Answers to your frequently asked questions
Are there any administrative fees?
Administrative Fees are charged for services which fall outside the normal scope of our Homeowner Management Agreement and for duplication of services.
Here are some examples that fall outside of normal management service:
Example (1). When an owner wants to use a company like Lowes to deliver a new stove to a vacant property, and we have to meet Lowes at the property, there is a service fee of $75 per hour - minimum $75.00.
Example (2). If the owner is refinancing the property, and we must meet the appraiser or other professional person at the property, there is a service fee of $75 per hour - minimum $75.00.
Example (3). Our records are boxed and archived each year. Owners receive copies of all invoices and receipts with their monthly statement. Consequently, if an owner requests a duplicate bill, receipt, statements or other items, there is a service fee of $75 per hour - minimum $75.00.
Example (4). Sometimes an owner wants us to take pictures of a new fence, new roof or a repair that has been done on the property. We are happy to do this for homeowners. However, it is very time consuming, therefore there is a service fee of $75 per hour - minimum $75.00.
Owners often ask us to do things that are outside our normal management services, and we try to accommodate our owners whenever possible.
Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. This means that you cannot choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under the act. You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal or emotional support animal.
Do you hold some of my owner proceeds for repairs? If so, how much?
We require a $400 reserve per property in your account. This ensures there is always funds to pay the maintenance vendors promptly.
When repairs are approved and complete, the vendor will submit an invoice. The invoice will be paid when your next monthly rent is collected. All vendors are on a 30 day turn-around cycle for this reason.
Unfortunately, Home Warranty Vendors are not a part of our vendor list. In this case they normally want their payment prior to servicing the job. To ensure your account does not go into a negative balance, you may be required to submit payment ahead of time. If you do not have the funds to submit, we do have a payment plan option that you may qualify for. Contact us for more information.
Do you permit tenants to work on or repair my property?
No. We do not permit them to repair or work on the property for a number of liability reasons. We require professional repairs. All repairs are subject to TopFlight Realty and Management’s approval.
The tenant is responsible for maintaining the property. This means keeping it in a "safe and sanitary condition", which includes CO2 and smoke detector batteries, light bulbs and keeping appliances clean.
Our policy to tenants states: Due to liability factors, tenants are not permitted to perform repairs on their leased property. Repairs in a non-professional manner, not accepted by TopFlight Property Management or damage caused by negligence or misuse is your responsibility. In such cases, alterations and repairs will be made by our maintenance professionals. But, you will be charged for the cost of the labor and materials. Damages or plumbing stoppages caused by negligence or misuse will be paid by you. Please contact us with any and all questions.
If the premises are damaged by the negligence or improper use of the premises by the tenant, the tenant must repair the damage and restore the appearance of the premises. However, the landlord may elect to undertake the repair or redecoration, and in such case the tenant must reimburse the landlord for the reasonable cost thereof; the cost to the landlord is presumed reasonable unless proved otherwise by the tenant. Repair, or pay the landlord to repair, all damages caused by the tenant or their guests.
Do you provide me with a report of activity on my property?Yes, we will provide you a monthly owner statement of rent and other income received, repairs, and other expenses incurred. If you have questions regarding your statement, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How do I know how my property is performing?
Financial performances are within your reach on the "Owners Portal"
With operational performance; we believe that you hired TopFlight Realty and Property Management to manage the property for you, not to assist you in managing it yourself. We offer a turnkey style of property management service which is most appreciated by those property owners who prefer to be "out of the loop" on all, but not the most important matters related to the management and leasing of the property. We don't worry you with small details, questions, information or "updates" about your property or tenants, except for those matters which will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. Instead, we simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf.
For some property owners, our system is not a good match, and we understand. We are very up front about the fact that we do not want you to hire us if you expect to be involved in minor details or decisions related to the management and renting of your property. We simply have not designed our systems and procedures to accommodate that level of involvement by owners.
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 $400 per repair (not total invoice); we will let you know about it.
An example would be that we receive a 30-day notice from your tenant, and therefore a turnover, along with related expenses, is pending and we want you to be informed and prepared for it. Another example would be that your A/C unit has failed during the middle of a hot summer; we have determined that the 12 year old compressor needs replacing and have initiated the work to replace it. We will let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact on the following month's statement.
