Residential Property Management/Question


Good day
With reference to the renting out of a townhome for the first time I have the following questions:
1. Lets say a renter is responsible for the water & electricity bills and they leave the property with a few months of electricity / water bills. How does the landlord protect himself from being responsible for this debt and any other debt that the renter incurs on the property?
2. How does one set up a lease in which a realtor / property manager is paid once the landlord collects his or her money. For instance I have been told by realtors that the usual policy is that the realtor / property manager collects their % of the lease whether 8% or 10% upfront once the lease is signed or they  request the first months rent. What i am getting at is that if the tenant leaves 3 months later (breaking the 1 year lease), the landlord has to pay again to find another tenant and also since the realtor has collected his or her money upfront he or she does not have as much interest in the property. From the perspective of the landlord, how does he structure the agreement in a way that if he does not collect money from the tenant the realtor / property manager does not get paid. What are some of the things that a landlord can do to get around this?
3. How does a landlord do the screening and background checks himself, what are some of the credible do it yourself resources?

---- Hello Mahabir,

I am not licensed to do business in your state and I am not an Attorney, nor do I give legal advice. Now that this is stated........

You can read MY owner contract if you like under Step 2 on the left side menu at: which may cover what I do in Washington State.

I do NOT charge another Lease up fee if a tenant moves out in less than a year. Some companies do this, but it is not a good practice in my opinion and not fair to the owner of the property.

I like to refer to for Washington State in Pierce County for finding a good Property Management company, but the rest of the state and other states are still in progress of being worked on.

I hope this has helped you a bit.

Don Leske Sr.
Broker / PM

Residential Property Management

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Donald J. Leske II


Advocate for Landlord & Tenant Rights. Based in Washington State as a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Property Manager. I am a Landlord but I am not a Lawyer. Ask any question dealing with the rental of residential properties, including; 1. Evictions. 2. Maintenance & repair issues. 3. How to set a fair rental price. 4. When to hire a property manager. 5. Selling and how to determine value. 6. Basic tax questions and Legal issues ok, but most will be referred to a professional in that field.


I have 30 years experience in Property Management with about 560 clients, plus I own my own Real Estate Brokerage ( with expanded experience & training in Short Sales, Foreclosure negotiations and rental property management. I write an informal online Real Estate News Magazine and am a member of NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers and have been quoted by News Agencies.


Rated and reviewed Editorials, Advice and short Articles at Trulia, Active Rain and All Experts online. Advice Contributor contributor
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ABR Certified, State of Washington Licensed Agent & Broker. Past member of BBB, Chamber of Commerce and Board of Realtors.

Awards and Honors
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Presidents Gold Award for high achievement, John L. Scott Realty. - "Shining Star Award" 2006 - 03/04/05/06 All Star of the Year Award for excellence.

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