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San Antonio's Property Management Specialists

Since 1985, the Pyramis Company has grown to become one of the most successful professional fee management firms in San Antonio. The Pyramis Company currently manages single family units, as well as small apartments, in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Our personal commitment lies with the owners we work for. This is why we have had some of our clients since the 1980s. Once our clients see what we can do for them, they stick with us.

7 Top Mistakes of New Landlords

Being a landlord or managing properties especially if you are a rookie is not an easy job. It requires a lot of patience and diligence. It needs knowledge as well as experience to be successful.

Today, we are going to see what are the top mistakes of new landlords for us to learn on avoiding them. As well as the do’s and don’ts of being a landlord.

These common biggest mistakes of first time landlords can still be appropriately addressed to avoid further damages.

7 Top Mistakes of New Landlords

Improper Screening of Tenants

One of the most common mistakes that you could make is rushing down accepting tenants. This can result in an improper and inadequate screening process.

Though your goal is to place tenants to start collecting rent income and deposits immediately, this may end up costing you more.

Carefully look into your potential tenant’s personal information. Do a background check on the history of evictions and criminal offenses. See to it your new tenant can pay his monthly payable rental.

Underestimation of Costs

New landlords often underestimate costs like maintenance and repairs. For tenants to be interested in renting, you need some repairs.

Carefully plan what needs repairs and lay out a budget so that you won’t run out of cash.

Set aside money in your bank accounts so that you can still afford emergency repairs. You have the obligations to your tenants and do it well to keep them.

Failure to Follow the Law

There are governing laws for landlords. You must meet the health and safety standards, the tenant’s right to security and privacy and the long list goes on.

If you cannot meet the legal requirements, your tenants may break the lease agreement. They can even file a lawsuit and be entitled to compensation.

Absence of Lease Agreement

Some first time landlords just rely on verbal agreements. A common understanding between you and the tenant should be put into writing. This includes everything about your rental property and its lease agreement.

Overpricing of Rent

If you’ve made some significant renovations or improvements, do not overdo your rent. You may increase the rent but not too much than expected.

Learn how to read the market spot trends in rent. Reasonable rent is a win-win situation for you and your tenants.

Delayed Start of the Eviction Process

If you have people who are paying late, you may stipulate in your agreement to collect fines for late fees. If this becomes a recurring problem, start the eviction process.

Keeping your tenants warm at your expense can be one of the mistakes since this is business and not charity.

Failure to Hire a Property Manager

Delegate the management work to an expert property manager, like the Pyramis Company, especially if you are new in the business. Though this can cost you money, this can save you more. Property managers are not costly.

Top Mistakes of New Landlords That You Should Avoid

Get Some Help

Are you planning to buy real estate properties? Do you look forward to landlording some tenants? You try to make a checklist for first-time landlord.

However, we want to make your job the easiest. Don’t commit the top mistakes of new landlords and contact the Pyramis company.

Pyramis is a professional property management company in San Antonio. Investors may hire property managers for them to focus on their property investment deals.



What Is Reviewed During Mortgage Underwriting?

The mortgage or loan underwriting process usually takes more than a month. It usually takes this long since you need to gather many documents so that you can obtain the mortgage.
These submitted documents are carefully reviewed by the loan officer, an assistant or a processor. So, what is reviewed during mortgage underwriting?
If you are well prepared, it will be easier for you to obtain mortgages. Lenders are very keen on observing and verifying the borrower’s eligibility. These lending institutions will scrutinize your finances during the process.
If you consider buying a home, it would be best to talk to a loan officer first to start your loans approval process and speed up your loan underwriting timeline.

loan underwriting process

What Is a Mortgage Underwriting Process

Underwriting is significant in the process of your loan approval application. An underwriter will review all the documents that you have submitted or may request additional papers for verification purposes. After which, he or she will give the final decision whether to approve or reject your loan application.
Mortgage underwriting is determining the risk associated with offering a loan to a borrower. Risks and term include credit, collateral, and capacity.
Banks and lenders develop guidelines to help underwriters evaluate risks. It is always the underwriter who call the final decision.

What Documents Are Being Reviewed?

Your mortgage approval process will be just smooth and easy if the officer in charge of your loan will professionally explain your needed documents. An underwriter reviews all sources of your income.
Documents for Appraisal include your employment history, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, assets and additional income sources. If you are currently paying or receiving child support or alimony, they will also send a request for the related documents.
The underwriter also takes time to assess your credit report and look for any issues. Underwriters look at the property’s appraisal to ensure that the loan amount that you have applied for is compatible with the property’s value.
Afterwards, underwriters will go through assuring of the acceptance if your total loan package by the investor since every investor has different requirements and guidelines.

