Property Management - Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I have to come to Houston to start the process?

 
Absolutely not! We do however need to do a walk through of the property. If you have an existing tenant we can arrange to preview the property with them. Almost everything in the process can be handled by e-mail or fax for your convenience.
 

What is the process to establish representation?

To establish a positive working environment and a clean transaction, we will need to gather a few items:

  1. Tax ID or Social Security Numbers and signed W9 to report taxable income.
  2. Copy of voided check of your operating account for EFT payments.
  3. Sign and execute a Leasing and Property Management Agreement.  The agreement will have been completed according to the specific terms and conditions we have mutually agreed upon, and we will most likely e-mail that agreement to you. 
  4. Complete form called the Owner’s Notice Concerning Condition of Property which is basically the landlord’s disclosure of the property condition. 
  5. If the property was built prior to 1978, you will also be provided with a Lead Based Paint Addendum.  We will provide the new tenant with PDF booklet about protecting their family from Lead-Based paint via email.
  6. Access to the property and complete Property Managers Inventory and Condition Report.  If the property is vacant, we will take digital images of the property to establish property condition. If any repairs must be done we will advise you before putting property on market for lease. If everything looks good we will take pictures for marketing flyer and internet advertising. Copies of the pictures are emailed to you for your records and review.
  7. Place the lease signs and GE electronic supra key or lockbox on the property.  Showing instructions are provided through our showing service to real estate agents who wish to show the property.
  8. Schedule property showings through Centralized Showing Service between 8am to 8pm and provide feedback showing reports and agent comments via email.
  9. Setup up and provide owner access to our online owner portal. 
  10. Open account for property for reserves and accounting.
 

How much is the property management fee? 

 
Most fees are unique to the property and the required management associated with it. Our property management fees range on average from 10% to 13% of the gross monthly rent. The property is evaluated for the amount of required management services and time required. The actual monthly management fee is based on variables of services needed and number of properties managed with a minimum of $100 per property.  We enforce the terms of the lease and tenant responsibilities to assist you in attaining the best return on your investment.
 

Leasing Service / One-Time Rental Service

 
We can assist you if you prefer to handle the day-to-day management of your property yourself but you do not have the time to market, procure and show the property.  We provide very pro-active marketing both online and print media to get the most qualified tenant for your property. It is not uncommon to cooperate with other brokers or agents who procure a tenant when the property is listed on the Houston MLS or through our websites. If there is another agent involved in the transaction, an Agreement Between Brokers is signed and the tenant agent is paid half of the first month’s rent. 
 

We will handle any or all of the following:

 
  • View / show vacant unit(s)
  • Place electronic supra key
  • Schedule showings through Centralized Showing Service
  • Email you weekly showing reports and agent comments
  • Execute rental / lease agreement
  • Recommend required maintenance
  • Collect first month's rent, security deposit and pet deposit up-front
  • Creative advertising / marketing
  • Provide tenant with Property Inventory Form
  • Application verification, credit and background check
  • Turn over original document and funds to you
  • We then turn the day-to-day management back over to you.
  • Our fee for this service is 100% of one full month's rental fee. 

How do you advertise my property?

 
Proper advertising is an essential part of successfully managing residential property.  We provide a very proactive approach to marketing your property using maximum exposure. Your property is syndicated to up to 40 websites and posting services. Most tenants in Houston start their search online. We will showcase your listing on our main website with up to 36 images, downloadable listing brochure, full property description and virtual slideshow. Property will also be placed on Houston MLS to market to the local Realtor community. Listing services include Craigslist, Backpage and Facebook. We use an information texting service to provide information on your property 24/7 including links to a smart phone capable website with property pictures and listing information. Although we provide many different free advertising choices, there are also other types of advertising at reasonable costs that are offered a la carte.  Owners are given choices as to the type and frequency of advertising they wish.  Owners may currently choose from the following advertising outlets and/or will be placed automatically. 
 
  • Houston Press (1 weekly post) - $85 picture ad or $50 for 3 line classified ad
  • Houston Chronicle This Week - $125 picture ad or $50 for 3 line classified ad
  • New York Times Online 14 day posting - $125
  • Point2Homes.com featured listing – Free
  • HoustonHeritage.com featured listing – Free
  • Realtor.com listing - Free
  • Yard sign installation - Free
  • Multiple Listing Service - Free
  • Property flyers - Free
  • Email blast to area Realtors® - Free
  • Virtual Slide Show – Free
  • Internet Web-Site Syndication - Free

Managing Your Investment Property

 
Proper management of your investment property and maximizing the return on your investment are the most important things we can provide to you. We represent you and enforce the terms and conditions of the lease. We take care of the details to be addressed in Property Management and we have the expertise to handle tenant requests.
 
