Frequently Asked Questions
What type of properties do we manage?
We specialize in Single-Family homes, Duplexes and Town Homes.
Are we licensed?
Yes, We are licensed REALTORS®. We are members of:
Houston Association of REALTORS®
Texas Association of REALTORS®
National Association of REALTORS®
National Association of Residential Property Managers
How do we get properties leased?
Apex Asset Management is the sister company of The Chris Lesak Group, a Full Time Full Service real estate team. Since 2003 The Chris Lesak Group has been selling and leasing real estate quickly and for top dollar. When Selling a home we have a track record of getting over 99% of list price and selling the homes in 30 days or less. When leasing a home we have a similar track record of leasing homes on average of 18 days on market or less and for almost 100% of lease price. Our marketing and pricing strategies have a track record of working. When combined with a great property at a great price, we get results FAST!
What are our credentials?
Chris Lesak has been in the real estate industry almost his entire life. He started managing real estate in 2000 and became a licensed agent in 2003 and is now a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Texas.
How do we qualify tenants to lease the houses?
This is one of the most important aspects of the successful management of rental property. We look at an applicant's past behavior in an effort to predict future behavior. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant as well as meeting our financial criteria.
APPLICATION - We get a thorough Application from the tenant requesting the most important information.
SCREENING - We get up to date information about credit, criminal and past rental history.
LANDLORD VERIFICATIONS - We verify the true owner or agent for the property. They personally talk to past landlords and ask detailed questions about the applicant's past performance.
SCORED CREDIT REPORTS - We utilize reporting agencies that give us scoring as well as the debts and payment histories of tenants.
EMPLOYMENT / INCOME VERIFICATIONS - Our credit agencies also provides us with a complete employment picture. They verify job title, job status, salary and prospects for continued employment. An applicant needs to earn at least 3 to 4 times the monthly rent in gross income to qualify for rental.
EVICTION & CRIMINAL REPORTS - Our credit agencies have access to public records that tell us if the applicant has ever been evicted. They also provide us with criminal background checks. This is a level of scrutiny that most other property management companies do not perform.
What is the length of the Lease?
All leases are in writing. If a tenant is occupying a property before Apex Asset Management takes over the management role, we require the owner and tenant sign a lease. We recommend a minimum of one year for leases and no longer than two years without a written rent increase built in. If rental rates increase in the area, we want to make sure we are able to capitalize on the opportunity.
How do we make sure the tenants are following the rules?
The first step is to make sure we select the right tenant. After that, we recommend an independent third party company to make an inspection 1-2 times per year. This is good for the owner and the property to make sure everything is being maintained on a regular basis. Additionally, we maybe a quarterly property visit. This gives the property 4-6 site visits a year in addition to any inspections or repair requests that may occur throughout the year due to regular maintenance and repairs. An example of this would be annual A/C and heat maintenance on a property to ensure everything is running properly.
How do we handle tenants who are not taking care of your properties?
We give them an opportunity to correct the situation, and usually they will. If a problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation. Under certain circumstances, eviction is an option.
What do we do if the tenant does not pay rent?
If payment has not been made by the 3rd - 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 a tenant has been paying on time, but experienced a one time hardship, then allowing the some grace may be warranted. 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 recommendations based on what is best for our owners and the property in the long run. We always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We can always delay the eviction filing if the tenant pays. Full evictions, when necessary, can usually be completed in three to eight weeks.
How much will we be in contact with you?
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.
How do we handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may submit requests though our website or fax, email, or mail their requests to us. For emergencies, they may call us or use our 24 hour answering service that will contact us after hours. After receiving a repair request, we will contact the tenant and ask them questions in order to help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker etc.) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair. We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days, and, in fact, are usually able to do so. Comfort items such as air conditioning, no hot water or heat, receive highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.
Do we use the cheapest maintenance people to fix a problem?
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.
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.
What does our company take out of the repair money?
We require a $300 reserve per property in your account so that there are always funds to pay the vendors quickly.
Do we consult the owners before making big decisions for their properties?
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.
Apex Asset Management does not make any money on maintenance and any discounts that we receive are always passed on to the owner. We do charge a 10% fee if a property renovation is needed over $3,000.
Can property owners recommend their own repair men?
No, we only use our qualified vendors. We are not able for liability reasons to use your friends or relatives to perform work on your home unless they are in fact licensed vendors.
When might a home warranty make sense?
