How Fort Worth Property Managers Deal with Untidy Tenants

Dealing with even the most ideal tenants in the world can be time consuming and stressful. Part of owning a rental property is making sure that your tenants are happy and your investment is protected. However, it’s not possible to babysit your tenants every minute of the day to make sure everything is staying clean (even a Fort Worth residential property management company wouldn’t do that), and you can’t expect a professional cleaning level from people with busy lives and families. That’s why we’ve compiled some ideas for you on how to best deal with untidy tenants and improve the landlord-tenant relationship. At Specialized Fort Worth, we have over 30 years of experience and have encountered every kind of situation. We’ll help you look at your property as a business investment and focus on making the most money while helping your property stay clean and your tenants happy.

Set Clear and Realistic Expectations

Most lease agreements are simple-a property owner provides the home and a tenant agrees to pay rent for that home. Added in are the rules and regulations governing that basic agreement. Enlist the help of a Fort Worth property manager to make sure you’ve covered everything you need to for legal protection. Included in those rules should be a clear list of expectations regarding the behavior of the tenant and cleanliness of the property. Some agreements may need to be altered to fit a specific situation or tenant, but with clear communication and respect, property owners and tenants should be able to reach an understood consensus. If either party wishes to terminate a lease agreement for one reason or another, this can be achieved in three basic ways:

  • A Lease Agreement Expires
  • Tenant and Landlord Agree to Terminate the Lease
  • Landlord or Tenant Break Terms of Agreement

Untidy Tenants

Difficult tenants are one thing, but dirty tenants can actually hurt your profits because leasing out dirty or damaged properties is extremely difficult. By using a Fort Worth property manager like Specialized Fort Worth to properly screen your tenants, you have a better chance at avoiding dirty situations all together. However, some tenants that seem responsible and tidy at first, may slack off and leave your property in disarray over time. Property owners aren’t allowed to claim that a tenant is untidy unless they have reason to believe they are violating health or fire codes, or causing damage to the property, other people, or themselves. Some examples of dirty tenant situations that would qualify are: 

  • Hoarders
  • Mold growth
  • Animal feces outside of a litter box
  • Garbage that is over one week old
  • Signs of rodents or roaches
  • Unsafe chemicals in or around the property 
  • Rotten food or dirty dishes that are never cleaned
  • Junk blocking the furnace intake and preventing air circulation

If your property has encountered any of the above, action needs to be taken immediately. This is something that Fort Worth residential property management can take care of for you if you don’t have the time or energy. If you’ve stated cleanliness terms in your lease, you can mandate those terms to your tenant. An example would be having your lease state that the tenant must hire a monthly maid service. If it’s not included in your lease, you can tell tenants to leave at the end of their lease. If they fail to clean when it’s time to leave, hire a cleaning company and deduct the money spent from their security deposit. This should be stated in your lease agreement. 

Teach Them How to Clean

Some tenants are untidy simply because they’ve never been taught how to clean. Picking up could be their definition of cleanliness while yours is deep cleaning the baseboards and the bathtub. Make sure tenants know what you expect by laying it out clearly in the lease agreement and by physically showing them. A Fort Worth property manager has your property’s best interest at heart and will take the time to show tenants what’s expected of them to keep the property looking its best. If you take the opportunity to teach them how to clean in a patient, non-condescending way, you may protect your property and help someone learn a skill they’ll use for the rest of their life. 

Hoarders

If it’s more than just a cleanliness issue and there is stuff piled up throughout the property, your tenant may have a hoarding disorder. Fort Worth residential property management understands that hoarding disorders are real mental disorders that can dangerous conditions. Those affected by this disorder struggle with “extreme anxiety or depression that prevents them from getting rid of anything they have collected in their home.  As a result, they develop an extreme emotional attachment to their belongings and allow them to build up to a dangerous level.  Because hoarding disorder is officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, it is considered a disability. This means that hoarders are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act and landlords must try to reasonably help and accommodate the affected individuals before they can resort to eviction.”

 How to handle a hoarder tenant is a difficult and sensitive question that many property owners face. The first step is to make sure that your lease agreement carefully outlines your expectations for your property and clearly states that clutter cannot build up for health and safety reasons. If you’re not sure how to set expectations while complying with the Fair Housing Act, ask an experienced Fort Worth property manager, like Specialized Fort Worth. 

Helping a Hoarder Tenant

If your tenant needs professional help to clean and restore the home, as well as help from a social worker or psychologist to heal mentally and emotionally, you may be responsible as the property owner. 

