Below is an overview of the differences between renting from a property management company vs renting directly from a property owner and how each impacts rent collection policies.
The biggest difference is regulatory compliance, which a licensed brokerage must maintain since a brokerage collects and distributes money on behalf of other people. These monies are known as "trust funds" which are held in trust accounts.
A broker must ensure that the balances in the trust fund accounts are equal to the liability owed to all the owners of the trust funds.
Rent week is a busy time. We pay bills on behalf of clients who elect, which must be processed prior to processing rent distributions to them. In instances where there are no bills to pay and Residents pay early, we try to process distributions as early as the 8th; however, in most instances, it is closer to the 10th when we initiate electronic direct deposits and cut checks to clients. Processing times can take 3-5 days depending on weekends, holidays, etc.
One of the biggest threats to upsetting the balance is the returned rent check. Bounced checks create a shortage and can place a broker at risk of non-compliance with the DRE.
For these reasons, a broker is expected to allow sufficient time for rent checks to clear before processing payments to their clients. This adds additional time to getting property owners paid and increases the importance of timely payments. In the unfortunate event that a check bounces, the entire process is affected in a much bigger way than when a property management company is not involved.
Late Payments, Weekends and Holidays:
Rent is due on or before the 1st and considered late after the 1st. Late fees of 10% are common and apply to funds received after the 5th. These fees are intended to discourage late payments AND to defray the extra handling and accounting fees paid by APS for bookkeeping services.
As the middle party, a broker cannot take shortcuts and must allow the necessary turn around time it takes for processing. A broker must guard against shortages and protect the interests of all parties to the trust funds at all times.
Weekends and holidays prolong turn around time making things all the more time sensitive.
Allegiant Property Services, Inc. provides online payments for Residents and a 24hr. drop box for after hours, weekend or holiday payments if paying in person. Another option Residents may elect is to use the automatic bill payment services through their own banks.
Because weekends and holidays add to processing time, Residents are encouraged to pay online or use bill pay services whenever possible.
As indicated further above, distributions to clients are usually initiated between the 8th and the 10th of the month for single-family homes and closer to the 15th for owners of multi-family properties.