Disaster Preparedness for Rental Properties

Even the most proactive and prepared property manager in Fort Worth will have to handle an emergency maintenance issue at a certain point. If you keep your properties in good shape at all times, you might not expect anything to go wrong. However, a sudden leak, a tree crash, electricity outage, or a natural disaster can be almost impossible to prevent, which is why it is crucial to have a properly crafted emergency preparedness plan. Such a plan will help protect your tenants, your properties, and you from major loss due to damages. The Specialized Property Management company in Fort Worth is prepared for such situations and has professionals team ready to perform emergency maintenance when needed.

Before a disaster strikes

The secret to preventing disaster is to expect the unexpected. This starts with assessing the properties and their vulnerability to disaster. Rental apartments, commercial buildings, and mobile homes come with different needs during emergencies compared to a vacation or single dwelling home.

Ensure you assess the risks and hazards in your area, especially those specific to the region. Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and floods are just some of the natural disasters that commonly occur in the Fort Worth area, and Specialized Property Management has methods in place to help prevent major loss. National emergencies and global pandemics are hard to expect, as is the case with the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is important to outline plans and safety measures that will protect both tenants and landlords from getting sick and losing too much money.

Emergency Preparedness Plan

After assessing your properties, all the fine details on the disaster preparedness plan are in your hands. However, it is prudent to consult with your insurers and other key agencies to confirm your plan’s completeness and its compliance with relevant policies. Ask these agencies the different types of contingencies and disasters that you can include in your plan.

Create monthly or yearly rental property safety checklists if you do not have them. Ensure you include items such as tripping and falling hazards as well as fire extinguisher details. Consider evaluating your office even if you work from home as your safety is crucial.

Create two versions of the plan

There should be a version for the office and the other for your tenants. The version for the tenants can be included in the welcome package alongside the rules and regulations. Always have both versions stored electronically and in the cloud for easy retrieval.

Consider including the following ideals in the tenant version of the disaster preparedness plan:

• Contacts for the local emergency response agencies

• Exit plan and diagrams

• Check-in plans and calls

• Security, safety, and health tips

• Pest safety

• Utility, mechanical, environmental, and plumbing issues

The office version for emergency preparedness plan can include the following items:

• Checklists for the maintenance

• Locations for the fire extinguishers

• Emergency agencies phone numbers

• Instructions and locations to shut off electricity, gas, and water

Important considerations to include in the disaster plan:

• Ensure all emergency exits and fire-safe staircases are appropriately marked. Include maps and diagrams

• Make use of routine maintenance checks on the fire, smoke, CO2 detectors, and fire extinguishers. Ensure they are placed in strategic locations, well visible with easy to read and clear instructions.

• Ensure you know all the safe spots on the property that you manage and within the community around and document them properly.

• Have plans for the tenants with special needs who may need extra assistance and support.

• Offer stickers to pet owners to identify rentals with pets.

Steps to Take During a Disaster


There may not be much time during a crisis, but make sure you try the best you can to communicate. Look for reliable property management software with built-in emailing and text messaging capacities. Get templates in place to ensure it only takes a short while to get the word out and reach the target audience.

The use of social media is a great approach to convey messages to your tenants. People can easily access social media feeds in case of emergencies. For example, having a Facebook page for an apartment complex can keep tenants informed of any important notices. Finally, consider going door to door or chain calling to pass information.


Ensure you keep up to date with state agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other regional and national disaster management agencies. Being informed will help you with resources and recommendations set out by state agencies for disaster mitigation. Also, listening to your tenants and the local community can provide you with vital information about the situation.

The Recovery Phase

Property Damages

Ideally, agencies such as FEMA and Red Cross will let you know when it is safe to reenter your property after a disaster. It is prudent to keep off any property that has been affected by the crisis until you get approval from the relevant agencies. Your safety and that of tenants should always come first. Once the agencies have allowed you to enter, your insurers will work on the facilities that may need repair or replacement. Establishing a healthy relationship with contractors early on is useful, but make sure you get the advice of your insurers in the process. Ensure you also keep your tenants informed all along the way.