What Should You Expect During the Process

What should you expect during the process? What happens after underwriting? What is reviewed during mortgage underwriting?
Underwriters role and function are very vital. If he or she needs clarification on your finances, be quick and ready to provide the necessary documents.
Obtaining certain documents may sometimes be tricky but with proper guidance and understanding, you can get it done.
After the underwriting process, the underwriter will make the decision.

what happens after underwriting

Get Some Help to Understand More

Do you have any plans purchasing properties for rental purposes? Don’t you have enough cash to fund your investment? Do you want to make a wise investment?
Call and contact Pyramis Company. Pyramis Company is a property management entity run by professional and qualified individuals. This company will help you have a hassle-free start of your business since they will guide you, give you counsel on the steps to make.



Selling a Property with a Tenant Living In It

Do you currently have a home that you’re looking to sell? Are you now renting to a tenant and you’re not sure how to break the news to them that you are looking to sell your home? When deciding to sell your home after having a renter relationship, one of the first things that you can consider doing is selling to your current tenant.


Sometimes we aren’t blessed with the best of tenants. Maybe the current tenant you have, you don’t want to sell to. Perhaps you would be willing to sell to that tenant, but they aren’t looking to buy. There are a lot of reasons that may have led to you wanting to sell your home. If you don’t want to sell to your current tenant or your current tenant doesn’t want to buy your home, we will discuss several options that you have for selling your home with your tenant still residing in it.


Can I Sell My Rental Property with Tenants in It?

A lot of people wonder if they can sell their home, while they are renting to a current tenant. You can entirely sell your home if you are currently renting to someone else. The first thing that we always suggest that you do is to talk to your tenant, see if they will help you fix the place up and show it off to possible buyers.


If your current tenant isn’t willing to help you fix the place up to show it off, then you may want to wait until the tenant moves out to sell your home. This is where giving your tenant proper notice in advance about your intent to sell the house can help with garnishing your tenant’s cooperation.


How Much Notice Should I Give My Tenant?

So you decided to sell, and you know that you’re going to tell your tenant, but how much notice should you provide your tenant? In my experience the sooner you tell your tenant, the better. Let him, or her know how important making the sale of your home is to you. One of the best ways to gain your tenants cooperation in fixing the house up to help you make your sale is to offer to pay for your tenants moving costs.


If you approach your tenant with enough time in advance and let them know that you genuinely care about helping them transition into their new home as much as you care about selling your home, your resident will be more likely to help you with the sale.


What If I Have a Difficult Tennant?

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the best tenants. This may be the reason why you’re looking to sell your home, and not sell to your current tenant. If you have a problematic tenant, I still recommend that you try to offer to pay for their moving costs to garnish their agreement and help with making the sale.


If your tenant does not agree to help you with the sale, you will have to wait to show your home until after your tenant moves out.


Closing Thoughts

Choosing to sell your home is a big decision. Hopefully, your tenant will help you sell your home. Regardless of if you must wait until after your tenant moves out, or your tenant helps you sell your home, transitioning from renting to selling your home is an exciting experience.



8 Things You Can Do Yourself

Have you been wondering whether you can handle some aspects of property management on your own? Saving money on minor expenses is a priority for most homeowners and property owners. In many cases, a property owner may have the skillset or the free time available to take on some aspects of maintaining the house themselves.


Take a look at these key areas to see if you could handle some of the simpler matters on your own.

  1. Improve the aesthetics.


If your property is in between tenants but doesn’t quite command top dollar, you may want to spruce the place up a bit. Property managers could offer suggestions on interior design changes and then hire contractors to complete the work. However, many homes could benefit from just a few simple touches that make them feel cozier and more inhabitable.


For example, your baseboards may need a thorough scrubbing and some glossy white paint. That gray paint in the living room may not be the best color choice for your home anymore. Minor changes that require little more than a few hours and dollars can often be completed by property owners for a much lower cost.


If you tend to rent out your property fully furnished, purchasing a new living room set may even go a long way. All of the small touches that make a house into a home can be done on your own without professional assistance.


  1. Get your own repair quotes.


Did your tenant tell you that they have an extensive repair that needs to be done? Property management companies can gather quotes for you and source potential vendors. Most of the time, this option may offer lower prices due to their working relationship with a contractor. That doesn’t mean that you can’t check around though.


Perhaps you have a family member who can perform maintenance tasks through their personal company. In years past, you may have worked extensively with an HVAC repair person who is willing to give you a great deal on a new air conditioning unit for the house. You can leverage personal connections to gather up repair quotes or simply get an estimate from another vendor.


