How to Select a Tenant with Fort Worth Property Management Services

So you want to rent out your investment property? Don’t tell anyone, or you may be bombarded with bad tenant horror stories. Other property owners will be happy to tell you all about their tenant selection mistakes. Unfortunately, these stories are common because property owners are more worried about avoiding vacancies in the beginning than they are about maintaining the value of their financial investment. Careless property owners can lead to careless tenants who cause property damage, legal issues, and even eviction which results in out of pocket spending on home improvements, legal fees, and maintenance repairs. High tenant turnover also means longer and more frequent vacancy periods with no rent coming in while you clean up the messes from old tenants. Rather than assuming that you’ll be the exception to the rule, it’s best to prepare yourself and learn how to increase your cash flow by making careful tenant selection a priority and enlisting the help of professionals like Specialized Fort Worth property management services. 

Finding the Best Qualified Applicant

At Specialized Fort Worth, our proven process for tenant screening ensures well-qualified tenants exclusively occupy your property. We have no qualms about performing thorough checks that analyze credit, background, employment, and rental history of every tenant who is 18 years old or older. Finding reliable tenants can impact the value of your investment, save you money, help you avoid the stress of vacancies, and even renew your faith in the tenant-landlord relationship that carries such a negative stigma. Part of Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services includes helping you prepare a thorough screening application that complies with your local and state laws, helping you find a great tenant while protecting you from making any discriminatory remarks unknowingly. Amazing tenants do exist, but to find the diamonds in the rough, you’ve got to put in the work, or hire Fort Worth property management services to do the work for you. Make sure that your application process follows the checklist below: 

  • Tenant applicants must be at least 18 years old and if there is more than one adult, each needs to fill out a comprehensive application. 
  • Be clear about the amount of rent and security deposit due and the due date each month. Tenant’s income must equal at least 3 times the rent rate. This decreases the risk of late rent payments. 
  • Make sure the security deposit required is significantly more than the monthly rent so potential tenants know that you are serious. 
  • Check credit, past employment, and income. Ask for a written explanation of poor credit scores. 
  • Ask about the last 2 years of rental history, if the rent was paid punctually and if damage was caused to the apartment. 
  • Require a criminal background check. Be on the lookout for those with a history of drugs, theft, violence, or sexual offenders. 
  • Call references like former employers, previous landlords, and colleagues and ask about the tenants’ behaviors, habits, and ability to pay rent on time. 
  • Stay current on federal and local laws and be sure to be in compliance with them. Fort Worth property management services can protect you against accidentally discriminating against prospective tenants based on race, color, gender, sex, religion, or service animals. 
  • Be clear about expectations and your role vs. the tenant’s role. Determine if they will be able to handle any situation with clear communication and a mature attitude. 
  • Always meet potential renters in person before signing any documents. You can tell a lot from a first impression and much miscommunication can be avoided when speaking face to face. 

Choose the Right Property Location

If you want the best tenants, you’ll want to make sure that the property you are investing in is located in a good area. This will attract tenants who are responsible and want to stay for an extended amount of time. Consider the quality of the school district, nearby shopping centers, the cleanliness of surrounding neighborhoods, and the safety of the area as well. Once you have great tenants, it will be easier to practice tenant retention. 

The Fair Housing Act 

Most non-compliance happens because property owners aren’t aware of all the laws and regulations that exist at the federal, state, and local levels. Violating the Fair Housing Act comes at a cost, whether in the form of hefty fines or losing one’s real estate license in Fort Worth. Property management services can save you hundreds of dollars, if you allow the professionals to be the authorities on what laws are out there and how you can avoid breaking them. Specialized Property Management is required to stay up to date on past, current, and changing Fair Housing laws, protecting you from making mistakes that could result in hefty penalties and fines. Partnering with a professional property management company like Specialized Property Management will give you access to correct legal counsel, providing you with peace of mind knowing that you are always complying with the laws and not discriminating against anyone. As the leader of Texas property management companies, Specialized Property Management keeps you compliant with all federal and local laws and regulations. 

