Cheap DIY Upgrades for Your Rental Property

Owning a rental property is a great way to make a passive income, but because you want to make money, you might not want to waste it by doing renovations. This can be a problem because you also want your rental property to be nice enough to bring in potential tenants that are willing to pay the maximum price. Listed below are several inexpensive, DIY upgrade options that will elevate the aesthetic appeal of your property, without breaking the bank.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it is often the first room that potential renters will look at. Here are a few inexpensive ways to update the kitchen:

1.  Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into your kitchen. If you are planning to repaint, you want to go with a light, neutral color. If you choose something like blue or red, it will make the kitchen look darker and smaller than it actually is. You want to choose a color that will brighten up the room, making it appear larger and more open.

2. Repaint the Cabinets and Replace the Hardware

You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new cabinets in your rental property. If the structure of the cabinets is sound, you just need to fix the cabinets cosmetically. First, you can repaint or re-stain the cabinets, making them look brand new. You can also replace the hardware, such as cabinet handles, drawer handles, and doorknobs. New hardware can completely change the look of a room, so you don’t have to stop at the kitchen. Replace all the doorknobs and handles around your home to keep things consistent and looking fresh.

3. Replace the Faucet

If the faucet in the kitchen of your rental property is old, the kitchen will look dated. You can buy a modern faucet for under $100, and if you are handy, you can install it yourself.

The Bathroom

Another room that potential renters focus on is the bathroom. This room is used several times a day, and so needs to feel comfortable and modern. Here are a few upgrades you can make to breathe new life into a dated bathroom.

1. Install a New Vanity

Installing a new vanity in the bathroom can give the room an entirely different look. You can find modern vanities for a relatively low price, and if you are handy, you should have no problem installing it yourself. In most cases, the simpler it is, the better. Choose a vanity that has room for storage but isn’t too bulky. Also, try to make sure that the color isn’t too loud, and blends nicely with the rest of the décor.

2. Re-grout the Tile

Nothing makes a bathroom look old and dingy like dirty tile grout. If you re-grout the tile in the bathroom, it will improve the floor’s appearance, and it will also brighten up the entire bathroom.

3. Replace the Light Fixtures

Potential renters are going to be looking for bathrooms with plenty of light. Most people get ready for the day in front of the bathroom mirror, so they need a good amount of more natural lighting. If the light in the bathroom is low or the light fixtures are dated, you can easily replace them without breaking the bank. If you check for sales, you can find a modern light fixture for under $50. Light fixtures generally aren’t very difficult to replace; just make sure that your turn off the power before you begin.

Owning a rental property doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of your profits to renovate the property. Small changes can be made that will make a huge difference in the appearance of the rental property. However, the idea of upgrading and updating your properties can be overwhelming, so let us help! Contact Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, TX for more info on how to get the most bang for your buck! Contact Us Online, or Call Today 817.886.9220

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Attractive Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas For Rental Properties In Fort Worth

If  you own rental properties in Fort Worth, Texas with yards or common areas, you want to keep the space looking nice, but you don’t want to put back-breaking labor into it, or need to visit more often than you would like in order to maintain the aesthetic. This is why it’s in your best interest, as a landlord, to invest in some low maintenance landscaping for your rental properties.

It is very possible to keep your yard low maintenance while still looking great. So, below are a few low maintenance landscaping ideas for rental properties in Fort Worth that you might find helpful.

1. Use Drought Tolerant Plants and Shrubs

Select shrubs, trees and plants that require very little water as well as attention in order to thrive. Plants such as Sage, Hibiscus, and types of cacti, are not only drought tolerant and low maintenance, but they also produce beautiful flowers to decorate the landscape. There are many attractive plant options available that can thrive in different quality soils and a variety of climates. Many nurseries also specifically breed yard trees, smaller shrubs, dwarf conifers, etc. for their smaller stature and for their pest and disease resistance qualities.

With these sorts of plants, you’ll need to invest some time initially, typically during their first year of growth. However, once they establish a firm root system, they will pretty much take care of themselves. You can place a weed barrier on the ground around your plants, then cover it with rocks, pebbles, or bark to prevent weeds and keep the yard looking beautiful.

2. Add Hardscape Elements such as Walkways, Courtyards and Patios

These elements increase the appeal of your yard, come with functional benefits, and reduce common landscaping chores. Concrete can look nice, but it tends to crack after some time and will require more maintenance in the long run. Instead, you can use permeable materials such as pavers, stone and gravel. Gravel lets the rainwater to penetrate into the soil beneath and thus helps prevent runoff, minimizes erosion, and irrigates plantings.

3. Replace Natural Turf with Ground Covers and Artificial Grass

As lovely as they are, lawns require a lot of care and regular maintenance. Therefore, you may have the idea to replace them with artificial grass. Technology has come a long way as far as artificial turf is concerned, and if you invest in an expensive turf, most people will find it difficult to tell the difference between the turf and the natural grass. More importantly, it is very low maintenance and can be installed by the renters themselves or by the property management company personnel during their scheduled visits for inspection and maintenance of the property.

You could also replace normally grassy portions of a yard with gravel or bark, for example. This greatly minimizes the amount of yard work that needs to be done and can also look very nice.

All of these options will reduce the amount of water and maintenance that is needed to keep your rental properties looking great.

If you have questions about how Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can help with your property management needs, contact us today!


Pet Policies Regarding Rentals In Texas

If you own rental properties in Fort Worth, you’ve probably wondered whether or not you should allow your tenants to keep pets on your properties. Well, the simple answer is that you should seriously consider allowing pets in your rental property. There are several reasons that allowing pets will work to your advantage.

