FAQ - Excalibur Homes
How long will it take to rent my property?
We will recommend a rental rate and terms that we think will attract a qualified tenant within 30 days. Market conditions vary and we can't make any guarantees as to when we will get a qualified applicant. Some properties lease immediately. Others take longer. We will provide you with updates as we get feedback from the market so that we can modify the price or terms if necessary.
How do you determine the rental rate?
We manage several hundred rental homes. We also have access to listing information on many more units through the multiple listing service and internet. After inspecting your home we can make recommendations to you on items that might enhance your homes value. Once we know your home and your goals we can use our knowledge of the current market situation to recommend a rental rate. It's your property- we recommend and you decide.
How will you advertise/market my property?
Almost all of our applicants tell us they found the house on the internet. Excalibur posts properties on several national web sites in addition to our own site. We also use signs and newspaper ads to promote properties we manage. We analyze each property based on its own unique circumstances to design a specific marketing plan which promotes your property under the most favorable conditions.
How do you check the applicant's credit/reference history?
One of the most important aspects of making your experience as a Landlord rewarding is placing the right tenant in your property. While no one can discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, or familial status we can discriminate on the basis of credit and rental history.
Once we have an application generated from our marketing efforts we conduct a detailed background check on the applicants. Some applicants can be very deceptive, even to the point of having friends or family members pose as former landlords or employers so that the information sounds good to the landlord conducting the background check.
To reduce the possibility of being deceived by an applicant Excalibur uses a multi-tiered background check to cross-reference each applicant. Our background checks consist of:
- Our agents will ask to see a picture ID of the applicant.
- We pull a copy of their credit report including their FICO score.
- We check to see if the applicant has had dispossessory warrants filed against them.
- We get copies of their paystubs or contact their employer to confirm their source of income. If they are self employed we ask for copies of their tax return.
- We confirm their landlord reference or residency history (mortgage payments).
A thorough background check is crucial to avoid costly mistakes with your property. A bad tenant can be a very expensive ordeal due to lost rent; extra time spent having to deal with them, and damage to the property. While no background check can eliminate the risk of a problem tenant, our thorough examination of their rental history can significantly reduce your risk.
How much do you charge to lease my home?
Generally we charge a fee equal to one month's rent to place a tenant for a one year lease term. We call this a "Procurement Fee". We offer discounts for owners that have multiple properties. These discounts are quoted on a case by case basis. Our procurement fee comes with a 12 month prorated warranty. If the tenant does not stay for the full term of the lease then we will refund part of the procurement fee based on the ratio of the number of months of rent not paid by the tenant during the term. For example, if your tenant paid the rent for 9 months and then moved out, you would receive a 25% refund of the procurement fee charged based on the 3 months (3/12 equals 25%) that they did not pay rent during the remainder of the lease term. This warranty is described in more detail in our management agreement.
Who collects the rent? When do I get paid?
The tenant makes all payments to Excalibur. The security deposits are maintained in one escrow account. All rents and other payments are deposited into a separate escrow account. We will deduct our management fee and any other expenses that have been authorized and we send the balance to you. We send out statements on the 9th of each month (or the next business day thereafter). We also do statements on the 23rd for clients that choose to have us charge a reduced management fee. We can mail you a check with the statement or we can deposit the money directly into your bank account for you (direct deposit)
What happens if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
In our lease form we give the tenant a 5 day grace period to pay the rent on time. On the 6th we tell the computer to post late fees for any tenants that have not paid yet. Then "Late Letters" are generated and mailed. Under Georgia law we must first notify the tenant that they are in default on the lease and the Landlord must "demand possession" of the property before a dispossessory warrant can be requested from the court. We send these demand letters out on the 10th. We will also try to contact the tenant and find out why the rent hasn't been paid.
