Featured in three of America's Favorite Smart Finance Magazines.
Selected to represent the property management industry in a Live Oak Spotlight special feature.click here to read more »
By working with our professional management company, you are eligible to get Scheer Landlord Protection Insurance starting at less than $1.00 a day.
Even though we carefully screen to get the best qualified tenants in your property, sometimes bad things happen to your good tenants. This coverage pays you:
Insurance arranged at Lloyds and available through SureVestor
No one should have to experience their home being maliciously damaged by a tenant or months of lost rent.
Learn how we care for and market and maintain your property and find you quality a tenant
See if we’re the right property management firm for you. We specialize in Single-Family Homes, Duplexes and Townhomes.
The service you receive from us is driven by ethics, integrity, and professionalism.
We'd love you to join our family of more than 10,000 homeowners who have trusted us over the years to manage their properties.
"My properties are worry-free. They take care of everything: marketing, tenant screening, collecting rent and property maintenance… They save me so much time." Ken Vu - Homeowner for 8 years.
Experience - Liberty Management was established in 1982, and while we sign many new clients we also have homeowners still with us after 20+ years
The CRMC® Designation - Awarded to fewer than 60 property management firms in the country, it means we maintain strict standards of care to homeowners and, tenants.
Efficiency - Because we have fine-tuned our systems and processes over the years, we now train other property management firms around the US to deliver a better service to their clients.
Liberty homeowners earn, on average, an extra $600 in rental income each time the property comes up for rent.
Receive free walk-through video tours.
If you have any questions about our video marketing, or are interested in learning more about our property management services, please contact us. We'd be very happy to talk with you.
Many tenants rent on the strength of a video walk-through alone, making it even easier for you to start earning rental income.
Rent your property faster than most property management companies, without under-pricing.
At Liberty, we're driven to find you tenants who treat your home as if it were their own. We generate so many inquiries, we can be selective while still renting your property fast.
30% of tenants applying for properties, do not disclose information such as eviction, broken lease, late payments on their application.
We make sure these people don't slip through. With our robust rental screening, we have saved owners thousands of dollars by keeping bad tenants out of their properties.
The screening process is one of the most important parts of the tenancy. Because we pay for evictions, we have a financial incentive to find you the best quality tenants.
You will love your instant access to online financial statements, documents, work orders, property visit reports, 1099’s, and historical financial statements via our convenient online Owner Portal.
Residents love that they can make online rent payments with credit cards (or debit cards) or directly from their checking or savings account through our easy-to-use Tenant Portal with eCheck (electronic funds transfer).
Pay you quickly and safely through ACH processing directly to your bank account. This eliminates lost checks and the need to to go to the bank each month to deposit your rent proceeds.Click for SAMPLE OWNER STATEMENT
Owners love that they get unbeatable peace of mind with our Property Visit Reports, as authorized by the tenant's lease agreement. Property Visit Reports leaves no doubt in anyone's mind as to the condition of the property.
|UPFRONT PRICING — NO HIDDEN FEES||10% of monthly rent
(Minimum $120 month)
|Tenant Placement or Leasing Fee||50% of one months rent|
|PROFESSIONAL LEASING SYSTEM|
|Professional Rental Price Analysis||Included|
|Extensive Advertising on Real Estate Websites||Included|
|Quality Property Photos||Included|
|Marketing Video Walk-Through Tours||Included|
|Tenant Showings with In-House Leasing Agents||Included|
|Find Quality Tenant Up To 3 Times Faster||Included|
|Comprehensive Tenant Screening||Included|
|Fast Digital Lease Signing||Included|
|Dedicated Property Manager||Included|
|Collect Rent Fast with Online Payment Options||Included|
|On-Demand Access to Monthly Financial Statements||Included|
|Electronic Deposit of Rent Proceeds||Included|
|Convenient Online Portal Access||Included|
|24/7 Emergency Maintenance Hotline||Included|
|Property Turn Over||Included|
|Preferred Vendor Discounts||Included|
|OPTIONAL - SUREVESTOR RENT WITH CONFIDENCE GUARANTEES (coming soon)|
|IncludedUp to 6 weeks rent if tenants skips|
|IncludedUp to 8 weeks rent for Tenant Delinquency
(Eviction Order Granted)
|IncludedUp to 10 weeks rent for Tenant Delinquency
(Writ of Possession Granted)
|IncludedUp to 12 weeks rent for tenant death (sole tenancy)|
|IncludedUp to 25 weeks rent for Tenant Murder or Suicide|
