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Fort Collins Property Management - Fort Collins Property Management Utilities

Scott Lukes - Sunday, June 04, 2017
As the rental market continues to thrive and home sales stay sluggish many homeowners are deciding to rent their homes until housing prices increase again. There is a long check list of items to consider when transition a personal residence into a rental. This report will be focusing on how to change the responsibility of the utilities from the homeowner to the new tenant in the context of Excel Energy.

The Landlord Agreement (LLA)
The first step in transitioning the utility bill is to include it in the Landlord Agreement. Utilities companies sometimes call this an LLA. The Landlord Agreement Team is an organization within the utility company that specifically handles this process. The Landlord Agreement provides a certain level of protection for the landlord with the key distinction of determining who the client is. Is it the homeowner or the new tenant? In this case the new tenant becomes the utility company’s client. As a result, any issue surrounding the utility bill, is exclusively between the company and the tenant. The landlord will have no visibility into any matter.

The Turn On, Turn Off Form
One of the provisions in the Landlord Agreement protecting the landlord is called “automatic turn on” and “automatic turn of.” So when a tenant moves in the landlord submits the turn on form and the utility bills goes out of the landlord’s name and into the tenants and vice versa when the tenant moves out. Another component of the turn on and turn off agreements is to be sure to have a 3rd party notification clause so if the tenant is not paying the utility bill, the landlord is notified monthly including the amount owed.

A good lease agreement will have language stating that the tenant is responsible for not only paying the rent but the utilities as well. This further protects the landlord from any financial exposure with regards to the utility expenses.

First Mover Advantage
Both the landlord and tenant have to fill out, sign and date the automatic turn on form. The party that first notifies the utility company as to what date the utilities are to be transferred; that date will be on the record. If the landlord believes, for example March 15th is the date of transfer but the tenant notifies first that the date is April 1 it’s that date that will be recognized. Any discrepancies of dates will have to be resolved between the landlord and tenant. The utility company will only recognize the date submitted first.

The Turn Off
When the tenant decides to move out the turn off form is completed with the turn off date. Both tenant and landlord sign and send to the utility company. If the tenant decides to move out a few days prior to that date they are still responsible for the utility expense up to the date on the form.

Another Way the Landlord is Protected
Sometimes a tenant might get way behind in paying the utility bill or in one particular winter month the bill spikes to several hundred dollars. They don’t have the money and decide to change the name on the bill to another family member, boyfriend / girlfriend….or maybe, back in the name of the landlord! By the basis of the Landlord Agreement and the Turn Off / Turn On Agreement the tenant cannot do this, hence, the importance of having the Landlord Agreement in place to protect the landlord. The Tenant is not allowed to change who is responsible for the bill unless both parties agree.

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos

Ft Collins Property Management Essentials: How to Do Effective Showings

Scott Lukes - Monday, May 29, 2017

Denver Property Management Essentials: How to Do Effective Showings

 

Echo Summit Property Management COO Kim Helton Quoted in Denverite.com

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colorado, March 10, 2017 – Echo Summit Property Management, a leading Denver and Ft. Collins-based Property Manager, has been quoted in a recent article in popular Denver news site Denverite.com.

In the article “Denver landlords describe eviction from their perspectives — and suggest how to avoid it,” Kim Helton, Echo Summit’s Chief Operating Officer, discusses impact of evictions, and how to best deal with them when they happen.

One of Ms. Helton’s quotes from the article: “Payment plans. I don’t know how often other companies do them or how they do them, but I find it simpler to save a resident than to evict a resident. There are some people who will lie to you — their mother has been in the hospital 20 times or has been killed 20 times — you know they’re playing games with you. .. I think to solve the eviction problem, you ought to work out more agreements without having someone default. If I can help the renter reestablish themselves, it’s a win-win situation, I don’t have to remarket the home and they stay.”

