Q: Can I pick or say whom the tenants are for my house?
A: As the property owner may specify whether or not you want tenants with pets or
tenants who don’t smoke, however, you cannot discriminate against any protected class
under the Federal Fair Housing or local fair housing laws. For example you cannot say
you won’t rent to someone with/without children, people with disabilities, or people of
a particular nationality or race or age. The more restrictions placed on tenant approval,
the longer it will take to rent your property; we encourage a study of risk versus
benefit when considering prospective tenants. We are happy to discuss what restrictions
will slow the rental process the most and what benefit and cost these decisions will have.
We are professionals in leasing and tenant screening, and we have specific criteria that
every applicant must meet in order to rent a property. Paramount Property Management will
not knowingly place a high-risk tenant in your property.
Q: Why do I need to add Paramount Property Management to my policy as an additional insured?
A: By adding Paramount Property Management, Inc as an additional insured, you provide you and your
insurance company additional liability coverage, which is explained after the following story:
A neighbor kid entered the backyard of a rental home to get a ball that went over the fence,
tripped on a hose and chipped his tooth on the patio. The parents of the kid sued the tenant,
the property owner, and the property manager. The property manager was not listed as an additional
insured and had the standard indemnification clause in their management agreement. Because the
property manager was not listed, the homeowner's insurance would not cover the property manager.
Since the property manager was being sued and not covered by the owner's policy, the property
manager had to hire an attorney to defend them, just like the attorney for the insurance company
was defending the property owner. So both the homeowner's insurance company and the property manager
were paying for an attorney to defend them. In both cases the attorneys pointed the blame everywhere
but their client. So the homeowner's insurance is showing blame with the property manager and tenant.
The property manager's attorney is showing blame with the property owner and tenant.
In this case, the homeowner was found guilty of negligence and the homeowner's insurance company paid the claim.
However, the property manager had accumulated nearly $10,000 in attorney fees in its defense. The property manager,
like Paramount Property Management, had professional and liability insurance, but neither policy would cover the
property manager's legal expenses. Because of the property manager's indemnification clause, which is a common
clause in all property management agreements, the homeowner was held liable for the $10,000 in attorney fees to
defend the property manager.
If the homeowner had listed the property manager as an additional insured, the insurance company would
have equally defended the property manager as well as the homeowner and there would not have been any
additional costs incurred by the homeowner.
I encourage you to talk to your insurance agent about the above scenario and be sure to list
Paramount Property Management, Inc. as an additional insured for your rental property. Your agent may try to
talk you into listing Paramount Property Management as an insurable interest or as an additional interest, but
this is not the same thing. Have them explain the difference and the risk that is assumed by you, the homeowner.
Some companies may refuse to list your property manager as an additional insured. My recommendation is that you
send them a copy of your management agreement and express your concern for your liability. They'll probably agree
to add the property manager. They may require that you pay a fee to do so, but the fees I have seen are very
little and worth the peace of mind. We list a number of companies as additional insured on our policy and we
pay the small fee to do so. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Q: What are your credentials in property management?
A: We have been in property management in the Treasure Valley area for over a decade.
Our owners are educated with BBA and BS in Business fields. All employees of Paramount have served
on the National Association of Residential Property Managers board as well as pursue and have
received designations in training in property management.
Q: Can I reach you after hours?
A: Owner and Tenant portals are accessible 24/7. You can review past statements, download documents and
send communication to your management team. In emergency situations we have a professional after hours
call support that specializes in handling property management needs and reaching needed emergency vendors.
Q: Can you put the money directly into my account?
A: We are happy to be able to provide you with your rental proceeds each month via ACH deposit.
Please download the form from our Owner’s page and send us the information to get enrolled.
Q: Do I get to see the lease or sign it?
A: Leases are available to you as the property owner through your owner portal. If you need an updated
record please send a note to your management team and we will make sure it is uploaded. As your managing agent,
we enter into the rental agreements and extensions and addendums on your behalf.
Q: Do you sell real estate too?
A: Paramount Property Management is happy to have an on staff Realtor. We also have an amazing team of Realtors
in the area that we work with to help you buy or sell your investment properties. Our company is focused on rentals,
and we do not have plans to venture into sales and purchases of properties, but we are happy to set you up
with our on staff Realtor or any of our preferred Realtors for your sales needs.
Q: Who does the repairs on the properties you manage? Can I use my own contractors?
