Greater Baltimore Property Management Blog

April 2024 Newsletter

System - Friday, April 5, 2024
PropertyWize Monthly Newsletter | April 2024, Issue No. 21


April 2024 | Issue No. 21

Check out the newest issue of our monthly e-newsletter that features our newly implemented process updates, industry-related news, and our latest blog articles.

Here's what we have for you for this month.

Why is My Property Vacant: Filling the Gap Between Tenants

In this edition, we want to address a concern that may be on the minds of some of our property owners: the lingering vacancy of certain properties.

The question of "Why is my property still vacant?" is undoubtedly a valid one, and we want to assure you that we are diligently working to address this issue. While each property's situation may vary, we believe it's crucial to shed light on some common factors contributing to vacancies and our proactive measures to mitigate them.

Market Dynamics: The real estate market is inherently dynamic, subject to fluctuations influenced by various economic, social, and environmental factors. Shifts in demand, changes in demographics, and economic conditions can all impact the pace at which properties are leased. Despite our best efforts, vacancies can sometimes occur due to external market forces beyond our immediate control.

Competitive Pricing: One of the most critical factors in leasing a property is its pricing strategy. In a competitive market, setting the right rent that reflects the property's value while remaining attractive to potential tenants is essential. We continuously evaluate market trends and adjust pricing strategies accordingly to maximize occupancy rates while ensuring optimal returns for property owners.

Property Condition and Presentation: First impressions matter significantly in the rental market. Properties that are well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing, and offer desirable amenities are more likely to attract tenants. Our team conducts regular inspections and works closely with property owners to ensure that properties are in prime condition for leasing. Additionally, we provide recommendations for any necessary improvements or staging to enhance the property's appeal and expedite the leasing process.

Marketing and Promotion: Effective marketing is key to reaching potential tenants and showcasing your property's unique features. We employ a multi-faceted marketing approach that includes online listings, social media promotion, targeted advertising, and collaboration with real estate agents to maximize exposure. Our goal is to reach a wide audience of prospective tenants and generate interest in your property.

Tenant Screening and Selection: Finding the right tenant involves thorough screening and selection processes to mitigate risks and ensure a positive leasing experience. While this may lengthen the leasing timeline slightly, it ultimately contributes to the long-term stability and profitability of your investment. Our rigorous screening criteria prioritize reliable tenants with strong rental histories and financial stability, reducing the likelihood of future vacancies or payment issues.

The Time of Year - Seasonal Slowdowns: Even with our comprehensive marketing strategies in place, it's important to acknowledge seasonal fluctuations in the rental market. Periods like back-to-school season, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays often see a decrease in renter activity. This doesn't mean your property won't rent during these times, but vacancy periods may be slightly longer. Here at PropertyWize, we'll adjust our approach accordingly. We'll focus on highlighting the unique features that make your property stand out from the competition and leverage targeted marketing strategies to reach potential renters who might be actively searching during these times. By remaining flexible and adapting our tactics, we can still achieve a successful rental outcome for you.

At PropertyWize, we understand the importance of keeping your property occupied. By working together and implementing these strategies, we can minimize vacancy periods and maximize your rental income. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to be your partner in achieving your rental goals.

Thank you for entrusting us with the management of your valuable assets. Should you have any further inquiries or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

How to Know if Your Property Meets our Minimum Qualifications

Below is a link to a website where an interactive map of Baltimore City can be found. It uses colors to categorize different neighborhoods as ABCD. D areas are considered unsafe for our agents (D for Don't buy) and we absolutely do not manage any D areas. Anything between A to C+ neighborhoods we can manage provided the property owners are willing to renovate the house right to match our quality brand name and the quality tenants we want to attract.

Interactive Map of Baltimore City
The following items are characteristics of a property that meets our minimum standards:
  • Is not located in a Class D Area
  • No deferred maintenance that causes one or more unsafe conditions for residents and/or guests
  • Does not have original wooden windows with lead paint
  • Is NOT in violation of housing codes or violations
  • Has no signs of mold infestation or extensive rodent infestation
  • Has no strong odors
  • Freshly painted with neutral tone colors preferably gray with white trim in Eggshell, Satin or Semi Gloss finish
  • Has all black or stainless steel appliances Central Air included
  • Washer and Dryer included
  • Lawn care in good condition
Class D Area: An area with any of the following characteristics:
  • Above average crime for the City of Baltimore or the County in which the area exists.
  • More than one (1) boarded up property per block and/or Immediately adjacent near a board up/vacant property
  • Severely deferred maintenance issues Trash, debris, or illegal dumping
  • Clear signs of illegal drug use or sales An unsafe environment

For anything that leads outside Baltimore City, we recommend using this link to evaluate if it's located in a good area and what kind of rent you will likely get if you rent to a BRHP voucher tenant.

