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Tenant's Guide to Moving Into Your Dallas Rental Home - YouTube

To the tenants who are moving into a new home – congratulations and we’re glad you’re here! Specialized Property Management is happy to welcome you to your new home, and we want to do everything we can to ensure your rental experience with us is a positive and comfortable one.

Because there are a lot of questions and a lot of details that are often involved in a move, we want to provide you with an easy resource as you’re preparing to move and once you’ve already started settling into your new home.

Here are a few items to help ensure a successful stay – please be sure to contact us at any point if you need any help or have any additional questions.

Moving In and Your Inventory Form

Your leasing agent will provide you with a resident manual with all the information you need to enjoy and care for your new home. Keep this resident manual close; it will often answer any questions that you have and it will save you a lot of time and effort if you remember to refer to your manual before calling or emailing us.

You will also receive an inventory and condition form when you move into your property. This is an important form that we need you to fill out completely. It will allow you to document the move-in condition of the property. We deliver rental properties that are clean and in outstanding condition, so if there’s anything that isn’t working or doesn’t look right, we want to know about it. We’ll also use this form at the end of your lease when you’re preparing to move out. We expect you to return the property to us in the same condition that it was received, and this form that you complete will allow us to compare the condition now to the condition in the future.

So, it’s in everyone’s best interests to pay close attention to the property condition and the condition form. Please go through your new home in great detail as you complete this form. Be sure to take pictures of any issues or problems that you note on the form, and email the form and photos back to us within five days of your move-in date.

This form will stay with the leasing department until the end of your lease draws near. If you see anything that needs maintenance during this process, please submit a separate maintenance request through the website provided in your Resident Guidelines letter. We will be sure to take care of any problems that you notice right away, and we appreciate you sharing as much detail as possible so we can be responsive and thorough.

Taking Care of the Home

We want you to enjoy your new home, and keeping your property clean and well-maintained will help you love living there. Our team is here to work with you anytime you need maintenance or repairs. As you know, tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy as well as setting up all utilities and caring for the landscaping. You should have opened up utility accounts before you moved in, and paying those monthly bills will be your responsibility. The landscaping is also up to you, unless your lease agreement says differently. Please be sure to keep the lawn cut and the bushes and trees free of any debris, weeds, or overgrowth.

Tenants must also complete minor and seasonal maintenance issues that you would take care of at any house that you lived in. These responsibilities include changing the light bulbs when they burn out and replacing the furnace filters and refrigerator water filters. We make sure that your property complies with all of the necessary regulations and requirements in the Texas Property Code. As tenants, you are also responsible for complying with state and local laws and codes as well as any HOA rules and regulations.

Before you move in, the owner of your property will be responsible for ensuring that the rental property is thoroughly clean, safe, and ready for occupancy. We will work with your owner to make sure the home has been re-keyed since the last tenants move out. We understand the requirements for deadbolt locks and peepholes in the exterior doors. We are also careful to provide the right types of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If your property is in an HOA or a condo association, we will be sure to provide you with a copy of those rules. It’s your responsibility to comply with them, and any fines or violations will be directed to you.

Paying Rent on Time Every Month

Paying rent is one of your most important duties as a tenant, and we are here to help you stay committed to on-time payments. We provide a number of different ways for you to pay, and your lease agreement will outline how to pay and where to pay. The most popular method of rental payments is our online system. Once you have access to your online tenant portal, you can use it to pay rent every month or to schedule upcoming and ongoing rental payments.

Our tenants appreciate this because it’s secure, convenient, and a great way to ensure you don’t miss a payment and face a late fee.

Your leasing coordinator will provide you with the credentials you need to set up and log into your private resident portal where you can pay rent each month via a checking account or your debit or credit card.

Requesting Maintenance

When routine maintenance or a general repair is needed, simply submit your request online or call our maintenance hotline to submit a ticket. Most of our tenants enjoy using the online maintenance reporting system; it’s convenient, efficient and can be done at any time of the day or night and from any location. It also gives us a written record of when the request was made and what we did to take care of it. This is useful in our reporting and documentation efforts.

We recognize that submitting an electronic request isn’t always convenient or possible, especially if there’s an emergency at your property. If you have something that needs immediate attention, please call our hotline so we can dispatch someone to take care of the matter right away. Emergencies usually involved leaking water, fire, and any type of weather incidents such as a tree crashing through a window or part of the roof flying off.

At Specialized Property Management, we are committed to responding to your maintenance needs quickly and professionally. We ask you to be diligent about reporting the things that are broken or failing at your home. Leaving maintenance unreported will only be inconvenient for you and will lead to further problems that will be more complicated and more expensive to fix. Even if something seems minor, go ahead and put in a maintenance request so we are aware of it. Keeping communication open between tenants and management will help everyone have a more pleasant rental experience.

Moving Out of Your Property

You’re still in the process of moving into your home, so it may seem premature to be thinking about your move-out date and process. However, we believe that every successful move-out starts when a tenant is moving in. We have a specific process that, when followed, will increase your chances of having your full security deposit returned to you. We ask that you leave your property clean and in the same working condition that you are receiving it right now. During your tenancy, you can work towards this goal by paying attention to the cleanliness and repair of your property.

When it is time to move out, Specialized Property Management rewards residents for on-time rental payments and for taking care of the property during your stay. After you move out and we have verified that there is no property damage or any other outstanding issues, we will offer you a printed and electronic record of your payment history. We are also happy to provide you with a letter of recommendation upon request. This can help you in your effort to purchase a home or in renting your next home. We appreciate our tenants who work hard to pay rent on time, follow the lease agreement terms, and care for the property. If we can help you find a new rental home, we hope you’ll talk to us about what you’re looking for and where you’d like to live.

Get to Know Your Resident Manual

As we have mentioned, your leasing agent will give you a Specialized Property Management resident manual with all of these items and more. Please keep this manual handy for easy reference throughout your tenancy.

Thank you for choosing a property managed by our talented and responsive team. We hope you enjoy your new home and if we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact us at Specialized Property Management.

