Your tenancy should be a good working relationship with us. We have a contract with the owner of your property and as a requirement of that agreement; the relationship between you and us will be fairly formal, with any requirements of and deviations from the lease to be in writing. This is to your advantage as we must follow the lease to the letter, and you are always aware that we will be consistent in our dealings with you. You will find that we react to repairs and other requests very quickly. We hope that this information will better spell out our respective responsibilities and make your stay with us a more enjoyable one.
- Address: Please address all rent and other payments to 14655 Northwest Freeway, Suite 124, Houston, TX 77040-4032, and using the payment envelopes we provide to you will help to ensure on time delivery. Maintenance requests, move-out notices, etc. may be emailed, faxed, or mailed to our address.
- Email: We all use email and they all consist of the person's first initial, last name @terraresidential.com. The managers are: Jamie Dominy (email@example.com), Jennifer Steward (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Rebecca Roeber (email@example.com). DO NOT send maintenance or repair requests to your manager's email. See Repairs and Maintenance below.
- Telephone: (713) 895-9966. During our office hours 9:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM – 5:00PM Monday through Friday, we answer the phones directly. After hours we use an automated attendant with voice mail answering system. The managers' extensions are: Jamie Dominy (x308), Jennifer Steward (x306) and Rebecca Roeber (x307). From time to time we hear that my manager is never in.' Even though that is not completely true, it is close. We estimate that our managers are out of the office, checking on properties, repairs, moving tenants in or out, etc. over 60% of the time. Therefore, it is imperative that when you call us after hours you follow the directions. If you leave a maintenance request in your Manager's voice mailbox, they may not get it until the next day, and then they will tell you that unless it is an emergency, you have to put it in writing anyway. If you either provide it in writing the first time or for an emergency follow the directions to leave it in the emergency maintenance voice mailbox, it is retrieved regularly so that you receive prompt service. If you do need to speak with your manager, leave a detailed message so that they are prepared to talk to you when they call you back. They can get the answer you need quicker if they have the advantage of knowing what you need. Email also works great for this.
- Fax: (713) 895-9320
- Methods of Payment: We only accept payment by Cashiers Check, Money Order, Personal Check (unless otherwise notified in writing, and only on checks preprinted with the tenants' name), or through electronic payment through RentTrack (see #2 below). Some of our existing tenants are also still on our old electronic prearranged Direct Debit. We do not accept third party personal checks (i.e. from your friend or business) or multiple personal checks for the rent (i.e. multiple tenants cannot each submit checks for part of the rent). For rent payments after the 10th of the month we do not accept personal checks or e-checks through RentTrack. WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH FOR ANY REASON.
- RentTrack: We support multiple ways to pay your rent online and this is quickly becoming out tenants' preferred method of payment. You can pay by e-check or credit card. You can pay this way one time or set it up to pay this way every month. And then you can change it from month to month. Once signed up you can be notified via email before any payment goes to us, so you have time to change the method if you wish, or stop it altogether and bring us payment. You won't have to worry about your rent reaching us on time, or remembering to spend the time writing a check, and spending the postage, or the time to come to our offices to deliver it in time. All you need to do is click on the Online Payments button on the Tenants menu above to sign up. There is a small convenience fee on credit card payments which is much less than any potential late fee or cost in time and gas to come to our offices.
- Payment Identification: Make sure that the tenant's name and property address identified on the lease agreement is clearly marked on the payment. If this is neglected, your rent payment could be applied late as we have no way of knowing what account to apply it towards.
- Rent Due Date: Keep in mind that your rent is due on the date stated in your lease (usually the first (1st)). Do not confuse the past due date (usually the second (2nd)) with the date late fees are waived through (usually the third (3rd)). All rents are considered late if not RECEIVED by the DUE date. If using RentTrack payments are considered received on the initiation date. Post marks, dates written on checks, etc., are never considerations. Allow sufficient time for mail service to have the rent to us on or before the due date. Late rents may be reported to the local credit bureau and/or any future landlord or mortgage company.
- Paying in Person: We prefer you to use RentTrack however, for those of you who wish to pay in person, our office hours are 9 AM -- 12 PM and 1 PM -- 5 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding normal holidays. For after hours, we have a mail slot in our suite door, and if the atrium outside door is locked, we have a mail slot to the right of this door (look down). Any payments in the mail slots by the time we open the office are considered to have been paid the previous business day. Example: all payments left in the slots over the weekend are considered as having been paid on Friday. Please call us the next business day to verify receipt, as we will not be responsible for lost payments.
Inventory and Condition Form
Transferred tenants: The Inventory and Condition Form you were given at move-in (or should have been given) should have been transferred to us from your previous manager. If it was not you would need to contact us.
New Tenants: The Inventory and Condition Form you were given at move-in should be completed AND RETURNED to us within 7 days of move-in. This document is your protection for consideration in both maintenance deductibles and security deposit charges. THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT A REQUEST FOR REPAIRS AND ANY DEFECTS NOTED WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR REPAIR SIMPLY BY RETURNING THIS DOCUMENT. If needed, a separate written request for specific repairs must be submitted.
