Podcast 232: Eviction Guidance

Jennifer Ruelens is not only a property manager but she also teaches courses to landlords on property management. She shares with us her best eviction tips.

Click the Big Green Play Button to Listen to the Podcast

[iframe style=”border:none” src=”//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7472321/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/custom/tdest_id/576742/custom-color/#87A93A” height=”100″ width=”480″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher
Join our Facebook Group of over 8,000 landlords and property managers

Can you do us a solid?

Our podcast has grown over the years because of listeners like yourself. One way you can help us grow further is by leaving us a review of our podcast. It will only take a minute and you can find detailed instructions by clicking here.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Fish Property Management

Facebook Live interview with Jen Ruelens

Show Transcription:

Eric: 00:00 Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of rent prep for landlords. This is episode 232 and I am joined today by a special guest. Maybe some of you might have already be familiar with her from a facebook live interview we did recently, but this is a Jennifer Ruelens from a fish property management in Pennsylvania. How are you doing, Jen?

Jennifer: 00:18 Hi, how are you, eric? Great

Eric: 00:20 I’m doing pretty well. Uh, and just to kind of hone in a little bit. You’re from williamsport, Pennsylvania, correct?

Jennifer: 00:26 That’s right.

Eric: 00:27 And a little bit about fish property management. Just kind of give our listeners some background information on what you do?

Jennifer: 00:33 Ya! We are the largest housing provider in Clinton in Lycoming counties in Pennsylvania. So we manage and rent single family homes and small multifamily properties. We’re managing, you know, just close to 700 rentals right now and we love doing it here and we’re good at it.

Eric: 00:52 All right. And one of the things we’re gonna be talking about today is eviction tips. So you and I were discussing before and you said, yeah, there’s a, there’s a certain protocol of what you do during an eviction, but there’s also this emotional element for the landlord, property manager as you’re going through it and there’s things that you can do as far as coaching and different things to make the process easier and we’re going to kind of walk people through it. So if you’re going through an eviction for the first time as a landlord, property manager, it’s stressful, right?

Jennifer: 01:19 I meet a lot of people who are doing this and it wears on them, it keeps them up at night. And I’ll tell Ya, if you think about it this way, you have a landlord and you have a tenant and they’re in a conflict, right? And it’s a big conflict because for the tenant it’s about their housing and that’s, that’s huge. And if it’s the landlord, it’s about a huge sum of money in an investment that they’ve made. And if neither party really knows expertly how to handle this, it’s going to result in confusion and fear and anxiety and resentment for both parties. And that’s when you get things like self help evictions, you get things like screaming matches, a counter suits and then you get, you know housing or buildings that are damaged out of, out of spite or resentment or anger. And I think that’s what landlords fear and I think that there’s some tips I can give that will help just bring those emotions down and make this a business matter. It is still hard, but it’s something that can be easier for sure.

Eric: 02:18 Really looking forward to this because I like when we have guess sign, we have content like this that can help somebody who’s in a really tough spot and I don’t know if there’s a tougher position for landlords then when they’re going through an eviction, especially the first time. So this is going to be great help for somebody who might be working through that. So why don’t we run a little intro music for our podcast listeners and we’ll roll that and we’ll get into it

Music: 02:40 1,2,3,4 ya ya ya…. Welcome to the RentPrep for landlords podcast. And now your host, Steve White and Eric Worral.

Eric: 02:50 All right, Jen, why don’t we start at the very beginning? Let’s create a hypothetical scenario. A landlord is right now they know that they need to evict somebody. They, you know, whatever the reason is damaged, late rent, uh, you know, nuisance. But, uh, what’s your first steps? What do you tell somebody who’s in this situation, what do they need to do to get started with the process and you know, if you’re coaching and what are you going to tell them?

