Rentals in Arizona: Micromanaging the Manager
September 5, 2018
At Austin Fleck Property Management in Gilbert AZ, we certainly have some stories to tell about rentals in Arizona! Some are funny, some are heartwarming, and some have challenged our core values of honesty, integrity, and trust. All are valuable rental management lessons learned, including this one.
A Beautiful Property
A while ago, we were inspecting a property that was a potential management opportunity. It was a lovely house in a beautiful location and had outstanding views from several vantage points. There were, however, a few problems with the property that needed to be resolved before Austin Fleck Property Management could take on the client. The primary issue was the need for fencing around the pool area, which is required when taking on tenants with children under the age of seven. This safety upgrade absolutely needed to be done in order to comply with the law.
A Big Problem
However, when we discussed the pool fence and other issues with the owner, she was adamantly opposed to having the work done. As for the pool fence, she wanted to screen potential tenants to deny rental to families with young children. But this kind of screening is discrimination based on familial status. She gave several additional reasons for why she felt the changes we were recommending weren’t necessary, all of which were violating specific prohibitions in the AZ Landlord Act. In the end, she wanted Austin Fleck Property Management to manage some aspects of the property, but she wanted to control the approval of tenants.
And therein lies the problem. One of the key tasks we carry out for our clients is to conduct a rigorous tenant-screening process. We check personal and financial backgrounds to make sure our clients have tenants that are a good fit for the property. We are vetted by the Consumer Protection Agency to collect and handle this client information, and according to the Dodd-Frank law, we are prohibited from divulging most information we collect. As a result, we are limited in what we can share regarding our collected information about potential tenants with our owner/clients.
A Lesson Learned
One of our biggest jobs at Austin Fleck Property Management is to protect our clients from liability. They have entrusted us with a significant investment, and we go to every length to ensure that their investment cannot be compromised. We make it a point to stay up-to-date on laws concerning rentals in Arizona so owner/clients can rest easy.
In the end, we both agreed that Austin Fleck Property Management was not the company for this rental home owner. As a potential owner/client, she wanted to micromanage our responsibility as a property manager. As a potential property manager, we were unwilling to compromise our stance on managing in compliance with the law. Our big takeaway from the experience was the value of knowing the difference between negotiation and compromise. Concerning our managing of rentals in Arizona, we love to negotiate rental management contracts to find the best possible solutions for all parties involved. But we will never compromise our principles of honesty, integrity, and trust. These are non-negotiables and they cannot be micromanaged.