Answers to your frequently asked questions
Are you licensed and are you a member of any association?
Yes, property management is an activity that the state of Texas requires licensing. We do have an in-house brokerage division as well which requires licensure.
We are licensed with the Texas Real Estate Commission, and are members of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, MetroTex Association of Realtors, the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), as well as the NARPM, Dallas Chapter.
Screening and Credit ReportingThis is the MOST important part of our jobs. We do a full background check on all tenants including credit, criminal, rental, and employment. Our in-depth screening process includes e-verifying their bank accounts, running a full background check, OFAC report. If they are well qualified, we charge one month's deposit, which is held in our trust account until they vacate. If they are credit challenged, we could possibly charge a double deposit depending on what is on their credit.
What if I do not want pets on my property?
While it is up to you as the owner to decide if you would like to allow pets, please note that 70-80% of renters have a pet. If there is a no pet policy in place, the pool of tenants goes down considerably.
Should you choose to allow pets, they must pass our strict pet screening process at coxpremier.petscreening.com. If approved, the typical pet deposit is $500.00 per pet and $25.00 a month in additional pet rent. The maximum allowed number of pets is 2 per our office policy. No vicious breeds and no puppies.
Service Animals and ESA Animals are not considered a pet under the Federal HUD Guidelines.
Can I get a copy of the tenant’s file and have a final say in the tenant selection?
Due to FCRA we are not allowed to provide the applicant’s credit reports to you, but we are happy to discuss their file with you and the pertinent details.
We do not recommend any involvement in the qualifying or screening of tenants. We are professionals and have decades of experience in the screening of the tenants and ensure compliance with all Fair Housing Laws, State, Local or Federal Laws. Becoming involved and requesting to modify our standard operating procedures opens our company up to legal issues as well as you, as the owner.
Should requests be made to disregard any state, local or federal laws, we reserve the right to terminate the contract with written notice in the opinion of the Broker’s legal counsel.
Do I sign the lease?Our office will execute the lease on your behalf as your agent. We will then upload an executed copy into your owner’s portal and you are notified via email that the executed copy has been uploaded into your portal for you to access 24/7.
What is the typical lease term a tenant signs?
Typical lease terms will vary depending on the time of year we are placing a tenant in the property. Our goal is to limit leases expirations in the Fall and Winter months as those are the months when the market slows down. Our peak leasing season is April-July.
If we have a tenant moving in December 2022, we will request a lease through Spring/early Summer of 2024. Leases 12 months or less will be discussed with you prior to offering to the tenant.
If you need a lease term to expire in an off season month, please let our office know so we can make sure to market your property accordingly.
How and when will I receive my funds and reports?Rental funds are sent out via electronic deposit directly to your bank account. Disbursements are sent on the 10th, 20th and the 30th. If those dates fall on a weekend or holiday, funds will go out the following business day and take from 1-3 days to deposit into your account. Reports are sent at the end of the month.
Legal and Code Items at Move In:
There are specific legal requirements that the State of Texas requires of property owners and property management companies.
We are required to rekey all properties within 7 days from the date the tenant takes possession. Ensure smoke detectors and CO detectors are in the proper place, peepholes are installed and keyless deadbolts are in place.
We use a licensed locksmith to perform this and they coordinate directly with the tenant. You will see this charge on your first month’s statement. Depending on how many doors and the hardware needed, the range will run from $120.00 to $500.00 for the initial set up. Smart home features and custom hardware costs vary.
Who holds the tenant’s security deposit?Security deposits are held in a separate escrow account by the management company.
EvictionsAlthough very rare, evictions happen, even to the best tenants…the loss of a job, spouse, or other life change. We are able to represent you in court for a standard non contested eviction. The court fees vary per precinct, but usually run $150.00-$350.00 for court filing fees. The time frame from start to finish is around 30-40 days for a full eviction. We make every attempt to get possession of the property before going to court to preserve your property and find terms that are mutually agreeable between the parties before court. We have learned that handing evictions with grace and respect has a far better outcome for our owners, their assets and the tenants.
Prior to possession we complete a formal walk through of the property, inspect, notate serial numbers on all appliances and if there are any repairs needing to be performed, we will send a bid to you for approval. We believe that what you give to the tenant is what you will get back from them. We have all homes professionally cleaned right before possession and ensure yards beds are freshly mulched and clean, as we expect the tenant to give the property back to us in the same condition we gave it to them. After the tenant moves in, they are required to perform a photo walk through to notate any damage that they may find and the overall condition. If a tenant is late, or gives a reason for inspection during their tenancy, we will first send them an inspection to perform themselves. We can typically tell if they are hiding something (photos taken too close up, part of a room omitted, etc.). If that is the case, we will then send out a third party vendor who will perform a comprehensive property evaluation at their expense.
These reports can also be ordered at any time by you for $159.00 per report.
During move in, move out and renewals, these reports are performed at no charge.
How do you handle Maintenance and Repairs
We have a 24 hour hotline to our residents to reach a live human in the event of an emergency.
If the repair is minor, our first step is to triage the repair and see if the tenant can safely perform the repair themselves: Example: a seized up garbage disposal, checking breakers, GFCI outlets, etc.
Should we not be able to assist them over the phone, we will dispatch maintenance to address the issue. If it is a repair that does not exceed $300.00, we will proceed with the repair and you will see the information on your owner's statement. Any repairs above this amount we will call you for approval unless it is an emergency to protect your property, for example, trees falling on homes during storms, a sewer main backup into the home, any items that pertain to health and safety and code items. We may handle these emergencies prior to obtaining your authorization and we will have you involved as soon as possible. Our first priority is to preserve the property and our second priority is to keep you out of legal issues pertaining to any health, safety or code items.