|IncludedUp to 8 weeks rent if Untenable
(due to malicious damage by tenant to the contents only)
|IncludedUp to 8 weeks rent if Untenable
(due to malicious damage by tenant to the building only)
|IncludedUp to 4 weeks rent due to Victims of Violence|
|IncludedUp to $400 to Rekey Locks for events listed above|
|IncludedUp to $5,000 for Eviction filing fee/Eviction defense cost|
|IncludedUp to $600 for Sheriff, Marshall or Constable fees|
|Tenant Damage Guarantee|
|IncludedUp to $35,000 in Malicious Damage|
|IncludedUp to $15,000 in Theft or damage due to theft to building and/or contents|
|IncludedUp to $1000 of Service and/or Companion Animal damage|
|Self Showing Guarantee:|
|IncludedUp to $5000 for Loss due to use of Digital Lock Boxes|
|A deductible of $1500 per event will be applied to all Malicious Damage and Theft Claims||OUR GUARANTEES|
|Camera Icon90 Day Money Back Guarantee||Included|
|Camera IconLeasing Fee Guarantee||Included|
|Camera Icon100% Happiness Guarantee||Included|
|Camera IconPet Damage Guarantee up to $1000 per pet||Included|
|Camera IconEasy to Switch Guarantee||Included|
|Camera IconCancellation Guarantee||Included|
|NO HIDDEN FEES|
|No Set Up Fee||Included|
|No Markup on Maintenance or Mandatory Rebates from Vendors||Included|
|Tenant Realtor Commission||Included|
|Lease Renewal Fee||$250|
|Property Visit Done at 3 and 9 Months w/Pictures||$69 each|
|Camera IconAir Filter Replacement Program||$20 per month|
|Annual 1099 and Cashflow Statement Fee||$20|
|Eviction Protection Program (Not applicable for properties with an active SureVestor policy)||$126|
|Optional Matterport 3D Tour||$125 -$175|
|Optional Facebook Boost Marketing||$125|
|Optional Professional Photography||$135-$160|
Kevin Knight, President, ABR®, CRS, GRI, RFS, RMP®, MPM®, Broker®
After serving in the United States Army's 82nd Airborne Division, I started my career in real estate in 1982. In 1994 I received my (CRS) designation Certified Residential Specialist.
In 2004, I purchased Liberty Management from my father, Don Knight, and have continued the integrity and professionalism that he built the business on. Also in 2004, I was awarded the Residential Management Professional designation (RMP) from the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
In 2005, The Live Oak Board of Realtors® named me the Property Management Specialist of the Year. In addition, I have served as the 2005 and the 2007 President of the Live Oak NARPM Chapter of Residential Property Managers in Live Oak.
In 2008, I served as the Chairman of the Property Management Committee at the Live Oak Board of Realtors®. In 2009 Kevin received his Master Property Manager designation (MPM) from the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). This is the highest designation a property manager can receive.
In 2011 Liberty Management earned the CRMC® Certified Residential Management Company from the Nation Association of Residential Property Managers. This esteemed designation has been awarded to less than 1% of the residential property management companies.
I always welcome any comments or suggestions, please email at email@example.com. Thank You!
Don Knight, Founder
Has been active in real estate in Live Oak since 1971. In 1982 he founded Liberty Management, Inc. becoming one of the pioneer management companies in Northwest Live Oak. Building on the ethical principles of honesty and hard work, Liberty Management has become one of the most respected management companies in Live Oak. Don Knight retired from property management April 2010.
Our Property Management Team
Our Real Estate Team
Owners appreciate the small office atmosphere and personal service we deliver.
Renting homes is a merchandising rather than a selling effort. Many tenants find their homes by scrutinizing the outer appearance of properties in neighborhoods where they desire to live. The placement of signs with our company name and telephone number is one of our best means of attracting potential tenants. We also acquire tenants through the Multiple Listing Service, Internet web searches, other Real Estate companies, Military Housing Office, rental agencies, walk-in business, and referrals from satisfied clients.
Normally, there are three factors that make a property difficult to rent - undesirable neighborhood, it does not show well, or the rent is not competitive. If one of the last two problems appears to be a factor in marketing your property, we will make suggestions to correct them. We do our utmost to keep all properties rented, not only for your benefit but also because our income is based on a percentage of the rental income. Some Rental Facts -- Monday is the busiest phone day.- Renters visit three to five properties before making a decision.- It usually takes two visits for a renter to make a decision.- Over 75% decide to rent in the spring or summer.- 58% of the prospective tenants use the Internet.
This is one of the most important aspects of the successful management of rental property. We look at an applicant's past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant as well as meeting our financial criteria.
