Proof Of Income – Learn More About Why It’s Critical That You Require It

If you own rental properties, one of the most important things you can do is require proof of income from your tenants because, it’s what’s going to let you know if a tenant is really qualified to live in your rental property and will be able to pay their rent on time on a monthly basis or not.

Why You Need Proof of Income

Checking proof of income protects you from losing money and your tenant from eviction, if they suddenly can’t afford rent.

Let’s step back for a minute and acknowledge that most tenants don’t purposely fail to pay rent. Nor do they go into a rental agreement with the intent of living there for free.

But having proof of a steady income that is appropriate for the rent you charge can reduce risk to both you and your tenant. After all, evicting a tenant is not ideal and can cost you thousands.

Determine if the 3x Income Rule Is Met

When asking for proof of income for apartment rentals, you’re not just verifying a stable source of money. You’re also figuring out if your potential tenant can meet the 3x Income rule. Generally, you want to take tenants only if their gross yearly income is three times the rent you’re charging.

Of course, you can make exceptions to this rule, for example, if your potential renter has good credit, a steady work history, or if they have a cosigner.

For many potential renters you just need to look at a few pay stubs, but with retirees (who are renting more and more), students, and those without your typical salaried job, for instance, you may have to find other ways to verify their income.

The rise of the gig economy may also affect how you determine appropriate income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that about 10 percent of the U.S. population had “alternative work arrangements” in 2017. Still others supplement their traditional income with side gig companies like Uber or Upwork.

Verify Income for Potential Renters Without a Traditional Salary

You should verify income for all renters, but it’s especially important for potential renters who don’t have your typical 9-to-5. Let’s take a look at a few of those categories.

Self-Employed: Tenants who own their own business won’t have a pay stub or an employer to call. You’ll have to find other ways to verify their income and ensure that it’s steady.

Cash-Only Employees: Like the self-employed, there won’t be a paper trail for these renters. And a lot of them don’t know how to show proof of income, which makes it difficult for them to rent. This group includes waitstaff, landscaping employees, yoga instructors, artists and master crafts people as well as childcare workers. You will, however, most likely have an employer you can call or email.

Commission-Based Employees: Sales reps and retail employees may be working on commission or through incentive plans. While you probably ask to see two pay stubs for salaried renters, you may want to see a yearly statement of income to determine if a renter that works on commission is making enough.

Retirees: Retirees will have other types of income you can check: social security, retirement accounts, and pensions.

Students: Student renters will almost always need a cosigner. In that case, you’ll want to check proof of income for the cosigner, as well.

Ways to Determine Proof of Income

Whether they’re students, retirees, gig workers or have a salaried job, you still need to ask for documentation. Here are the best ways to do that.

  1. Pay Stub: Salaried and freelance workers who have filed W9s can provide pay stubs. For freelancers, however, a few pay stubs aren’t likely to give you the whole picture. You’ll need more verification.
  2. Employer Verification: A letter, email, or phone call from an employer can help you get a clear picture of finances. This is particularly helpful for potential renters who work on a cash-only basis.
  3. W2 or 1099: A W2 indicates exactly how much a salaried employee made over the past year. If they plan to keep that job, you’ll know whether or not they meet your requirements. A 1099 for a freelancer will give you the same information, but income for the coming years may vary.
  4. Offer Letter: If your potential tenant just changed jobs, ask for a copy of their offer letter. It should state their salary.
  5. Tax Return: Like W2s and 1099s, a tax return will tell you what someone made the previous year. It will be up to you to determine whether their job or other circumstances have changed since then.
  6. Retirement, Social Security or Pension Distribution Statement: For retirees, a distribution statement from social security, a retirement fund or a pension fund will verify income. You may need a combination or all three of these to get a clear picture of their finances.

Insufficient Funds Isn’t the End

If your potential tenant doesn’t meet your income criteria at first blush, don’t decline them right away. If everything else checks out and they seem like a good fit, there may be other ways to bring them on as tenants.

First of all, did you consider all of their means of income? For retirees, did you collect statements from all retirement accounts? For salaried employees, did you consider their side gigs?

Go back and ask them if they have any other sources that they didn’t consider including. If these are steady sources that they plan on keeping, you’re absolutely right to include them as part of their gross income.

And if their income still doesn’t add up, ask them if they would consider finding a cosigner. A lot of landlords require this for students, and it’s usually a parent or guardian. But other renters might be open to the idea, as well.

