Fort Worth Property Management Companies’ Investment Advice

If you’re ready to invest in a home and rent it out to make a profit, now is a great time to do it. The market is great and home values are going up. According to Norada Real Estate Investments, “If you are a homebuyer or real estate investor, Fort Worth definitely has a track record of being one of the best long term real estate investments in the country through the last ten years.” There are also more renters now than ever before as millennials begin to settle down while still wanting the freedom that comes from renting. Single family homes are becoming increasingly popular, and your decision to invest should be an easy one. Let Fort Worth property management companies be your guide as you do your research. Specialized Property Management has over 30 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the rental industry and how to make the wisest home purchases. There’s more to being a property owner than buying a home and recruiting tenants, and we’ll explain what. 

Location

“Location, location, location” is a famous saying for a reason. Location in real estate is so important because it affects the type of tenants you attract, how much you should charge for rent, and the local regulations you’ll need to adhere to. When you’re looking at locations, notice what is within 20 miles of your property, such as access to a main road or freeway, good schools, parks, local amenities, shopping malls, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and public transportation. Every aspect of where your property is located will affect your return on investment. Check with current landlords in the area and get information on their situation. Do they have lower vacancies? How much do they charge for rent? Are homes appreciating in value so you can raise the price of rent year after year? Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Fort Worth may have access to information about certain areas of Fort Worth that you don’t. Let us advise you on the best places to invest and why to help your bottom line even more. Once you’ve decided to purchase a home based on Specialized’s expert advice, we’ll help you market it, set the proper price for rent, and make the most out of the location you’ve chosen.

Family Lifestyle

Millennials are growing up and wanting to start a family, but prefer to rent than buy. They love the idea of a single family home they can rent because it means all the pros of having a home with less of a commitment than buying their own home. They may want to stay long term, meaning they’ll take good care of your property and you’ll have fewer vacancies to worry about. Use this knowledge to your advantage and make sure your property is family friendly. Those who are responsible enough to plan a family usually make great tenants. Look for qualities in properties such as a fenced yard, at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, around 2,000 square feet, adequate storage space, and laundry hook-ups. Fort Worth property management companies will tell you to avoid homes with no master bathroom, located on a busy street, with unusual layouts, and built more than 25 years ago. Good schools are a great selling point as well. Try to look for schools that rank high on test scores and have a positive reputation. 

Local Regulations

Every city has their own set of rules and regulations to follow when it comes to housing. In some areas, you can be fined for not following certain ordinances. There are ordinances and construction codes surrounding everything from noise ordinances to electrical wire codes. One simple mistake could cost you a large sum of money if you aren’t paying attention, and rules are subject to change. Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Property Management has a team of experts who already know the ins and outs of each city’s municipal regulations. Trust them to protect your investment by informing you of regulations to follow and then helping you continue to follow them year after year. When regulations change, we know about it and make sure that you’re following everything correctly. What you pay our property management team won’t compare to the money you’ll save by not paying fees issued to you from the local government. 

Homeowners’ Association

You may get excited if you discover a property for sale that has a Homeowners’ Association, and you should be. HOAs are excellent for keeping the neighborhood clean, creating a safe and friendly environment for families, and creating less maintenance work for you. However, if you aren’t familiar with the rules and codes for your HOA, you could lose time and money by violating the rules unknowingly. This article from MorrisInvest goes into detail about if you should buy a rental property with an HOA. When you hire experienced Fort Worth property management companies, they can help you decide if it’s worth it to pay the HOA fee in addition to property taxes and mortgage payments, and how much you should charge for rent in order to still make a profit. They’ll also be aware of the HOA’s policies and help your property stay in line. 

Age of the Property

It can be tempting to invest in an older home because the price is lower, but think about the long term costs. When you invest in a home that is less than 15 years old, you’ll automatically be paying less for renovation costs and maintenance costs in the future. You’ll also be able to charge more for rent just because it’s a newer home. Additionally, you’ll attract more potential tenants which means high quality tenants and fewer vacancies. Chances are newer homes are in good, safe, neighborhoods as well. If you find a newer home that could still use a little updating, ask the advice of Fort Worth property management companies. Specialized Property Management’s team of experts can advise you on how to update your home in quick and inexpensive ways to make the most impact and attract the best tenants. 

Single Home vs. Group of Homes

If you’re looking to invest in more than one home, it’s a good idea to purchase your homes in a group. When they’re all in the same neighborhood and you know that that neighborhood is family friendly, clean, safe, and close to attractive amenities, you’ll be able to make twice the money by investing in twice the properties. When you need to stop by and check on one home, you can use the same trip to check on others without driving all over town. You’ll also be familiar with the market in that area and have an influence on the going rate for rent. Fort Worth property management companies will also tell you to be efficient with your time. Not only should you invest in properties that are close to each other, but that are close to you. Buying properties on your way home from work, church, or anywhere else you frequently go to will save you time and money. 

Stay in Your State

Fort Worth is an excellent place to invest in a rental property but you may be thinking about looking outside of Texas to invest as well. Some reasons why people invest in property out-of-state is because they want to diversify their investment portfolio or properties are more affordable somewhere else. This can be a risky decision because it will be harder to check on your home and stay up to date on changing regulations for that city vs. Fort Worth. Consider these issues if you are thinking about investing in out-of-state property. It may be worth it, but the risks are high. If you do decide to invest out of state, seriously consider hiring a property management company that you trust to take proper care of your home and send you frequent reports. 

Fort Worth Property Management Companies

Investing in single family rental homes is a great way to make money and diversify your residential management property portfolio. Deciding what and where to buy is really important to your overall success and can be overwhelming. Take advantage of Specialized Fort Worth’s property management company services that include inspections, marketing, showing, setting the rent rate, collecting rent, maintenance, monthly reporting, and tenant screening and selection. Our team of professionals will help you find the best properties in the best areas and then manage them for you for as long as you need us to. In addition to taking great care of your property, we’ll also interact with tenants 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 rental investments and our property management services. 

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. 

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. 