If accepted, the applicant's in-processing includes a detailed explanation of the lease, lease signing, collecting pro-rated rent, and providing the tenants with a copy of our Lease Rules and Regulations and our Detailed Property Check List. Our Lease Rules and Regulations further explains our Lease Agreement and provides information about rental payments, lawn care and maintenance, pets, service calls/emergency repairs, check-in/out procedures, lease renewal and termination, utilities, security deposit, etc. The Lease-Rules and Regulations becomes an addendum to the Lease Agreement.
First, careful tenant selection protects your property from being rented to unqualified people. During the lease term, we may have occasion to enter the property for repair or maintenance reasons and will use that opportunity to examine the property.
In addition, we will generally schedule a 6 month property survey walk-through to see how the tenants are maintaining the property. We make sure the air filter is being changed, that the smoke alarms have batteries and that there are no unreported problems at the property.
We will also schedule a renewal survey when the tenant renews the lease. This protects both you and your property. The right for us to make routine inspections of the property is part of the tenant's lease agreement.
If payment has not been made by the 5th - 6th day of the month, we send an eviction notice. Whether or not we eventually have to proceed with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is usually financially better, for all involved, if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which caused them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous problems with them, we will normally give them a chance to catch up, if there is reason to believe they can do so. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises and/or evasiveness, eviction is usually the best course of action.
Each case is unique, and we make our decisions based on what is best for you and the property in the long run. We always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward resolution. Evictions in Texas are a simple legal matter as there is no way a tenant can prevail in court if they have not paid rent, and the landlord has properly executed the notices and filing. Full evictions, when necessary, can usually be completed in five to eight weeks.
We believe that you hire a property manager to manage the property for you, not to assist you in managing it yourself. We offer a turnkey style of property management service which is most appreciated by those property owners who prefer to be "out of the loop" on all but the most important matters related to the management and leasing of the property. We don't pester you with small details, questions, information or "updates" about your property or tenants, except for those matters which will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. Instead, we simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf.
For some property owners, our system is not a good match, and we understand that. We are very up front about the fact that we do not want you to hire us if you expect to be involved in minor details or decisions related to the management and leasing of your property. We simply have not designed our systems and procedures to accommodate that level of involvement by owners.
Our general rule of thumb is this; if something has happened, or is about to happen, that will disrupt your ordinary monthly cash proceeds by more than $300 per repair not total invoice; we will let you know about it. An example would be that we receive a 30-day notice from your tenant, and therefore a turnover, along with related expenses, is pending and we want you to be informed and prepared for it. Another example would be that your A/C unit has failed during the middle of a hot summer; we have determined that the 12 year old compressor needs replacing and have initiated the work to replace it. We will call to let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact on the following month's statement.
Aside from any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or major repair), we will let you know about it right away. Otherwise non-emergency items will be notated in your monthly statements. Of course, we encourage you to contact us anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something. If you are a worrisome owner that wants to be informed of every little thing, our style of management is probably not for you.
We do not! We do not employ nor do we profit from any maintenance people we use. They are competitive in price, competency and reliability. We have access to "all-around" maintenance technicians who are skilled in a wide range of home repairs including air-conditioning, light plumbing and electrical. These technicians are billed out at about $42 per hour, compared to single trade vendors who charge $60 - $75 per hour, and occasionally more for conditions such as an after-hours emergency sewer backup. We save our owners money by using these technicians for the majority of multi-trade and make-ready tasks. Another benefit of using these technicians is the opportunity for checking out the general condition of the property - something that a single trade vendor will not do for you.
We believe we have developed a very sensible approach to handling maintenance and repairs, and that you will realize cost savings that other property management companies simply cannot deliver.
This is the greatest fear of most new owners. We promise in writing not to do that. Ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $300 are paid out of your account, and you will see this in your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed $300 and if we are unable to reach you, we may initiate repair work even if it is higher than $300 as stated in the management agreement; for the following cases: (1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue; (2) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, (3) In instances where there is only one option to consider. We will not leave a tenant waiting in 90+-degree heat without A/C or without hot water, or a leaking roof while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.
Sometimes an owner will complain that we spent $365 (for example) when it was not an emergency. The simple explanation for this is that the company that went to the property charged a $65 service call (for example) to go out to the property whether they fixed anything or not. Therefore, instead of having the owner incur a $65 service call just for us to get an estimate and then having to send the company back out to do the repair and the owner having to incur another $65 service call, the owner saved $65 by having the repair done the first time.
