Why You Should Consider Us
Chances are you have never heard of the Texas Property Code. Should you have? Well, if you own rental property you should know about it. Unfortunately the state of Texas has no mechanism for communicating the Code to people who own or manage rent property. What is the significance of the Code? If you own rent property and fail to comply with the Code, you are at risk of being in violation of the law or losing a lawsuit with a tenant. It could mean the difference between winning or losing in an eviction process or other legal action with a tenant. An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.
Cherokee Real Estate Company, Inc. oversees over 100 residential and commercial rental properties and it is our business to stay abreast of the laws that govern the leasing of real estate. We have been managing property since 1990 and have the necessary tools to do a competent job of overseeing rental property.
Cherokee Real Estate Company, Inc.
Property Management Practices & Policies
- The fee for managing property is ten (10) percent of the gross monthly rent. There are no finders fees unless we are asked to simply procure a tenant without managing the property.
- The property management fee is based on actual rents collected. When there is no rent revenue there is no fee.
- The company will show the property and procure and screen all tenant prospects. Prospects are required to fill out an application. The information on the application is verified to the extent the company deems necessary.
- All lessees are put on a lease and security deposit agreement. The minimum lease term acceptable is six months; the maximum is twelve.
- Forfeited security deposits are the property of the owner.
- All maintenance expenses are borne by the owner except where the tenant is responsible for the maintenance problem. This does not include yard work, where a detached house is involved; nor does it include keeping the interior of the home neat and clean. These activities are the responsibility of the lessee.
- The company will advertise the property for lease and there is no charge for doing so.
- The company will see that repairs not the responsibility of the lessee are taken care of and deducted from rent proceeds. If a major repair expense appears necessary the owner will be consulted prior to proceeding with the work. The company has no dollar threshold it uses when deciding to consult with an owner. A case by case judgment is made.
- The company retains all security deposits in a non-interest bearing trust account and refunds them to the vacating lessees if the property has been left in the same condition in which it was delivered, normal wear and tear excepted. There may be instances where partial deposit refunds are made. Any forfeited deposits become the property of the owner. The company retains security deposits for two reasons:
- to serve as a cushion for expenses incurred by the company in managing the property.
- to avoid a situation where a property owner would refuse to refund a deposit where it should rightfully be returned to the lessee.
- After the first of the month, after collecting the rent, the owner is sent a rendering of all income and expenses along with a check for net proceeds to the owner. This rendering is acceptable for tax purposes.
- By state law, late fees may not be charged until the third day of the month. Late fees of up to $20.00 per day for up to 12% of the rent may be charged. It is not the company’s policy to consistently charge the maximum amount as that amount can become a significant burden. Tenants who come to us in advance with pressing problems will often see more forbearance on our part than those who chronically pay their rent late and give us no forewarning.
- Because dealing with delinquent tenants takes a disproportionate amount of property management effort and time, the company retains one half of all delinquent fees as compensation for the effort involved. Pursuing delinquent tenants runs the gamut from constant phone calling, to posting notices, to significant drive time, to filing eviction suits.
- It is company policy to obtain money judgments against tenants who have been judicially evicted and to file these judgments in the public records. These judgments can cover back rent, late fees or even property damage. On very rare occasions these judgments are collected and the money is sent to the owner
- If an owner has any special requirements of a lessee they will be incorporated into the lease so long as they do not violate federal, state or local statutes dealing with fair housing or any other pertinent laws. It is recommended that units not permit pets (other than assisted living animals) nor smoking.
- The Texas Property Code requires the installation of functioning smoke alarms, keyless locking devices in all access doors, stops on sliding doors and peep holes in doors lacking glass. There may be other statutory requirements. The company will only manage property that complies with the Code.
- Federal law requires the disclosure of any knowledge of lead-based paint in any kind of residential dwelling constructed prior to 1978 and the distribution of literature covering the known hazards of lead-based paint. The company has the necessary forms and uses them where applicable.
- The company adheres to the letter and spirit of all fair housing statutes.
- If the landlord so desires, the company will enter into a property management agreement.
- The account maintained by the company is an interest free trust account and no funds collected or disbursed by the company are commingled with other company operating funds, as required and governed by the Texas Real Estate License Act.
Click here to go to our site of available properties and an explanation of rental policies for prospective tenants.