How to Deal with a Bad Property Management Company (And What To Do Next)

How to Deal With a Bad Property Management Company

Table of Contents


Filing a complaint against a bad property management company can be challenging. Many of you wonder how to deal with a bad property management company. If you are facing a problem with your property manager, this article can help. This article will help you throughout the process of dealing with and terminating a problematic property management company.

Many of our clients moved from their property management companies to OKC Home Realty Services over the years. I’ve heard some horror stories from those clients.

  • Keeping the properties vacant for 3 months before starting to make them ready to rent.
  • Failing to turn on the heat in the winter causes pipes to break causing thousands of dollars in damage, and then refusing to pay for the damage.
  • Making the owner pay the management fee until the tenant they moved into the property finally moves out even though they no longer manage the property.

I could go on, but you get the point. Get to know How much property managers charge.

How to Deal With A Bad Property Management Company in 7 Steps

How to Deal With a Bad Property Manager

Working with a property manager should help minimize your stress levels and simplify the business of becoming a landlord, no matter how many years of experience you have as a landlord or how many properties you own and rent out. Good property managers are required to screen tenants for your rental property, do background checks, handle tenant complaints, perform rent collection, and create passive income for the landlord. However, not all property management companies help reduce your stress.

So, let’s go through the process of dealing with a bad property management company:

Note: Top 10 Property Managers in Oklahoma

Cancellation Policy

Most property management companies have a cancellation policy. It means you can remove them right before the work starts or even if the work is being carried on and is in process.

Most of the cancellation policies also don’t make you pay extra money if you’re terminating them. You can use this cancellation policy and remove the company if you no longer want them or if you are unsatisfied with their work.

Other expenses, such as work orders or bills that have not yet been paid for, could exist. Be prepared for after the deal is terminated for these to roll in.

Possible Costs and Paperwork

Some termination provisions require a charge for breaching the contract early, even though you have adequate notice. It may be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much for the duration of the deal as the management fee.

Some funds are also owed to you, expect to wait for one to two months before obtaining them. Before deciding the amount you are owed, administrators must make sure they have sufficient funds to cover all the expenditures owed.

It is also the duty of the management company to pass the security deposits of the tenants to you or the new management company you are using.

Inform the Tenant

Make sure that you inform the tenant about changes with the property management company. Your prior property manager may not be included to do so after the termination.

Hence, you should notify the tenant about the removal of the management company and that they no longer have to follow any requirements towards them. And let them know about the new company.

Notice of Termination

There could be a few steps you need to take to cancel the contract once you have agreed to part ways with your current property management business.

Here’s a link that provides samples that can be used by a landlord seeking to terminate their deal with a property management company.

Why do Oklahoma Property Management Companies Get Terminated?

Sometimes property management firm doesn’t meet the requirements of the owner. They lack communication skills and the value of time. Filing a complaint against a bad property manager can be tough. Don’t worry we are here to help you. Below we will be discussing why you should terminate a bad property management company.

why fire a property management company

1. Lack of Responsiveness

A responsive property manager is there to take care of business in a professional manner. It means they don’t need to be told what to do. And when something happens, they respond quickly and professionally. They don’t wait a week to get back to clients. They respond within one business day. A good property manager should be capable of fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as a property manager.

2. Maintenance Issues

Maintenance has the potential of opening many probably more than any other aspect of the property management business. Here are some hazards:

  • Some management companies make most of their money from maintenance. They charge a huge markup on labor, which ends up costing, the owner way more than it should for maintenance.
  • Poor management and decision-making. They may send multiple technicians out to do the same jobs. This happens if one technician discovers they cannot do the job when they get out there. If this happens over and over, it’s going to cost the owner a fortune.

Note: List of Best Upgrades for Rental Property that attracts potential tenants

3. Poor Communication Skills

There are several instances, in which a property manager absolutely has to communicate with customers:

  • When a tenant gives the notice to move.
  • When a tenant violates the lease and the property manager plans to file an eviction.
  • The monthly statement shows an itemized report of income and expenses.
  • When a repair item exceeds the spending threshold established in the property management agreement.
  • When there is something going on with the property or The tenant that the owner really needs to know about.

A failure to communicate on any of these items is justification to terminate the poor property management company.

Note: It is not easy for landlords to deal with terrible tenants. Some of the tenants pay rent late, some make the rental property a disaster. Most rental property owners face the trouble of dealing with difficult tenants at some point, and it is not easy. 

4. Lack of Time Value

If there is a reason a rental unit is not leased, it’s up to the property manager to figure out the reason. It’s almost always because either the unit is not ready to rent( items used to be fixed or the unit needs to be cleaned). The pricing is off( rent and/or deposit is too high), or something is off with the advertising(poor photos, unit not showing up in line, etc.). If any of these are off, it’s up to the property manager to communicate that to the owner so it can be fixed.

Are your rental properties becoming too much to handle? Never Had a Property Manager? You must see this.

How to File a Complaint Against a Property Management Company?

If your property management company isn’t working out for you and giving you a hard time then you might wonder where to report bad property managers. Here are some steps you take to address the issue:

  • Contact the Property Management Company Directly.
  • File a Complaint With the HUD.
  • File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • File a Lawsuit Against the Property Management Company.