Jennifer: 03:13 I’d actually advocate. Let’s start from the very beginning. I think part of de escalating this starts in a really, the very beginning before you even leased it. And that’s to vet your tenant and that’s something you guys know a ton about, but we’re vetting your tenant and knowing that they qualify for income and credit and all of that. What that does for the landlord is know that you didn’t make a mistake, you didn’t set them up to fail. Something happened. And that’s really important. You didn’t take advantage of them. So, no, I did the first thing, I could do better than anyone and you can use RentPrep for that. Um, but then when you signed the lease, when you go over the lease something that people skip, they talk about late fees, they talk about when it’s due. Do they actually go through an example and say tenant, let’s just pretend it’s the first of the month, your rent is a thousand dollars and you can pay part of it or you can’t pay all of it. I advocate. We walk them through the process. So we say what’s going to happen on the fourth of the month after the grace periods would have posted that notice to quit. And it’s gonna look like this is going to be taped on the door and our state, it has to be put out open. Like you could walk by and read everything it says. Um, and we’d let them know that we go, we don’t have a choice. That’s the law. And then 10 days after this we file and then there’s going to be a hearing in this many days. This is what happens there. And after that hearing we go do this. And then you’re out in that process. In our state takes about six weeks. We just put it out there up front, and the purpose of that is they’re not going to remember it. They don’t write it down, but it’s communicating, I know what I’m doing, so if you’re on the 30th of the month and you’ve got $1,500 and $2,500 worth of bills, I want you to choose to pay your rent first. I want to set you up to make a better decision and then if you choose not to, you know what’s going to happen. It’s not a mystery. It’s not because I’m coming after you. It’s because this is the arrangement and what we agreed to. You don’t get a time after you sign the lease. That’s the friendliest relationship ever is because when you’re signing the lease, everybody’s happy. Everybody’s thrilled. You are going to love each other, so set it up from that part. Now if you get to the point where you’re delinquent to where you wanted to start. The important thing to remember is to calm down as the landlord because I think if you’re a landlord and rightfully so, you’ve invested money, you’ve invested time, you’ve taken care of it, and now you’re not getting your money and now you’re going to have to pull from somewhere else to pay that mortgage or whatever it is, so granted you’re being put out. Remember you needed to take those emotions down on your end. This is business and you want to make sure you’re not going to subscribe to any of these things you read about on the Internet and the forums. The self help you know they talk about talking about. They talk about taking the doors off. They talk about shutting off the water or talking about shutting off the water. All of these things obviously we all know are not appropriate, but they get real tempting in that moment because in that moment the landlord’s thinking, how am I going to do this? I don’t want to call the attorney. They cost a lot more. Maybe I can solve this on my own. So taken off the table like maybe you fantasize about it for a minute and then you take it off the table. I know you have a rich fantasy life and then you realize that’s not the thing to do.

Jennifer: 06:22 Now, find out how an eviction works because the way you can do this successfully is it somebody in the situation knows what they’re doing. So in this case, maybe the landlord takes the time to go find it out and learn it. Maybe you have an attorney, maybe you have a property manager. Um, and I feel strongly that if you can put an expert into a situation, you’ve just deescalated it. So hopefully for the landlord, they are their own experts. And I believe even if you’ve never had an eviction in 10 years, if you’re in this business, you need to know how evictions were in your state. You need to know every single step and be ready because that’s what’s going to save you. So if you’re getting into that, you’re going to start it. You know what you’re doing, you’ve communicated, you know what you’re doing, you’re going to sit down with that tenant and Go, listen, I’m offering you my time. We’re in this position now. There’s a delinquency. I want to tell you what’s gonna Happen? And they’re, you know they’re going to be receptive because all they want to know is what’s gonna happen. No, they didn’t pay the rent. They know it’s not a mystery they know and they also know if you set this up right, you’re going to do something about it swiftly. We’re not going to wait two weeks to call you about it and mess around. We’re going to do it right away and you’re going to tell them, hey, listen, I’m offering you the time if you want it, I am not force it on them, but if you want it, you go through it and you go through it by the date. How is this gonna work? The best that you know how to describe and what you’ve just done is take all the fear and anxiety out because you can imagine, pretend you have a temporary or permanent financial hardship and you can talk with your wife and you go, you know babe were short this month, something isn’t going to get paid and for whatever reason, maybe the rent cannot get paid or it can not get paid on time. You’ve made that decision and you don’t entirely know what the consequences are. You know you don’t get evicted on the second, you know that you know that much, but you don’t know when you do? Who does it, what does it look like? You know, and I know I talked to tenants, they get a late notice on their door. We call it the notice to quit and they call me up and go, hey, listen, like I can’t be out by this weekend and you’re like, I need you to be out this weekend, you know, calm down. And so that’s really what I see tenants thinking and if you can tell them this is what’s going to happen, this is how long it’s going to take and these are your options in the situation. You’ve just empowered them to make the best possible decision. And hopefully if it’s a temporary hardship, they can overcome it with a loan from a family member or something like this. Maybe a payroll advanced. But if it’s more permanent they can go, well maybe I can scrape it together this month, but I’m certainly going to keep it together. I need to change my housing situation. And if they know that from the beginning of the process, I don’t think any states move so quickly that it’s unreasonable. That attendant couldn’t get it together and move somewhere.