  • Talk to them: Discuss with them what they can do to help themselves first. Explain the risks to their safety and health and start with simple tasks like clearing walkways and throwing away garbage. Be patient with them and show compassion. 
  • Make a written plan: Writing out a specific cleaning process can help the tenant. Start with simple tasks and gradually introduce larger ones to clear out clutter. 
  • Involve professionals: Most hoarders don’t think that they have a problem. Hire counseling professionals to help the hoarder face their disorder and receive treatment. Professionals can also provide hoarding clean up services to thoroughly clean and restore the home. Keep track of what you do and the expenses involved. 

If a tenant refuses to comply with the above actions, you may need to turn to eviction. Consult with a lawyer or our legal team at Specialized Fort Worth, Fort Worth’s residential property management company, to make sure that you aren’t breaking your lease contract or legal regulations.

How to Have a Positive Relationship with Tenants 

Fort Worth residential property management companies understand that when tenants and neighbors have a respectful relationship, the whole community benefits. Studies show that neighbors with good relationships make communities safer. Sadly, neighbors disagree sometimes, and so do tenants and property owners. When this happens between you and a tenant or one of your tenants and a neighbor, it can create tension or even disrupt the peace. Fort Worth property managers can reduce tension with tenants and between tenants and their neighbors with the right skills and experience.

  1. Clear Communication— It’s obvious that landlords and tenants need to have good communication. Don’t forget to include the neighbors in the loop, especially if something about your property directly impacts them.
  2. Thorough Tenant Screening Process— Placing quality tenants in your rental is the best way to avoid problems down the road. The best way to find those quality tenants is to screen tenant applications carefully.
  3. Noise Caused by Tenants— Fort Worth residential property management companies will tell you that noise from rentals is the fastest way to create tension with neighbors. Noise policies are explained before a tenant moves in and need to be strictly enforced.
  4. Property Upkeep and Care— Keeping a property looking nice always helps with neighborhood relations. Regular inspections should be conducted by your property management company. Fort Worth HOA communities may also have maintenance policies that need to be followed.
  5. Attentive Management— When Fort Worth residential property management companies proactively take care of tenants and property, neighbors will feel more comfortable about having a rental unit in the neighborhood.

With all the details involved in a landlord-tenant relationship and dealing with untidy or unruly tenants, it’s crucial that property owners seek professional help from Fort Worth property managers. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, TX has over 30 years experience working with lease agreements and tenants. With our 98% customer satisfaction rating, you can rest assured that we care about what we do and are committed to keeping owners and tenants happy with their rental experience. Visit our website today and see the difference we can make with your lease options and high quality tenant retention. Avoid mistakes and stay ahead of the property management game by putting our proven processes and expert team to work for you. 

Property Management Companies, Fort Worth Tenants, and Digital Communication

Communication has changed vastly in the past 20 years. Digital communication, whether it is via email, text message, or one of the various apps out there have taken over as the primary way people communicate. What implications does this have for property management companies, Fort Worth property owners, and their tenants? How does digital communication affect your landlord-tenant relationship? Below we explore the ways you can communicate with your tenant in the digital age, and reasons you should be wary of this type of communication.

Ways to Communicate Digitally

Digital communication allows for fast and easy communication and comes in many different forms. Here are just a few:

    • Text Message – The Pew Research Center reports that 92% of US adults own a cell phone, and 68% own a smartphone. This means your tenant will almost certainly have the ability to send and receive text messages.
    • Email – Email can be a great method of communication as it allows you to not only give your tenants pertinent information, but you can send and receive important documents as attachments.
    • Messaging Apps – Apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, and even Snapchat are widely used to message between friends and acquaintances. Using them for property management DFW might not be the best idea though.

How to Use Digital Communication with Tenants

Text messages and email are a fast, easy, and a reliable way to communicate. Before you decide to use these forms of communication, be sure your tenant is ok with it, and they know it is coming. Ask your tenant what their preferred method of communication is–a phone call, text message, or email. Your tenant will be thankful when you make an effort to reach out in a way that works with their needs. Here are a few things you can text or email your tenant about.

    • Rent Payment Reminder: you or your property manager can set up an automatic system that will send a reminder text to your tenant a few days before their rent is due.
    • Scheduled Inspections: regular inspections are recommended by most property management companies. Fort Worth property owners can use text messaging or emails to schedule and remind tenants of these inspections.
    • Maintenance Reminders: certain items around your property, such as air filters, need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. Use email to remind your tenant to replace these things, or let them know you will be coming to replace it yourself.
    • Scheduling a Face-To-Face Meeting: let your tenant know you are stopping by the house, or try to schedule a good time to meet via a text message or email.
    • Sending Important Documents: documents, especially ones that need to be signed, used to be sent via fax. Now you can scan and send via email.