A: The tenants have responsibility for some of the maintenance on your property. They have to replace burnt out
light bulbs, change furnace filters, and change batteries in the smoke detectors. Tenants are usually responsible
for the lawn care unless they are in a multi-unit property, one that has a homeowners association with that
responsibility, or owner provided gardening service. We require tenants to participate in a filter service that
provides date stamped furnace filters to insure that properties are being cared for correctly. When repairs need
to be done outside the scope of the tenant’s responsibility, one of our vendors handles the job. Anyone doing
maintenance on your property is selectively screened and insured for liability and workers compensation to protect
you from unnecessary exposure. Files are kept in our office on all sub-contractors with copies of liability and
workers compensation insurance. Due to the volume of work we do with them, we usually get lower rates than you would
get if you called them directly. We do not hire the cheapest vendor, we hire professionals that will protect the
integrity of a property and not provide you with a band-aid fix that will result in more repair costs for you later on.
If you have a preference we can use your contractor, however, as protection for you and us, they would need to provide
records for liability and workers compensation insurance and tax ID #’s before a check could be issued. If it is a
vendor that is not on our preferred list this is a low $25.00 fee to add them as a vendor. Sending a family member,
vendor on craigslist, a neighbor or a tenant themselves to do work, can result in liability issues and damage to the property.
Q: What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time?
A: More than 97% of our tenants pay their rent on time. Rent is due on the first of each month and considered late on
day 4. If rent has not been paid by that time, we will contact the tenant and then take the first step in the eviction
process, and post the 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. The tenants will need to make a satisfactory payment arrangements
and meet their responsibilities as tenants with rent and utilities. Most tenants will immediately pay upon receipt of the
3-day notice. If the tenant has not paid by the end of the 3-day notice period, with the owner’s approval we move
forward with our attorney to file an Unlawful Detainer action. This is the court order to remove the tenant from the
property and will occur within 14 days. We file Unlawful Detainer actions very infrequently; in 2017 only 1 cases were
filed out of all of our residents. If you opted to utilize Paramount Property Management Eviction Protection Service,
a standard eviction will be covered, otherwise eviction costs are your responsibility.
Q: How am I protected if a tenant damages the property?
A: A security deposit taken at move-in is typically will cover most damage that a properly screened tenant may cause.
Tenants with excellent credit and references seldom cause much damage and almost never in excess of the security deposit.
You may have heard about a property being “trashed” generally are less expensive properties that have been rented without
the proper application and screening process, although due to life circumstances even a great tenant on paper can go bad.
Our screening process reports: rental payment history, national risk score, credit report, collection information, public
record information, residence history, previous landlord verification, employment verification, pet screening, and statewide
criminal background check. Should the tenants leave the property owing more than is covered by the security deposit, they will
be billed in order to reimburse your cost as the owner, and our costs as the property manager. Non-payment after receiving this
statement will result in our submitting the balance to a collection company that specializes in property management.
Q: What happens if my account balance is negative?
A: We require you to maintain a $300 reserve balance at all times. Negative owner balances are a violation of Trust Accounting;
the owner is required to reimburse Paramount Property Management for any outstanding expenses. Additional management fees are
assessed for overdrawn accounts as outlined in your management agreement.
Q: Can I get out of the lease with the tenant?
A: The lease we use is a legal binding document, but we are willing to negotiate on your behalf. If both parties mutually agree,
the lease can be terminated. This process however, does require up front and honest communications with Paramount Property Management.
The owner is not to contact the tenant directly for any reason. In the event you are wanting to sell the property while the lease is
still in term, Idaho will allow you to sell, but the lease agreement will continue to the new purchaser of the home.
Q: When do I get paid?
A: Paramount Property Management focuses a great deal of focus and energy the first week of each month on collecting rents.
Adhering to trust accounting requirements, we must let rent checks clear before dispersing funds to the owner. Paramount will hold
off on sending owner statements and disbursements of funds until completing owner bills and depositing funds directly into our
property owner’s accounts until funds are confirmed. When Paramount Property Management pays any bills on your behalf, we generally
do these between the 1st and 15th of the month, as we need the rent money to make those payments.
Q: Who keeps the late fees?
