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03.03.01 – Property Management Overview

Section: Administrative Operations

Area: Property Management

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The university is responsible for complying with state and federal rules for the accountability and control of university owned property and abandoned personal property. The purpose of this document is to outline the roles and responsibilities associated with the accountability and control of university owned capital and controlled assets as well as the disposition and deposit of abandoned and unclaimed personal property.


As required by the Texas Government Code, the university accounts for, maintains accurate records of, and ensures adequate control over university-owned capital and controlled assets.

The Chief Executive Officer of the university designates a Property Manager to maintain the records required and serve as custodian of all property possessed by the institution.

Additional property guidelines apply for capital and controlled assets procured with federal funds.

The section of this memorandum concerned with lost and found or student general property deposits is governed under Sections 51.213 and 54.5021 of the Texas Education Code, respectively.


A. Capital Assets: Tangible or intangible assets with a single unit cost/donation value that exceeds the State minimum threshold (generally $5,000 for personal property) and an estimated useful life of more than one year. Capital assets are generally distinct items with sufficient size or scope of use to make control feasible by means of marking with identification numbers and/or manufacturer's serial numbers. Items not meeting these criteria are classified as expendable, with two exceptions.

1. Component parts used to fabricate a larger capital asset assembly must be coded as capital expenditures.

2. Freight, transportation costs, and/or installation fees associated with the purchase of capital assets or components must be coded as capital expenditures.

B. Controlled Assets: Assets that the State Comptroller's office determines must be secured and tracked due to the high-risk nature of the items, with costs between $500 and $4,999.99 with an estimated useful life of more than one year. These assets are not capitalized assets, real property, improvements to real property, or infrastructure. The specific assets include firearms, TVs, portable cameras, video players and recorders, sound systems and audio equipment, data projectors, handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones, drones, desktop computers, and laptop computers.

C. Lost and Found property: Property that is not purchased or owned by the University and does not fall under the requirements established by the State Comptroller's office. Property that is turned over to any college, division, department or unit administrator as found property and the lawful owner is not known or have yet to be determined.

D. Student General Property: A deposit collected by an institution of higher education from each student to ensure the institution against losses, damages and breakage in libraries and laboratories.


A. Property Management: Property Management is responsible for promulgating guidelines to help ensure compliance with all applicable rules related to accounting for and controlling capital and controlled assets. Property Management Guidelines are available on the Property Management web site, at: . Property Management is also responsible for communicating applicable rules to the university departments. Property Management will notify department heads, deans and divisional heads of any instances of non-compliance with Property Management guidelines, as appropriate.

B. Property Custodians: Each college, division, department and unit administrator are responsible for ensuring compliance with Property Management guidelines and are required to appoint a property custodian to perform the duties specified in the Property Management guidelines. In addition to compliance with Property Management Guidelines, college, division, department, and unit administrators are also responsible for working with Information Technology to help ensure the appropriate disposal of data-processing equipment that is not capitalized or controlled.

C. Lost and found: Lost and found property will be governed in accordance with Section 51.213 of the Texas Education Code and established by the University of Houston Police Department policies, as set forth by the Chief of Police.

D. Student general property deposits: will be governed in accordance with Section 54.5021 of the Texas Education Code by the Governing Board of the Institution.


State Property Accounting User's Manual
UH Property Management Guidelines and Forms


Issued: 03/06/2000
Last Reviewed/Revised: 05/09/2024
Responsible Office(s): Finance