The Importance of Background Checks

An independent research firm, Liminality, Inc, conducted a survey recently on behalf of a nationwide property management firm. A survey of 150 rental owners who were self-managing their property revealed that some don’t conduct background checks at all, and those who do are not strict or thorough about it. Implementing Fort Worth property management services will ensure that a thorough background check is performed for each potential tenant. Not performing background checks increases your chances of renting to criminals, posing a threat to neighbors, the value of your investment, and your steady stream of income. The Bureau of Justice reported in 2014 that 76.6% of prisoners released in 2005 were rearrested within five years. In fact, 21% of the property owners surveyed said that they “sometimes or never” conduct background checks on potential tenants. They also reported these frightening statistics: 

  • Only 44% check for a previous sex offender
  • Only 51% perform a criminal background check
  • 23% “sometimes or never” require credit checks
  • Only 51% call previous rental references 

Red Flags to Watch Out For 

Fort Worth property management services can guide you on exactly what to look for in a potential tenant-responsible, trustworthy, law-abiding, etc. but being on the lookout for red flags is equally important. Many people can seem great at first, but over time reveal their true character. If you keep your eyes peeled for the following signs, you’ll protect yourself from future headaches and out-of-pocket expenses: 

  • Late to Meetings – If you set up an appointment with a potential tenant to show them a property and they are more than 5-10 minutes late without a good reason, you may have a problem. If they can’t respect your schedule and be on time, they are likely to be late paying rent as well. 
  • Disheveled Appearance – We aren’t talking about discrimination based on looks, because that would not be in compliance with the Fair Housing Act. We are talking about taking notice of how someone chooses to present themselves. When they meet you for the first time, they should look at it almost as a job interview because they’re trying to make a good first impression. If they look like they don’t take care of themselves, how can you trust them to take care of your property? 
  • Wrong Information – If a tenant is being dishonest and reporting untrue information on their application, it’s a clear sign that they can’t be trusted. Faulty information is defined as either false or unable to be verified. It’s normal for some applicants to accidentally miss a section or misunderstand something, but when you call them about it, they should be able to provide that information or correct it right away. 
  • Inability to Pay – Specialized Fort Worth property management services require a fee before prospective tenants can fill out an application. The fee is usually $25-30 and pays for the background/criminal check. This is normal, but if a tenant can’t pay the amount right away, they probably also don’t have the funds to pay for rent. 

Fort Worth Property Management Services

Take advantage of Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services that include inspections, marketing, showing, collecting rent, maintenance, monthly reporting, and possibly most importantly, tenant screening and selection. Our team of professionals will not only find the best tenants for you, they will also interact with them and address any tenant concerns during their stay at your property. Our goal is to reduce your risk while minimizing costs and maximizing cash flow on your rental property. With over 30 years of experience and a 98% customer satisfaction rate, you can be sure that your investment is safe with us. Contact us today to learn more about tenant selection and our property management services. 

Finding the Best Tenants for Your Fort Worth Property

For Fort Worth landlords and investors, a successful rental experience starts with tenant selection.

A good tenant offers you many things, mostly predictability and profit. You’ll earn a reliable rental income every month, your property will increase in value, and your ROI will steadily grow throughout the tenancy. A bad tenant, however, will lead to problems and expenses. Bad tenants come with risks, including the risk that they won’t pay rent. Bad tenants can also cause property damage or lead you towards evictions, which are expensive and time-consuming.

No one can predict with 100 percent accuracy how a tenant will turn out. However, you can protect yourself and your property with a strategic tenant placement process. Many smart landlords focus on screening.

Take your time and put in the work that’s required to find the best tenant in Fort Worth. If you are struggling with time or resources, hand the process over to a professional property manager. A good property manager will lease your home quickly to a well-qualified tenant, saving you stress and time.

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The Top Fort Worth Property Management Company Recommends Rigorous Tenant Screening

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

Why Screen Tenants?

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

How to screen potential tenants

Screening potential tenants includes:

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

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

Find More Reliable Tenants: Three Steps for Fort Worth Rental Property Management

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You tell your kids to choose their friends wisely because you know their friends can have a great influence on their lives long term – for better or for worse. You hope they don’t get desperate and hang out with just anyone.

They could say the same to you about the tenants in your Fort Worth property. Management of tenants is hard enough, don’t make it harder by renting to the first tenants who come along. Poor tenant qualification can lead to major problems down the road such as rent delays, property damage, higher turnover, legal issues, and eviction risks. On the flip side, renting to the right tenants – even if it means more work up front – can lead to consistent rent payments, a well-kept property, longer leases, and ultimately higher profits.

As Fort Worth rental property management professionals, Specialized offers sage advice: Three-steps for quality tenant selection.

Step 1: Confirm Ability to Pay

Request an application for every tenant over 18 years of age. This is not extreme. It is necessary to confirm that the combined tenant income equals at least 3X the rent rate. Do a credit check on each applicant and verify employment as well as income. Call previous landlords and verify at least the last two years of rental history. Two questions to ask: 1) Was the rent on time? 2) Did they damage the property in any way? Watch for previous evictions or judgments in your search as well.

Step 2: Do Background Checks

Conduct thorough background checks and screen out those with a history of drugs or theft, especially violent or sexual offenders who can bring additional liability and concerns. In addition to official databases, your reference checks should also include employers or colleagues, not just friends or family, to get unbiased responses.