After the Disaster

Once everything has settled, and normalcy resumes, life should begin finding its usual course. This should happen only when the disaster has been declared over. Ensure you continue communicating with tenants as you maintain code compliance. Update the disaster preparedness handbooks and office binders where necessary.

Our Specialized Property Management company in Fort Worth can help you, as a landlord, stay on top of everything, especially when faced with a disaster. Our team is highly trained and can help keep you, your properties, and your tenants safe. Contact us today for a quote! 817.886.9220

Fort Worth Rental Property Management Keeps Neighborhoods Safe

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, but unfortunately, crime and neighborhood relations are things that we have to consider. As property management experts for over 30 years, Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth has seen it all. We know the most common crime cases and when they occur as well as the main reasons why neighbors disagree. Read the following tips below for how to keep your home safe during the holidays and how to ease tension in your neighborhood. We are confident that if you follow these tips and enlist our help, you can decrease the stress in your life and have a great relationship with your tenants and their neighbors. 

Tips for a Crime Free Home 

Most Fort Worth rental property management companies will tell you that although winter can be a magical and special time of year, the holidays also present a challenge for keeping crime away. Burglaries and thefts rise during this time of year with tenants leaving town for long periods of time, so no matter how safe of a neighborhood your property is in, it’s important to be aware and protect your home as much as possible. Some tips for keeping your rental home crime-free are below. 

  1. Every door and window should have secure locks. Make sure that the exterior doors have a deadbolt and that you are changing the locks between tenants. Windows do have to be able to open for fire safety reasons, but it’s your job as the property owner to make sure that every window can lock securely. Remind tenants to double-check that all locks are secure before leaving and that spare keys in obvious places (like under the mat) are removed. 
  2. A security system is always a good idea to be extra safe. There are a variety of options out there and some even have cameras. Just make sure that your tenants know how to use the security system that is installed. 
  3. A good burglar deterrent are motion-sensitive security lights. Place them on walkways so that when people walk by, the pathway lights up. 
  4. Have a neighbor or friend check your tenants’ mail for you or tell the post office to stop sending mail for a while. Burglars will look for signs of unattended homes like overstuffed mailboxes or piled newspapers. 
  5. Get rid of landscaping like shrubs or other items that would be an easy place for thieves to hide when sneaking in or out. 
  6. Have tenants put timers on their TV, lights, and lamps to make it look like someone is home. 
  7. Put your tenants through a thorough screening process before they sign a lease. This way you’ll be aware of any criminal history. 
  8. Hire a Fort Worth rental property management company to secure your property. At Specialized Property Management, we can take care of installing a security system, changing the locks in between tenants, and removing outdoor hiding places. We also have a reliable tenant screening process that ensures you know everything you need to about your tenants before they move in. 

How to Calm Neighborhood Tension

Fort Worth rental property management companies understand that when tenants and neighbors respect each other, the community as a whole is safer and more pleasant. However, not every neighborhood is a utopia and disagreements between neighbors will usually happen at some point. When this happens between one of your tenants and another neighbor, it can create tension and disrupt the peace. That’s when Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth can step in to help. We can communicate with tenants for you or advise you on what to do when there is tension


Let your tenants know when something is happening that could potentially affect them. They need to feel like the lines of communication are open and that all neighbors are on the same page.

Careful Tenant Screening

When neighbors know that the people living next to them have gone through the same careful tenant screening that they have, they will appreciate it and feel safer. High-quality tenants tend to be both more responsible and respectful of others. 

Clear Expectations

Fort Worth rental property management companies will explain policies to tenants before they sign the lease. This way, tenants know what to expect, how to take care of their homes, and how best to communicate with and respect neighbors. If policies are violated and a problem does occur, tenants already will know actions that need to be taken.

Noise Caused by Neighbors

Even in single family homes, noise from neighbors can be frustrating. It usually only takes a polite request to resolve a problem, but in case there needs to be interference, you should know local noise ordinances and be able to back up your tenant. 

Noise Caused by Tenants

Make sure you communicate noise policies to your tenants at the time of lease signing and strictly enforce those policies while they live on your property.