Things You Should Always Do in Person

While digital communication is fast and easy, you should not use it for everything related to your property management. DFW property owners should never use digital communication in the following ways.

    • Never send your tenant a Notice to Vacate via electronic means. According to Texas Property Code Section 24.005, a landlord must give their tenant notice in writing either by delivering the notice in person or by regular mail.
    • Do not attempt to change the terms of the lease over text message. Sending an email is acceptable, but face-to-face interaction is preferable to ensure all parties understand the new lease terms.

Not every tenant will use digital communication the same way. If your tenant is not replying to texts or emails, find a method of communication that works for them.

The Benefits Property Management Companies Fort Worth Can Offer

We have all been there at one point or another–we get an email or a text and misread the message or tone. Maybe the sender was sarcastic, maybe the writing was just confusing. Either way, feelings can be hurt when this happens. In property management the stakes are higher, occasionally leading to turnovers and evictions. However, when you hire a property manager, you take the stress and guesswork out of your landlord-tenant relationship. An experienced property manager knows exactly how to communicate professionally with your tenant.

The Specialized Property Management Fort Worth Difference

When shopping for property management companies Fort Worth, property owners should consider the following:

    • Experience: do the property managers have experience managing single-family homes and communicating in person and digitally?
    • Proven Techniques: your property management company should have processes and techniques in place for every type of tenant, including how and when to communicate digitally.
    • Fewer Vacancy Days, Lower Turnover Rate: knowing how to communicate effectively will lead to fewer vacancy days and lower turnover. Your property manager should always be on top of communicating with applicants and tenants.

Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has the experienced property managers you need to run a successful rental property. Call our offices today to set up a free rental consultation.

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

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

5 Tips For Landlords

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

How a Fort Worth Property Management Company Can Help

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

6 Ways to Avoid Tenant Conflict by Arlington Property Managers

Conflict with your tenants is a serious issue and could be responsible for costly tenant turnovers and evictions. But how do you avoid tenant conflict? Emotions often get in the way when you are dealing with people and their home. Communication breakdowns and mistakes lead to hurt feelings that could have been avoided. We have […]

Arlington Rental Property Management: Tips for Dealing with Tenants

Nine times out of ten your tenants will be low hassle, decent people. But the longer you own rental property the more likely it is that you will run into problem tenants. Even with rigorous tenant screening, such as the screening Specialized Property Management performs regularly, bad apples can slip through. Can you handle a tenant who is always complaining about your home and unnecessarily taking up your time? What do you do with a tenant who is always late, or doesn’t pay rent? What about a tenant who breaks the law and uses your home to do it? Are you prepared for a tenant who destroys your property? These are very real scenarios we deal with every day in property management. Arlington landlords turn to Specialized because we are the experts with almost 30 years of experience dealing with problem tenants.

Communication is Key

Sometimes tenants make mistakes, sometimes they are forgetful. When this happens with a rent payment, or a broken item in your home, communication is key. A gentle reminder that rent is due on a certain day every month, or asking them to replace the broken light fixture will often be enough. However, if a tenant is chronically late with payments or breaks items out of neglect or spite you must address the problem quickly and clearly. Always bring a copy of the lease agreement when talking with your tenants, which should have information such as how late payments and fees will be processed. Refrain from being harsh or blaming, which can heighten emotions and make the situation worse.

How Experienced Arlington Rental Property Management Can Help

Having an experienced professional Arlington rental property management team on your side will be extremely helpful in these situations. Specialized conducts regular property inspections, giving insight into how tenants are caring for the home, if their complaints are warranted, and if any illegal activities are going on. Full reports are available through our online owner portal 24/7 so you are never in the dark about what is going on with your property. Call Specialized if you are ready to leave behind the hassles and headaches of rental property management. Arlington landlords rest easy knowing their homes are in good hands with the experienced professionals at Specialized!

Tenant Emergency Preparedness

Arlington residential property management

Tenant Emergency Preparedness From Your  Arlington Property Management Company

If you have recently moved to Texas, or even if you’ve been here awhile, you may not be aware of some of the emergencies that can occur. As an Arlington residential property management company, we’d like to make sure you are aware of the possible emergencies and the best ways to prepare for them. Some natural disasters are common to all parts of the United States while others are specific to certain areas. Hurricanes are the most common natural disasters that occur in Texas. While they tend to be most severe in the Galveston area, in east Texas, they can travel anywhere across the state. Northern Texas is part of tornado alley. But again, like hurricanes, they have occurred across the state, including severe tornadoes that touched down in central Texas and also west Texas.

