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.

Property Managers in Fort Worth Share Fire Safety Tips

Winter is almost here, and along with the holiday decorations, apple cider, and caroling, comes the risk of house fires. December is the most common month for house fires, so you need to make sure your rental home and your tenants are well prepared. Specialized Property Management, your Fort Worth residential property management, can help reduce your risk of a house fire with these safety tips.

Preparing Your Home and Your Tenants

    1. Fire Extinguishers: make sure your rental home has at least one fire extinguisher and that your tenant knows how to use it. The kitchen is usually where a house fire will start, so put the fire extinguisher in a place that is easily accessible in the kitchen.
    2. Smoke detectors: smoke detectors aren’t just good to have, they are generally required by law. Remind your tenants to never take the batteries out. If the smoke detector does not work, tenants should put in a maintenance request. Check the detectors at every inspection.
    3. Easy exits: if a fire is blocking the door your tenant needs to know where to go. Make sure all exits, including windows, open easily in case of a fire. Property managers in Fort Worth can discuss evacuation routes with your tenants during inspections.
    4. Discuss fire safety: remind your tenants not to leave candles burning or their kitchen unattended. Discuss the location of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and emergency exits.

For Fort Worth Residential Property Management, Call Specialized

Your property managers in Fort Worth should take fire safety seriously and never put off replacing old fire extinguishers, or checking smoke detectors. That’s why you should call Specialized Property Management. Our property managers have been in the business for almost 30 years and have Fort Worth residential property management and safety down to a science. Fort Worth landlords can rest easy knowing their property is safe and well cared for by the industry-leading property management company. Call Specialized today to hear about all our services.

For Easier Property Management, Ft Worth Landlords Should Provide These Items

Specialized, your property management in Fort Worth, knows accidents and emergencies can happen to any tenant at any time. The chances are that ‘any time’ will actually be in the middle of the night. That’s why we think it is a good idea to be prepared. As a landlord, you shouldn’t assume your tenant will buy certain household safety items, so providing them yourself can keep your tenants safe and minimize those middle of the night emergency calls.

4 Items Your Property Management In Fort Worth Recommends

    1. Rechargeable flashlight: often people don’t think about flashlights until they need one. A flashlight will help your tenant avoid injury during a blackout or check for safety and maintenance issues in dark spaces such as under the sink.
    2. Plunger: almost every toilet will need to be plunged once in a while. If you provide a plunger, your tenants can do this job themselves instead of calling you to help.
    3. Fire extinguisher: this item is important not only to protect your property, but also to protect your tenants. A fire extinguisher is a low-cost way to avoid a major emergency.
    4. Emergency call list: who should your tenant call in case of an emergency? With professional property management, Ft Worth tenants know exactly who to call at any time of day or night. A list like this can be attached to a magnet so your tenant can put it on their fridge for easy access.

Experienced Property Management In Fort Worth

When you hire an experienced property management company, your tenants will always know who to call in case of an emergency. And more importantly, there will always be someone to answer their call, keeping your tenants and your property happy and safe. Specialized is the property management Ft Worth landlords have trusted for almost 30 years. To hear about all our services, give us a call today!

Fire Prevention Tips From Property Managers in Fort Worth

One of the worst things that can happen to your rental home is a house fire. If that fire happens while your tenants are in the home, the results can be beyond devastating. That is why fire prevention is such an important topic. Specialized, your Fort Worth residential property management, is committed to keeping your home and your tenants safe from fires, starting with fire prevention.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).” Smoke alarms are so important because they are often the first notice someone has that a fire has started in their home. They can wake a sleeping person so they have time to get out of a house fire before it is too late.

It Is the Law

Your property managers in Fort Worth know smoke alarms aren’t just important, they are required by law. It is important to check that all smoke alarms have working batteries and function properly before a tenant moves in. The NFPA reports “Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.” Smoke alarms should also be checked by you or your Fort Worth residential property management at every regular property inspection, no matter the last time they were checked. If a tenant submits a maintenance request regarding their smoke alarm be sure to respond promptly.

Specialized Property Management Is Committed to Your Safety!

For the safety and comfort of you and your tenants our property managers in Fort Worth stay up to date on all rental property codes and laws. We have combined professional expertise with proven processes to ensure your rental property is a successful investment. To learn more about all our services, call the property managers at Specialized.

Tips From Your Fort Worth Property Managers: Keep Your Rental Home Safe

The holiday season is upon us which means your tenants will probably be traveling soon. Whether they are gone for one day or one month, you need to make sure your rental home is safe and secure during the vacancy. Your Fort Worth property managers at Specialized can help you talk with your tenants about taking steps for safety during their vacation.