Can I get multiple quotes for a repair?
While the home is vacant, you are welcome to use any contractor of your choosing, however, we do not oversee unvetted vendors or guarantee their work.
In any given month, we process between 75-200 work orders. Most items are routine in nature. Calling multiple vendors for bids for general maintenance is not the best use of our office’s time. We have preferred pricing and use vendors who guarantee their work. All vendors must provide a certificate of insurance with General Liability of $1,000,000, Property Damage of $100,000, Workman’s Comp of $500,000 and if required, a copy of their license. (Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical) and have previous references before they can start work. All contractors entering an occupied property are required to have a signed contract with our office in place outlining our policies, procedures and payment terms.
If you have a vendor you love and want us to use, please make sure to provide his information to us during the onboarding phase.
Please ensure we have all of your vendors and contractor’s information as soon as possible to ensure the proper vendor is dispatched at the time of the needed repair.
How are Utilities and Yard Care managed?
If you are just closing on the home and you do not have utilities set up, we will transfer utilities into our name once you close and maintain yards as needed while the property is vacant.
On the majority of homes, once the tenant moves in, the tenant will be responsible for taking over yard care and paying utilities and you will see the payments for the utilities and yard care expenses on your owner’s statement.
We are strict on yard care. Should the tenant fail to take care of the yard, we put them on our annual landscaping program attached in the lease at the tenant’s expense after two yard care violations.
What if I do not have the funds to cover a repair, will you finance it?We highly advise that if you are not able to maintain or repair an item, that you consider selling our property. Please remember, we are not a bank. Home maintenance is necessary and expenses do happen. A rule of thumb is to put away 5-10% of your income into a reserve account for repairs. Older homes we recommend 10-15%
Can I borrow the security deposit to pay for a repair?We have very strict trust accounting laws we are required to abide by, and deposits are not considered income. We are not legally allowed to move the funds from the trust account until the tenant has vacated. At that point, funds are transferred to your account, we will deduct any repairs that do not fall under normal wear and tear and will either disperse the balance to the tenant, or to you along with the final required security deposit disposition.
Do you work with home warranty companies?
Please note, Home Warranty Companies are not the same as Homeowners Insurance
While home warranties sound great in theory and they are a nice perk when the seller is paying for it at closing, and you as the buyer are prepared to wait and deal with the repair, we do not, however, recommend purchasing one.
Home Warranty Companies are in the business to make money. They are notoriously slow for a repair, send out sub-par vendors who are trained to find any reason possible to not do the repair or add in fees for the “parts and fittings” or whatever they have put in the fine print to get out of the repair or cover a portion at a depreciated rate. All while the tenant’s patience is tested and our reputation goes down the drain.
Please help save our sanity, the tenant’s sanity, hours of never ending phone calls and follow up calls as well as our reputation.
Check out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb-wHhjZgOY
Do you manage any type of investment?
We manage single family, condos and townhomes.. For the safety of our staff, we do have homes and areas we will not manage. If body armor is required, has deferred maintenance or mechanical issues and there are no intentions to make repairs, we are probably not going to be a fit. However, if you have a home that does need a repair and you are interested in our team helping make repairs, let’s talk!
Owners must commit to making sure the home is white glove clean prior to moving in, free of ALL belongings including the attic and any storage buildings, paint is fresh and beds mulched and free of weeds. The better the home is cared for, the better tenant you will attract.
My home needs some work before a tenant moves in, can you help?YES!!! We have an amazing team who can help get your home repaired, cleaned and made ready to attract the best possible tenant!
Year End FinancialsIn January, you will receive a consolidated income and expense report along with your 1099-MISC. You will take your reports from us, your HOA payments, property taxes and 1098 Form sent from your lender, provide those documents to your CPA and you are done with your taxes!
CommunicationThe majority of the time, we communicate with you via your owner’s portal. Our software is a central hub that allows us to track all communication with you, our vendors and our tenants, making it easy for anyone in our office to see what is going on at any given time. We are always available by phone as well and we love to hear from you, but in most instances, we will communicate directly through your portal.
Onboarding: What do you need to begin managing a rental property?
In order to begin managing a property, we will need several documents, which we will provide to you.
We will need a management contract signed with addendums, HOA documents, an onboarding form, contact information for the association or the association’s management company.
If the property is tenant occupied, a copy of the lease, applications, move-in inspection report, tenant contact information, ledgers, open work orders and closed work orders if possible, keys and alarm code.
As soon as we have all the documents and the home and yard are ready, we will order photos and can have you live in 24-48 hours from the time we receive the necessary documents and photos.
Items not covered under property management.Owner understands that monthly inspections, representation at court hearings, homeowner board meetings, HOA coordination for repairs provided under the HOA, court jury trials and depositions, property tax assessment appeal hearings, insurance claim related paperwork and estimates, building inspection hearings and other exceptional related events are not covered under the monthly management fee. If Agent renders these services, Owner shall reimburse Agent for their time at the rate of $75.00 per hour with a one hour minimum and billed to the half hour each hour thereafter. A full accounting of billable hours will be provided to the Owner
Personal PropertyAgent assumes no responsibility or management of personal property left by the owner at premises.
Sale of PropertyIf property is listed with a Real Estate Agent for sale other than the management company, the property management will assist as requested/needed. Yard Care during vacancy, maintaining utilities. We require a $500 additional reserve amount to cover expenses during vacancy and the property management fee will be based off the last month’s management fee and will be billed during vacancy.