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Moving Out of Your Rental Home in Dallas: Tenants Checklist - YouTube

You will probably know when your lease term is coming to an end, and as your property managers, we will want to talk about your future plans. Whether you decide to renew your lease or move out, we’ll go have a discussion about next steps. When you decide not to renew the lease and move on, we will wish you well and do everything we can to make the move-out process easy.

At Specialized Property Management, we love working with good tenants, and it’s our hope that you’ve enjoyed your stay with us. Be sure to reach out if you have any questions during the process of moving out of your home.

One of the first things you’ll receive is a handy list of guidelines that we’ll expect you to follow. Paying attention to this move-out checklist will make things easier on our end and yours. It will also increase the likelihood that your security deposit will be returned in full. We show our good tenants our appreciation by providing positive rental references when future landlords and property managers call us.

Together, we can make the move-out process well-organized and stress-free for everyone.

Pay Attention to Move-In Condition Cleaning

At the beginning of the lease, we provided you with a property that was clean and functioning. We hope you can return the property to us in similar condition, and that’s why the first item on your move-out checklist is cleaning. We expect that you’ll do everything you can to return the property to its original proper, clean condition.

First, move everything out. Don’t leave any personal items behind. Take out all of the trash and check the yard and closets for any garbage. It’s critical that you don’t leave anything in the house, even if you think it won’t matter. It will. Our expectation is to receive a clean, empty property. Anything that’s left behind will be removed, and we’ll charge your security deposit for that removal fee.

After all of your belongings are moved out of the property, we recommend you check out the appliances in the home. You’ll want to clean them and ensure they’re working the way they were when you moved in. Clean the microwave and inside the fridge. Run the dishwasher so it gets cleaned out. Remove dust and grease from the range and range hood and make sure you don’t leave any crumbs or food particles in cabinets. Dust the tops of everything and gently pull the appliances out from the walls so you can clean around and behind them.

Sinks, cabinets, and drawers also need to be thoroughly cleaned. Wipe down the faucets and knobs, and make sure everything is empty. Hard surface floors should be swept and then washed, and if you have carpets in the home, make sure to get them professionally steam-cleaned. You can submit a receipt to our office so we don’t charge you for this service.

We also suggest that you clean the walls, and pay particular attention to those areas around light switches and door handles. Clean the walls in your bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways. Please dust and wipe down all of the baseboards and doors as well. Then, you can clean the windows and make sure the screens are in good repair. Dust away any debris, dust, dirt, or cobwebs that may have gathered outside the property.

Bathrooms always need a little extra attention. Please clean and disinfect all the surfaces, tubs, toilets, and sinks. Clean the floor as well and pull out anything that may be clogging drains.

Any pet damage must be repaired before you move out. Your lease may indicate that you’re responsible for lawn care, and if you are, be sure the grass is cut and the bushes are trimmed. Plan to have your trash removed before that service is discontinued. There shouldn’t be any trash cans or recyclable bins in the driveway or the walkway.

Finally, you’ll need to change any light bulbs that are out. Change the air filter as well. Any other items that are given to you by your agent should also be reviewed and completed.

Change the Utility Accounts

Once you know the property has been cleaned and is in good condition, you can turn off the utilities that are in your name. We recommend that you arrange for those utilities to be turned off on the last day of your lease. In order to set up service elsewhere, you may want to be sure you’re no longer associated with the utilities at your current property.

You’re now ready to say goodbye to your property. Please return the house and/or building keys to our office, as well as any garage door openers, pool passes, or other items. We ask that you drop them off to us no later than noon on the day you’re moving out.

Preparing for the Return of Your Security Deposit

As you’re vacating your property, you’ll probably wonder when you can expect to get your security deposit back. After all, it’s your money. We follow a process that’s consistent with Texas law. When you moved in, we spent some time discussing the security deposit process. Check your lease agreement if you want to review the procedures involved in collecting, holding, and returning that deposit. Your lease will also have some information on how to avoid being charged for damage and cleaning fees.

We cannot charge your deposit for any wear and tear. This is considered normal in a rental property, and you won’t be held responsible for anything we identify as normal wear and tear. We define this as the natural and gradual deterioration of the property over time. It’s a result of your normal use of the home, and it would happen no matter who was living there. Every home is prone to wear and tear, so tenants are not charged to make those repairs.

A good example of wear and tear is carpet. If there’s a lot of wear on the carpet in high traffic areas like hallways, we’ll consider it wear and tear. If the paint has small holes in the walls from pictures that you hung, that’s considered wear and tear as well. Scuff marks on that paint from where a piece of furniture was against the wall will be considered wear and tear.

You will be charged for any damage beyond normal wear and tear. Any damage that you leave behind which is due to abuse or neglect will result in a charge. If there’s something that you should have done to prevent the home from getting damaged, you’ll be charged. If you fail to let us know when there’s a problem that requires maintenance, you will face a deduction in your deposit. Any abuse or misuse of the property that results in damage will be charged back to you, the tenant.

Additional fees, in addition, the security deposit may be charged when there is destruction to the rental property. For example, if you used the property for something that it should not have been used for or if you changed the property somehow without approval, we’re going to charge you for those things. For example, if you repainted the walls during your tenancy and you didn’t return them to their original color and paint quality before moving out, we will charge you the cost to re-paint the property.

We understand that accidental damage can sometimes occur by mistake. While you may not have purposely damaged the property, when accidents happen, your security deposit will have to cover the cost to fix them.

Sometimes it’s hard to judge the difference between wear and tear and damage. We do this by considering the extent of the repairs that the property needs, the length of time you’ve been living at the home, and the structure and condition of the building.

Generally, we have found that our tenants often prefer to take care of any damage on their own. Getting things fixed before you move out can save you money and protect your security deposit.

In accordance with Texas law, you will receive all or part of your security deposit within 30 days of your move-out date. If we end up keeping your deposit or any portion of it, you’ll receive an itemized list of what was deducted and why we felt it was necessary. When you return your keys and other belongings, make sure you leave us with a valid forwarding address. We’ll need to know where to send your deposit.

Keep your move-out checklist handy as you prepare to leave your property and start new somewhere else. These are the most important things you’ll need to consider, and we want to make sure everything goes smoothly.