About Echo Summit Property Management

With nearly 1,000 properties managed, Echo has the experience, technology, process and scale that sets us apart from the pack. Echo is the preferred choice for local investors and Realtors who understand that there can be no compromise in quality and ethics in property management. Our approach and philosophy are simple... once you start treating an investment property like a -rental-, it will eventually dilapidate into one. ALL WE DO IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. We do not do real estate brokerage, real estate development, or sell cars. We are property managers who strive for nothing short of excellence. Our dedication and approach has earned Echo a quality reputation in Denver area rentals.

Fort Collins Property Management - Security Deposit Disposition

Scott Lukes - Friday, May 12, 2017

By Colorado Real Estate law, a landlord has 30 days to return the tenants security deposit after t have regained legal possession of the property – unless, they otherwise state in their lease: up to 60 days. No more than that.

With the Security Deposit Disposition, the landlord took in a certain amount of money from the tenant upon signing a lease agreement to cover any damages during their stay. When the manager is doing the Disposition, it iss simply an accounting of how much money was collected minus how much was used for repairs that are being charged to the tenant (beyond normal wear and tear). The difference is returned to the renter via check, and with an itemization of amounts deducted from their original deposit. It’s a good idea to mail that final check with a delivery confirmation so they tenant can’t come back and say they never received it. This will be covered in more detail in a future topic. 

 One area where landlords get into trouble is determining exactly when the 30 day clock starts ticking from when they will need to return security deposit. When does it begin? The answer: when they regain legal possession of the property. It’s not a simple as it may sound. Obviously, the easiest way to regain possession of the property is when the lease is over and the tenant hands the keys back to the landlord. At this point we have the property back in legal possession. 

 What about an eviction? If the tenant is in the eviction process (the lease is now expired) when does the 30 days notice begin? The answer: the 30 days begins when the landlord gains possession of the property from the court. What happens when the tenant is still in the property and their possessions are still in the house? The landlord will have to order a sheriff’s eviction. Then, typically, it would be a good idea to get an attorney involved at this point. It’s usually at that moment the sheriff’s eviction takes place when the 30 day notice clock would start ticking. 

 What can the landlord withhold for? Please see our other reference material on “Normal Wear and Tear” where we go into details on this topic explaining many items and time periods that are and are not appropriate to withhold security deposit for in the name of normal wear and tear.

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos

Echo Summit Property Management CEO Scott Lukes to Offer “Property Management Trends and Issues” CE Course

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colorado, January 15, 2017 – Echo Summit Property Management, a leading Denver and Ft. Collins-based Property Manager, is proud to announce that it will once again offer the popular “Property Management Trends and Issues” continuing education course, taught by its CEO and founder, Scott Lukes.

The 2 hour continuing education course, approved by the Colorado Division of Real Estate, is also known as the “Red Bull” course, given the presenter offers cans of Red Bull to the attendees given the fast-paced nature of the presentation. The course covers critical aspects of landlording in the Denver and Ft. Collins areas. It is intended for both investors and real estate agents, and covers to following topics:

  • The critical DO’S and DON’Ts in managing properties
  • Dealing with legalization of MARIJUANA
  • Recent area rental STATISTICS
  • Handling lease VIOLATIONS and late rent
  • TENANT SELECTION criteria and posting
  • SECURITY DEPOSIT accounting and disposition
  • HOA docs and relations
  • Important NOTICES: 3-day demand letter, substantial violation, ARE-agreement regarding eviction
  • Recent TRENDS and local Issues

To learn of course dates/times, please contact us at marketing@echo-summit.com, or call 303-768x8255 x213 for details.

About Echo Summit Property Management

With nearly 1,000 properties managed, Echo has the experience, technology, process and scale that sets us apart from the pack. Echo is the preferred choice for local investors and Realtors who understand that there can be no compromise in quality and ethics in property management. Our approach and philosophy are simple... once you start treating an investment property like a -rental-, it will eventually dilapidate into one. ALL WE DO

Insurance Subrogation for Ft Collins & Loveland property managers --

Scott Lukes - Monday, April 03, 2017

Insurance Subrogation for Ft Collins and Loveland property managers

 

 

 

In its most common usage Subrogation refers to circumstances in which an insurance company tries to recoup expenses for a claim it paid out when another party should have been responsible for paying at least a portion of that claim. So when an insurance claim is paid, the parties involved (including the owner, tenant, fire department, etc) are looking for who is at fault in order to collect financial damages. 