Eric: 09:11 One of things two is like you don’t know what the tenant former situation was like, and what that relationship was like with that landlord or property manager. May be they came from a position where that landlord, they could just tell them, hey, like I, I’ll get it to you when I can get it to you. And that landlord just said, okay. And then they’d pay four months later. So they may be conditioned thinking that that’s how things operate, where that’s not how they operate and your situation

Jennifer: 09:34 Totally. Their past experience absolutely informs their current experience, including what is this gonna look like, how contentious as it’s gonna get and what can they expect as far as leniency. I think that’s huge. I think one thing you also show a tenant through this process is when you call, when you email, I’m the landlord. I’m going to answer. I’m going to answer your question whether it’s about this, whether it’s about that leaking faucet. I’m still going to fix your leaking faucet. I have done work orders on properties with the possession. The eviction actually happens the next day because I don’t shirk my duties. I feel strongly in the lease. You know, I don’t budge on rent. You shouldn’t budge on what I’m responsible for. We have responsibilities to each other and so making sure we’re there in question can get answered is huge and it just keeps people from reacting strongly from getting aggressive, from getting, you know, vindictive and your property. Nobody wants that.

Eric: 10:33 Maybe it doesn’t have to be in one of your situations, but what’s the worst you’ve heard of a vindictive tenant on the way out?

Jennifer: 10:40 Oh No, I’ve had it.

Eric: 10:42 I was giving you an out if you want

Jennifer: 10:45 I got three good ones. In one case, they ripped the electric meter off the side of the building the unit was so full of stuff. It was about knee deep and it was all covered in urine, like multiple people had to have urinated on it in order for there to be this much urine. Another one, they had a lot of, um, like, like aquatic tanks and they left them all and they left them all to evaporate the air in the summer. That was, that was a barfed. Like a cleaning out that unit we barf and another one, they left so much trash. Uh, the maggots got into it and it covered a 10 unit building and flies a white 10 unit building look black for the flies. Tough stuff. And that stuff that just, you know, it’s been vindictive. It’s not well planned, but yeah, it’s happened. I’m missing stuff like that.

Eric: 11:37 I think the worst one we’ve heard or any of our podcast listeners have listened to enough of the worst we heard if somebody dumped a bag of concrete down the toilet so it like seized up and the lines going out to the road, and I was like, that’s pretty vindictive,

Jennifer: 11:51 That’s pretty bad. Nobody wants that.

Eric: 11:53 So your advice is when you’re going through the process, educate and inform the tenant as you’re going through. Take the emotions out, which we talk about all the time. Uh, so now you’ve educated the tenant they’ve got the pay a quit notice on their door. What are the next steps? What do you recommend to people as you’re going through this process?