If you have any questions about what you need to do before leaving the property or how to ensure you get your security deposit back, please contact us at Specialized Property Management in Dallas. We hope you enjoyed your stay in one of our properties, and we are here if you ever need rental housing again.

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If you’re preparing to move out of your Dallas rental property, we know that you have a lot on your mind and a long list of to-do items. At Specialized Property Management, we hope you have enjoyed your stay in one of our properties.

Now that it’s time to move on, you might have questions about your security deposit. We want you to be prepared for the move-out process, and we want you to understand how the return of your security deposit works. There are laws and guidelines that we must follow, and you can help yourself get more of your deposit back faster by following our instructions and meeting our expectations.

The Purpose of a Security Deposit in Dallas

As you may recall, you paid a security deposit before you moved in, as part of the leasing process. If applicable, an additional deposit was collected for each pet. These deposits are fully refundable at the time you move out of the property. However, we hold them in escrow during the lease term to cover any damages to the property. Your lease will outline how much money was collected in security deposits before you moved into the property. None of those funds are spent during the course of the tenancy.

Property Damage and Wear and Tear

Before we return any or all of the security deposit to you, we need to assess any damage that you’re leaving behind. Damages are more serious than what’s considered normal wear and tear at the property. Wear and tear is expected, and you won’t be financially responsible for it. However, you will be required to pay for any damage that was caused to the home while you occupied it.

As outlined in the Association of Realtors lease agreement that you signed, normal wear and tear is defined as:

Deterioration that occurs without negligence, carelessness, accident or abuse.
During your move-in process, you were given an Inventory and Condition Form to document the property condition at the start of your lease. Photos were required to support any items that you noted on the form. Our office references this form and the photos during the move-out process so we can compare the condition of the property then and now, and so we can see any changes in the condition of the home. Your move-in condition form is used as we complete an independent move-out assessment.

This assessment is done without the resident or owner present to ensure we gather an unbiased report.

Completing the Deposit Itemization Form

Once the assessment is complete, we list on the Deposit Itemization Form any damages to the property above normal wear and tear. These are things you will be responsible for, as the tenant who was living in the property when the damage occurred. We also use this form to indicate whether there are any additional tenant financial obligations that will be deducted from the security deposit.

These financial obligations may include things such as:

  • Unpaid balances on your rental account.
  • The cost of keys or remotes that have not been returned.
  • Accelerated rent if this move-out is a case in which the lease was breached.
  • The cost to remove any personal belongings from the property.

Any other financial costs that are subject to security deposit reduction will be included. We know you want to get your full security deposit back. In order to ensure you receive a full refund, you must meet all the move-out requirements that are listed in your lease.

Move-Out Instructions in Your Lease Agreement

The lease requirements can be found in your lease, and they are including but not limited to the following:

  1. Provide a 30 day written notice in advance that you’ll be moving out. It’s important that you give proper notice so we can begin preparing for your departure while marketing the home to find new tenants.
  2. Leave the property move-in ready. We want to see a home that’s fully prepare to be occupied by the next resident, aside from normal wear and tear.
  3. You’ll need to have the carpets professionally cleaned. Once you schedule and pay for the cleaning, submit a receipt to our office so we can document that you’ve met this requirement.
  4. Make sure you completely vacate the property. It’s important that you clear the home of any personal items. This includes trash as well as unwanted belongings. Don’t leave behind a sofa or a television that you don’t want to move. Remember that any personal belongings left behind will become the property of the landlord. Those things will either be thrown out, donated, or sold. You’ll also be charged for the cost of removing those things from the property.
  5. Sufficiently clean the property. This includes the appliances, bathrooms, kitchens, window sills, and other specifics. The home should look just as clean as it was when you moved in.
  6. Take a look at anything that needs to be replaced. If any light bulbs are burned out, install new ones. Throw away and replace any dirty air conditioning filters as well.
  7. If you painted the walls without prior authorization, you’ll need to return them to the original color and paint quality that they were when you moved in. Make sure you buy and use the right paint, and contact us if you aren’t sure which paint you should be using.
  8. Return any keys, remote controls, garage door openers, or other devices to the office when you’re ready to move out. When you drop these things off, we’ll ask for your forwarding address. It’s important that you leave us with a way to reach you, otherwise it will take longer for you to receive your security deposit back.
Security Deposit Timelines and Requirements

The Texas state property code dictates when and how security deposits are to be returned to tenants. The main requirement is that your security deposit payment be sent to all tenants that are listed on the lease. We’re also required to return those deposits within 30 days of your move-out date. At Specialized Property Management, we do our best to complete the process prior to the 30-day timeline. We know you’re anxious to get your money back, especially if you’re moving into a new home and budgeting for the expenses that come with it.

Sometimes, the amount we need to deduct is higher than the amount you paid in security and pet deposits. If deductions exceed the amount of the security deposit being held, you will have 10 days from the day of the deposit itemization to pay the balance. If that balance is not paid within that timeframe, and you don’t talk to us about a payment arrangement to pay off the debt, the amount due could be turned over to a collection agency for further collection efforts. This can be avoided with careful care of the property and open communication with your property manager.

Sometimes, you’ll move in with a pet and that pet will not be with you for the duration of the lease period. Many tenants in this situation ask for the return of their pet deposit before the lease ends. This is not something we can do. Even if your pet no longer resides in the property, we cannot return the pet deposit mid-lease. However, you will get that pet deposit back as long as there isn’t any pet damage found at the home. We will include the pet deposit funds in the Security Deposit Itemization and Move Out forms.

Another thing we run into is tenants hoping to use their security deposit to cover the last month of rent. This is not permitted, and you must make a rental payment the last month of your lease. If you don’t pay the rent that last month and you expect us to use your security deposit to cover the amount that’s owed, it will be considered a lease breach. With this breach of your lease agreement, other charges might apply as outlined in your rental agreement. Don’t let this occur. Your security deposit is never meant to pay for rent, so make sure you make your final payment just like you’ve made all of your other rental payments.

We wish you the best in the future, and we’re glad you spent some time renting one of our homes. If we can ever help you or someone you know find a rental property in the Dallas area, we hope you’ll think of us. Our goal is to make the rental process as easy and enjoyable as possible for everyone – from tenants to landlords. We’re always happy to hear feedback about the experience that tenants had with us, so be sure to let us know what you liked best about living in your rental property.

