Tenant’s Guide to Moving Into Your Fort Worth Rental Home



Specialized Property Management is delighted to welcome you to your new rental home. We know that moving can be stressful, and we know that there are often a multitude of little details to pay attention to. It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. We’ve put together some helpful information into this guide for moving into your property. We expect that these few items will help you move in smoothly and have a pleasant and successful stay with us.

If you have any questions while you’re reading this reference, please get in touch with one of our agents. We’d be happy to clear up any confusion or walk you through any process. 



Completing Your Inventory and Condition Report

Before you move in, your leasing agent will provide you with a resident manual. This will contain all the information you need to enjoy and care for your new home.

With your resident manual, you’ll also get an inventory and condition form. This is an important way to document the move-in condition of the property. We don’t want to hold you accountable for damage that isn’t your fault, so please take the time to inspect your new home carefully and make a note of anything that isn’t in perfect condition. Use the form to go through the property and note any issues. We’ll ask you to provide photographs of anything that you’re documenting on the inventory and condition form. This protects you and your security deposit during the move-out process.

Please return this form to us within five days of moving into your home. We’ll keep this form in leasing department and use it when we conduct our move-out inspection. If you have noted anything that needs maintenance or repairs during this move-in process, please submit a separate maintenance request through your tenant portal. We will respond immediately and take care of any issues you may have found. We want you to have an excellent experience from the start.

Maintenance and the Responsibilities of Tenants and Owners

We want you to enjoy your new home. We’ll work with you to ensure the property is safe, habitable, and well-maintained. Sometimes, residents and even owners get confused about who is responsible for which functions of the home. Let’s take a moment to review resident and owner responsibilities.

As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy. We all know that small messes can quickly become large messes. Please be proactive in the way you care for your home. Leaving food, trash, and other debris out can attract pests and insects, and it can also degrade the property as well as your quality of life. Make an effort to keep your home in good shape.

Tenants are also responsible for setting up utilities in their names. Be sure to get those accounts started before you move in, because sometimes it can take a few days. If you’re switching your account from your previous home to your new one, make sure you time the transition correctly.

We also ask you to take care of the landscaping. You want to live in a property that looks neat and clean from the outside, so please watch for weeds, overgrown lawns, and debris in the yard or on the patio. As a tenant, you’ll also need to complete minor and seasonal maintenance. This might include changing light bulbs and air filters. When you turn on the heat or the air conditioning for the first time, a clean filter will ensure you save energy and keep the heating and cooling system running efficiently.

Tenants are also required to comply with all state and local laws as well as any HOA property codes, rules, and regulations. It’s easy to violate an HOA rule if you don’t know it exists, so make sure you familiarize yourself with bylaws and rules and regulations when you move into an HOA property. We can make sure you have all the necessary documents.


Owners have their own responsibilities, too. Property owners must ensure that your rental property is clean, safe, and ready for your occupancy. There are several things required by the Texas Property Code, and as your property managers, we make sure the owners of your property comply with all of these requirements. For example, owners must re-key all doors leading to the outside of your home before you move in. This ensures that no one else has a key to your home, and it’s for your safety and security. Owners must provide smoke detectors in the right places, and their exterior doors must have keyless deadbolts that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside, as well as peepholes. If you notice your property missing any of these things, please notify us immediately.

Owners must also provide residents with a copy of the HOA rules.


Paying Rent in Fort Worth

We make paying rent easy and convenient. It can be stressful if the first has come and gone and you realize that you’ve forgotten to pay rent. You don’t want to incur any late fees or be irresponsible in getting your rent to us on time. Luckily, we offer secure and convenient online rental payment options. Your leasing coordinator will provide you with a log in that takes you to your private resident portal. On this portal, you can pay rent each month via a checking account or your debit or credit card. You can also set up automatic reoccurring payments to ensure on-time payments and peace of mind.

If you prefer not to pay rent online, we have several other options that might work better for you. Mailing a check to our office is still an option, and you can also drop it off to us in-person. All of the rental collection policies can be found in your lease agreement, from how much is due to when it’s due and how it should be paid. Please refer to your lease or talk to one of our agents if you have any questions. We take timely rental payments very seriously at Specialized Property Management, and we’ve done everything we can to help you keep your account current. 


Requesting Maintenance and Repairs



When maintenance or a repair is needed, simply log into your online portal or call our maintenance hotline to submit a ticket. When you submit a maintenance request online, it allows us to respond to your needs right away. It also helps us both by creating a documented log of what was done at the property and how things were handled. Please try to use your online portal for routine repairs and minor issues.