Aside from any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: 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. Of course, we encourage you to contact us anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
How do you handle a tenant moving out?Once the tenant has notified us that they are moving, we schedule a move-out inspection and provide them with our move out policy and checklist which is also available on our tenant portal. We give the tenant the opportunity to professionally fix any problems to avoid paying us for corrective work. Once the tenant has completely moved out and we have confirmation of receiving the keys, we perform our move out inspection. This is conducted on the move out date at which time additional photos and notes are taken. We complete a defenciency report which details what the tenant is responsible, if any. We communicate with our Owner/Client and maintenance department and professionals to bring the property back to rentable condition in the timeliest manner possible. From there, we return the balance of the tenant’s security deposit within 30 (thirty) days.
How do you handle tenant’s maintenance requests?
Tenants may submit requests through our website. For emergencies, they may call us or use our 24 hour answering service that will contact us after hours. After receiving a 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 technician out to make the repair. We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days, and, in fact, are usually able to do so. 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.
TopFlight Realty and Property Management is a full-service company. We offer in-house maintenance for the minor handyman work. By having this affiliation, we will save you maintenance labor dollars. We also maintain a qualified third-party vendor list, which are licensed and insured. They assist us in larger projects or if we need more service professionals to respond to any variety of calls.
Our technicians are billed out at about $100 per hour, compared to single trade vendors who charge $120 - $150 per hour . We save our homeowners money by using our technicians for the majority of multi-trade and make-ready tasks. Another benefit of using our technicians is the opportunity for inspecting the general condition of the property, something that an outside vendor will not necessarily do.
We believe we have developed a very sensible approach to handling maintenance and repairs. Quite frankly, you will realize cost savings that other property management companies simply cannot deliver.
How do you make sure the tenant is taking proper care of my property?
We ensure the care of your property in a multi-layered way:
Move-In Checklist. A landlord shall provide to a new tenant when the tenant commences his or her occupancy of the premises a standardized move-in checklist form that contains an itemized description of the condition of the premises at the time of check-in. The tenant shall be given 3 days from the date the tenant commences his or her occupancy to complete the move –in condition form and return it to the landlord.
(2) We perform a Lease Renewal Inspection prior to them signing a new lease when the tenant has requested to renew. The Tenant must be maintaining the home and be current on rent to qualify to renew with TopFlight. At this time, it also allows us to complete an annual maintenance inspection to help determine if it is time for any owner maintenance to be performed.
(3) If there is a maintenance call, that gives us an opportunity to view the property at that time also. We look at and record the overall condition of the unit but are specific with air filters, batteries in CO2 units and smoke detectors, operation and cleanliness of appliances, all faucets and under sink bases for water leaks... you get the idea.
The Tenant receives a copy of the mentioned inspection. If there are repairs to be performed, we advise the Tenant to correct and will assist them at their expense. If the repair requires our technician to come out, an appointment is made at that time. This value added service is designed with protecting your investment in mind. You get copied on all inspection report information.
(4) TopFlight has partnered with Second Nature and included in the monthly rent amount the tenant is charged for monthly air filter delivery service. These are quality hypoallergenic air filters that all carry an expiration date. It is a requirement of the tenant’s lease that these filters be changed monthly when received. Since starting this program in 2018 our owners have saved thousands in HVAC repairs
(5) TopFlight contracted a local trash company to service all our Tennessee Rental Homes. This fee is included in the rent to ensure that trash is picked up at the property.
How do you qualify prospective tenants?
This is one of the most important aspects of the successful management of rental property. Application processing is completed in house. We don’t send the application to a third party for processing as do most other property management companies. We do look at an applicant’s past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same. However, we are not naive. We realize that there are changes in life and people will and do react in various ways to circumstances. If something negative happens, we will manage the situation promptly. Our first priority is our obligation to you. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meeting credit standards.
CREDIT REPORT: We obtain a credit report which tells us the applicant’s current and past performance toward meeting their financial obligations. It also tells us their monthly debt, credit score, and shows their previous addresses which we compare to addresses listed on the application. Based on the accepted credit report, we then proceed to verify the remaining avenues of information.
RENTAL VERIFICATIONS: We personally talk to past landlords and ask detailed, open ended questions about the applicant’s past performance, which is typically done by completing our Rental Verification form. If a private individual is listed as the previous or current landlord, we will pull the tax records and verify that the person listed actually owns the property. The property tax record crosscheck, along with pulling driver license data, is what reveals most of the fraud attempts that are encountered. This is a level of scrutiny that other companies rarely do.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: We run a full criminal background check to see if there are any felonies or convictions in the prospect’s history. Applicants with felonies under 5-year-old are automatically denied.