Proof of income is critical in protecting yourself and your renters. Still, you don’t have to keep to a hard-and-fast rule in determining who’s in and who’s out. Look at all the information in front of you, and use it to make a well-informed decision in the best interests of you and your tenants.

Get Property Management Here

Do you need full service property management for your Houston area rental properties? If so, contact Vestpro Residential services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Are Owners Required to Disclose Lead Paint in Rentals in Texas? Yes!

Older rental properties in Texas still exist and as of 2019 there still are a fair amount of properties on the rental market today that contain lead-based paint although it’s been banned in the United States since the late 1970s.

Lead-based paint exposure can cause weakness, kidney damage, weakness, and so many other bad symptoms that it’s easy to see why it was banned but in old homes, the culprit is still there even if it’s been painted over a few times with other layers of paint.

Although most landlords don’t let the paint chip or flake off in their rental properties, if lead based paint is allowed to flake off it can be hazardous for small children and dangerous for the environment if the paint chips or flakes are left on the ground.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Requirements for Landlords

All sellers and landlords must disclose the presence of any known lead in a home or rental. Here are the steps, according to the EPA, landlords need to take to make sure they are following the letter of the law.

Landlords must:

  • Disclose any known information on the presence of lead-based paint in the building. That includes any common areas like laundry rooms or lounges.
  • Include a lead disclosure attachment to the lease or language in the lease that includes a Lead Warning Statement, and lets tenants know you’ve complied with all notification requirements.
  • Keep lead-based paint disclosure forms for at least three years after the lease of an apartment or other property.
  • Provide an EPA-approved pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards to tenants.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the lead paint hazard pamphlet in several languages. They also provide the Lead Warning Statement in both Spanish and English.

To disclose the presence of lead, give prospective tenants any records about the inspection for or discovery of lead paint.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to provide this information every time a tenant renews, just when a new tenant is ready to sign a lease.

Lead Paint Disclosure Exemptions

Aside from renewals, there are other situations where you don’t have to provide a lead paint disclosure:

  • If your unit or property was built after Jan. 1, 1978
  • If your unit is a studio or loft with no bedrooms
  • If you’re renting for less than 100 days, like those on Airbnb
  • If your unit or building has passed a lead-free inspection by a state-certified inspector

Lead paint disclosure is an important part of the rental process, particularly if you rent to families with little children. Take steps to give your new tenants all the information they need and ensure they have peace of mind that makes a happy, healthy home.

Get Property Management in Houston Texas

Do you need property management for your Houston Texas rental property? Contact VestPro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Should You Invest in Houston Texas Rentals Later in Life? Yes!

It doesn’t matter if you’re in you’re 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or even later in life, investing in Houston Texas rental properties is a smart investment because over the last 20 years real estate has been one of the best performing assets and that’s not expected to change anytime soon.

Although many people think that the time to invest in real estate is when you are in your 20’s, the reality is that real estate should be something that people invest in at any stage of their lives.

5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life

Leverage (and build!) your network.

Think that 23-year-old rascal has a network like yours? Forget about it.

Take advantage of your superior network and double down on building an even stronger one.

Who do you know in the real estate industry? In the mortgage industry? In the construction and contracting industries?

Who do you know who has more money than they know what to do with and is looking for a project to invest in?

The electrician in your Friday poker group can refer you to trustworthy and affordable general contractors and handymen. The real estate agent in your bridge club may not service the area where you’re looking to invest, but she can refer you to someone who can.

Start assembling your dream team. After all, real estate investing is a team sport, and you have several more decades’ worth of contacts to draw on to fill out your roster!

Capitalize on your existing capital.

After being employed for several decades, you should have far more money set aside than some 23-year-old just out of college who’s scraping by on their entry-level income.

That extra capital is a competitive advantage!

Maybe you can afford to make cash offers to drive a harder negotiation and avoid financing fees. Or maybe you can afford a higher down payment to avoid mortgage insurance and having to resort to tricks like owner-occupied financing or relying on seller concessions for closing costs.

You may decide that you want to finance your rentals even though you can afford to buy in cash for tax or leverage reasons. But having more money at your disposal is a huge advantage over the young punks out there.

Use it to your advantage to negotiate hard, get the best possible financing, and move faster on deals than your competitors can.

Take another look at house hacking.