Emergencies should always be brought to our attention immediately. If you notice a water leak or a fire or a storm causes a tree to come crashing through the roof, don’t hesitate to call our emergency maintenance line. Someone is always available to take the call and immediately dispatch help.

Maintaining your home is a priority for us. We want to be responsive and accessible when it comes to maintenance issues, so don’t hesitate to report necessary repairs. Deferred maintenance only costs more and creates larger headaches for owners, tenants, and property managers. Let us know if something is broken or not functioning the way it should.

Moving Out of Your Rental Home

It’s hard to think about the move-out when you’ve just started moving in, but you should know early on that there are incentives to our best tenants. Specialized Property Management makes a point of rewarding tenants who have made on-time rent payments and maintained the property to our standards. If you have been a responsible, communicative tenant, and you have followed all the terms of your lease faithfully, we will be sad to lose you. But, we know that people move on, and we’ll offer you a printed payment history and letter of recommendation upon request. This can help you in your effort to purchase a home or in renting your next home. We’ll do everything we can to help our great tenants find a new place to live after they leave us.

Keep Your Resident Manual Close

As we mentioned, your leasing agent will give you a Specialized Property Management resident manual with more information on all of these items and more. This can be a very helpful and important resource while you’re living in one of the properties we manage. It can save you time when you have a question and you’re not sure who to call or what to do. Start with your manual, and you may find that you can answer your own question quickly and thoroughly. We have made an effort to be as detailed as possible so that you can enjoy living in your home with few intrusions. We ask that you please keep this manual handy for easy reference throughout your stay with us.

Thank you for choosing a property managed by Specialized Property Management. We hope you enjoy your new home, and we’re here to answer any questions or provide any support you need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth for any property management or leasing needs.

Top 10 FAQs Answered by Fort Worth Property Management Company

As an experienced Fort Worth property management company we are asked a lot of questions. We love answering any question you can throw at us; it is what we’re here for! But to simplify things we’ve put together a list of FAQs for you. Read our answers below to the top 10 questions we see most often in Fort Worth residential property management.

1. What is the quickest way to get my property rented?

Many things factor into shortening vacancy days, but we see the most success when we do these simple things:

  • Ensure your property is up to code and needed maintenance is completed before showing the home.
  • Spruce up around the property to increase curb appeal.
  • Market aggressively, especially online on multiple websites.

See our post on renting out your property faster.

2. How can I keep my tenants longer?

Tenant retention can be a struggle for some landlords. If you’re running into this issue, try to take a step back and place yourself in your tenant’s shoes. Are you responding to emergencies promptly? Are there maintenance issues that need to be resolved? How is your tenant-landlord relationship? An experienced Fort Worth property management company like Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has proven processes for tenant retention so you won’t have to deal with a costly turnover as often. Read our page on high tenant turnover for more tips.

3. What strategies can I use to make rent collection less of a headache?

The number one way you can make rent collection less of a headache is offering online rent payment. According to a Citigroup study, simply forgetting that a payment is due is one of the top reasons Americans pay bills late. Setting up online rent payment, with an automatic draft option, is beneficial to everyone involved. For more on this topic, read this Transunion article about the five great reasons landlords should provide online payment options.

Also, you can read more about our rent collection process.

4. Legally speaking, how can I protect myself as a landlord?

Take a good look at your Fort Worth property management company. Are they held to a high ethical code? When you are hiring someone to run your property, you need to know they are doing everything by the book. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, that is true of all our property managers. They know the laws and regulations for Fort Worth, Texas, and the United States, and take them all seriously. Also, we have in-house legal counsel at your disposal should you need them. Learn more about avoiding legal mistakes here.

5. What’s the best way to keep maintenance costs down?

The number one way to reduce maintenance costs is by being proactive in both inspections and regular maintenance. Your home is a machine and needs to be checked and oiled periodically. When you neglect inspections or only inspect when tenants move out, you are in for major maintenance costs down the line. Often a small problem, like a leaky pipe, will go unnoticed until it becomes a major (and majorly expensive) issue. Regular maintenance needs, such as changing air filters, are equally important, so your home’s systems last as long as possible. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we inspect the home at moving time and mid-lease to ensure everything looks and works great. Read more about lowering costs on this post about cost-effective maintenance.

