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Empire Industries Houston, LLC
5225 Katy Frwy #495
Houston, TX 77007
Hi everybody, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management Company located here in Houston, Texas and today, we are going to talk about who I am and what qualifies me to talk to you about this subject.
I am an investor, I’ve owned properties, I’ve owned single family homes as well as apartment complexes and I’ve also done rehabbing, flipping, you name it…I’ve done just as many wrongs about as much as many rights. My company manages about 500 houses here in Houston and we have been given the A-rating by the Better Business Bureau, as well as won the 2015 Better Business Bureau Business of Distinction Award. We are not only members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, my business partner was also the President of the Houston chapter.
So, what we are going to talk about today are some of the laws and Fair Housing things that you have to know and need to understand, whether you are doing flipping, buy and hold, rehabbing or note purchasing. It doesn’t really matter because all these people are afforded laws and protection that you are obligated to abide by, provide and follow.
First thing I would recommend if you are doing anything in real estate whatsoever, is to know what the seven protected classes are. So, the seven protected classes are race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. You should know these because tenants are protected by the law and they need to be protected when talking to you and you need to make sure that you are not violating any of these laws.
Among the many things that stick out with Fair Housing is the Fair Housing Claim and about 50% of it are from disabilities, and it’s a huge, huge thing with Fair Housing. Claims pertaining to alcoholism, PTSD, mental and non-visual–these were actually some of the cases the people filed so I really cannot stress enough the importance of remembering and knowing that there are laws that protect you and the resident when you are renting and selling properties. Then there’s also the Fair Housing and Discrimination Laws and it is with these that you especially need to document all your accepted and denied tenants because it is the ones who get denied that will usually file a claim so when you deny tenancy to someone, make sure that you send that adverse action letter every time, have it set up and ready to go so you can be sure you conform to the rules according to your state.
It is also recommended that you keep records of all your transactions, keep everything on file and don’t do anything via text messages. Be professional because you are in the property rental business, you’ll want to make sure you are using certified letters and while e-mail is a legally normal form of transmission (you can verify this with your state laws) you’ll want to keep written records for proper documentation.
Background checks as well, should be done every time. Our company’s policy on it is if the potential tenant is over 18 years old, they not only go on the lease as a signer, they also undergo a background check. The last thing you want to happen is to lease your property to a sexual predator or a felon and find yourself caught in the middle of a huge mess because you never did a background check. So please, make sure you do background checks every time, no exceptions.
If anybody would like to have a free sit-down with me, we’ll sit down and discuss what works and what doesn’t regarding your situation. I’ll give you my thoughts and opinions on matters. This is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management in Houston, Texas. Please feel free to email or call us. We will be very happy to help. Thank you very much!
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