Properties That Allow Pets Do Not Stay Vacant For Long

The statistics show that there are a very large number of people that own pets, more now than ever before. Many people work from home now, due to COVID-19, which can get monotonous, boring, and lonely. If you scroll through your social media feed, you will likely find that a lot of your friends may have gotten pets in the last six months to help keep them company. This has caused pet-friendly rental properties to be in much higher demand.  If you had three similar properties in the same street, you would probably find that the one that allows pets will be rented quicker than the others. If you do not allow pets at your properties, you could be losing money because of longer vacancy periods.

In general, people who have pets seem to be more responsible than those who do not, which is great news for property owners. If you find pet owners who want to rent from you, they are much more likely to stay for a long period of time, as well as do their best to keep your property in good condition, because pet-friendly properties are not that common.

Preventing Damage Caused By Pets

If you are worried about the costs involved with possible damages caused by a pet, you can relax a little by charging your future tenants a pet deposit, which will cover anything in your home that gets damaged by pets. Most people who do own pets will be very willing to pay the extra costs, as long as they know that they will not lose their money if everything on the property is taken care of properly. There are organizations like FIREPAW, that work with landlords to ensure that they do not incur any losses. CARP (Companion Animal Renters Program), created by FIREPAW, provides clients with pet agreements, a personal needs assessment, and more.

Making sure that you have a rental property pet policy in place is exceptionally important, especially if you are living in the Fort Worth area. Having a signed agreement in black and white is the only way that you will be certain that you do not lose money in the deal. Pet owners will most likely be willing to pay extra rent or an extra fee to cover potential costs that may be needed to fix any damage that their pets may cause to the property. The good news is that there is not a lot of pet damage reported, as the pet owners generally do whatever is needed to keep property owners happy.

Rental Property Pet Policy and Expectations

With the help of FIREPAW, you can have your policies regarding pets personalized to suit your specific property and needs. They have, over the years, creating a much more appealing set of pet-friendly options for landlords. They have shown people that there are not as many negatives as previously thought. Besides, they make it very obvious to property owners that certain things cannot be avoided when renting out a property to a pet owner, but there are measures that can be put in place to make sure that owners do not lose money. When renting your property to a pet owner, you need to make it very clear what your expectations are, and that there are rules that need to be adhered to. Some of the expectations that you can include in your particular pet policy can include the following:

1. Any pets will have to have received the required shots, tags, and licenses. This includes a nametag for each pet, especially in the case of a cat or dog. Make sure that you check what licenses and vaccines are required in your state.

2. If the tenant has a dog, they will need to be on a leash whenever they are outside of the apartment or house. Animals like hamsters and birds need to be in a cage at all times.

3. As a tenant, they will be liable for cleaning up any waste and stains that their pets may have left. This applies to the inside of property buildings and on property grounds, but especially in shared spaces.

4. All tenants will be held responsible for any type of damage caused by their pets.

5. You can discuss the possibility of the tenant getting renters insurance to cover yourself.

6. You can include in the agreement that you have the right to take legal action if the pet becomes a hazard or problem to the other tenants. You should inform tenants that, if necessary, you will terminate their rental agreement or require that the pet be removed from the property permanently. If you do need to have the pet removed, it does not necessarily mean that the tenant needs to vacate the property, but this should be discussed and agreed upon in the initial agreement. You should also be aware that, as the owner, you have the right to make certain changes to the initial agreement, as long as you have given the tenant written notice at least 30 days in advance. This is something that can protect you if you decide to not allow pets or certain types of pets in the future.

Increased Profits From Your Properties

When you are a property owner, your main goal is to maximize your profits while at the same time making sure that your tenant is happy as well. When you create a pet-friendly rental policy, you ensure that both you and the tenant are happy. Due to the fact that there is so much negativity surrounding pets and rental properties, there is a serious shortage on the market for people who own pets. Landlords need to take advantage of this fact in order to maximize their potential income. With many people not willing to allow pets, it creates an opportunity for owners who are willing to make an allowance for pets. Owners need to understand those pet owners are willing to pay between 20% and 30% more than other possible tenants, and this is because they are willing to do almost anything for their furry friends. Most pet owners consider their pets to be part of their families, and they will go to any lengths to make sure that they are looked after, happy, and protected.

Cost of Insurance

If, after everything said, you are still worried about costs, especially where insurance is concerned, do some extra research to put your mind at ease. Most insurance companies will cover pet damages in their quotes, and they will be at a minimal cost. The extra cost can be worked into the agreed rental or extra fees associated with being a pet owner. SO, at the end of the day, property owners do not need to worry about paying higher fees because they will be included in the tenant’s rental agreement. Replacing a soiled carpet, painting walls, and more can be covered by the tenant’s security deposit. It is basically a win-win situation for everyone involved.

What About Service Animals?

As a property owner, you need to make sure of what laws apply in your state with regards to service dogs. Some animals cannot be turned away according to laws developed by the US Department of Housing and Development Fair Housing Act. Animals that are exempt are those who need to assist their owner in their basic functioning in life, such as guide dogs. An owner needs to seek proof of the tenant’s disability and their need to have a service animal, as well as their specific disability.

There are people in this world who will try to exploit your kindness, making it necessary to ensure that you have a solid legal team willing to take on your battles, should they occur. Even if you have a policy in place that does not allow pets, when a tenant has a legal service animal, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble if you do not allow them to rent your property just because they have an animal. The reason for this is that service animals are not classified as pets, but rather as an aid or medical tool to people with certain disabilities.

Hiring a property management company that can help you keep track of federal and local laws is highly recommended, and you will be free from many daunting responsibilities that come with being a property owner.

Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth will help you and your tenants stay happy. Our experienced team will help you fill your vacancies and keep your properties in great condition, Contact us online, or call 817-886-9220 today for a quote!