EMPLOYMENT/INCOME: We contact the employer to verify length of employment, status, and income. An applicant needs to earn 3 times the monthly rent in net income to qualify for a property. We also want to see current copies of their pay stub/tax returns.
ROOMMATES: TopFlight requires all non-married couples to individually qualify for your property and each roommate is required to pay a separate security deposit for the property.
PETS: We do not permit animals/pets into managed properties unless the property owner allows this. About 80% of renters have pets. When you make the decision to accept an applicant with pets, we minimize your risk by limiting aggressive breeds and other criteria, included but not limited to up-to-date vaccination records and photos. We communicate fully with our prospective tenants and tenants with pets so they fully understand their obligation to the maintenance and condition of your property.
Service and Emotional Support Animals are not considered pets and TopFlight will not discriminate against any prospective tenant that has the need for these animals. TopFlight does use a third-party screening service to legally verify that the Service or Emotional We also use a of your property. Support Animal documents provided are not falsified. Any Tenant or Prospective tenant that our screening service approves will be allowed to have their Service or Emotional Support animal on the property. Per the Americans with Disability Act; no fees, deposits or additional rents can be collected for the animal.
How long will it take to rent my home or Townhouse?LOOK YOUR BEST: Even the best located and well-priced homes will not rent quickly if the rental home is not in top showing condition. Homes for rent should have an attractive "curb appeal" or they may sit empty for extended periods. Homes must be pristine and in move in condition. As your full service management and maintenance partner, we have the means to accomplish this in a minimal amount of time. We pride ourselves in a 72 hour turnaround on average; meaning if the move out was completed over the weekend, we are ready to show your property on Thursday. This puts more proceeds into your pocket. As for us, TopFlight Property Management does not make anything on empty units. This is just another way TopFlight Property Management adds value. We work for you.
How much will my property rent for?
We are asked this question more than any other question by homeowners. Of course it depends on a lot of factors such as location, condition, size of rooms, amenities, and school zones to name a few. In general, most homes in and around Clarksville & Oak Grove are currently renting for about 6% to 8% of the home’s market sales value. The more expensive your home, the lower the ratio of sales to rent value. For example, a $120,000 three bedroom home may rent for $800 to $1000 per month in the area, while a $240,000 home may only rent for $1200 to $1400. This is a very generalized range but will in fact hold true in most instances. Please note, percentages may change.
The more accurate process is a Comparative Rent Analysis performed within the neighborhood where your property is located. We will then place your properties rent at the mid to higher end of the spectrum.
Some of our new clients are "landlords by default", forced into leasing their home due to market conditions. The good news is, if you can ride out the market, you are likely to be much better off in a few years than if you sell your home now at a discounted price.
What are some of the detrimental decisions a new owner/investor could make?
- Purchasing a property in poor condition. Even though the purchase price may be attractive, the amount of corrections required to make it inviting to potential tenants can consume every bit of profit made available by a tenant occupying the property.
- Demanding a rent amount that is too high. This mistake leaves you with long term vacancies while generating no monthly income. Tenants in the rental market have a good idea of what current rents should be. Take advantage of our Comparative Rent Analysis report.
- Not keeping an open mind regarding applicants. The changing economy has forced us to make decisions and review tenant applications differently. On average, tenant prospects have lower credit scores than the applicants from a few years back.
- Failure to take advice from your property management company. The rental property business is complex. But years of experience have introduced us to almost every obstacle ownership may present. Trust in your management company. We are here to protect your best interest.
- Not addressing tenant concerns in a timely manner. Failure to respond to tenant requests can create additional issues for a homeowner. The rental market is highly competitive and tenants within your complex talk with each other. Failure to respond can lead to a search for better managed living opportunities.
What are your fees?The cost of our full service management is a percent of the monthly rent and depends on the size, location, and number of properties you place with us. Our price is discounted compared to the standard industry price for this type of management. Unlike many of our competitors we don’t charge fees during a vacancy. Topflight Property Management provides the highest quality management service at one of the lowest rates in town. Call for your quote and experience our service.
What do you do if you notice anything that is detrimental to the property or against the lease?We normally give the tenant an opportunity to correct the situation and they normally will. If a problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation and take whatever actions necessary. We keep the condition of your property and your best interest in mind at all times.
What does "Full Service" mean?Full service management is a complete service, starting with screening of and leasing to tenants, maintenance, financial record keeping and payment of invoices.. We make owning your property less difficult. Just go into your owner portal, read your monthly statement and receive your monthly proceeds.
What happens if the Tenant does not pay rent?
Timelines and communication is key here. If rent payment is not received by the 5th of the month, we deliver a 7-day notice to the tenant.