Step 3: Follow the Rules

Finally, before you start, know the law and stay in compliance with all housing, discrimination, contract, and Fair Credit Reporting laws throughout the screening process. Save yourself costly lawsuits, penalties, and fines by doing things right, every step of the way.

One last piece of advice from a team of professionals who have been around the Fort Worth rental property management block a few times. You do not have to do all of this alone. Specialized has over 30 years of experience to help you quickly place the most qualified tenants possible. We collect applications, confirm income and employment, and check credit, rental history, criminal backgrounds, and even terrorist lists. We make it our business to know and follow all of the regulations involved with owning rental property. We exist to protect you, your cash flow, and your property from nonpaying or destructive tenants. Consider Specialized one of your good-influence friends. Set a good example by giving us a call, then add us to your favorite contact list. We’ll add you to ours.

Make Prospective Tenants Fall in Love with Your Property

It’s the time of year where love is in the air. How can that love make your Denton property management business become more profitable? When you make prospective tenants fall in love with the rental properties you have to offer!

A good property manager knows that finding the perfect tenant for your rental property is like dating. First, a couple meets and finds common interest which heightens the attraction. The couple continues to see each other, and eventually comes a profession of love, and perhaps even a marriage proposal.

Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, Texas goes through a similar process when finding the ideal tenant to fill your rental property. First, we meet the prospective tenant to show them the home. Then, we learn about their rental history and background including job history, credit history and any criminal records. This process can either make or break the relationship. After everything checks out, and the prospective tenant has declared they love your property, the proposal- or rental agreement- is brought to the table. The ‘marriage’ begins when both property owner and tenant have signed the lease agreement and build their relationship from that point on.

But, how do you get to the point of a tenant loving your property? A few smart decisions made during the purchasing phase will help make finding tenants simple:

The Tenant Lust List

    • Single Family Homes
    • 3+ Bedrooms
    • 2+ Bathrooms
    • Fenced Yard
    • Standard Layout
    • < 15 Years Old

The Tenant Loathe List

    • Under 1000 Sq Ft
    • No Fence
    • Busy Streets
    • Quirky Layouts
    • No Master Bathroom
    • Homes Older than 25 Years

Other Relationship Builders

While in the purchasing phase, it is important to remember a few other keys to hearts of potential tenants. These include:

  • Location. Look for markets that have higher rents, lower vacancy rates, and appreciating home values for your rental property.
  • Amenities Matter. Consider the quality and proximity of area schools, public transportation, shopping and other amenities in the area as they can be used as selling points when marketing the home.
  • HOA’s Can be a Headache. HOA’s can add time, fees and hassles that should be considered when purchasing.

Keeping these tips in mind during the purchasing phase will ensure a smoother pathway to tenants falling in love with your property.

Conducting Background Checks

Conducting Background Checks

The key to finding responsible and reliable long-term tenants is selecting the right tenant to begin with. Adequate screening up front will help you eliminate potential short-term renters or long-term headaches. Fort Worth property management can guide you through a screening to find the best fit for your property while also keeping in mind discrimination laws that you must follow.

 

Rental Application Form

Create or use an application that covers all necessary information you may need to evaluate a future tenant. Include questions about financial, employment, and personal information. In addition to questions the tenant will respond to his or herself, absolutely include release forms that authorize Fort Worth rental property management.

to order background, criminal, and credit checks. Use this form to initially screen general financial and employment status. Look for potential patterns like consistent turnover of employment. Also, any areas left blank on the form could be a red flag for information the tenant may be trying to hide.

 

Contact References

Contact all references requested. The application should request references from previous landlords, employers, and character references. Fort Worth rental property management look for gaps in landlord history. Leaving out contact information for recent landlords can also be a bad sign. In addition to asking previous landlords if a tenant paid all rent, additional questions can offer insight into what renting to that tenant will really look like. Ask questions about timeliness of payments, damage to the unit, any conflict with neighbors, if the security deposit was collected, and if the landlord would ultimately rent to this tenant again. Property management in Fort Worth TX can use information from references to avoid risky renters.

 

Criminal Background Checks

While credit checks are vital to assessing a potential tenant’s ability to pay rent, credit checks do not tell you about a person’s criminal background. Not only are you seeking to run a profitable business, it is also your responsibility to ensure the safety of the community. It is difficult for law offenders to become home owners, so the likelihood of several of your applicants being repeat criminal offenders is fairly high. Criminal checks no longer take weeks for Fort Worth property management to process and are well worth their effort. Other registered lists such as terrorist activities and sex offender lists can also be checked.

 

Property management in Fort Worth TX can help you screen your prospective tenants to find a lasting tenant for your rental business.