If you have any questions about how to handle the move-out process or what you can expect from your security deposit itemization, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management in Dallas.

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We welcome you as a new Specialized Property Management resident. Our goal is to make your rental experience easier and more enjoyable, so we’re talking to you today about how to pay rent, and what we expect from our tenants when it comes to following the obligations of the lease agreement. We get a lot of questions about rental payments, and we want to answer some of those questions today.

When is Rent Due?

Unless it’s otherwise stated in your lease, rent is due on the first of the month. We expect this payment to be made on or before the first of every month. This due date does not change if the first of the month happens to be on a weekend or holiday. Mark your calendars, make a note, set a timer on your phone, or sign up online for automatic rental payments so you don’t have to think about it. Whatever system works for you, make sure you use it. Rent is due on the first. Always.

As a tenant, you need to know that rent is considered late if it’s received after midnight on the second of the month. Again, it doesn’t matter which day of the month the second falls on. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or in the middle of a long holiday weekend. Late fees will begin to accrue on the third.

Please ensure your rent is paid on time each month. It’s an important part of being a good tenant, and it will help you have a more positive rental experience. Those late fees add up, and if you get into the habit of paying rent late, you’ll lose money month after month. We’re sure you have better things to spend that money on.

There are several things you can do to ensure your rent is paid on time.

  • Set a reminder in your phone calendar or in your planner that reminds you three to five days prior to the first of the month that the rental due date is approaching.
  • Set up an automatic transfer so you don’t have to think about it. Or, automatically transfer money from your savings account to your checking account so you know the money is there on the day you need to pay rent.
  • Make plans for your late fees. If you have paid late fees a few months in a row, put that money aside the following month, when you pay rent on time. Use it for something fun, and you’ll see what you don’t want to sacrifice by paying rent late.
How to Pay Your Rent to Specialized Property Management

Your lease should indicate exactly how you should pay your rent to your property management company. Check there for instructions and answers.

Most of our leases are designed with several options. For your convenience, rent can be paid any of the following ways:

  • Online
  • Through any 7-11 Store
  • By mail
  • In person
Paying rent online

You can use your online tenant portal to pay rent online through our website. We have invested heavily in special technology that’s safe, secure, and convenient. Online security is a major concern of ours, and we’ll make sure your information is protected. You can set up your rental payment so that an electronic draft is debited from your bank account. You can choose any checking account and specify that account in your portal. The system will remember your account, so you don’t have to worry about typing in account and routing numbers every month.

With online payments, you’ll pay a small administrative fee of $2.00 per month. You can pay this way one time or every month. If it’s easier for you, set up recurring payments so rent is taken out of your account on the same date every month. This cuts down on late payments and ensures you have a documented paper trail that shows you pay rent on time every month.

If you’ve been struggling to pay rent on time, setting up a reoccurring payment will help you improve your rental payment history. You can pay online by using a bank account or even a credit card. If you use your credit card, you’ll need to pay an additional processing fee, so be prepared.

Paying rent at 7-11 stores

Tenants can also pay rent at their local 7-11. Go into any store, and you’ll receive instructions on how to make your payment and receive a receipt for that payment. You can do this every month or just try it out one month when you happen to be in the 7-11 buying food or supplies. Tenants who want to pay in cash prefer this method of rental payments.

Paying rent by mail

You can mail your monthly rent payment to the address found on your lease agreement. While mailing the rental payment is often the best option for people who like to use a check, you need to remember that it takes some time for mail to reach us. Please allow enough time for the rent check to reach our office. Payment will post to your account on the day we receive it, not the day reflected on the postmark of your envelope.

It’s important to remember that the rent will be considered late if it’s received in the mail after the second of the month. So, when you choose to pay your rent by mail, it’s a good idea to send the check at least five to seven days before the first of the month. Make sure you always have plenty of envelopes and stamps as well.

Paying rent in person

You may pay rent in our office during our normal business hours. Come on in with a check or a money order, and let our office staff know that you’re prepared to pay rent. You can ask for a receipt, and rent will be reflected as paid in your account. Some of our office locations have an after-hours drop box located on the exterior of the building.

Always Pay Rent in Full

When you’re paying rent, make sure you pay it in full. Partial payments will not be accepted, and your account will be delinquent until the full amount is paid, including any late fees. Don’t try to pay half of the rent that’s owed with the hopes that you can catch up with the rest later in the month. We need the full monthly rent to be paid on the first in order to keep your account current and in good standing.

Tenants also need to remember that a full month’s rent is always due at time of move-in, no matter what day your move-in is scheduled. If applicable, your pro-rated monthly rent will apply to the second month of your lease. So, if you move in on the 10th of the month, you’ll still have to pay a full month’s rent before you get the keys and move into your property. On the following month, you won’t owe a full month’s rent. You’ll owe an amount that’s calculated based on the shorter first month of your move-in date. If you have any questions about this, our property managers can help you walk through it.

Rent also needs to be paid consistently throughout your lease, even your last month. Sometimes, tenants expect that they’ll be able to use their security deposit as the last month’s rent. This is strictly prohibited for a number of reasons. Your security deposit is used to pay for any damages you leave behind in the property, or to cover unpaid balances that are due. It is not every meant to be a rental payment. You’ll need to pay the last month’s rent in full just like you pay every other month.

There are a number of benefits to you as a tenant for paying your rent on time.

  • First, it establishes a positive payment history. Years down the road, when future landlords or property managers call us for a rental reference, we’ll be able to say that you paid rent on time. It contributes to your reputation as a good tenant.
  • Second, it saves you money. You’re basically paying higher rent when you need to budget for late fees every month. Avoid those late fees and get your rent paid in plenty of time.
  • Third, it contributes to a more positive relationship with your property management company. We appreciate not having to chase you down for late rent every month.
  • Finally, paying your rent on time avoids costly legal procedures. If we have to start the eviction process or take you to court, you’ll be liable for even more additional expenses.

