Most of you read Lester Properties updates about leases we have signed and we have previously outlined the process of securing a new lease. But what happens after? I’m often asked what we do when we are not signing leases or trying to find new tenants for our vacancies. Well, after the lease is signed, the work continues. Most leases are in template form but after attorneys review the document, they may negotiate different language. So, we outline and highlight lease sections to make sure we are properly billing and enforcing various lease clauses. We regularly inspect properties and tenant spaces to ensure tenants are operating the business use as outlined in their lease. We also inspect our residential properties to make sure residents haven’t gotten an animal without paying proper pet fees or moved other people in without our knowledge. We also inspect the properties to ensure tenants are not damaging the property.

Posting rent payments and making sure tenants are being billed for the correct charges is also extremely important, as is reviewing each invoice or bill that comes to our department for approval. Some of the retail properties require tenants to pay for a share of property taxes and maintenance charges around the shopping center. At year-end, statements are prepared for those tenants outlining all the charges and how much they owe. It takes weeks to process these billings and send them to our tenants. It is time consuming and very important work.

Another important part of our job is handling maintenance issues for tenants: commercial and residential. Sometimes it can take quite a while to troubleshoot issues. As an example, we may get a call for a random odor. This might involve multiple trips to find the cause. Not so long ago, a commercial tenant complained of a smell. It took a trip from an exterminator, a plumber and an HVAC technician and nothing seemed to help. Each of them had different costly ideas of how to “fix” the smell. Before we decided on the next course of action, we reached out to the tenant again to describe the smell as best they could. They said it was mainly in the morning to right before lunch, and smelled like rotten food. So, after I did an inspection one day, I noticed one of the tenants below had a kitchen in their space. We placed a call to that tenant and asked if they were cooking something in the mornings. Sure enough, they had an employee who was pregnant and craving broccoli and was cooking 2-3 pounds of it every day to eat.

There are many functions of property managers and the properties department. Each of the staff members of Lester Properties wear many hats to keep the properties in great shape and tenants happy.