Frequently Asked Questions

Property Management – Our Services
What type of properties do you manage?

We specialize in Single-Family homes.

Are you licensed?

Yes, I’m a licensed BROKER REALTORS®. We are members of:

    • Houston Board of REALTORS®
    • Texas Association of REALTORS®
    • National Association of REALTORS®
    • Houston Chapter of the NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers
    • NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers

What do you do to get my property leased?

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, rental agencies, walk-in business, and referrals from satisfied clients.

    • FOR RENT SIGNS – “For Rent” signs are normally placed on a rental property thirty (30) days prior to the property’s availability date. For new property, the sign is placed on the date the unit first comes under our management or, if necessary, when the property is in a showing condition. Unless restricted by Neighborhood Associations or City Ordinances, signs are placed in the yard where they are visible to traffic.
    • LEASING LOCATORS – We make all of our listings available to the many Lease locator Companies. These non-REALTOR® companies specialize in helping tenants find apartments, houses, and duplexes.
    • WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS – We regularly receive referrals from our current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, and from other Broker’s agents.
    • INTERNET LISTINGS – We have developed a web page, which provides information on rental homes to families that are planning to relocate into the Houston area. Our properties are posted online at, listings are updated regularly.
    • CORRECT PRICING – Even the best properties will not lease quickly if overpriced. We analyze the market to be certain your home is priced according to current market conditions.

THOROUGH PREPARATION – The most desirable properties, priced well, will not lease quickly if they are not in top condition. Properties must show well

    • and have “curb appeal”. We make sure your property is presented in a clean and attractive condition so that it will catch the attention of a good, qualified tenant.
    • WE SHOW YOUR PROPERTY PERSONALLY – We have motivated leasing agents, who are all licensed REALTORS®, who personally show your property. Potential tenants ARE NOT permitted to take keys and view properties.

What do you do to qualify a tenant after they have made application to rent my property?

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.

    • APPLICATION – After a prospective resident has been shown a property and has expressed a desire to lease it, our Rental Application must be submitted. The prospective tenant must also submit an nonrefundable Application Fee. The application fee is retained by the company to defray the cost of processing the application. Upon approval of the application, we require a Security Deposit for that property to take it off the market.
    • Screens all applicants through the credit bureau.
    • Contacts former and current landlords for written references.
    • Verification of the applicants’ employment and income.
    • Screen all applicants through Eviction Reports.
    • Screens all applicants through Sex Offender Records.
    • Screens all applicants through Criminal Reports.

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.

What is the Duration of the Lease?

All leases are in writing and normally cover a period of one or two years. Longer leases are approved after discussion with the property owner. With the owner’s approval, during slower rental periods, we accept leases for less than one year in order to have the lease expire during a more active rental period. On occasion we may elect to place a tenant on a month to month or 6 month rental lease to accommodate sale of the property by the owner, a tenant’s pending departure, or moving the property into a more active rental period.

How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my property?

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.

What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should?

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.

How do you 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 you use the cheapest maintenance people you can find?

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 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.

Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?

No, we don’t. We usually can take the repair cost out of the following months’ rent.

How do I know you won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval?

All repairs must be approved by the Owner, no acceptations.

What if I want you to use my plumber, A/C Company, etc.?

As long as they can be paid at the first of the month, Yes.


I want you to use a Home Warranty for all covered repairs, is that ok?

Yes, we use your home warranty company.


My home has a pool. How do you handle the maintenance?

We never allow the Tenants to do pool maintenance themselves, we hire professional.

Can you put the money directly into my checking account?

Yes! We can deposit your proceeds directly into your bank account. We will also need a voided check, a copy will do. DO NOT USE DEPOSIT SLIPS. Also you may login to our online portal to view your monthly statements..

Can Katy Property Management help me sell my property?

Yes! Our agents are well trained in property management procedures and in the sale or purchase of residential investment property. They would be happy to assist you in either the purchase or sale of residential or investment 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 holds the tenant’s security deposit?

The Owner makes that decision.

How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?

We stay within the norms for the Houston market, equal to one month rent.

What should I do if the tenant calls me?

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.

Can I go by and view my property?

Yes. In fact, we recommend owners view their property at least once every year or two years. Owners should give Katy Property 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 can Katy Property Management start managing my property?

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.

Property Management – Our Policies

When an owner sends a management referral to us we consider it to be one of the greatest compliments we can receive.

To show our appreciation for any management referrals you send to us, we will give you 1 month free management for one property of your choice and also 1 month free management for one property to the person you refer.

Please be sure that you or the person you refer informs us of the referral.

Security Deposits

Within 30 days after departure, the deposit is returned to the tenant if all provisions of the lease agreement have been met. Payment for damage to the property, due to neglect by the resident, is deducted from the security deposit and credited to your account. Any deductions from a deposit must be supported by copies of bills for the expenditure, or otherwise authorized in the Lease Agreement.