We restrict our Property Management services to property owners who provide a proper living environment and believe tenants deserve a good home in exchange for a fair market rental fee. Here are just some of the benefits you will receive when you place your trust and your property with Edinson Property Management.

  • Insured Vendors: All of the vendors we use to complete maintenance of your property are properly insured. Vendors are required to maintain a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage and provide us with a copy of their insurance certificate. A vendor will be created on our online portal and have access to upload estimates for your approval. We require vendors to provide line-itemized estimates for your approval and no work is done until landlord approves. We highly recommend buying a Home Warranty policy to offset many potential issues. Emergency issues related to electrical, HVAC, water heater, water penetration will be relayed to landlord and landlord must use reasonable efforts to approve work. The service fee is charged and noted on online invoice.
  • Scheduled Property Evaluations: The tenant is informed that the property management company will visit the property according to Landlord's requested schedule to evaluate the condition of a property. Many companies only do drive by inspections and although the exterior sometimes reflects the interior condition, it isn’t always the case. Tenants are notified within 48-72 hours of our visit before we perform a property inspection as a courtesy to them. Costs for Property Evaluations are $100 per visit.
  • 24/7 Online Property Information: One of the best services we offer is the ability to see everything through our online portal. You can log-on to our website www.HoustonHeritage.com anytime and check on your property status. You will be given a username and password to your owner page that will link any property we manage for you. The owner page will provide you with current property information, including repairs requests and copies of your monthly property statements.
  • Prompt Disbursement of Monthly Proceeds: Your monthly rental proceeds are posted through our online system the same time every month. We make every effort to insure your funds will be received no later than the 15th of the current month.  All payments are sent to your operating account via EFT payment. Please check with your bank regarding posting times for EFT payments. The management fee is deducted from the collected rent and the net rental proceed is wired to your account.

  • No Hassle…No Surprises: We acknowledge your property is your investment and treat it as such. We will not provide “surprise” invoice items like other property management companies. We advise you on necessary repairs, re-key and make-ready preparations for new tenants. You have a say in the repairs that are being addressed in your property. The last thing you need is a call from a property manager saying “we’re sending you a bill for repairs” without you having approved the estimate from our vendor.

What Property Types do you Manage?

 
Our properties include single family homes, condos, townhomes, duplexes and other multi-family properties. Property management is also a service we extend seller clients when they consider listing the property for sale or lease simultaneously. We work with several out of town investors and owners who have entrusted us with their properties. We do not manage properties with flat roofs or existing deferred maintenance. Properties with pools are taken on a case by case basis and we use one of our vendors for monthly maintenance at owner’s cost. We maintain a quality standard for properties during our management agreement and enjoy working with owners who take pride in their investments. As a common rule, quality properties attract quality tenants. 
 

What are your Service Areas?

 
We provide property management services to the following Greater Houston Areas:
 
  • Houston
  • Bellaire
  • West University Place
  • Bunker Hill Village
  • Hedwig Village
  • Piney Point Village
  • Spring Valley
  • Stafford
  • Southside Place
  • Sugar Land
  • Missouri City
  • Hunters Creek Village
  • League City
  • Cleark Laks
  • South Houston
  • Katy
  • Cypress
  • Spring
  • Pearland
 
If you have properties within the above mentioned areas and have an additional property outside our coverage area that you would like for us to manage, please contact us so we may discuss the details. Some exceptions may apply depending on owner and property compliance to property quality standard.
 

Application Processing Guidelines 

 
Edinson Property Management does not select tenants on a first to apply basis.  Credit and criminal background checks are screened and reports are emailed to owner. Final approval is sent for owner approval prior to accepting the applicant. 
 
  • Completed TAR Residential Lease Application
  • Completed TAR Agreement for Application Deposit forms. 
  • A cashiers check for application fees $45 per applicant over the age of 18 years and $85 for married couple.
  • Applicant(s) combined income is greater than or equal to 3 times monthly rental rate to establish verification.
  • Minimum of two years employment is desired.
  • Proof of income with copies of last two pay stubs.
  • Proof of funds or copy of bank statement is required.
  • Review credit payment history, bankruptcy or judgments.
  • Cross reference county tax record to verify formal landlord address.
  • Cross reference tenant’s former addresses via MLS search for faulty information.
  • Minimum of verifiable two years previous rental history.
  • Criminal background checks (findings considered on a case-by-case basis).
 