Notice terminating tenancies for failure to pay rent or other breach by tenant.
Tenancies under month to month
If a month-to-month tenant fails to pay rent when due, the tenant's tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to pay rent or vacate on or before a date at least 5 days after the giving of the notice and if the tenant fails to pay accordingly. A month-to-month tenancy is terminated if the landlord, while the tenant is in default in payment of rent, gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to vacate on or before a date at least 14 days after the giving of the notice.
Tenancies under a lease for one year or less, and year-to-year tenancies.
If a tenant under a lease for a term of one year or less, or a year-to-year tenant, fails to pay any installment of rent when due, the tenant's tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to pay rent or vacate on or before a date at least 5 days after the giving of the notice and if the tenant fails to pay accordingly. If a tenant has been given such a notice and has paid the rent on or before the specified date, or been permitted by the landlord to remain in possession contrary to such notice, and if within one year of any prior default in payment of rent for which notice was given the tenant fails to pay a subsequent installment of rent on time, the tenant's tenancy is terminated if the landlord, while the tenant is in default in payment of rent, gives the tenant notice to vacate on or before a date at least 14 days after the giving of the notice.
We are required to provide a second 7-day notice on the 13th of the Month. You will be contacted to inform you that the tenant has not paid rent yet. We will post an eviction notice about the 15th day of the month if payment is not received by property manager eventually proceeds with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is always financially better for all involved if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which is causing them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous issues with them, it is better for you and the tenant if we give them a chance to catch up. The tenant is required to deliver their written payment plan to us during the 7-day notice timeline. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises about payments and/or evasiveness, we know from experience that eviction is the best course of action.
Each case is unique and your property manager will make a decision based what is best for you and your property in the long run. That said we always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward resolution. Eviction for non-payment of rent in Tennessee/ Kentucky is a straight forward (unless contested) and there is not much hope that the tenant can prevail in court if they have not paid rent and the landlord has properly executed the notices and filing process. Full evictions normally take on average 45-60 days to complete. Contact Us about our Owner Protection Plans that can cover you in non-paying rent situations.
What will you do to rent out my property?
FOR RENT SIGNS: Posted at the property with our website and phone number clearly displayed. Prospective Tenants can find out very easily the price and size of your property and when it will be ready for move-in.
MLS: Your rental property data is entered in the Middle TN Multiple Listing Service. INTERNET LISTINGS: Our available homes for rent in the Montgomery County & Christian County Market areas are posted complete with photos, maps and property details.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS: In today’s world, prospective tenants are more likely to use various forms of social media to make their home search and decision. This means a property management company must meet that demand. We use all forms of social media to market our homes and also keep in contact with prospects after they have moved into the home.
WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS: Current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, referrals from other agents that we network with.
CORRECT PRICING: Even the best homes will not lease quickly if overpriced. We make sure your rental home is priced correctly in the neighborhood and according to our current market conditions.
Response of Resident RequestsResidents can contact us directly or through the resident portal for any needed repairs. Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical situations are red flagged for instant communication and possibly priority or emergency service depending on the nature of the situation. This supports our resident relationship and loyalty along with preserving the value of the property.
Property PreservationTopFlight Property Management will perform digitally recorded annual inspections of your rentals. We will provide recommendations of preventative maintenance and improvements to maintain and increase the value of your property. We also take advantage of any work orders and review your property at that time. This case will not be a formal inspection but gives a snap-shot of conditions in critical areas. Any concerns lead to questions and create a dialog.
Buying a New Property?We can provide a "turn-key" opportunity. Our staff will manicure the grounds, clean, replace fixtures, replace cabinets / counters, replace flooring, paint and even clean the windows. From there, you can move in or we will find and qualify tenants to fill your rental.
Selling your Property?There is only one chance to make your initial impression. We can provide the repairs needed; pressure wash the deck, manicure the grounds and paint inside and out to gain the appearance your property needs to sell quickly and at the greatest market price.
Preventative Maintenance ProgramPlease contact our office for more information regarding this great program!
- H&T Flooring
- Ike‘s Heating and Air
- Akers Plumbing
- Beristain Roofing
- A & A Lock Service
- Christina‘s Cleaning Service
- Rittenberry Appliance
- Robards Pest Control
- The Paint Guys
- Smith Garages
- Grissom Electric
- Angela Shepherd Painting
- Tennessee Roofing & Siding
- Kent Glass
- Shannon's Spic and Span Cleaning
- QTS cleaning Services