We hope you found this helpful and easy to understand. If you’re a tenant with any additional questions about paying rent or the requirements of your lease agreement, contact our accounting department. We thank you for your efforts to pay rent on time, and we look forward to serving you. Please contact us at Specialized Property Management in Dallas if you have any questions.

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The process of moving into a new home can be stressful. At Specialized Property Management, we understand that, and we want to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for all of our residents. Today, we’re reviewing our leasing process so you know what to expect when you’re considering a Dallas rental home that we manage.

Finding the Right Dallas Rental Property

When you’re looking for a rental home, you want to find something that fits your budget and your lifestyle. That might be a single-family home, a modern apartment, or a condo that involves low-maintenance living. Whatever you’re looking to rent, we have a wide range of properties available on our website. You’ll also see them on other rental websites that Dallas tenants use.

You can scroll through our properties and sort what you’re looking for by price, number of bedrooms, or neighborhood. You can read descriptions, view photographs, and check out whether pets are permitted, how much the rent will be, and when the property is available for move-in. Take your time and compare the available properties to your list of things that you need and want in a home. Think about why you’re moving and what you need. Consider what will increase your quality of life. You might want something that’s in a good school district, or a city apartment with parking. Maybe you’re looking for a large yard or an easy commute to work.

Once you have reviewed our listings and selected a home that meets your needs, schedule a time to see it. We make it easy for you to visit and tour properties on your own schedule and timeline. We’re also available to ask any questions you might have before or after the showing. We always value feedback from prospective tenants, so let us know what you think about the properties after you visit them.

The Application Process for Dallas Tenants

You don’t want to waste a lot of time and money applying for dozens of properties, so when you see a home that you love, fill out an application! You can apply quickly and easily using our online application. You simply need to go to the property listing on our website and click the button that says apply online next to the desired listing. There, you’ll be directed to the complete application, which comes with detailed instructions and the opportunity to upload any of the supporting documentation that we need from you.

It’s important to remember that all occupants 18 years of age or older must complete an application in this way. Each application also requires a full payment of the application fee so we can process the paperwork. It’s necessary to list all adult occupants on the lease, and we need to screen every adult who will reside in the property.

As you’re filling out your application and preparing to submit it, we will ask for three additional items to help us complete the screening of your application. These items are pretty standard with any rental application, and we make it easy for you to upload the required documents online while you’re completing the form.

The documents we need from you are:

  • First, a copy of your driver’s license. This is necessary to confirm your identity and match the information to the other documents you provide. It also helps us to complete the necessary criminal checks, background checks, and credit checks.
  • We also need your most recent paystub. This will allow us to verify the combined gross income of all the adult tenants who will live in the property. We require that the total income is no less than three times the amount of your monthly rent. If you’re self-employed or retired and you don’t have a paystub, tax forms and bank statements may also be accepted.
  • Finally, we also need the correct contact information for your current landlord. This is an important part of verifying the last two years of your rental history. We will talk to your current and former landlords about whether you paid rent on time, left any property damage, and followed the terms of your lease agreement.

We know that you’re in a hurry to start making your moving plans, but we ask you to please allow two full business day for us to complete the entire application process. At Specialized Property Management, we are thorough and consistent.

Signing Your Lease and Paying Your Security Deposit

Once your application is approved, you’ll be contacted by our office to schedule an in-office lease explanation and signing. This is an important opportunity for you to review your lease in detail with our qualified and experienced representatives. We will go over our expectations, answer your questions, and discuss the responsibilities of tenants and property managers. You can ask for clarification on anything that doesn’t make sense, and we’ll go over the policies for rent collection, maintenance reporting, and inspections. We’ll also prepare you for the move-in process and even the move-out process.

At this appointment, we need you to bring the full security deposit as well as any applicable pet deposits. Please bring these funds in the form of a cashier’s check or a money order. Additionally, you’ll need to bring a separate cashier’s check or money order to pay the administration fee. This fee covers the costs of setting up your account and giving you access to your online tenant portal, where you’ll find a lot of valuable information. You can use your online portal to pay rent, request repairs, and keep in touch with your management team anytime you have a question or a concern.

Your payment should be made to Specialized Property Management, and you’ll receive a receipt before you leave the office. At this point, you also have the option to submit your first month’s rent. It’s very important that you come to the lease signing and deposit process as soon as possible after you’re approved for the property you want. The home will remain on the market until the lease is fully executed, so don’t delay this meeting. We want you to sign the lease and begin making preparations for your new home.

Once you sign your lease, you’ll discuss your move-in date with our staff. The first full month’s rental payment is due between the time that you sign the lease and the date that you move into the property. You can pay during the meeting or you can pay using your online tenant portal. It’s a safe and convenient way to make rental payments, sign up for reminders, or schedule advanced payments. Our tenants love the efficiency of paying rent this way.

Preparing to Move into Your New Dallas Rental Home

The only thing left to do now is to pack up and move. While we can’t be there to handle all the heavy lifting for you, your property managers at Specialized Property Management are here to answer any questions during the process and to ensure the transition into your new home is a smooth one. We can give you some advice about turning on your utilities, and we can provide resources about the neighborhood if you’re looking for the right school or trying to figure out how far the grocery store is.

We will carefully document the condition of your home before you move in, and we’ll make sure everything is clean, functional, and prepared for you. If you notice that something is not quite right while you’re moving in, be sure to let us know right away. We’ll do everything we can to provide you with the beautiful home you expect, and in turn we’ll expect to get that home returned to us in the same condition at the end of your tenancy. You’ll be provided with all of our contact information, including our emergency telephone number in case you need help after hours.

The application and leasing process does not have to be difficult and overwhelming. If you’re able to follow our instructions, ask for help when you need it, and make an educated decision about which property is going to make the perfect home for you and your family, we’re here to do the rest. We enjoy providing outstanding rental properties to quality tenants like you. For more on your responsibilities and expectations during the lease period, talk to one of our property managers, or keep an eye on announcements and information found in your tenant portal. We believe that communication is important, and we know that it’s a big part of providing an outstanding rental experience for you.

Thank you for choosing Specialized Property Management. We look forward to providing you with a pleasant leasing experience, and we welcome you to your new home. Enjoy getting to know your neighbors and your new community, and let us know if there is anything we can do to help make it better. If you have any questions or any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management in Dallas.