Contact the Property Management Company Directly

Before taking any other steps, you should try reaching out to your property manager about your complaints. If you aren’t getting a response back with an email or call then try visiting their offices for a face-to-face meeting. Most of the time, miscommunication is the source of conflicts.

Property management companies have to deal with a lot. They have a backlog of things they need to prioritize, so sometimes there may be some delays. However, if the delay is due to negligence on their part, then you can move forward with your complaint.

File a Complaint With the HUD

Every landlord and tenant probably has heard of HUD. HUD is the department that oversees housing and rental property activities. If you have issues with your property manager then you should contact HUD since they are your best bet at getting your issues resolved. Your issue will be investigated once you file a report and if it is serious, HUD will fine or bar the company from business.

File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

All property management companies value their BBB ratings and reviews. If their ratings are lower then obviously it will be hard for them to earn the trust and confidence of their potential clients. That’s why businesses often try their best to ensure their BBB rating remains high. Therefore, filing a complaint with BBB can force the property management company to respond and resolve your problems.

File a Lawsuit Against the Property Management Company

If for some reason, filing a complaint against your property management company isn’t an option then you can take the matter to court. But before that, you need to consult an attorney who has in-depth knowledge of local/state landlord-tenant housing laws and can walk you through options.

 Also Read: How to Avoid Property Management Embezzlement and Overpriced Fees

How to Terminate a Property Management Company?

Even though signing a contract with the property management company, there are some reasons a property manager or owner can legally cancel the property management agreement. The owner might have a serious complaint against an apartment management company. In such cases, it is necessary to look for a termination process.

In such cases, it is necessary to look for a termination process.

Steps of Sending a Notice of Termination 

Following are the steps you need to follow before terminating a lease agreement with a bad property management company. Here is a Landlord’s guide to ending management contracts with Property managers in Oklahoma.

steps of sending a notice of termination
Steps of Sending a Notice of Termination

Step 1: Review the Property Management Agreement Contract 

Before sending a termination notice, review your contract, and refresh yourself on the specific termination requirements. It is essential to go through all the required information to avoid any kind of dispute. Check out the terms and conditions. Understand the possible fees you may face. Get to know if there are any restrictions or waiting periods during the process.

Step 2: Send the Written Notice with the Proper Terms

Once you go through the contract and essential aspects, write a termination letter with property terms. Explain the reason behind the termination notice with supporting facts. If any kinds of complaints about property management companies, explain them too. Please review the notice before you send it to your current property manager.

Step 3: Request Copies of All Records and Documents

If you are switching property management companies, the current company should provide all necessary records to your new property manager. As an owner, you can demand copies of any documents you need. Following are the records and documents you need before leaving your current terrible property management company. 

  • Tenant contact information
  • Property Maintenance records
  • HOA forms and agreements
  • Proof of tenant’s renter’s insurance coverage
  • Copies of all property keys or door codes
  • Copies of the tenant’s application, lease, and any renewals
  • Home inspection reports along with corresponding photos
  • Owners and Tenant financial ledgers and financial reports

Step 4: Notifies the Tenants about Property Management Firm

The tenants must be notified about any changes in management. This notice should be in writing. So, please make sure the current property manager informs the tenant of the changes. Don’t forget to request a copy of that notice for your records.

Also, learn about how to manage rental property

Looking for a Property Management Company in Oklahoma that You Can Trust?

The experienced team at OKC Home Realty Services assists owners and takes care of the rental business with full confidence. Our staff offers complete property marketing strategy, qualified property managers, tenant screening, property repairs and maintenance, financial reporting, and much more. Let us help you choose a property management company.

So, if you are looking for a trustworthy manager to take care of your rental properties, Contact us here to learn more! Or you can fill up the form below. Also, you can call us at;

FAQs on Dealing With Bad Property Management

Can an owner sue a property manager?

Yes. You can sue a bad property manager just like suing other business owners. As long as it’s a matter of breach of contract, negligence, or fraud, you can the matter to court. It is your legal right in case of injustice.

How do you fire a property manager?

1. Check the Cancellation Policy.
2. Send a Termination Notice.
3. Hire another property manager.

What are the reasons for firing a property manager?

1. Lack of Responsiveness
2. Maintenance issue
3. Poor communication
4. Taking too long to fill vacancies

How do I Terminate a Property Manager?

Steps for sending a notice of termination;
1. Review the Property Management Agreement Contract
2. Send the Written Notice with Proper Terms
3. Request Copies of All Records and Documents
4. Notifies the Tenants about Property Management Firm

How do I get out of a contract with a property manager?

The following things should be considered to get out of a contract with a property manager;
1. Check for a Cancellation Policy of the current property manager’s company.
2. Send the notice for cancellation in writing.
3. Be prepared for possible upcoming costs
4. Make sure the management company notifies the tenant

Why do property management companies have bad reviews?

Property managers have a trustful relationship with homeowners. They have a duty to fulfill the requirements of the property owner. Ironically, the biggest reason property managers receive bad reviews from tenants is because they were trying to enforce and act on behalf of the landlords.

scott nachatilo


Scott Nachatilo is an investor, property manager and owner of OKC Home Realty Services – one of the best property management companies in Oklahoma City. His mission is to help landlords and real estate investors to manage their property in Oklahoma.