Description of Services | Reliable Property Manager

Description of Services

We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week so you don’t have to be. We have a crew trained to handle most emergency situations immediately upon arrival. Our company guarantees that all emergency calls will be answered promptly.

We can handle as much or as little of your accounts payable and receivables as you like. In most cases we handle the collection and payment of assessments, tax bills, utilities, service contracts, mortgages, insurance, fines, licenses and security deposits. Also, we provide profit and loss statements, bank statement reconciliation reports and quarterly budgets for Board meetings.

Allowing us to collect and manage your monthly assessments can eliminate the inconvenience of collecting, depositing and paying for all building expenses. Further, our accounting system gives the Association control of the money and only disburses funds as needed. If you live in the Chicago area, you may have heard of property managers that have literally disappeared with hundreds of thousands of dollars from homeowner associations.

When you first hire us, we ask a series of questions so that we understand how rigorously you want us to deal with your tenant. It is important to discuss this early on since we must adopt uniform rules and regulations for all tenants. We will be sure to follow your instructions. Further, upon the vacancy of your rental unit, we assess the property for any damage, cleaning or any other type of deduction allowed in the lease. These deductions, if any, must be documented and a strict procedure followed to comply with the Chicago tenant-landlord ordinance. Not following these rules can results in huge fines and legal fees, in addition to time spent in court.

As you may have experienced, often times the budget established by the developer/builder will barely cover the basic expenses of the building. This is sometimes done to keep the assessment low and make the property more attractive to buyers. One of the first things we do when hired is to analyze the current budget and advise the Association if it is adequate, not only in the short term, but also for the next five to ten years. The goal of performing this analysis is to avoid special assessments and implement a plan for preventive maintenance. In the majority of cases preventive maintenance will be far less expensive than any repair cost.

Our experience allows us to work as a liaison between the developer/builder and the homeowner association. When we become involved in the earlier stages of this process, we can ensure a smooth transition and create a budget designed to meet your property maintenance needs, provide preventive maintenance and avoid unwanted special assessments.

Our experience is what truly sets us apart from the competition. Our 50+ years of combined experience and involvement in cases with the City of Chicago allows us to handle from the most insignificant to the most complex violation. Regardless of the type of complaint, we have the knowledge to handle it in the most expeditious and inexpensive manner. From a minor signage violation to the most complex complaint requiring variances, zoning changes or even special uses, we can help you achieve your goal and avoid costly litigation with the City.

This is by far the fastest and most inexpensive way of evicting a tenant. Most experienced landlords and property managers will agree that the City of Chicago landlord-tenant ordinance favors the tenant a great deal. Sometimes unconventional methods of eviction, such as “cash-for keys” will be the best option. Widely used by lenders in foreclosure situations, this often can prove to be the best method of gaining possession of your property from a delinquent tenant. In most cases we gain possession of the property in about 30 days without court appearances or legal fees.

We have one of the best cleaning crews available. We can provide routine cleaning of apartments, hallways, interior and exterior, windows and parking lots, as well as assist you with your heavier cleaning tasks. From simple window cleaning to heavy construction cleaning we can please the most demanding clientele.

Regardless of the size of your project, we can help you to repair or improve your property. Not only do we guarantee the quality of the work but we offer the most competitive prices. Our extensive background in construction management will ensure that we will execute your project on budget and on time. Our extensive experience as developers and builders in the Chicago area has allowed us to build a wide-ranging network of reliable and knowledgeable tradesmen. Our network of handymen and subcontractors is truly second to none. Further, these tradesmen have proven to be extremely resourceful and have saved our clients substantial amounts of money. In most cases we can solve any problem you may have with the help of one of our available handymen. We are very proud to have developed these relationships and continue to work with only the best, most reliable and skilled tradesmen and contractors.

Yes, your corporation must file tax returns every year. Regardless whether your condominium or homeowners association is a non-for-profit, or your property is a corporation or limited liability company, tax returns must be filed annually. When you work with us we will handle the entire process from beginning to end with our accountant or CPA, or we will gladly work with your accountant is you already have one.