We always tell the maintenance companies to alert us if the repair is going to be over $300. Sometimes the maintenance company may think that the repair will not go over $300, but after they get working on the repair, they find that there is more to fix than they could see before they started the job. It would not make good sense and it could be a safety issue if the company had to leave an air conditioner or dishwasher, etc. torn apart while we waited for your permission to ok the additional $50.00 (for example) and then the maintenance company could charge another trip charge on top of the extra money for the repairs. This would not be in your (the owners) best interest.
Liberty Management does not make any money on maintenance and any discounts that we receive are always passed on to the owner.
We will be happy to invite them to join our vendor list if they are qualified and insured, but we cannot promise that a specific vendor will be dispatched to your home for certain repairs. We already have a stable of very qualified and reasonably priced vendors that we have used for many years. If a company you prefer wants to be added to our vendor list, they can contact us and we will interview them and let them know what documentation and references we need. However, we cannot guarantee that your favorite company will be sent on all service calls to your property. Our concern is always to resolve repair problems in the timeliest way possible with the best available vendor at the time. We cannot keep track of a pre-established roster of which vendors are assigned to certain properties - it would be very cumbersome and inefficient and would not achieve the best service to you, the tenant, or your property.
Our professional reputation, with both tenants and owners, is largely, if not entirely, determined by how well we handle maintenance. Therefore, we follow a practice that is most likely to insure the best possible response and resolution to problems.
We prefer that the owners do not use a Home Warranty Company to make repairs at their rental property.
There is a HUGE problem in the home warranty industry, and the public is becoming savvy to it.
Try searching Google with the name of your favorite home warranty company and the word `complaints' or `fraud'. You will be amazed. Find out how many people feel like they got burned, turned down wrongfully, or got seriously bad service. Furthermore, feel free to visit www.my3cents.com for even more examples of this currently growing problem; THERE ARE MANY OTHERS.....
Almost Every time we call a home warranty company for a problem, they deny the service either on grounds of lack of maintenance or abnormal wear and tear. How do you define abnormal wear and tear and lack of maintenance? When it comes to exclusions and small print, Warranty contracts say a claim can be denied for lack of maintenance, improper maintenance, improper installation, pre-existing problems, code violations and numerous other reasons.
Warranties are typically purchased by home sellers or their real estate agents to avoid lawsuits if something breaks in the first year.Not to be confused with a builder's warranty, a so-called home warranty -- Actually a service contract -- is typically purchased for existing homes, especially homes sold by real estate agents. These service contracts generally cost $300 to $600 for a year-long basic-coverage plan that includes items like ceiling fans, water heaters and furnaces.
The contracts come with loopholes. You need to carefully read your service agreement to determine what is and what isn't covered. Coverage for plumbing, for example, typically ends at your home's foundation, so leaks or breakages beyond that would be your responsibility. "Pre-existing" problems typically aren't covered, nor are breakdowns that result from poor maintenance or improper installation. The contract also may require that a system be upgraded to current building code standards -- at the homeowners expense -- before they agree to consider repairs. People who have had problems with the home warranty companies say that the more expensive the repair or replacement, the more likely home warranty companies are to invoke these exclusion clauses.
You don't have control over who does the work. The home warranty provider contracts with local service companies to perform the actual inspections and repairs. You don't get to choose, and scheduling repairs can sometimes be a trial. The service technician may also try to sell you unneeded services.
We have had hundreds of problems with home warranties.
We had a bathroom faucet go on the blink; we called the Home Warranty Company. After paying the $55 deductible, their contractor refused to make the repair. So we had our plumber go out and they made the repair for $65. We have experienced this over and over where the owners are spending money on deductibles and then we have to send out our maintenance people to fix the problem.
Our next problem came in the form of a malfunctioning air conditioner. After 2 days with the tenants having no A/C and paying a $50 deductible, The service technician reported that there was lack of maintenance and therefore it had to be replaced and cannot be covered under the Home Warranty. They gave us an estimate of $4,000 to replace a 6 year old A/C system. Also the tenants are staying in a Hotel and want to be reimbursed for their expenses. We sent out our A/C vendor and he said the A/C unit is perfectly fine except that a small part had to be replaced; total cost from our vendor was under $200.
On another property, a dishwasher repair was needed. The home warranty company took 3 months and had make 15 trips out to the property to repair the dishwasher. If you were the tenant how would you feel?
On one property the A/C went out in the summer and it took 21 trips and 3 months before the warranty company finally replaced the A/C. You can be sure the tenants moved as soon as their lease agreement was up. Other tenants would have gotten an attorney and been suing the owner.
Often they will leave tenants hanging without heat or A/C for days while they go through their "second opinion" process. If, as a property manager, I wanted to damage my reputation with as many tenants as possible by providing the lousiest repair service possible, I can't think of a better way to accomplish that than by using a warranty company on all service calls. They simply are not compatible with the level of service we demand of our vendors.