What quality standards should my property comply with during management agreement?

 

Exterior Conditions:

 
  • Structure – Make sure property is structurally sound. Provide any previous repairs that are material to property. 
  • Roofs & Eaves – Repair any roof leaks and clean gutters if any.
  • Windows – Repair any broken glass or windows and make sure windows and window locks are operational.  Older historic homes may not have functional windows, please notify us on condition report.
  • Exterior Doors - Exterior doors should be in working condition with proper weather strip.  Exterior door locks should be re-keyed between occupancies (according to Texas Law). A service charge of $120 will be charge for re-keying property for up to 2 exterior doors. 
  • Exterior/Interior Paint – Exterior paint (siding, trim, soffits) should not be peeling.  Any indication of paint peeling on homes built prior to 1978 should be addressed for the possibility of Lead Based Paint immediately.  We recommend interior paint to be neutral colors (bright white flat on ceiling and neutral beige semi-gloss on walls) to provide a more aesthetic appeal to new tenants.
  • Lighting – Replace burned out bulbs and non-working fixtures. Provide adequate exterior lighting on perimeter areas where hazards may exist.
  • Landscaping – First impressions are lasting ones. Please have landscaping properly maintained to provide a clean appearance. Make sure large tree limbs are removed if they extend over house because of potential future roof damage. All debris is to be removed for heavy trash date for your neighborhood.

Interior Conditions

  • HVAC System - Properties must be equipped with working HVAC systems and be in good repair at all times.  Defects are to be repaired immediately at landlord’s expense. We highly recommend having a Home Warranty Company in place that has a pre-existing conditions clause. Yearly HVAC maintenance is recommended to insure the life of the unit, coils and compressor.
  • Electrical - All electrical is to remain in good working condition and meet local building codes.  Any exposed wiring or defective outlets, switches, or fixtures should be immediately repaired. 
  • Plumbing - Plumbing fixtures are to remain free of leaks and be operational. Water heaters should be set to meet local building codes and be equipped with a pressure relief valve.  If replacing a water heater, ask Home Warranty Company if they replace with tankless water heater.
  • Appliances - All appliances in property should be in good working condition.  Defective appliances are to be repaired/replaced in a timely manner.
  • Smoke Detectors - Properties must be equipped with working smoke detectors in each sleeping area of the property and one operational smoke detector in a central location of the property. 
  • Flooring - All flooring should be clean and maintained in good condition, normal wear expected.  Carpet, laminate, vinyl and wood should remain free of severe scratches and tears. Any tripping hazard must be repairs in a timely manner. 
  • Trash – Property should be clean and free of debris at all times.  Please inform us about trash days and heavy trash pickup.
  • Home Warranty Company – We encourage you to purchase a Home Warranty Service Plan in the event any covered items are in need of repair. Please make sure service plan includes a pre-existing conditions clause.
 

Maintenance Requests 

 
All landlords and properties should be maintained to meet the Quality Standards established.  When a necessary maintenance is required on the property, we make sure requests are processed properly and work is completed satisfactorily.  Tenants submit a maintenance request in writing or via their online portal unless it is an emergency situation including HVAC, plumbing, electrical hazards, water penetration and water heater leaks or a condition causing damage to the property.  If the cost is more than your specified limit, we will verify your approval before beginning any work.
 
In order to provide a good level of service, we try to comply with the following process:
  • Tenant submits request via online tenant portal
  • Screen requests for accuracy and request further information as needed. 
  • If repairs exceed repair limits, contact owner for approval. 
  • Schedule with an appropriate Vendor to provide itemized estimate.
  • Vendor must contact tenant within 48 hours if non-emergency.
  • Vendor will inspect the problem and provide a quote for approval.
  • Provide copy of estimate, advise owner and receive approval.
  • Contact provider if Home Warranty Company involved, charge service fee.
  • Work should be completed within a reasonable period of time.
  • Emergency Maintenance - 24 hours
  • Routine Maintenance - 72 hours
  • Make Ready Service – 3-5 days 
  • Schedule inspection of work performed prior to the invoice for payment.
  • Post status to owner online portal for reference.
We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your present or future investment properties.

 

Diego Jaramillo
Broker Associate, Property Manager
Edinson Property Management
Keller Williams Realty - Metropolitan
Office: 713-980-5116
Fax: 832-603-4304
Email: info@edinsonmanagement.com
Online: www.EdinsonManagement.com

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