In the end, you are able to rest easy at night knowing that your property got the attention it needed at a reasonable rate.


  1. Do your own research.


Does the rent on your property seem like it’s low in comparison to other homes in the area? You can certainly do your own research on the average rent price for homes similar to yours in same general location. Compare standard elements such as the square footage of the property, number of bedrooms, any potential upgrades, and neighborhood quality.


  1. Improve the landscaping.


If your home is having a difficult time drawing in new tenants, it may be time to increase the curb appeal. A few well-trimmed shrubs, vibrant flower beds, and a nicely maintained lawn can go a long way towards making your property more attractive to prospective renters. The outside appearance of your home is just as important as the inside.


Instead of hiring a landscaper to handle weekly yard work while your property is vacant, homeowners may want to consider doing it themselves. Most individuals likely have all the equipment they need already.


While you’re out there doing a little manual labor, you may even feel inspired to redo the backyard. Pressure washing the patio, adding new outdoor furniture, or making repairs to the fence line can all be simple ways to start handling some property management on your own.


  1. Update the nuts and bolts of your home.


Have you ever noticed that the smallest details have the biggest impact on your home? They’re functional necessities that you often take for granted until you have to use them on a daily basis. Consider the basic nuts and bolts of your home: light switches, outlet covers, light fixtures, and door knobs. All of these simple items could use to be updated on a fairly regular basis.


Over time, light switches that used to be pristine become grimy and discolored. The same goes for outlet covers. Especially if your previous tenants were smokers, you may have more discolored items than you otherwise would expect. Doorknobs and light fixtures can get rusty and rattle over time, so replacing them can increase the functionality of a space.


  1. Organize your own paperwork.


Did the dishwasher break again but you can’t remember who you hired to fix it last time? Organizing your own paperwork allows you to have easy access to all of the pertinent details regarding your property’s maintenance. You can find the length of time between repairs, the name of the company you hired, and even the cost.


This is also a valuable resource when it comes to evaluating whether it’s time to replace major items within the home or continue to repair them. By reviewing the records you have on hand, you can identify just how much money you’re sinking into repair costs. It might become clear quickly whether or not the appliance really needs to be repaired or if it should just be replaced. Making the right call can often save you money in the long run.


  1. Advertise for new tenants.


While you definitely want your property management company to screen your tenants, you can certainly do some advertising on your own. Maybe you can put the word out on social media, hang some flyers with information on a local bulletin board, or place an ad in the newspaper. You can be proactive in bringing in potential renters all on your own.


The house may be sitting vacant but taking some steps towards filling it can make you feel more productive. Not only that, but it requires a very small time investment to arrange for advertising. From there, your property management company can take over all of the necessary screening items to ensure that applicants are creditworthy and trustworthy tenants.


  1. Conduct your own drive-by inspections.


Most tenants aren’t going to be okay with the property owner demanding in-home inspections on a whim. However, you can get a general sense of the state of affairs simply by driving past the outside of the home on a regular basis. Is the tenant responsible for the yard work but the grass is knee-high? Maybe you can see cracked window panes or large oil stains on the driveway.


A property owner may want to consider doing their own drive-by inspections to make sure their home is being maintained. If any problems catch your attention during one of these casual check-ins, bring it to the attention of your property manager. They can handle contacting the tenant and investigating your concern further without involving you in the conflict.


There are some definite perks to using a property management service, but that doesn’t mean you need to abandon all responsibility. Concerned and active property owners should think about taking the time to improve the homes they own using their own elbow grease on occasion.


The more involved you are in the process of upkeep on your property, the more likely it is that your home will stay in tip-top shape for years to come. You can potentially save some money on the monthly costs of your property management in San Antonio or repair bills while gaining peace of mind for yourself.




Are You a Knowledgeable Landlord?

Owning a property that you lease out doesn’t necessarily mean you understand all of the ins and outs associated with being a landlord. Most owners wouldn’t necessarily believe that they are doing anything unethical. In reality, they may not be treating their tenants fairly according to rules and regulations set out by the government. This can have serious repercussions if your tenant is adamant and better versed in landlord laws than you are.


Alternatively, an unknowledgeable landlord may be allowing their renters to walk all over them. Anytime the tenant cries out that they are being treated unfairly, you may give under the pressure and complaints. Knowing that you’re in the right can give you the peace of mind to make fair and ethical decisions, regardless of how your tenant feels about them or you.


Test out your knowledge of being a landlord with these frequently asked questions to see how you stack up.


Is credit a valid way to screen for tenants?


