New Client FAQ

Who is Kettle & Oak?

Kettle & Oak is a Chicago-based property management company specializing in Section 8, Chicago Housing Authority, and affordable housing. We have been in business since November 2016 and are a woman-owned, minority-owned business. We are a team of 20+ entrepreneurs, dreamers, investors, engineers, and designers. With a combined experience of over 20+ years, we use sensible technology, statistics, research, and experience in every property we undertake.

How many properties do you manage?

We manage hundreds of properties located in Chicago and Chicagoland (all suburbs). While most of the properties we manage are single-family houses (SFH), we also manage multi-units, apartment buildings, condos, plazas, and commercial properties. Our clients are both local as well as international.

What services do you provide?
  • We are a full-service, boutique property management company. We offer:
  • Tenant screening, photos/videos of vacant properties and marketing vacant units
  • Rent collection and rent transfer to owner (via ACH on bank account on file on 20th of each month)
  • Tenant management – work orders, tracking, status updates
  • Owner updates
  • Annual rent increase requests to tenant and/or housing authorities (if applicable)
  • Collect first month’s rent and move-in fee for new leases (both to be paid to K&O)
  • Perform quarterly inspections (inside and outside) on a predefined schedule looking for repair needs, safety hazards, code violations, lease violations, etc.
  • Send owner detailed documentation of expenses via invoices and receipts via email and/or WhatsApp
  • Maintain all historical records (paid invoices, leases, inspection reports, warranties, etc.)
  • Refer owner to qualified accounting firms where necessary
  • Establish a preventative maintenance policy to identify and deal with repair needs
  • Assign jobs to different parties (in-house employees, handyman and professional contractors) based on who will do the best job for the best price
How much do you charge?

We charge a flat fee of $99/unit (door) per month. All services above are included. No surprises. For accounts with 3 or less units, our pricing is $120/unit per month.

I have 40+ units and/or own a large apartment building. Is there an even better price?

Our prices are very competitive considering the quality services we offer. If you have a large portfolio, contact and we can work out a price.

Can you offer partial services — for example service requests or rent collection only?

Yes, we can — but the standard monthly property management service fee would still apply. We do not offer specific services at a la’ carte rates.

How do you charge for services and deposit rent?

We charge for our services via ACH (direct bank debit) and deposit rent electronically via ACH as well. All rents are deposited on the 20th of each month. If you receive full or partial rent from a housing authority, you will continue to receive it the same way.

Is there a long-term contract?

No long-term contracts! If you’re not happy with our services or for any other reason, you can cancel anytime with a quick email to

Are there any other charges?

Owners will be notified, and approval sought before billable services are performed. Our rates are market competitive and are project-based. No surprises with hourly labor rates! Manager will provide the following services at an extra charge:

  • Prepare unit for rent – clean home and optimize interior appeal ($800+ onwards)
  • Labor and materials for any work done (repairs, maintenance, rehab)
  • Landscaping ($35+/cut) and snow-cleaning ($55+/clearing)
  • Legal costs such as eviction ($2000+/eviction), lawyer fees, court fees, etc
  • Any work done outside the standard property management services
  • Note that all charges are approximate and are based on a variety of factors to do with the unit, property, and or tenant.
How do I know you are doing the work that you are charging for?

We provide before-and-after photos/videos of all work orders, inspections, and make-readies (full-rehab).

Do you offer a maintenance plan?

We are so happy you asked! Yes, we have an Annual Maintenance Plan with competitive pricing. Our rates* are as follows:

  • Apartment/condo (Market tenant): $149/month
  • Apartment/condo (Section 8 tenant): $199/month
  • Single-Family House (Market tenant): $199/month
  • Single-Family House (Section 8 tenant): $299/month
  • Storefront/Warehouse/Office: $299/month

Check out our intro video for an overview.

*Certain limitations apply. This plan is available for clients who have been with Kettle & Oak for more than a year.

How do I communicate with you?

We have a dedicated WhatsApp (a chat app you can download on your phone) group with each client. This allows you to reach out to our office at any time. One of us will get back to you typically within an hour (during work hours). You also will receive photos, videos and approval requests on this group. We also use email to distribute and send timely and relevant details and information (don’t worry, we do not spam).

Do you have an online portal?

Yes, we do. We use Buildium, an industry-leading property management system for financial reporting (for rent collected, expenses incurred, etc) as well as for service requests for both you and your tenants. An app is also available to make it easier to submit service requests and view reports!

Do you assist in Section 8 / city / Chicago Housing Authority inspections?

We do more than assist. We completely manage the inspection, do the relevant paperwork, scope of work, and necessary maintenance to ensure that your property passes inspection successfully. Our property manager and maintenance crew will plan, coordinate, and get the inspection passed. We have a track record of passing 95% of all  inspections on the first attempt.

Do you contract out all maintenance and repair work, or do you have an in-house team?

We have a dedicated in-house team for a majority of maintenance and repair work. For some specialized services, we hire contractors. Regardless, you will receive the most competitive quote for your work.

I have a vacant unit. Can you assist me in leasing the unit?

Absolutely! We have a dedicated team that specializes in marketing and leasing vacant units. We take professional photos, build a video tour, and market it on Zillow, and a variety of other platforms to lease the unit to qualified tenants. We do an extensive background, criminal, credit and employment verification. In certain cases, we will do an in-person employment check and visit their current residence to assess the prospective tenant’s upkeep habits. Our commission is the first month rent and the $500 move-in fee.

I have a tenant who is not paying rent. Can you help me in getting my rent and/or eviction?

Yes, we can. Our property managers are specialists in working with tenants who are hard to reach, or do not pay. Our formula of “Tough on Principles, Gentle on People” works well and we have a great track record of getting rent from tenants who landlords on their own (or through other property management companies) just could not do. As a final option, we have great vendor partnerships with eviction attorneys who can swiftly get the tenants evicted if the need so arises. Rest assured that we exhaust all options (including cash-for-keys) before we go for an eviction.

Can you assist in buying and selling properties?

Yes, we do but only for our existing or prospective management clients only. We have an amazing roster of investment properties that are for sale by our client network.

I am an international investor or a non-Chicago investor. Can you assist me?

Absolutely. We have a partner network that can help setup your company (LLC), and bank account including your taxes. We can manage all your Section 8 / Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) paperwork, register you, your company, and your property for guaranteed government rent payments so you can be worry-free. Download the full kit here.  Contact and get started.

I am an agent and can refer property management clients. Is there a referral commission?

Yes, there is. Contact and ask us how we can work together.

I am ready to signup. What’s next?

Signing up is easy as 1,2,3 — signup online today!

Best management company in the Chicago Land area! Lowest rates and always on top of everything! You won’t regret it!
Abdul Ghaffar

Ghaffar Properties

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