The Advantages of Fort Worth Rental Property Management

Property owners think about the homes they own as a business investment. So focused on the possible profit and benefits of owning a home and renting it out, they often lose sight of the potential risks involved. Every investment that promises reward comes with its own risk. That’s why it’s important to beware of the potential for things to get scary. This Halloween, don’t let spooky mishaps and haunting management mistakes get in the way of your fun. Take advantage of your local Fort Worth rental property management. At Specialized Fort Worth, we handle every issue for you so you don’t have to worry and your investment stays protected. 

Scary Landlord Stories are Everywhere

As soon as you decided to invest in real estate, you probably heard all the ghoulish tales. “My tenant completely destroyed my home” or “I didn’t know about the local regulations and was unexpectedly fined!” Or perhaps you’ve fallen prey to your own scary stories with your experiences as a tenant, facing awkward encounters with your landlord and not getting the maintenance your home needed right away. These stories are well known in the real estate industry and one of the big reasons why many hesitate to invest. Some, though they’ve heard the stories time and again, are sure that these nightmares won’t happen to them and don’t take advantage of necessary Fort Worth property management services. Be prepared this Halloween by becoming informed on all the reasons why property management companies, especially Specialized Fort Worth, can protect you. Very first on the list of things not to do when you get started as a property owner is to assume that you’ve got it all figured out. 

The Advantages of a Fort Worth Rental Property Management Company

Property owners who think they know the ins and outs of real estate, even if they have done their research, are most likely still missing a few things. It takes years and years of experience managing properties and being on top of the constantly changing local and federal housing laws and regulations to really understand the Fort Worth rental property management cycle and the complexities that go along with the business. Certificates and qualifications are required of property managers in some states and small mishaps can lead to costly fines. At Specialized Fort Worth, our extremely experienced team of experts have all of these qualifications, with references and raving reviews to back us up (not to mention a diverse clientele all across the nation). Trusting us with your property can protect you from the horrors of realizing that you don’t have the experience, qualifications, know-how, or time to self-manage your property. 

Save Time and Money 

Making money is one of the greatest benefits to owning a rental property and can easily become the focus of your endeavors. Wanting to make money can lead to the mistake of not spending it where you should. Many people think of Fort Worth rental property management as a luxury that they don’t need, when in fact, taking advantage of Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services will save you money in the long run. Trying to self manage your property will cost you a lot more time than you think. Taking time away from another job to handle emergency maintenance calls, tenant complaints, or keeping up with all the codes and laws costs money. Every minute of your time is worth something, and if you could be spending that time focusing on what’s most important while letting your trusted property management company handle the little details, you could be saving money. Consider how much time you spend self managing your property and compare it with how much hiring a Fort Worth rental property management company would cost and you’ll quickly discover that it’s worth it.  

What the Wrong Tenant Could Cost You 

Tenants paying their rent on time vs. those who don’t can be the difference in how successful you are as a property owner. Those who consistently pay their rent provide you with steady income, meaning that finding tenants who are responsible and financially able is crucial to your future financial success. It’s easy to hope and assume that every tenant will be reliable and your rapid success will quickly ensue, but it’s just not the case. The reality is that many landlords don’t take their time finding a tenant they can trust because they’re in a hurry to get their property occupied and start making money. Tenants are also more able than ever before to falsify documents or appear more creditworthy than they are, just by using widely available technology. Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services include a thorough screening process that identifies these issues and saves you from the terror of not getting paid consistently and potentially dealing with dreadful eviction issues. When a tenant fails to pay, you quickly lose profits. For example:

  • Tenant failing to pay rent for one month: $1,500
  • Tenant staying throughout the eviction process: $750
  • Repairing damage to your home: $1750
  • Solving eviction through court: $1,000
  • Re-marketing your home and finding a new tenant: $2,250

As you can see, the out of pocket costs for you can total over $7000 just because your tenant wasn’t screened properly or falsified information without you detecting it. When compared to the monthly fee for Fort Worth rental property management, homeowners save money by hiring Specialized Fort Worth to perform the tenant screening process and find the tenants who are most likely to pay their rent on time and consistently as well as continue their contract, decreasing your overall vacancies. 

What’s Your Price for Peace of Mind? 

Property owner responsibilities can mess with your head and personal life, taking up your physical time as well as your mental energy. Only you can determine the price of your personal peace of mind, but consider how much of yourself you really want to devote to your property. Hiring Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services can give you back your peace of mind by taking on the daily hassles and stresses that become mental burdens. Your personal comfort and convenience are free when you consider what Specialized Fort Worth can save you in vacancy costs, property maintenance, tenant duties, legal fees, and more. Some examples of common renter complaints we can handle for you are: 

  •      “I want my security deposit. Now!”
  •      “Fix this. Now!”
  •      “It’s still broken.”
  •      “My neighbors are so _____!”
  •      “The internet is slow!”
  •      “I’ve already called you 20 times!”
  •      “You expect me to pay the utilities?”

With Specialized Fort Worth rental property management, you no longer have to occupy your time answering complaints and questions. We take care of everything for you and do it right the first time to help you avoid costly fees from little mistakes. If you’re not sure where your responsibilities as a property owner end and ours as a property management company begin, we’ll let you know. We believe in being transparent and communicating openly and often to make sure that we are on the same page and managing your property in the most effective way possible. 

Prepare for the Worst

Though we all go into any investment with certain expectations and hopes for a high reward, it’s safer to expect the worst and be right or pleasantly surprised. With over 30 years of experience in the property management industry, Specialized Fort Worth rental property management knows that the worst will happen, and we won’t be surprised when it does. Our proven systems and expertise will prevent most of the negative experiences and help solve any unexpected ones. When you partner with us, you protect your investment and don’t have to worry about any scary surprised. Specialized Fort Worth property management services include: 

  • Finding and screening reliable tenants
  • Showing and leasing your property
  • Performing maintenance and regular inspections
  • Corresponding with tenants and collecting rent 
  • Ensuring curb appeal and managing marketing
  • Staying up to date on rental and leasing laws and regulations
  • Communicating weekly updates during the leasing process 
  • Providing detailed monthly reports and year-end tax statements 

Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Services

With our list of services, the advantages are obvious. Spending money on a property management company now will be worth it in the end. You’ll start seeing the peace of mind benefits right away and soon after, realize how much money you are starting to save, just by trusting the experts with your property. Rather than try to do it all on your own, let Specialized Fort Worth rental property management take care of the details and get it right the first time. We believe that truly professional management should actually shield owners from the common stresses of rental property ownership, and that you should never have to settle for less. That’s why we back our service with THE SEVEN SPECIALIZED GUARANTEES—seven serious commitments we stand by so our clients enjoy greater peace of mind that no one else can offer.  No other company can offer what we do at such an affordable price. Trust us with your property for complete peace of mind. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help with your properties and increase your return on investment.

