We look forward to having you as a resident of Columbia Property Management. Now that you have signed the lease the below steps will assist with your transition into the unit. Please review each button for additional information and next steps. If you are already living in your home and management of the rental has recently switched to our firm, you can by-pass the first three buttons. If you have questions that are not covered in this section, write to Admin@ColumbiaPM.com or call our office during our business hours. We are happy to assist with additional clarifications.
Step 1 - Payments »
Once your lease is signed by all parties, CPM will deposit your payment of the first full month’s rent and create your online portal access. If your lease does not start on the first of the month, the prorated rent for that month is due on the first of the following month. From that point on, the regular monthly rent is due as per the terms of the lease.
You will receive an email with an embedded hyperlink to activate your Tenant Portal. Follow the link within 48 hours of receiving it to establish your secure online account. To gain access to the portal in the future, simply navigate to the home page of Columbia Property Management at www.ColumbiaPM.com and follow the “Resident Login” link at the top right corner of the page.
The security deposit is due prior to move-in. You can pay the security deposit online through your portal if your move date is seven days or more in the future. If your move is occurring less than seven days from the date your lease is signed, we need to collect from you the outstanding funds in form of certified bank check, cashier’s check, or money orders. Please drop them at our office prior to your move-in orientation or key handover date. For after-hours drop-off, simply use the mail slot in the door.
Per our move-in policy, possession of the rental will not be granted until the security deposit and first full month’s rent funds are received and all payments have cleared the bank.
Once you move in you may pay your future rent electronically or physically through a variety of methods. Our tenant portal offers a third party platform to pay your rent via ACH transaction (they charge a convenience fee). Or, you can pay via personal check, money order or cashier’s check. Delivery may be made by leaving it at the Spaces reception desk at our office location. Or you can mail the payment to our PO Box. Make sure to mail it in time to arrive for the first of the month!
Step 2 - Move Logistics »
Coordinate with Columbia Property Management to determine the exact date of your move. This scheduling will assure that someone is available to provide you with keys and that the unit will be properly prepared for your arrival. In advance of your move, the security deposit, first full month? rent and any pet fees need to be paid to Columbia Property Management.
In preparing the logistics of your move you will probably want to drive by the location again to see how your moving day will play out. If you have a truck, where will you park it while you unload? Is there a parking space? Do you need access to a loading dock? If you plan on using a public street in the District of Columbia to park a truck, you have to post Emergency No Parking signs in advance of your move. Check the website of the local government on the details regarding blocking public parking spaces for your use.
As part of your move into one of the properties managed by Columbia Property Management, a new resident orientation session with one of our staff is required to make sure your account is current, all required documents are provided to you, the keys and other access devices are checked out, and your questions are answered.
After your move, you will need to arrange for the orderly disposal of your packing materials. All boxes need to be broken down and folded into approximately 3 ft x 3 ft panels and bound together in order for the recycling to take them away or for the boxes to be place in the trash rooms of multi-unit buildings.
Unless you live in a building with adequate dumpster space, do not put out boxes in the trash as they may not be removed. It is your duty to make sure the materials are taken away from the property.
Step 3 - Set Up Utilities »
All utilities that are the responsibility of the resident must have accounts established as of your lease start date. Download the Utility Contacts here for a list of utility contact names and numbers. Please send our office your new utility account numbers or bring them to your move-in orientation. Bills need to be in your name within the first 7 days of your lease or additional charges may be assessed.
First, check your lease for those utilities you are responsible for and contact the utility companies and establish service in your name. CPM will have to change the water bill into your name so in the case of roommates, please inform our office which person will have this bill in their name.
Use the start date of the lease and ask the utility to send a final bill up to the day prior to the party currently being billed. Pepco (electric) recently has been telling people they no longer can do this without completely shutting off service and charging a reconnect fee, yet we still see some examples of our residents getting this done without that happening (try calling back and speaking to a different representative). Pepco will typically require a signed copy of the lease.
Washington Gas may require a deposit and typically asks for the social security number of the account holder. You can also select Viridian Energy as an alternative gas supplier. Viridian uses its purchasing power and record on sustainable energy production to work with natural gas producers that provide natural gas using methods less dangerous to the environment.
DC Water will require the owner to add you as a tenant on the bill to receive the bill at the house in your name. If you do not live in a single family house than the water is most likely paid by the owner (with or without a water assessment being made later to your account).
