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Humble Texas Property Management – How to Avoid Losing Renters

Humble Texas Property Management – How to Avoid Losing Renters

By Vestpro Residential

Are you searching for Humble Texas Property Management information? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will share with you actionable tips you can use to avoid losing renters.

Avoid Constant Rent Increases

The first Humble Texas Property Management tips we can offer you is to not raise the rent with each lease renewal because, the reality is that it’s not always a wise decision to increase the rent especially if you have long term tenants since it does cost more money to find a reliable long term tenant than it does to keep a tenant.

Always Handle Noise Complaints

When it comes to your Humble Texas Rental Property you should always treat noise violations seriously because, just about every tenant has a very low tolerance for noise so you should address the noise problem if it’s coming from a neighbor on the street where your rental is located, or another tenant in your rental property.

Humble Texas Property Management

Follow The Law If you have to Enter Your Rental Property

As long time Humble Texas Property Management professionals we can tell you that unauthorized entry is illegal in Texas and you have to follow the law if you plan on entering your rental property to show your rental to a prospective renter or get work done.

Always give your renters at least 24 hour notice in writing before entering your rental property and if you need to enter your rental property due to an emergency you should ask your tenant to sign a notice allowing you to enter the rental on short notice.

Don’t Allow Poor Maintenance

Last of all, but most important, another Humble Texas Property Management tip we can offer you is to never allow inadequate maintenance at your rental property because you will only be able to keep your tenants for so long before they become tired of living in a rental property that’s not been properly maintained.

Get Humble Texas Property Management

For the best Humble Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us through our website.

 

Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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Should you buy rentals in Houston? Even if you’re out of the area?

Should you buy rentals in Houston? Even if you’re out of the area?

Thanks to the booming real estate market in the last 12 months there are more condos, town homes and apartment buildings available for purchase and rent than ever before but the big question is should you buy rentals in Houston even if you’re out of the area? The answer to this question is yes!

Pros of Buying Long-Distance Real Estate

  • The ability to buy in more affordable markets. Property values in second- and third-tier markets don’t command the premium of real estate in primary markets and there’s lower competition. That said, depending on the market, rents can still be very strong. Buying in one of these markets is a way to get your foot in the door, realize positive cash flow and build equity.

  • Real estate as a long-term strategy. Some investors decide to buy real estate in an area that they don’t currently live in, but think they might want to someday. For instance, I’d consider buying a home closer to my parents if there’s a chance I’ll want to live closer to them someday. Many investors use a similar mindset when considering real estate in vacation and retirement markets, like the Carolinas and Florida. These houses can be rented now and held in case an investor wants to live there someday, too.

  • Tax benefits. Say what you want about Trump, but when the New York Times released a copy of his 1995 tax returns it shed light on a stark reality: real estate investors are able to use the tax code to their advantage. The ability to write off interest paid on a mortgage and depreciation makes buying investment property highly attractive. The provision Trump took advantage of is no different than the loopholes that everyday investors use, too.

Get Houston Texas Property Management Here!

For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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Tips for Dealing with Houston Roommates

Tips for Dealing with Houston Roommates

By Vestpro Residential

HOUSTON, TX. – If you’re a landlord, one thing you can expect to deal with at least once while owning rental property is Houston Roommates when two or more tenants choose to rent from you.

Although roommates are not uncommon, renting to them can become complicated if you’re not careful, that’s why we’ve created a process for you to follow when dealing with Houston Roommates.

#1 – All Roommates Must Be Jointly Liable

When dealing with Houston Roommates one of the first things you want to do is make sure that everyone who is living in your rental property is jointly and severally liable. This means that if any roommate violates your lease, or causes destruction to the rental property, the other roommates will be held responsible for paying for their roommate’s damage, bills or fees that they may have caused.

#2 – Think Twice Before Saying Yes To Subleasing

One common scenario that you may encounter with Houston roommates in the future is if you would be willing to let them sublease your rental property.