Fort Worth Rental Property Management Helps You Comply with Landlord/Tenant Discrimination Laws

Our society is more aware than ever before of everyone around us and their civil rights. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was established to protect all citizens from being discriminated against for reasons such as race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or familial status when trying to rent or buy housing. Fair housing rules are important to know when you are deciding whether or not to accept a tenant application. These rules have created more opportunities for more people, but have also required that everyone be more aware and careful in the way they speak and run their businesses. Don’t take the risk of rejecting someone only to find out that you’ve unknowingly discriminated against them. In order to steer clear of uncomfortable legal situations, educate yourself on landlord/tenant discrimination legislation in Fort Worth. Rental property management companies like Specialized Property Management are a great way to ensure that you aren’t making any costly mistakes and can handle marketing, tenant screening, and more to ensure that everything is done in the correct way. To get a head start, begin by reading the laws and special situations listed below and making sure that you are in compliance with those. 

Marketing

Marketing your rental home property will help attract good tenants, especially if you market in the right way. Be careful not to market to one specific group of people. When you say that your property is ideal for families, senior citizens and single people may feel like they can’t live there. It’s better for you and the community if you encourage all types of people in all stages of life to live in your rental property. This will help create diversity and the feeling that no one is getting left out. Diversity is encouraged and appreciated all over the city of Fort Worth. Property management services will help you market your rental property in a way that is inclusive, without attracting tenants that are irresponsible or unreliable. The following checklist from MetroTex can help you determine if you are in compliance with marketing regulations when posting an online ad. 

  1. Does the ad contain any misleading statements, or does it tend to create a misleading impression in any manner? It is prudent for someone who did not design the ad to scrutinize it for any potentially misleading statements. Keep in mind that the standard is not whether a statement is true, but whether the advertisement “tends to create a misleading impression.”
  2. Does the ad contain the name of the real estate firm or broker? It should. 
  3. Does the person causing the ad to be published have proper authority to publish or submit the advertisement? 
  4. Is the price quoted the price agreed upon by the owner? 
  5. Does the ad inadvertently imply a limitation or preference to a protected class that could potentially violate fair housing laws? 
  6. Is the specific information relayed in the advertisement accurate?

Tenant Selection

Using a Fort Worth rental property management company is very important when selecting tenants. Once you’ve got a good amount of interest in your property, you have the opportunity to begin the screening process. You have the right to ask tenants about their rental history in order to see how they will treat your property and how seriously they will take their tenant responsibilities. Talk to former and current landlords about if the tenant paid rent on time, gave proper notice, or violated any lease terms. Use a written or online application that collects the information you need such as names, contact information, social security numbers, current and past addresses, employment information, and landlord references. 

The entire screening process can be lengthy and time consuming. If you use Specialized Fort Worth Rental Property Management company, you will save so much time and worry by letting them handle the screening process and do so without risking discrimination. When you ask about tenant’s background, you have to be careful not to mention any questions that could be related to race or disabilities. Things you can ask about are financial history, sex offender charges, and criminal records. In order to gauge how reliable a tenant is, you are able to ask questions about past and current employment as well as check their credit score. You may also ask why they’re moving and how many people and pets will live in the residence. 

Service Animal Compliance

Speaking of pets, service animals must be allowed, whether your rental property allows pets or not. Since they are required in some medical situations, service animals cannot be denied under any circumstances, including breed or size. In addition, someone who needs a service animal cannot be rejected because that would also be considered discrimination. Be careful to not make any slips that would make you appear non-compliant. Saying that your rental property does not allow pets, and that there are no exceptions, could put you at risk for being non-compliant when the exception is that service animals are allowed. Specialized Fort Worth’s property management services are aware of all the special needs that go along with disabilities and service animals. They will be able to inform you of what to say and what not to say when meeting someone with a service animal. For example, your potential tenant must provide proof that they need a service animal, but don’t have to explain why. 

LGBT Compliance

The state of Texas doesn’t have any current ruling for LGBT housing issues. The more people talk about these issues, the sooner there will be changes in laws in order to protect the housing rights of people who identify as LGBT. In the meantime, property owners should be aware of how they are advertising their property, be honest about available units, ask questions that aren’t discriminatory on lease applications, and avoid tenant screenings for things other than what is allowed by state regulations. If you were to suggest that you had no vacancies when you actually did, it could be grounds for a real estate agent to lose their license and the denied tenants would have grounds to file a complaint with the real estate licensing board. No matter what your personal beliefs are, it’s important to think of your rental property as a business, separate from religious or emotional views. Like anything else, there are some exceptions to Fair Housing laws, but you would have to have years of experience and knowledge to be able to identify which exemptions applied to you. That’s why employing the help of Fort Worth property management services can help you avoid costly fines from unwittingly going against current or future regulations that have the potential to change all the time. 

Disability and Reasonable Accommodation

The definition of a disability is a mental or physical condition that substantially limits that person’s ability to participate in major life activities that are important to daily life. Disabilities are not always identifiable just by looking at someone. That’s why it’s important to be careful when first meeting potential tenants and putting them through the screening process. Be careful not to say or do anything that may be discriminating, regardless of whether they have an apparent disability or not. Conditions like heart disease, epilepsy, or even anxiety, may not be obvious when meeting someone, but may require special requirements or service animals. Fort Worth rental property management knows that reasonable accommodations for someone’s disability are required by law. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has laid out what it means to provide reasonable accommodations to these tenants. Some examples may include changes to parking policies, rent collection procedures, or the allowance of service animals. In order to not be discriminatory, it’s important to wait for a reasonable request to be made, rather than offering it and assuming that someone has a disability or the need for a special accommodation when they don’t. 

