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Legal Issues: Know Your Tenant’s Rights

If you’re a property owner, you’ve probably heard of The Fair Housing Act and are making sure you comply with it in lease agreements and communication with tenants. But did you know that there are some common legal mistakes that property owners make without even realizing it? Some examples are mishandling payment and expense records, unintentional discrimination, and who is performing maintenance. It can feel like a full-time job to keep up with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations when you have an investment property. A company that offers professional property management in Fort Worth, like Specialized Property Management can help you save time, get organized, and avoid common legal mistakes that could lead to costly fees. 

“Being aware of legal pitfalls that haunt all landlords and homeowners is the first step to creating a better rental experience for all involved,” explains the Director of Operations at Specialized Property Management Fort Worth. “We understand that regulations affect everyone in a rental situation on a local, state and federal level. Landlords count on us to stay on top of all regulations so we can protect them from potential risks and financial liabilities. We understand that many of our clients simply don’t have the time or expertise to commit towards keeping up-to-date on rental property regulations. So, instead of taking this on themselves, they come to a full-service property management to take care of their rental property,” she explains.

If you are not constantly aware of current laws and rights that protect tenants as well as current laws and regulations, you run the risk of walking straight into a lawsuit. Carefully adhere to the advice of your Fort Worth rental management and educate yourself on the policies below to avoid costly legal fees and a lot of time and stress.

Legal Regulations You Should Know About

Privacy Laws

Because you bought your property and invested so much time and money into it, it’s easy to forget about privacy laws. A tenant with a signed lease and keys to a unit has a legal right to privacy. If you want to decrease tenant turnover, it’s wise to help tenants feel like your property is truly their home. If the occasion arises that you need access to your property, make sure to give at least 24 hours’ notice. If you don’t have the time, Specialized Fort Worth Rental Management will always give tenants a 24-hour notice of scheduled inspections or maintenance. If there is an emergency, you don’t need to give notice. Try your best to always be respectful and treat your tenant’s space as if it is truly theirs. Additionally, ensure that tenant records and documents are kept strictly confidential and in a safe space. Leases, complaints, accounting details, and notices need to be safely maintained even after tenants leave. All security deposits and monthly rental payments also need to be properly handled because there are trust and escrow laws to adhere to. 

Security Rights

Every tenant deserves to live in a property that is secure with working doors and windows that have keyed deadbolts and viewing access to the exterior of the home. Windows and sliding doors need to have latches and locks that work as well. If a safety measure needs to be fixed, the tenant has the right to get it repaired at the property owner’s expense. There are some exceptions, so it’s critical that professional property management in Fort Worth know and understand all security regulations for their investment property. 

Maintenance of the Unit

One of your tenant’s rights is “implied warranty of habitability”. This means that your tenant has a legal right to clean, running water, electricity and heat, and a sound structure. According to the Attorney General of Texas speaking to tenants, “You have a right to demand that the landlord repair any condition that materially affects your physical health or safety. Justices of the peace have the authority to order landlords to repair or remedy conditions affecting a tenant’s physical health or safety, as long as the cost of the repair does not exceed $10,000. Tenants can go to justice court without an attorney to obtain a repair order..”

Responding quickly to maintenance requests and scheduling thorough walkthroughs and regular maintenance checks is the best way to keep your building safe and in good legal standing. You are required to take care of mold and foundation issues as soon as possible and make sure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are properly functioning. Hire only insured and licensed repair services and don’t attempt to DIY large problems. It is against the law for professional property management in Fort Worth to refuse maintenance and repair to properties that are occupied by a tenant. 

Licensing

In Fort Worth, certain property management activities must be performed by licensed real estate agents so it’s crucial to make sure that you are licensed. According to licenselogix, “The primary functions of many property management companies, such as leasing, renting and collecting rent on behalf of others, are considered real estate activities under existing Texas real estate licensing laws.  If a property management company is going to list, rent, negotiate the rental of property, collect rents, or place tenants on behalf of a landlord client in Texas, the business will need a real estate broker license.”

Costs and Fees

In some states, there are limitations set for certain costs and fees, but in Texas there is no limit on how much a property owner can charge for rent. You also have the freedom to raise rent rates but some lease agreements have regulations about giving a rent-increase notification to tenants beforehand. Application fees are separate from application deposits. Deposits hold a rental unit for someone while application fees cover the time and expense the property owner uses to process your application. Fort Worth rental management doesn’t return these fees if the application is rejected, but deposits are returned if they choose not to lease to a serious applicant. When rent is paid late, there are late fees and these have restrictions. All costs and fees must be clear and straightforward in the lease. 

Eviction Rights

“Quiet enjoyment” refers to the right of tenants to rest easy knowing that as long as they fulfill their responsibilities detailed in the lease agreement, they will not have to unexpectedly start looking for new housing. If a property owner wishes to evict their tenant, there must be proper cause. The eviction process in Texas explains, “In Texas, a landlord must legally terminate the tenancy before evicting a tenant. The landlord must first give the tenant a written notice, as required by state law. If the tenant does not move out after receiving this notice, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit (also called a forcible entry and detainer suit).” There are some cases where notice for termination without cause is acceptable.  

Specialized Property Management

Professional property management in Fort Worth like Specialized Property Management must pay attention to the details of every local, state, and federal law that protects both tenants and property owners. Even minor, unintentional infractions can take a hit to your profit margins and future business. Violations can cause tenants to be exempt from paying rent, property owners being buried in fines, or the stress and cost of time in court because of lawsuits. If you want to avoid these penalties, it’s important that you rely on the years of experience and research of qualified Fort Worth rental management. 