Any request for subleasing should be considered carefully because a tenant who is subleasing technically cannot be held jointly and severally liable if there’s damage to the rental property, so instead of saying yes to subleasing, you should create a new lease and ask all tenants to sign it.

#3 – Don’t Skimp On Verifying Tenants

As a landlord, there’s going to be times when you’re going to get busy and there’s going to be the temptation to “go with your gut” and skimp on your verifying of new tenants. This is often where landlords get into trouble because, when you don’t run a credit check, background check or take the time to fully verify someone, you don’t really know who you are renting to so it’s always best to follow the same process for all tenants.

#4 – Create a Tenant Representative

Another handy thing to do when renting to Houston Roommates is to choose one tenant in your rental property to be their tenant representative so that any time a problem or issue occurs you will have one person to speak with instead of speaking with multiple people each time.

Get Help with Renting To Houston Roommates

For help with renting to Houston Roommates contact our property management team today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Posted by on November 18, 2016 in Houston Roommates

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Houston Rental Property – Maintenance Checklist

Houston Rental Property – Maintenance Checklist

Fall is a great time of year because the holidays are around the corner and you may be enjoying more time with family but if you own Houston Rental Property it’s also a great time to take a step back and focus on maintenance, especially if you haven’t set foot in your rental properties within 6 months because focusing on maintenance now will help you to avoid problems later.

Maintenance Checklist

  • Paint common areas every five to seven years. Or, DiNatale says, “When they start to look worn and paint starts to chip or wear off, or has an uneven sheen, it’s time.”

  • Re-carpet hallways and other shared spaces every five years. This is about the time carpet will start to unravel and become a tripping hazard.

  • Replace lobby flooring, whether wood, stone, tile, or vinyl every 15 to 30 years. If maintained properly, stone, tile, and wood, can last as long as 30 years. Vinyl’s lifetime is shorter, usually around 15 years. But if a wood floor is cleaned weekly, it can last, then be rescreened or polyurethaned every two to three years. Stone can be buffed every two to three years to remain looking good. And remember to put down mats when it’s snowy or rainy, and have a front awning to protect residents’ and their shoes and boots.

  • Change light fixtures (not just bulbs) every 10 years or so. Quality fixtures can last for years, but many older ones aren’t compatible with new LED bulbs. Most buildings don’t tend to change the fixtures, however, until it’s time to repaint.

  • Clean and replace/upholster furnishings when they show wear.Good quality furnishings will last, but they should be kept clean on a regular basis.

  • Repaint or clean the exterior annually. Yearly inspections are important and have to be done in some cities and states. It’s wise to plan to repaint certain parts of the building every two to three years, tuckpoint every five years or so, and clean limestone, which can get very dirty every 10 to 15 years, depending on pollution and climate (salt air can be tough on materials).

  • Clean windows four times a year. At a minimum, twice a year, once in the spring and in the fall.Inspect terraces and balconies annually. Railings and balcony floors should be inspected to ensure they can support a set weight.

  • Clean and inspect downspouts, gutters, and other water-related features twice a year. Once in the fall when leaves are falling and again in the spring after trees flower to avoid debris getting clogged and causing backups.

  • Service and repair furnaces, air conditioning systems, and plumbing annually. In the Spring, check the AC and change fluids or filters, and in the Fall inspect the furnace and change filters.

  • Inspect and service elevators and sprinkler systems every year.Elevators and sprinkler systems should be inspected annually, usually by the fire department, but it may depend on your city code.

  • Landscape seasonally. Curb appeal is everything: invest in your outdoor plants every season to keep your building looking it’s best.

  • Upgrade gym equipment, computers, and laundry machines every few years. This will help keep your building efficient and your residents safe.

  • Replace roofs every 20 to 30 years. Good roofs will last decades, but should be inspected regularly, especially after bad weather.

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Get Houston Property Management

For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Maintenance

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Homeowners Associations vs. Property Management – What’s the Difference?

Homeowners Associations vs. Property Management – What’s the Difference?

