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One of the most common questions we get asked on a daily basis is what does property management cost. These fees can vary greatly depending on your rental market but we hope to provide you a basic understanding of the cost in the Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek and surrounding areas.

There are many different types of fee structures that property managers charge. When choosing a property manager you need to be sure that you know what is included and what is extra. There are several fees that are standard in most property management companies. However, it varies greatly on what services are included in the fees you pay. There are four typical fees you should look out for. Leasing fees, monthly management fees, other fees, and hidden fees.

1. Leasing fees:

Leasing fees vary greatly between management companies. These fees can range from 25% of one month’s rent up to 100% of one month’s rent. Leasing is the most labor intensive part of the property management process. Things that are included in the leasing fee should be advertising, showing a property, qualifying tenants, background and security checks, lease signing, and moving in a qualified tenant. Be sure you know what is included in a company’s leasing fee.

2. Monthly Management Fees:

Monthly management fees in Charleston typically range between 8-12% of monthly rents collected. This monthly management fee should always include rent collection, maintenance coordination, direct deposit, accounting, reports, 1099’s, and all the other day-to-day management tasks. It is always a bonus if companies offer online portals, online rent collection, property inspections, and after-hour emergency response.

3. Other Fees:

Don’t be alarmed if companies have other fees as long as they are transparent and reasonable. Some companies offer lower leasing fees in exchange for ala carte services being separate. For example if a company charges a lower leasing fee it may be a separate fee for professional photos or virtual tours. However, if a leasing fee is 100% of one month’s rent you would hope it includes all sorts of extra features. Some of these features might be important to you depending on the rental rate of the property or your rental market. A higher leasing fee is not always necessary or worth the lack of services included. Make sure you ask about fees regarding maintenance, renewals, and evictions (if necessary).

4. Hidden fees:

Here are some fees you should be wary of: Does the company keep a portion of the security deposit? Do they keep a portion of the pet fee? Do they charge extra for reports and 1099s? Do they surcharge maintenance? Do they charge extra for after hours calls? Are there additional set-up fees? Be sure to ask what other fees are applicable and make sure you know what these fees entail. Be aware of “gimmicky” fee structures that just don’t add up. A great management company should have an all inclusive fee schedule with a few extra services available upon request. If a management fee schedule seems too good to be true it probably is.