This process can be very expensive. Claims can be as small as a few thousand dollars for mold damage and upwards of several hundred thousand dollars for major damage like a fire. So it’s important that the insurance company investigate who was responsible and how did the damage occur.

 

Subrogation refers to an insurance company seeking reimbursement from the person or entity legally responsible for an accident after the insurer has paid out money on behalf of its insured. This could include any money paid out for property damage, deductible amounts, diminished value, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. The definition of subrogation is the substitution of one person or group by another in respect of a debt or insurance claim, accompanied by the transfer of any associated rights and duties.

 

 

 

 

Waiver of Subrogation

 

Some contractual agreements might require the insured to waive their right of subrogation (and therefore the insurance company's rights) against the other party in the event of a claim. A waiver of subrogation prevents the insured’s insurance company from pursuing damages from a specified party. If an insured is ever asked to sign a waiver of it is a good idea to consult an attorney before waiving any rights or limiting the amount of damages that can recovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online:

 

 

http://echo-summit.com/education

 

 

If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at:

 

 

http://echo-summit.com/education/videos

 

 

Ft Collins Property Managers - Avoiding Craigslist Scams --

Scott Lukes - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ft Collins Property Managers - Avoiding Craigslist Scams

The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily. But while the names may change, the methods are always the same. These thieves, mainly based in Nigeria, the U.K. and the U.S., are out to steal renter’s money and identity. 

There are several items to look out for: 
1) The scammers tend to use yahoo, ymail, rocketmail, fastermail, live, hotmail and gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses. 
2) They use photos stolen from other property advertisements and many times copy the legitimate ad with same description and photos. 
3) Look for the misspelling of words and more formal language that isn’t commonly used in such online advertising. The emails will be overly polite and poorly written or express excessive eagerness to rent the property without having proper steps including property inspection, background and credit checks. 
4) When there are two identical ads the monthly rental fee will be much different. For instance a legitimate ad for a 4 bedroom house would be, say $1,350 per month. The scam ad will list the same property, same pictures and assume the homeowner’s identity but list it for $850. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. They will have a sob story or say they are not available to show the property but the renter can go and check it out if they wish. 
5) What they all have in common is that sooner or later they send request to transfer funds via Western Union, Money gram or some other wire service. Never, under any circumstances wire money at the request of the prospective “landlord” and never provide a bank account number, bank routing number or other financial or personal information. 

A renter should ALWAYS do business face-to-face with the landlord or property management company. It’s important to have access inside the property and to sign documents and contracts in person and in an office or professional setting. 

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education 
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos

Ft Collins Rental Management Disaster Recovery- Fire

Scott Lukes - Friday, March 17, 2017

Ft. Collins Property Management - Disaster Recovery- Fire

Echo Summit Property Management Volunteers at Denver Rescue Mission

Web Admin - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colorado, December 20, 2016 – Echo Summit Property Management, a leading Denver and Ft. Collins-based Property Manager, continued its commitment of giving back to the community by volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission.

The Denver Rescue Mission is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the homeless and needy in the Denver metro area. During the volunteering event, Echo Summit staff and family members cooked and served meals to Denver-area needy.

“I could not be more proud of our staff and their commitment to giving back to the community,” said Echo Summit founder and CEO Scott Lukes. “They already deal in an extreme job environment in Denver and Ft. Collins-based residential property management. To see them carve out their own time to serve the community like this is not only heartwarming, but demonstrates Echo Summit’s commitment to the community.”