Proactive Maintenance

Performing regular property inspections will keep the neighborhood looking beautiful, reduce cause for tension among neighbors, and allow you to know what the property needs. If you are in a community that has an HOA, let Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth ensure that you’re not breaking any rules. 

Pet Policies

Pets are wonderful and can help tenants connect with their neighbors, but if tenants don’t pick up after them or keep pet noise under control, there can be problems. Make sure that you have pet policies in place at the time of lease signing and that they are strictly enforced.

Smoking Issues

Smoking policies help to respect the space of others, especially in a neighborhood with children. Tenants should avoid smoking close to the neighbor’s property to avoid smoking-related conflicts.

Responsive Management

When Fort Worth rental property management companies have policies in place that proactively maintain the rental unit and respond to tenant concerns, neighbors feel more comfortable because they have happy tenants in the neighborhood.

A Friendly Attitude

Conflicts can always be diffused quicker when tenants, landlords, and neighbors have a positive, established relationship. Being friendly and open with neighbors lay the foundation for smoother conflict resolution when problems do arise. 

Maintaining a Peaceful Neighborhood

Part of living in any community is living close to people that are different from you. We all have different life stories, hobbies, and opinions on how to do things. Fort Worth rental property management companies understand that all these differences can lead to problems. Loud pets, blocked views, trash problems, curious children, and a number of other issues can cause tension between the best of neighbors. Here are a few suggestions to help keep your neighborhood as friendly and neighborly as possible:

Get to Know Your Neighbors

No one wants to be the first to reach out, but most people will reciprocate if reached out to. Even though everyone is busy, it could make a big difference if you are the one to say hello and get to know your neighbors. According to a Pew Research survey in 2010, the majority of American adults only know some or none of their neighbors’ names. Statistics also show that most of us only trust half our neighbors. Getting to know your neighbors can make future problems much easier to resolve. Try getting together with your neighbors for dinner or at least talking to them about professions, names of children, and common interests. Closer relationships will be friendlier and more helpful in the long run.

Be Friendly During Conflict 

Try to resolve problems by being friendly and polite at first. The less confrontational you are, the quicker and easier solving the problem will be. Fort Worth rental property management companies know that the number one cause of neighborhood conflict is unwanted noise and the most common solution is a friendly request, especially from a neighbor that you are on good terms with in the first place. If diplomacy doesn’t work, a neutral, third party, like a property owner or property manager can try mediation with the problem.

Final Conflict Solutions

If diplomacy and mediation just aren’t making a difference with neighborhood conflicts, residents can take their problems to court. At this point, you have no control over the outcome. A judge listens and makes the final decision. And, remember that going to court is never a cheap solution. Sadly, the ultimate problem fix is moving out.

Conflict is human nature, and neighborhood wars may naturally happen. Hopefully, with diplomacy, or with the help of Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth, your neighborhood conflicts can be resolved quickly, keeping you and your neighbors in a peaceful and safe neighborhood. As much as you want your personal space respected, be aware that you also have a responsibility to do your part to keep the peace. Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth tries to choose rental units in peaceful neighborhoods, create clear lease agreements, and treat both property owners and tenants with respect. Trust our team of experts to take care of all the details and make sure that both you and your tenants are happy. Contact us today to find out more about our services. 

Fort Worth Property Management Company Prepares Tenants for Disasters

You may not think of Texas as a place that is prone to natural disasters, but some common emergencies that you’ll need to be prepared for are tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding. Even if there hasn’t been a natural disaster in your area for quite a while, these can and do happen all across the state of Texas and it’s important that you are prepared for them. As a Fort Worth property management company, Specialized Property Management knows what you’ll need to plan, prepare, and stay informed in the case of an emergency. Some valuable sources for detailed emergency preparedness information are Emergency.Portal.Texas.Gov and Txready.org. We’ve summarized some of their tips below, such as what to include in your emergency kits and how to create an effective emergency plan, but we encourage you to visit these sites on your own time to learn more. 