“Your excellent management has provided an almost unheard of occupancy rate of 97%. As an ex-banker I will tell you that such numbers were often looked on with skepticism, we saw so many cute twists on reality.”- Joe K., Owner

Our Services

Specialized Fort Worth Rental Management understands that many property managers don’t think about the legal reparations that could occur from a few simple mistakes. That’s why you should trust us to keep up with the landlord and tenant codes for you. We make sure that you are in strict compliance with all laws relating to your investment property. We have an in-house legal counsel, conform to all trust accounting laws and regulations, and can guide you in the process of eviction and writ of possession. We are up to date and current on all:

  • State property code laws
  • Local city ordinances
  • Department of Real Estate
  • Tenant screening regulations
  • Real estate contract law on residential leases
  • Trust and escrow laws on security deposits and monthly rental payments
  • Tenant and landlord maintenance laws
  • Collection and eviction laws
  • Property inspection regulations

“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

Don’t let legal reasons be the cause of a loss in potential profits. Trust our team of experts at Specialized Property Management to take care of all your property management needs. Contact us today to learn more about how Specialized Fort Worth Rental Management can make your life easier as a property owner and protect your investment. 

Choose a Property Manager Before You Rent Out Your Home in Fort Worth

Whether you’re new to the real estate investing game, or have been doing it for years, it’s never too early or too late to hire a property manager. Many investors think that they can do it all, minimizing their own costs by putting in extra time here and there. However, when you rent out your home in Fort Worth, there are bound to be a list of things you haven’t considered and with which you’ll need help. The best thing you can do to help protect your investment as well as save time, money, and stress, is to hire a property manager that you can trust. The hard part is knowing which Fort Worth residential property manager to choose and why. Property managers that have the experience, skills, and knowledge you need and also treat you and your tenants with the services you deserve can be hard to come by. When searching for a property manager, it’s a good idea to learn beforehand the right questions to ask and what services for which to look. At Specialized Property Management, we truly care about you and your property. We’ll help you learn what to look for in a property manager and where to find them in Fort Worth. 

What to Look for in a Property Manager

Some property managers get a bad reputation because they don’t communicate well or do their research before making a decision about a property or a tenant. At Specialized Fort Worth, we have over 30 years of experience and specialize in property owners, like you, who rent out your home in Fort Worth. You won’t have to worry about us making a mistake, because our organized team of experts has seen it all and can foresee and prevent problems before they even happen through the effective systems we have in place. Because we are so experienced, we know exactly what you should look for in your search for a property manager. 

Employed or Self-Employed

Do you want a person or a firm? Supporting smaller businesses that are self-made is a noble cause, but may come at a risk. The chances of hiring a self-employed property manager with the knowledge, skills, and experience you need are smaller than someone who is employed by an experienced and well-known firm such as Specialized Property Management. Large Fort Worth residential property management companies usually offer more services and require higher standards of service for their professional employees. This means that they are more likely to resolve problems faster and more effectively than smaller, self-employed property managers. 

Services Offered

Make sure that the property management company you hire offers the services you need. If you have more than one property, for example, you may be better off trusting a team of experts than a single, self-employed property manager. Make a list of the needs you want to be met and then ensure that the Fort Worth residential property management company you are interested in hiring can meet those needs. Consider the following services that Specialized Property Management provides: 

  • Pre Screening Tenants
  • Advertising and Marketing 
  • Maintenance Services
  • Financial Reporting Services
  • Lease Enforcement and Eviction Services
  • Collect and Distribute Rent 

Pricing 

Some people think that by not hiring a property manager when you rent out your home in Fort Worth, you’ll actually save money because most property managers are expensive and take a share of your potential profit. At Specialized Property Management, we are straightforward and upfront about our fees. Hidden fees from other property managers may surprise you in tenant turnover, poor maintenance, longer vacancies, avoidable mistakes, and evictions. 

Specialization

You want a company that specializes in what they do rather than trying to run a property management business as well as several other ventures. With Specialized Property Management, you’ll get a company that is focused on what they do and has 30 years of experience doing it. 

Local Knowledge and Certification

Hiring a Fort Worth residential property management company doesn’t mean that they know everything there is to know about the area. Make sure that you hire a company like Specialized Property Management that trains and stays current with local laws and regulations as well as federal housing laws. This is the wisest way to ensure you don’t get caught up in any legal nightmares.

Responsiveness

Specialized won’t let you or your tenants wait around for answers. With our owner and tenant portals, as well as 24/7 customer service, you and your tenants’ concerns will be quickly addressed. Customer satisfaction will be high and tenant turnover will be low, both important to keeping your income flowing as the property manager. With a Fort Worth residential property management company like Specialized Property Management, you can check in on the status of your investment property anytime and from anywhere. 

Shorter Vacancies

Specialized Property Management knows that vacancies are the biggest cost in real estate management and we keep them low with our proven process. Through our effective and thorough tenant screening, we ensure that your Fort Worth rental property is filled with well-qualified tenants as quickly as possible and that tenant turnover is minimized as much as possible. It would be wise to learn about how many vacant properties a company currently has before hiring them. 

Cost-Effective Maintenance

Some people assume that when you rent out your home in Fort Worth it’s easy to find maintenance guys who are needed for quick jobs here and there. The truth is, it can be extremely difficult to find someone quick, reliable, and skilled at repairs, especially on a moment’s notice. At Specialized, we work with national providers to get you low-cost, high-quality maintenance that comes backed with guarantees. We will also schedule regular maintenance checks and walk-throughs to stay on top of issues before they start. To see if we truly stick to these standards, try driving by some of the properties we manage to see how well they are maintained on a regular basis. 