“Forget it, Brian! I don’t want to live in some trashy duplex!”

First of all, there are plenty of upscale multifamily dwellings out there. Don’t discount them just because your experiences with properties have been less than thrilling.

First, you could buy a home with an in-law suite and convert it to an income suite.e garage? In the basement? Something with a separate entrance of course, so you don’t have to mingle with the riffraff.

If you have a large garage space, could you rent it out as storage space?

4. Keep your eyes on the prize: income for retirement.

People invest in real estate for many reasons and in many ways.

As an older adult, consider putting “passive income” at the top of your priority list.

One of the things I love the most about rental investing is you can forecast your returns incredibly accurately, before ever putting a single dollar down as a deposit. You know the market rent, the neighborhood vacancy rate, the local property management costs, property taxes, insurance. You can accurately forecast CapEx and repair costs.

You’ll know exactly what kind of cash flow you can expect from a property before making an offer. This means you can only invest in properties with strong cash flow.

Appreciation may or may not happen sometime in the indefinite future. But cash flow isn’t based on future hopes and prayers.

Rental properties can be incredibly efficient income producers for retirement. The 4% Rule doesn’t apply; in fact, the whole notion of “safe withdrawal rate” goes out the window.

You don’t have to sell off any assets for the income produced by rentals. In fact, they produce more income over time, not less—rents go up, even as your mortgage payment holds steady (and eventually disappears)!

5. Snowball your extra income.

As an older adult, you’ve been at this whole “budgeting” thing for a while now. Granted, that could mean that you’re stuck in your ways—or it could mean you’ve learned a thing or two.

When young people get a promotion, the first thing they do is go out and find a way to spend their higher income. It could mean a better apartment, a better car, or just going out to more bars and restaurants.

It’s called lifestyle inflation, and it’s insidious.

As an older adult, hopefully by now you’ve witnessed firsthand how counterproductive lifestyle inflation is. Credit card debt? You’ve been there and done that. Faster cars? Not as sexy as they were when you were 20.

So, when you buy a rental property and start earning that extra $200, $300, $500 a month, what are you going to do with it?

Re-invest it.

Set it aside and put it in the stock market. Or in private notes. Or best of all, in more rental properties.

Because ultimately, you’re on a mission. Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to retire with more wealth, because more wealth brings more options. As you build streams of rental income, you can retire young, or keep working and building more wealth.

And when you retire, you can go travel the world if you want, rather than ducking into the Golden Corral before the Early Bird Special ends.

It’s never too late to start buying rental properties. If you invest strategically, you can accelerate your retirement saving, bend the 4% Rule and build a stable and permanent base of passive income.

Get Property Management in Houston Texas

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

Planning on Hiring A Humble Texas Property Manager In 2019? Click Here

Do you own one or more Humble Texas rental properties? If so, one of the best things you can do in 2019 is hire a property manager.

Learn More About Why You Should Hire A Property Manager

On the off chance that you own investment property, you deserve to have our Humble Texas Property Management service professionally manage your rental property for you.

Our property administration group will make dealing with your investment property simple. You can depend on us to offer you the following services: 

Tenant Selection

Tenant Placement

Rent Collection

Customer Service

Maintenance

Repairs

We Make Owning Rental Property Hassle Free!

Envision not taking calls from occupants again around evening time, or weekends. With our Humble Texas Property Management group, you can depend on us to be there for you, professionally dealing with your investment property and getting you the most ROI conceivable.

Enlisting a property management company costs significantly less than what you think! Besides being reasonable, our Humble Texas Property Management cost is equal to the cost of one Starbucks Coffee per every day.

Reasonable, Reliable and Trustworthy Property Management

Some property managers in the Humble Texas Area are not solid or dependable, they will take your cash and not furnish you with any genuine property management services. 

Thankfully, with our Humble Texas Property Management Service, you can depend on us to do what we say and provide you with the best property management services possible.

Owning an investment property will never be tedious again or a pain! Give us a chance to show you how we will simplify your life with our professional property management services.

GET HUMBLE TEXAS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

For affordable Humble Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or connect with us through our site.

How To Know When It’s Time To Hire A Property Management Company

Are you managing your Houston area rental properties yourself? If so, you most likely don’t have a lot of time in your day to do the things that you want to do. In this case, you should consider hiring a property manager.