Emergency Preparedness Kits

Real estate investing in Fort Worth isn’t just about having a passive income. You’ll need to do much more than that, and one of the most important responsibilities is to make sure that your property is protected from natural disasters and that tenants are ready for emergencies. Preparing a kit to last at least a few days in the case of an emergency is extremely important. You’ll need to teach tenants that having food, water, and other supplies for their family and pets to use until they can find more supplies is crucial. In some cases, they’ll want an emergency preparedness kit to use even while stranded at home, possibly without electricity or water. Once they have everything they need, they can put their kit together in a portable, waterproof container. Some people like to use bins or waterproof backpacks for ease of carrying, especially if they have to evacuate their home on foot. Remind tenants to replace old items as they expire every few months. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company suggests including the following items:  

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned or pouched food
  • One gallon of water per day for each person and pet
  • Manual can opener
  • Baby items (baby food, formula, bottles, diapers)
  • Pet supplies
  • First-aid kit
  • Medications
  • Hand sanitizer, wipes
  • Bleach to purify water, mix 1/8 teaspoon per gallon. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
  • Dental care products (toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Hearing and vision products (hearing aids, glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution)
  • Soaps, personal hygiene supplies, diapers
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Face masks to filter air
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries or crank radio (emergency alert radio is best)
  • Extra cell phone battery and car charger
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Matches and lighter – keep in a waterproof container or sealable plastic bag
  • Whistle
  • Reading glasses and sunglasses

Keep These Items in the Car

You or your tenants may have to leave town in a hurry with only your vehicle. Fort Worth Property Management Company advises that you make sure these items are near or in your car at all times so you can grab them and go: 

  • Road maps
  • Car repair items (tools, spare tire, tire patch kit, oil)
  • Food and water
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils
  • Tent, blankets, pillows
  • Clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear and towels
  • Books, games, toys

First-Aid Kit

  • 2 compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 band-aids (different sizes)
  • First-aid tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Instant cold pack
  • 2 pairs of medical gloves (non-latex)
  • Oral thermometer, scissors, tweezers
  • 2 roller bandages (different widths)
  • 2 elastic bandages
  • 10 sterile gauze pads (different sizes)
  • 2 triangular bandages (for making slings)
  • First-aid instruction booklet

Emergency Documents

After a disaster, the last thing you will want to do is go through the time-consuming hassle of trying to reorder all of the important documents you’ve lost, especially if those documents are about your real estate investing in Fort Worth. Not being able to prove your identity or not being able to access your bank account could be a major hurdle in trying to rebuild your life. Avoid these stressful situations by making copies of your important documents and keeping them in a waterproof bag. Include the following:

  • Current photo IDs, driver licenses, birth records, Social Security cards, passports (always keep your social security number separate from other documents to decrease the risk of identity theft)
  • Current photos of family members, in case you get separated
  • Health insurance and prescription cards
  • Medical records, medications, and dosages
  • Phone numbers (family, friends, doctors)
  • Bank account information
  • Wills
  • Insurance documents (homeowner, renter, flood, life)
  • Property deeds, leases, mortgages
  • Vehicle titles, insurance, leases, loan documents
  • Inventory of household possessions and their value (take photos of every room, every drawer, every closet)
  • Backup computer files on a USB drive
  • Copies of important keys
  • Utility bills (to prove where you live)

Make a Plan

Fort Worth Property Management Company suggests taking the time to practice with your tenants, or have them practice on their own with their family, the following scenarios:

  • Where would we meet if we got separated?
  • How will we communicate if phones are not working?
  • Where should we go if we have to evacuate?
  • What if we have no home to return to?