Rent Collection Systems

Specialized Property Management collects rent electronically and we have an ethically and proven screening method for tenants to ensure that rent continues to come in and be paid on time, which is a top priority in property management. 

How to Choose a Property Manager

Now that you know what to look for in a Fort Worth residential property management company, you may have to choose between a few that offer the services you need. Below are some ways to differentiate between companies to make sure that you are hiring someone who is reputable. 

  1. Read Reviews: Reviews are trusted more than ever these days and you can tell a lot about a company from how many positive or negative reviews they have. Talk to others about their experiences with a company before making any major decisions and then consider your options and decide on the best one. Specialized Property Management has testimonials on their website where you can read about the many positive experiences from both past and current customers. 
  2. Do Your Research: Before you even begin to rent out your home in Fort Worth with a property manager, interview a few different candidates. This will help you better understand who you will be most comfortable with. Trust is key in a property owner/property manager relationship because you are letting someone else take over the responsibility of your investments. Make sure in face-to-face interviews that the company you hire is one that is both capable and trustworthy. During the interview, go over all necessary paperwork as thoroughly as possible. Make sure that each party’s responsibilities are clearly defined in the contract and that there is no room for surprises down the road. 
  3. Learn Their Procedures: You want to make sure that you have realistic expectations about the company you hire, so try learning about the company’s protocols. In the interview, ask them about how they take care of after-hour emergencies, how they keep maintenance costs low, how they collect past-due rent, and what their fee structure is. Make sure that everyone is on the same page so you both know what to expect.

Specialized Fort Worth Residential Property Management

A great property management company that you can rely on is easily the best thing you can have when you invest in real estate. As you begin your research, you’ll see that there are many options out there. Using the guide above, don’t stop searching until you find a company who can meet all of your needs. Depend on Specialized Property Management, who offer all of the services described above and have a 98% customer satisfaction rate. We can help you with any rental property ownership task. After all, with over 30 years of experience, we’ve truly seen everything and know what to expect. We’re educated on all of the ins and outs of managing rentals and are confident that we can help you decrease the stress in your life, save time and money, and increase your passive income. Contact Specialized Property Management today and learn how to get started. 

Fort Worth Rental Property Management Keeps Neighborhoods Safe

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

Tips for a Crime Free Home 

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

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

How to Calm Neighborhood Tension

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

Communication

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

Careful Tenant Screening

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

Clear Expectations

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

Noise Caused by Neighbors

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

Noise Caused by Tenants

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

Proactive Maintenance

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

Pet Policies

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

Smoking Issues

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

Responsive Management

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

A Friendly Attitude

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

Maintaining a Peaceful Neighborhood

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

Get to Know Your Neighbors

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

Be Friendly During Conflict 

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

Final Conflict Solutions

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

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

Rising Rent Rates—Great for Fort Worth Property Management

It’s almost 2020, and more and more people are choosing to rent these days. With the rise of millennials wanting to settle down but most not being able to afford the current home prices, single family homes, in particular, are in high demand. According to MIllionacres, “Interest rates have fallen in the past year [and] mortgage rates are expected to remain at historic lows for a while…Even with rates below 4%, it can be tough for some buyers to purchase a home. Many first-time homebuyers are burdened by student loans and have had difficulty saving up for a down payment.” 

This is great news for rental property owners because it means that rent rates are rising and their income flow is steadier than ever. It’s also a good time to buy and take advantage of low interest rates. Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Property Management can help you know where to invest, how much to charge for rent, and how to trust the experts with the management of your property. 

Rent in Fort Worth Compared to National Trends

Increases in rent means happy Fort Worth property management companies, because property owners are happy with their increase in income. The rise in rent rates also means landlords can be more selective about tenants, which means their property value increases, turnover rate and vacancies decrease, and the flow of income is more reliable from tenants who consistently pay their rent on time. Property management companies like Specialized Property Management make sure to be constantly 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, the 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).” Our team at Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth is consistently up to date with the latest increases in rent in the Fort Worth area and can help you determine how much to charge for your property. 

2020 Real Estate Forecast

What you need to know about 2020 real estate trends, according to Dave Ramsey, is that for the majority of millennials who can’t afford to buy, renting is the answer, and single family homes are preferable over apartments. According to CoreLogic, the number of single-family rental homes increased 38% from 2010 to 2016 and demand is still soaring. However, because of supply and demand, renting a single-family house is expensive. Property owners who own more than one single family home are delighted with the recent shift and should take advantage of the services that Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Fort Worth provide. 

“Low rental supply coupled with ongoing demand pushed up rents in September,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. Vacancy rates are also dropping all over the nation. As people begin to realize how popular renting is, even builders are starting to cater to investors, creating communities that are solely meant for renting, “For homebuilders worried that a slowing economy and tightening credit conditions will hit demand for starter homes, they should be able to rely on increasing demand from investors,” added Pointon.

Single Family Homes

Individuals and families who cannot afford to buy their own homes, or don’t want to commit to buying a home, desire the lifestyle of a single-family home. Amenities like a backyard, safe neighborhood, privacy, and more space overall are some reasons people choose a single-family home to rent. At Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth, we specialize in the single-family home rental market. This market has continued to grow over the years, with rents rising in most areas of DFW. 

According to Norada’s 2020 real estate forecast, “Following the housing market decline in 2007, single family rental properties became favorable options for investors, saving in construction or refurbishment prices. The quick turnaround for an owner to rent out their property means cash flow is almost immediate. Single family rental homes have grown up to 30% within the last three years. Almost all the housing demand in the US in recent years has been filled by single family rental units…

Single family detached homes are the single most common housing type in Fort Worth, accounting for 67.37% of the city’s housing units…The most prevalent building size and type in Fort Worth are three and four bedroom dwellings, chiefly found in single family detached homes… Currently, there are 3,406 single family homes for sale in Fort Worth, TX on Zillow…Additionally, there are 814 single family homes for rent in Fort Worth, TX.” Specialized Fort Worth Property Management can help you decide where to invest out of all your options. 

