***Consumer Alert*** Nagel Property Management Inc., Sioux Falls, SD ***Consumer Alert***
occasion, I exercise my First Amendment right to warn friends and
neighbors about potentially shady businesses, including hotels and auto
dealers who have ripped off my family. That time has come again. Renters
and property owners thinking of listing property with Nagel Property Management
Inc. of Sioux Falls should beware. Just this afternoon I tried to rent a
property through the company only to learn that its leases contain some
onerous terms. The company did not send out the lease beforehand so I
arrived at the office cashier's check in hand and ready to sign. Several
parts of the document and behavior of the company, however, put me on
guard. Most importantly, the terms for contract violation were very
heavy and breaking the lease inadvertently would be easy to do because
it contains sweeping definitions, like banning all forms of "business"
activity from the premises. Another clause limits guests to a 2 week
stay. The first was easily negotiated but required positive action on my
part. The company acted very
strangely on the second. We negotiated a change in language from an
absolute ban to "written permission" and then to "written notification."
Nevertheless, the company tried to sneak a document changed to
"authorization" by me,
as if I don't know the difference between authorization and
notification or that authorization is virtually synonymous with
permission. Moreover, it tried to foist on us a second document
with many of the same stipulations as the first, including the 2 week
guest rule! We had already signed some documents re: security deposit
and so forth, so I ripped them up when it became clear that the company
was not going to budge on the rule, citing a bunch of bizarre
irrelevancies, because I no longer felt I could trust it with my
signature. Perhaps worst
of all, the company tried to make all sorts of oral, side agreements
about the guest rule although its lease clearly states, as it should,
the written agreement binds.
Of course no one should
make a decision about renting a property from, or with, Nagel on the
basis of my experience alone but do look over all documents VERY
CAREFULLY, know what you are signing, and don't be afraid to walk away
if things don't look/feel right.
UPDATE 3/19/15: I've already received interesting feedback on this. I'm not alone in having doubts about Nagel. The most interesting comment so far has been the suggestion that property management companies work in the interests of owners rather than renters because without any properties to list there would be no renters. True, but without any renters there will be no demand for listed properties. So *quality* property management companies will balance the interests of both sides instead of just trying to suck renters into the maw.