telephone number for their previous Landlords along with the dates of tenancy for the previous 3 years. Rental history must be free of evictions, judgments, and unpaid rent. Mortgage payment history will be considered a factor if they owned a home.
CREDIT VERIFICATION: We will obtain a report from a credit-reporting agency. History with late payments of no more than 30-60 days will be accepted. We will deny approval if bankruptcy or foreclosure has been filed within the past 72 months or if five or more unpaid collections (not related to medical expenses) are found.
CRIMINAL CONVICTION VERIFICATION: We evaluate circumstances related to criminal convictions on an individual basis. Criminal backgrounds involving violent crimes, prostitution, domestic violence, the illegal possession of weapons, or the sale or manufacturing of illegal substances will typically be grounds for a denial of the application.
PET VERIFICATION (If the rental property allows pets):
- A Pet Deposit is required for each animal.
- A Pet Administration and Acceptance fee is required for each animal
- Applicants are required to submit photos of each pet with their application.
- Pet policies are strictly enforced. Any breach may be grounds for termination at the tenant's expense.
- Special consideration is given to Service Animals and medical documentation is required
How can I get in touch with my property management team?Any concerns or questions about your Jacksonville Property Management should be directed to your assigned Property Manager. The best way to make contact is via email or through your owners portal. During your onboarding process you will receive a “Welcome Email” with your Property Managers contact information. You can also call us at 904-565-9040.
How often/quickly will I be notified of any concerns with my property?
Our system is set up to notify owners regularly and near real-time on many aspects of their property through the owner portal, including:
- Notice of lease expiration
- Lease renewal notification
- New tenant notification
- Owners statements
- Maintenance requests
- Low on funds for repairs
- Move out notification
NestFinders believes that transparency and communication are the keystones to a successful business relationship. We make it a priority to keep our clients informed of all aspects of their rental property.
What do I do if a tenant calls me directly?Courteously inform them that you hired a professional management company to manage the property and they should contact the management company. If they respond that they have tried contacting the management company but no one will answer, it is likely a ploy to engage you. Tenants feel that when they speak directly to the owner, they can negotiate on things like maintenance or rental amounts/payments. We are here to handle all aspects of managing your property and you do not need to engage further than redirecting them to us.
My Jacksonville area property has been leased. When will I receive the first rent payment?If the tenant moves in on the 1st NestFinders will process your statement and payment on the 8th. If the tenant moves in on any other date during the month, we will process your statement and payment within 7 days of the move in date.
Will I receive a security deposit?No - by law, the security deposit is not the owner’s money. The security deposit is a deposit on the property and the funds will be held in our Corporate Trust account to be in compliance.
What are your move in procedures?
- The applicant has completed our leasing process and has been approved.
- Tenant will set up their online portal, sign the lease electronically and pay the move in funds through the portal.
- We email the tenant a copy of the executed lease agreement, HOA Rules & Regulations, Tenant Handbook and Bed Bug Disclosure.
- One of our agents meets the tenant at the property to turn over the key and perform a move in inspection, which consists of a written report, approximately 100 pictures and a video of the property.
- Locksmith has rekeyed the locks to ensure proper security.
- Tenants have been notified to transfer all utilities into their name prior to the move in date.
What is your process for lease renewal?
NestFinders’ lease renewal process begins 90 days before the end date of the lease. All leases are automatically renewed with a 3% rent increase unless the Owner notifies us NOT TO renew the lease. Owners should let us know a minimum of 90 days prior to the lease ending if they do not wish to renew the lease. Before renewing the lease with a tenant, we perform a Lease Renewal inspection. This documents and photographs the condition of the property and confirms that the tenants are taking good care of the property and not violating any lease terms.
How are HOA violations addressed?
Any HOA violations identified will always be served in writing notifying NestFinders with the specifics of the violation. We immediately notify the owner and will determine the next steps to resolve the issue. Tenants are responsible for the majority of HOA violations. Anything to do with landscaping, gardening, garbage cans being left out, oil spills etc. are the tenants responsibilities. Common violations that are the Owner’s responsibilities: Mildew on the house, fences in disrepair due to natural wear and tear, cutting back tree branches, and exterior painting. Most HOA violations allow for a reasonable timeframe to correct the issue. We will take pictures of the completed work and submit documentation to the HOA to clear the violation.
What is your move out procedure?
Tenants are required to provide a minimum of a 30 day notice to move out. Once NestFinders receives the 30 day notice the Owner will be notified immediately.
What happens when a tenant leaves and my property is vacant?
A NestFinders agent wil walk the property to determine if it’s rent ready. If the property IS NOT rent ready, we cannot lease it. We will continue to market and advertise the property within 24-48 hours of necessary cleanup/repairs being completed. Properties that ARE NOT rent ready will not be shown to prospective tenants.
Our agents will take professional quality photos of the front, interior, backyard and community amenities. NestFinders is one of the few companies that also produces a professional online video. Studies have shown that Internet and specifically mobile searching have become the preferred method for renters looking for a new home. We often hear from renters that they chose a NestFinders rental propert because we are using Video Marketing to give a well rounded view of the property vs photographs only.
Marketing and advertising are posted on the Multiple Listing System (MLS) used by all Florida Realtors, Rentlinx and our website. The MLS has over 23,000 agents and over 50,000 views per day and syndicates with 100+ websites. Rentlinx syndicates with multiple websites and our company website connects to hundreds of additional websites including Trulia, Redfin, Homes.com, etc. We also work with local Realtors, insurance companies, relocation companies and place a For Rent sign in the yard.