Fair Housing Laws

No one wants to be discriminated against, and no one wants to discriminate. 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 be the difference of hundreds of dollars for you, if you allow them 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. Contact us today!

Single-Family Rental Investing vs. Multi-Family Rental Investing

When Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company started out almost 30 years ago, the general public was mostly interested in investing in multi-family units or apartments. If people did invest in single-family homes, it was so they could fix up an older home and resell it for a higher value. Though this is a smart and quick strategy for making money, more and more investors are adopting a buy and hold strategy today. Just some of the reasons to invest in a single-family rental are: the investment stability, affordability, less tenant drama, an increase in demand, better available management, and a quick and easy exit strategy. Today, there are almost twice as many single family homes as there were 10 years ago during the housing crisis. In fact, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 43% of renters choose to reside in a single-family rental. Because of the increase in demand, property management techniques have changed. Learn the benefits of investing in single-family homes and how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can help you maximize your profits. 

“We’re becoming a nation of renters — and not just apartment dwellers. Since the housing crisis, more renters are writing the monthly check for single-family homes. More of them are also writing checks to corporate landlords like Invitation Homes, Colony-Starwood, and American Homes 4 Rent. Back in 2005, ‘there were about 10.5 million single-family rental properties,’said Karan Kaul of the Urban Institute. ‘Today that number is north of 17 million. That’s almost a 70 percent increase. If you look at the other segments of the rental market,’ he said, ‘the growth in those units has not been close to what you’re seeing in the single-family market.’”- Marketplace

Investment Stability

People that want to live in a single-family rental are usually doing so because they like the stability and home life that a house provides but they also want the flexibility and mobility of renting. This means, as a property owner, that you’ll be able to rely on your good tenants who will take care of your property and most likely stay long term. With a long term tenant who pays their rent on time, you won’t need to worry about frequent turnover and vacancy costs that often play a big part in multi-family units, or apartments. You’ll also be able to form positive relationships with your tenants over time, decreasing the amount of tension around maintenance issues and neighbors. 

“From day one, you want to work on developing a positive yet professional relationship with your tenants. That means making them feel welcome and comfortable at the property, and providing them with all the information they need to start their tenancy off right. That includes contact numbers, details on your expectations, important dates and locations of the nearest grocery stores, schools, bus stops, etc. And, make sure they know where to locate emergency shut off valves for water and gas in case they need them.”- Zillow

Because single-family rentals usually increase in value over time, you’ll be earning passive income and can expect a very good return on investment. If you take a look at past real estate patterns, single family homes tend to appreciate much faster than multi family units. Since the value of single family homes is decided by supply and demand, and demand for places to rent is usually high, they appreciate quickly. On the other hand, multi family units are valued based on the rent being charged and the state of the home, meaning that value only goes up if all the rent prices increase in that certain location. 

More Affordable

In general, single-family rentals cost less than multi-family homes, such as duplexes and triplexes. The down payment required for a multi-family rental could be anywhere from 25-30%, while single-family home investors usually only have to pay around 10-15% down. Insurance rates are also cheaper for single-family rentals. In addition, there are many available options currently in the single family rental market, making it a buyer’s market. This means you’re more likely to find a better deal when investing in single-family rentals than anywhere else. Though paying for your property in cash would be ideal, it’s not always realistic. If your situation requires financing, single family homes often offer less expensive financing options that multi family homes do. You are more likely to be offered lower interest rates, longer terms, and higher loan-to-ratio values with single-family rental properties. 

No Tenant Drama

One of the worst parts about owning a multi-family rental is the tenant-to-tenant complications. Noise complaints, parking troubles, and plain old drama can make you feel like you’re parenting teenagers on a daily basis. Tenant drama like a divorce or a lost job can still happen, but are less common and usually more serious than complications in multi-family rentals. Though a property manager can help handle all of those things, it’s much better to invest in a single-family rental where those problems don’t exist. When there’s only one family in a home, there’s more privacy for them and less headache for you or your Fort Worth property management company. 

Demand Increase

As we mentioned earlier, people that are looking for a single-family rental enjoy the fact that they can live in a home with a yard and enjoy a great neighborhood with respectable schools. The growing number of millennials are looking to start families without having to buy a home. Wanting to keep their options open for spur of the moment travel plans or career changes, millennials appreciate the renting life. With a plan to stay long term, single-family tenants are more likely to take good care of the home and lawn while informing you of any maintenance problems in a timely manner. Because single-family homes are larger, contain land, and are located in higher-value areas, you have the potential as a property owner to charge more rent. Tenants are usually willing to pay more to be able to also enjoy the fact that they can leave easily, if need be, and aren’t 100% responsible for the property. Our Fort Worth property management company is still involved in single-family homes in regard to repairs, maintenance, rent collection, marketing, and much more. It’s up to you as the property owner, and the local housing laws, to decide how many expenses you would like to take on and what the tenant is responsible for. With the demand for single family rentals on the rise, they are the smart investment choice for property owners. 

Better Management

Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company has processes and services in place that make owning a single family rental investment easier than ever. Rather than trust a property management company that uses multi-family business models to manage apartments as well as single-family homes, choose a property management team that has specialized in single-family rentals for nearly 30 years. Our technology-driven systems have proven the test of time and are still rated #1 in comparison to other property management companies. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company’s nationwide portfolio consists of over 70% single-family homes. 

Simple Exit Strategy

When you invest in a single family rental, the goal is to buy and hold the home, collecting the mortgage through rent. Once the house is paid off, you should sell the house and take home the profits from the increase in value. Fortunately, with the high demand for single family homes, you shouldn’t have a hard time with renting it out or selling it in the end. You can then use this money to invest in more properties or put it towards your retirement fund. If you’ve owned the property for a year or more, you may qualify for lower capital gains taxes when you sell. You’ll also be able to take advantage of tax breaks if the property depreciated in value. Investors also get an annual deduction that assesses the value of the home and how many valuable years it has left. To ensure that you make the most out of your single family rental investment, let Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company help you along the way.

