Horizon Realty, Inc.

Rental Property Management Services

Advertising

The property will be advertised in community newspapers such as The Dundalk Eagle, The East County Times, The Baltimore Sun, etc.. In the advertisement we will include a brief description of the property such as # of bedrooms, bathrooms, any amenities included, area of property, and our phone number for those interested. As a marketing aid, the agent may submit the property to the local "multiple listing service" that is used by other companies and agents. Vacant properties will also be advertised on our web site.

Property Showings

When a potential tenant sees our advertisements and calls our office we will instruct them as to the date and time we will be showing that particular property. The property manager makes every attempt to show each vacant property once a week. On the day of the showing the property manager will meet interested persons at the property, show them around, answer any questions, and give them an application.

Screening & Selecting
Qualified Applicants

Upon receiving an application, we will run a credit, criminal background, and eviction report, verify applicant's employment, and talk to applicant's current Landlord. When talking with the Tenant's current Landlord we will find out:

  • Does Tenant pay rent on time?
  • How many times late with rent?
  • Any rent court action?
  • Did Tenant take care of property?
  • Was proper notice given?
  • Any problems to Landlord
  • Would the Landlord re-rent to this individual?

After verifying all of the applicant's information we will choose the best available applicant.

Leases

After selecting a qualified applicant the Property Manager will draw up the Lease, secure all signatures; collect security deposit, and first month's rent. Our Lease is for 12 months and rent is due on the 1st day of each month. If a Tenant moves into the premises on a day other that the 1st, the rent will be pro-rated for that month.

Security Deposit

The Property Manager will collect from the Tenant, prior to occupancy, not less than one month's rent, to be used as a Security Deposit. The Property Manager, in conformity with Maryland law, will hold the Security Deposit in escrow for the duration of the lease and any extensions thereof.

Pets

If the Owner accepts pets the Property Manager will collect an additional half-month's security deposit. The Tenant will assume total liability for the pet(s) and a clause will be added to the Lease that the Tenant(s) agree that the carpets will be cleaned and the property will be de-ticked and de-fleaed when the property is vacated.

Move In/Move Out Procedure

Before a Tenant moves personal property into a residence the Property Manager will do a walk-thru with a walk-thru sheet to determine the condition of residence upon move-in. Upon vacating the unit, another copy of the walk-thru sheet will be used to determine the condition of the unit. Any discrepancies will be noted and any condition deemed above and beyond normal wear and tear will result in a deduction from the Security Deposit.

Rent Collection

All rents are due on the first of the month. Rent paid after the fifth (5th) will be assessed a late fee (as provided for in the lease). Rent not received in our office by the seventh business day is automatically sent to rent court. Upon filing rent court action, the tenant will also be assessed court costs. The Judge will give the Tenant four days after our court date to pay the rent. If the Tenant does not pay the rent by the deadline, we can file the warrant of restitution to get an eviction date. Once we speak with the Sheriff, he/she will assign the date and time for the eviction. On eviction day, we hire an eviction crew - usually three people, who will actually move all of the tenant's personal property out of the house. When a tenant moves or is evicted and they owe rent, late fees, water bills, damage, etc, we first apply their security deposit and accrued interest to the amount they owe. If a balance remains, we submit the claim to a local collection agency.

Monthly Statements

Each month you will receive a statement on your account, along with your rent proceeds. Your statement will show the amount of rent collected and any minor expenses paid on your behalf during the month. We send these out as soon as possible.

Inspections

The property Manager will schedule periodic Inspections of property and will advise Owner of preventive maintenance action necessary to achieve and maintain maximum rental value, cash flow, and property value.

Security

Between a change in tenants, the Property Manager will have all locks changed and send a new key(s) to Owner.

Water Bills

We can arrange to have all water bills sent to us. We will promptly pay your water bill and forward it to the Tenant for reimbursement.