Is there a difference between homeowners associations and property management? If you asked most renters the answer would be no, but the reality is that there is a big difference between the two.

Homeowners Associations vs. Property Management

It’s easy to confuse a homeowners association (HOA) with property managers. They are both involved in the management of housing communities. It could be helpful to view a brief description of both HOAs and property managers to see how the functions of each are different. In most cases, they work together, but sometimes they may come into conflict. This information should be useful to property owners, property management companies, and tenants who live in a community that is governed by an HOA.

 

What Are Homeowners Associations?

Neighborhoods, subdivisions, and condo complexes contain lots of housing units that are owned by many different owners. At the same time, homeowners may need to share the responsibility for certain things. They may also share expectations for the way that their neighbors will maintain their properties. Thus, these communities form HOAs to develop and enforce the rules (known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs for short) that all property owners need to abide by.

According to the Community Association Institute, over 63 million Americans reside in an estimated 320,000 association-governed communities.

The individuals who belong to these organizations also own property in that community. While all HOA members may propose and vote on rules, an elected HOA board usually has the final responsibility for ensuring that rules get kept and other responsibilities get met.

Besides making and enforcing rules, typical HOA responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining common areas, like playgrounds and swimming pools
  • Setting and collecting dues to pay for things like maintenance of common areas and security
  • Setting budgets for the items that HOA dues pay for
  • Obtaining insurance for common areas
  • Hiring staff and contractors

Obviously, the HOA doesn’t physically perform all of their responsibilities. For example, they may hire security people, secretaries, and maintenance crews. In some cases, overseeing all of the work requires a separate property manager to assist them. To help with all of the tasks involved, an HOA may also hire a property manager or property management company.

What Do Property Managers Do in a Homeowners Association?

There are two different situations when a community may have both property managers and homeowners associations. In the most commonly discussed case, the property management company works for the HOA. In another case, property owners may own some houses or condos in a community that also has owner-occupied units. In this second case, the property owners and their managers are just property owners with the same status as any other owners. If property owners occupy their own housing or lease it to tenants, they still have the same responsibilities to the HOA.

Property managers as employees of the HOA: HOA members may volunteer for their positions as an investment in their community. As volunteers, they may not have time to oversee all of the day-to-day obligations of the board. In this case, an HOA might hire a property manager or property management company to assist them.

The duties of property managers can vary, but they may include overseeing paid staff or contractors, communicating with residents, collecting dues, and handling emergencies. As employees of the HOA board, property managers report to them.

Property managers as owners within the community: In this case, property managers simply have to abide by the same rules that any owners who occupy their homes do. This situation is somewhat more complex because tenants actually occupy the property. The owners and tenants may have to cooperate to stay in compliance.

The property managers for leased housing units may make sure that HOA dues get paid if this cost is simply included in the rent. Still, they need to make certain their tenants don’t violate other rules. For example, there may be guidelines about maintaining lawns, how to handle garbage, behavior in common areas, and so on. It’s prudent to include a clause in the lease about adhering to HOA rules and to make sure that renters know the guidelines.

Get Houston Property Management Here

For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential services today by calling us today at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

 

 

 

Posted by on November 3, 2016 in HOA, Property Management

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Tips for getting ready for leasing season

Tips for getting ready for leasing season

Do you own rental property in the Houston area? If so, you know that January is typically one of the busiest times of year for property owners and landlords because this month is when we typically have the most lease renewals and there will also be more calls from people searching for rentals in the area.

If you’re getting ready for a busy leasing season here are some tips you can use to approach this busy time of year correctly:

Tips For Leasing Season

#1. Pricing Your Unit

Proper pricing is critical to balancing your vacancy rates and your return on investment; this is how you make your money after all. If your units are priced too low, you may have an issue staying in the black. Priced too high, and you might find more than a few of your units are empty at any one time.

Many Property Managers still call in for rental comparisons within their area to find an accurate price, but there are many tools online that can do this for you (and give you more accurate data). By pairing your rental units against comparable units and their pricing in the area, these tools will tell you if you should raise or lower your rent relative to the properties in your area. 

