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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Real Estate and Landlording => Topic started by: sequoia on July 12, 2016, 11:58:12 PM

Title: New management company - are they trying to screw me?
Post by: sequoia on July 12, 2016, 11:58:12 PM
Hi guys and gals,
I need an un-biased opinion here. I just bought another house that we will turn into a rental unit. It is an HUD house, around 1000sq, 3 bedroom 1 bath ranch. Expected rental $650-700.

I am working with a management company that I never work with. The house has been empty for 6-7 years, so I asked them to have their electrician to:
1. Disconnect an electric line going from roof to a shed in the backyard. We are taking the shed out because it is in very bad shape.
2. Check the electric to make sure everything is ok.
3. Installed 2 GFI, in the kitchen and bathroom. Bathroom do not have outlet, so I ask to add an outlet.

The electrician did the above. Not sure exactly what he did for no 2, but for no 3, he installed 2 GFI in the living room. The explaination from the maintenance coordinator from this company is "The electrician has explained his rationale for doing what he did.  He installed a GFI breaker to take care of the kitchen receptacles because those receptacles are not daisy-chained.  He did not install a GFI in the bathroom because there is no existing receptacle.  In the absence of a receptacle, code does not require you to have a GFI there, so he has electrically brought the house to “code existing” status." It took the electrician about 2 weeks to complete the task. We notice he left several outlets with wires out for about 2 weeks before putting everything back together.

Guess what is the bill? An even $1000.

Is this company trying to screw me? I am no expert here, but something do not sounds right to me. This job cant be that expensive. This company also gave me some quote for things that I like to fix, and their quotes are very high, but thats another conversation topic.

Appreciate any input you can give me. The maintenance coordinator has not been returning my call in the past 3 days, so something is up and I need to have make decision if we want to move forward with this company or not. We have signed a document that we want them to manage this property, and I am not sure I want to deal with them moving forward if they are charging me a very high rate like this.
Title: Re: New management company - are they trying to screw me?
Post by: Jim2001 on July 14, 2016, 01:39:00 PM
"Make sure everything is ok" sounds like an "open checkbook" request to me. If you didn't specify what was to be done, the electrician may have interpreted it very broadly and done a detailed inspection of every outlet, the breaker box, breakers, wire resistance, etc.  If so, where's the report?

I'd ask for an itemized breakdown of what was done for that cost.  A couple of outlets and taking down a wire shouldn't have been more than a few hundred dollars in my opinion.

That you're not getting a call back for days at a time is another red flag to look for a new management company.
Title: Re: New management company - are they trying to screw me?
Post by: NoNonsenseLandlord on July 15, 2016, 06:33:38 AM
How many hours did he spend?  It is not unusual to pay $100 an hour for a electrician.  Did they even use an electrician, or just a handyman...

Did he just cut/remove the wire going to the shed at the circuit box and not remove it?  Why did he install a GFI in the living room (not kitchen?), I do not think they are required there.

Property managers are always suspect.  The company probably added a markup on the costs too, which made them money.

Sometimes you have to use a property manager, but understand they make the most money when you make the least.
Title: Re: New management company - are they trying to screw me?
Post by: sequoia on July 20, 2016, 02:30:52 PM
To make long story short - they are now fired. Not only because of the electrician problem, but they have crazy expensive quotes on things that we want them to do. I went online and find similar problem for this company, which make our decision easier. Lesson learned for sure.

Yes, I did ask specifically on what need to be done, and they can not/did not get it done correctly.

$500 to demo an outside stair - the stair has 3 wooden steps and some concrete blocks stacked together badly. I decided to do this myself, went out to get a $30 sledge hammer. Took me 2 hr to demo and haul it - we have a 30 ft dumpster within 10 ft from this stair, so its not like it is a difficult work.