Owner Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to rent my property?+
It normally takes less than 30 days to lease a property. We require tenants to provide a notice to vacate the property 45 days prior to the expiration of their lease. Once we have received the tenants notice, the property is placed on the rental market within 48 hours. It is our objective to reduce vacancy time by securing a qualified tenant prior to the existing tenant vacating the property.
Properties are entered into the Central Texas Multiple Listing Service advertising to 6,000 participating realtors. Both interior and exterior photos along with a complete property description and any community amenities are advertised on eight additional websites.
Market conditions vary, and we cannot make any guarantees, but we will communicate market conditions on a regular basis.
How much can my investment property lease for?+
Your lease rate is going to be determined by several market factors including the condition of the property, location, and the rental rates for competing homes in the immediate area. We will make a recommendation, you make the final decision. Please contact our office and we can discuss this with you as it relates to your specific property.
Who does the repairs on the properties you manage?+
Currently, we use a variety of outside contractors depending on what needs to be done. Many of our vendors have been with us for years, and are available 24 hours a day for emergencies. They work at competitive rates and are licensed and bonded as appropriate. You are billed for exactly the amount of the vendors invoice; we do not mark up for supervision of normal repairs.
Will I get called in the middle of the night with emergencies?+
No, we handle all emergency and non-emergency repairs.
Do you manage furnished properties?+
Our business model and expertise does not allow us to manage furnished properties.
What needs to be done to my house before it is ready for rent?+
better condition your house is in, the better quality tenant it will attract.
Your home must be left in professionally cleaned condition. Your Property
Manager prefers to arrange this cleaning to insure that the cleaning guidelines
are strictly followed. The carpets must be professionally cleaned and all
debris and personal belongings removed from the house.
It is not necessary to paint, but you should consider painting any room that has dirty or marred walls. A neutral color is best. Your Property Manager will be happy to discuss any necessary repairs or painting with you. Neutral window coverings such as blinds should be left, preferably not curtains. Tenants moving into a rental property do expect some sort of window coverings to be provided for privacy and safety. There should be no items stored in the property, including attics, basements, storage areas, etc. We recommend that you do not leave a washer and dryer unless it is a stack unit or an unusual size. It is typical in our area for all kitchen appliances, including stove and refrigerator, to be provided.
The tenants are required to maintain the yard in the condition it is provided to them. Therefore, the yard should be freshly mowed, weeded, trimmed and the leaves and debris removed.
How is the maintenance handled? Can I use my own contractors?+
We use a variety of outside contractors or vendors depending on what needs to be done. We have a long list of requirements and expectations for our contractors. Our repair vendors have been with us for years and offer quality work at competitive prices. Under most routine and emergency situations, we will use our own vendors to complete the work.
We require written work requests for all non-emergency items. If it is a repair essential to the maintenance or safety of the property and less than $350, the repair will be ordered and you will see an entry for the payment of that bill on your next statement. If it is more than $350, the property manager will call you for direction and/or approval, unless it is an emergency, safety, or habitability issue which requires immediate action.
You are billed exactly the amount of the vendor's invoice; we do not charge anything extra for the supervision of these repairs. You will receive a copy of the invoice we paid on your behalf. Most vendors give us a reduction in their rates because of the volume of work they receive from us.
If a repair is over $250 and you wish to have your own contractor to do the work, you may use your contractor at this time. However, you will need to be responsible for scheduling and supervising the work and for direct payment to the vendor. Texas has very specific requirements regarding the time limits for repairs. If you prefer to do all the maintenance, you may want to ask us about our Leasing Only service. Please contact our office if you have question regarding a specific contractor request.
When do I get my money each month?+
We pay owners fast! Rents are due in our office on the first day of each month and are considered late at the close of business on the third. Owner proceeds are distributed via ACH directly to your account on the first business day after the fifth each month. At the time of proceeds distribution, your monthly statement will be emailed directly to you. We do not charge any additional fee for ACH distribution.
Owners requiring a physical check being processed and mailed directly to them will be assessed a minimum $5.00 per month fee for processing and mailing.