Repairs and Maintenance
- Minor Maintenance: All minor repairs are the responsibility of the tenant. These include, but are not limited to, items such as monthly changing of air conditioner and heating filters, yard care (including watering, weeding, trimming), etc. If the Tenant does not perform these minor repairs and maintenance and they turn into major repairs and maintenance, then the tenant will be held responsible for the entire cost of the repair or maintenance.
- Repair and Maintenance Requests: All repair/maintenance requests should be directed to us in writing as per your lease (except for emergencies that may be called in to 713-895-9966 and following the instructions). You may fill out the electronic Maintenance Request form in the Tenants Area of our website by clicking here, mail to the office, FAX, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not email your manager direct for maintenance. As the managers do not check their email as often as the “repairs” box, are out of the office, or are on vacation, this could severely lengthen the time your request gets handled. Please be as specific as possible regarding the exact nature of the request. Our normal procedure is to send a Work Order to our repair company and they will contact you directly. We will send you an email confirming receipt of your request. If you have not received a telephone call from a contractor to set up an appointment within a reasonable amount of time, please contact us. We will assume that no word from you means everything is on schedule for the repair.
- Repair Hours: Our office hours are 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM -- 5:00 PM Monday through Friday excluding normal holidays. Most repair companies perform their services during similar hours, however pre-discussed appointments may be made for after hours and during weekends at the convenience of the repair company and you. Be advised that the Landlord will not authorize the paying of overtime or after hours charges, except in the case of a major emergency. After hour major emergencies (such as major plumbing, electrical, fire, etc.,) may be reported by calling our normal office number and following the instructions. Use common sense when reporting emergencies. As an example, we cannot and will not repair air conditioners, or a burner on the stove, at midnight on Saturday.
- Repair Deductibles: The repair deductible clause is no longer in new leases and as older leases are renewed is being removed. On the leases that still have a repair/maintenance deductible this means that the Tenant pays the first part of some repair and the Landlord the remainder. In some instances, the Owner will waive the deductible for a major repair or replacement, and at other times, the Tenant may be responsible for more than the deductible due to neglect, etc. Do not pay the repair company when they perform their services, unless directed to by us. If there is to be a deductible or more applicable to you, we will invoice you after the repair has been completed. On the newer leases or renewed leases, their are specific repairs that are payable by each party. If we receive a repair request form you for a repair that is to be paid by the tenant, we will notify you before we schedule the repair.
- Unauthorized Repairs: Do not attempt any repairs yourself or contract with outside companies if you want us to pay for the repair, even in an emergency. We have a manager on call 24 hours a day, and we always have emergency repair companies available. We WILL NOT REIMBURSE you for any repair bills contracted by you without prior written permission from us. AT NO TIME ARE YOU AUTHORIZED TO DEDUCT A REPAIR AMOUNT FROM THE MONTHLY RENT.
- Water and Yard Care: Please remember that in most of our leases it is your responsibility to water the yard. If you do not, you could be held responsible for completely resodding it upon your move-out. Keeping that in mind, if the summer is within normal temperature and rainfall ranges for the area, there may come a time when different areas or water districts start a water rationing or other restriction. Please remember to follow all of those rules.
- A/C Filters: Also due to the weather conditions common to the area, it is imperative that you change your A/C filter regularly. Some units may require more than monthly, but at a minimum monthly. This is also a requirement of your lease. We have had some instances in the past where we have had to send our A/C repairmen out to a unit and the tenant never changed the filter or worse, took it out. This is a very expensive repair, and the tenant ALWAYS gets the entire amount billed back due to tenant neglect. This can run into the $100’s and can also make your electric bill extremely high. Filters only cost a few dollars and are more than offset by your electric bill alone.
NO modifications may be made to the property without prior WRITTEN permission of the Landlord. This includes installation of cable TV, security systems, light fixtures, trees, bushes, painting, wallpapering, or anything of the like.
Notice to Vacate and Move-Out
The Tenant must give the landlord at least 30 days WRITTEN notice of intent to vacate. You can download the form Tenant Intent to Vacate for your use. Notice can be brought by our office, mailed, or sent via email to email@example.com. Verbal notice is insufficient for any reason. Texas Property Code strictly prohibits using your Security Deposit in lieu of payment of the last month's rent, and strong penalties can ensue for doing so. Upon receipt of the notice, your manager will contact you and schedule a walk through of the property to inform you of specific responsibilities before vacating and to discuss the showing instructions to prospective tenants during your remaining time in the property. If you have not heard from us within a couple of days after sending the notice, contact us immediately as we did not receive it. On your move-out day, we will schedule a move out walk through with you and, providing you have given us a forwarding address in writing, we have 30 days from that date to provide you with an accounting and/or refund of your Security Deposit.
Please feel free to contact us with any concerns you may ever have during your stay with us. Thank you, TERRA RESIDENTIAL SERVICES, INC. CRMC®