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Rental Assistance FAQ’s

homebuying faq

What are typical lease terms?
Most of the apartment communities offer six (6) month and twelve (12) month lease terms. Three (3) month leases are offered for a premium at a select few properties. Nino Properties also offers month-to-month furnished throughout the Houston area. Privately owned townhomes, high-rises, duplexes and single-family homes typically require a twelve (12) month lease.

How much are rental deposits? Pet deposits?
Rental deposits are due upon processing of Rental Application, which includes credit/rental and criminal background check. Non-refundable Application Fees range from $30-$70. Approximate rental deposits are listed below and will vary. Many apartment communities charge deposits starting at $100+, depending on the lessee’s credit score.
Apartment Rental Deposits: One-bedroom $100 – $400, Two-bedroom $300 – $500, Three-bedroom $400 – $600
Privately Owned Single-Family/Townhome/Condo/High-Rise Deposits: Equal to one-month’s rent and paid to the owner of the property, not the Listing Agent’s Realty Company, unless they manage the property.
Pet deposits will range from $200 – $600 per pet with usually half being non-refundable. Some apartment communities charge monthly pet rent in addition to your apartment rent. Many homeowners/landlords and apartment management companies accept pets. Pet policy varies at each property with aggressive breeds being more difficult to accommodate.

What appliances are typically included with a unit?
Most apartments will include a refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. Microwaves and ceiling fans will also be found in some instances. Apartments built before 1982 may include washer/dryer connections. After 1982, most will include the washer/dryer. In single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes/condos, the appliances vary depending on what the homeowner has chosen to leave in the rental unit. Most single-family homeowners do not provide washer/dryer or refrigerator.

What utilities will I be responsible for paying?
With few exceptions, the resident will pay for electricity and water. There are several power providers to choose from and compare rates at www.powertochoose.org. Most power companies will require 4 business days to connect service.
Water is individually metered and paid by the resident, and in most cases, the apartment management company will invoice and collect payment. In privately owned units, the resident will connect and pay to the local water provider in the area. Telephone, internet and cable service may be provided and installed by a cable company or local telephone service provider.

What if I need to rent furniture?
Several furniture companies offer different specials through our company. On average, 1-bedroom apartment package prices start at $199 per month. There is a minimum 3-month lease required with deposits equaling 1 month’s rent. The average delivery is approximately $100 – $150 (M-F). Our Relocation Consultants will know the best prices and have helpful suggestions for your needs.

Who may I contact for information about a lease or file a complaint about an apartment or management company?
The Houston Apartment Association may be reached at 281-933-2224 or www.haaonline.org. You can also contact the Texas attorney general’s office for an overview of tenant’s rights at 713-223-5886 or 1-800-421-0508 or at www.oag.state.tx.us.

What are deed restrictions?
The City of Houston and many other cities in the Metropolitan area have no zoning. Many area communities rely instead on deed restrictions to protect property values. A deed restricted neighborhood typically has rules governing things like boat or RV storage, architectural restrictions, locations for satellite dishes and other items of concern to property owners. To find out what the deed restrictions are for a particular subdivision, contact the County Clerk for that property. You will need the legal description of the property and the name of the subdivision to request a copy of the deed restrictions. Counties usually charge a fee for this service.

What is the role of a title company?
The role a title company serves in real estate transactions is the handling of escrow accounts. When opening an escrow, a seller and a buyer of a piece of property establish certain terms and conditions to facilitate a transfer of ownership of that property. Texas requires that an escrow officer be licensed. An escrow officer’s duties are: 1) Open orders for title insurance; 2) Keep both parties informed of the progress; 3) Obtain approvals from the buyer on past control reports, repairs, etc.; 4) Receive funds from the buyer for earnest money; 5) Record deeds and any other loan documents required; 6) Prorate and adjust insurance, taxes, rents, etc.; 7) Prepare final statements for each party indicating amounts necessary to close escrow; 8) Disburse funds for title insurance, recording fees, real estate commissions, clearance of liens, etc.

What can I expect to pay in property taxes?
The County Appraisal District places a value on your property which should equate to fair market value. In turn, all taxing authorities use this value to assess taxes. The taxing authorities are: 1) School Districts; 2) The County; 3) City or MUD (Municipal Utility District). Tax Rates per $100 for Harris and surrounding counties range from $2.90 to $3.90. (Or $2900-$3900 for every $100,000 of assessed value.) For specific information, please visit your county website seen below:
Harris-www.hcad.org
Brazoria-www.brazoriacad.org
Fort Bend-www.fbcad.org
Montgomery-www.mcad-tx.org
Galveston-www.galvestoncad.org
Waller-www.co.waller.tx.us

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