Owner FAQ’s

Q: What type of properties do you manage?

We specialize in Single-Family homes, Duplexes, Town Homes and small apartment complex’s.

Q: What type of properties do you not manage?

We don’t manage commercial properties. We don’t manage homes with chronic repair issues or conditions that might adversely affect the health or safety of an ordinary tenant. An example would be a home with a rotted 2nd story deck that an owner “can’t afford” to properly repair.

Q: Are you licensed?

Yes, We are licensed REALTORS®. We are members of:

  • Better Business Bureau
  • San Antonio Board of REALTORS®
  • Texas Association of REALTORS®
  • National Association of REALTORS®
  • San Antonio Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers
  • National Association of Residential Property Managers

Q: 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.

Q: What do you do to get my property leased?

Leasing properties can be a complex endeavor to find an appropriate tenant. Our approach is to “cast a wide net” 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.

  • 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.
  • BASE HOUSING – Properties are posted at Military.com which is the major source of our military tenants.
  • NEWSPAPER – If requested, classified ads are placed in the San Antonio Express News and/or other publications. You are only billed for advertising that you request. MLS – Your property data is entered in the San Antonio Multiple Listing Service giving access to over 4,500 REALTORS®. We pay a leasing fee to the agent who brings us a qualified tenant, whether the agent is from our office or from another company.
  • 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 San Antonio area. Our properties are posted online at Libertymgt.net, Mysanantonio.com 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.

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.- The female is the primary decision maker.

Setting a correct rental price

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.

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.

Q: 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 Application Deposit and a nonrefundable Application Fee. The application fee is retained by the company to defray the cost of processing the application. Upon approval of the application, the Application Deposit becomes the Security Deposit for that property.
  • SCREENINGWe subscribe to AmRent, it’s one of the premiere tenant performance reporting company.
  • SCORED RETAIL CREDIT REPORTS – AmRent provides us with their exclusive Scored Retail Credit Report which tells us the applicant’s current and past performance in meeting their financial obligations. It also tells us their monthly debt and shows their previous addresses (which we compare to addresses listed on the application). An applicant must have acceptable credit to qualify.
  • EMPLOYMENT / INCOME VERIFICATIONS – AmRent 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 – AmRent has 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.

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.

Q: What is the Duration of the Lease?

All leases are in writing and normally cover a period of one or two years. We prefer to do one year leases with an extension option. We do this to give the owner the flexibility to change their investment strategy and not to be locked to a long term contract. 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.

Q: Who holds the tenant’s security deposit?

ALG Property Management will hold the security deposit in a Trust Account in accordance with State and Texas Real Estate Commission guidelines. At the end of the lease agreement, the security deposit will be itemized and refunded back to the outgoing tenant. Should a tenant default, the security deposit would be credited to the owner.

Q: How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?

We stay within the norms for the San Antonio market. Normally we require about 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.

Q: 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.

Q: How do you determine how much security deposit is withheld in the event of damages?

We utilize a certified third party to do a pre and post inspection. This allows the owner and tenant to have a non-biased opinion of condition and damages to the property. From there, we will get competitive bids to repair damage and withhold accordingly.

Q: What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?

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. 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.

Q: How is rent collection handled?

Rent is due to our office on the 1st of every month and is considered late by the 3rd at midnight. The methods for payment available are automatic draft or manual electronic payment through the web portal. We do accept checks at our office.

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

We require a $375 reserve per property in your account so that there are always funds to pay the vendors quickly.

Q: How do you handle maintenance requests?

Tenants may submit requests though our website, fax, phone, or email. 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.

Q: How informed will I be about what happens with my property?

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.

Q: When will I be notified if there is an issue with my property?

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 $325 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. 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.

Q: Do you handle problems late at night and during weekends?

Yes. Residents can reach us 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to respond to emergencies. We will then talk with the resident to determine how to proceed. Many times we can solve the problem over the phone, saving you the cost of an emergency trip charge.

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

This is the greatest fear of most new owners. We promise in writing not to do that. Ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $325 are paid out of your account, and you will see this in your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed $325 and if we are unable to reach you, we may initiate repair work even if it is higher than $325 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 $390 (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 $325. Sometimes the maintenance company may think that the repair will not go over $325, 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.

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

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.

The main issue is the inability to provide prompt service to our tenants, especially during times that emergency service is necessary. We can work with them, but there is an additional charge. (See fee schedule)

Q: My home has a pool. How do you handle the 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.

Q: When do I receive the owner’s checks and statements?

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 ($5 handling fee) and mailed with the owner’s statement or ACH direct deposit into the owners’ accounts and statements are emailed 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.

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.

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.

Q: What bills will you take care of getting paid for me, related to my rental property?

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. 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.

Q: Can ALG Property Management help me sell my property?

Yes, unless you or your property was referred to us by another real estate agent.  If you were referred to us by an outside agent, we want to honor that relationship, so we will refer you back to them.

Q. 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 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.

Q. 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 ALG Property Management at least three or four days notice, so we can make arrangements with the tenants and set up a time to meet with you on-site.

Q. How soon can ALG 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.

I was trying to sell my house and wasn’t able to sell it. I had to relocate, so I turned my property over to ALG and they have never disappointed. Their communication has made my inability to be present, a non-issue.

Lupe M.Owner

ALG found the PERFECT home that fit my needs!!! They really listened to me and took care of me and my family!

Arnold F.Tenant

It’s the little things. I used other company’s and they were always nickel and diming me. ALG’s cost’s are up front, and there were no surprises.

Stephen K.Owner

Paying rent has never been so easy! I travel a lot and ALG’s user friendly Tenant portal allows me to take care of paying rent, even when I’m gone!

Terry C.Tenant

I was skeptical to let go of managing my properties. I’m very detailed about managing my properties. ALG manages the properties as if they were their own and their reporting is incredible.

Anthony J.Owner

The water heated flooded the home I was renting. I called ALG’s 24hr emergency service line and was blown away by their promptness and handling of the whole situation.

Ruben L.Tenant