If you are trying to sell a house, a home warranty can give buyers some peace of mind and may reduce the chances of your being sued should an appliance or system break down after the sale.
If the property has a pool do we handle its maintenance?
We CANNOT manage your home with a pool and / or spa, but we will be happy to suggest other companies who may be able to manage your property.
When do we mail the owner's checks and statements?
The owners generally get their proceeds by the 15th of the month assuming there are no late rents. This gives us time to receive the rent by check or ACH, pay any outstanding invoices and management fees, and then send out the funds to the owner.
Do we use direct deposit?
Yes! We can deposit your proceeds directly into your bank account. Please download the Direct Deposit Form from our website or come by the office. We will also need a voided check, a copy will do. DO NOT USE DEPOSIT SLIPS. We will email you your monthly statements. Also you may login to our online portal to view your monthly statements.
What bills, related to the property, will we take care of?
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.
What will be included with the monthly statements?
Statements includes all income and expenses for the accounting periods. We request that any unpaid balance be brought current within thirty (30) days. Accounts in arrears more than thirty (30) days will be charged 10% interest on the unpaid balance.
What is our monthly fee?
Our management fee is a percent of the monthly rent depending on the size, location, and number of properties. There is no monthly fee if the property is vacant.
What is the leasing fee?
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.
Are our fees negotiable?
Our fees are very competitive, and therefore are not negotiable. We realize you can find a cheaper property manager, but price should not be the determining factor in deciding whom you hire to manage your property. The ultimate cost of using a property manager is determined by many things other than the fee we charge, namely, the efficiency and manner in which we handle problems. We feel that our services, our systems, and the experience and expertise we offer are a very great value at the fee structure we have established.
What other fees are there?
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:
Example (1). When an owner wants to use a company like Sears to deliver a new stove to a vacant property, and we have to meet Sears at the property, there is a service fee of $35 per hour - minimum $35.00.
Example (2). If the owner is refinancing the property, and we must meet the appraiser or other person at the property, there is a service fee of $35 per hour - minimum $35.00.
Example (3). Our records are boxed and archived each year. Owners receive copies of all bills and receipts with their monthly statement. Consequently, if an owner requests a duplicate bill, receipt, statements or other items, there is a service fee of $35 per hour - minimum $35.00.
Example (4). Sometimes an owner wants us to take pictures of a new fence, new roof or a repair that has been done on the property. We are happy to do this for owners, but it is very time consuming, therefore there is a service fee of $35 per hour - minimum $35.00.
Owners often ask us to do things that are outside our normal management services, and we try to accommodate our owners whenever possible.
Can we help sell properties?
Yes! We also have a Full Time, Full Service real estate team to help with all your buying and selling needs. We would be happy to assist you in either the purchase or sale of residential or investment properties. Owners receive a discount if they use our agents to represent them in the sale of their properties.
Is the management agreement a standard, widely used form?
Yes. We use the Texas Association of REALTORS® Property Management Agreement. You can also look at the Residential Lease Agreement we use with tenants and even our Rental Application if you would like.
Who hold's the tenants security deposit?
If you are currently holding your current tenant's deposit, you should send it to us at the time we take over management of the property. Any new deposits that we receive are held in our deposit trust account.
How much security deposits do we charge the tenant?
We stay within the norms for the San Antonio market. Normally we require about 70% to 90% of one month's rent. This also helps differentiate the deposit amount from the monthly rent, so the tenant does not confuse it with a last month's rent.
Will the tenant ever need to contact the owner? Or if they do, what does the owner do?
Responsible tenants are valuable assets to both of us. A satisfied tenant can bring us referral business and will be more inclined to care for your property as if it was their own. As the owner of the property, it is best that you avoid direct communication with the resident and refer all inquiries to our office. We maintain a diplomatic relationship, between you and your tenant, through personal contact and in the form of our Property Survey Reports and a newsletter, we periodically mail to each of our tenants. We also publish an owner's newsletter to keep you advised of changes in the housing market, problems we are encountering, changes in laws that affect rental housing, etc.
What are the rules with the owner viewing the property? (what times can they)
Yes. In fact, we recommend owners view their property at least once every year or two years. Owners should give Apex Management at least three or four days notice, so we can make arrangements with the tenants. Often the trip to view your property is tax deductible! Please check with your tax preparer.
How soon does Apex start managing properties?
We can start the process immediately. Contact us so we can find out more about you and your property and see if we would be a good match for your wants and expectations. Please contact us if you have other questions or wish to discuss letting us handle your property.