What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?+
It’s your money and we take it seriously. One of the most expensive times for any landlord is when the property is vacant or a tenant has not paid. Rent is due into our office on the first of each month and considered late at close of business on the third. Tenants that have not contacted our office and entered into an agreed upon payment plan prior to the rental due date are considered late. On the fourth each late tenant is sent a Notice To Vacate the property. The Notice to Vacate is the first step in the eviction process and legally notifies the tenant they have three days to pay the past due rent or vacate the property. Most tenants contact our office and pay immediately upon receipt of the Notice to Vacate. In the event a tenant still has not paid, our office will notify you that we will file on your behalf with the Justice of the Peace for a formal eviction hearing.
Our office averages less than 30 days to formally move through the eviction process. Our intention is first to collect rent, but in the event that is not possible, we act swiftly on your behalf, filing all necessary documents and paying court fees, appearing before the Justice of The Peace, obtaining a favorable verdict, filing for a Writ of Possession, coordinating with the precinct Constable and the physical removal of the tenant and all possession from the property. The process can be costly.
It is standard for the Eviction Protection Plan to be included with our property management agreement. (Eviction Protection Plan)
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?+
The lease is a legally binding contract. A small percentage of tenants will break their lease due to unforeseen life events and some will simply make the poor decision to leave before fulfilling their lease. The tenant is responsible for rent through the entire term of the lease. If they are forced or choose to leave prior to the termination date, they will be charged for all of the following; a) all rent, unpaid fees and other non-rent charges accrued prior to the date that Owner/Agent knew or reasonably should have known of the abandonment or relinquishment of the unit, b) all damages relating to the condition of the unit, c) an early termination fee in the amount of one month's rent.
Texas Property Code states the Owner/Broker must place the property back on the market as soon as possible to mitigate the tenant’s charges.
How much do you charge to lease my home?+
We charge between 80% to 100% of one month’s rent to place a tenant for a one year lease term. This fee is called a “Listing Fee or a "Procurement Fee". We offer discounts for owners that have multiple properties. These discounts are quoted on a case by case basis and generally when an investor has more than three properties. Our Listing fee comes with our guarantee. If the tenant vacates in the first six months of occupancy, we will waive our portion of the Listing Fee once the property has been placed back on the market.
Generally speaking we charge as little as 7% up to as much as 10% of the amount of collected rent as our management fee. The range depends on several factors such property age, rental rate of the property, number of properties in your portfolio (discounts usually apply over and above three properties).
Why do you hold the security deposit?+
Recently the penalties for any delays in returning a tenants security deposit has increased substantially. In order to protect our owners’ interest, all tenant security deposits are placed in a trust fund. This fund is subject to audit by the State of Texas. GDAA Property Management strictly adheres to trust fund compliance regulations as it is not only the law but it is simply a good business practice.
Will you help me buy or sell an investment property?+
We specialize in Property Management. Most of our investors and Landlords came to us because of the relationship they have with their Realtor. We value that established relationship, and are always willing to work closely with them in the purchase or sale of your properties. In the event you do not have an established relationship with a Realtor, please call our office as we would love to refer you to several of the experienced agents we work with.
How do I pay management fees?+
Management fees are deducted from your monthly equity distributions.
When is your office open?+
Our office is open Monday- Friday 9:00 - 5:00. Telephones are personally answered during this time and voice mail is available all other times. In addition, a maintenance vendor and a staff person is on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to handle emergency situations should the need arise.
I am looking for a property manager who specializes in property management, not sales.+
Unlike other companies, property management is our specialty not a sideline. GDAA Property Management, LLC. is a full time property management company. We have earned the National Association of Residential Property Managers distinguished designation of Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC). The CRMC designation is held by only 50 nationwide. Greg Doering, holds the Master Property Manager and Residential Property Management designations and the Texas Residential Leasing Specialist designation. Greg has written and taught a Residential Leasing class as well as being asked to be a guest speaker at several associations and brokerages.
All team members at GDAA Property Management are involved in the National Association of Residential Property Managers having earned professional designations and have been involved on numerous committees. We feel strongly that continued education in the ever changing property management field allow us to provide the best practices and sound advice for our clients.
How do you check the applicant's credit/reference history?+
Selecting the right tenant is a critical part of property management. Tenant selection is often softened when an agent is looking for a quick commission or an owner is desperate to place a tenant due to a longer than expected vacancy.