Our owners have been burned so many times in years past that we finally decided we had enough, and said "no more". Nothing affects the reputation of a property management company more than the manner in which repairs are handled. Tenants judge us by almost no other measure. It therefore makes little sense to entrust vendors we don't know, whom we have no relationship with or control over, with the reputation of our company and the relationship with your tenant. Instead, when repairs are needed, we will send our trusted vendors with whom established relationships exists, and they will provide the quality service we require in a professional and timely manner. That said, if we determine through our own vendor that a covered mechanical item in your home has failed, or is in need of costly repair, we will endeavor to get whatever Home Warranty company you have out to honor the warranty, provided that they accomplish the service call and repair in a timeframe and manner that is reasonable and just to all parties.Take a look at Paragraph 18 section F of the tenants lease agreement 18. REPAIRS:F. NOTICE: If Landlord fails to repair a condition that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant as required by this lease or the Property Code, Tenant may be entitled to exercise remedies under §92.056 and §92.0561 of the Property Code.span>If Tenant follows the procedures under those sections, the following remedies may be available to Tenant: (1) terminate the lease and obtain an appropriate refund under §92.056(f); (2) have the condition repaired or remedied according to §92.0561; (3) deduct from the rent the cost of the repair or remedy according to §92.0561; and (4) obtain judicial remedies according to §92.0563. Do not exercise these remedies without consulting an attorney or carefully reviewing the procedures under the applicable sections. The Property Code presumes that 7 days is a reasonable period of time for the Landlord to repair a condition unless there are circumstances which establish that a different period of time is appropriate (such as the severity and nature of the condition and the availability of materials, labor, and utilities.)
Tenants have more rights now than they ever have had in the past and Judges are normally on the side of the tenants and if repairs are not made timely, owners can find themselves on the wrong side of the legal system. It is hard enough to try to use a home warranty on the home that you live in. It is not cost effective or practical to use a home warranty on a rental property.
Our Broker will not use any existing Home Warranty Company for "first responder" service calls to the property, under any circumstance. Covered items that need replacing will be run through the Home Warranty Company only after an initial determination is made that replacement may be necessary.
Frequently, I get asked why owners have to wait so long to get their rent proceeds when rent is due on the 1st of the month. I think that it is a good question and I would like to take a moment to answer it! Yes, our lease agreement states that the rent is due on the 1st of the month. Texas law says that we have to give the tenants a grace period. Therefore, the tenants have to midnight on the 3rd before they are considered to be late with their rent.
So consequently, when we open our office on the (4th), we have a lot of rents that were dropped off late on the night of the 3rd. If the 4th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, or a holiday, in which case we are closed, this will further delay the process. The checks that we receive on the morning of the 4th, we have to post into the property management software. Then we have to do deposit slips for the bank, so then on the afternoon of the 4th, if all goes smoothly, we can take the deposits down to the bank. The bank then has to post these deposits to our account, which again, if it falls on a weekend or a holiday, does not happen until the following Monday, or workday for the bank. Therefore, if the funds for us to send you your money are not credited or put into our account before we send out checks then some of checks we send out could be returned for Non-sufficient funds, causing numerous other problems for all of us.
We process statements and rent proceeds between the 7th and 10th of each month. You should receive your statement and rent proceeds no later than the 15th providing the property is occupied and the rent has been paid on time.
Disbursements are made by check and mailed with the owner's statement or ACH direct deposit into the owners' accounts and statements are mailed the same day. We now email owner's statements that receive their rent process by ACH.
When we send out the ACH payments the banks take two business days to process the payments. Payments to Owners who had late rents (received after 5th) and before the 15th are processed between the 15th and 20th of the month. Late payments received after the 15th of the month are processed the following month.
If you have not received your statement and rental proceeds by the 15th of the month, please call our office, but calls prior to the 15th will just delay the processing of your funds and statement. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
We will pay your lawn service and any other bills or invoices generated as a result of repairs, utilities or other services to your property. We are not able to pay mortgage or insurance payments on your behalf. We strongly recommend that owners pay their own HOA fees in order to avoid the possibility of fines and fees or other legal issues that could arise. Please see our information about Keeping Your HOA up-dated.
There must be sufficient cash flow from the property to cover such expenses, and sometimes we must set up an additional reserve fund for this purpose, which will allow us to make prompt payment for you without waiting for the rent to arrive.