Why You Should Invest in Fort Worth Real Estate

Fort Worth is an excellent city for your real estate investments. Rent rates are rising,  and homes are appreciating. The rise in rent allows property owners to increase their income, cover their expenses, be more selective about tenants, and market their property’s increased value. Home prices are expected to rise by 7.3% in 2020. This means that if you’re hoping to buy and rent, now is the time to buy something you can afford and then you can raise the rent as the home appreciates in value. If you’re hoping to buy and sell, now is the time to buy so you can make a profit when you sell. Some reasons why Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth believes you should invest in Fort Worth real estate are: 

  1. Overall value. The median home value in Fort Worth was around $240,000 in 2018 and because of the area’s perfect combination of slow population growth, income growth, and job growth, rents and home prices will continue to grow steadily. 
  2. Great deal. Affordable housing with practically guaranteed appreciation is a rare mix that can be hard to find anywhere else. Since Fort Worth homes are even cheaper than Dallas homes, people will rent in Fort Worth and commute to their job in Dallas to save money. 
  3. Job market. The jobs are growing in Fort Worth at more than double the national average. People want to move to Fort Worth and need a place to live. 
  4. Best time to buy. Because the housing market has slowed down a bit and is expected to grow next year, right now is the perfect time to invest. 
  5. Large military base. A big proportion of Fort Worth renters come from members of the military who need a place to live but want flexibility. 
  6. Close to the airport. Fort Worth also has the DFW airport that provides thousands of jobs and another reason for people to want to live in Fort Worth and rent single family homes there. 
  7. Fort Worth is property owner friendly. There are few restrictions on what property owners can put in their lease and Fort Worth single family homes with no code violations don’t have to be registered. 
  8. Diverse market. Fort Worth has everything from small downtown homes to rural and luxury properties. 

The Best Neighborhoods in Fort Worth For Real Estate Investment

If you’re a property owner and looking to invest, Specialized Fort Worth Property Management suggests that you stop waiting until the market crashes. Some people predict that the market is going to crash soon, but there are great deals out there right now and these 10 neighborhoods in Fort Worth have the highest real estate appreciation rates, according to Norada. 

  1. Hemphill St / W Berry St
  2. Hemphill St / W Allen Ave
  3. The College of Saint Thomas More / W Berry St
  4. 8th Ave / W Rosedale St
  5. N Forest Park Blvd / W 7th St
  6. Hemphill St / Pennsylvania Ave
  7. Montgomery St / Bryce Ave
  8. U of North Texas Health Science Center / White Settlement Rd
  9. White Settlement Rd / Foch St
  10. W Vickery Blvd / Clover Ln

Why Choose Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth 

At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, our team of property management experts are the ones to trust. We advise property owners all over Fort Worth and help them manage their rental properties effectively and efficiently. With a 98% customer satisfaction rating, and a #1 listing out of 270 property managers, you can rest assured that your property and tenants will be well taken care of. Some of the services we offer are: 

  • No Hidden Fees
  • Faster Leasing 
  • Effective Tenant Screening
  • Financial Peace of Mind
  • Local Expertise
  • Straightforward Communication
  • Cost-Effective Maintenance

At Specialized Fort Worth Property Management, we live and work locally so we know the best places to invest, are up to date on local laws and regulations, and can help you set the perfect price for rent. Our technology-driven processes save you time, money, and stress. Let us help make your life easier. You invest and we will take care of the rest. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain your beautiful rental property.

Fort Worth Property Management Company Prepares Tenants for Disasters

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

Emergency Preparedness Kits

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

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

Keep These Items in the Car

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

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

First-Aid Kit

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

Emergency Documents

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

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

Make a Plan

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

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

Making Your Emergency Plan

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

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

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

Keeping Your Property and Tenants Safe

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

The Landlord’s Responsibilities

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

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

A Tenant’s Responsibilities

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

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

Find Success with Specialized Fort Worth Property Management

Getting into the real estate business seems like an easy and fast way to make money to most people, but with real estate, it’s more about the long haul than the quick fix. Many who get into it and don’t know what they’re doing realize that there are many more costs to pay than rents to collect at the start. It takes patience, persistence, and a reputable Fort Worth property management company, like Specialized Property Management to see the most return on your investment in the end. Consider the following things that a property management company can help you with, saving you both time and money when managing your rental property. 

Advertising

Without a good marketing strategy, potential tenants won’t know where to look for housing or to even consider your property. Rather than assume “if you build it, they will come”, it’s crucial to have an advertising plan in place. At Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, we have access to resources that you don’t, like getting your property listed on several major real estate listings as well as our own available property list. The first thing you want to avoid is a vacancy where you have to pay the rent on your property while waiting for tenants. Specialized has a proven method for decreasing vacancies and earning you more money. We will also walk through your home with you to get it looking “rent ready” by making small repairs, cleaning, and improving curb appeal. With us, you can rest assured that your property won’t be vacant for long. 

Tenant Selection

Finding good tenants isn’t as easy as you think, and these days tenants can find ways to falsify information. If you don’t know the 5 potential tenant red flags as well as the Fair Housing laws and local regulations in Fort Worth, you may find yourself owing costly legal fees for simple mistakes. Trust Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Property Management to perform tenant background and credit checks for you. We’ll also perform any other applicable checks into your prospective tenants to legally make sure they’re going to be responsible and not cost you more money. We’ll also handle rent collection, create the lease agreement, perform lease signing, and respond to tenant calls and complaints. With our proven tenant selection system, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best tenants and avoiding vacancies as much as possible. With the addition of a tenant and owner portal on our website, you’ll have constant access to information about your home anytime and from anywhere. 

