San Diego Property Management Fees Explained by an Expert Property Manager

Steve Welty



Management fees are a common concern of owners when they are looking for professional San Diego property management. Today, we’re talking about what those fees mean.

Fee Structures

There are a few common fee structures that San Diego investors can expect to see. First, there is a management fee plus one or two ancillary fees like a leasing fee or a maintenance fee.

The second structure includes a small management fee, which may be called a discount fee, but then a lot of other extra fees are charged. The third fee structure is what I call a “here today, gone tomorrow” manager. They charge a low fee and you wonder how that can be, and the answer is they aren’t managing well, so they’ll be out of business soon.

Typical Property Management San Diego Fees

You need to understand what these fees mean, so we’re listing 10 fees you may run into.

Set Up Fee

This is sometimes charged to set up your account in a property manager’s system.

Management Fee

This fee is the monthly cost that pays for the ongoing management of your property.

Supervisory Fee

This might be to oversee large repair project outside of normal maintenance.

Advertising Fee

Some companies keep their management fee low but then charge extra for running ads.

Leasing Fee

The leasing fee is a commission paid once the property is leased to a tenant.

Lease Renewal Fee

Another common fee is the renewal fee, which is what you’ll pay for tenant retention.

Maintenance Surcharge

When a maintenance fee is charged, the company will get a percentage of every maintenance item that needs to be completed. So, on a $100 repair, they may keep 10 percent.

Administration Fee

This could also show up as a postage fee or an accounting fee.

Cancellation Fee

Some property managers will charge you a cancellation fee when you want to be released from your contract.

Click Here for a Cost Breakdown

Pay for Performance

When considering the right fee structure for you, try to keep things simple. It’s also important to pay for performance. As an investor, I’m comfortable paying a higher management fee because I know the rent will be tied to that fee. The manager has an incentive to make sure the rents are high. Leasing fees are also performance based. If a lease is successful, the manager gets a fee. If not, they don’t. 

Look out for minimum fees. If your rent is low,  you might pay more of a percentage because they have a minimum. Hire someone good and be willing to pay market rate.

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