#2. Effective Marketing Budgets

Most PMs are not marketing professionals, but knowing where and when to advertise your vacancies can set you well ahead of your market competition and help you fill vacancies faster. In an informal survey, we learned that about 50% of property managers spend $200 or less on their marketing budgets per property per month. Many of these PMs don’t even know where their money is going; it feels like they are throwing darts against a wall, hoping that something will stick. When considering how much you want to spend on marketing your properties, be intentional about where you spend your money and track whether or not those dollars are getting you renters. If they are not, it may be time for a new marketing approach.

#3. Listing Details Matter

Every property manager has at some point made the mistake of posting a vacancy before that listing is ready—you have one or two pictures that you took a few years ago, and you just don’t have time to make a listing with a full list of amenities. As the world becomes more and more mobile, prospects do almost all of their home shopping online. If you don’t have the most attractive listing, your vacancy simply won’t make the cut.

Take the time to create video walkthroughs for all of your units. These are becoming standard practice across online listings, and it won’t be long before posts without video are treated like posts without photos. On that note, take multiple photos of each room from all different angles, online listings can never have too many photos. Ensure that your listing’s written description is thorough and accurate. Taking even these small steps will show a significant decrease in turnover time, maximizing your revenue.

#4. Review Your Online Application

If you don’t currently offer the ability to apply for your vacancies using an online application, you have a little bit of catching up to do—about 70% of all applications filed in the U.S. are electronic. Most renters expect the ability to apply online and prefer not to drive all the way to your property to file a piece of paper.

If you are using online applications, congrats! If you have properties in multiple locations, make sure that you are customizing each application by location. Depending on location, you may want to change the fee for your applications. In some areas of the country this fee is the responsibility of the applicant, and in others the PM needs to eat that cost as part of the rental process. The application guidelines for your prospects may vary by location as well.

#5. Update Your Screening Boxscores

When you’re screening a prospective new tenant, it’s important to look at them objectively not subjectively. In order to comply with Fair Housing laws, it is best to create a series of objective criteria that define a new applicant as acceptable or not. These criteria can include credit score or previous rent payment history but cannot include protected statuses like race, gender, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, or religion.

The turnaround on applicant screening is faster than ever before, and results come with much more detail than they did previously. Instead of a simple credit score, reports now come with all sorts of payment histories including car or student loan payment delinquencies. By creating a box score based on these objective criteria, you protect yourself from potentially bad renters as well as lawsuits. Record of objectivity will show that you do not discriminate in violation of Fair Housing laws.

#6. Check Your Leasing and Addenda

Every year, state and federal regulations for housing change and these can have a dramatic impact on how you run your business. These can include new Fair Housing criteria, but can also have an immediate impact on your leases and addenda. For examples, the beginning of 2016 saw many new requirements for pesticide use or mold prevention, and these changes need to be reflected in your leases. Failure to comply with these new changes can result in a possible lawsuit, so it is important to stay up to date on your state’s current requirements. There are many resources available online, check with your state’s online resources for more info.

#7. Upgrade Your Technology

Gone are the days of paper applications, faxing, and running from property to property to fix something in person. Mobile devices have all of the tools that we need to work from anywhere, and this saves you money! If your maintenance staff have mobile devices to track and handle requests, this saves you the gas they would have spent driving to and from the office to pick up paper requests. Some PM softwares have the ability to track the status of maintenance requests, granting greater visibility to you and your renters.

Mobile devices also give your leasing agents the ability to run their entire operation while hosting walkthroughs and engaging with prospects 1-on-1. Imagine being able to show a prospect properties, screen their application, and process their lease while standing right next to them. This is becoming a more popular trend as people do all of their initial research online, and taking a mobile approach to your business will save you time in the office and on the road, and will shorten those turnover times significantly.

Get Houston Property Management Here!