If you need a representative capable of handling evictions, violations and administrative hearings, we are definitely the right company to help you stay out of trouble. With many years of experience in this area, we use our knowledge and relationships with attorneys, contractors, architects and City officials to protect your assets and avoid costly fees and fines. In most cases we can handle these appearances without the need of an attorney. However, if needed, we can also refer your case to an experienced attorney. Disclaimer: We are not attorneys or a legal firm and cannot offer you legal advice. We are licensed real estate brokers and property managers with considerable experience in real estate and housing matters.

Over the years the City of Chicago, State of Illinois and the Federal government have created a number of disclosures and requirements for leasing a residential property and holding escrow accounts. As if that was not enough, constant changes and updates have also proven to be a challenge to keep up with. Our network of professional associations and attorneys allows us to keep abreast of all the changes and updates in the regulations pertaining to all types of compliance and disclosures. Some of these violations can be fined at extremely high rates and require long court battles, so avoiding them is essential.

In the majority of cases we are able to mediate disputes fairly and quickly and at a very low cost. With an inherent understanding of both parties’ objectives, we are able to achieve settlements and amicable agreements.

If your property has an elevator you know it is a wonderful convenience but it can also be a huge money pit. We believe the best way to avoid high elevator repair costs is to have a tailored service contract in place with a reputable company. The idea is to spend a fraction of the money and time on preventive maintenance instead. By shopping for a number of service contracts at a time, we are able to obtain discounted rates and pass on the savings to our clients.

Escrow accounts can be tricky. In most cases, segregated accounts must be kept for each tenant to avoid commingling of funds. Also these accounts have to be interest bearing and interest must be paid annually directly to your tenants and also reported to the IRS. Fines for not complying with these requirements can easily get to be in the thousands of dollars very quickly. We can provide you with peace of mind by handling all escrow accounts and other payables and receivables and complying with all laws.

Any landlord who has gone through the experience of an eviction will certainly rank it among the most unpleasant, time consuming and expensive experiences of their lives. We, and our lawyers if needed, have hundreds of successful eviction cases under our belts. Obviously this is something no one looks forward to; however when push comes to shove you want the most experienced and knowledgeable team of professionals on your side.

We will monitor the amount of dumpster usage for your property so we can provide the right amount of service to avoid unnecessary expenses and the collection of empty containers. In addition, because we have a number of collection contracts in place, we often can obtain discounts and pass on the savings to our clients.

Experience, experience and experience. Yes, that is what it takes to deal with these matters. Most professional claim adjusters will charge a fee for handling your claim, ranging 10

to 20
of the gross amount of your claim. And it doesn’t stop there. In addition to these fees, most companies will charge a premium from the contractor doing the work while holding hold very little liability. We provide this service free of charge to our clients. That is correct – free. We believe the best way of building a profitable business is the old fashioned way – working for it.

Our expertise in the local market allows us to advise clients from the novice to the most experienced. First-time home buyers, lenders and investors as well as landlords, have profited from our professional advice. We concentrate in residential and small to mid-size commercial property in the City of Chicago. Our experience and expertise as investors, landlords, brokers and contractors gives us an advantage when it comes to buying and managing real estate. Regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer or a savvy investor in search of a 1031 replacement property, we can assist you.

This service is provided free of charge to our clients. Our goal is to make sure you do not overlook any detail in the leasing or management of a property. These mistakes can be very costly and troublesome to correct.

We provide landscape maintenance and snow removal services only to our clients, and to no one else. We will discuss with you the best and most efficient schedule for these services, depending on the type of plantings at your property. Tree removal and re-planting are also available.

Since long-term, reliable tenants are truly the key to a successful and profitable income property, we dedicate our skills, resources and advertising to fill your rentals with tenants that are fully screened and approved by you. Our leasing services go beyond the ordinary. Here is what we can do for you:

1) Aggressive and innovative advertising methods: We use the most aggressive marketing strategy available today, including advertising on popular websites and newspapers such as Craig’s List, the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, the multiple listing service, and our own website. We also use signage at the property, our own database, and other real estate websites, and our extensive and well-established network of real estate professionals. In addition, we provide our clients with a detailed analysis of the rental market, free of charge, to maximize the highest possible income with the lowest possible vacancy rate.

