Frequently Asked Questions
What sets you apart from your competition?
We are one of the only management companies that prioritizes sustainable management practices. Our goal is to make a positive impact through our real estate portfolio by reducing properties' carbon footprint, making spaces healthier and more vibrant, and creating more integrated and resilient community.
We also pride ourselves on offering boutique management services with outstanding customer service. Relationships are at the center of our business model and our clients and tenants are not just numbers in our system. Our team is comprised of professionals with extensive backgrounds and a wealth of market knowledge. Because of these things, we don't feel like there is competition for what we do.
How do you advertise properties for rent?
We put a ton of emphasis on professional marketing and advertising. Our rental property listings show exactly the same as a professional For Sale listing. We find that this attention to detail fills vacancies quicker and with better quality tenants.
As part of our leasing services, we create listings with professional photography and curated property descriptions. Our property management software system syncs up with dozens upon dozens of the top listing sites in the country, some paid and some free. If there is someone looking for a rental in town, you bet they will see our listings.
We also network with a lot of tenant placement specialists and recruiters for large corporations around town so that we can help fill vacancies as quick as possible.
How do you screen tenants?
Tenant screening is one of the most important aspects of rental property. It's what most "mom and pop" landlords skip over, and is usually where things start to go south real fast.
We spent a lot of money each month to give us access to the best property management software out there to provide create service to our clients. The screening tools that we have access to are far superior than anyone not in property management would have access to.
We use the following screening criteria to qualify our tenants:
- Good credit - 600+ scores
- Employment and income verification
- Background checks
- Eviction history
- Rental history verification
- Favorable recommendations from current/previous landlords
What are your leasing and management fees?
Our base management fee ranges between 4% - 7% for Multifamily properties and 8% - 10% for Single Family residences and small residential multifamily properties.
Our leasing fee is half of a full month's rent. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money doing leasing (including turn-overs) and for us our goal is to place high quality, stable tenants that will stay in the property for a long time. Our goal is not to have turnover on a regular basis, regardless of the leasing fee, because regular turnovers really puts a strain on our staff's time.
What is a Start-Up Fee?
We take our job of ensuring the protection of your property very seriously. We rely heavily on our systems which requires meticulous record keeping of everything in, on, or related to the property. When we first take over a property we conduct a 30-Point Property Analysis that requires extreme attention to detail. We record appliances brands and model numbers, filter sizes, light bulbs, locks, vendors, structural conditions, and much more. We do this so we can customize management services that add value to your property through good management practices. You can read more about start-up fees on our blog.
Do you up-charge for maintenance and repairs?
Our entire management company philosophy is based from our own experience as property owners. We are not like most management companies where they make more money with their maintenance team than they do on actual management. That is a poor business model because all the value is stripped away leaving you, the owner, negatively cash flowing and financially worse off. We want you to be so successful that you have the ability and desire to go buy more properties so that we can manage those as well.
Coordinating repairs and maintenance is a central part of our job and nine times out of ten our management fee covers our project management. If there is a need for us to meet vendors or have a large involvement in the work then we simply expense for our time spent on site at a reasonable hourly rate.
The vendors that we use are ones that we have cultivated a relationship with because we consistently use their services. Our vendors are selected on their quality, responsiveness, and price, and no kickbacks are received from any vendor and the incentives we do get, like competitive prices, we pass on to you. We are more than happy to use any preferred vendors you have since that is a great way for us to find qualified professionals, but if they don't get the job done or we think you would be better off using one of our vendors we'll be sure to tell you.
When am I contacted in the event of a repair needing to happen?
We retain a small amount of reserve funds on each property so that you don't have to be bothered with small things. When a repair or maintenance item comes in above that threshold we like to call you to tell you what's going on and gain authorization. For larger item repairs ($500 and up) we will put the work out to bid and let you choose.
Does Latitude get paid even if the property is vacant?
No way! We get paid when you get paid. Since we like to get paid we do our best to limit vacancies as much as possible,
Which areas do you manage properties?