Rental Payments

Rent payments are due on the first day of each month. If a tenant moves into a property during the middle of the month, rent for the month will be prorated, and the rent for the ensuing months will be due on the first.

Rental Increases / Lease Renewals

We always contact the owner to see what they would like to do 60 to 90 days from the expiration date of the lease agreement.

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, etc. 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 be sure.

Rental Rates

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.

Breaking the Lease

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 San Antonio 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 renting, 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 renting of the property.

Tenant Purchasing a Home

When tenants purchase a home prior to their lease expiration, they fall into the same category as a tenant who breaks their lease, and all rules pertaining to breaking a lease apply.


Good communication between us is essential for a successful relationship.

Equal Housing Opportunity

Katy Property Management 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.

Inspection of Property

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 require the owner to carry insurance adequate to protect all parties.


Have your agent name Katy Property Management 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.

What is ‘Additional Insured’?

Often, I am asked what ‘additional insured’ is 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.

Key Control

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.

Property Management – Maintenance
Maintenance Charges & Late Charges

When a tenant owes a maintenance or late charge, our policy is to withhold from their regular monthly rent payment any amount that is owed. Tenant’s failure to pay the lease payment prior to 12:00 p.m. on the 3rd day of each month requires them to pay the late fee, as stated in their lease, which is collected at the same time as the monthly payment. If the tenant fails to include the late fees with their rental payment, your income for the month will be short because our procedure is to credit all payments to non-rent charges first, including late charges. The Justice of the Peace (JP) court system only permits us to evict for nonpayment of rent. Because of this eviction restriction, we must collect any delinquencies first which causes the unpaid amount to be for rent only. Hopefully, you will receive the balance of your income in the next monthly collection cycle.

No Smoking

Smoking is not allowed inside the property. We will rent to tenants who smoke, but we require them and their guests to smoke outside. We make this very clear to them; they are required to sign that they fully understand this at the time of their application. It is also part of the lease agreement


Everyone who lives in the property must be named on the Lease Agreement. It is our Policy that a guest staying with the tenant longer than 21 days is no longer considered to be a guest but a roommate, therefore, if the person is Eighteen (18) years of age or older, he/she must fill out and submit our Rental Application for approval by Katy Property Management. Tenant(s) must abide by the decision of Katy Property Management whether another person or persons can be added to the Rental/Lease Agreement. Failure to do so may result in termination of their lease

Pest Control

Owners have an obligation to provide a residence that is relatively free of pests upon occupancy. If not, the owner is responsible for treatment(s) during the first 30 days after the tenant’s original possession date. The owner is responsible for maintaining the residence in a reasonable rodent-proof condition and rectifying any condition that would allow squirrels, birds, etc to enter and nest. Infestations of mice, squirrels, vermin, and or poisonous insects need to be taken seriously, as they can cause damage to a property and can be a health risk to people. Infestations of this type are treated at the owner’s expense. This does not release the tenant from their obligation to keep the property in a clean and sanitary condition so as not to promote the attraction of rodents and or pests.

Pet Control

No pets may be kept on the property without Katy Property Management’s written authorization. Pets include birds and fish in aquariums larger than ten gallons.

If the Owner allows a pet, we require a refundable pet deposit of $250 for each pet. Of course, the tenants are liable for any damage caused by pets. Unauthorized pets found on a property can result in eviction and/ or an initial $100 and a $10 per day charge per pet.

We are extremely careful when selecting tenants who wish to bring pets with them.

If you do not allow pets, it may double or even triple the time it takes to rent your property. If you will not allow pets, please let us know in writing, or we will assume that pets are allowed and follow our normal pet policies.

