Find the Right Property Management Company
Landlords should use a property management company that only does property management. You will find companies that advertise that they do property management but also conduct real estate brokering activities These kinds of companies usually have a divided staff. Their efforts to be vigilant will be divided also. They might not keep an EYE OUT for suspicious activity or do proper background checks.
Procedure Manuals Are Critical
Landlords searching for property management companies should ask to see their operations or procedure manual. Read it and ask questions. You will get a clear indication of how a property management company manages rental property from the manual. Be leery of the company that does not have one. In fact, do not consider using a company unless they have a formal plan. Probably one of the most important section in the manual is “how to screen tenants”. It should include procedures for indentifying and reporting suspicious individuals to the US government.
The U.S. government maintains a central database the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), that lists known or suspected domestic terrorists, and contains highly classified information provided by members of the Intelligence Community such as CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, and many others.
As of February 2017, there are 1.6 million names in TIDE. In 2008, more than 27,000 names were removed from the list when it was determined they no longer met the criteria for inclusion. According to the FBI, terrorists include those persons who carry out terrorist activities. For this purpose, they may include U.S. persons (U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents). The Terrorist Identities Group (TIG), located in NCTC's Information Sharing & Knowledge Development Directorate (ISKD), is responsible for building and maintaining TIDE.
From the classified TIDE database, an unclassified, but sensitive, extract is provided to the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, which compiles the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).
This database, in turn, is used to compile various watch lists such as the TSA's No Fly List, State Department's Consular Lookout and Support System, Homeland Security's Interagency Border Inspection System, and FBI's NCIC (National Crime Information Center) for state and local law enforcement.
What to Expect from Your Property Manager
Your role as a landlord is to monitor the property management company in order to establish effective policies and to make management decisions.
What support should your property management company provide? Ideally, they should be able to provide all services in the areas of acquisition, operation, and disposition of your property.
A first-rate property management company should be able to give statistical, as well as subjective, information concerning socioeconomic, political, and developmental conditions. A quality firm should be capable of preparing physical inspection reports, capital improvement requirements, and an effective operations budget.
During the operations phase, a competent property management company will issue timely monthly operating reports that compare actual income and expenses to budgets and report any suspicious activity. Homeland Security and Preparedness has released a new document entitled “Terrorism Awareness and Prevention”. The paper is aimed at raising awareness on how one can help combat terrorism, including tips on how to spot signs of suspicious activities and behaviors.
Your property manager should have this plaque in the office. “If You See Something, Say Something”. Those who become domestic terrorists do so because they feel as though they are not being heard; or they feel insignificant, or unimportant. Trained property managers can help in identifying domestic terrorists.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eugene E. Vollucci, is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on real estate taxation and real estate investing and has authored books in these fields published by John Wiley & Sons of New York. He is the Director of the Center for Real Estate Studies, a real estate research organization. To learn more about the Center for Real Estate Studies, please visit our web site at http://www.calstatecompanies.com