2) Cash-for-keys: This is by far the fastest and most inexpensive way of evicting a tenant. Most experienced landlords and property managers will agree that the City of Chicago landlord-tenant ordinance favors the tenant. Sometimes unconventional methods of eviction, such as “cash-for-keys” will be the best option. Widely used by lenders in foreclosure situations, this often the best method of gaining possession of a property from a delinquent tenant. In most cases we gain possession of the property in about 30 days without court appearances or legal fees.

3) Handling all tenant inquiries and showings: We will handle all your existing and potential tenants’ inquiries and showings. Our office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all inquiries from potential tenants. The 24/7 availability maximizes the number of inquiries and showings for your property. As you may have experienced, sometimes potential tenants call from directly outside the building. Obviously you cannot sit and wait all day for the phone to ring – but we can. It is part of what we do. By working with a number of leasing agents in the area we can always accommodate showings. Even on very short notice.

4) Landlord compliance: This service is provided free of charge to our clients. Our goal is to make sure you do not overlook any detail in the leasing or management process of your property. Mistakes here can be very costly and troublesome to correct and we can eliminate that worry.

5) Lease preparation and landlord compliance: Our experience has proven that a well negotiated and drafted lease can avoid future problems. A lease goes way beyond the start/finish date, rent amount and security deposit. A well drafted lease covers literally hundreds of clauses and scenarios. Every property, tenant and market condition should be evaluated with the goal of protecting the landlord’s and tenant’s rights. The secret is to create a lease that covers all the concerns of the tenant and landlord in a simple and upfront manner. Our leases do just that.

6) Move in and out coordination: By careful coordination of the move-out of old tenants and the move-in of new ones, we can minimize potential damage to common areas, traffic disruption, and the disturbance to current tenants. We document the condition of the unit and the common areas before and after a move to avoid any disputes. We will handle any needed cleaning, re-painting and repair work needed for a new tenant’s occupancy in a timely fashion, and will handle the delivery of keys.

7) Security deposit accounts management and compliance: Worried about security deposit compliance? You should be. Mishandling security deposits can cost not only an enormous amount of time in court and high legal fees, but possible huge fines. We can eliminate those headaches. We stay on top of changes to landlord-tenant statutes, and as a result, can assure you will always be in compliance with all requirements regarding handling of security deposits. City of Chicago ordinances and Federal laws may require security deposits be deposited in segregated accounts to avoid commingling o funds, for interest to be paid annually, and for IRS forms to be completed and reported, depending on the amounts, so careful and exact handling of security deposits is essential.

8) Tenant screening, qualification and placement: If we had to choose the most important service we provide, this would be it. Most landlords would agree that vacancies are their number one enemy. And even worse than a vacant unit is a unit occupied by a tenant not paying rent. We spend a great amount of time pre-screening potential tenants before even presenting them to you. We run credit checks, verify employment history, check with previous landlords and run background checks if necessary. Our process is guaranteed to provide you with accurate information and maximize the number of qualified tenants we present to you.

We provide affordable locksmith services. Forget about the $200 charge to re-key a unit. We provide landlord locksmith service and tenant lock-out assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lock-outs are charged directly to the tenant or homeowner.

Our experience allows us to not only understand the complexity of these documents but also help you tailor and enforce the rules of your association to maintain peace with your neighbors.

By careful coordination of the move-out of old tenants and the move-in of new ones, we can minimize potential damage to common areas, traffic disruption, and the disturbance to current tenants. We document the condition of the unit and the common areas before and after a move to avoid any disputes. We will handle any needed cleaning, re-painting and repair work needed for a new tenant’s occupancy in a timely fashion, and will handle the delivery of keys.

To maintain the parking or garage areas, we provide snow removal, signage, painting, markings and towing services.