Jennifer: 12:11 Well, step one is control your own emotions. So at this step of the process, you’ve informed them, maybe they’re making decisions you don’t like that they’re, you know, they’re not, they’re not paying you. And maybe there’s evidence that they have money. I just had one of these, you know, the tenant is going to concerts, getting their hair done, maybe buying a new car to this process. It’s real tempting to get, I call it mean girl gossip, like how they’re doing this and that and they’re not paying me my rent. I’m going to say it doesn’t matter. I’m going to say if you want to do that and your recliner at home with your family, you do it a little bit and then you let it go. Absolutely. Do not approach the tenant and go, how are your nails done? How do you have this new car? It’s just none of your business. It really serves nothing and that’s and that can be hard for landlords to do. Now the other part is like the hearing is a hard thing for the tenant to do and I think all states you have to stand in front of a judge at some point. I know we do. One thing I’ll do is let the tenant know beforehand, hey, you know the hearing’s coming up tomorrow. You’ve likely never done this before. Do you want to know about what’s going to happen there?Like do you want to know how this works? And sometimes I do it in a waiting room ahead of time because sometimes they don’t return your call, but I just did it on Monday, you know, we’re in the waiting room and I can kind of see the panic in their eyes and I go, hey, you know, you’ve never been through this before when I go in there, you’re going to sit at the left-hand table when the judge comes in, we’re going to stand up and we’re gonna not sit down until he tells us to. And then he’s going to ask me a bunch of questions. and he is going to ask you a bunch of questions and if our answers don’t match and he’s going to get to the bottom of it. But I brought the whole file, you know, and we’ll make sure we get the questions answered. If you don’t know something, you don’t know something and make sure you ask any and all questions you have until you’re done. And so if you are confident, you understand and you can see it in their face. Just go like, oh OK. Sometimes people mistakenly think after the hearing they’re homeless. People think I’m leaving here and maybe I get to get a Duffel bag, you know, they, they think these things and so, um, I, I find even just giving them some counseling about that because if you’ve never been to one will, you said you’ve luckily never had an eviction right when we were talking. So, so if you had to have one, would you reach out to someone in advance and go, hey, like what’s going to happen in that courtroom? I would assume, right. Who does this person had to call?

Eric: 14:26 Yeah, I mean I’m, so, I don’t know (14:29) is the right word for, but just like going to a new business I’ve never been to like I want to like sometimes I’ll look it up on Google street view and see what the front of it looks like. So then I know at the front door and everything and like be able to go to it and know exactly what’s happening. Like I want to know what I’m getting into 100 percent as I’m going into it. So an eviction would be, I would, yeah, I would probably, if I got your cell phone number, I’m gonna, call you the day before I’m probably call you in the way in and maybe put you in my pocket and just have a little earpiece. Make Jen, Jen. What do I do?

Jennifer: 15:01 Right now what I trained. I was so lucky to judge where I worked. He did all the LTS. We call landlord tenant complaints at the same time once a week.

Eric: 15:11 Okay!

Jennifer: 15:11 You did spend a long time in that room if you weren’t at the top of the stack, but you got to watch a bunch of situations go in front of the judge and I learned a ton and I’ll say, I mean I think you could probably call up your local judge if you, if you were beginning to phase this and go, Hey, do you have any landlord tenant hearings coming up that I could sit in and watch as an observer, a member of the public? Definitely look to do that. And if your tenants freaked out. I mean I tell them, go ahead. You know, I’m not scared of my tenant coming to the trial. I’m not scared of the hearing, I’m not scared of my tenant knowing something because I’m in the right, you know they’re not going to prove it wrong or that they paid me in some way.

Eric: 15:47 Ya! What’s the advantage to you to educate them through this part of the process? Like let’s say you’re talking to them in the waiting room before they go in and you’ve done this. I mean, I understand it’s a nice thing to do. You’re helping either anxiety, but what’s the benefits to you for you to do that?