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Reducing Vacancies in Your Rental Property - YouTube

A vacant Dallas rental property is a property that isn’t earning you any income. Vacant properties are also detrimental to maintenance and keeping the home in good condition. When no one is living in it, you don’t know that there’s a leak under the sink or a hole in the drywall. It’s important that you keep your property occupied, not only so you increase your ROI, but also so you preserve its value.

During a brief vacancy, you should take care of minor repair issues and cosmetic updates. However, you don’t want that vacancy period to stretch on. The longer your home is not occupied, the less money you’re earning on it. Working with a professional Dallas property manager can help you minimize your vacancy time and earn more on your investment.

There are a number of other things you can do to avoid long vacancy periods.

Preparing Your Rental Home for the Dallas Market

Quick tenant placement will reduce vacancy, and to get a good tenant in there fast, you need to have a great home to offer.

Make sure your home is rent ready before you put it on the rental market. It has to be in excellent shape, and looking good to prospects.

  • Take care of any deferred or outstanding maintenance. You aren’t going to rent your home to a tenant when there are things that still need to be done. If a tenant sees that the carpet needs to be replaced or the appliances are pulled out and not working, you’re going to lose that tenant. Don’t tell them that you’ll fix things before they move in. Have the things fixed before the tenant sees the home.
  • Provide curb appeal and modernize the home. Properties with great curb appeal are rarely vacancy for long. Tenants are anxious to rent them. Make sure your house looks appealing from the outside, and make some minor and inexpensive updates to it. New lighting and window treatments can make a difference, and so can a fresh coat of paint or pretty landscaping.
  • Have the property professionally cleaned. Going over the floors with a vacuum isn’t enough. Have some professional cleaners come in and scrub everything from the walls to the baseboards. The property really has to shine if you want it to rent quickly. Any clutter, debris, and personal belongings must be removed.
Dallas Rental Pricing: Be Competitive

Dallas tenants understand the rental market, and they know what a fair price is for properties like yours. Don’t price it too high, because prospective tenants won’t bother looking at it. All investors want to make the most off their property, but a price that’s too high will only cost you in vacancy time and tenant quality.

Many things play a role in how you price your property, especially location, size, and condition. The amenities you include or offer will also impact your price. Once you know what you have, compare your property to the others on the market. This will help you choose a rent that reflects the market and your home.

Don’t hold out for higher rent. It will lead to longer vacancies and less ROI.

  • Let’s say you want to rent out your Dallas home for $1,500.
    • But, the Dallas rental market is really only going to support a rental rate of $1,400.
    • That $100 difference per month adds up to $1,200 per year.
  • But, if you keep the $1,500 price tag and it takes you a full month to rent out your home, you’ve lost $1,500 over the course of that year. That’s $300 more than if you had listed it at $1,400.
    • If it takes you a month and a half to rent out your home at $1,500, you’re losing $2,250.
  • It makes more financial sense to charge $1,400 and have that property rented right away.

You can get a lot of conflicting information online about what properties in Dallas are renting for and what they’re worth. Most landlords look at Zillow, Trulia, Rentals.com, and even Craigslist to find out what homes are renting for. But, the data isn’t always accurate. A local property manager can give you a good idea of where you should be price-wise.

Marketing Your Dallas Rental Home

Properly marketing your home will lead you to faster tenant placement and a lower vacancy rate.

In today’s rental market, you need to have a strong online presence, where you’re advertising your home on rental sites and social media. That’s where tenants are looking for their next home.

Photos are the most important part of your ad. Your listing needs clean, professional, and attractive photos. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to know that lighting is important, and so is the angle from which you’re taking the picture. Make sure your shots accurately reflect the home you’re renting out. Use those pictures to attract great tenants. Use as many photos as you can. Include pictures of the kitchen, master bedroom, any outdoor space, and the front of the house.

Pay attention to the quality of your photos. Then, write a great ad. It doesn’t have to be long, but it does have to include information about what your home has to offer. Mention any recent updates, the school district, and the size of the property. You must also include particulars, such as the rental amount, whether pets are allowed, and when the unit is available. Don’t forget your contact information.

When you can put this ad on the rental sites with the most traffic, you’ll have a larger pool of tenants who are aware of your property, and a better chance of renting it out quickly.

Dallas Property Management: Responsiveness and Availability

A responsive Dallas landlord will easily reduce vacancy. You have to answer your phone and your emails if you want to place a tenant efficiently.

Prospective tenants will want to see your property. Make sure you’re available when they are. If your schedule does not permit you to show your property to your tenants personally, invest in some technology that will allow the tenants to see the property on their own.

You’ll also need to respond to any requests or questions that your prospective tenants have before or after seeing the property. You cannot place an ad and forget about it; you’ll miss out on a lot of potentially great renters, and your home will sit unrented for quite some time.

If you are too busy to keep up with the phone calls, the showings, and the application process, talk to a property manager in Dallas who can help you lease your home. You’ll be saving money because vacancy is a lot more expensive than leasing fees.

Screening Tenants in Dallas

Tenant screening is an important step in placing a tenant, and it needs your attention. Placing bad tenants only leads to additional vacancies, because they will either leave before the end of their lease term, or you’ll have to evict them.

Make sure your screening process is automated, consistent, and fair. You should have a system in place that allows you to run a background check, collect credit information, verify employment and income, and talk to previous landlords. Once you have qualified a tenant, collect a deposit within a few days, get the lease signed, and discuss a move-in date.

Dallas Tenant Retention

Tenant retention is often overlooked by landlords, but it’s a great way to avoid vacancy. When you already have a high-performing tenant in place, you want to keep that person there as long as possible.