“SPM’s reporting and accountability is excellent. I have been impressed with the courteous, professional and efficient manner in which the affairs of my properties have been conducted. I recommend Specialized as an agent for handling rental properties.”- William M., Owner 

 Our team of experts will handle the everyday stresses of being a property owner and protect you against any mistakes made from not being aware of legal and local regulations. Our services include marketing, property showings, tenant screening, collecting rent, maintaining your property, providing you with detailed monthly reports and year-end tax statements, and much more. You can trust us fully to make your rental property the best it can be and help you increase your profits. Take advantage of our user-friendly online owner user portal, where you’ll have constant access to your rental property from any location. Contact us today to find out how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can multiply and take care of your investment in today’s growing real estate market. 

Tenant Pet Policies: Tips for Fort Worth Property Managers and Tenants

Cat hair, dog slobber, and muddy pawprints may come to mind when you think about pets in rentals. These furry animals are valuable to people, and are considered family in most cases. While most property owners worry that pets will decrease the property value of their rental units, or that there will be an increase in damage, studies have shown that this isn’t necessarily true. When you choose to rent out your home to pet owners, it could mean more responsible tenants, no more damage or maintenance needed than usual, and a more consistent stream of income. Whether you’re a pet person yourself or not, your attitude towards pets on your property could be the difference for a future tenant and end up costing you legal fees. The Fair Housing Law states that in certain cases, you are required to allow pets that are needed for the wellbeing of your tenant. We’ll go over what pet policies are out there and which ones you should adopt in order to increase revenue. 

Decreased Vacancies

68% of U.S. households own a pet, and most pet owners will do anything for their furry family members, even dictate where they are going to live based on if pets are allowed or not. Because there aren’t very many pet-friendly rental units out there, Fort Worth property managers encourage property owners to allow pets, and by so doing, invite more possible tenants. Happy with an animal-accommodating rental, tenants will most likely stay for a while, worried that other places may not be as accepting. This means fewer vacancies and consistent income for you as the property owner. Pets can also mean tenants who are more responsible and happier overall. If they can care for a pet, take it to the vet, and remember to feed, bathe, and clean up after it, pet owners can also be expected to clean up after themselves, take care of the rental unit, and remember to pay their rent on time. Since animals have been shown to improve overall mood, you’ll most likely have happier tenants as well. 

No Greater Damage

Worried that you won’t be able to afford to replace the carpet when a tenant with a puppy that loves to chew decides to leave? Studies show that damage isn’t any more costly than normal damages caused by tenants who don’t have pets. You can also control how much you want to charge for pet deposits. Asking for a larger pet deposit will ensure that if there are extra damages, it’s covered by the tenant, meaning low to no risk involved for you. FIREPAW is a non-profit group that created CARP (a companion animal renters program). They work with landlords and our Fort Worth property managers to help them increase profits while decreasing pet-related damages. CARP provides economic assessment, needs assessment, tailor-made programs, customized pet policy and pet agreements, and a custom made pet perk package. 

Pet Policy and Expectations

With their help, you can customize your policies on pets to fit your personal situation and property. FIREPAW has helped remove negative myths about pets in rentals, creating more pet-friendly options for tenants and awareness of the not-so-negative realities of pets to property owners. If you choose to rent out your home, Specialized Property Management can help you figure out the best customized pet policy for your property. Make sure to ask questions and set expectations with your tenant in regard to their pet. Just because you are allowing pets, doesn’t mean certain rules don’t apply. Some pet owner expectations to set in your pet policy are as follows: 

  1. All pets will have the required shots, licenses and tags, including name tags. Check with your state to determine the vaccines and licenses required locally.
  2. All dogs will be on a leash at all times outside of the apartment.
  3. Other animals, such as birds and hamsters, will be appropriately caged.
  4. The tenant is responsible for cleaning up any “accidents” their pet has left inside the apartment, inside the building or outdoors.
  5. The tenant is required to pay for any damage their animal has caused.
  6. Require or advise (up to you) the tenant to get renters insurance with liability coverage.
  7. If any part of the pet agreement is violated, or the pet becomes a nuisance or a hazard to others, Fort Worth property managers can require the pet to be removed or can terminate the tenancy. If only the pet is removed, this will have no effect on the validity of the signed lease agreement, to which the tenant will still have to adhere.
  8. State that you have the right to make changes to the pet agreement as long as you give proper notice, at least 30 days. This protects you in case, for example, you decide not to allow dogs in the future.

Increased Revenue

As a property owner, it’s your job to maximize your profits while keeping tenants happy. Creating a pet friendly policy is one of the easiest ways to accomplish both. In most cases, because of the negative stereotypes around pets, there is a shortage of property owners who will accept pets. Even though pet owners are happy to pay more rent in order to keep their pets, and in most cases make more money than people who don’t have pets, landlords aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity out of fear of potential damages. In fact, properties that allow animals in rental units are able to charge 20-30% more in rent. Fort Worth property managers realize that other benefits include longer lengths of tenant stay, less vacancies, less marketing needed, and more applications received per unit. 

Insurance Costs

If you’re still worried about costs because you’ll have to pay more in insurance when you rent out your home to pet owners, think about it mathematically. It is true that pets come with increased insurance costs, but these costs are relatively low and usually are completely covered by the upcharge in rent. Though the amount of damage is usually no higher than the amount for people who don’t have pets, when there is damage, the cost averages around $430, which is much less than the rent deposit paid when the tenant signed the lease forms. This means property owners don’t actually have to worry about a decrease in profits and with more tenants willing to pay the premium for their pets, extra insurance costs won’t be a big deal.