At Vestpro Residential Services, we will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself. Some of the services that we can offer you include:

Rent collection
Maintenance
Property Marketing
And more!

Learn more about the services we can offer you by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How to get your rental property ready for spring

Even though it’s still winter one thing we know in the Houston area is that warmer weather is right around the corner. This is why it’s important for every owner to start planning for spring now.

Here’s an action plan that you can use to get your rental property ready for spring.

February

February is a great time to finish general landscape cleanup and begin making plans for how the property should look during the growing season.

  1. Get a Plan. Assess the lawn, beds, trees and the general landscape and determine what needs to be cut back, removed, culled and reshaped. Plot a path and follow it.
  2. Apply pre-emergents. An effective pre-emergent will make the lawn more healthy and weed resistant. In most areas, a pre-emergent fertilizer with time-release action will provide the right amount of nutrients and weed preventatives at the right time.
  3. Prune and cull. It’s a great time to prune crape myrtles and ornamental trees, plus cull larger grasses.
  4. Plant spring color. At the end of the month in southern climates start planting colorful annuals in beds. Bright yellows, oranges and reds grab the most attention.

March

As temperatures warm, put your plan for cutbacks and pruning of flowering bushes into action.

  1. Cut back ground cover and monkey grass. Mow to two-inch height and remove all the brown and dead grass. Failing to cut these plants back will result in plants that don’t look healthy when they should be lush and green.
  2. Prune roses. Before it gets too hot, prune roses and other flowering bushes. Pruning in March will help these bushes reach their full potential at the height of spring.
  3. Reduce large shrubs that are overgrown. Make sure bigger shrubs are but back before they start to bud.
  4. Check the waterworks. Irrigation systems that have been drained should be filled and tested for leaks or problems. Also, check rain sensors.
  5. Fertilize the lawn. About three or four weeks before lawns typically start to green, apply a fertilizer with high nitrogen.

April

For the southern part of the country, April usually is the final chance to get the lawn in shape before the heat hits. “It’s the Last month you have before you start getting hammered by heat,” Lee said. “It’s then that you’re trying to get things accomplished before the plant goes into survival mode.”

  1. Plant shrubs, grasses and other new plant life. Do it early so that new plants have enough time to get established before summer arrives.
  2. Trim trees. Most trees will have leafed out by now and you should be able to tell which limbs may be overly weighted and in need of trimming or cutting.
  3. Apply pesticides. As temperatures warm, fire ants and aphids start to emerge and should be treated to avoid damage to new and existing growth.
  4. Mulch beds and other areas. About mid-month, mulching should be under way and even finished. However, make sure the rainy season is mostly finished to avoid washing out of fresh-mulched beds.

“Not all of these steps will be right for areas farther north,” Lee said. “That cycle will probably start in March and run through May, for example. Wherever the property is located, it’s important to take a progressive approach to the landscape so that everything has the greatest chance of flourishing.”

Get Property Management In Houston

Need property management in the Houston area? Contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here.

Nеw Yеаr’ѕ Rеѕоlutіоnѕ – Hire A Property Manager In 2019

2019 іѕ оffісіаllу here аnd like mаnу реорlе, уоu mау bе wrіtіng down уоur Nеw Yеаr’ѕ Rеѕоlutіоnѕ аnd thіnkіng оf wауѕ that you can run уоur business mоrе efficiently.

If you оwn rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ in thе Houston, оnе оf thе bеѕt wауѕ thаt you саn manage your рrореrtіеѕ mоrе еffісіеntlу іn the New Yеаr is wіth thе help оf a рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt соmраnу.

Wіth a рrореrtу manager ѕеrvіng уоu, you wіll nеvеr hаvе tо wоrrу аbоut еffісіеntlу managing уоur rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ again.

Sоmе оf thе many ѕеrvісеѕ thаt wе саn offer you іnсludе:

  • Rеnt collection – Collected on time еvеrу mоnth аnd dероѕіtеd іntо your account.
  • Mаіntеnаnсе – Performed bу оur еxреrt ѕtаff.
  • Customer ѕеrvісе – All соrrеѕроndеnсе will bе hаndlеd bу оur іn-hоuѕе сuѕtоmеr service tеаm.
  • Tenant ѕеlесtіоn and рlасеmеnt – We wіll оnlу find and рlасе the mоѕt ԛuаlіfіеd tenants іn your properties.
  • Aссоuntіng – Receive іtеmіzеd rероrtіng frоm your rental рrореrtіеѕ.
  • And more!

