Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from our property owner clients. The information contained here is brief, at any time you require additional explanation you may contact our Client Services department. (Please visit Our Resources page to learn more about CrestCore and how we can help you.)


 

Getting On Board

1. How are my properties set up in the CrestCore management system?

houseYou begin by signing our Management Agreement which contains a list of your property addresses. We will create an owner portal for you on the CrestCore website where you will receive all communication and documentation. A user guide will be uploaded immediately so you can begin to use the portal right away (click here to view the Owner Portal login screen).

2. Once my property is in the system what can I expect?

If your property is vacant, we will have our Maintenance department do an evaluation to determine its readiness for leasing. It is our policy to pull the A/C condenser and board up the windows in vacant properties (at our discretion) to protect your investment. If repair work is required you will be notified and receive a quote for your approval prior to any work being done. If the property is occupied we will contact the tenant immediately to make arrangements to collect the rent.

For more information about vacant property policies and procedures, please see the “Maintenance” and “More About Vacant Properties” sections below.

3. Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns?

CrestCore has a dedicated Client Services department for your convenience. You may contact Client Services during normal business hours (9AM to 5PM CST Monday through Friday) via email at clientservices@crestcore.com, the Comment area in the Owner Portal, or by phone at 901-385-3119 ext34.


 

Leasing

1. How is the rent rate set?

Target rent is set using current market analysis and internal statistics. We have developed a proprietary tool that utilizes our 2,000+ property database to accurately assess market conditions.  All target rents must be approved by the property owner.

2. How do you get a tenant for my property?

CrestCore Realty jpgWe maintain a large staff of full-time Leasing Agents along with a dedicated Leasing department to market our managed properties. In addition we advertise the property on the CrestCore website (click here to view the For Rent section of our website) as well as many others like the local MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Hot Pads, Craigslist, etc. A CrestCore For Rent sign will also be placed in the front yard.

When a prospective tenant completes an application to lease the property we put them through an extensive qualification process including, credit check, rental history check, criminal background check, income and identification verification. The time it takes to get the property leased will vary. You will receive weekly updates in your owner portal.

3. How long does the tenant stay in the property?

Typically, we write our leases for one 12-month period. However, we may write a longer lease with your permission. When a tenant wishes to renew at the end of their term, we will renew the lease for another 12-month period if they have performed according to the conditions of the original lease and you allow them to stay. Sometimes a tenant may remain in the property on a Month-to-Month basis. We require a 30-day notice for all move outs.

4. What happens if the tenant does not pay the rent?

You will receive monthly updates on rent payments received as well as late payments. Rent is due on the 1st of the month and considered late on the 6th day of the month. Late fees are retained by CrestCore to cover the cost of collections and court appearances.

If the rent goes unpaid after the 15th day of the month in which it is due, our Payments & Collections department will send you notice of pending legal action (FED). Charges to cover the court cost and attorney fees start around $225. We only use professional eviction attorneys to handle all evictions. You will have the option to stop the proceedings if you wish by the 20th of the month. The eviction process usually takes 30-45 days plus some additional time to remove the tenant from the property. There may be additional charges related to your case as well as securing the vacant property.

For more detail on the eviction process, please see the “More About the Legal Process” section below.

5. How often do properties go vacant?

According to current statistics vacancy rate is less than 5%. Once a vacant property is refurbished, properties are usually re-leased within 30 to 45 days. We will do a weekly check of all vacant properties at no charge.

6. What happens to the security deposit when a tenant moves out?

Security deposits are held in a escrow account at Triumph Bank in Memphis, TN.

When a tenant moves out the security deposit is returned to them unless any of the following conditions exist.

-They are past due on the rent.

-They have unpaid fess.

-They have not given proper notice as required.

-They have left the property in unsatisfactory condition.

Security deposits that are not returned to the tenant will be paid to the property owner.

7. Will I have to deal with complaints from tenants?

No, we attempt to satisfy tenants at the departmental level. When needed, we involve managers and the Principal Broker of CrestCore. Only after exhausting all avenues without resolution will we ask for your direct involvement.