We have an online application system that allows prospective renters to submit their applications and supporting documents 24-7. All advertising costs are included in the Tenant Placement fee. THERE ARE NO ADDITIONAL COSTS TO THE OWNER. Because of this system, our days on market are 14-30 days which is much lower than the industry standard.
What happens if a tenant doesn’t pay rent?
Rent is due by midnight on the 3rd of each month. There are some lease arrangements that may be different, but our standard lease indicates the 3rd as the due date.
On the 5th NestFinders will contact tenants via phone, text and/or email to find out the status of the payment. The tenant will be assessed a $100 late fee.
On the 6th we will process and serve the tenant with a 3 Day Notice To Pay Or Quit. This is a legal document which informs the tenant that they have 3 days to pay the rent or we have the legal right to file an eviction. This usually puts enough pressure on tenants to get them to send in rent payment.
What happens if a tenant must be evicted?
NestFinders’ Eviction Guarantee covers our Jacksonville Property Management clients in the event of an eviction of any tenant that we placed, up to $3000.
In the rare case an eviction becomes necessary NestFinders contacts our legal partners to start the process, and the Tenant is sent an “Unlawful Detainer Action Notice.”
If the tenant does NOT contest, then “Unlawful Detainer Action” and “Writ of Possession” is issued.
If tenant contests “Unlawful Detainer Action,” then the lawyer will notify NestFinders with a court date and time.
A NestFinders agent will accompany the lawyer to the hearing. You may attend if you wish, but this is not required. A “Writ of Possession” is issued at the hearing.
A “lock-out” date will be provided by local Sheriff, and will be enforced. The actual date of lock out will depend on the Sheriff’s availability which is usually 5-7 days. A NestFInders agent will be on site at the lock out, and supervise the re-keying once the tenant is removed or it is confirmed they are moved out.
A summary of damages will be assessed and provided to the owner. The owner can receive a judgement for damages against a tenant security deposit and/or through additional court action with the assistance of our legal partner or their own representative.
How long does an eviction take?
An uncontested eviction will typically take from 14-30 days, and a contested case can take from 26-35 days. NestFinders can begin marketing your property to new tenants once we have a date for lock out.
What is your maintenance process?
First, all maintenance requests are screened to verify if our Property Managers can troubleshoot the issue and resolve it over the phone. If the request is cosmetic in nature and does not impact the property’s functionality we will not send a handyman. We will forward cosmetic requests to the Owner for consideration. If the request is an emergency we use our emergency protocol to manage the request. Next, we determine if the request is a recurring issue. If so, we escalate and manage appropriately. If the Owner has a Home Warranty Insurance policy we will file a claim with the Home Warranty company and notify the Owner. If we determine it’s necessary to send a vendor to investigate we will dispatch the vendor and notify the Owner. If the job is under $500 the work will be done on the spot to avoid multiple trips to keep costs down. Any necessary repairs over $500 will be submitted with an estimate to the Owner for consideration prior to work being performed.
What type of maintenance work is an emergency?
An emergency is defined as a condition that materially affects the health or safety of a tenant. Some common emergencies include: mold, fire, A/C out > 85 degrees or heat out < 40 degrees, toilet out and only one bath in the house, no hot water, sewage backup, leak from ceiling, water leak, and building code violations.
What is the process for emergency repairs?
NestFinders will send a preferred vendor during an emergency and will make follow up calls with vendors every few hours for updates. We will make every effort to contact Owner for work approvals. If the owner does not respond we will try to temporarily fix the issue to avoid further damage. After several attempts, if owner still does not respond we will approve the work to make sure the emergency is resolved quickly. We will make reasonable efforts to contact Owner for approvals.
Do you handle after hours calls?
Yes, NestFinders has a 24 hour 7 day a week maintenance emergency hotline. Any work order that is submitted after hours is answered by the emergency hotline team. The request will be reviewed and determined if the request is an emergency or a standard request. If the issue is an emergency, we will handle it just like we handle any maintenance emergency. If the request is a standard request it will be forwarded to the Property Manager to process.
Can you assure that I’m not being charged for repairs a tenant could handle?
Our Property Managers carefully review each request and they troubleshoot most requests to ensure a repair is absolutely necessary. For example, garbage disposals are troubleshot with tenants by checking the reset button and turning the unit with an allen wrench to clear jambs, for electrical outages we walk the tenant through the steps to check the electrical panel for tripped breakers and check the GFCI outlets, etc. Tenants are expected to make a reasonable effort to keep the property in good shape.
Why am I being charged for a repair the tenant is responsible for?
The vendor needs to be paid for the work completed, so they are paid from the Owner’s reserve account and the tenant is later charged for reimbursement. If the tenant does not pay, we can evict or pull the money from the tenant’s security deposit upon move out.
Would it be a good idea to use a Home Warranty company?
We would recommend Owner’s not to use Home Warranty companies. Coordinating maintenance with home warranty companies is a problem 100% of the time. Response times are slow, getting them on the phone is difficult, and vendors do not diligently follow up on appointments. Home Warranty companies consistently look to deny claims or do minimal repairs to save money instead of doing the repair correctly. Their contracts have fine print and loopholes to deny coverage. You need to carefully read your service agreement to determine what IS NOT covered, like pre-existing problems, breakdowns resulting from poor maintenance, or improper installation. The contract may also require that a system to be upgraded to current building code standards at the owner’s expense before they will agree to repairs. Home Warranty companies are in business to make money. In most cases it is less expensive for Owner's to deal with maintenance issues as the arise vs. paying for an inflexible insurance policy.