Guide to Conducting Routine Inspections for your Fort Worth Rental Property

Inspecting your Fort Worth rental property will help you keep it well-maintained and ensure your tenants are following the terms of the lease. There are a few specific times when inspections are critical. Before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out, you’ll need to inspect the property and document the condition. It’s also important to get inside the property to take a look around at least once during a tenancy. Driving by the home once in a while without going inside can also give you an idea of whether your tenants are taking care of the property the way you expect them to. Read more

How to Deal with the Eviction Process in Fort Worth

 

The best way to handle evictions in Fort Worth is to avoid them. They don’t work out for anyone, and unless you know what you’re doing, they can be expensive and time-consuming. You want to reduce the chances you’ll have to evict by screening tenants thoroughly, enforcing your lease, and keeping the lines of communication open with your tenants at all time. Read more

6 Things To Know About Property Management DFW Before Buying Rental Property

If you’re considering renting out your home or buying a piece of rental property, there are some things you should know about property management. DFW and the surrounding areas can be great places to own rental property if you know what you’re doing. Below are six things every property owner should know before they make the dive into property management.

  1. Know Local, State, and Federal Laws. Picture this: You find the perfect rental property in a well-maintained neighborhood with all the amenities. You sign all the papers and the property is yours! You put up a For Rent sign and wait for the applicants to roll in. But instead of applicants, you get a letter from your new Home Owners Association. It turns out that packet of HOA rules you skimmed through and signed has a clause saying they will only permit ten rental homes in the neighborhood, and your property would be number 11. Many landlords are surprised when they find out that an HOA can limit the number of renters. Unfortunately, HOA rules are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to need-to-know laws. Violating the Fair Housing Act, for example, can land you a lawsuit, hefty penalties, and attorney fees on top of that. Getting into Ft. Worth property management means knowing all the rules and laws that apply to you, your property, and your tenants. Breaking a rule because you’re unaware will leave you in a tight spot, and could jeopardize your investment and your reputation.
  2. Understand the TRUE Cost of Property Management DFW. As we mentioned above, owning rental property in DFW can be a great investment. In fact, Business Insider recently named Dallas as one of the top places to buy rental property in the US. But before you buy, make sure you know all the costs that surround your new investment and only buy a property that will give you positive cash flow. If you plan on financing your rental property, then the rent you bring in needs to cover your mortgage, taxes, insurance, and fees. However, if your rental income only covers these items, your cash flow will still be negative. Why is that? You need to plan for regular maintenance and emergency maintenance, as well as turnover between tenants. Depending on the age of your house you should put aside 1-2 months worth of rent for yearly maintenance costs. An experienced Fort Worth property manager should be able to help you come up with an estimate of the cash you should have on hand and the positive cash flow you will need each month to make your investment successful.
  3. Treat Tenants Kindly. Property management DFW is easier and more successful when you have a good relationship with your tenants. When tenants feel disrespected or unheard by their landlords, they are more likely to move when their lease is over. Tenant turnover is time consuming, expensive, and in many cases could have been avoided with a better landlord-tenant relationship. One way to help is to make sure all policies and procedures are laid out clearly in the lease and followed closely by you and your property management team. Your tenant should never feel like you tell them one thing then do another, and you should leave emotion out of your interactions. Many landlords feel professional property managers can help this relationship a great deal because of the experience, professionalism, and promptness they offer.
  4. Be Proactive About Maintenance. There is no avoiding maintenance around your rental property, whether it is simply replacing air conditioning filters or replacing your whole AC system. Professional Ft. Worth property management knows from years of experience that the more proactive you are about maintenance, the longer your home’s systems will last, and the happier your tenants will be. For example, a yearly tune-up of your AC system costs between $80-$100 and could add years to the life of your system. It can cost $4,000 or more to replace the whole system. You can see how small yearly costs can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your property. Regular property inspections are a good idea for many reasons, but especially to identify ways you can be proactive about maintenance. An inspection will help you catch small issues your tenant may not notice, like a leaky pipe before it becomes water damage and mold. Proactive maintenance has the added benefit of showing your tenants that you care about your property and by extension, you care for them.
  5. Screen Every Tenant. Applicant screening is an easy step you can take to avoid turnovers and evictions. Every applicant over 18 should be thoroughly screened including a background check, credit check, and rental history. You should verify your potential tenant’s job status and income to ensure they can pay rent. Most professionals recommend a tenant’s rent payment be no more than a quarter of their monthly income. That means if they make $4,000 a month they can afford $1,000 for rent. Never make the mistake of renting to a tenant who refuses to let you screen them, or is unwilling to give references or rental history. These tenants quickly lead to unpaid rent and evictions. In the long run, it is worth it to wait a few more weeks for a qualified tenant than bet on one who is unqualified.
  6. Know When to Ask for Help. When it comes to property management, DFW landlords need to know when to hire professionals. Being a DIY landlord can work out for some people, but often property owners make mistakes that can put their investment at risk. When hiring residential property management, Fort Worth landlords not only get someone who will handle the day-to-day activities of running a property, they get the years of experience and wisdom that entails. If property management is not your full-time job, you cannot be expected to know the ins-and-outs of Federal Housing laws, maintenance and inspection schedules, and what to do to avoid an eviction. Many property owners are surprised to learn that they profit more after they hire a full-service property management company, even after they pay management fees. Professional property managers know how to cut costs without cutting corners, making your investment into a success.