The reason why we deliver outstanding service to our clients is because we do not spread ourselves thin. Our properties are located in close-in Portland neighborhoods.
What types of properties do you manage?
We manage single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, and apartment complexes, with a speciality in multi-family properties.
What kind of lease do you use?
Our lease is based off the Multifamily Northwest lease and has grown over time to include things that you can only pickup from experience.
Do you require renter's insurance?
Yes and our system automatically sets it up for the tenant at the beginning of the lease. Each month we can see on the tenant ledger that they have paid for the insurance so that we never have to chase them down every couple months to make sure their plans are still current.
How many times do you inspect my property each year?
We like to do two full inspections (not including move-in or move-out inspections) each year. We check on things like lease violations, damage/wear and tear, system check-ups (plumbing, electrical, HVAC filter change), smoke and CO detectors, unauthorized pets, overflowing gutters, appliances, landscaping, garbage, etc. We invite our owners to participate if they are available in order to check in on their investment property.
How do you collect rent and when do I get paid?
We are 100% electronic. We do not do cash or checks. Tenants have their own electronic portals that allows them to pay rent online via debit, credit, or direct deposit, as well as to report any maintenance or repair issues. They can view their payment history through the portal so that there is never a discrepancy of "he said, she said".
Rent is due on the 1st of each month, and in Oregon there is a statutory 4-day grace period before a late fee can be issued (rent is considered late on the 5th). We try to get all bills paid and funds dispersed to you by the 10th of each month.
Just like tenants, Owners have their own Owner's Portal that they can see monthly accounting statements, property history, and have a vault for stored documents. If for whatever reason an Owner Contribution is needed, this is where it can be done without having to send us a check.
Do you accept pets?
Allowing pets are totally up to you. For some reason Portlanders especially love their pets and we find that pet friendly places are more attractive. Pet rent is common in Portland with tenants paying anywhere between $25-50/pet/month. We also increase the security deposit to allow for any potential damage caused by the pet.
Do you do fixed term leases or month-to-month rental agreements?
This really depending on the type of property, the time of the year, and own Client's goals. Our preference is on fixed term leases that correspond with future turnovers happening during a favorable renting season (April-September). However, Oregon's landlord tenant laws are quickly changing and we adapt accordingly to always maintain the best protection for owners and properties.
Which utilities are the tenants responsible for, which ones am I responsible for?
Utilities are very dependent upon how each property is setup. If the utilities are separately metered then we like to have tenants setup the accounts in their name. This is common for utilities like gas and electricity.
Due to state law landlords must pay for garbage. It can be billed back to the tenants, but we do not recommend this and it is not in practice very much in Portland.
Water for a single family residence is straight forward and the tenant is responsible to setup an account in their name. However, water bills present an interesting challenge on multifamily properties with one water line that isn't sub-metered for individual units. What we recommend is either doing a per person water charge each month (easiest way), or doing a pro-rata split amongst the amount of people that live in each unit (hardest way). What we need to be aware of is that we (the property owner AND the management company) is not making money from charging tenants for utilities.
Landscaping isn't a utility but it is still something to consider for single family properties. Most times we recommend letting the yard be the responsibility of the tenant and we'll watch things to make sure they are maintaining it to our standards. It is worth noting that tenants typically won't take care of the yard as you would your own house, so in the event that you are particular about the yard then we recommend we setup a landscaping account.
Do you pay our bills?
We are happy to have property related bills come to our office and paid out of collected rent. Typically bills of this nature are water bills, house electric bills for multifamily properties, water bills, landscaping bills, common area cleaning bills, etc. Due to liability reasons we do not want to be paying your mortgage or property taxes unless it is a large enough multi-family property that warrants all bills to be paid through us.
What kind of security deposits do you charge?
We collect and hold onto a security deposit equal to one month's rent. We will increase the security deposit if there are extenuating circumstances and for pets.
What is your eviction process?
We abide by local and Oregon State law in the event of having to evict a tenant. Common forms of for-cause eviction in rental management relates to failure to pay rent, safety and security issues, and lease violations. If you have specific questions, please get in touch with us to determine the best course of action.