One of the most important aspects of making your experience as a Landlord rewarding is placing the right tenant in your property. Once we have an application generated from our marketing efforts we conduct a detailed background check on the applicants. Some applicants can be very deceptive, even to the point of having friends or family members pose as former landlords or employers so that the information sounds good to the landlord conducting the background check.
GDAA Property Management, LLC. has a stringent minimum rental selection criteria, (Rental Selection Criteria) . Applicants must submit photo ID’s, and undergo a thorough background investigation which includes full criminal history, residential/landlord history, credit review, paystubs for verification of income and employment, and a Homeland Security check. Once the applicant meets our minimum criteria, our office will contact you with our recommendation, and to obtain your final approval. Our office follows all guidelines of Fair Housing, and you will only be provided with pertinent information to make an informed decision. Our office will make the recommendation; you will make the final decision. A thorough background check is crucial to avoid costly mistakes with your property. A bad tenant can be a very expensive ordeal due to lost rent, extra time spent having to deal with them, and damage to the property. While no background check can eliminate the risk of a problem tenant, our thorough examination of their rental history can significantly reduce your risk.
Can I say that I do not want any pets at my investment property?+
It’s your property, and yes you can restrict pets, however, nationwide the percentage of tenants with pets is very high, and in “pet friendly” Central Texas, it can run as high as 75% of all tenants. Being open to pets does make your property available to more potential renters. Additional deposits, weight and breed restrictions do apply. (Pet Policy) However, if you feel very strongly about this issue, we will agree not to advertise or show your property to anyone with a pet. Please be aware that it is not reasonable or possible to monitor tenant pet restrictions on a daily basis.
Can I say that I do not want any smoking in the property?+
It is the company policy to prohibit smoking indoors of all GDAA Property Management, LLC homes.
All of our properties prohibit smoking, in the interest of protecting your investment, as well as the health of the neighborhood.
What happens if the tenant has a maintenance concern?+
The tenant contacts us to report all maintenance problems. We can be reached any time of the day or night, including holidays. We have the ability to receive maintenance request via email or telephone 24 hours a day. Non-emergency request will be dispatched based on request and availability of our vendors. Emergency requests are reviewed to accurately determine if they are true emergencies. Some tenant “emergencies” that are requested on a holiday or weekend may be safely dispatched on the following business day thereby reducing the afterhours cost.
Your management agreement allows us to make repairs up to and including $250.00 for non-emergency repairs. Once a request has been dispatched, the vendors' invoice will be reviewed. Normal wear and maintenance of the property are owner’s expense. Any charge deemed to be caused by tenant neglect will be charged to the tenant for reimbursement. We will notify you for your advice and direction on any repair over the $250.00 limit.
Please note that this repair limit is based on non-emergency repairs. We will handle emergencies immediately, based on our judgment and experience, to protect your property from suffering any further damage.
Can I enter my property after it is rented?+
We do not enter the property and recommend the owner not enter the property except in emergency situations or when repairs have been requested by the resident. GDAA Property Management, LLC. will conduct interior inspections of the property either once or twice per year depending on the inspection option you chose. History has shown that repeated disturbances prompt residents to become unhappy and not be as willing to renew their leases. We usually try to give the resident 24 hours notice before we enter unless it is an emergency situation.
How much notice does a resident have to give before they can properly vacate a property?+
Our lease provides that the tenant give a minimum 45 day written notice that the lease will be terminated. Our office will contact you approximately 75 days prior to the tenants lease expiration.
Will you pay my mortgage?+
No we will not pay your mortgage or HOA dues. We will schedule and pay utilities during all vacancies and make readies.
Does retaining a management company mean I won't have any problems with my property?+
NO! If you own rental property, then over a period of time, you will have problems of one sort or another. Whether the problems are related to maintaining the property or dealing with the tenant, there will be problems that need to be resolved. Retaining GDAA Property Management, LLC to manage your property will eliminate some but not all potential problems. Based on our years of experience and familiarity with the Texas Property Code, we work with you in providing options and exploring all alternatives to correct problems as they arise.
Our experience will help reduce the number of problems related to rental property. Those problems that cannot be avoided, must be solved. Our expertise will help reduce the aggravation and potentially higher expenses related to solving these problems. We are unable to keep all bad things from happening, but we can handle solving the problem for you, so that you do not have to handle it yourself. We work together for the best case resolution.