Tired of leasing your properties yourself? Contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Leasing

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Humble Texas Property Manager – Why Property Management Saves Time and Money

Humble Texas Property Manager – Why Property Management Saves Time and Money

By Vestpro Residential

Are you thinking about hiring a Humble Texas Property Manager but aren’t sure if that’s the right decision to make? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will share with you the top ways an experienced property manager will save you time and money.

#1 – Tenant Screening

An experienced Humble Texas Property Manager will save you the time, money and hassle of searching for and screening tenants yourself. Our experienced team of property management professionals will ensure that the tenants we choose have been checked thoroughly via a background check, credit check, job verification and more so you can have the fullest confidence in knowing that the best tenants are living in your rental property.

#2 – Customer Service

Once we’ve screened and found the right tenant for your rental property your Humble Texas Property Manager will provide the best customer service and support for the tenants who are living in your rental property so that they will always have someone to call when they need assistance instead of calling you.

#3 – Rent Collection

As your experienced Humble Texas Property Manager, we will also save you time and money when it comes to rent collection so you will never have to deal with the hassle of collecting rent yourself or dealing with tenants who don’t pay you on time.

#4 – Decrease Tenant Turnover

Another huge benefit that comes from hiring a Humble Texas Property manager is that we will decrease turnover at your rental property because when tenants have someone who they can call for problems, issues or concerns at the rental they are more likely to feel that their needs are being taken care of and will feel less inclined to search for a rental property elsewhere.

Contact a Humble Texas Property Manager

To learn more about our Humble Texas Property Manager contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Humble Texas Property Manager

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Simple Curb Appeal Tips For Your Houston Rental Property

Struggling with adding Curb Appeal to your Houston Rental Property? One of the great things about flower pots is that this is a simple curb appeal improvement that anyone can add themselves and what’s even better is that they are super affordable so if you’re on a budget and just starting out with your first rental property you can stretch your budget further with this curb appeal “hack”.

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For the best property management in the Houston area contact Vestpro today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

Posted by on October 4, 2016 in Curb Appeal

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Should You Accept A Partial Rent Payment At Your Houston Rental Property?

Should You Accept A Partial Rent Payment At Your Houston Rental Property?

HOUSTON, TX. – If you’ve owned Houston Rental Property for any length of time you know that things change in the rental market for a variety of reasons.

Your tenants may become unemployed temporarily, roommates may move out, and you may be asked at least once if you will accept a partial rent payment but the BIG question is should you accept a partial rent payment?

Get Everything in Writing

As with any business arrangement when it comes to a partial rent payment you should get everything in writing including the amount of the first partial rent payment and when you expect the remaining balance to be due.

Your written agreement with your tenant should also include late fees that they are expected to pay as well just so they will understand that they are expected to have their rent caught up by a specified date instead of constantly rolling over the money that they are behind on their rent by each month.

partial rent payments

If You Don’t Want To Accept Partial Rent Payments

If you’re not open to accepting a partial rent payment from your tenants you should make sure that your lease clearly states that partial rent payments are not accepted just so you can fall back on your lease and follow through with some of the typical penalties for tenants who are late paying their rent including late fees, daily late fees and eviction.

Partial rent payment situations hardly ever work out in the favor of the owner because once the tenant and the owner agree to a partial rent payment arrangement, the tenant may expect the ability to make partial rent payments in the future.

Worse yet, if the property owner or landlord chooses to evict the tenant they may be required by the courts to wait until the same time in the following month after the partial rent payment was collected because some courts will not start the eviction process in the same month that the partial rent payment was collected.

Get Property Management for Your Houston Rental Property

For effective property management at your Houston Rental Property contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (831) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us through our website.

 

Posted by on October 3, 2016 in payments

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1031 Exchange Tax Free Real Estate Investing

1031 Exchange Tax Free Real Estate Investing

Are you planning on investing in another Houston Texas Rental Property but have to sell one of your rentals first before you can purchase the new property? If so, you should consider a 1031 exchange.

In this video you will learn more about how the 1031 exchange works and how to apply this to your business.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

For affordable Houston Texas property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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