It can be difficult to know that your property manager is doing his job, especially since the whole point of hiring a property manager is to free you up from the routine maintenance and operations that the job entails. You do not want to micro manage your property manager, but at the same time you do want to know that your property isn?t in jeopardy due to neglect by the property manager.
Many times, you won?t know anything is wrong with your property manager?s performance until a problem arises. These situations usually begin by the tenant contacting you directly, clearly overstepping the typical chain of command. Regardless, you should take the time to investigate the problem. Your first course of action should be to ask the tenant if they have tried to go through the property manager regarding the conflict. If they haven?t, you can direct them to the property manager and generally assume it was miseducation on the tenant?s part. If they have spoken with the property manager already, find out the details about what went wrong- did the property manager return their attempts at correspondence? How long ago was their original attempt at contact? If the property manager did return their call, why is the tenant unhappy with the outcome? After you have had the same discussion with your property manager, it?s up to you to determine who is at fault, and if so, any repercussions for their actions.
If the call isn?t from a tenant, it may very well be from a neighbor who has legitimate concerns that aren?t being addressed or controlled by the property manager. For example, your tenant may be clearly violating their lease, which should have been caught by the property manager himself. Such situations may be a noisy dog that barks constantly when pets are not allowed in the unit or trash and garbage that has accumulated in the front yard without proper disposal. Your property manager should be performing regular inspections of the property- if this isn?t being done, it could lead to property damage or even fines.
Another way you may find out that your property manager is not doing his job is if you are cited violations in compliance and regulations. If your property manager has not regularly inspected the property, or has clearly neglected following state and/or federal regulations, the financial implication could be quite costly- not to mention costing you a tenant, which leads to vacancies and reduced cash flow.
While there are of course going to be one-off situations, it?s important to notice if these complaints and occurrences are happening regularly. It could very well be a problem with the property manager- which ultimately becomes your problem as a landlord and employer.