Re-Keying and Security Devices

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

    • Keyless deadbolts. You must have a keyless deadbolt on every exterior door, including a door from a garage into the dwelling. A keyless deadbolt is not necessary on sliding glass doors or on doors that open from a garage to the outside.
    • Keyed deadbolts. You must have a keyed dead bolt or a keyed door knob lock on at least one exterior door. You don’t need a keyed lock on all exterior doors. You need a keyed lock on only one exterior door which is normally used for entry. That lock can be either a keyed deadbolt or a keyed door knob lock. Obviously, a keyed dead bolt is far superior to a keyed door knob lock because of its one-inch bolt.
    • Door-viewers. You must have either a door-viewer (peephole), a clear glass pane or one-way mirror in each exterior door –even if there is a clear glass panel or window right next to the door –and even if the door opens from the dwelling into the garage and even if the door is at the rear of the dwelling or on the second or third story of the dwelling. Door-viewer range must be160o or greater; lens can be made of plastic but glass is better.
    • Pin locks on sliding glass doors. You must have a sliding door pin lock on each sliding glass door.
    • Security bars or door-handle latches on sliding glass doors. You must have either a security bar (sometimes called a “Charlie bar”) or a door-handle latch that works, on each sliding glass door. You have a choice of one or the other.
    • Window latches. You must have a window latch on each window. It can be the original latch or an after-market type.
    • French doors. All French doors must have a threshold bolt and upper door jamb bolt (with a 3/4″ throw) on one door. The other door must have a keyless deadbolt and either a keyed deadbolt or keyed doorknob lock.
    • Automatic door closers. You must have an automatic door closer on each hinged door that opens directly into a pool-yard or a multi-unit rental complex (defined as “two or more units”). This requirement is in the 1993 pool-yard enclosure statute rather than the security device statute. Door closers on sliding glass doors are not required. Similarly, door closers on doors opening into a pool-yard of a rent house are not required, but they are highly recommended for safety and liability reasons. Spring-loaded door hinge pins seem to be the best and most aesthetic type of automatic door closers.
    • Window screens. Window screens are not statutorily required by the security device statute. But if a window has a screen and the window is in a wall used as part of a pool-yard enclosure of a multi-unit complex, the poolyard statute requires the screen to have a screen latch or be permanently affixed with screws. Upper floors: the requirements of the statute apply no matter how high or what story the door or window is on.
    • Good working order. You must have all security devices working properly when residents move in.
    • Rekeying at turnover. At each resident turnover we rekey all keyed deadbolts and keyed doorknob locks on exterior doors if the doors can be opened from the outside by a key. We require owners to use our locksmith. Our locksmith re-keys the property to our key system and makes sure the locks and smoke alarms are up to code.
    • Quick repair. You must quickly repair or replace a security device that you or your employees at any time discover is missing or not working–even if the resident has not asked you to do so.
    • Prompt response. You must promptly respond to legitimate resident requests for re-keying, repairing, installing or replacing–preferably within three days after receiving the tenant’s request, but no later than seven days.
    • Fair charges. You must be fair in billing residents for rekeying, repairs and installations for which they’re liable. Even though it is allowed by the statute under certain circumstances, it is recommended that you not require payment in advance. It’s too easy to mistakenly require advance payment when you’re not supposed to under the statute. It is illegal for unlicensed locksmiths to install repair and service locks. It also is illegal for businesses needing locksmith services to knowingly contract with an unlicensed locksmith, directly or indirectly through a maintenance company. Both criminal and civil penalties apply. Individuals changing house or personal property locks also are subject to the same law.

Smoke Alarms

All rental units including apartments, duplexes, condos, and single-family homes must have smoke detectors as required by the Texas Property Code HB 1168.New Legislation Texas law HB 1168 requires at least one smoke alarm to be placed in each bedroom, or in the room used for sleeping in the case of an efficiency unit. In addition, if multiple bedrooms are served by the same hallway, there must be a smoke alarm in the hallway in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms; and if the unit has multiple levels, there must be a smoke alarm on each level. Replacement of Smoke Alarms. Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer’s published instructions, single- and multiple-stations smoke alarms shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests, but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.


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

Wear & Tear

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.

Yard Maintenance

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.

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.

    • Heating System – All Properties are to be equipped with an adequate heating system meeting local building codes at the time of installation and be in good repair at all times. Defects are to be repaired immediately.
    • Electrical System – Entire electrical system is to remain in good repair and meet local building codes at the time of installation. Any exposed wiring, defective outlets, switches, fixtures, or hazards of any kind are to be repaired immediately.
    • Plumbing System – All Properties must be supplied with hot and cold running water. Plumbing fixtures are to remain free of leaks and be operational. Water heaters should be set no warmer than 120 degrees and be equipped with a pressure relief valve and appropriate drain plumbing in the event of a high pressure water release.
    • Appliances – All appliances on the premises supplied by the property owner are to be maintained in good working order. Defective appliances are to be repaired / replaced immediately. (Unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement)
    • Smoke Detectors – Properties are to be equipped with a minimum of 1 smoke detector per floor, and 1 smoke detector outside of the bedroom(s). The smoke detector must meet current local, state, and federal standards. Any defects in equipment must be repaired / replaced immediately.
    • Floor Coverings – All flooring materials are to be clean and maintained in good condition at all times. Flooring, including carpet, vinyl, and wood is to remain free of rips, tears, and gouges. We require that the owners have the carpets professionally cleaned before the tenants move in and we require that the tenants have the carpets professionally cleaned when they move out.
    • General Premises – are to be clean and free of debris at all times. Property is to be turned over to incoming tenants with the highest standard of cleanliness at all times.

NOTE: We reserve the right to amend our Frequently Asked Questions – Polices and Quality Standards as deemed necessary at any time with or without notice.

NOTE: We reserve the right to amend our Frequently Asked Questions – Polices and Quality Standards as deemed necessary at any time with or without notice.