Check Locks

Check the locks on all your doors and window to make sure they are locking property. With a professional property management company, Fort Worth rentals are safer because they undergo regular scheduled maintenance like checking doors and windows for safety.

Look Occupied

Do what you can to make the home look occupied. Ask your tenant to leave a light or radio on, or buy a timer so that lights, television, or radios turn on and off periodically to make it look like someone is home. If your renter will be gone for an extended amount of time suggest they hire a house sitter, or ask a neighbor to drop in every day or so.

Clear Communication With Fort Worth Property Managers

Make sure the communication is clear and open between you, your tenants, and your property managers. Ask your tenants to let you know if they will be out of town. Communication is easier when you hire a professional and experienced property management company. Fort Worth landlords trust the property managers at Specialized in part because our managers know how to communicate with renters effectively.

Hire the Property Management Company Fort Worth Landlords Trust

Chances are you are also traveling this holiday season. When you hire the professionals at Specialized you can relax and enjoy your holiday knowing your home is being taken care of. With our online owner portal you can check in on your rental home from wherever you are. For more information call Specialized Fort Worth today!

Halloween Safety Tips from Your Property Management in Fort Worth

Halloween is just around the corner! What can you do as a landlord to ensure your home and tenants are protected? Safety is our number one concern as the industry leading property management. Ft Worth residents can have a safe and fun holiday with these easy tips!

Tips For Your Property

With all the little witches and goblins running around in the dark it is a good idea to make sure your home and the pathways to your door are well lit. Cut back any bushes or branches that may be blocking the path up to your door, and remove any wires or other tripping hazards in your yard. If the property is unoccupied double check that it is locked and secure. Specialized, your property management in Fort Worth, is here to help you with these little tasks before the big day.

Tips For Your Tenant

If it is your tenants responsibility to deal with landscaping remind them to cut back branches and brush, and move any other tripping hazard out of the way. In addition, they should make sure the property is well lit and replace any broken light bulbs. It is an especially good time to remind your tenants about fire safety. Halloween is a prime time to light candles, whether in luminaries, jack-o-lanterns, or as part of other decor. Encourage your tenants to use battery powered candles to cut down on the risk of accidental fires. Finally, if your tenants have pets they should be kept behind closed doors. Many pets get anxious when the door keeps opening and the doorbell keeps ringing.

Your Specialized Team of property management in Fort Worth knows Halloween can be scary, but if you follow these simple safety tips it can be fun and safe for everyone! If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call Specialized 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.

Fort Worth Property Managers Help Tenants Stay Safe

When a tenant feels their safety and security is a priority to their Fort Worth property management company, they just may decide to stay a little longer in their new rental home. Safety issues can vary with the seasons when weather changes. But at any time of year safety is everyone’s concern and some simple ideas can help tenants be and feel safer in  your unit.  

Safety Outside

Walking around the outside your unit can quickly give you an idea where your property may need some safety fixes. Any overgrown landscaping can be a perfect place for burglars to hide in. Cutting back overgrown shrubs and cleaning up landscape around a home can not only look nicer but also make the outside of your home safer from lurking burglars and potential accidents. Fort Worth property managers should make sure that there is adequate outside lighting as a good deterrent for potential lurkers. Breezeways, garages, back porches can all have some lighting. Motion sensored lights are nice outside for a quick flash of light when coming into a dark corner. Other safety issues outside are stairways or paths that need repair. Rain gutters and drains should be kept clear and functioning properly. Always make sure there are no exposed electrical wires.

Inside Safety

We all want to feel safe in our own homes. A tenant can feel reassurance when little details are taken care of right at the lease signing. All locks should be re-keyed. In most places this is even the law required when new tenants move in their new home. Making sure all detectors like smoke detectors are in working order with fresh batteries is also important for a tenant’s peace of mind. A list of all local emergency agencies or neighborhood watch groups can be provided to the tenant at the lease signing as well.  A Fort Worth property management company can take further steps by installing security systems. These systems are even more valuable when linked directly to local police and fire departments,

Scheduled Safety Checks

Maintaining a property is an ongoing job for Fort Worth property managers. But any preventive work beats the major problems that come with neglect.  And keeping your tenant safe is sadly also a legal issue for property owners, keeping tenants safe is keeping you out of messy liability lawsuits.  Regularly scheduled safety inspections can be discussed at the time of lease signing.  Tenants will know that you have a professional concern and a proactive attitude towards the safety measures you take with your property and your tenants.