Frequently Asked Questions PM

Will I be required to pay a setup fee?

All costs for advertising your property, screening the tenant, photographs, inventory register, publishing it on the Cornerstone website, transportation and other general administration costs associated with the management contract will be met by Cornerstone. No setup fees are charged.

Who will perform maintenance, repairs, cleaning etc?

We have a list of contractors and service providers, who have proven their reliability, to ensure every detail of your property is handled quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. If however the landlord has trusted workmen, we will be happy to work with them. Cornerstone will usually solicit 2 written estimates for any work to be done on managed property and provide copies of all estimates in your secure area of our website.

When will I receive my rental income?

Rent is due on or before the 1st of every month regardless of the date the lease is signed by the tenant.

All checks and monthly statements will be sent to the property owner?s account and copies provided online in the landlord?s secure portal on the Cornerstone website, usually before the 10th of each month. We will also transfer funds directly into any stated local bank account as required by the landlord.

What will you collect from the tenants before they move in?

Prior to move-in the tenant(s) must provide the first month?s rent and a security deposit equal to the value of one month?s rent. Additionally prospects will be required to complete and submit our confidential online Tenant Application Form which collects information in real time about the tenant including employment and income details, character references and more. Landlords will be sent all the information collected and must approve prospects before we proceed.

Security deposits are refundable upon move-out unless repairs, painting or cleaning have to be done or other clauses in the agreement are breached, in which case those costs can be deducted from the refundable security deposit.

What services will I receive?

Cornerstone will handle all advertising of the property if it is vacant when we commence the management contract.

  • We will perform background checks and where possible, check into previous rental history and to see if the applicant is employed and able to meet the rental commitment. For existing tenants we will ensure their current tenant agreement is being followed or execute a new agreement;
  • On the landlord?s behalf we will negotiate the rental agreement, collect rental fees and deposits, issue keys to the tenants and make sure the keys are returned once the tenant leaves;
  • We will arrange to have interior and exterior inspections of the property done, usually twice annually;
  • Upon the tenants moving-out and before new tenants move-in we will contract house cleaners and re-key or replace the door locks (if approved by the landlord);
  • Tenants will be served with late notices as required along with other notices of any breach we observe;
  • We will arrange, manage, and pay for all required repairs and maintenance (we will seek the landlord?s approval for all non-emergency repairs that exceed 25% of the monthly rental). Emergency repairs that exceed 75% of the monthly rental will require the landlord?s prior approval. Emergency repairs are generally those that seriously threaten the tenants? security; risk property damage or loss etc.
  • All tenants will be provided with an emergency number (emergency defined as and outlined in the tenant?s package);
  • All documents, progress photos, invoices, agreements, receipts etc regarding your managed property will be available in a special; secure area of our website where only the owner has access. This provides the landlord/owner with historical data for the life of our management contract. The files may be viewed online by the landlord, printed or downloaded.

What can I do if the tenant leaves before the lease expires?

Our Tenancy Agreement sets out the penalties (deductions) in place for breaking the lease so tenants are aware beforehand of our position on this matter. If there is a mutual agreement between Landlord and Tenant then these penalties may be relaxed or waived. Other than legal redress there is no other course of action for the landlord or property manager.

NOTE: Cornerstone carefully screens all prospective tenants to minimize this risk as far as practically possible.

How will my property be kept clean?

CornerStone will arrange for all cleaning prior to move-in and after move-out. While the property is being leased, the tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and for general yard maintenance. In some instances CornerStone will undertake to manage the yard maintenance.

Do I have to rent my property to smokers?

We strongly encourage a non-smoking policy for rental properties. Cigarette smoke tends to linger for a long time and may make your property less attractive to future non-smoking tenants. Legally we cannot say no to smokers, but it is legal to say ?No Smoking? in this building.

What if My Property Needs Repair before Managing?

We will undertake to complete the repairs or cleaning necessary to bring your property to move-in readiness. This may entail, selling any surplus furniture or appliances; cleaning; painting or other interior work; plumbing and electrical; cleaning or clearing of an overgrown yard; roof or ceiling work etc. We will negotiate a nominal one-time fee for these works usually based on the total cost of the works.

What is the Cost to Manage my Property?

Cornerstone charges the industry standard of 10% of monthly rent receipts to manage a single-family home, condo, apartment, etc located in Trinidad (units in Tobago will cost a bit more due to additional transportation costs). There are no additional fees, ever. For multi-unit properties, we can negotiate our fee. You pay nothing when your property is vacant. This means we actively fill properties with qualified tenants and follow up arrears quickly. Regarding maintenance, our tradespeople are skilled at what they do, which minimizes call-backs and increases tenant satisfaction. Any trade discounts obtained are passed on to you.

If my unit stays empty do I still pay your fee?

Generally no, unless it forms part of a larger contract with several units (ie an apartment building). We try to fill vacancies quickly, but we do not charge fees during the intervening period. However, there are instances where landlords take this opportunity to do renovations or remedial works, etc. If we are called on to manage this work, pay contractors etc, we may charge a fee depending on the duration and scope of the work.

How will emergency repairs be handled?

We aim to keep tenants as comfortable as possible and to this end, we try to effect repairs very quickly. If the repair becomes needed during the middle of the month after we have deposited funds to the landlord?s account, we will pay for repairs up to a maximum of $500 and deduct this from rent receipts at the end of the month. If the repairs exceed this amount, we will normally request funds from the landlord.