About Echo Summit Property Management

With nearly 1,000 properties managed, Echo has the experience, technology, process and scale that sets us apart from the pack. Echo is the preferred choice for local investors and Realtors who understand that there can be no compromise in quality and ethics in property management. Our approach and philosophy are simple... once you start treating an investment property like a -rental-, it will eventually dilapidate into one. ALL WE DO IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. We do not do real estate brokerage, real estate development, or sell cars. We are property managers who strive for nothing short of excellence. Our dedication and approach has earned Echo a quality reputation in Denver area rentals.

Denver landlords describe eviction from their perspectives — and suggest how to avoid it

Scott Lukes - Monday, March 13, 2017

Last week, I wrote about the effects of evictions as observed by housing advocates. But as one reader pointed out, that failed to acknowledge the effects of evictions from the landlord’s perspective.

Charlie Hogan, chief operating officer of Cornerstone Properties, and Kim Helton, chief operating officer of Echo Summit Property Management shared what the costs of evictions are from the other side of the fence.

The cost of eviction

“You have the hard cost, which is the attorney’s fees, the processing of that paperwork. Plus, there’s the hard cost of the eviction itself — paying staff or employees or the sheriff’s department with the physical eviction, removing items from the unit if there are some. …

“But more importantly, it’s the vacancy loss. Now you have a resident who hasn’t paid rent, say for 30 days and now they’re being evicted. That eviction process doesn’t happen overnight, you put in notice to your attorneys that this resident hasn’t paid rent, they set a court date which could be three weeks down the road, depending on how busy they are, then once they go to court and are found guilty, they have to schedule that eviction with the city and that can take upwards of two weeks depending on how busy they are.

“And this entire time, that resident is still in the unit potentially, living there rent-free and not paying money, plus you’re not collecting money. It can cost up to $5,000 for eviction.”

FOR YOU: Three Denver housing advocates explain evictions and their effects

– Charlie Hogan, COO of Cornerstone Apartments

“Expense-wise, evictions are a lot of upfront costs that landlords may never see. And it’s stressful because no matter what kind of money they make, to have that large of an expense that can be anywhere from $207 to up to $3,000 or $4,000 and they may only have only a couple hundred dollars as a security deposit.”

– Kim Helton, chief operating officer of Echo Summit Property Management

Where evictions are happening in Denver

“Capitol Hill and these central neighborhoods have changed significantly over the past 12 years that I’ve been here. They’re different from a demographic standpoint and just quality of urban living experience.

“As these markets become more and more desirable, obviously rents go up with that, quality of living tends to go up — you see more renovated units, more construction. What that does it that it forces that renter who used to be able to afford to live in that central market, it forces them out to sub-markets — Hale, Glendale, Lakewood, Arvada, Littleton — because the rents are lower because the proximity to downtown is further and that is where you’ll see more evictions.”

– Hogan, Cornerstone Apartments

What’s a solution to the problem of evictions?

“Payment plans. I don’t know how often other companies do them or how they do them, but I find it simpler to save a resident than to evict a resident. There are some people who will lie to you — their mother has been in the hospital 20 times or has been killed 20 times — you know they’re playing games with you. .. I think to solve the eviction problem, you ought to work out more agreements without having someone default. If I can help the renter reestablish themselves, it’s a win-win situation, I don’t have to remarket the home and they stay.”

– Helton, Echo Summit Property Management

Advice to renters who are struggling

“One of my biggest frustrations is the pride factor. So many residents don’t call, don’t ask for help, don’t do anything but ignore it. Then they’ll come to me on the 21st in court, in tears, wanting me now to help and the owner says ‘To heck with you. You’ve not cared about me in these past 22 days, why should I care about you now?’

“You have people who are so afraid to ask for help and it makes it harder on them. … I tell people, look, there’s no horns on my head. If you don’t communicate to me that you need to help and allow me the chance to give you your options, you’re hurting yourself more than you’re hurting me, because I’ll evict you.

“You never know what your property manager or landlord could do for you. Don’t wait, come to them before it’s too late.”

– Helton, Echo Summit Property Management


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