Making Your Emergency Plan

Use the Emergency Plan Form to create your plan. Record information such as:

  • Birthdates
  • Social Security numbers (Social Security numbers should be kept separately from other information for identity security purposes.)
  • Medical information, including a list of prescription medication and dosages
  • Medical and property insurance information
  • Work and school phone numbers and addresses
  • Emergency contacts
  • A designated evacuation site
  • Telephone numbers of family and friends, including those you use frequently

Making your emergency plan includes preparing what you need to do before, during, and after a disaster, as well as preparing for stress, emotions, and mental health. Once you have a plan written up, keep it in a safe place. Periodically practice your plan with the entire family, so even little children will know what to do. Make sure that everyone has important phone numbers and addresses memorized without using a phone. Additionally, inform everyone in the family of where the emergency preparedness items will be stored so that in the event that a disaster does strike, there is no confusion. The more you practice, the more ready you’ll be in case of emergencies and disasters.

Keeping Your Property and Tenants Safe

As a rental property owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your investment and tenants safe. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management company has over 30 years of experience keeping tenants safe as well as rental properties, but the majority of emergencies we see aren’t life-threatening. In fact, most of the calls we get from tenants are to report maintenance and repair needs, even at 1 am in the morning. We understand that tenants need to be responded to, but we are also experts in laying clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning by including policies in the lease agreement detailing maintenance, non-emergency repairs, and emergency repairs in writing. This way, tenants will know when it is appropriate to contact their Fort Worth property management company and what warrants an emergency phone call. 

The Landlord’s Responsibilities

Texas law states that property management companies must make sure that rental unit conditions are healthy and safe for tenants. Staying on top of local laws and codes will help you know the standard of repair required of you or your property management company. The landlord’s responsibilities if they are self-managing their property are to repair and maintain the following: 

  • Damage caused by natural emergency situations like fire, flooding, and severe storms
  • Leaky roofs
  • Pest control for roaches, rats, mice, and bedbugs
  • Sewer leaks and plumbing problems that create a health-hazardous situation
  • Dangerous exposed or faulty electrical wiring

A Tenant’s Responsibilities

It’s the tenant’s job to report any issues they see before they become major problems. Before trying to fix anything themselves, the tenant should check with their Fort Worth property management company. Other tenant responsibilities include paying rent on time and keeping the property in good condition, free from excessive damage. Tenants should also be aware of all of the natural disaster and emergency preparedness tips above and do all they can to keep their personal valuables safe and protected. 

Real estate investing in Fort Worth involves a lot of hard work, and being prepared for the future is one thing you don’t want to forget to do. Let Specialized Property Management handle the hard work for you by making both landlord and tenant responsibilities clear from the start, enforcing code compliance, and making sure that you and your tenants are prepared for emergencies and natural disasters. When you hire Specialized Property Management, you enlist a team of rental property experts to ensure the success and protection of your real estate investment. Contact us today to learn more about how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can make your life easier as a property owner and help you save time and money.  

Rental Property Safety with Fort Worth Property Management

Everyone knows that investing in rental property is a smart move. But what happens after you’re invested? The smartest thing you can do to ensure that you get a good return on investment is to keep your property safe. Following the general safety tips below during the winter months and into the rest of the year will keep your property looking and working great, keep your tenants safe, and save you money in repairs and maintenance. You’ll also learn how taking advantage of the services provided by Specialized Fort Worth property management can make your job as a property owner much easier. 

Smoke Detector

Make sure that you are checking your smoke detectors often. If you can’t remember the last time you checked them, and even if your property is brand new, test your smoke detectors today to make sure they’re still in good condition and then make a note to check them again around the same time each month. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing your smoke alarm batteries as needed and changing the alarm out about every ten years to keep them in peak condition. The best place to install your smoke detectors is outside of bedrooms to prevent fires. Specialized property management Fort Worth can help educate your tenants on how old your smoke detectors are and encourage them to test the alarms and change out the batteries as needed. 

Kitchen Fire Safety

Amidst the hustle and bustle of cooking for the holidays, it can be extremely easy for fires to start in the kitchen during the months of November and December. In fact, cooking is “the number one cause of home fires and fire injuries”. The following statistics are according to the NFPA website from 2010-2014:

  • Cooking equipment was the number one cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 46% of home fires that resulted in 19% of the home fire deaths and 44% of the injuries.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 18% of home cooking equipment fire deaths.
  • Ranges or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Unattended equipment was a factor in one-third (33%) of reported home cooking fires and half (49%) of the associated deaths.
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.