Maintenance

“Maintenance is no big deal,” one of the biggest assumptions that new rental property owners make. They usually don’t calculate enough cost for maintenance issues into their budget or factor it into rent payment. On average, maintenance costs for a year equals about one and a half month’s rent. If your home is renting for $1,000 a month, make sure to plan on $1500 in maintenance costs. They also assume that issues will be easy to resolve, but this is rarely the case. If you are not responsive to tenants who have a complaint they will feel unheard and frustrated. Fixing issues quickly and effectively, no matter how often they arise, is crucial to your success as a property owner. With Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, you won’t have to worry about any of the above. Our customer service is available 24/7, so we always respond promptly and professionally to tenant calls. We also partner with national brands to keep repair costs minimal and keep tenants happy. Additionally, we’ll set up regular walkthroughs and inspections to make sure that your property is being taken care of, the property’s value is increasing, and any small maintenance issues don’t turn into bigger, more expensive ones. 

Reduced Liability

It’s our job as one of the top Fort Worth property management companies to know the ins and outs of local, state, and national codes and safety standards. If you don’t utilize our help, you could be drowning in legal fees for breaking regulations you didn’t even know about. By letting us help you, you’ll be protected from legal fees and lawsuits that could arise, saving you a lot of money in the end. Using other smart strategies for limiting liability as a landlord like good insurance and privacy protection are other areas where we can advise you as well. 

Reduced Vacancies

Avoiding vacancies isn’t just about advertising and tenant selection. Your relationship with your tenant is also very important. Being responsive to maintenance calls should be your priority, but you should also have clear, professional, and frequent communication with your tenants. When tenants like their landlords and feel heard by them, they will be more likely to continue renewing their lease year after year, increasing your cash flow. Check in with them periodically, making sure they’re happy, asking if repairs are satisfactory, and if they have any concerns. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth makes the effort to contact tenants frequently for you. Another way to avoid vacancies is to be pro-pet. Many people won’t even consider living in your property if you won’t allow pets. Tenants will want to stay longer if you allow their pet and you can set specific pet policies to ensure that your property is protected. 

Availability

You want to be available once your tenants are moved in, but before that, when you’re in the advertising phase, you’ll be the first point of contact for people who are interested in renting from you. Calls will start coming in and you’ll need to clear your schedule. Plan on taking the time to show your unit, answer questions, and have lengthy conversations with all the people you meet. If you aren’t available, you risk losing potential tenants and future income. When you hire a Fort Worth property management company, they will be the first point of contact instead of you. You’ll be able to go about your normal schedule and not have to worry about being constantly available, because your property management team is doing it for you and in a way that represents you well. 

Office Work

It’s stressful enough to own a property without having to worry about having perfectly organized documents for everything. Office work in property management can be complicated and time-consuming, consisting of mundane tasks like keeping accurate records, preparing annual reports, accounting, contracting maintenance work, creating budgets, and writing lease agreements. The work will always be there, so being on top of it is really important for the success of your property ownership. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can help lower your stress levels by keeping careful records and doing all the office work for you. They’ll help you stay organized which in the end, will save you a significant amount of time, hassle, and money. 

Class Attendance

Did you know that if your property is in a Homeowners’ Association community, you are required to go to HOA meetings? It’s also advised that property owners take classes that educate about rental laws, tax information, and the daily duties of property managers. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to go to county meetings, property investment courses, and local board meetings, where you’ll learn all about owning a rental property. The nice thing about hiring a Fort Worth property management company is that they already know everything you’ll be learning in these classes, and can help you manage all other landlord responsibilities. At Specialized Property Management, it’s our job to know everything there is to know about rental properties and we can handle the intricacies for you. 

Increase Property Value

Owning a property is great but keeping it’s value up or even increasing it is important if you want to continue to make money on it. Some things you can do to increase the value of your home and consequently, charge more for rent, are:

  • A fresh coat of paint – this is a simple way to add value to your home without spending a lot of money. 
  • New carpet or flooring – even if your home is perfectly fine, renters may be easily turned away by stained carpet or cracked floors. 
  • Updated fixtures – new lighting and kitchen and bathroom fixtures are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. Taking the time to replace outdated items will make a huge difference.
  • Energy-efficient appliances – if tenants are paying for utilities, they’ll be more drawn in by energy-efficient items. These things are tax-deductible if you buy them for your rental. 
  • Curb appeal – make the first impression of your property a good one by adding a few flower beds, making sure the lawn is green, and maybe a tree or two.

Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can help you with all of the above rental property ownership tasks. After all, with over 30 years of experience, we’ve truly seen it all and know what to expect. We’re educated on all of the ins and outs of managing rentals and can handle everything from maintenance calls to rent collection. If you’re ready to decrease the stress in your life, save time and money, and increase your passive income, contact Specialized Property Management today and learn how to get started. 

In Fort Worth, “Rent Out My Home” Really Means Communicate

Every property owner dreams of renting out their real estate investments in Fort Worth to tenants that are clean, responsible, and good communicators. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and knowing how to treat your tenants from the start could make the difference between a positive relationship and a negative one. When you tell a tenant in Fort Worth, “rent out my home”, you’re actually telling them much more. Instead of assuming they know, lay out exactly what you mean. If you don’t want to worry about what to do and what not to do, you can hand the tenant relations and communication over to a team of experts like Specialized Property Management. With over 30 years of experience dealing with every tenant situation you can imagine, we know how to promptly and professionally communicate with your tenants to improve your relationship with them and protect your real estate investments in Fort Worth. 

