Thank you for the opportunity to provide professional property management services. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. is your full service real Estate investment and property management company. Since 1984, hundreds of Austin-area investors and rental owners have relied upon RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. to free them from the concerns of managing their own property.
RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. is committed to maximizing the benefits of your investment through efficient management of your property; thus freeing you from management problems while providing professional Real Estate service.
We have developed strong relationships with Real Estate professionals and maintenance contractors to provide you the best blend of services. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. is dedicated to keeping your investment in good repair with minimal cost; and leasing it at a fair market rate while carefully screening and selecting residents.
The following is your Owners Handbook. This handbook gives you information you will need to have a level of trust that transcends that of any other property management company. “We manage your property as if it were our own.”
Please refer to the handbook for information on the following:
- While Your Property is Vacant
- While Your Property Leases
- Owner Expenses
- Owner Statements and Checks
- When Your Tenant Moves Out/Deposits
- Selling Your RPM-Managed Property
- Maintenance and Repairs
- HOA Dues and Violations
- Warranty Information for Property
- Mandatory Liability Insurance Information
- Property Tax Protest
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are the most common questions asked by prospective new clients. Perhaps by reading these answers, you might find out information you did not know to ask.
What are your property management fees?
RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. management fees range from as little as 6% to as much as 10% of the gross monthly income to the property. Our fees are based on several criteria not the least of which are: Gross rent received, location of the property, service level needed to deliver the quality of service you expect from a full-service management firm. If you are considering a savings by going with a firm that is less experienced or does not provide a full spectrum of management services, you may not receive a good value for your management dollars.
What are your leasing commissions and what does that cover?
Our leasing commission is 60% of the first months rent for new residents. From this commission, we pay all agents involved in the transaction, all costs associated with listing your property in the MLS, listing in on our Website and all of the additional property listing sites, preparing the lease documents, and performing the lease orientation with your tenants. You will be responsible for $100 a month advertising expense while the property is vacant.
What needs to be done to my house before it is ready to rent?
The better condition that a house is in, the better quality tenant that it will attract. The home must be left in professionally cleaned condition, as the tenants will be paying a deposit, which they expect to be refunded if the property is left in the same condition. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. prefers to arrange any cleaning to insure that the cleaning guidelines are strictly followed. The carpets must be freshly cleaned and all debris and personal belongings removed from the house. It is not necessary to paint automatically, but you should consider painting any room that has dirty or marred walls. A neutral color is best. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. will be happy to discuss any necessary repairs or painting. Neutral window coverings such as blinds should be left, but not curtains that match a particular bed spread of couch. For privacy and security, tenants moving into a rental property do expect some sort of window coverings. We prefer installation of mini blinds. You should not leave a lawn mower or any other personal property. Whether or not a refrigerator or washer and dryer should be left depends on the property. The tenants are required to maintain the yard in the condition that it is provided. Therefore, the yard should be freshly mowed, weeded, trimmed and the leaves and debris removed.
How will you find tenants for my property? How long will it take?
Your property will immediately be placed into the Multiple Listing Service of the Austin Board of Realtors where Realtors throughout the city will have access to the property. The property will also be listed in 12-15 different web sites that also link to many other websites, giving the property superior exposure to prospective tenants. Naturally, a sign and lockbox will be placed on the property.
Depending upon the time of the year and the location of your investment, a property can be leased in as little as two weeks or less, to as much as three months and possibly more. Our economy varies from year to year fluctuating between a tenants market and an owners market. Suffice-to-say, our professional approach to marketing will succeed.
Do you collect first and last month’s rent?
At the time an application is delivered, we collect a deposit amount equal to one month’s rent along with non-refundable application fees. At the time we sign the lease, the tenant is required to pay the first full month rent. On the first day of the next month the tenant is then required to pay the prorated rent. The Texas Property Code states that the deposit cannot be used as the last month’s rent.
Can I say that I do not want any pets or smokers in the house? How about children?