6. Doesn’t managing my property myself save money?

This is the great myth of property management. Inexperienced landlords often imagine their property management experience as this: put up a for rent sign, pick up rent checks, and answer a few maintenance calls. If that was all property management entailed, then of course, you could save money by self-managing! However, a Fort Worth property management company does much more than those simple day-to-day tasks. At Specialized Property management Fort Worth we can save you money over self-managing because we help you avoid the following costly mistakes:

  • Regulatory fines resulting from inexperience
  • Negative tenant interaction leading to turnover
  • Improper maintenance and upkeep of the home
  • Pricing your home too high or too low

To learn more about self-managing vs. hiring professional management see our post here.

7. Will paying professional management fees negatively affect my cash flow?

Your professional management fees will come back to you in the form of faster leasing, less turnover, and fewer costly mistakes. Also, management fees often serve as a tax write-off. Our clients can end up with higher cash flow because our expert knowledge and service lead to cutting costs without cutting corners. Learn more about solving cash flow issues here.

8. How do I know what is going on at the property if I am using a property management service?

Many landlords, especially if they are renting out their previous personal residence, are concerned with what is happening at their property. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we never want you to feel like you’re in the dark. Our Fort Worth residential property management team keeps meticulous records of every interaction with your property and your tenants. Our online owner portal lets you see and review these reports at any time. And if you ever have questions or concerns, you can call us 24/7.

9. How do I choose a Fort Worth property manager?

Decide what you want from a Fort Worth property management company before you do your research. Come up with a checklist of questions to ask potential management teams. Find out if there are any hidden costs you should be aware of. A full-service property management team will often save you the most money, time, and stress. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we pride ourselves on our expertise in property management, our dedication to transparency, and our customer service. To learn more, read our page about choosing a property manager.

10. With so many Fort Worth property managers out there why should I choose you?

To put it simply: we are the best! Our team specializes in providing an excellent experience for owners and tenants. With years in the business focusing on single-family rental properties, you won’t find anyone else out there with the extensive knowledge, proven processes, and friendly team that will turn your investment into a cash flow property.

To learn more about what we do visit our website or give us a call today to set up a free rental consultation.

Tips For a Crime-Free Home from a Fort Worth Property Management Company

Any good Fort Worth property management company can tell you winter presents a tough problem for landlords who want to keep their rental property secure. With tenants traveling for the holidays or other winter vacations, properties are often left unattended for long periods of time. How do you keep your rental property secure from crime? Below are our best tips for your rental property.

5 Tips For Landlords

  1. Buy secure locks for every exterior door and window. Make sure each exterior door has a deadbolt, and re-key between every tenant. For the safety of your tenants, each window must open, but ensure it can also lock securely.
  2. Install a security system. There are plenty to choose from in today’s market, including some with camera systems if your tenant is comfortable with that. Make sure your tenant knows how to use the system, especially if it was installed before they moved in.
  3. Hang motion sensitive security lights. Put these lights on the walkways that lead to exterior doors so anyone trying to enter at night will be lit.
  4. Remove shrubs or other items that would allow thieves to hide. Install landscaping that will not allow a person to hide while they are sneaking in or out. Move items like grills, so they do not become hiding places.
  5. Thoroughly screen tenants before they sign the lease. This will allow you to be aware of any criminal history including theft.

How a Fort Worth Property Management Company Can Help

At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we do everything we can to make sure your property is secured. Property managers take care of re-keying in between tenants, and can add any of the above safety features to your property. When you hire a professional property management company in Fort Worth your property is taken care of, even if you and your tenant are out of town. To learn more about our full-service property management company, call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today.

8 Hidden Costs of Self-Managing by Fort Worth Property Management Company

What are the pros and cons of self-managing your rental property? One of the most apparent pros is saving money by not paying a professional property management company. But do you save money when you self-manage your rental property? Did you know many property owners spend more when they self-manage? Specialized Property Management Fort Worth is here to fix that; we want you to make the best return possible on your rental investment.

8 Hidden Costs of Self-Managing

Your Fort Worth property management company want you to be aware of these common self-management pitfalls landlords can fall into.

  1. Renting to under-qualified tenants.
  2. Letting small maintenance problems turn into costly issues.
  3. Running into legal actions as a result of not knowing housing laws.
  4. Not understanding landlord responsibilities.
  5. Paying retail prices for repairs and equipment.
  6. Dealing too emotionally with tenants leading to possible vacancies or evictions.
  7. Losing money by not pricing your rental correctly.
  8. Not having efficient processes in place for rent collection, maintenance, and inspections.