If you’re worried about your kitchen, ask someone from our team at Specialized property management Fort Worth to take an inventory of your kitchen and make it as safe and fire-proof as possible. Make sure you have an easily accessible fire extinguisher on every level of your home, and especially in your kitchen. Keep your kitchen and home safe by always keeping a close eye on what your cooking in the kitchen, even if it means asking someone else to watch the oven while you take a break. Never leave the stove top unattended or leave your home while the oven is on.

Holiday Candles

The 2nd most common cause of fires are sweet smelling holiday candles. It’s ok to have them, just make sure that you are aware of which candles are lit and where they are in your home. Don’t leave the house or go to bed without blowing the candles out. If you are worried about forgetting, Fort Worth property management companies suggest getting a candle warmer or a scented plug-in that doesn’t involve any flames. 

Escape Route

Preventing fires is the smartest plan of action, but knowing what to do if a fire does happen is the next best thing. Take the time to sit down and create an escape route for your rental property and then have it displayed somewhere easy for tenants to see inside the property. If you don’t have time or aren’t sure how to educate your tenants on the details of an escape route, let Specialized Fort Worth property management do it for you. If you own a multi-level home, we’ll make sure that your tenants have a plan in place to efficiently move to the lower level because fire rises as it spreads. Everyone should be aware of basic fire safety rules when experiencing a fire, such as calling 911, leaving valuables behind, covering your nose, staying low to the ground, enacting “stop, drop, and roll” if fire catches on your clothing, and having a predetermined meeting place for everyone to go to once they get safely out of the house. 

Fireplace Safety

Another very common cause of destructive house fires during the winter months are caused by heating sources of fireplaces. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all home fires occur in the months of December-February and common problems that can lead to fireplace fires are creosote buildup, lack of airflow, damage to the structure of the fireplace, flying sparks, or home decor near the fire. In order to keep your property as safe as possible and protect it from fireplace hazards, follow the following tips and enlist help from Specialized Fort Worth property management if needed:

  • Have the chimney inspected on an annual basis to ensure there is no creosote buildup. If the fireplace is a gas unit, don’t skip the inspection.
  • Change all smoke alarm batteries and ensure carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order.
  • Have a fire extinguisher located at the property, and make sure that tenants know where it is located and how to use it.
  • Install safety features near the wall switch of gas fireplaces so that children can not accidentally turn it on.

Outside Safety 

Take an inventory every month of the outside of your rental unit to check for safety issues. Overgrown bushes can be considered a safety issue because unwanted animals and burglars can easily hide there. Keep your property safe by pruning overgrown shrubs and making the landscape look clean. At Specialized property management Fort Worth, we can install outdoor lighting for you. Not only will they keep your property safe, but they will also help light the path for tenants when they come home late at night, protecting them from trips and falls. If you notice any outdoor stairways that need repairs, try to get that fixed as soon as possible. Rain gutters and drains should be cleared so that they can function properly and exposed electrical wires should be hidden. 

Inside Safety

Keeping the inside of your home safe is equally as important as protecting the outside. When tenants move out, make sure to get new locks and keys before the new tenants move in. Keep the batteries up to date inside the home for smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors. Security systems can be installed by a Fort Worth property management company, and those can be linked directly to local police and fire departments. It can help keep your tenants and property even safer by having a list of all local emergency agencies or neighborhood watch groups somewhere visible in the home. 

Safety Inspections

Regularly checking on your home and performing preventative safety inspections and routine maintenance does cost money, but is always easier and more affordable than large repairs because of neglect. Keeping your property and tenants safe is not just about getting a great return on investment, it’s also about fulfilling your legal responsibilities as a property owner. Protect yourself, your property, and your tenants by doing the following and asking Specialized property management Fort Worth for assistance where needed: 

  • Getting Good Insurance – It’s pertinent that you have good insurance policies that cover your rental properties; otherwise you may find yourself losing money with these properties in the event of an accident.
  • Requiring Renters Insurance – If you’re really serious about lowering your risks, then you should require that the tenants of your homes for rent purchase renter’s insurance. Renters insurance is very inexpensive and it provides more coverage for the tenant in the event of an incident. Since tenants can make claims on their renters insurance if something happens to their rental and/or possessions, then you won’t have to worry as much about being held liable for the damage.
  • Taking Care of All Hazards – The majority of cases filed against rental property owners, generally have to do with negligence either by the owner himself or his property manager. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure that regular inspections are done with each property you own and that all hazards are taken care of immediately.