Pets and smokers are definitely not protected classes. However, by eliminating both, you are probably eliminating 60%-80% of otherwise qualified tenants. We acquire a deposit from the tenant equal to one-month rent and if they have pets, there is a minimum deposit of $300 per pet. Also, we do not allow Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chow Dogs or Doberman pincers or any mixes thereof. If however, you still feel strongly about this issue, we will agree to reject tenants with pets.
What happens if the tenant does not pay the rent on time?
The rent is due on the first day of each month and is considered late if received, post marked, on the 4th of the month. More than 98% of our tenants pay their rent on time. If the rent is not paid by the 3rd, we begin the first step in the eviction process by sending a 72 Hour Notice to vacate. Unless there is a serious problem, I am generally contacted and the rent is paid before the end of the month. It is far better to keep a tenant in place than it is to complete an eviction. Should the tenant not pay or move after the notice, we then file an eviction with the Justice of the Peace. A hearing will be within 10 to 14 days. In 2012 we filed evictions on less than 12% of our tenants. With an average of 275 managed properties in 2012 we acquired 100% judgments.
In most cases, without an attorney, we will take responsibility of the eviction process thru going to court. As we took the responsibility of placing the tenant, the only charge to you would be the court filing fees. There is no additional charge for our time – it is part of normal management. If an attorney is necessary in a contested eviction, you will be responsible for any legal charges.
How am I protected if the tenant damages the property?
A security deposit in the amount of one-month rent is taken at the time an application. This amount along with any pet deposit is generally sufficient to manage repairs considered above normal wear and tear. Also, as we have qualified tenants to our parameters, rarely do tenants cause damages above the deposit. However, if they do, we bill them. Should then not pay and the amount is large enough, we take them to small claims court. We also turn them over to the credit bureau.
The horror stories one hears about a property being “trashed” are generally less expensive properties that have been rented without the normal reference checking. National Tenant Network checks previous rental history, criminal, credit (all three bureaus) employment and eviction records.
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
The tenant is responsible for the rent for the term of the lease. If they are forced to choose to leave prior to the termination date, they will be charged for the rent until the property is re-leased to acceptable persons under the same terms and conditions of the original lease. They will also be responsible for the cost of re-leasing the property or 60 percent of one month’s rent, utilities, yard maintenance and any other costs necessary to lease the property. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. is responsible for leasing the property as soon as possible to reduce the tenant liability.
Will I get called in the middle of the night with emergencies?
A tenant should never contact you, much less, in the middle of the night. Should a tenant attempt to call, your responsibility is to immediately direct them to RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. The tenant requests all non-emergency repairs, in writing. If a repair essential to the maintenance of the property is less than $200, the repair will be ordered and the bill will be found on your next report. If the repair is more than $200, or if there is a question of what should be done, we will call you for direction
Who does the repairs on the properties you manage? Can I use my own contractors?
We use a variety of outside contractors depending on what needs to be done. A requirement for those contractors is listed separately. Our repair vendors have been with us for years and are available on a 24-hour a day basis. They work for competitive rates and guarantee their work. Each of our vendors are required to carry a liability insurance policy of no less than $500,000.
Can you use one of my vendors for repairs?
We will be happy to use contractors that you prefer provided they meet the RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. vendor requirements criteria. In other words, they must be fully insured, agree to RPM’s level of quality along with response time and warranty provisions.
Do you charge an override on outside vendor invoices?
No!!!! A part of our management company’s normal responsibility is to coordinate all maintenance issues, receive bills from vendors then pay those vendors from your account. RPM Reliable Property Management, Inc. believes that taking an override is a conflict of interest and therefore all maintenance charges are directly passed through to the owner.
When do I get my money each month?
Rents are due on the first of the month and considered late after the third. The rental funds must clear the tenant’s bank before we can begin disbursing funds. A reasonable time to wait is two weeks depending when we received the rent. We begin payment of all bills on or about the 15th of the month and statements to owners along with their checks, go out between the 25th and the last day of the month. We do this, mostly, so that any expenses throughout the month just come out of the rent without money owed. The statement will have all the activity on the account for that month.