Hiring the Right Fort Worth Company

Now that you know the hidden costs of self-managing, how do you find the right property management company? Do your research on each company in your area to find out what services they offer. If you are going to spend money on a property management company you need to be sure they will take care of every last detail. Some management companies promise low rates but don’t perform all the services you need. Pick a company with local experts. Finally, find a Fort Worth property management company with trustworthy vendor connections, so you never have to pay retail prices for repairs and equipment.

The Specialized Property Management Fort Worth Difference

Specialized Property Management Fort Worth is a full-service property management company with a team of experts who can turn your investment into a success. With years of experience, connections in the business, and proven processes you know you can trust our property managers to take care of your rental property from A to Z. And you may be surprised at how much money you save by hiring professionals who cut costs without cutting corners. To hear about all the services we offer and schedule a free rental consultation call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today!

Ft Worth Property Management Protects Your Investment

As a landlord, you have to think about your home as a business investment. However, many landlords are not aware of the complexities of owning rental property, which puts their investment at risk. An experienced, professional Fort Worth property management company can help you minimize mistakes and protect your investment.

Ft Worth Property Management Dos and Don’ts

Your Fort Worth property management company knows owning a rental home is a full-time job. Marketing, maintenance, and rent collection are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to property management. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few property management dos and don’ts you should keep in mind as a landlord. Being unaware, or simply forgetting one of these dos and don’ts can mean costly fines or long vacancy times at your property.

Do:

  • Rigorously screen tenants to reduce turnover and evictions
  • Have a copy of the lease agreement signed by all parties
  • Inspect property with tenant prior to move in and provide a move-in inspection list
  • Keep property insured and require tenant to purchase renters insurance

Don’t

  • Wait to respond when a tenant has a request
  • Break any housing laws, whether local, state, or federal
  • Evict a tenant without going through the proper legal channels
  • Hide a foreclosure proceeding from your tenant

How a Quality Fort Worth Property Management Company Helps

A quality, experienced property management company like Specialized Preperty Management knows the ins and outs of property management and can help you avoid costly mistakes. The list of dos and don’ts can be a lot to remember for any landlord, especially if being a landlord is not your full-time job. Specialized has been in the business for almost 30 years because landlords know they can trust us with their investments. From screening tenants to inspecting and maintaining your home, the Ft Worth property management at Specialized have everything covered. To hear about all the services we offer give us a call today!

Make Your Home Rent-Ready on a Budget

Your Fort Worth property management company knows that making your home look good before potential tenants arrive will decrease the number of vacancy days. But how do you make your home rent-ready on a small budget? Big projects aren’t always needed to bring in new tenants, and some small upgrades will even allow you to charge higher rent. Check out these low-cost, high-impact ways to make your home appealing to potential tenants.

Ft Worth Property Management Rent-Ready Checklist

  1. Tidy up outside.  You don’t need to invest in a big landscaping project but remember the front yard and door are the first things your new tenant will see. Trimming trees and bushes, planting a few flowers, repainting the front door, and adding a welcome mat will go a long way to making your tenants feel at home.
  2. Repaint or touch up inside.  Paint is a low-cost way to refresh any room. If you don’t want to repaint the whole house consider painting high traffic areas such as the kitchen or entryway. Touch up any spots where paint has chipped.
  3. Replace broken appliances.  This step costs a bit more than the others, but can have a huge impact for potential tenants. Many old appliances are finicky and inefficient, but when you add new appliances tenants know you care about their comfort.
  4. Clean and maintain.  While it may seem obvious, cleaning and maintaining your rental home is a top priority when making your home rent-ready. Replacing light bulbs, cleaning dust from baseboards and air filters, shampooing carpets, and other once-in-a-while cleaning tasks should be done before any potential tenant visits the home.

Need a Fort Worth Property Management Company?

Specialized Property Management has almost 30 years in the business and is one of the industry leading Ft Worth property management companies for a reason. Landlords can rest easy knowing their properties are taken care of at every step, and making your home rent ready is no exception. We are known for decreasing vacancy days which increases your income. To hear about all our property management services give us a call today!

Ft Worth Property Management Helps You Have a Rental Home for All Seasons

Home maintenance is a large part of any household budget, and when you own a rental home it is no different. How does that look over the course of a year? Each season brings its own unique maintenance tasks and your Fort Worth property management company, Specialized, is here to remind you what those are.