In order to have our managements competitive in the rental market our leasing fee is 50% of the first month's rent for new tenants. Unlike many management companies that charge a 50% leasing fee, we pay the full 50% leasing fee to the Broker that rents the property.
We list our rental properties in the Multiple Listing Service, which is accessed by several thousand real estate agents. This greatly helps minimize the vacancy time of your property on the rental market.
There are no start-up costs. We do not charge for long distance calls or mileage nor do we mark up maintenance costs at any time as some Property Managers do routinely. The only other expenses you should incur would be for services which fall outside the normal scope of our Management Agreement and for duplication of services.
If you lose a rent proceeds check, there is a $28 replacement fee. (Our charge to cancel the check at our bank)
Here are some examples that fall outside of normal management service:
Owners often ask us to do things that are outside our normal management services, and we try to accommodate our owners whenever possible.
When an owner sends a management referral to us we consider it to be one of the greatest compliments we can receive.
One of the greatest compliments that we can receive is for one of our Owners to refer a friend or family member. Due to Texas state laws regarding compensation provided to people who aren't licensed real estate agents, the maximum gift we can give for a referral is a $50 gift card and the satisfaction of knowing that Liberty Management will take good care of your friend or family member.
The good news is that if a New Owner is referred to us, we are pleased to offer the New Owner one free month of management fees. Please be sure that you or the person you refer informs us of the referral.
Unless we receive specific written instructions from you at least 45 days prior to a lease expiration date, rent increases (if any) and lease renewals will be solely at our discretion.
When making the decision on whether or not to increase rents, we consider market conditions, neighborhood conditions, resident payment history, length of occupancy, property condition, time of year and anticipated expiration date of any renewal.
There are times after the tenants initial lease agreement, where the tenants needs to stay on a month-to-month lease agreement or renew their lease agreement for a shorter period of time because of pending job transfers, purchasing a property, financial reasons, ect. Unless the owner is moving back into the property or putting the property on the market for sale we will allow shorter periods. Once a lease is signed, it cannot be changed, so it is very important for you to notify us well in advance of your desire to make any changes.
Prior to placing a property on the rental market or renewing a lease, we do a comparative market analysis and determine the most economical and profitable rental rate that can be charged.
After a property has been exposed to the market for two weeks without renting, we look into the possibility that the asking rent is too high. We will consider lowering the rent so that the property will not sit vacant.
We may, if necessary, offer a prospective tenant some "free" rent as an incentive to rent the property. We have found this to be very beneficial in obtaining tenants in a "slow" rental market.
A lease normally contains only one provision by which a tenant can terminate his or her lease without penalty.
A Military Clause permits military personnel to terminate the lease when they present proof of a transfer outside the Live Oak metropolitan area. They are required to provide thirty days written notice prior to vacating the house. If orders are not available, a letter signed by their Commanding Officer will suffice.
Occasionally, a tenant's civilian employer requires them to transfer to another city. In this case, the resident may terminate their lease by following the EARLY TERMINATION procedures in their lease agreement.
The tenant will bear all expenses normally experienced with reletting, and pays the rent until the property is re-rented, tenants may be released from their obligations upon successful completion of the early termination and paying all associated fees involved in the reletting of the property.
Although the decorator paint colors you used in your bedroom, bath or living room is enjoyable and pleasing to you that is not necessarily true for the prospective tenants.
We consistently find that having even one wall that is maroon or green or one bedroom that is blue or pink can greatly increase the time it takes to rent the property each time it comes available. We strongly recommend that all walls and ceilings be painted an off white. We use Dover White semi-gloss paint on the walls, so that it is easy to do a touch-up when necessary.
Liberty Management, Inc. is committed to the Equal Housing Opportunity Laws, and we do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, National Origin or Age.
Eviction procedures are initiated against the tenants if they have not paid their rent by the fourth (4th) & the sixth (6th) day of the month. The provisions of an eviction notice can vary. Some give the resident three days to move, while others allow the tenant to remain in the house if they pay the full amount due, including any late fees.
This first step is called a Notice to Quit or Vacate (NTQ). If, after approximately ten days, the tenant does not respond to previous notices, we ask the court to proceed with the second step of the eviction process, a Forcible Entry and Detainer Notice (FE&D). The FE&D demands that the resident appear in court on a certain day. At that time one of our staff members appears in court to represent your interests and will make a claim for all monies due. The third and most sensitive step of eviction is what is known as asking the court for a Writ of Possession or simply a Writ. A Writ is required when a resident fails to comply with the FE&D ordered by the court. The Writ process requires us to hire a crew to set a tenant's belongings at street side or, during inclement weather, in storage. When you have monetary damages as a result of this process, a judgment is issued by the court. We file the judgment in the applicable county records and with the Credit Bureau. On the average it takes about forty-five days to evict a tenant, and hopefully this will not happen with your property. We do very few evictions thanks to our strict tenant screening.
