Property Management Frequently Asked Questions
Are You A Member Of Any Professional Associations? Yes, Eanes Properties is a member in good standing of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), Texas Association of Realtors (TAR).
How Do You Market Vacant Or Soon To Be Vacant Properties? First we put one of our “For Lease” signs in the front yard (unless HOA prohibits such signs). Believe it or not, a majority of our properties lease off the sign. People drive through the neighborhoods they want to live in and call if they see a sign. We list the property specifics and multiple quality photos on the Austin Multiple Listing Service (MLS), on our web site www.eanesproperties.com and other large Internet sites (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Austinhomesearch.com etc.) as well as syndicate all our lease listings so they will show up on all other realtor sites also participating in syndication from the MLS. We do a market analysis to insure we are offering your property at the correct price and do the proper preparation and make ready so the property shows well. We are available seven days a week to show the property to an interested party.
How Do You Process Applications To Lease Your Properties? First we make sure the applicant(s) have actually seen inside the property they are applying to Lease. The only exception is for applicants relocating from out-of-state to Austin. Then we review the Application to be sure it is complete, run a background check on all applicants over 18, run a national criminal background check, verify employment and previous rental history with current and former landlords. The applicants are contacted if we have any questions and when we are satisfied they meet our criteria they are approved and we deposit their Application Deposit (which becomes their Security Deposit). If they don’t meet our criteria, their Application is declined and we give them a Federally required Fair Credit Reporting letter (which entitles them to a free credit report).
When do I get my money each month? Rents are due on the first of the month and late after the third. The rental funds need to clear the tenant’s bank account before we can send any proceeds out. We strive to send owner funds to you between the 10th-15th of the month as long as there are no unexpected issues. We do utilize electronic payments so if you would like us to set up an ACH payment to you for your monthly proceeds we will do that and process those funds to you monthly as soon as possible. If you prefer receiving your monthly funds by check we can also arrange that.
What fees do you charge for your service? We charge a Management Fee of 8 percent of the rent collected. During any vacancies between tenants we do not collect any fees. We only get paid when your property is rented and we take the percentage from the collected rent. When a property is vacated and we have a tenant turnover, the Leasing Commission to find another qualified resident and release the property is 80 percent of the first month’s rent. $250 flat fee is charged when an existing tenant renews their lease. If you use us to lease but not manage your property the cost is 100% of the first month’s rent. The marketing fees we pay for included in these fees to get your property re-leased as quickly as possible are the MLS fees, using multiple interior and exterior photos, internet marketing, signs and lock boxes. We do not collect any fees when repairs are made. Whatever the vendor charges on the invoice is the fee you pay, nothing more.
What Is Your Pet Policy? For almost all of our properties we will accept a maximum of two animals: dogs and/or cats (no puppies less than a year old or aggressive breed dogs) with an Animal Deposit and Animal Addendum to the Lease Contract. When tenants move out they pay to steam clean all carpets and de-flea interior from this deposit. The balance of their $350-$500 per animal Deposit is refunded unless there is damage caused by the animals (holes dug in backyard, scratches on doors, etc.)
Can I say I don’t want to rent to someone with pets? Pets are not a protected class so you can say no to them but by eliminating all pet owners it will take your home a lot longer to lease. As many as 60-70% of renters do have pets so while we will honor your request not to allow them please keep in mind doing so will increase the time it takes to find a qualified candidate to lease your property. Service animals cannot be denied and will be allowed if the tenant has the appropriate documentation on the service animal.
Where Does The Money Go? We maintain a Trust checking account for the properties we manage. All income and investments for that property go into this account. Only the Property Manager, who is a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker, can sign checks from this accounts.
Is The Tenants Security and Animal Deposit Put In A Separate Account? Yes, the tenant’s Security and Animal Deposits are placed in a Deposit Trust account. It is the tenant’s money and we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect it. The tenant’s Security and Animal Deposit represent Liabilities that have to be returned or accounted for within 30 days after a tenant moves out.
Can An Owner Sign Checks From The Trust Checking Account? No, the Owner can not sign checks from the Trust checking account.
What Happens To Tenant Paid Late Fees and NSF Charges? All Late Fees (initial Late Charge of $50 for being late plus a $10 a day until the rent has been paid in full) and NSF charges go to Eanes Properties. This is to compensate for the additional time and effort to collect the unpaid rent and for the additional clerical work generated when a check is returned NSF as listed in the TAR Management Agreement we use.
What Happens After A Tenant Moves and There Is A Tenant Turnover? After a unit is vacant, we do a walk through to assess the condition the unit has been left in. We look for any damages, needed repairs, condition of carpet, appearance of interior paint job and cleanliness. We prepare a punch list based on what we find and then assign vendors to take care of any needed work. Some things are mandatory (All locks are re-keyed for example). If there are any large ticket expenses (full interior paint job, install new carpet or replace A/C system for example) the Owner will be advised. The Owner only pays the amount of the vendor’s bill. There is nothing added to vendor bills paid to Eanes Properties. We won’t lease a property to anyone that we would not move into ourselves.
Can you lease my property but not manage it? Yes, we charge 100% of the first month’s rent for this service.
What Happens If An Eviction Has To Be Filed? If a tenant has to be evicted for non-payment of rent, Eanes Properties handles the process from notifying the tenant, filing the paperwork in JP Court and appearing in JP Court if necessary. In all the years we have managed income property we have never lost an eviction case. The only cost to the Owner for this service is the cost of court filings. If an eviction is necessary for another reason other then non payment of rent we have several local real estate attorney’s contact info we can refer for those situations who specialize in those cases.
How Can The Property Management Agreement Be Cancelled? Either party may cancel the Property Management Agreement with a written notice to the other party thirty days before it is to take effect. At that time a final accounting will be given and all cash in the Trust checking account will be sent to the Owner.
When Can I Expect To Receive An Accounting For Income and Expenses? We have an online owner portal you have access to where you can see an accounting for all income and expenses in your Trust account at any time. There are many reports you have access to in your portal to run for your specific needs. If you would like a particular report from the portal printed and mailed or emailed to you monthly we are happy to do that upon your request.
What Does Eanes Properties Provide To Help With My Taxes? After the end of the year, Eanes Properties prepares a Proforma P&L with a detailed income and expense report. So far every CPA who has received this report is able to easily file the Owners tax returns. All the CPA must do is calculate and plug in the Depreciation Expense and add any expenses paid directly by the Owner and not run through his Trust account (some Owners pay their own Liability Insurance, Mortgages and Fire and Hazard Insurance Premiums and/or Property Taxes for example). Eanes Properties keeps all records for seven years per IRS Guidelines in case of an audit or if a receipt or some other document is needed.
Is there a minimum amount of money I need to have on reserve with you? Yes we require a $400 reserve balance in your account so we have funds on hand to be able to quickly pay vendors. In the event a repair is going to cost over $400 we will let you know so you are aware of what is happening and the cost and you will have an opportunity to send us those funds to cover the expense or advise us to use the incoming rent to cover it.