Keeping your property safe and our customers happy are our top priorities at Specialized Fort Worth property management. We can help save you time and money each month when it’s time to perform safety inspections and test smoke detectors by doing it for you. We’ll even help educate your tenants on basic fire safety precautions and how to create an effective escape route. With our services, you have access to greater peace of mind knowing that your property is in good hands and your tenants are safe, meaning your investment is safe as well. Contact us today to learn more about how Specialized Fort Worth property management can take the best care of your property. 

Residential Property Management Fort Worth Shares Fireplace and Other Safety Tips

It is every property owner’s nightmare call: your property has caught fire. Whether caused by accident, or due to negligence, a house fire is devastating to everyone involved. What can you do for yourself and your tenants to ensure your fireplace and other areas around your rental property are protected against house fires? Below we explore how to reduce your risk of a house fire.

Fireplace Grime and How to Get Rid of It

Let’s face it, Fort Worth doesn’t get too cold in the winter. You may use your home’s fireplace 2-3 times per year. When you don’t use a fireplace regularly, you may think it’s not a big deal if you don’t clean it regularly either. However, your chimney still needs to be cleaned to prevent a chimney fire. The residue that covers the inside of your chimney is called creosote, and it can start to build up after just one fire. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of AmericaAll forms [of creosote] are highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities – and the internal flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire.” To make sure your fireplace doesn’t collect this creosote and catch fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America and your property management in Fort Worth, recommend a regular chimney inspection.

Inspections are Key

Without a proper inspection from a professional, you are putting your property and your tenants’ lives at risk. That is why the experts in residential property management Fort Worth recommend your rental home fireplace get an inspection at least once every year. A licensed and certified chimney sweep can perform the inspection as well as routine maintenance and any needed repairs. If, for some reason, you are unable to schedule an inspection before the first cold spell, you need to communicate to your tenants that they should hold off on using the fireplace until after the inspection. If you want to learn more about chimney fires, chimney safety, or how to find a certified chimney sweep, visit the Chimney Safety Insitute of America.

Fire Safety in Other Areas

Of course, your fireplace isn’t the only area in your rental property that carries a fire risk. Your regular property inspection should turn up potential hazards if you know what you’re looking for. Here is a list of things your residential property management Fort Worth recommends checking for fire safety:

  1. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: these save lives. Make sure they stay attached, and the batteries are working.
  2. Fire Extinguishers: always have at least one fire extinguisher in your rental home, more if the home is large.
  3. Electrical Safety: make sure all the electrical outlets are up to code, and you have GFCI outlets installed where they are needed. Always hire a licensed electrician to resolve electrical issues.
  4. Properly Functioning Doors and Windows: if a door or window to the outside won’t open your tenant could be stuck if there is a fire. Make sure all doors and windows open easily, especially if they aren’t used frequently.
  5. Inspect and Clean Dryer Vent: when your dryer vent is not cleaned regularly, it can store up lint which can easily catch fire. A certified technician can inspect your dryer, clean out lint, and extend the life of your dryer.

Safety is a Priority

Owning rental property is a delicate balance of spending enough money to keep your home nice and your tenants happy, but not too much so you have negative cash flow. Many landlords aren’t sure where to cut corners, and often skip fire safety to save money. However, if you compare the low costs of regular inspections and once a year fireplace sweeps to the high cost of your investment burning to the ground, inspections are more than worth it.