We are not licensed inspectors and our surveyors are not licensed inspectors. We only perform visual surveys of the properties to assess the general condition of the property. A licensed inspector does a very detailed inspection, including checking the function of the plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems and more. Generally a licensed inspection is done when a buyer purchases a property and cost between $350 - $450.
Our surveyors charge $55 - $65 to conduct a survey. We normally perform an initial 6 month survey to see how the tenants are maintaining the property. Also we do a renewal survey when the tenants are renewing their lease agreement. This helps to ensure the property is being maintained by the tenants. We send notice to the resident asking them to cure any noted deficiencies that are their responsibility. On more serious violations, we will inform you of the problem and recommend what corrective action should be taken. Also when our maintenance personnel do repairs, they are instructed to report anything that is out of the ordinary.
Anytime you desire us to perform an additional property survey, the fee is $65.00.
You must advise your insurance company that the property will be a rental unit, and Texas insurance regulations require that any existing Homeowner policy be canceled. You will need to take out 'Fire and Extended Coverage' and also notify your agent the property will be a Rental Property. In order to protect your investment the amount of insurance should equal the replacement cost of the property.
Also, be certain that you have adequate Property and Liability Insurance coverage.
The Residential Property Leasing and Management Agreement requires the owner to carry insurance adequate to protect all parties.
IF YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY IS VACANT BEYOND 60 DAYS, REQUEST THAT YOUR INSURANCE AGENT ADD A VACANCY CLAUSE TO YOUR POLICY. WITHOUT THIS CLAUSE YOUR INSURANCE IS INVALID.
Have your agent name Liberty Management, Inc. as an additional insured, or property manager in your liability policy. We need this proof of insurance in our files. We must be provided copies proving coverage no later than thirty (30) days after signing the Residential Property Leasing and Management Agreement.
Often, I am asked what is 'additional insured' and why the owner should name the management company as additional insured.
The First and best line of protection an owner has in the event of a lawsuit brought on by a tenant being injured on the property by faulty wiring or a faulty appliance or anything else is to carry adequate insurance. Additional insured is a person or organization not automatically included as an insured under an insurance policy, but for whom insured status is arranged, usually by endorsement.
A property owner's reason for providing additional insured status to others may be a desire to protect the other party because of a close relationship with that party (e.g., employees ) or to comply with a contractual agreement requiring the named insured to do so (e.g., Property Management Agreement or others working in behalf of the owner).
The Property Management Agreements requires the owners to name the property management company as additional insured because the management company does not hold title to the rental property that they are managing and cannot acquire general liability insurance on property that they don't own to cover the management company. Ordinarily there is no extra premium charge to the property owner to add the management company as additional insured.
We maintain strict control of all keys. The keys for each property are locked in a steel wall cabinet and are assigned a control number (i.e., they are not labeled with an address). All keys issued to tenants, repairmen or agents are documented. We need at least four sets of keys to each property;
We need at least four sets of keys to each property; two sets are provided the tenant and two sets are kept in our office.
The actual maintenance expenses for the home are the responsibility of the homeowner. Every effort is made to control maintenance costs while maintaining the integrity and value of the property. While the property is occupied, the tenants are required to notify our office of any problems. If the estimated cost to repair exceeds the maximum that is allowed in the Residential Property Leasing and Management Agreement, the owner is contacted for permission to make the necessary repairs. (Except as outlined on page 12.)
We realize it can be rather upsetting when you receive an unexpected bill from us for repairs made to your property; however, some repairs are urgent and must be corrected immediately. Emergency repairs are made in accordance with our Residential Management Agreement. Normally, the tenants pay a portion of the repair expense but if, in our opinion, the expense was due to their negligence, the tenant will be billed and become liable for the entire amount. We do not do bids or estimates on repairs under $200.00. We normally, on any major repair, obtain at least two bids from reliable contractors. The bids will be sent to you, or we will call to discuss them. Due to the fact that the bids take time to be completed and in order to eliminate further delay, we ask that you make a timely decision or provide our staff with firm guidance. You will be asked to forward a check for the cost of the repair before the work is started.
It is our policy to use only reliable contractors that do professional work at a reasonable cost. We have used most of the contractors for several years and have found their prices very competitive. Some Property Management Companies charge owners a service fee based on a percentage of the total cost of any repair. We do not!