Service Animals

Fort Worth property managers at Specialized Property Management, will make sure you know about the laws regarding service animals. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Act, there are some animals that you can’t turn away, even if your property is not pet friendly. If your potential tenant has a disability present that the use of a service animal would help alleviate, that animal is a required exception to any “no pet” policy or breed restrictions. Even if the breed of the service animal is deemed aggressive, if it is labeled a service animal, it must be accepted. It is our job to inform you of the documentation to ask for: proof that the disability exists and creates a need for a service animal, and to inform you that there are some things you can’t ask for – like information on what the specific disability is. In these types of situations, there are always tricky details for which to watch. 

Our professional Fort Worth property managers have dealt with situations like yours, time and time again. We know how to help you, protect you, and maximize your profits. We’ll inform you of your rights as a property owner and make sure you aren’t violating any rights of potential tenants. If you don’t allow service animals, even when you have a no-pet policy in place, or if you charge an extra fee for service animals,  it can cost you greatly. Service animals are not technically considered pets and are required by law to be accepted into rental properties. Check with your property management team for information on the few exceptions that exist before you rent out your home. 

Our Specialized Fort Worth property managers are well versed in local and federal laws, ultimately saving you time, worry, and money. We’ll make sure that your rental property is free from costly legal mistakes, and take care of disabled members of our community that need service animals. As the nation’s leading property management firm, and with 30 years of experience, you can rest assured that our unmatched customer service will have you, your property, and your tenants, in good hands. Learn more about our services and how we can help you manage your property.

Specialized Fort Worth Property Management’s RentMoney Program for Tenants

Being a landlord can be stressful if tenants don’t pay their rent on time, and being a tenant can be stressful if your landlord is breathing down your neck for payment. Add to that already-tense relationship the maintenance issues and unexpected expenses, and both sides may be wishing they had never signed the lease papers in the first place. The best way to avoid too many problems is to find, and be, a quality tenant. The Golden Rule applies very well in renter/rentee relationships, but isn’t always the logical answer. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management now offers RentMoney to make being a great tenant easier. Property managers can take the stress out of the entire rent collection process, and with this new rent program, both tenants and property owners can take a deep breath and relax. 

RentMoney Program

This payment platform offers more ways to pay that make paying rent more convenient for tenants and, therefore, more reliable for owners of rental homes in Fort Worth. Through RentMoney, tenants can take their cash payments and convert them into a secure ACH electronic transaction, fully integrated with your Property Management Company’s information. You only need to generate your tenant voucher by following a few simple steps online. You’ll have access to a tenant portal where you can easily make payments with the click of a button. The next page will present different payment options that are available to you. Choose the RentMoney button and click Continue. You will then see the current balance that needs to be paid. Select the balance you would like to pay and then print out your payment voucher or save it to your electronic device. With RentMoney, you no longer have to worry about rifling through your checkbook to prove you’ve paid last month’s rent and your Fort Worth Property Management Company won’t have to hunt you down for collection. 

Payment Voucher

The cash payment voucher you receive will include the Biller Name (RentMoney), your Account Number, your Name, Payment Amount, Bill Payment Fee ($3.75), and Total Payment Amount. The account code generated on your voucher is a unique number that will never be changed or duplicated for another tenant – and is what ties your cash payment to your tenant ledger. You can then take this voucher to one of 25,000 retail locations in the U.S. that work with CheckFreePay and currently accept cash payment vouchers. Click on the Search Payment Centers button on the payment screen to find the one closest to you. Once there, you may hand your voucher to an employee and tell them that you’d like to pay your RentMoney bill. Once the transaction is processed, your Fort Worth Property Management Company will see it reflected on your ledger. You’ll receive a payment receipt, and no hassle from your landlord. Paying your rent is now something you can cross off your to-do list as you go about your other regular errands. Rather than feeling like you have to go out of your way, RentMoney makes paying rent fast and convenient.

RentMoney FAQ’s

1. What do you need to make your RentMoney payment? You will need your voucher and U.S. Currency. Additionally, it is important to know the current balance on your ledger from your tenant portal because the in-store personnel will not have access to that information.

2. What happens if the account number typed in and processed by the in-store personnel is Incorrect? If you notice from the receipts that your account number typed in by the employee does not match the number you provided, immediately contact your Property Management Company with your name, account code, and a copy of your receipt.

How Property Management Companies Can Help

80% of property owners manage their rental homes in Fort Worth by themselves, and end up making simple mistakes, feeling frustrated, and wishing they had someone else to do the hard work, like collecting rent, for them. That’s where RentMoney can help. Combined with our services and guarantees, RentMoney takes all the stress out of owning a property and collecting rent. Not only do we handle the everyday hassle and maintenance of owning a property, we also take care of official business and paperwork with exactness, meaning you don’t have to be stressed or worry about making mistakes. The reason that our Fort Worth Property Management team, and our company in general, has received the highest online ratings and customer levels in our industry is that our services make life easier for both landlords and tenants alike. Stop trying to do everything yourself and start minimizing your daily stress. Call today to find out more about the RentMoney program and how you can gain greater peace of mind by trusting us to manage your property.

Rent Rates Continue to Rise Nationally and in Fort Worth Property Management

All over the nation rent prices are climbing, with RentCafe indicating the national mid-year average at $37 more than last year, with the highest rates in Manhattan at $4,190, and Los Angeles around the $2000s and $2500s. These rates are increasing quickly, with significant changes occurring just since January 2019. Chicago and Denver are 2 of the largest renter hubs in the nation and they both increased by 4.8% and 3.6% respectively in just 6 months. A blog article from Housing Wire explains,

“RentCafé’s data shows that 88% of the cities analyzed in its report experienced a rent increase in the first half of the year. In June alone, 35% of the country’s largest 260 cities had rents that exceeded the national average, whereas only 5% of rents fell below this median.”