A: In a perfect world collecting rent would be smooth, however when a tenant pays late our company begins calls, visits, emails, mail
in order to secure rent is paid. This is a timely and difficult job. Many times tenants are embarrassed or hoping to put off the
payment a little longer, and because of this sometimes communication from a tenant when late is lacking. Our property managers have
to turn into debt collectors and begin a very aggressive regiment to collect money on behalf of our property owners. Paramount Property
Management keeps late fees, lease violations fees and pet inspection fees to cover these costs of doing business, which allows us to offer
the lower and competitive management rates to you as the property owner.
Q: Who holds the tenant security deposit?
A: Paramount Property Management holds the deposit money. The property management company is a neutral third party.
It's one of the reasons that tenants come to a property manager. In today's economic environment, tenants want to make sure
they know that their security deposit is safe. Security deposits belong to the tenants and are funds that are used upon move-out
or tenancy termination or transfer to cover tenant charges on the property resulted for tenancy. These funds cannot be applied
to normal wear and tear or property upgrades. Funds also must be processed and returned to tenants within the State Guidelines
of use and timeliness. Paramount is able to process this and send out these funds and statements by certified mail in a timely
and efficient manner.
Q: Should I accept pets? What about service and companion animals?
A: According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 63% of Americans have at least one pet.
The Treasure Valley has the highest pets per capita rate in the country. On average tenants have at least one
pet, and typically this is a dog. If you don’t accept pets in your rental you automatically disqualify 63% of
your applicants. Sometimes after a rental sits vacant for an extended amount of time, the owners change their mind
and agree to accept pets. Then almost immediately, the vacancy is filled. Perhaps they lost hundreds or thousands of
dollars in lost rent while waiting for a tenant. That lost rent probably exceeds any possible damage caused by the pet.
If your rental property is a 4 plex or larger, we typically advise you only accept small pets because generally the common
grounds are small. If your rental property is a single family home or duplex, then we advise that you consider all types
and sizes of pets. If the property owner should decide to allow pets, we have a very strict pet policy that includes an increased
security deposit and additional pet rent that goes to the property owner. Some owners have strong allergies to certain kinds of pets
or worry that an animal will cause extensive damage to their property.
No problem, we completely understand and we will find good tenants who do not have pets and we will ensure that they comply to that rule.
Some pet owners simply neglect to care for their pet and damages occur. The best course of action is preventative.
Paramount utilized advanced pet screening to determine the likelihood of a pet owner not caring properly for an animal, or a the risk
for certain animals, we look at vet records, landlord statements, pictures, breed reputations, insurance statistics and training documation.
In the event a pet is snuck into a property or damages do occur Paramount Property Management will certainly hold the tenants accountable for
these damages and the costs, but if the security deposit isn’t enough to cover them, it will be a slow process to recover them.
So we totally understand if the property owner believes that the negatives outweigh the positives.
Service and companion animals, cannot be turned away or used in determining a denial of a tenant. In recent years there have been
complaints of abuses of these laws, or fake companion/service animals. Paramount property management uses a screening process that
meets the Fair Housing and American Disabilities Act requirement for making sure that any fraudulent animals are screened correctly.
Allowing those who need these accommodations are not discriminated against, while protecting owners to an undue financial hardship that
can occur with fraudulent acts.
Q: Why is there a lockbox on my property?
A: Paramount Property Management installs lockboxes on all of our vacant properties. That way, if we get a call from an interested party,
our leasing agent who is showing a property down the street can just drive over, access the lockbox and show the property. We also utilize
electronic lockboxes, that allow us to change codes after showings and track when vendors, agents or prospective tenants have
accessed and viewed a property. Without these lockboxes we would have to delay the showing until the leasing agent had time
to return to the office to get a key or work on a key check-out system. We have found these lockboxes to be the most secure and
trackable way to work with a vacant property while giving you the advantage or quick showings without delay.
Q: Why are the signs in the windows and not the yard?
A: Sadly renters have been a target for many fraudulent schemes. There are often times fraudulent listings put up for
vacant properties. There are stories of tenants sending a deposit to another country just to discover, they were not
even talking to someone associated with the rental. Another newer scheme involves a person scheduling a showing and then
presenting themselves as an agent on the home that they have seen and trying to lease it out in order to collect the deposit
funds before they move on. By placing our signs in the window it protects these signs from being taken from the property and
used in a scam elsewhere. It also helps combat the online scams where a person claims the management company no longer rents
the property and to just call them directly. Placing the sign in the window, makes it clear to prospective tenants that the
listing is real and who to contact to get a showing as well as move forward with a lease without fear of losing funds. A
trustworthy rental rents faster. too.