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Owner Frequently Asked Questions

1
Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
09-17-2015
12-10-2015

While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management: 

  • We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
  • 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, have an extensive network of contacts, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled.
  • After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you'll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you'll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself!
2
Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?
09-17-2015
09-17-2015

We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. This means that you can not choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under the act. You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal. If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please see our fair housing page.

3
Do you provide me with a report of activity on my property?
09-17-2015
09-17-2015

Yes, we will provide you a monthly report of rent and other income received, and maintenance, repairs, and other expenses incurred. This will be provided once per month. If you have questions regarding your statement, please do not hesitate to contact us.

4
Am I a client or customer?
11-11-2015
12-11-2015

The Texas Real Estate Commission requires every Texas Real Estate Licensee to disclose Information About Brokerage Services to prospective clients or customers during the first conversation of substance or first face to face meeting.  The TREC IABS 1-0 information form explains the fiduciary obligations the licensee has to a client or a customer.  A client is someone that has signed a Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement, Property Management Agreement or Sale/Lease Listing Agreement with the Broker and the Broker is then working in the best interests of the client.  If there is no representation agreement, the prospect is a Customer, but is still to be treated honestly by the Agent or Broker.

5
Does a property manager need a real estate license in the state of Texas?
11-11-2015
12-10-2015

Does a property manager need a real estate license in Texas?

Texas Real Estate Commission requires real estate license for property management

Remember, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires a person to be licensed, if that person, on behalf of another:

  • Leases,
  • Offers to lease,
  • Negotiates or attempts to negotiate the lease of real estate,
  • Lists or offers to list real estate for lease,
  • Aids or attempts to aid in locating or obtaining real estate for lease,
  • Procures or assists in procuring a prospect to effect the lease of real estate,
  • Procures or assists in procuring property to effect the lease of real estate, or
  • Controls the acceptance or deposit of rent from a resident of a single-family residential real property unit.

and does so in exchange for, or with expectation of receiving, a commission or other valuable consideration. 

6
What is your private policy?
11-11-2015
11-11-2015

1. What is personal information?

Personal information is:
(1)    information in a consumer report; or
(2)    an individual’s first name or initial and last name in combination with any of the following:
    (a)    birth date;
    (b)    social security number or other government issued identification number;
    (c)    mother’s maiden name;
    (d)    unique biometric data (fingerprint, voice print, retina image);
    (e)    unique electronic identification number our routing code;
    (f)    telecommunication access devices including debit or credit card information; or
    (g)    financial institution account or information.

A consumer report is a report related to a person’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living prepared by or obtained from an agency that collects such information such as a credit reporting agency.

2. How is personal information collected?

This company obtains personal information in the following ways:
(1)    in consumer reports from reporting agencies to which this company subscribes in connection with lease applications, loan applications, or for other reasons that the consumer may authorize this company to obtain;
(2)    in lease applications a prospective tenant completes;
(3)    in loan applications a borrower or buyer completes;
(4)    in other real estate related forms the customer or client completes in or related to a transaction; and
(5)    in tax reporting forms that the customer or client is required to complete and which are given to this company.

When completing the forms required above, the customer or client may send the information to this company by mail, fax, personal delivery, or by e-mail.  Customers or clients may occasionally provide personal information to this company or its agents by other means such as telephone calls, fax messages, or e-mail messages in order expedite a transaction in which the customer or client is involved.

3. How and when is the personal information used?

Personal Information from Prospective Tenants: The personal information that prospective tenants provide to this company is primarily used to obtain consumer reports (credit checks).  It may also be used to perform background checks and rental history searches.  We may use this information in the process of verifying statements made on your rental application, such as your rental, credit and employment history.  We may also use the information when reviewing any lease renewal.  We may also use it to assist us in obtaining payment from you for any money you may owe us in the future.  The information in the consumer reports may be discussed with landlords for whom this company manages property.  This company also reports information to credit reporting agencies and uses personal information to complete those reports.  

Personal Information from Owners of Properties Managed by the Company: When this company acts as a property manager for a property owner, the company uses the property owner’s personal information only: (a) to deliver the required management services; (b) to file any required reports with governmental agencies (for example, the IRS); or (c) for other purposes the property owner may authorize.

Personal Information from Clients: When this company represents a person (buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant) in a transaction the agent servicing the client may, on the client’s behalf and at the client’s instruction, convey personal information he or she provides to the agent to service providers (for example, mortgage lenders and title companies) as those service providers may require for the products or services the client needs or requests.  If this company represents a prospective tenant in a lease transaction, the personal information may, on the tenant’s behalf and with the tenant’s knowledge, be discussed with and provided to landlords or their agents.  This company and its agents exercise reasonable discretion when discussing any personal information with others.

4. How is the personal information protected?

Written files in this company are protected under lock and key and security alarm system. 

Electronic records are protected under an access name and password assigned to persons in this company.

This company and its agents exercise reasonable discretion when discussing any personal information with others and releases personal information to others only as described by this policy.

This company does not permit its employees or agents to make copies of consumer reports or records of insurance claims.  The consumer reports retained in the company’s files are not to be accessed in the future as a convenience to customers or clients.

The individual agents that work with this company are independent contractors and the agent with whom a customer or client works with may maintain a separate transaction file.  The company instructs its agents to not permit other persons to access the personal information in files the agents maintain.  The company instructs its agents to protect the personal information in the agents’ files in the same manner as described in this policy. 

5. Who has access to the personal information?

The following persons have access to personal information in this company’s files:
(1)    the agent or broker who is servicing or coordinating the transaction;
(2)    the office manager to whom the agent reports; and
(3)    the owner of the company.

Property owners for whom the company manages properties do not have access to personal information in the company’s files.  However, the company and its agents may discuss the information in a tenant’s consumer report or lease application with a property owner.  Copies of such information are provided to the landlord only: (1) with the tenant’s consent; or (2) if the company ceases to be the property manager and the landlord requests that the files be sent to the landlord, the landlord’s attorney, or the new property manager.

Personal information from a buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant may be discussed with others (such as mortgage lenders or prospective landlords) only as is reasonably necessary to negotiate or close the transaction or to provide the services the customer or client seeks from this company.

This company may, at the customer’s or client’s request, provide personal information to service providers in a transaction such as a title company or mortgage company if it is necessary to expedite or complete a transaction.

If the company is required by law to allow others to access the personal information in the company’s files, the company will comply with the law (for example, compliance with court orders, subpoenas, or governmental investigations).  The company will also allow law enforcement agencies access to personal information in order to cooperate with such investigations.

6. How is the personal information disposed?

This company uses reasonable measures to dispose of personal information.  Personal information is usually disposed of by shredding or burning documents, erasing electronic files by means that make the files unreadable or undecipherable, or by eradicating personal information from documents or electronic files in ways that make the personal information unreadable.

7. Erroneous Records:

If this company erroneously reports information to a consumer reporting agency, the company will act to correct the information in the company’s records and request the reporting agency to correct the information in its records promptly after the company has learned and determined that the report was in error.

If this company maintains an erroneous record that a consumer has issued a dishonored check, the company will promptly delete the record after the company and consumer agree that the information is in error or after the consumer provides the company with a law enforcement agency report stating that the dishonored check was not authorized.

8. Locator and Leasing Agent Services:

If you found us through a locator service or leasing agent, please be aware that these services are independent contractors and are not our employees – even though    they may initially process rental applications and/or fill out lease forms.  For your protection, you should require that these services furnish you their privacy policies, as well.

Notice: Bigham & Associates, LLC asks any person who provides personal information to this company or one of its agents to identify the information at that time as “personal information.”