For Better Residential Property Management, Fort Worth Landlords Need Property Managers

Property management in Fort Worth is easier and more successful when you hire professional property managers. A Fort Worth property manager has years of experience you can use to your advantage, including trusted vendors who can take care of any fire safety issues at your property. An experienced property manager will help you cut back on expenses without making costly, and sometimes life-threatening, mistakes. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has proven processes in place when it comes to leasing, inspections, maintenance, and more. These processes are designed to decrease vacancy days, reduce tenant turnover, and keep your home in great shape. With our residential property management, Fort Worth landlords can cut costs without neglecting the things that matter to their rental property. For more information or to schedule your free rental consultation, call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today.

Meth Contamination Warning Signs from a Property Management Company, Fort Worth

Methamphetamine is commonly produced and used in every part of the country. Meth use, according to the CDC, causes thousands of deaths each year from overdose. If your home is being used to create meth, this could lead to serious legal issues for your tenants and costly clean up at the property.

Meth Contamination Red Flags

With a professional property management company, Fort Worth landlords will be alerted to meth contamination red flags and be able to view inspection reports and pictures from their property. Here are some things to look for if you are worried about your tenants engaging in this illegal activity.

    1. Empty chemical containers: to cook meth, producers need a large supply of a few household chemicals and medicine such as decongestants, iodine, sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide, paint thinner, lye, freon, phosphoric acid, acetone, and ammonia.
    2. Chemical smell: if you or any neighbors notice a strong chemical smell that could be a sign your tenant is cooking meth.
    3. Meth lab equipment: certain equipment is used to make meth. If you notice rubber hosing, glass containers, fuel canisters, propane tanks, pressurized cylinders, or respiratory masks you should investigate further.
    4. Security system, trash, and unusual activity: if your tenant seems to act strangely with no explanation, such as installing a security system without asking, creating a large amount of trash, or becoming especially active at night, these are also red flags.

What a Property Management Company, Fort Worth Landlords, and Neighbors Can Do

If you suspect your rental home, or your neighbor’s home, has become contaminated by meth, report it to the police immediately. Cooking meth contaminates an area so that it remains hazardous even after it is vacated and no longer used to cook. Only a trained professional should enter the property. Without proper training, an inexperienced person could do more harm than good by trying to assess the problem or clean it up themselves. As a landlord, you are required to pay for the cleanup and cannot rent out the home until it is given a clean bill of health from the government. To learn more about how a professional property management company can help, or set up a free rental consultation, call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today.

Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention: What Property Owners & Landlords Need to Know

property management Fort Worth TXWhether from old buildings being renovated or lead in the water supply or recycling batteries, the potential for lead poisoning is real. Fort Worth property management companies need to be conscientiously concerned about the potential lead in rentals units that would negative health effects on tenants. Trey Brown is a metals toxicologist and faculty associate at the University of Texas at Arlington. He said  that, “childhood lead poisoning in the #1 environmental contaminant-driven disease in the country, and nobody knows this.” Responsible property management in Fort Worth TX requires strict attention to this environmental problem when renovating older rental properties.

Many homes that were built before 1978 may still have lead base paint on the walls. If the exterior of a home had lead based paint then there is also the possibility of the ground around the home having lead contamination. Lead can also be in the water and cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. Older pipes were often lead or the soldering was lead.

Some tips for Fort Worth property management companies for lead paint in your rental unit:

–It is best to work with one room or area at a time. With heavy mil plastic sheets seal off doorways, vents, and any air ducts to prevent contaminated dust getting all over the house.

–If paint isn’t peeling, you can simply repaint over the lead based paint and “seal” the paint from being exposed. This isn’t a time to skrimp on paint price. Find a quality paint that will last and not just peel off in short period of time. The goal is to completely seal the old paint from exposure.

–If paint is peeling and needs to be removed, it may be best to hire a professional with experience with lead removal.

Choosing to remove lead paint means you need to take extra precautions to keep lead dust contained and keep your exposure at a minimum. Wear disposable work clothes, hair coverings, and gloves. Always use goggles and respirators.

Caring property management companies in Fort Worth TX know the condition of their rental units and the hazards that may need to be addressed with those properties. Where lead poisoning is something that can be prevented with proper care, let’s all work together in the goal to eliminate this hazard.