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How Property Managers Steal from their Clients

Apr 23, 2010| 0 Comment

I came across dozens of article about a property managers getting busted for embezzling money from their owners.  Just do a google search for “property manager embezzling”.  I even pulled up several when I did a search for Oklahoma City property managers embezzling.

It’s not surprising.  Studies show that one out of every three employee steals something from an employer.  Other studies show that 95% of all companies suffer some losses due to theft from employees.

But that theft is only identified in an estimated one out of every ten cases.

What most property owners don’t know about property management is that it’s not that hard for property managers to steal money from them.

There are two ways that property mangers can steal from their owners.  The first way is to pocket income that is not reported to the owner.  For example, they can under report the rent they collect.

A second way is to either jack up expenses or invent bogus expenses.  For example, a company might get a repair done for $50, but have the contractor make up a bogus invoice to bill the owner for $150.

One thing you should do before hiring any property manager is to check their criminal background.  In Oklahoma you can go to http://www.oscn.net.  It is a free service offered by the state that has criminal records for everyone convicted of a crime going back several decades.  You can search them by name.

One dead give away that your property manager is almost certainly stealing from you is if they are not sending you a itemized statement. You must, must, must insist on getting an itemized statement for each month.

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