Clear Tenant Communication

From the very beginning, it’s important to set expectations. In Fort Worth, “rent out my home” should also mean take care of my home, call me or my property management company for maintenance issues, and comply with the signed lease agreement. Make sure you both know which method of communication works best for you and the renters, whether it’s email, texting, phone calls, or some combination. Clear communication is key to a happy tenant-landlord relationship. Once both parties know how to communicate, everything else will be much easier moving forward. At Specialized Property Management, we encourage frequent, open communication to create a healthy property owner-tenant relationship. 

Define Consequences

Make sure your tenant reads the lease agreement and understands all of your rules along with their associated consequences. For example, if you don’t want pets living in your real estate investments in Fort Worth, your tenant should know what would happen if they were seen with an unauthorized pet. It’s up to you whether you want to charge a fine, a pet fee each month, or ask them to leave. But it’s also up to you, as a property owner, to make the consequences you choose clear from the start. Specialized Property Management has dealt with noncompliance on many occasions and we can help make sure that the situation doesn’t get emotional or out of hand. We’ll handle everything professionally for you to save you from costly legal fees if things get messy. 

Be Clear About Rent and Keep Rent Rates Fair 

Tenants shouldn’t have any questions about how much rent is and how it is collected each month for your real estate investments in Fort Worth. Make sure they know when rent is due and when it is late, and don’t make any exceptions. Fees should incur in the case of late rent and written notices should be sent if they don’t pay. Eviction is the next step if necessary. Just make sure that you are strict from the start and consistent. One month of making an exception could turn into something you’ll regret for the next six months. If you have a tenant who is responsible and reliable, always paying their rent on time, resist the urge to increase the rent rate. They may be renting from you because they believe rent is fair and you don’t want to risk them leaving and facing months of vacancies. Specialized Property Management will help you set a competitive rent rate in the beginning and inform you of when the market goes up or down and when it’s a good time to increase or decrease your rates. 

Offer Low-Cost Amenities

Making tenants happy isn’t just about clear communication. Another way to foster a good relationship is to provide low-cost amenities. These will help your real estate investments in Fort Worth appeal to more people and sell faster. They’ll also make life easier, safer and more enjoyable for your tenants, making them appreciate you more. Some of the top rental amenities that renters want are below: 

  1. Covered Parking and Garages: In Fort Worth, summer temperatures can be unbearable! Tenants will be looking to rent places with shade, especially for their cars. If you can provide covered parking or a garage, you’ll avoid complaints and problems in the future while helping your property sell faster now. 
  2. A Fenced Yard: Tenants who rent don’t want to feel like they’re in an apartment. A fenced yard provides privacy and helps tenants feel like they have their own home. If they know that they can relax in their backyard or if they have pets, they’ll be much more likely to rent from you if you have a fenced yard available. 
  3. Upgraded Appliances: When you break down the costs of new kitchen appliances, it’s a small sacrifice to make in order to entice more tenants to rent your real estate investments in Fort Worth. They will make your whole property feel updated, make tenants happy, and cause fewer maintenance issues in the future. 
  4. Washer and Dryer in Unit: No one wants to carry their laundry to and from the laundromat when they can just do laundry at home. It’s a major selling point to have a washer and dryer, even if it’s small, available inside your property. 
  5. New Paint: It’s the simple details, like a fresh coat of paint, that give any home a new, clean look and smell. It won’t cost you much in the long run and it could help attract your ideal tenant. 

Respond Quickly to Tenants

One downside of renting for tenants is that they don’t have control over everything that goes on in their home, or your real estate investments in Fort Worth. That’s why, if they don’t get a prompt response from you, the property owner, or your property management team, it can feel very frustrating. They want to feel like their needs are a priority and that their issue will be fixed quickly. In order to have a positive relationship with your tenant, they must do their part, but you also must do yours. Be reliable, or employ Specialized Property Management, who will answer all tenant phone calls and emails 24/7 so you don’t have to always be on call. If you choose to self manage and can’t respond to a tenant in 24 hours, make sure to apologize for the delay to minimize complaints. If you are working on a resolution, keep your tenant updated. Let them know that they are heard and that their issue is being worked on. Inform them again once the issue has been completely resolved. 

Provide a Few Ways to File Complaints

Complaints about your real estate investments in Fort Worth from tenants may be unavoidable, but if they are unhappy with the method of filing a complaint, it will just add insult to injury. Helping them communicate and making sure tenants feel heard is more important than resolving the issue in some instances. Specialized Property Management may implement complaint registries such as these to create a simple and smooth process for tenants: 

  • 24/7 emergency hotline
  • Non-emergency number for business hours
  • Email address
  • Electronic submission form through a website or tenant portal

Respect Tenant Privacy

Always communicate and give plenty of notice to tenants before you show up at their house. At the very least, give them 24 hours notice and send a friendly reminder as the allotted time gets closer. Try your best to never inconvenience your tenants and make them feel like your real estate investment in Fort Worth is truly their private space. 