If you want to know more about hiring a full-service, professional property management company, call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today.

What Does Ft. Worth Property Management Do?

If you’re new to the investment property business, you should consider hiring full-service property management. Ft. Worth landlords who hire property managers tend to get a better return on their investment than those who self-manage. But what exactly does a property management company bring to the table? A full-service company, like Specialized Fort Worth, takes care of everything in the rental cycle while lowering costs and minimizing risks. Let’s take a look at what that means for you.

The Rental Cycle

What is the rental cycle? The rental cycle is everything that happens from your tenants moving in until the end of their lease, then starts over again. A full-service Ft. Worth property management company will take care of everything during the cycle. Moving tenants in and out, inspections, marketing, showing, screening, lease signing, collections, compliance, maintenance, and renewals all fall under this umbrella. Don’t waste your money on a company that does not offer all of these services.

How Can Ft. Worth Property Management Save You Money?

Many first time landlords are unaware of the complexities that come with property management. Instead of riding the steep and expensive learning curve of property management, Ft. Worth landlords should hire knowledgeable and experienced property managers. Years of experience mean a property manager knows how to handle emergencies, avoid costly regulatory fines, steer clear of evictions, and run your property efficiently. Cutting costs without cutting corners will mean your property is more desirable to potential tenants while getting you the best return on your investment.

Property Management Ft. Worth Landlords Trust

Do your research before hiring a full-service property management company. Hire a company that has experience and processes in place to make your investment a success. Make sure you ask what services the company offers, and what you will need to take care of as the property owner. Don’t fall for the promises of a discount company who will often leave you with the bulk of the work, and vulnerable to costly mistakes. To learn more about hiring professional property managers, or to set up a free consultation, call Specialized Property Management today!

New Year’s’ Resolutions for Ft Worth Property Management

Your property can always be improving, and the property management Ft. Worth landlords turn to time and time again is here to help. Try these property management resolutions and discover how a little bit of effort can make a big difference at your rental property.

  1. Small Property Upgrades – Resolve to keep your property looking its best inside and out! Things like curb appeal or an upgraded bathroom require minimal effort but pay off big time when potential tenants see your home.
  2. Stay on Top of Maintenance – Being proactive when it comes to maintenance issues like changing air filters will improve the life and performance of your home’s systems. A small upfront cost can save you thousands in the long term.
  3. Respond Quickly to Tenants – When your tenants have issues, no matter if they are large or small, the best thing you can do as a landlord is to respond quickly. You can lower tenant turnover rates when you respond quickly to tenant requests.
  4. Communicate Clearly With Tenants – As any good Ft Worth property management company can tell you, communication with your tenants is key. Set clear expectations for how the property should be cared for, whose job it is to do certain maintenance jobs, and when you will perform regular maintenance and inspections. 

How a Ft Worth Property Management Company Can Help You Stick to Your Resolutions

If sticking to all your property management resolutions feels like a full-time job, that’s because it is. Owning rental property is a great investment, but if you are inefficient, don’t take good care of your property, or ignore your tenants, you could start losing money. Specialized Property Management Ft Worth can help you stick to your property management resolutions. Our experienced property managers make your home their priority. When you need help getting your home rented quickly, responding to tenant requests, or anything else in between, you can be sure you’re in good hands with Specialized Property Management Ft Worth.  Call Specialized for more information about how a good property manager can help.

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.

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.

FT. WORTH PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

How do you make sure your property is earning you money instead of costing you money? Owning rental property isn’t as simple as leasing your property and collecting rent checks. Marketing your home, screening tenants, regular maintenance, and dealing with legal issues are just a few of the problems that will arise when you own investment property. Your investment can quickly take your time and money if you aren’t smart about how you manage it.

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR RENTAL

Even the most seasoned, careful landlords encounter issues now and then. The key to success is how you deal with those problems to keep your costs down and your rent coming in. Do you know how to deal with problem tenants or late payments? What about lease violations, complaints from neighbors, or code violations? Despite careful tenant screening, many landlords also deal with evictions, vandalism, criminal activity, accidents, and even lawsuits. The fact is, many of these issues have nothing to do with your property and everything to do with the personal lives of your tenants. People are unpredictable, and stuff breaks. Your Specialized Team is here to help you with all of these unfortunate situations.

HOW CAN FORT WORTH RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT HELP?

The biggest cost landlords encounter is property vacancy. There are three ways to control vacancy costs.

  1. Make your property rent-ready: Complete needed repairs, so your property is able to compete for good tenants.
  2. Budget for maintenance: Don’t be surprised by the regular maintenance costs your home incurs. Be sure to budget at least one and a half months worth of rent per year for maintenance costs.
  3. Respond quickly to maintenance requests: Being responsive to your tenant’s requests will impact how long your tenant will stay. If you fail to fix problems quickly, tenants will look start looking for somewhere else to live, and you will have to deal with the turnover costs.

Specialized is a leading Ft. Worth property management company because we have the experience and resources to help you manage the day-to-day realities of owning investment property. We will help you control vacancy costs to turn your rental into an investment success. Give us a call today to hear about all our services.