Tennessee Valley Realty Associates

Residental Property Owner's FAQ

 

Questions new clients frequently ask:

 

  • Q: What determines the rent for my property?

    A: The leasing staff prepares a market rent survey on upcoming vacant apartments, condos and houses. The market survey includes units with similar layouts, appliances, and # of bedrooms which are compiled in your property’s immediate area. The current economy is taken into account for a fair rental price that will attract the best financially qualified applicant.

  • Q: What is done to market my vacancies?  Where do you advertise?

    A: TVRA coordinates all property marketing. A professional stake or mounted sign is posted on the outside of each property with a vacancy. Every vacant unit is listed on our website, and is then syndicated to multiple real estate related sites providing maximum exposure.

  • Q: How long does it take for the property to be advertised?

    A: After inspection and any needed repairs, properties are immediatly marketed.
  • Q: What is involved in preparing a property for rent?

    A: A walk through of the vacant unit is performed by the maintenance staff to determine what repairs or upgrades are needed to make the unit or house rent ready. The vendors are lined up to take care of the necessary work, with bids to owners if requested. Once the work is completed, the maintenance staff does a final inspection.

  • Q: How are tenants selected?

    A: The leasing agent at the corporate office interviews and processes the applications of all prospective tenants. A landlord credit check is done on each applicant, which lists any credit problems, court records, evictions and liens and provides a debt summary. In order to rent from TVRA, tenants must have no evictions and proof of income sufficient to cover rent and related debts. Where pets are allowed, the leasing agent obtains a pet fee. Many dog breeds are excluded due to insurance guidelines.

  • Q: How are repairs handled at my property?

    A:  TVRA employs and supervises all repairs and maintenance at your property. Qualified contractors and handymen are hired who give us the best price in the marketplace. Any discounts are passed to the property owner.  Tenant caused damage is billed back to the culpable tenant or taken out of their deposit, if they do not pay the bill back promptly.
  • Q: Who are the vendors that maintain or repair my property?

    A: TVRA has long standing business relationships with a variety of vendors that work locally. They know the properties we manage and take extra care with their work. Licensed contractors are hired for all major plumbing, electrical, heating and roofing jobs. Various handymen and cleaning crews are used depending on the location of the property and scope of work needed.

  • Q: Where do you manage property?

    A: TVRA manages residential property all over Tennessee.  Call to see if your location will fit into our management area of expertise.

  • Q: What is your Management fee?

    A: Fees are charged according to the location of the property, the number of units and the degree of difficulty to manage your property.  Please call 865-247-6749 and dial extension 1 for a management quote.
  • Q: Should I rent my property to tenants with pets?

    A: That decision is yours. However, people in Tennessee love their pets. If you decide to not allow pets it will limit the prospects that we attract.

  • Q: What if the tenants don't pay the rent?

    A: We are in constant contact with our tenants. We pride ourselves in putting quality people in our properties. If we however do not receive payment we immediatly begin to recover your income. We aggressively follow Tennessee's landlord/tenant law to ensure quick resolution. 


  • Q: What is the best time of year to rent my property?

    A: People are always moving and relocating no matter what time of year it is. Some fluctuation of rental applicant volume coincides with public school schedules. 
  • Q: How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my home while renting?

    A: There are several ways we have of knowing this. Above all careful tenant selection from the outset protects your property from being rented to irresponsible people. During the lease term, we may have occasion to enter the property for repair or maintenance and will use the opportunity to complete a visual inspection. If we are fortunate enough not to have any maintenance or repairs over an extended period of time, we will schedule a preventative maintenance walk-through/inspection to make sure that there are not any unreported problems at the property.

  • Q: What do you do if a tenant is not taking care of the property as they should, or you discover unauthorized pets?

    A: We give the tenant an opportunity to correct the situation and usually they will. If the problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation.

  • Q: How do you handle maintenance requests?

    A: For emergencies, tenants may leave a voicemail message that pages one of us 24 hours a day. In a non-emergency situation we have an online form that can be filled out.  After we receive a repair request, we may contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex. Reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker, etc.) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair.


    We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1-3 working days, and in fact are usually able to do so. Comfort items such as A/C, no hot water or heat, receive highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.

  • Q: How informed will I be about what happens with my property?

    A: Absent of any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or major repair), we will let you know right away. Other than that, the saying "no news is good news" is most appropriate. Non emergency items will be communicated along with your monthly statements and, of course, we encourage you to contact us anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.

    We know some owners desire a level of involvement that our property management system is not designed to accommodate. We try to make sure you are a good match for our style of property management. Part of this process is this FAQ section so you can obtain a sense of our operations.


    If you are a worrisome property owner who needs constant involvement, we may not be a good match for your needs. The property owners that appreciate us the most are ones that truly want everything handled for them turn-key and don't want to be bothered unless something important is happening.



  • Q: Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?

    A: We will hold back $300 in your account so that we always have funds to pay our vendors quickly.

  • Q: How do I know you won't spend my money on large repairs without my approval?

    A: This is a legitimate fear. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $300, we can take care of it without notifying you. You will find out when you receive your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed $300, we will call you and let you know what is happening, what we think should be done, and what the estimated cost might be.


    Sometimes expenses such as replacing a bad water heater, a roof leak that needs patching or repair, or emergency A/C and furnace repairs are unavoidable. In those cases where 1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue, or 2) in instances where there is only one option to consider or 3) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, we will initiate the repair work, even if it is higher than the $300 limit, and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it. Mainly, we don't think important repairs should be delayed while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.

  • Q: How much do you charge the tenant for security deposit? And who holds the security deposit?

    A: We typically charge a tenant 100% of one full months' rent. This is what will be asked by most property owners and managers. Security deposits are held in our escrow account and are audited by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. 

  • Q: When do you mail the owner's checks and statements?

    A: Owner's checks and statements are processed immediatly upon acceptance of rent payment. We make all efforts to ensure owners receive payments promptly.  You can also log in to the site to see all your past statements.

  • Q: Are your property management fees negotiable?

    No. We don't try and compete against lower priced property management companies. The ultimate cost of using a property manager is determined by many things other than the fee charged. Namely, the efficiency and manner in which maintenance and tenant relationship problems are handled. We feel that our set of services, our systems, and the experience and expertise we offer are a great value at the fee structure we have established.


Do you have another question that was not answered? Would you like to find out more about how we can help you manage your property?

Send us your question or contact us for more information here.