Maintenance/Repairs

During the term of a lease, it is inevitable that maintenance or repairs will need to be done. The repair people used by the Management Company are licensed contractors and are capable of doing most work. Every January, April, July, and October we will send a card to the Tenant as a reminder to change the furnace filters, and check batteries in smoke detectors.

Lead Test/Registration

If your property was built before 1978 we will coordinate and schedule a lead test. After the property passes the lead inspection we will register it with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). When a tenant moves in we will give them the Maryland Notice of Tenant Rights, the EPA brochure, "Protect You Family from Lead in Your Home", and a copy of the lead inspection certificate for the property.

Snow Removal

Snow removal, will be coordinated by the Management Company on multi-unit properties, with independent contractors. Single-family dwellings are addressed in the Lease.

Carpet

Carpets will be cleaned between tenant(s). If the carpet is extremely soiled it will be cleaned at the Tenant's expense.

Direct Deposit

If the Owner will continue to bank at a local bank/branch, we offer "Direct Deposit". Instead of sending the monthly proceeds check and statement directly to the Owner, we will deposit the check into the Owner's account and mail only the monthly statement.

Mortgage Payments/
Condo Fees

If desired the Owner can have the Management Company pay the Mortgage and/or Condo fees on the property. We can pay these expenses out of your monthly rental proceeds.

Taxes

The Management Company will forward you your 1099 by January 31 along with a copy of your year-end statement. Your year-end statement will reflect all income and expenses related to the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What up front costs can I expect?
Every property will need to be cleaned prior to a tenant moving in. You can expect this to cost between $100–$400 depending on the size of the property.

If your property was built before 1978 you will also need to have a qualified lead inspector perform a lead test on the property. Again depending on the size of the property this could cost anywhere from $150–$350. As of February 24, 2006 EVERY property built before 1978 MUST be in compliance, this is the law!

In addition to having the property lead tested it is also necessary to register the property with the Department of the Environment. The cost for this is $15 per property/unit. If your property is located in Baltimore City it is also mandatory to register the property with the city. The cost for this is $30 per property.

Please keep in mind these are not one-time charges. Every year the lead paint registration and residential property registration will need to be renewed at the same cost. Depending on the condition of your property there may be other expenses involved, such as painting, carpet cleaning, etc. all of which will be discussed with you by the Leasing Agent.
2. What is the leasing fee?
As stated in the Management Agreement, there is a fee charged to fill any/all vacancies.

The Leasing Agent makes many visits to your property. The Leasing Agent needs to visit your property initially to get a feel for what needs to be done. After they determine what needs to be done they will coordinate with a contractor to obtain estimates for painting, miscellaneous repairs, carpet cleaning, move-in cleaning, etc. These estimates will be passed on to you for your approval.

Once the work in the property is completed and the property is in such condition as to achieve maximum rent the Leasing Agent will begin advertising and showing the property to potential tenants. The Leasing Agent may have to show your property several times before an application is received.

When an application is received it will be processed immediately. It may take several days to a week to have the application completed. Once an application has been approved the Leasing Agent will have the lease drawn up and schedule a move in date with the tenant.