I already have an existing tenant. Will you manage the property?+
Most likely yes. Every year, we take over many properties with existing tenants. Our office will need to review your current lease with the existing tenants.
Do you manage properties with pools?+
Not at this time.
Will you inspect my property?+
Inspections are an important and necessary part of property management. It is always important to balance the need to survey the condition of the property with the tenant’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their home. Too few, and minor repairs may become major, too many, and the tenant fails to renew because of the constant disruption of property surveys.
Our office will conduct a thorough property survey prior to a tenant taking possession of the property. The purpose of this survey is to document the condition of the property. You will receive a copy of this report with multiple photo documentation for your review. We offer several options regarding property surveys. Our office recommends that an additional survey of the property take place two to three months prior to the tenant’s renewal date. This survey will document the current condition of the property and allow the owner to make an informed decision regarding renewing the existing tenant. (Sample Survey). A second option that appeals to some owners, is a first survey conducted approximately during the first 90 days a tenant takes possession and at approximately 9 months into their lease prior to renewal. The final move-out survey will be conducted at the time the tenant vacates the property and will be used as a comparison with the original move in survey for final disposition of the tenant’s security deposit*=
Why shouldn't I manage the property myself?+
Our answer might surprise you, but some people can successfully manage their rental properties. We all know someone that can rebuild their cars engine or re-shingle a roof. Some people have the time, patience, knowledge, and tools for the job. They don’t mind the 3 am call about a blown water heater.
Most investors do not have the time or the expertise to take care of their “rental business” while working a full time job. As an investor, you understand the time value of money. Each day the property is vacant or a tenant has not paid and continues to live in the property costs you money. Vacant houses lose money daily. Some owners really don’t know what they don’t know until it is too late. While the reasons our clients choose professional property management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management:
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs in-house, allowing you to sleep at night and save money.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
- We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
- We know the local market; maximizing rents and reducing vacancy times.
- Detailed monthly accounting and year end 1099’s.
What is Eviction Protection?+
Evictions can happen to any landlord no matter how well a tenant is screened. Circumstances change in people's lives, and they are not able to pay the rent. This is especially true when people lose their jobs, go through a divorce, or have a serious injury. When they aren‘t able to pay the rent, they also find it difficult to move. When this happens, the landlord has to go through the costly procedure of evicting the tenant. This happens even in the best of times.
In response to the rising cost of evictions, GDAA Property Management, LLC. offers a cost effective program that protects owners from the ever increasing cost of an eviction. For an annual fee of $84.00 per unit, we will cover the cost for most general evictions. The program excludes a jury trial which requires an attorney, GDAA Property Management, LLC. has never been involved with a jury trial as we have always mitigated a favorable outcome. (Eviction Protection)
It is standard for the Eviction Protection to be included with our property management agreement.
What does GDAA Property Management, LLC. need to start managing my property?+
In order for us to begin the process of managing your property, we need the following:
- Executed property management agreement
- Keys to the property, including mail box keys, if applicable
- Garage door openers, if applicable
- Pool Keys or cards
- Certificate of insurance, with GDAA Property Management, LLC. as an additional insured
- IRS W-9
- Getting Started form submitted
- ACH Authorization
- Lead Based Paint Form, if the property was built prior to 1978
Do you charge for vacancy?+
No, we are a performance based company. We make money only when you make money. When your property is vacant and not earning a return, we are working diligently to secure the best tenant.
How much is your start up fee?+
We do not charge any start up or upfront fees.
How are emergencies handled?+
If the emergency is life threatening, dial 911. If other emergencies occur, we have a 24 hour personally answered emergency maintenance line. The resident will call our office and select option #3. The resident's call is then automatically forwarded to our 24 hour emergency maintenance line. The operator answering the phone is an actual maintenance employee, therefore qualified to deal with emergencies immediately.
Who is responsible for landscaping?+
Duplexes and single family homes are usually the responsibility of the tenant unless an owner has decided to retain the services of their own landscaping company. Property owners are responsible for tree trimming as it limits liability of tenants on ladders and preserves the value of the trees along with preventing damage to roof lines.