Step 4 - Renter’s Insurance »
As stated in Paragraph 17 of your rental agreement, you are required to carry a renter’s insurance policy during the time you occupy the rental. This not only to protects your personal belongings, but also protects you from having to pay for significant damages to the property due to errors or negligence that may arise, even from guests who are visiting you.
This insurance is an affordable security to you and premiums typically run between $125 and $150 per year. Try contacting our preferred insurer “Kiki” Green at Liberty Mutual, 703-251-0734, Kisharn.Green@libertymutual.com. Another option is Andy Mendoza at Crystal Insurance, 202-387-9162 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to mention to them we sent you!
Of course, you can also get the policy from other insurers. Just be sure to provide to add Columbia Property Management as an “Additional Insured Party” and carry minimum $100,000 in coverage.
Have your insurance company send to our office the Certificate of Insurance prior to the start date of your lease. When this is not possible (for example you move in within days of signing the lease) then you must provide CPM with this certificate within the first 7 days of your lease. This can be done via postal mail, email, or fax.
Step 5 - Orientation Video »
As part of your move into one of the properties managed by Columbia Property Management, a new resident orientation session with one of our staff is mandatory to make sure your account is current, all required documents are provided to you and signed, the keys and other access devices are checked out, and our main rental policies are understood. You may opt out from this orientation session by watching the online orientation video in advance and sending an email to us with the answers to the following questions:
- What are the different ways that rent can be paid to management?
- What are typical things that happen that cause renters to incur repair costs?
- What events are considered emergencies and should be reported as such?
A satisfactory score on the quiz will remove the orientation session from the process of moving you in and we may be able to conclude the move-in process with you at our offices.
Step 6 - Condominium Living »
If you are moving into a condominium or cooperative building, there will be specific rules to follow regarding your move which often needs to be scheduled in advance of your move. There may be specific requirements for the lease, special circumstances for reserving a freight elevator or loading dock, and additional fees due to the association. You should have received this information from the property manager as part of the lease signing phase. If you have not, please contact our office promptly so that we can get these important items to you.
Step 7 - Paperwork »
During the orientation or hand-off of the keys we have several forms for you to sign. You will be able to note any imperfections at the property so that they don’t show up on your move out damage list, we will log the keys that you have received, we willask you to sign an inspection form to retain on file, and we ask that you sign that you have received and understood the requirements in the CPM Resident Handbook. We will also take the opportunity to review with you any of the lease documents or addenda you have questions about and have you sign any additional paperwork that was overlooked during the lease signing stage.
Step 8 - Resident Portal »
Our Resident Portal is a password protected section that connects directly with our management system. You can access and update your contact information, review your rental ledger, make ACH payments directly from your bank account, and other actions. We also upload key information to the site such as your lease and addenda and property related information that you can access and download 24/7.
The Residents section of our website also provides helpful information, including clarification on submitting service requests and information on maintenance. We plan to add FAQs for maintenance troubleshooting this summer. The Moving Out section explains our policies and is a good starting point for when you start considering a change.
Congratulations on your move! As a resident of Columbia Property Management you should know that we strive to provide you with respectful and prompt service. Our policies are designed to ensure the experience you have living in one of the properties managed by our firm confirm with our Vision, Values, and Purpose (see the About Us page). We conduct a resident survey every six months to see how we are doing with that pledge and to gauge a number of other service delivery topics. If you have trouble getting the service you deserve, please contact our owner directly at scott@ColumbiaPM.com
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We are active members in multiple professional organizations, including the DC chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
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Why Hire Us?
Whether you need help with staying compliant with Washington DC landlord-tenant laws, tenant screening, marketing rental property, rental property maintenance, or ongoing support with leasing and management of your investment property, Columbia Property Management is here to support you.
As experts in the housing and rental regulations in the District of Columbia , we proactively manage leasing and tenant relationships to ensure the best possible outcome for the landlord, despite the tenant friendly nature of the laws and courts in DC.
We conduct property inspections at least twice a year and in many cases three to four times annually. This helps to spot problems early such as when preventative maintenance is required or when lease violations are observed.
Our expert management systems and processes ensure a seamless investment experience. From advanced techniques in tenant screening to monthly CPA review of the accounting in your client trust account, we go the extra mile to protect you and increase the return on your rental investment.
In the end, it is about creating long term wealth for you and your family and we are proud to be partners with our clients to help them achieve their goals.