 This program's initial rent offer may be just okay compared with market value, but they have been very generous approving a 5% rent increase request each year as long as the property is in compliance. If you have time to read more on how they select Opportunity Area, you will see these are more desirable neighborhoods to live in general.

BRHP Property Eligibility

Understanding Emergency Repair Protocols

As a landlord, it's essential to understand your rights and obligations regarding emergency repairs in your rental property. One common concern among landlords is whether a property management company can authorize emergency repairs without notifying the owner and charging the owner for the repairs.

 Reviewing your contract with the property management company to address any concerns you may have is important. In case of a maintenance emergency, the landlord usually authorizes the management company to take necessary actions to prevent further damage to the unit. However, the landlord always retains the authority to act in such situations. The PM agreement outlines all the terms and conditions regarding this matter.

''Paragraph 9 A notwithstanding if such expense is specifically authorized by the Owner or is incurred under such circumstances as Agent shall reasonably deem to be an emergency where repairs are immediately necessary for the preservation and safety of the Property, or to avoid the suspension of any essential service to the Property, or to avoid danger to life or property, or to comply with federal, state, or local law, such emergency repairs shall be made by Agent at Owner’s expense without prior Owner’s approval, and Owner agrees to reimburse Agent for such expenses.''

 It's essential to consider the following two questions before deciding:
 1. Was the repair an emergency?
 2. Can the property management company charge you for repairs you didn't want them to make?

 The property management company should follow specific guidelines to identify real emergencies. Delaying repairs should not damage the property or cause liability to a tenant or neighbor.

 It's crucial to consider your state's habitability rules, which require landlords to make all necessary repairs to keep the premises habitable. Delaying an emergency repair could force a tenant to find alternative housing, leading to attorneys' fees and rental deductions.

 In conclusion, it's crucial to understand your rights and obligations as a landlord regarding emergency repairs in your rental property. Review your contract with the property management company and consider your state's habitability rules before deciding.

PropertyWize Rental Owner Statements

Running the rental owner statement report is very important in determining the amount of your available disbursement payment. The rental owner statement will show you all the transactions affecting the owner’s available cash. It is a great place to find missing or incorrect transactions on your rental property that will cause inaccurate information. 

Some Tips When Running Owner Statement
  • Check the property beginning balance. At times, changes to past transactions can affect the owner’s running available for payment balance. Running a rental owner statement with a prior start date will help you find discrepancies. 

  • Run the rental owner statement including the transaction details. Seeing more a more detailed view can also help to find discrepancies or missing transactions

When to Use It
  • This is the best summary report to give to a rental owner each month 

  • Track the cash flow of the property(s) 

  • Report liabilities held 

  • Determine income and expenses recorded for an owner 

  • View the amount you should pay your owners 

  • Determine when an owner was not paid the correct amount

Important Information
  • The rental owner statement runs on a cash basis. 

  • The beginning cash balance is the amount owed to/from the rental owner, less tenant liabilities and property reserves, as of the day before the date range of the report. For example, if the report has a date range of July 1 through July 31, then the beginning balance is as of June 30.

  •  The beginning balance will represent a number other than $0 if you hold back money for a property reserve, are holding tenant liabilities, or if your reporting cycle differs from when you pay your rental owner. For example, if you pay a rental owner on the 4th of each month, a report run from the 1st through the 31st might not show a $0 beginning balance.

Instructions How to Run Owner Statement

  • Go to the Reports menu
  • Click the Rental Owner Statement link
  • Select your report parameters. More details:
  • Click Download report!

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Owner Benefit Package

Minimize Your Exposure... and Headaches:
When a tenant defaults on the rent, it can take months to regain your property and get another tenant in place. Meanwhile, you're continuing to make mortgage payments and incurring additional expenses on the property, all the while losing rental income. Enter the Owner Benefit Package.

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PropertyWize Realty

Enjoy Spring with our exclusive offer:

5% Commission on sales price, along with a generous 30% rebate towards staging cost at closing. Say goodbye to admin fees too! 
* For any properties valued over 150K for current or former Property Management clients only. 

Interested in Selling Your Property? Contact us now at!

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