Spring

Spring cleaning! When the weather turns warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, take some time to clean items you only clean periodically. This could include deep cleaning rugs or changing air filters. Get your air conditioning unit serviced to make sure it is in good working order before the dog days of summer.

Summer

There is no denying Fort Worth summers are HOT! If you didn’t already, make sure you get an air conditioning tune up. This is not only for the comfort of your tenants.  A broken air conditioner is expensive and could be an emergency depending on how hot it is when it breaks.

Fall

As the weather cools down it is time again to turn your attention again to cleaning items you only clean periodically. Just like spring cleaning your Ft Worth property management suggests Fall cleaning! The more you stay on top of small cleaning tasks the longer your property and its systems will last. Get the heating system checked to ensure it is in proper working order.

Winter

Although ice and snowstorms are rare, they do happen and you need to be prepared. Take a walk around your property and cover any faucets that may freeze when temperatures drop. Bring inside any items that can’t handle freezing temperatures or shouldn’t be covered in snow.

As your Fort Worth property management company we want to make sure your home is taken care of. If you need any more suggestions on caring for your rental home in all seasons, or want to hear about our services, call Specialized today.

How To Reduce Maintenance Costs On Your Rental Home

Maintenance is a large budget item for every home, whether it is your personal residence or investment property. Many landlords think if they can cut down on the frequency of maintenance tasks, or put off regular maintenance, they can reduce their overhead costs. However, the experienced property managers Ft Worth landlords trust at Specialized are here to show you how that can be more costly in the long run.

Specialized Recommends Proactive Maintenance

With Specialized property managers, Ft. Worth landlords know their property is undergoing proactive maintenance to extend the life of their home’s systems and save them money. Failing to perform simple maintenance tasks such as changing AC filters will put strain on your home’s systems and you will need to repair or replace them more often. Specialized recommends creating a schedule of known and needed maintenance tasks so you can keep up with your home’s needs.

Proactive Maintenance Tips

To be proactive about your home’s maintenance needs use these tried and true tips:

  1. Set a budget: set aside at least 10% of the monthly rent to take care of maintenance issues. You may need more based on the age and condition of your home, your Fort Worth property management company can help you determine a good amount to set aside.
  2. Create a schedule and protocol: plan for known maintenance tasks, such as gutter cleaning, which will extend the life of your home. Create a protocol for when to repair or replace the systems and appliances you own.
  3. Respond to tenant requests: be respectful and respond promptly to tenant maintenance requests. This will signal to your tenants how much you care for the home, which in turn will spur them to take care of it too.
  4. Stay up to code: health and safety code violations can be costly, but code rules can also change frequently. Make sure you stay up to date on your knowledge of housing codes and inspect the home periodically to make sure it is not violating any codes.

Your Fort Worth property management team can help you keep your property looking good, and up to code, all while keeping your costs down. For more information, or to hear about all our services, call Specialized today.

The Top Fort Worth Property Management Company Recommends Rigorous Tenant Screening

Ft Worth Property management, Fort Worth property management company

Tenant screening is a corner that many landlords feel they can cut. It makes sense to think “this person seems nice enough, they have a job, what could go wrong?” And it is certainly true that the faster you place a tenant in your rental home the faster you might see the rent checks coming in. But at Specialized, we know the dangers of careless tenant screening. We are here to remind you just how important it is, and how you can go about screening potential tenants.

Why Screen Tenants?

When you place a tenant in your rental home you are trusting them to make their rent payments, but how do you know if you can trust the applicants? While it is true that there may be unforeseen circumstances for even the best tenants, you can be sure to save a lot of headaches by thoroughly screening your applicants.  A careful screening of their background, credit, and rental history can give you peace of mind that you are leasing to someone who will take care of your home and has a record of trustworthiness. That is why the top Fort Worth property management company recommends screening every applicant before they sign a lease.

How to screen potential tenants

Screening potential tenants includes:

  • Requiring an application for tenants over 18 years old.
  • Verifying combined tenant income that is at least three times the rental rate.
  • Avoiding tenants with evictions and judgments, and asking for an explanation of late or unpaid payments.
  • Verify past two years of rental history and make contact with previous landlords to ask if there was any major damage while the applicant lived there.
  • Comply with all anti-discrimination laws and fair credit reporting act during the screening process.

Your Specialized Team’s Ft Worth property management can help you expedite these processes so you can place a quality tenant as soon as possible. Give our office a call today to learn more about all our services.