This fee will be deducted from the Owner's proceeds. The Leasing fee is equal to 1 month's rent.
3. What is the management fee?
The management fee is the fee charged for the monthly management of your property. The monthly management of your property involves collecting rent, coordinating maintenance, filing rent court for non-payment of rent, coordinating evictions, semi-annual inspections, paying invoices on your behalf, supplying monthly statements, monthly disbursement checks, yearly inspections of the property, etc.
4. What is the process for paying water bills?
After the management agreement is signed we will send a letter to the water department requesting that your water bill be sent to our office. When we receive the water bill we will pay it immediately. After the bill is paid we will forward a copy to the tenant along with a letter requesting the water bill amount be forwarded with the following month's rent. Any tenant that does not include the water bill amount with their rent will be turned over to rent court for non-payment of rent.
5. Who pays the cost of advertising my property?
The Owner of the property is responsible for paying the advertising costs. We will run the ads in the local papers. When the bill arrives we will pay it and charge it to your account.
6. What if I have a maintenance policy on appliances in my home?
If you have maintenance policies on any appliances or heating/air conditioning please supply us with the names and numbers of the companies and we will forward this information to the tenant and they will be instructed to call these companies for such repairs.
7. What is "Automatic Rollover" from BGE?
BGE offers "Automatic Rollover" for property owners who rent out their property. This ensures that when your tenant vacates the property and has the electricity turned off in their name it will then be put in your name so the electricity will not be disrupted. This is especially important in the winter so the heat will stay on so pipes do not freeze and burst.
8. What if I have someone I want to take care of routine maintenance?
If you have a specific person and/or company you want to handle your maintenance and repairs it is important that you indicate that on the management agreement and forward us the name and phone number. We will give this information to the tenant for them to use when they have a maintenance issue. If you do not include that information we will use our contractors and charge your account.
9. What happens when my tenant calls in a maintenance request?
During the term of the lease, it is inevitable that maintenance or repairs will need to be done. When the tenant calls our office with a maintenance request the call will be forwarded to our maintenance coordinator. The maintenance coordinator will get all information from the tenant regarding the request and pass this information on to one of our contractors.

The repair people used by the Management Company are licensed contractors and are capable of doing most work. Any work performed will be paid for from the property account.
10. What if the tenant has an an emergency request after hours?
If a tenant has an after hours emergency after 5:00 p.m. on the weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, or Holidays they are to call our after hours emergency line. When a tenant has an after hours emergency and calls our emergency line, whoever is on call for that week will be paged and depending on the type of emergency the appropriate contractor will be called immediately.

An emergency consists of FIRE, NO HEAT, MAJOR WATER LEAK, BACKED UP SEWER LINE.
11. Who is responsible for cutting the grass and removing the snow?
Cutting grass and removing snow is the responsibility of the tenant in single-family properties and the Owner's responsibility for multi unit properties and is specified in the Lease. The management office will coordinate snow removal and lawn maintenance in multi unit properties. If you wish to coordinate this with your contractor please let us know.
12. What happens if my tenant does not pay their rent?
All rents are due in our office on the 1st day of the month. Any rent not received by the 5th will be charged a late fee equal to 5% of the monthly rent. Any rent not received by the 7th of the month will be sent to rent court.

Please be aware that the rent court process is long & tedious and often takes several weeks and does not yield immediate results. PLEASE DO NOT DEPEND ON RENTAL PROCEEDS TO PAY YOUR MORTGAGE! We cannot guarantee when we will or if we will receive a rental payment from month to month.

Upon filing a rental court action, the tenant will be assessed court costs of $18.00 and the owner will be charged $9.00 in Baltimore City. In Baltimore County the tenant will be charged $19.00 and the Owner will be charged $11.50.

Please understand the rent court judges and laws are very considerate of a tenant's predicament and will give the tenant FOUR business days after our court date to pay the rent. If the tenant misses the deadline, we can then file the warrant of restitution to get an eviction date. This process usually takes about 10 working days.

The sheriffs that schedule the actual eviction are extremely busy and only take phone calls for one hour each day. It is not always possible to be able to schedule the eviction on the first day we can. Once we speak with the Sheriff he/she will assign the date and time for the eviction. This is done according to their schedule and may take as long as 15 days.

On eviction day we hire an eviction crew — usually 5 people — who will actually move all the tenant's personal property out of the house and change the locks. The cost of this crew is your responsibility initially, but then added to the amount the tenant owes you. Expect this to cost $200 or more, depending on the actual hours it takes to remove all the tenant's property. You are welcome to organize the labor for this event, thereby saving some money.

The law requires us to accept the full amount owed by the tenant, if they present it at any time prior to the eviction. Often tenants will move out prior to their scheduled eviction, just to save themselves the embarrassment of being evicted. When a tenant does move and they owe rent, late fees, water bills, damage, etc., we first apply their security deposit and accrued interest to the amount they owe. If a balance remains, we submit the claim to a local collection agency.

