Switching property management companies is not always easy, but if you get to the point where you realize that you need a new management partner, there’s no sense in waiting for the perfect time. There is rarely a perfect time for anything.
The transfer from one company to another does not have to be difficult, especially if your new management partner is prepared. If you have a tenant in place during the switch, there will be a few extra details to take care of. You’ll want to make sure the move is made with as little disruption as possible to your tenant.
Don’t wait when you’re ready to work with a new company. We can make the transition seamless, and we focus on transparent communication and consistent operations.
Here’s how to switch management companies while your rental property in San Diego is occupied.
Give Notice to Your Current Management Company
Before you can move on, you need your current property management company to understand that you’re making a switch. Check your management agreement. Some companies will require a specific amount of notice. You may have to pay a fee, depending on how your agreement is set up and what you are obligated to as a client.
Send a letter so your decision is in writing. You’ll want to have a firm date for when the management company no longer represents you. The deadline for transferring all the necessary information over to your new property manager should be at least a few days before that date.
Ideally, your property manager will not make this difficult for you or your tenants. They should have a process in place for turning all of your information over to your new management partner.
This can be awkward, but you want to leave on positive and friendly terms. Ask what you can expect in terms of tenant communication. They might send a letter to your tenants or wait for the new management company to take the lead.
You should not worry about reaching out to your tenants yourself. Instead, focus on working with both your new management company and your old one to facilitate the easy transfer of all documents and information. They might have completely different systems, and a few weeks will be required before you’re completely out of one system and integrated into the new system.
Gather What You'll Need for the Property Management Switch
Once you have provided notice, you’ll need to request the following items be transferred to the new property management provider electronically. The main items you’ll need to request from them to transfer to your new provider for a seamless transition are the following when your home is tenant occupied:
Names and contact information for your tenants
Copies of the application and supporting documents
The signed lease agreement and any addenda
Accounting that reflects security deposits, rents, pet fees, and other income
Any keys and related security items for the property
Any warranties for repairs or maintenance
The tenant ledger
Copies of any correspondence with the tenant
Move-in inspection reports and photos
Ask if there are any specific issues you should be aware of. Are there lingering repairs that have been requested but not completed? Is rent paid up or is there an overdue balance? You don’t want to be surprised.
Plan Tenant Communication with Your New Management Company
Your new property managers will need to look at your current lease. It’s unlikely that any changes will be made to the existing lease, but you may want to be open to any recommendations they make about how to structure the lease renewal when that time approaches. Your new property manager will also review what your tenant is paying in rent and whether that’s appropriate for the market. They’ll want to know whether they pay on time, and when the lease is up for renewal. All of this will be available once your old property manager turns over the requested information.
Tenants will need to be informed that a new property management company will be responsible for managing and maintaining the rental property. You can expect your property manager to introduce themselves, either with a letter or an email. They may want to see the inside of the home, and the tenants will need to agree to that before it can be scheduled.
Making a good first impression is important for your new property manager. They’ll want your tenant to be comfortable.
It’s also important that the tenant understands exactly when their communication with the former property manager should end. Be sure that a cutoff date has been shared and that the new property manager has given your tenants their contact information.
A tenant is likely to have questions about how rent should be paid, and maintenance reported. A good property manager will have a welcome sheet with these instructions or will provide written instructions so that rent continues to come in on time and any repair needs are responded to right away.
Your tenants may have to enroll in a new tenant portal. You likely will as an owner, as well. This should not be too complicated or time-consuming. Most property management software is similar and user-friendly.
What Happens to the Security Deposit?
The security deposit is the tenant’s money while they are still occupying your property. Therefore, the deposit must follow or stay with the tenant.
The property manager you are leaving must transfer the security deposit to the new property manager or directly to you. No claims can be made against the security deposit until your tenant has moved out, so as long as they’re staying in place, the former management company must turn over that deposit.
If you’re thinking about switching property management companies, there’s probably a good reason that you feel it might be time. Don’t wait too long, and don’t feel like you have to do it when your property is vacant. You don’t. We are professionals, and we can help make a smooth transition when you change San Diego property management partners. Contact our team at North County Property Group if you’d like to hear about how we can work with you.