Jennifer: 16:02 Oh my gosh. The hearing goes so smoothly. It just goes smoothly. The judge asking you your questions, they ask them. The answers are going to match because there’s no evidence otherwise. Otherwise, if they were anxious, upset, they’re interrupting the judge there asking weird questions. They’re not using the right vocab. They’re paving in a way that one embarrasses them so it doesn’t help the situation. It makes them more complacent. Entirely, because again, if they don’t have any evidence that they paid in some way but they’re nervous and they think they need to fight back, then they’re just bringing up crazy stuff. I mean stuff that you could never foresee and so I think it just it a smoother and the lower the emotions are, it keeps it safer and quicker and easier. It just not poised, you know, there’s always an appeal period afterward and that has different requirements to it. I’ve never been appealed on, but I think part of why I’ve never been appealed on is that that went so smoothly so they realize like, oh, this is just kind of a train that’s going down the track and it’s going to keep going until I do what I have to do to stop it or it reaches the end of the track and we’re done and you don’t have a house anymore laced with us. And so that’s the advantage. The smoother you can keep it. And I worry too about myself and about staff. When you’re interacting with people that you’re taking their home from, I mean that’s huge. It doesn’t matter how grateful you are, it’s a huge upset and someone’s life. It’s always the thing to remember is it’s sometimes a rock bottom for people. You got to be sensitive to it and you got to recognize that it could excite someone so much that they could want to hurt, you know, and that happens. We see you, you bring us new stories all the time about stuff that goes sideways and wrong and you got to just know that you can make it easier.

Eric: 17:48 All right! So, Let’s say that you get a favorable outcome, uh, through the eviction process here. what’s going on next? What kind of advice would you give somebody?

Jennifer: 17:56 You’re coming back and you’re telling them, okay, so now we’ve reached this point in the process and just like a person who’s never been there before, you’re telling them again what happens from this point and always informing them because the judges don’t always speak in plain language to the tenants, you know, they have kind of a prescribed language. So you can kind of dumb it down. I love to take a calendar with me and I and once the hearing’s over and we’re back in that waiting room, I go, okay, so what happened now is I got a judgment and this is what that means, and then on this, so you have to pay this to stay in the unit. Now on this date, this happened on this date, this happens, this date, this happens. You understand at any point you can stop this with this payment and they look at you and they’re so grateful and if you as a landlord decided to issue a payment plan at that point, maybe you want to work with them a little bit, but with the security of having the judgment, you could work that painted plan out there and I find after the hearing you get the truth of the matter. I find that they will tell you different kinds of stories about their intentions and abilities prior to the hearing. After the hearing, it’s I am going to be real with you. I lost my job. You know, this thing happened. I’ve got a 100 bucks and you can say in that moment. Okay, so it sounds like we’re going to go down the path of moving you onto a new home, you know, that sounds like that would be the best for you, so you can do this voluntarily and I always encourage them, do not play with the eviction date. The eviction date is the eviction date. That’s the date the constable I show up and somebody to change the locks yet need to leave like so. Don’t think that it’s negotiable at that point. Don’t think that it’s, it’s movable or that you can call the day before and move it because at that point in our state anyway, it’s out of my control. If the judgment hasn’t been satisfied and I’ve gotten the order of possession and the constable appointment is set, it’s, it’s not movable. It now it’s outside of my hands and I’m always clear with that with people too, like I’m in control until this point. At this point though, the court process has taken over. I can’t stop it. Yeah, and it’s just, it’s just about being super, super, super clear at every single point.

Eric: 20:00 Jen, do you, may be you have never used this? But like cash for keys. Some landlords will say they swear by it, other ones are like, there’s no way I’m ever paying a bad renter to get out of the apartment. Do you have any opinion on that at all?

Jennifer: 20:13 I’ve never done it. Particularly landlord friendly state. I mean that’s the thing about PA. It takes six weeks and I’m not proud, but well over 100 evictions. You know, I’m just done enough. I’ve never had a problem. I could imagine a scenario for us here that if the law’s changed and it was harder or if there was something about the situation, maybe I didn’t have the lease. Maybe the lease had an error in it. Maybe there’s something disadvantaging me in the facts of the case that I would want to do something like that, um, I’m actually facing a situation right now. It was a Monday or Tuesday night maybe I met with a church. I have a lot of churches for clients because they have these properties, these parsonages and things that they can’t, they don’t use for clergy anymore because they have part time clergy and so in this case it’s a two units and I think the rents are like 4:50, which is super low anyway, but the one was delinquent, $8,200 and the other was delinquent over $5,000. Wow. Imagine this is well over a year in did the church didn’t know what they were doing. So I’ve got out of date leases that are really sub par. I’ve got a variety of payment plans had been made over this time with the pastor and the and the people. And the pastor is not an ideal lease enforcement.