If we still haven't received the rent by the middle of the month, depending on the particular circumstances with each tenant, we start filing Dispossessory Warrants (eviction). As needed we will go to court, arrange to get the "writ of possession" from the court and, if necessary, meet the sheriff at the property with a "put out" crew to remove the tenant and their things from the property. Why the tenant can't pay the rent is not really relevant. Whatever their circumstances, they do not become your own personal charity case. We can help tenants with legitimate problems find help from different charitable organizations. But we are retained by you to protect your interests. If the tenant can't pay the rent we need to find a new tenant that can.
What happens if the tenant has a maintenance problem?
The tenant contacts us to report all maintenance problems. We can be reached any time of the day or night including holidays. Our property managers rotate being "on call" so that someone can always be available to handle emergencies. Upon receiving an "emergency maintenance" message our voicemail system will page the manager on call so that we can get the emergency under control.
In the management agreement you set a "repair limit" which tells us when, based on the estimated cost of the repair, you want to be involved in handling a maintenance problem. For non-emergencies, we will contact you first or we will handle the repair on your behalf depending on the repair limit you set. You can choose a dollar limit of zero or some higher figure at your option. Please note that this repair limit is based on non-emergency repairs. We will handle emergencies immediately, based on our judgment and experience, to protect your property from suffering any further damage.
How much do you charge to manage my property?
Generally speaking we charge as little as 6% up to as much as 12% of the amount we collect from the tenant as our management fee. The range depends on the rental rate of the property, the age of the property, and options the owner selects regarding how quickly they want to get paid and whether they will take their payment and statement electronically (less expensive) or if they prefer us to print and mail (more expensive). There is no minimum monthly fee. If you don't get paid - we don't get paid! For owners that choose to have their statements sent out on the 9th of the month the management fee is 1% higher than if you choose to have your statements and net rental proceeds sent to you at the end of each month (around the 23rd). We email your statement and pay you via direct deposit. If you would like paper statements and printed checks, your management fee will be an additional 1% higher.
Can I sell the property to the tenant?
Yes! If you (we) sell the property to a tenant that Excalibur placed, our management agreement sets out that you will pay Excalibur 3% of the purchase price. After all, Excalibur brought you the "buyer". We will help prepare the contracts, arrange financing, and coordinate all of the tasks required to successfully close the sale. However, if Excalibur did not place the tenant then we don't expect to get paid a sales commission if the tenant buys the house (unless you ask us to represent you and help with the transaction).
Can I sell the property to someone else if the tenant can't buy it?
Yes! Many leases include a clause that allows the tenant to terminate the lease early in exchange for paying certain penalties. Our lease form also has a clause that allows the owner to terminate the lease early. If you need to sell your property, and the tenant is not willing or able to buy it, we would try to get the tenant on a month to month basis so you can sell the property and only be required to give the tenant a 30 day notice to vacate.
If you can't wait until the lease term expires then the clause described above still gives you the option to sell the property even though the lease hasn't expired. Our management agreement places no limit on you selling the property to someone other than the tenant. You can sell it yourself, list it for sale with another broker, or list it for sale with Excalibur. Yes we also sell property. As a matter of fact we have a great deal of experience selling property that is occupied by tenants.
Does retaining a management company mean I won't have any problems with my property?
NO! If you own rental property then over a period of time you will have problems of one sort or another. Whether the problems are related to maintaining the property or dealing with the tenant there will be problems that need to be resolved. Retaining Excalibur to manage your property will eliminate some but not all potential problems.
Our experience will help reduce the number of problems related to rental property. Those problems that can't be avoided must be solved. Our expertise will help reduce the aggravation and potentially higher expenses related to solving these problems. We can't keep all bad things from happening but we can handle solving the problem for you so that you don't have to handle it yourself.
How long have you been in business?
Over 20 years. We started as a sole proprietorship in January of 1985. We became a corporation in 1988. As we took over another company in 1996, for tax purposes, we became an LLC. But the owner and managing broker has always been Mike Nelson.
Do you have any references?
View some of the remarks made by our clients and tenants about their experiences with Excalibur. Click here