“In true seasonality fashion, June brings rent increases consistent with the end of the second quarter. Nationally, average rent prices reached $1,465 following a 3.2% annual increase and up 0.8% since last month — the highest monthly jump since May 2018.  Compared to last June, renters pay $45 more on average according to the latest rent survey from Yardi Matrix.”- RentCafe

Why the Rise in Rent Rate

America’s current housing crisis is causing the steady and significant rise in rent which is affecting just about everyone nationwide, including Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Property Management. As housing prices go up, people who would have been homeowners are now finding it more affordable to rent than to buy. This has lead to an influx of potential tenants in the rental market and especially single-family homes for rent. This has also created more competition among tenants because lower-income-earning tenants are now up against higher-income-earning tenants and property owners want tenants that they know can afford the increase in rent and afford to stay for a long time. In addition to the rise in prices, there’s also been a decrease in the construction of new homes and low-income housing, leaving millennials with almost no option other than renting. According to MySmartMove,  

Millennials now make up the largest generation in history and have a large impact on the rental and housing market. Millennial workers make an average of $21.80 per hour, $5.78 lower than the national average. National rent prices are so high that millennials are spending a greater portion of their income on rent. According to RentCafe, the average millennial will spend about $93,000 on rent by the time they hit 30. This is 45% of their income going to rent between the ages of 22 and 30.”

Rent in Fort Worth Compared to National Trends

The recent increase is also true for homes and rental properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but at a slower rate. Fort Worth property management companies are happy to see the increase in rent because it means happier property owners with an increase in income. The rise in rent rates also means landlords can be more selective about tenants, which can increase the value of their property, decrease turnover rate, and continue the flow of a steady income from tenants who consistently pay their rent on time. Though the overall increase in rent rates is a positive thing for property owners, the slow growth of the Dallas area is raising concern in Fort Worth. Property management companies like Specialized Property Management are always up to date on current rent trends in the area and can help you choose the best rate to charge your tenants to stay competitive and avoid vacancies. According to RentJungle

“As of April 2019, average rent for an apartment in Fort Worth, TX is $1043 which is a 0.96% increase from last year when the average rent was $1033, and a 0.77% increase from last month when the average rent was $1035. One bedroom apartments in Fort Worth rent for $893 a month on average (a 0.56% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1139 (a 1.76% increase from last year).”

Good News for Property Owners

Though many people fear an impending housing market crash, the present and the future contain opportunities for rental property owners and rental property management. Fort Worth may not be rising as quickly as other cities in the nation, but it is still rising at a steady rate. This rise in rent rate allows rental property owners to make more money, cover their expenses, be selective about tenants, and make their property more competitive. Just by slightly lowering your rent rates or investing a small amount of money to update your property, you can make your property more desirable. With the large demand for leased single-family homes and the relatively small availability of these homes on the market, you and your Fort Worth property management company can decide who to rent to and for how much. 

Specialized Property Management 

You can look around the neighborhood to get a feel for how much rent to charge for your property, but trusting someone with experience and a vast knowledge of rental trends in your specific area can help you get the most money while maintaining consistent tenants. Specialized Fort Worth property management company takes the stress out of owning a rental property by doing everything for you in the right way. Our services include:

  • INSPECTING: Our team ensures the rental unit is “rent-ready” with curb appeal, making recommendations where necessary.  We also conduct mid-lease inspections to ensure lease compliance and care of the property.
  • MARKETING: We aggressively advertise your rental property across dozens of websites, post an eye-catching sign on the property, and post the vacancy to our high-traffic rentals listing and Youtube channels.
  • SHOWINGS: We prepare and post quality video tours of the property and take care of live showings.
  • SCREENING: Our team at Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth conduct rigorous background checks on all prospective tenants 18 years and older to place the most reliable tenants.
  • SIGNING: We prepare and execute all leasing documents in accordance with Leases & Addenda promulgated by the Texas Association of Realtors.  We secure rents and place deposit funds into escrow, and provide a formal new tenant training on how to care for the property.
  • COLLECTING: We enforce the rent collections cycle with a strict, yet respectful, process that helps avoid late payments.  We then quickly deposit rent funds to your account electronically.
  • MAINTAINING: We respond quickly to your tenant needs and emergencies, handling repair requests with our cost-effective team of qualified, insured maintenance professionals.  We also conduct periodic proactive interior and exterior inspections and preventative maintenance.
  • RENEWING: Our Fort Worth property management company actively works to retain tenants longer with excellent service and perks like our Resident Club.  As we proactively renew leases, we help you avoid costly turnover.
  • MOVING: When the tenant does move on, we process notices, educate the tenant on the process for a smooth transition, conduct the walkthrough and manage deposit disbursements.
  • REPORTING: In addition to the 24/7 client portal with on-demand, detailed accounting, activity, and maintenance reports, we provide detailed monthly reports and year-end tax statements. During the leasing process, owners receive weekly updates.

What Tenants Want

This article from RentCafe explains the rise in rent across the nation in more detail, with a chart that allows you to search your city and see what the average rent is there. It also explains what renters are searching for specifically when they look for housing in Fort Worth. Property management can save you time by doing this kind of research for you.

Rentals near me have dominated online searches throughout the first half of the year. Google searches including variations of apartment types within a certain radius of a person’s location have by far the largest search volume of the first months of 2019. Data on apartment-related searches showed that, next to a desirable location, the renters’ mindset is driven by functionality and financial awareness as the key terms that round up the podium are studio (6%) and cheap (4%).”

Since most tenants are looking for smaller and cheaper, marketing your property as such or showcasing all the other reasons why it’s worth paying more for is crucial to gaining consistent tenants. With the current situation being as it is, you also need to take advantage of this landlord’s market. Rather than spend your time worrying about how to market your property and interviewing tenants, it would be wiser for you to look into how you can invest in other properties, especially smaller, more affordable ones. Let Specialized Fort Worth Property Management take complete care of your current properties in Fort Worth and keep you in business. With our customer-driven service and seven specialized guarantees, you can’t go wrong by giving us a call and seeing how we can make your life easier, earn you more money, and protect you from legal complications. With rent increasingly on the rise, there is no better time than the present to invest in real estate. Call today!

Myths vs. Facts About Property Management in Fort Worth

People tend to assume a lot of things about the realities of owning a rental property, especially when they first get started. There’s a learning curve that may surprise those who are new to owning property. They soon realize that managing their property, finding reliable tenants, collecting rent, keeping up with maintenance, and staying in line with legal and financial obligations is incredibly time consuming and more than they bargained for initially. Then they start considering property management in Fort Worth, but they have a hard time finding a really good company they can trust. Bigger Pockets, a Real Estate Investment website, talks about the dirty truth about property management only experience will teach you, and how to know what to look for in a property manager. After you read the following six commonly believed myths and the real truth behind them, you’ll know what to expect and if hiring a property manager is something that you should do to save you time, trouble, worry, and money. 