Give Your Tenants Gifts

Did you know that gifts given to tenants by Fort Worth rental property management companies are tax-deductible? The tax code dictates that if a gift is given for business reasons, the expense deduction is limited to $25 per person, per year. If you give gifts to every person renting from you and you have more than one rental property, these deductions can add up, saving you money and showing appreciation for your tenants. Some ideas of gifts your tenants might like during the holidays are: 

  • Money deducted from next month’s rent
  • Gift cards
  • Gift baskets put together by you, or ordered online, with any theme you choose
  • Appliance upgrades. For example, replacing the washer and dryer if they’re outdated
  • Cleaning services from the local maid service, carpet cleaners, or window washers
  • Holiday light hanging for the holidays
  • Hire a professional to paint a room their choice of color
  • Flowers
  • Baked goods made by yourself or from the local bakery 

Tenant communications can be tough to navigate, but if you follow the above tips closely, you should be able to foster and maintain a healthy, positive, and professional relationship with your renters. You may think that in Fort Worth “rent out my home” means one thing, but unless you communicate what you’re thinking to your tenant, they won’t know. Most tenants are happy to comply as long as you treat them with respect and hold up your rent of the deal. If you’re not sure if you’re up for the consistency and reliability that being a self-managing property owner requires, let Specialized Fort Worth Property Management do it for you. Our team of experts will take care of all the details and make sure that both you and your tenants are happy, possibly making you love your tenants even more! Contact us today to find out more about our services. 

Routine Inspections of Your Rental Investments in Fort Worth

Though both are assessing a home’s maintenance needs, regular rental property inspections and one-time home inspections are not the same. Rental property inspections should happen anywhere from 2-4 times a year and be extremely thorough for rental investments in Fort Worth. Rather than just performing a “clean and safe” check, you should make an effort to dig deeper into an inspection, especially on move-in and move-out days. As a property owner, you may be thinking that frequent rental property inspections are too time-consuming or unnecessary, but the more regular inspections are, the more money you’ll save on neglected maintenance issues or non-compliance problems. Inspections protect you and your rental investments in Fort Worth, while also improving the tenant-landlord relationship. Fort Worth’s Specialized Property Management experts know exactly what to look for in an inspection and how to communicate with your tenant for you. We will conduct move-in, periodic, seasonal, and move-out inspections for you, resolving maintenance and tenant issues as they arise, all while saving you time and money. 

The Importance of Rental Property Inspections

This video by Specialized Property Management explains why inspections are so important and how, if performed correctly, they can protect your investment and improve your relationship with your tenant. Hiring a team of experts who have licensed inspectors on hand, like Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, can make the whole process run smoothly. Some other reasons regular inspections are important are: 

  1. Inspections make sure lease agreements are being followed. Just because your tenant signs a lease stating that they will follow all of your rules and regulations, doesn’t mean that they will remember everything perfectly. If you are a property owner that doesn’t want certain things in the home, like pets or too many people, make sure to put that in the contract and then follow up through regular inspections of your rental investments in Fort Worth. Your inspector should take note each time they stop by your property of which rules are being followed and which are being ignored and then enforce regulations. 
  2. Inspections foster better communication between your tenant and you or the property manager of your rental investments in Fort Worth. Tenants can be hesitant to contact you about a safety problem. They may not know that an overgrown tree is dangerous or they may know and be worried about bothering you. When you or your property management is there in person, you can ask if there’s anything they want to talk about and show them that you care. Once you’ve fostered a good relationship, the next time they have a concern, they’ll be more likely to tell you about it.  
  3. Inspections can catch maintenance issues early, saving you time and money. Tenants don’t know what to look for and may not report something until it’s too late, but inspectors will know if something that seems small is actually a big, costly maintenance issue waiting to happen. The only way to truly protect your rental investment in Fort Worth is to have a licensed inspector come out regularly to catch issues before they get expensive.
  4. Inspections improve tenant behavior. Regular inspections will keep tenants anxiously awaiting your arrival and making sure they’re not leaving the property too dirty or unkempt.
  5. Inspections create good relationships. The more you show that you care about your property and taking care of your tenant’s needs, the more your tenant will trust you and report issues back to you. Open communication and regular in-person inspections will create a better relationship and keep your rental investments in Fort Worth safe.  

How to Perform Rental Property Inspections 

  1. Set expectations with your tenant early in the process. Before your tenant even signs the lease agreement, make sure that they know how often inspections will be happening. Explain to them why inspections are so important, and have them mark their calendar for the dates you’ll be stopping by your rental property in Fort Worth. “Rent my home” should mean take care of it, but that doesn’t always translate. Make sure tenants take responsibility by signing a document that states they understand your inspection terms and will comply. As each inspection gets closer, send them a friendly reminder and make sure to give plenty of notice. Try to schedule inspections around the same time annually so that tenants know how to plan for each coming year. 
  2. Before tenants move in, take interior and exterior pictures of the property, making special notes of marks, spots or imperfections that are preexisting. If during an inspection, your tenants claim that a new mark was already there, you can show them photos as proof and let them know how any repairs will be handled, according to your lease agreement. Take more photos during each inspection so you’ll have something new to go off for the next visit. Be careful not to take photos of your tenants’ personal items as this article explains in “How to Perform a Rental Property Inspection”. Property owners with rental investments in Fort Worth know that they can trust the Specialized Property Management home inspectors to take pictures of all the rooms and areas of the house, including the exterior. They rely on them to take note of what needs repairing and report back. 

What to Inspect When You’re Inspecting

Every home inspector should have an idea of what to look for during a routine rental inspection, but with Specialized Property Management, you can rest assured that we will cover all the areas on your checklist and more. Rather than just checking for major maintenance issues, we’ll make sure that tenants are being compliant to all the terms of the lease agreement, such as number of residents in the home and whether or not there are pets. We’ll also notice things that other home inspectors may write off, such as a leaky pipe that could lead to a huge flooding disaster if left unattended. Your rental investment in Fort Worth and the included appliances, electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems, as well as the items included on this checklist, will last longer with regular performance checks, service, and filter changes. Our qualified home inspector will look at: 

  • The condition of the floors, walls, doors, and windows
  • The functionality of all appliances
  • The functionality and cleanliness of plumbing and pipes, check for any noticeable leaks
  • The functionality of all light fixtures and switches
  • That batteries are up to date in all smoke detectors
  • The functionality of electrical outlets
  • The functionality of heating and cooling systems, including water heater

Another thing that sets us apart from other home inspectors is that our team will repair issues while inspecting your rental investment in Fort Worth. It’s crucial that issues seen during an inspection, even if they seem small, are repaired promptly. Waiting to fix something usually leads to a bigger and more expensive problem down the road. 