Here are some ways to increase tenant retention:

  • Pay attention to maintenance, and be responsive when repairs are needed. When you stay on top of maintenance, you’re letting your tenants know that you care about their needs and their happiness. That will keep them in place. You’re also protecting the condition of your home, which is important in preserving its value. Ignoring maintenance requests will alienate your best tenants. Don’t give them a reason to leave.
  • Communicate openly with your tenants, and show them you’re available. You’ll need to provide an emergency contact number, in case something goes wrong. Even if you can’t solve your tenant’s problem right away, you can let them know that you’re working on it. Keep the lines of communication open, always.
  • Discuss the lease and all of your expectations with the tenant. Tenants don’t like to play guessing games. When you’re clear from the beginning about responsibilities and expectations, everyone is on the same page. Tenants respect this, and feel protected.
  • Be smart with rental increases. You’re within your rights to raise the rent every year, when a lease renews. However, make sure you are making a reasonable increase that’s supported by the market. Give tenants plenty of notice, and be willing to talk about why the price is going up.

Tenant turnover is just as expensive as vacancy, and you want to avoid it. Keeping your good tenants in place creates additional rental income and ROI.

Pay attention to vacancy and what it’s costing you. If you need any help with Dallas property management or you have any questions, please contact us at Specialized Property Management.

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A Guide to Conducting Routine Inspections for Your Rental Property - YouTube

Inspecting your rental property before, during, and after a lease term is part of protecting its condition and preserving its value. You don’t want to be surprised by damage that you didn’t know was there, and you want to take care of small maintenance issues before they become more serious and expensive.

Establish a policy of inspecting your property at least three times: before a tenant moves in, after a tenant moves out, and at least once during the tenancy. You should also inspect your home before you put it on the market, and during times that you happen to be at the property.

When you’re working with a Dallas property manager, make sure you understand how frequently your home will be inspected. A good property manager will provide a detailed property inspection report with photographs and even videos.

Property Inspections before Your Home is Marketed

It’s critical to do a thorough inspection of your home before you begin to advertise it or show it to prospective tenants. This will give you the peace of mind that it’s ready for occupancy.

Check all the safety features and maintenance functions of the property. Make a list of any issues that need to be addressed or repairs that need to be made. You don’t want to market a home that still needs work. Tenants will have a hard time imagining themselves moving in.

Inspect the exterior as well as the interior. It should have neat landscaping and the doors and windows should all open, close, and lock properly. Inside the home, check that everything works properly. You can also inspect for cosmetic repairs or upgrades that might be needed. When you want to attract the best possible tenant, charge the highest rent, and get someone in place quickly, small cosmetic repairs can make a big difference. They’re affordable, and you can look for these opportunities while you’re inspecting the home prior to putting it on the market.

Conducting a Move-in Inspection

The move-in inspection may be the most important inspection you conduct as a landlord. This is your best opportunity to avoid disputes over the security deposit after a tenant moves out. The move-in inspection should be done right before your tenant takes possession of the property. It will be detailed and well-documented.

Go through the house with a camera and take pictures of everything. You’ll want to get photos of the floors, the walls, the ceilings, the appliances, inside the closets, the windows, and the exterior. The goal is to show exactly what the home looks like at the time a tenant moves in. Have a checklist which allows you to note the condition of each room. You’ll use this during the move-out inspection as well.

Make notes about the condition of everything and whether things are worn or older. Be honest. You don’t want to try and hide any wear and tear that may already exist. If there’s a chip in the stovetop or a small spot on the carpet, be sure to make a note and take a picture. The tenants will appreciate you’re being up front about these imperfections, and they won’t have to worry about being charged for them later.

The goal is to accurately reflect the property that you’re handing over to your tenants. You can either do the move-in inspection with your new tenants, or allow them to add anything they’d like to include to the inspection report after they’ve already moved in. Just make sure you have those pictures and notes before they bring in their furniture and all their belongings.

Date and time-stamp this inspection report, and keep it in your files until the end of the lease.

The Purpose of a Mid-Tenancy Inspection

Your tenants are entitled to privacy and the quiet enjoyment of their home. While you might be the party who owns the home, they are the ones living there. This means you cannot just show up and take a look around any time you want to. You have to leave your tenants alone to live in the property, which they can do in any manner they see fit as long as it doesn’t violate the lease agreement.

It isn’t invasive or unreasonable to want to inspect the property once during the tenancy. Good tenants will understand this, and probably even welcome it. It’s an opportunity to do two things:

  • Ensure there aren’t any maintenance needs that have not been reported or noticed by the tenants.
  • Ensure the tenants are maintaining the home and following the terms of the lease.

Take a look at the inside and outside of the property during this inspection to make sure everything is working and safe. You want to know the yard looks good, the appliances and systems are working, and your tenants are happy with the condition of the home. Check under sinks for potential leaks and take a look at any areas that have caused problems in the past. Inspect the air conditioning system and make sure the tenants are changing the filters regularly. Look at the furnace and make sure there aren’t any tree branches covering the roof or gathering in the gutters.

If you notice any maintenance items that are needed, make an immediate work order and try to coordinate a good time for service with the tenants. Ask your residents if there have been any problems with the way things work.

The lease enforcement piece should be easy. You know who should be living in the property, and if you notice signs of extra people, talk about this with your tenant. Make sure the only people living there are those who were screened and approved on the lease. Look for evidence of pets, especially if your tenants are not supposed to have pets. If they do have authorized pets, make sure there aren’t any signs of pet damage.

Any lease violations should be addressed right away. Give the tenants a chance to rectify them, and if necessary, come back in a couple of weeks to make sure the right actions were taken.

Property Inspections during Maintenance Visits

Another opportunity for inspections is when your tenant requests maintenance or repair work. When they request that something be fixed, you can go into the property with your repair person and have a look around. Your tenant can choose to be there or not be there, but they will know that you’re in the property to address the repair.

This inspection does not have to be incredibly thorough. You should be focused on the repair that’s needed. However, it is a good opportunity to take a look around and make sure the property is being well-maintained. It’s also another chance at making sure there are no unauthorized animals or people at the home. You can put your mind at ease that the tenant is being responsible and acting in accordance with the lease agreement.

If you’ve established good relationships with your vendors, you can even ask them to take a look around for you. In that case, you won’t have to be there for the repair. Your vendors will know to share any information that they think should concern you. If there’s an alligator in the bathroom, for example, or a small meth lab being run out of the second bedroom, your plumber or air conditioning tech can sound the alarm and tell you what was found.