Eric: 21:30 Sure

Jennifer: 21:30 Your skills lie in a different place.

Eric: 21:32 Well, He told me he would pay next month. So.

Jennifer: 21:35 And it’s so sweet. These people are so sweet and I’m just trying to manage the churches asset. In that situation, we might think about it, but I think we have a good plan of attack otherwise with this one. But I hear about it all the time. It’s just not done here. And it’s probably because our system is so favorable to us. It’s not a hard thing. I don’t know. That would be a hard one to swallow though. I got to tell you.

Eric: 22:01 Ya! So as far as the, um, going through all these, you know, you’ll learn every single time you go through one a is there like one thing in particular that you found like, because I’m sure you look back and think, all right, what went wrong with that tenant? Like what was the situation? Maybe the town had just lost their job. Okay. Do we look at what their job history is like more with more scrutiny? Have you found anything like that where you scrutinize your process throughout everything and made.

Jennifer: 22:25 I have got a terrific example. I had used a service like yours for years and years and years and I was using them and I got this tenant and we’d screen them. Better qualifications, no eviction history, and I ran into her and when it all went sideways, the way she behaved led me to believe that she had been through this before. And I thought that is so weird. So I did. I did what I often do and I go back to the APP, did I missed something here, like, did I make a wrong decision? And when I saw the addresses is something, oh, I know I checked the county database on those addresses I saw who owned them and a friend of mine own one. So I called him up and I said, hey, you know this person his name, did you ever run to her? He goes, Oh yeah, and I evicted her. I said, oh my gosh. In court you went through the whole process. There should be a public record. He said, yeah, and actually so did my other friend one of these other addresses we both did.

Eric: 23:19 Okay.

Jennifer: 23:19 So I got myself all hopped up. Yeah, because I was mad at my screening reports provider who I had been assured was checking all these public records. This would have been Public records came off the credit reports. Anyway, what happened in Pennsylvania was the court’s stopped reporting the address, so the only piece of information on those records is the name, you couldn’t double verify with a date of birth, social number address. I was furious that I wasn’t made aware. Now then what we’ve done, of course we pull all the checks we get through through our provider, but then we also check our docket system in Pennsylvania. We pooled anything with a matching name, which of course is not assuming that it’s theirs, but if you get some then you look at who owned the property. Then you look at the records of what properties they own and hopefully you have an address on one of those properties that matches the credit report and then usually with the right kind of questions we can get them to fess up to it, but that’s the level we’re going to is starting to research anything with their name, what do they own, and then trying to cross reference. It’s, we call it nosy nellies detective agency at fish property management and leasing agents going, I found this. How do I do this? And I’m like, we’re going to put our head together and think about it because we’re not going to leave any stone unturned.

Eric: 24:33 Ya! I mean realistically, you might be looking at 10, 15 minutes of extra work doing that, but you compare that to the six week eviction process and then your time of having to go to the courts and it’s, you know, an Algebra is worth a pound of cure kind of thing.

Jennifer: 24:49 I tell the leasing agents all the time because they’re frustrated when they work so hard and go through an app and they find something and it’s declined. That’s frustrating for them. You need to know this frustration. This time, whatever you spent is such an asset to our client. You just saved them this huge financial loss. You saved our office. This headache. You save the potential for that. This work, that was the best thing you did this week and you might have at least three units, but you saved one of our clients from the worst thing that can happen.

Eric: 25:19 Ya, so somebody who is really in a rush to fill a vacancy, you know, step back, take a second, may be look at the local county records, see if the information is matching up for who they said the landlord is of that property and taking those extra precautions that you’re talking about in your situation in Pennsylvania. It’s well worth it.