Save Tіmе and Money wіth Prореrtу Mаnаgеmеnt

Imаgіnе what hаvіng аn еxtrа hоur each dау саn dо fоr уоur schedule аnd thеn multірlу thаt оnе hоur реr dау bу 30 and thаt’ѕ a lot оf hоurѕ fоr thе mоnth. Wіth thіѕ еxtrа time, уоu can fіnаllу focus оn grоwіng уоur роrtfоlіо of rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ or juѕt have more tіmе wіth your family.

At Vestpro Residential Services we саn рrоmіѕе you rеlіаblе property mаnаgеmеnt that wіll bе аn аѕѕеt fоr your buѕіnеѕѕ аnd уоu саn аlѕо dереnd on uѕ for brоkеrаgе, асԛuіѕіtіоnѕ аnd ѕо muсh mоrе!

Dоn’t ѕреnd аnоthеr year ѕtrugglіng wіth mаnаgіng уоur rental рrореrtіеѕ уоurѕеlf! Lеt uѕ help уоu efficiently mаnаgе уоur рrореrtіеѕ аnd grоw your іnvеѕtmеnt portfolio.

Cоntасt Vestpro Residential Services

Mаkе 2019 уоur best уеаr ever! To lеаrn mоrе аbоut the services wе can offer уоu соntасt uѕ tоdау by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Merry Christmas From Your Friends At Vestpro Residential Services!

Merry Christmas from your friends at Vestpro Residential Services! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and great new year!

Contact Us

If you’re planning on searching for a new rental in 2019, or are going to need a property manager, contact us today at (832) 971-1841 or connect with us online. 

What to Replace in Your Rental Property After You Purchase It

Are you planning on buying a new rental property in the Houston area?

Like many landlords, you’re excited about getting that property ready for rent but the reality is that there are a variety of things that you must replace in your property before renting it including the following:

Toilets

Although some landlords often replace the toilets in a rental property last, you should replace these first because a leaky toilet can cause thousands of dollars in water damages and higher than normal water bills for your tenant or you, if you’re paying the water bill for the property yourself.

Light Bulbs

Changing light bulbs is also a “must do” because this will eliminate your tenants calling you to come out to change the light bulbs and also ensure that they will not injure themselves when attempting to change the light bulbs in the rental property on their own.

Locks

Even though the locks in your new Houston TX rental property may look new, you should still replace them anyway because there’s no knowing who may have had access to that property in the past and you want to move forward with confidence in knowing that all keys are accounted for.

Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Alarms

Last of all, don’t forget to change the fire extinguishers and smoke alarms for the rental property especially since there’s no knowing how old those safety devices really are and you want to move forward as an owner with confidence in knowing that your tenants will be protected from fire should one break out at your property.

Contact VestPro Residential Services

Tired of managing your rental property yourself or are you not satisfied with the service that you’re receiving from your current manager? Contact us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

Reasons To Choose Vestpro Residential Services In 2019 For Property Management

Are you planning on searching for a property manager in 2019 to manage your portfolio of rental properties? If so, here are the reasons to choose Vestpro Residential Services for all of your property management needs.

We Will Set the Right Correct Rates for Your Rentals

One of the biggest problems many property owners face is setting the incorrect rates for their Houston Income Properties.

We are your biggest asset in this area thanks to our market research, which will guarantee that we rent your properties for the right rates, insuring you have the right balance between stable monthly income and super low vacancy rate.

Your Rents Will Be Collected On Time

Another area where we will be an asset to your Houston Income Property portfolio is rent collection.

Over the years we’ve developed the right internal systems which will insure that your rent is collected on time every single month and deposited into your account or mailed to you.

The Most Effective Marketing For Your Rentals

As you grow your portfolio of properties you will find that one of the most time consuming duties is marketing a home, plex or property when you have a vacancy.

Vestpro has solved this problem for you. Effective property marketing is another of our biggest assets which will save you the time and hassle of property marketing yourself.

We Will Choose the Right Tenants for Your Properties

Last of all, but most important, at Vestpro we will choose the right tenants for your properties by performing the following tasks including: credit check, income verification and reference checks so you don’t have to.

Let Vestpro Manage Your Houston Rental Properties

For more information on the property management services we can offer you for your Houston Rental Properties contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.