Billing for repairs will be made directly to our company. We then bill only that amount to the owner's account. As tenants are billed and reimbursements are received, the owner's account will be credited with the amount of reimbursement. This will appear on the statement. We require owners to deposit $250.00 for a maintenance reserve upon signing the Residential Property Management Agreement. A copy of any bills will accompany your statement explaining the type of work/repair accomplished on the property.
No pets may be kept on the property without Liberty Management's written authorization. Pets include birds and fish in aquariums larger than ten gallons. Our properties have restrictions on number, size and type of pets. Due to the fact that 70% to 85% of today's renters have pets, our policy is to allow pets.
We require a pet deposit for each pet. Of course, tenants are liable for any damage caused by pets. Unauthorized pets found on a property can result in eviction and or a fine.
We are extremely careful when selecting tenants who wish to bring pets with them.
Not allowing pets may double or even triple the time it takes to rent your property. If you do not allow pets, please let us know as we only manage properties that allow pets.
All rental-housing owners in Texas should have been in compliance with the Texas security device statute as of January 1, 1995. The statute applies to owners of apartments, houses, duplexes, triplexes, condominium units, townhouses, cooperatives, mobile homes, rooms in private dormitories and rooming houses, garage apartments, public housing projects, and all other types of dwellings that are rented. The safety and security of your residents and their families are at stake - as well as your own potential liability exposure to multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Here is a list of what should have been done: or what will be done when converting a residence into a rental property
Unless otherwise stated in the Residential Property Leasing and Management Agreement or restricted by property limitations, all utilities used on the premises are paid for by the tenant.
New tenants are advised to notify the appropriate utility companies to have service turned on in their name.
During periods of vacancy, utilities will be placed in the company's name, and the resulting usage will be charged to the owner's account. Having the electricity on greatly enhances the showing of your property when darkness arrives early in the evening and during hot weather.
While a property is unoccupied, periodic inspections are made to see that lawns and yards are maintained, the property is presentable, and that no vandalism has occurred.
During periods of vacancy, it is physically impossible for our staff to accomplish the task of watering the lawn and shrubs. If this service is needed, we will assist in contracting for the service at your expense.
When we have extensive repairs or painting to do, we will ask the assigned contractor to assist in watering.
Before properties are shown, prospective tenants are advised of available properties and specifics of each. Information given generally includes the type of unit, the number of rooms, rental fee, security deposit, location of schools, limitations placed on use of the property, etc.
Our agent will pre-qualify the applicant by determining the family size and composition, rental history, current rent and desired date of move-in. This process is completed in the office or over the telephone and then, if the customer is still interested, one of our sales associates or leasing agents will show them your property.
We expect an interior paint to last 3 years and carpet to last 7 years. If a tenant moves into a property that is freshly painted, moves out after one year and we have to repaint, the tenant is charged 2/3 of the cost to paint. If the tenant moves out after 3 years and we have to paint, the full cost is charged to the owner.
Carpet replacement is pro-rated over a 7 year period. If a tenant moves out after 3 years and we have to replace the carpet, the tenant is charged 58% of the cost to replace the carpet.
If we have a garbage disposal fixed that was clogged by the tenant, the owner will be reimbursed, by the tenant, for the repair bill. If the garbage disposal has rusted through, the owner pays the whole expense. We make every attempt to be fair to both owners and tenants.
The Courts & Judges are not sympathetic to owners who want to charge tenants wear & tear repairs.
The tenant is responsible for yard maintenance which includes watering, cutting grass, weeding, reseeding if needed, trimming trees and shrubs plus fertilizing the yard, trees, shrubs and flowers. Owners are responsible for trimming limbs that are on or near roofs.
Grass must not be higher than 6 inches.
The area around the driveway, sidewalks, curbs and gutters are considered to be part of the yard and need to be kept free of weeds, grass, and leaves. For security reasons, hedges and bushes should be trimmed so they do not to block the view from windows.
Updating and replacement review on an ongoing basis is an integral part of maintaining the value of the property. Outdated carpet, counter tops and light fixtures can significantly reduce the value of the property and cause unwanted delays in occupancy.
WE DO NOT INDEMNIFY YOU AGAINST ANY LOSS OR EXPENSE DUE TO VACANCY (for any reason), UNPAID RESIDENT CHARGES, TENANT DAMAGES, ATTORNEY'S FEES IN THE PURSUIT OF A TENANT, OR THE COST OF MAKE-READY.
Liberty Management, Inc. is committed to maintaining at least minimum property standards for all properties under our management. Maintaining these standards will protect our owner's investments and enhance the living environment for our tenants. It is important that all parties involved with a property maintain compliance with these standards to ensure a successful rental experience.