Move-in and Move-out Inspections

We have been focusing on routine and seasonal inspections because move-in and move-out inspections should be common sense. No matter when your last inspection was, make sure to perform another one before any tenant moves into your property and before any tenant moves out. These inspections open up communication about the home’s current condition and sets the tone for what the tenant can expect from the property management company. Being at your rental investment in Fort Worth when a tenant moves in will also help reassure them and acknowledge that you are aware that any previous damage was not caused by them. During a move-out inspection, you can openly talk about any damage caused by the tenants and discuss how repairs will be paid. 

Specialized Fort Worth Property management 

Don’t let the task of regular inspections overwhelm you, especially if you have more than one rental property. Your Specialized Property Management team is designed to make life easier for you while saving you money by taking care of all inspections. We offer prompt and professional routine checks and communicate regularly with tenants to make sure they know what to expect. While performing inspections, we also perform quick and quality repairs, keeping your rental investment in Fort Worth safe and well taken care of. The better your property looks, the more tenants will want to take care of it themselves. 

Keep in mind that a well taken care of rental property will rent faster and sell at a higher price. We offer a free market assessment when you decide to hire Specialized Property Management, and our team of experts offer first-rate services and results when compared to other property management companies in Fort Worth. “Rent my home” will clearly translate to “take good care of my home” when regular, thorough inspections are happening. We’ll keep you up to date with each inspection by sending you condition reports and photos of both the interior and exterior of your property and make sure to give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before the inspection. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain your beautiful rental property. 

Fort Worth Rental Property Management: How to Pick Flooring

Picking new flooring for your rental home isn’t easy. You need something durable and easy to clean, but with a price point that won’t break your budget. And don’t forget it has to look great so tenants will be more likely to rent your home! Here are some tips from the rental property management Fort Worth trusts for picking new rental home flooring.

Flooring Options

    • Carpet – Carpet is inexpensive; however, you will find yourself replacing carpet more often than other flooring options. In addition, you will need to make sure it is regularly, professionally cleaned. Carpet is a good option for places like bedrooms, but avoid high traffic areas if possible.
    • Tile – Tile is a popular choice and recommended by many individuals in rental property management. Fort Worth landlords like tile because it is low maintenance and durable. Re-grouting and sealing are needed periodically, and if a tile breaks you will need to replace it. Otherwise, tile can last a very long time!
    • Vinyl – Vinyl is one of the least expensive flooring materials. It is easy to install and maintain, as well as being durable, which your Fort Worth rental property management knows is important. However, some tenants are turned off by the look of vinyl flooring. If the floor is damaged, you will need to replace the whole surface instead of just a portion (like tile).
    • Wood – Wood flooring is beautiful and a desirable upgrade for most tenants. However, it can expand and contract with the seasons, so professional installation is a must. Refinishing the floor will need to be done periodically, and it is not the most durable choice. It tends to be expensive and harder to maintain, but if it increases your home’s value significantly it can be a good choice!

For Rental Property Management Fort Worth Landlords Trust, Call Specialized!

The Fort Worth rental property management experts at Specialized Property Management can help you decide what flooring is right for your rental home, and your budget. We have the experienced professionals and proven processes it takes to get you a better return on your investment. Give Specialized a call today to learn more about all our services!

Fall Maintenance Reminders for Tenants

Specialized, your Fort Worth rental property management team, would like to remind you of some simple fall maintenance tasks you are responsible for as a tenant. These maintenance tasks will help prepare your home for colder weather, as well as keep it in good condition.

TENANT MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Check For Safety Hazards
    To prevent accidents, you need to check your home for safety hazards. Loose hand railing or lifting carpet corners are good examples of what to look for. Check your outlets for potential electrical hazards. Make sure your fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order. Locate all gas and water shut-off switches and review your emergency procedures.
  • Replace or Clean Filters
    Replace or clean your air conditioning system filters. Vacuum all air vents and under appliances to be sure dust doesn’t accumulate. Be sure you change your furnace filter once a month during the winter months.
  • Doors And Windows
    Check that each door and window in your home opens easily and shuts tightly. Your home should be properly sealed in the winter months. Use a lubricant on the hinges, if necessary. If you see a safety issue with your doors or hinges, don’t hesitate to call your rental property management Fort Worth team.
  • Thoroughly Clean Your Home
    Complete cleaning tasks you may not do every day. This can include shampooing the carpets and rugs, cleaning sink drains, and running water through drains that don’t get much use. To clean your disposal run ice through it with a bit of baking soda, then run hot water down the drain. These aren’t everyday cleaning tasks, so they are easy to overlook.
  • Outside Your Home
    Tidy up outside your home and get rid of any debris. This will prepare your home for the cold weather to come. Store any outdoor items that should not be left outside in freezing temperatures.

FORT WORTH RENTAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FOR TENANTS

Specialized is your expert Fort Worth rental property management team. We want you to know we are available for you at any time of the day or night. If you come across any issues with your home, don’t hesitate to let us know. As always, you can submit a maintenance ticket online. If you would like to know more about our services, give us a call today.