Prepare, Plan, and Stay Informed

As an Arlington residential property management company, Specialized recommends you visit Emergency.Portal.Texas.Gov where you’ll find valuable information about emergency preparedness. Another excellent source is TexasPrepares.org. We’ve summarized some of the information here that we’re providing as an Arlington property management company to help new tenants be prepared. Visit the appropriate sites for more information.

 Emergency kits should include:

    • Food and water
    • First aid, medications, and prescriptions
    • Radio, flashlights, and matches
    • Emergency documents and important papers
    • Pet food, vet records, and a photo of your pet

At Specialized Arlington property management company, we would also advise that you consider the possibility of whether or not you’ll be evacuating by car. Remember, if advised by local authorities or emergency notification services, you should evacuate immediately.

If evacuating by car, from Arlington, residential property management, along with Texas emergency services, recommends you do the following:

    • Take paper maps, repair items, plastic ware, tent and blankets, rain gear, towels, books, and games.
    • Fill your tank and check the tires.
    • Take cash and credit cards.
    • Call a pre-set family emergency contact.

If you’re staying in place, you’ll want the items listed above, as well as:

    • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Duct tape and a roll of plastic sheeting

Be prepared so disasters don’t catch you off guard. This message is from the Specialized Arlington property management company. Because we believe that here in Texas, including Arlington, residential property management involves keeping tenants safe in addition to keeping them happy where they call home.

911 for Rental Property Emergencies

Arlington rental property management companies

Arlington rental property management companies get their fair share of exposure to emergencies. Most of these emergencies don’t merit a 911 call, but in fact, make their way right to the manager’s phone at 1 am. Instead of calling to report break-ins, more often than not the calls report breakages. You may or may not be surprised at what renters occasionally feel merits a 1 am wake-up call, so it is important to lay appropriate parameters from the very beginning that can protect both the Arlington property management company and the tenant. If a policy is important, always, always, always get it in the leasing agreement. Having information about maintenance, non-emergency repairs, and emergency repairs in writing from the start establishes clear communication on the subject. Then continued communication about repairs breeds a positive relationship between the tenant and management.

The Landlord’s Responsibilities

Texas law requires property management companies to ensure conditions in rental units are healthy and safe for their tenants. This includes things like:

    • 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 health-hazardous situation
    • Dangerous exposed or faulty electrical wiring

The law requires that managers notify tenants in writing before entering a rental home; however, in emergency situations, like a broken water pipe, this law no longer applies, and the landlord can enter the unit without any advance notification to the tenant. Local laws can guide you in knowing the standard of repair and codes required of landlords.

A Tenant’s Responsibilities

While your Arlington property management company has certain legal obligations when it comes to maintenance and repairs for healthy and safe living circumstances, tenants also have responsibilities to maintain the property to a certain standard and to follow established protocol. As a general rule, maintenance and initial repairs for an issue are much easier to address and significantly cheaper than problems that have been allowed to fester and grow over time. A tenant has the obligation of preventing the unnecessary growth of issues by reporting concerns early. Before initiating any DIY efforts, tenants should always check with the Arlington property management company overseeing the property. Tenants are also required to keep up with rent payments and avoid excessive damage to the property. Either of these could be legal grounds for a landlord to refuse repairs.

If you’re looking to avoid that 1 am call next time, make sure you’ve already called Specialized Specialized Property Management. Our Arlington rental property management company will save you from both the sleepless night of the call and the headache and stress of the repair. Find out today what our 24/7 live hotline for maintenance emergencies can do for you (www.specializedrpm.com)

Ten Ways Property Managers in Fort Worth, TX Calm Neighborhood Tension

property managers in Fort Worth

  • Communication

Clear communication is not only necessary between landlord and tenant, but also between landlord and neighbors. Always let the neighbors know when something happening to your property could potentially affect them.

  • Careful Tenant Screening

Having quality tenants in your rental will be appreciated by the neighbors. Respectful tenants take better care of your property and have better relationships with the neighborhood. Properly screening rental applications is the best way to find high-quality tenants.

  • Clear Expectations

When a lease is being signed, Fort Worth property management companies explain rental policies and property expectations before the home is occupied.  If policies are violated and a problem does occur, tenants already will know actions that need to be taken.