Absolutely. Checking the creditworthiness of a prospective renter isn’t considered discrimination. They are applying to rent your home which incurs a specific recurring expense on a monthly basis. Banks would check their credit if they were to apply for an auto loan or a mortgage to ensure that they have a history of repaying debts responsibly. Similarly, landlords can request a credit check of all applicants. Property management companies can help you with that.


The exception to this answer is if you make the decision to screen credit based on some other factor such as appearance, lifestyle, or the type of car an applicant drives. Adding requirements for some applicants that aren’t standard procedure for others would be considered discrimination.


Can you pop into the property anytime you feel it’s justified?


The answer to this question really depends on the laws for your specific area. In most cases, landlords are required to respect a tenant’s right to privacy. Simply because you have a key to the property doesn’t mean you can waltz in whenever you feel like it. Imagine how you would feel if you were the one living in the home. What if your landlord walked in on you dancing around the kitchen in nothing but a pair of socks?


Besides being an obvious issue of common courtesy, privacy considerations are protected by local and state laws in most areas. You will want to look into the specifics for your area before scheduling an inspection of the property.


Do you have to allow pets in the home?


The short answer to this question is generally no. A tenant isn’t necessarily given the legally-protected right to own a dog, cat, or even an aquarium full of exotic fish. Landlords should first and foremost be concerned with protecting their home long-term. If they don’t feel like a pet deposit could cover the potential damage done to the home by an animal, they aren’t required to allow tenants to have one.


If your tenant has a service animal, whether it’s a seeing-eye dog or an emotional support animal, it is considered discrimination to refuse an assistance animal. You also are not allowed to charge a pet deposit in this scenario, as it is considered unfair. The Fair Housing Law protects individuals who require an assistance animal under certain circumstances.


While it may seem unfair to you as a landlord, an assistance animal is considered a necessity for the disabled or handicapped individual who owns it. They don’t have the option of abandoning the animal and still maintaining their quality of life. Tenants who have a valid claim to the use of an assistance animal can request an investigation from a government agency if you deny them this right.


Do you have to rent to tenants who have children?


Unless your property is located in a retirement community or qualifies for status as a “seniors only” home (ages 55 and over), you can’t deny tenants based on their children. This includes basing a decision on the number of children that you will allow in the home. Landlords don’t have the right to discriminate based on the size or makeup of the family.  Landlords must adhere to Federal Fair Housing as well as state and local occupancy standards.


Are tenants required to do all home maintenance?


Not only will the courts refuse to support a tenant being required to perform all maintenance, it really isn’t in your best interest as a landlord either. Performing or supervising some of the home maintenance allows you to identify areas that may be a problem. You can ensure that tasks are completed properly, allowing the home to remain habitable.


Holding tenants responsible for all maintenance can leave landlords in the dark when it comes to major issues or shoddy workmanship. Without attention, you may end up with legal trouble for renting out an uninhabitable home.


How does the law define habitability?


The legal definition of habitable can be rather long and confusing, but it really boils down to one simple idea: the property must be safe to live in and tenants must be able to live there in relative comfort.


Before you panic, this doesn’t mean that you need to provide a fully furnished rental or restore the granite countertops. Luxury tastes aren’t taken into consideration when it comes to the idea of relative comfort. Instead, landlords should be concerned with whether or not the home is going to protect renters from the outside elements and have the basic amenities like electricity, plumbing or working bathrooms, and running water.


Patch the leaky roof and make sure that the water comes out clean. If the light switches spark when you turn them on, enlist the help of a qualified electrician. You can pass on repairs and changes that are more cosmetic in nature, as you are only required by law to make the property habitable.


Can a landlord ask leasers to vacate their rental?


Yes, landlords are well within their rights to ask tenants to vacate a property even if they have a current lease. However, the date by which they must leave the property has to be past the expiration date of the current lease agreement. It does not have to be extended far past the end of the lease though. Even just a single day will suffice.


Attempt to be considerate with this request though. Give your tenants advance notice that they are being asked to vacate the property at the end of their lease.


Do you know what you don’t know?


Did you get a perfect score on this short pop quiz of commonly asked questions for landlords? You may have known a few things about managing your own property, which is great. If you didn’t have the answers to these frequently asked questions, it may be time for you to do a little research into tenant laws and regulations in your area.


Until you’re faced with a specific situation, it’s hard to know what you don’t know as a landlord. Taking the time to research the specific laws for your area will give you a leg up as a successful landlord. It will prevent you from needing to be rescued in the future.


Being knowledgeable about your role and responsibility as a landlord is essential to protecting yourself and your tenants.