The collection agency works on a contingency basis and gets paid only when they collect. Again, the collection process is very slow — do not expect immediate results. In addition if rent notices have been filed on a tenant 4 times or more and we have won the judgement 4 times in a 12-month period, we will have the tenant evicted the 5th time we have to file a rent notice.
13. Can you deposit my owner proceeds check?
If the Owner will continue to bank at a local bank/branch, we offer "direct deposit". Instead of sending the monthly proceeds check and statement directly to the owner, we will deposit the check into the Owner's account and mail only the monthly statement. If this service is wanted, the Owner will have to supply to the agent all pertinent information such as Bank name, address, and account number.
14. What is the operating/repair account and why do I need to establish one?
As stated in the Management Agreement, the Owner agrees to establish, with the agent, an operating/repair account in the minimum amount of $1,000 per property or $100 per unit for multi unit properties to be placed in the Owner's account. The money may be given to the agent at the execution of the Management Agreement or deducted in full from the first full month of rent. Owners are encouraged to add to this balance.

Throughout the management process the manager may be required to order repairs or pay expenses for the property. At NO TIME can the company pay any expenses that exceed the account balance. You will be contacted and will be expected to forward an adequate amount of money to cover the necessary expenses. In no event will the management office order a repair if there is an insufficient balance in your account to pay for the repair.
15. What is Rental Payment Assistance?
Rental payment/assistance is aid that helps tenants pay all or a portion of the monthly rent. If rental assistance pays all of the rent, the rent check is sent from the local government (city, county, etc.) directly to the agent. If rental assistance pays a portion of the monthly rent, the agency sends their portion to the agent and the tenant sends the balance of the rent to the agent. As with any government agency, there may be a delay in getting the first rent check.
16. When can I expect to receive my rental proceeds and monthly statement?
Each month you will receive a statement of your account along with your rent proceeds. We send these out as soon as possible. Please understand if rent is paid by check, we must wait for that check to clear before we disburse you.

Again, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF BEING TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THESE RENT PROCEEDS TO MAKE A MORTGAGE PAYMENT. It may often be after the 10th of the month before your check is in your hands, considering most tenants pay the rent on the last day before the late fees. The monthly statement may show deductions for minor expenses paid on your behalf during the month. It will also show the amount collected. The figure may include late fees, water bills, etc.

If you are an Owner of more than one property, your statement and proceeds check will be mailed to you on the last day of the month.
17. What if I have questions about the management of my property?
Please direct all questions pertaining to the management of your property to (410) 661-0909.
18. What if I do not want my tenant charged a late fee and I do not want my tenant sent to rent court?
If you do not wish us to file rent papers on your tenant, we will not be able to manage your property. We must treat all tenants the same. If the rent is paid late the tenant will have to go to rent court.
19. Can I have the name and number of the tenant living in my property?
As the Owner of the property you have the right to have the name and number of the tenant. We do not recommend you getting involved with the management of the property. You have hired us to do the job and if you begin speaking with the tenant in regards to rent, maintenance, etc., it causes many problems between all parties involved — tenants, owners, and management.
20. Can you pay the mortgage and/or condo fees from my rental proceeds?
If there is currently a mortgage and/or condo fee due on this rental property we can assist you in paying the mortgage and condo fee as long as we have all of the information required such as bank name, address, account number, $ amount, etc. There is a place on the management agreement for this information. Please note that at no time can we pay a mortgage payment if there are not adequate funds.
21. Do you have e-mail addresses?
Our e-mail addresses and extensions are as follows:
MAINTENANCE    
  maintenance@ss-propertysolutions.com 410-661-0909 x101
PROPERTY MGR    
LaShawn Saunders lashawn.saunders@ss-propertysolutions.com 410-661-0909 x105
ACCOUNTING    
Diana Simmons diana.simmons@ss-propertysolutions.com 410-661-0909 x100

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