In the City of Chicago, parking space has become a very valuable commodity. Parking is no longer offered free of charge as in the past. In some cases parking spaces have their own taxes, assessments and maintenance fees, so parking spaces must be treated like real property. By maximizing their use and reducing vacancy rates, you can increase your bottom line and reduce your overhead, and we can help you do just that.

These reports are provided to you on a regular basis to avoid any unpleasant surprises. By having regular financial information about your property, you will be able to monitor closely all the income and expenses, and even plan for future improvements and maintenance. These reports are accompanied by the bank statements for your property.

A really good example of the value of preventive maintenance is pest control. It is not only cost effective but also safer and healthier to prevent any type of infestation. By having a scheduled preventive maintenance plan in place you can save money in the long run and avoid unwanted visits by insects and rodents. Pest control service can be very affordable and we strongly recommend them for our clients.

By performing periodic inspections and preventive maintenance you can avoid very costly and unexpected repairs. In most cases the cost of repairs far exceeds the cost of maintenance. Our programs are tailored to your property type, age, condition and your ultimate goals for your property.

With over 50 years of combined experience in the local market, we have built strong and dependable relationships with Chicago’s top professionals. Through our own experiences and through client representation, we have built a roster of only the best in the business.

No, we are not attorneys or a law firm. We just happen to have worked with a number of highly skilled lawyers in the Chicago area. We can refer you to the most experienced professional to assist you in resolving any problem in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. From a simple building code violation to a complex zoning change or variance, we are confident in our ability to refer you to the appropriate counsel.

Our inspection reports are tailored to your needs. The most often requested are EPA Phases I and II, soil borings, rodents, termites, property condition, construction estimate and construction progress reports.

Our 24/7 team is equipped to board-up properties of four stories or less. In most cases we board-up only the main points of entry and, if requested, the second through fourth floors. We use plywood materials or, for an additional fee, can provide steel plated doors and steel window guards.

If you live in Cook County and own real estate, you will know that taxes are extremely high. However, taxes can be protested and reduced, depending on a number of factors. Upon request we can provide an analysis properties similar to yours to determine if your taxes are truly high compared to similar properties. This is an inexpensive service we provide which can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

If requested, we can collect all rents and pay bills for your property on your behalf. This service is provided for a small additional fee depending on the size of your property. A separate account can be opened and financial statements can be produced periodically.

We can assist you in this entire process. Briefly, a Starker or 1031 exchange is a method of structuring a property under IRS Code 1031, which allows businesses and individuals to defer recognition of capital gains or other taxes associated with the sale of most business or investment assets, as long as new assets are purchased to replace the existing assets. Whether your property is owned free and clear or encumbered, the benefits of a 1031 exchange can be tremendous. Taxes you save by doing a 1031 exchange can be used to purchase additional investment property. You defer recognition of the capital gains tax that would ordinarily be assessed on the sale and use the entire amount of the equity in a “tax free” manner to purchase more replacement property.

We can represent both residential and small commercial tenants in search of a property to rent. With our expertise and local market knowledge, we will locate the perfect property for you after analyzing your needs and budget. If you are a tenant looking to rent in Chicago, we can help you find the right place. We specialize in the north side of the City and in most cases this service is provided free of charge.

As part of our services we can eliminate any and all contact between you and your tenants. In most cases tenants will not even know who the property owner is. Reliable Property Management is in charge of all communications between the property owner and the tenant. If desired, you can receive reports that include all correspondence between us and your tenant.

f you have ever come home from work or a night out and found a car parked in your space you will understand why we offer this service. Depending where your property is located, parking can be a hassle and some people will park in the first space available regardless of who owns it. Unless the appropriate signage is in place, neither the City nor your building manager can tow a vehicle. Placing the appropriate sign on your garage or in your parking area and contracting the service of a towing company will definitely solve your problem.

We can create a plan for your property to minimize vacancies and increase profitability. Our plans have been proven to reduce – if not eliminate – vacancy rates. As you know, a vacant unit can cost you lots of money in lost rent, utility bills and can severely hurt your cash-flow. Give us the opportunity to explain how our plans can benefit you.