Maintenance

1. What happens when work needs to be done on my property?

We handle all small repairs (under $500) as needed. You will be notified by email whenever a work order is opened for maintenance. If the repair is in excess of $500 we will notify you and ask for your permission to proceed. You will receive a written quote of the work to be done as well as itemized charges. CrestCore adds a 15% billing fee to the total of the approved invoice to cover management of the project and final inspection of the work. Once the work order is completed you will see the bill in your owner portal and you will receive a report for the closed work order. You do have the option to secure additional estimates from outside contractors on your own if you wish to do so.

2. What is the average cost of a repair?

About $125 on average.

3. Do I need to schedule lawn care if my property becomes vacant?

No, when properties become vacant we will put them into our bi-weekly rotation for grass cutting. The charge for this service is around $42.50 per cut. As a property owner you are responsible to meet city code enforcement standards related to the condition of the lawn – charges from the City can be over $250 for violations.

4. What about air filters and yearly inspections?

We provide a bi-annual 22-point Inspection and Maintenance service. The following areas are covered.

-HVAC system inspection and filter change

-Roof inspection

-Yard inspection

-Exterior walls inspection

-Interior inspection including cleanliness, electrical outlets, sink faucets, toilets, lights and fans, and signs of water damage to cabinets or ceilings

Change smoke detector batteries.

The charge for this service is $80 per visit (Spring and Fall).

Please watch our 3 Ways to Save Money on Maintenance video to learn more about reducing maintenance costs.


 

Financial Reporting

1. When do I receive my Owner Statements?

You will receive an email notice when your statement is available to view on your owner portal on the last business day of the month.

2. When do I receive my money?

You will receive an email notice that a payment to your account is pending. Checks are cut and direct deposits made on the last business day of the month (your bank may take 48-72hrs to post the direct deposit).

On newly leased properties, there are two possible scenarios may apply.

Month #1 there will be leasing expenses of 50% of the rents received and your monthly management fee. Your payment will be reduced by these amounts.

Month #2 if the Tenant’s move in date was after the first of the month they will pay a prorated rent and this will affect the total payment you receive.

You will be charged an on-going monthly management fee based on your Management Agreement.

3. What happens if my Statement shows a negative balance?

You may experience a month when expenses are greater than the income received. If this happens you can go to your owner portal and make a contribution to your account or mail a check to CrestCore to cover the negative balance. We do not accept credit card payments at this time.


 

More About Vacant Properties

For 99% of our customers when a property becomes vacant, we rekey, board up the backside of the house, remove the AC (unless there is a cage), clean out the trash in the house and have the yard deep cleaned. These items all happen day 1-2. The only one not done this way is the trash-out and the yard cleaning but those usually happen within 72 hours.

Our goal is within 5 days we provide you with a scope of work and a quote. Most owners reply to the quote within 24 hours with either questions or approvals.

After approval, we schedule the work to be completed the following week. A work order will be created and the final quote along with pictures will be uploaded to your owner portal when the work is complete. For jobs under $3000, we inspect the job after the contractor has told us that he has completed the work.

For jobs over $3,000, we inspect the job 1-2 times during the rehab to ensure the contractors are following our scope of work and that the quality of work meets our standards.

After a job is complete, our Final Inspection Supervisor inspects the house, compares the work completed to what was scoped and then provides the contractor with a punch item list to complete. While at the house inspecting the property, the Final Inspection Supervisor takes Marketing Pictures and downloads them to DropBox. He also places a For Rent sign in the yard.

Once pictures are taken and the system is updated, our Marketing person uploads the pictures to the website and places the house for rent.

Once the house is published, the Licensed Real Estate Agents receive an automatic email that lets them know the house is on the market.

Agents show the house and have the applicant fill out an application online.

Our Leasing Coordinator receives an email every morning with all Applications ready for review and then runs a Background check which provides a credit score, criminal history, rental history and job history.

If Approved, the Applicant has 48 hours in order to pay a deposit otherwise the house goes to the next approved applicant. Once a deposit is paid, the applicant has 2 weeks in order to pay the rent and move in.

Once a tenant has signed a lease, we give ourselves 24 hours to remove the boards, install the AC unit, turn on the water, light the water heater and then check approximately 30 items in the house to ensure the tenant move-in experience is great.