Myth: Leasing Rental Properties is Easy

Fact: Property owners invest in real estate because they know it’s a smart way to make money. Unfortunately, they also tend to think that there’s not much work involved. Put a sign in the yard, post the home to Craig’s list, and the honest, reliable tenants will come running. That is a total myth. The truth is, the majority of homes stay vacant for an average of 52 days, and it can be even longer than that if your home is priced too high or isn’t ready to rent. Paying the mortgage on a vacant home is definitely not what you wanted to have happen. It’s crucial that you price your home well, update it so that it’s ready for move-in, and market it to your ideal tenant. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can lease your home for you and has leased most homes within 30 days of being on the market. We’ll perform background checks and debt-to-income ratio analyses on potential tenants to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy. We’ll also perform a property assessment, market the home on over 90+ sites, conduct all showings, sign the lease contract with the tenant, and collect the rent. The fee you pay us is well worth it when you consider the cost of an extensive vacancy and the value of your time. 

Myth: You Should Save Money and go With the Cheapest Property Management Company

Fact: People think that all property management companies in Fort Worth offer the same services. This just simply isn’t true. Smaller fees usually mean fewer services and guarantees, or poor customer service. Most property management companies require a group of people to multi-task and complete all the tasks for all of the properties. This means that everyone in the group must be knowledgeable about all aspects of marketing, leasing, maintenance, evictions, accounting, inspections, and legal obligations. With a group of people multi-tasking on your property, you may end up with someone who knows what they’re doing, or the new guy who is still learning. There is no guarantee, but either way, they won’t be able to keep up with the best practices or give you the specialized attention your property needs. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth uses a team of specialists who all have years of experience and are up-to-date on the latest protocols in every area. This means you’ll receive the best possible service and outcome in every situation and won’t be left wondering why nobody knew what to do. 

Myth: It’s a Quick and Easy Process to Find a Tenant That Will Pay on Time and Take Care of My Home

Fact: This belief is very common and property owners tend to think that if a tenant doesn’t work out, they will be able to easily and quickly find a replacement. This is false. Placing the wrong tenant will cost you 4-6 times the monthly rent rate. If you don’t know how to identify falsified documents or be aware of red flags from tenants while you’re interviewing them, you could easily be stuck with a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent on time, or at all, damages your property in some way, or moves out without notice, leaving you in a bind. Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth protects you and your wallet from having to go through any of this by heavily screening future tenants and making sure that their credit scores and documentation are real, that they’ll be reliable, and that they’ll pay their rent on time. If we weren’t there at the time you placed a less than ideal tenant and anything goes wrong, we can enforce rent collection and take care of the eviction process, but we can’t help you avoid the associated costs. The following example gives you an estimated cost breakdown of placing the wrong tenant:

EXAMPLE: $1,000 RENTAL

  • Tenant fails to pay for one month $1,500
  • Eviction court fees $500
  • Additional days to evict $750
  • Damage to the home $1,750
  • Re-marketing vacancy time $2,250
  • TOTAL COST $6,750

Myth: I Can Expect a High Enough Rent to Pay for My Costs Because My Home is in Great Shape and in a Good Neighborhood

Fact: So you took the time to update your home and make sure the schools were good and the neighbors were friendly. You should be able to charge enough rent to cover your costs right? Not necessarily. Most property owners discover that they have to lower their rent because the supply of rental homes on the market is greater than the demand and assume they can’t afford property management in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, the real estate market is indifferent to your expenses and “PITI” (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). In some cases, out of pocket costs are required to cover the expenses of the property owner since rent is not enough. On the bright side, owners can use their property as a tax strategy and/or receive large returns as the home naturally gains value in future years, and property management fees may be tax-deductible expenses from the IRS. Specialized Property Management can help you price your property in the best way so that your property doesn’t sit on the market and so that you can cover as many of your expenses as possible. 

Myth: Handling Maintenance Requests is Simple: Answer the Phone and Send out a Reputable Repair Company

Fact: It’s actually not that simple. Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth is educated on and has extensive experience with all the property code, local city ordinances, and Federal Landlord Laws that must be followed indicating what must be repaired by landlord vs. tenant. Judges have zero tolerance for property owners who claim ignorance of these laws, so you need to spend a significant amount of time either educating yourself or finding a property management company that knows what they’re doing. The laws have specific instructions for details such as communication between the landlord and tenant, and even what type of technician must perform the repair. If you, as the property owner, don’t take the correct steps to ensure those doing the maintenance on the property have the right licensing and insurance, and the worker does not follow code or gets injured, you are responsible for those costs. 

Myth: Managing a Property Means Just Collecting Rent and Handling Maintenance

Fact: Property owners need to constantly be aware of liabilities involved with owning rental property via their insurance coverage and obligations to the tenant. You can either hire property management in Fort Worth, or you can try to stay up to date on all tenant and landlord laws, property code, Federal Fair Housing Laws, as well as local city ordinances that can change annually. Managing rentals also requires you to be an expert in marketing, real estate contract law, trust and escrow laws, accounting for tax purposes, collection laws, eviction laws, property inspection regulations, and much more. Here’s a guide from The Balance Small Business Blog on some of the additional responsibilities landlords have to their rental property and their tenants. 

Keeping up with all of these things in addition to collecting rent and handling maintenance requires a skilled and experienced team. Let Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth step in and take out the stress and headaches of being a landlord. Not only do we know what we are doing from years of experience, we are up to date on changing local policies and provide seven specialized guarantees to protect you. Our team of experts takes care of everything in exactly the right way so you no longer have to stress about simple mistakes or not knowing everything there is to know about property code in your area. Few people have the patience, knowledge, or legal understanding to self manage their rental properties successfully. Give us a call and see how we can help you save money and properly take care of your property by doing everything right the first time.