Jennifer: 25:36 Oh absolutely. And we had no idea. So I see that we have to check these things. I need to be having probably annual meetings, but my screening reports provider and saying what’s changing, what’s happening? You know, what do I need to be doing differently to make sure I’m getting all this information I’m counting on.

Eric: 25:50 Yep, absolutely. Jen, do you have any kind of parting words as far as for somebody who’s going through the eviction process as a landlord, property manager for the first time, what would you tell them?

Jennifer: 26:00 If you don’t know what you’re doing, invest in the health and education that you need to know what you’re doing and to be as expert as possible. Keep your emotions down. There’s one other thing I had thought about when I was thinking about your listeners who are private landlords. Mostly. One thing I see very, very routinely is with the private landlord and tenants is that they’re mixing the lease and other work arrangement, so maybe they’re allowing them to paint, maybe they are sealing the deck and they bought the materials or maybe they’re putting, you know, some sort of improvement into the property in exchange for labor or they barter. Especially when people get delinquent. This is something people love to do and I’m going to say if you’re one, it’s entirely ill-advised. Really, really ill advised, just don’t. I would say first don’t do it, but if you’re going to do it, you need to write a separate written agreement or that contract for the work in exchange for money. So if they’re going to put a deck on the house or repair the deck on the house, you’re going to say, this is the scope of work. This is what you’re going to be paid, and landlord, you’re going to pay them. Then with the lease, they’re also going to pay and it might mean you’re exchanging checks for the same amount and getting receipts for the same amount, but the reason you’re doing that is in most states the landlord tenant hearing and rules and consequences are very separate from the civil hearing and consequences. So if you put this messed up situation in front of a judge where like the roof’s not done and the materials aren’t there and the rent’s not paid and the units damage. What is the judge going to do for you? Like there just isn’t. Let’s make it really easy for him to check that first box, which is judgment granted. Let’s keep it separate and that is a huge thing that landlords can be doing that they’re not doing right now.

Eric: 27:44 I think that’s great advice because yeah, that definitely comes up where people will start thinking like, ah, should I let them paint the run all to take a little bit off the rack because they’re having trouble paying and just don’t do it.

Jennifer: 27:55 Just say no. Just say no. You’re thinking, oh, maybe I should just get it painted on the wall. No, Don’t do it/

Eric: 28:03 So if anyone’s listening and they’re like, you know what, I really like what she’s saying. I’m actually pretty close to her location in Pennsylvania. How can they learn more about your company, Jen?

Jennifer: 28:13 You want to go to my website, go to www.fishpm.com. On there you’re going to see a lot about how we operate. You’re going to see our application criteria and of course for our tenants and maybe even for owners, they’re going to see how we do just an exceptional job marketing units and then betting our tenants.

Eric: 28:30 One last tip. So you know, for somebody who’s listening really thinking about going to a property manager, what’s your best tip for vetting a property manager? For somebody who might be thinking about that,

Jennifer: 28:42 Last tip for vetting a property manager, you should be making sure that they’re educated and they’re keeping up with their education. So I mean there’s not a lot of like property management master’s degrees. That’s not what I mean. I mean do they belong to an association where they’re actively participating in education? That could be something like NARPM – the National Association of rental property managers. It could be IRAM, the institute of real estate management. It also could be like an apartment association that they’re actively keeping up because it’s changing every day. It’s changing all the time and you know, listening to podcasts like yours are making us aware of those changes, but I see a lot of property managers out there who are doing things the wrong way and old way and I just feel bad for anybody who’s working with them that they’re not getting an expert service. They’re not getting truly what they need.

Eric: 29:29 Yeah, makes sense. Right. Well thank you for all your insights and hopefully somebody listening to this, you know, whether you’re going through it right now or it’s just being educated beforehand because like you said, if you got enough Reynolds and you’re in long enough, it’s bound to happen. Don’t feel like you failed, but make sure you’re doing the best with your current circumstance and situation as you go through it. And I think that’s what this podcast episode is all about.

Jennifer: 29:51 Well, I welcomed the opportunity. I’m so glad I got to talk to you today.

Eric: 29:54 Alright, thanks again. Take care.