  • Noise Caused by Neighbors

Noise from neighbors can be frustrating. A friendly request is usually all that is needed to resolve a problem. But property managers in Fort Worth, TX should know local noise ordinances and be able to support tenants when there is a conflict.

  • Noise Caused by Tenants

The easiest way to disturb the peace of a neighborhood and spark tension is with noisy tenants in your rental. Noise policies need to be explained at the time of lease signing and strictly enforced during the term of the lease.

  • Proactive Maintenance

Keeping your property well maintained is always good for the neighborhood. Regular property inspections allow you to know what the property needs. Property managers in Fort Worth, TX working with HOA communities will need to know what additional property maintenance is required.

  • Pet Policies

If your home has a pet-friendly policy, those policies should also be neighborhood friendly. Tenants need to clean up pet messes, be respectful of the property of others, and keep pet noise under control.

  • 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 property management companies have policies in place that reflect respect for neighbors proactively maintain the rental unit, neighbors feel more comfortable about having quality 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 should any problem arise in the future.

Specialized Specialized Property Management is your expert property managers in Fort Worth, TX. Our 98% customer satisfaction rating tells you we know how to help with neighborhood conflict. Find out how we can do for you today. (www.specializedrpm.com)

Keeping Peace with the Neighbors

Fort Worth property managers

Our communities are full of people living pretty close to each other. We all come from different backgrounds, have different hobbies, and different ways of doing things. Fort Worth property managers know that with all these differences, problems can easily arise and make our neighborhoods not so neighborly anymore. Loud cars, blocked views, trash problems, noisy pets, or curious children can cause conflicts between the best of neighbors.

Here are a few suggestions to help keep your neighborhood as friendly and neighborly as possible.

Know Your Neighbors

If you think about the people in your neighborhood, or even just those who live immediately around you, how neighborly is your neighborhood? 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, more than just their names, can help with any future conflict resolution. Find out about professions, names of children, and common interests. Closer relationships will be friendlier and more helpful in the long run.

Try the Friendly Approach First

Even with the closest neighbors, conflict can still arise. Before you start with threatening shouts, try a friendly request first. Fort Worth property management companies know the number one cause of neighborhood conflict is unwanted noise. Diplomacy can help take care of neighborly problems. Courteous requests that aren’t overly demanding can bring back the neighborhood peace again. If diplomacy doesn’t work, a neutral, third party 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.

Neighborhood wars have made it into the news as conflict is human nature. Hopefully, with diplomacy or with the help of your Fort Worth property managers, your neighborhood conflicts can be resolved quickly, keeping you happy in a peaceful neighborhood.

The experts at Specialized understand that conflicts in neighborhoods can happen. Let us use our experienced training to help resolve your rental property neighborhood issues. Call us today to hear about our full range of rental property services. Our proven process will bring more success to your rental property investment.

Find us at (www.specializedrpm.com)

How to Handle a Tenant’s Noise Complaint

Denton property management
Handling various noise complaints when owning rental property is something any
Denton property management company will need to deal with from time to time. Noise problems can either come from the actual rental unit’s tenants or from the surround neighborhood and disturb your tenants.

Noise from Your Tenant

A noise issues should be addressed long before there is a problem. At the time of lease signing, noise expectations, quiet hours, and penalties for noise policy violations should be discussed and adequately explained and understood. Understanding policies up front is always a good Denton property management rule of thumb.  If a complaint is made about your tenant’s noise, let the tenant know that a complaint has been raised. Often good communication can resolve most situations before a full blown problem occurs. Repeated complaints need to be dealt with as explained in the lease. Always make sure that if a complaint is being made about your tenant that the complaint is legitimate.

Noise Bothering the Tenant

You can’t do too much about the noise someone else makes surrounding your rental unit. Again letting the person making the noise know about the situation with good communication may be all that’s need to resolve a problem. If communication doesn’t help the situation, learn what local quiet and curfew laws are in the area. Property management in Denton TX is a resource to help tenants feel comfortable in their homes and help resolve problems with favorable outcomes.

Your home is a place to feel safe and have peace. As much as you want your personal safe respected, be aware that you are also respecting the peace of others. Noise problems can quickly escalate to bigger problems. Never do anything illegal or damaging to the property of others in retaliation or out of frustration. Specialized is the property management in Denton TX that tries to choose rental units in peaceful neighborhoods, has clear lease agreements, and wants residents to feel at home. We also serve surrounding areas of Fort Worth, Aledo, Keller, Arlington.