I have a situation where a property manager in Dallas, TX has not paid me rent from June - September. The manager kept lying and delaying payments, then she paid me October and November. I fired her in November and took over the management. She still owes me more than $10K in rent. On one tenant she told me that she was never paid by the Dallas Housing Authority, but I did get proof (copies of the checks with her stamp on it) that she got paid. I just sent her the last request for repaying.
As far as I know property managers do not require a license in the state of Texas, so I can’t try to take that away from her. I know that I can go to Civil court and I will probably have to do that anyway.
Can anyone tell me if there are other options out there? I do have leases, copies of all the rents she paid me, copies of some of Housing Authority checks. As far as I know the judge would skin her alive, but she probably would never dare to show up in court.
What would a court process be like? I am out of state, so any details on timing and procedure would really be appreciate it.
You can and have to go after her. You will need proof that all rents were collected by her. This will involve copies of all canceled checks by your tennants or at least the property mgmts copy of a receipt given to tennants showing payment was made.
Also if you have a house on section 8, you should just have the check sent to your account, not theirs. Section 8 will electronic deposit that check in your account, dont worry about collectiing those funds.
Bad thing is, this is a civil matter and depending on how the property mgmt is set up, you may never collect a penny from them, but still sue. Time to call some attorneys in TX and get the ball rolling. Most likely you can have an attorney write a letter giving them 5-7business days to release the funds to you, and that letter should not cost more than $250 . But generally, attorneys will charge you $200-300 a hr… Look for one that will do this for a lump sum if you can. Mayve for $2000 range…
Thank you for the advise.
I did inform Section 8 of the management change from now on all the payments come to me.
I do have a confirmation from the property manager that she collected all the rents. I simply provided a list of all missing rent and asked her to sum up the maintenance costs and pay me back the difference. She never did. I been asking for awhile all I hear back is that it’s impossible that she owes me so much money. She has no proof, I have all the proof. I will contact a lwayer friend to start writing up a case.
I think it’s a small claims court civil action if the amounts are below $5k.
You may also want to know that you can contact the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). Property managers are supposed to be licensed. She will either need a broker’s license or be an agent under a broker. https://www.trec.state.tx.us/ (click on the button to find licensee by last name, etc.). TREC has a real estate recovery fund that pays damages to consumers for the acts of brokers/agents. I think if you sue separately, you won’t be entitled to this fund, so you may want to see if it’s a better way to go. Look up the manager’s license online to see if it’s active.
If she is a member of the local board/association of REALTORS, you have some weight there too. You can try to find out which, if any, boards she belongs too. They have a code of ethics, so she can be fined or removed. http://www.dallasrealtor.com/ or http://www.dfwrealtors.com/ may be a good start.
Small claims court will not work since the total damage is over $5K. I checked with TREC and they told me that property managers do not need a license in the state of Texas. I figured this would be a good place to start, but to my surprise she needs no license. I will check the associations to see if she is lited anywhere.
Every business needs a city permit to operate, would it be possible to file a formal claim in the city hall to have her lose her license?
Thank you for replying.
There is no “Property Management License” requirement in Texas, but professional property managers must have a Texas real estate license in order to charge commissions. I haven’t seen a property manager who didn’t have a license. Did you try looking her up?
If you can PM me with her name or company name. You should also have a contract with her handy. I don’t like getting people in trouble, but like to do what I can do help consumers. I’ll ask my fellow brokers and attorneys here what we can do to make sure you’re taken care of. You can also email my team if that’s easier.