 

More About the Legal Process

(Please listen to our discussion on the Legal, Eviction, and Bankruptcy Process from CrestCore’s Douglas Skipworth on the Memphis Investors Group’s podcast.)

CrestCore Realty jpg

Once a tenant is referred to our attorney’s office for eviction, the Forcible Entry and Detainer Warrant (“FED”) is processed that day. If the eviction is received in the attorney’s office before noon, it is filed that day. If the eviction is received after noon, it is filed the next day.

Once the FED is filed with the Clerk’s Office, the Clerk has to process it for service on the tenant. It takes the Clerk between two and four days to process the FEDs at which time the Process Server can pick them up for service on the tenants. Our Process Server makes the first attempt of service on the same day the FED is picked up at the Clerk’s Office.

If the tenant is not served on the first attempt, the Process Server will attempt service on two more consecutive days. Three separate attempts to serve the tenant or someone at the premises must be made on consecutive days. If the Process Server cannot get the tenant, or someone at the premises, served on one of the three attempts, the FED will be posted.

If the tenant, or another individual, is served personally, the case is set for court seven days from the date of service. If service is by posting, the case is set for court ten days from the date of service. The number of days between service and the court date are required by the Tennessee statute. We now have two court dates each week in an attempt to expedite the process.

At Court, if the tenant was personally served or appears at Court and agrees with the amount of money we say is owed, a judgment for that amount plus the court costs and possession is entered. If the tenant appears and does not agree with the amount owed, the case is continued for one week and set for trial. The tenant can ask for a continuance because, under our Court rules, either party can request a continuance on the first setting of any case. This is usually a stall tactic, and the tenant either does not appear at Court on the next court date or consents to a judgment at the next court date. Under Tennessee law, the longest time that the case can be continued is 14 days. If the tenant was not personally served and does not appear at Court, we can get a judgment for possession and court costs on the first setting.

The Judgment entered is final in 10 days from the day after the date the Judgment for possession is entered. If the tenant has not moved out of the premises before the 10 days has run, a Writ of Possession is filed and served by the Process Server who will set the tenant out of the premises.

For better or worse, most of the requirements as to service and court dates are set by Court rules or by the governing statute. We attempt to expedite the process by processing and filing the evictions the day they are received by my office. Additionally, we file the evictions in one of the Clerk’s satellite offices which allows them to be processed more quickly than if they are filed at the downtown office. Please note, however, there is some talk that the Clerk will soon require all eviction actions to be filed at the downtown office, which will likely result in taking four days for the evictions to be processed before they can be picked up by the Process Server.


 

Bankruptcy

If the tenant files bankruptcy, the eviction process is subject to the automatic stay in the bankruptcy case, and if an eviction action has been filed, it will be dropped from the State Court’s docket to be reset if the tenant’s bankruptcy case is dismissed.

When a bankruptcy case is filed, we usually negotiate a Consent Order Conditionally Terminating the Automatic Stay. In that instance, any rent that was due prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition is put into the tenant’s bankruptcy plan and is treated as a secured claim to be paid at 100%. The Consent Order also provides that, if the tenant is late in paying rent for the month following the month in which the bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay is lifted and the eviction case can be reset in State Court or filed, if the tenant files bankruptcy prior to the filing of the eviction action.

In some instances, we can file a Motion to Lift the Automatic Stay. This is only used in a few instances primarily because of the amount of time it takes to get the Motion before a Judge. The Motion is first set for a 9:00am hearing, which is not before the Judge, to see if the parties can resolve the matter. If the matter is resolved, it is most likely by a Consent Order similar to the one described hereinabove. If the matter is not resolved at the 9:00am setting, the case is reset for a 10:00am setting which is before the Judge. It usually takes four weeks to get the Motion in front of a Judge. The cost to file the Motion for Stay Relief is at least $176.00.

The Consent Order is more time efficient and more economical than filing the Motion. It also provides a means for the owner to continue receiving ongoing rent during the bankruptcy case.

Please view Our Resources page to learn more about CrestCore and how we can help you.