Conducting a Move-out Inspection

The move-out inspection will occur when your tenant has moved out of the property and turned in the keys. To avoid any misunderstanding or conflict, let the tenants know what you’ll expect during this inspection. When they provide their notice to vacate, send them a checklist of what they need to do. You can include these requirements in your lease as well. Some of the things you should address are:

  • Cleaning. You can expect the tenants to return a clean property, especially since they received a clean property.
  • All personal property removed. Anything that’s left behind will be removed by you, at their expense.
  • Return all keys, remotes, and other property belonging to the home or the community.

During the move-out inspection, you’ll use the same checklist that you used during the move-in inspection. The idea is to do the same thing – inspect every detail of the home and take pictures. It will be easy to see what’s different.

As the property owner, you’re responsible for all wear and tear. Small scuff marks on the walls and wear on the carpet are expected. Nail holes in the walls are your responsibility as well. But, any damage beyond wear and tear is the tenant’s responsibility, and you can withhold funds from their security deposit to pay for that damage. Your move-out inspection report and photos, together with the documentation from the move-in inspection, will justify those charges.

Inspections are a crucial part of renting out property. If you have any questions about how to conduct them or you’re not sure what to look for, contact us at Specialized Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more about our process and all the other Dallas property management services we provide.

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Top Mistakes Landlords Must Avoid - YouTube

There’s no shame in making mistakes; they happen to everyone. The problem with property management missteps is that they can be expensive and even have legal implications.

One of the best reasons to hire a professional property manager for your rental real estate is protection. A Dallas property manager can protect you from all the mistakes that are so easy to make. Some errors are simple and easy to fix. Others can completely alter your experience as a landlord and property owner.

Today, we’re discussing the five biggest and costliest errors that you need to avoid as a Dallas landlord.

Dallas Landlord Mistake No. 1: Incomplete Tenant Screening

The tenant you place in your home will either make you a happy, profitable landlord, or a stressed, frantic landlord. Everyone’s perfect tenant usually has three of the same qualities. They pay rent on time, they take care of the property, and they follow the terms of the lease. You also want a tenant who is willing to stay in the property for a long time and is able to communicate any questions, maintenance problems, or concerns.

Many landlords glance at an application and maybe run a credit check before approving a tenant for their property. You have to dig a little deeper than that if you want to be sure you’re getting a great tenant.

If you don’t do a thorough and proper tenant screening, you could end up with a tenant who has prior evictions, a history of damaging rental homes, or a problem keeping jobs. It takes time to screen tenants, especially if you’re a landlord doing it yourself. But, not screening tenants is one of the worst mistakes you can make.

The elements of a thorough tenant screening include a few important things:

  • Credit history. Ignore the credit score and focus on whether the prospective tenant pays utility bills and meets other financial obligations. Make sure you don’t see any outstanding debts to previous landlords or management companies.
  • Criminal history. Recent felonies, or a history of violent behavior is problematic. Check everything from the terrorist watch list to the sexual predator database.
  • Employment and income. You want a tenant who earns at least three times the amount of rent. Talk to employers and ask for pay stubs.
  • Landlord references. Ask previous and current landlords about the tenant and whether they would be willing to rent to that person again.
Dallas Landlord Mistake No. 2: Not Documenting the Condition of the Home

Before your tenant moves in, you need to conduct a move-in inspection. This is where you go through the property, room by room and closet by closet, and you document its condition. It’s an important step in making sure the home is ready for the tenant. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate what the property looks like when you hand over the keys.

Make detailed notes and take a lot of pictures. No detail is too small. Photograph the condition of paint and appliances. Take pictures of floors, windows, ceilings – everything. At the end of the lease term, you’ll also conduct a move-out inspection. You’ll be able to compare the condition of the home when a tenant moved in to what it looked like when a tenant moved out.

This is important because if there’s damage that you want to charge the security deposit for, you’ll have to prove that the damage wasn’t there before your tenant moved in. Judges aren’t going to take your word for it. If you withhold $200 from a security deposit to fix a wall that has a gaping hole in it, you’ll need to show a picture of that wall without the hole before your tenant moved in, and a picture of the same wall with the hole when your tenant moved out.

It’s a mistake not to do this because you’ll end up spending money on repairs that should have been the tenant’s responsibility.

Dallas Landlord Mistake No. 3: Lack of Legal Knowledge

Unless you’re a lawyer, you probably don’t spend a lot of time keeping up with legal changes and regulatory requirements. But, if you’re a landlord renting out property in Dallas, there are a few things you need to be aware of, otherwise you could find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit.

There are federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act which impact how you rent out your property and to whom. Not following these laws can cost you thousands of dollars.

It’s easy to make an unintentional fair housing mistake. When landlords advertise their properties and choose tenants, they often don’t think about how their words, questions, and decisions can look to federal agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Landlords often make the mistake of not screening all applicants consistently. You should have a written set of procedures so you can show your process of choosing a tenant to anyone who asks. Establish a list of criteria and hand that out to every applicant so that your requirements are in writing and non-negotiable.

Service animals and emotional support animals are not pets. You cannot deny someone with a service animal because you have a no-pet policy. This will get you in a lot of legal trouble. You cannot allow an emotional support animal and then charge a pet deposit or extra pet rent. It’s a violation of federal law. If you don’t know the laws, you could make some very serious mistakes.

There are also the requirements of the Texas Property Code. All landlords renting out property in Dallas need to have these things, at a minimum:

  • New key for new tenants within seven days of move-in.
  • Keyless deadbolts on all exterior doors.
  • Peep holes or door viewers on all exterior doors.

These are just a few of the requirements. You need to know a lot more about the landlord and tenant laws in order to avoid disputes, lawsuits, and claims. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t have to worry about these things.

Dallas Landlord Mistake No. 4: Inconsistent Rent Collection

Tenants who don’t pay rent on time are a huge problem. If you’re an independent landlord managing your own home, you probably want to be a nice person. That’s admirable. But, you have to treat this rental property like a business, because that’s what it is. It’s an investment that needs to bring you regular income. When tenants are late with rent payments, your cash flow is disrupted. It’s a mistake to be laid back about rental payments.

Make sure your lease is clear about when rent is due, how much is due, and how it’s expected to be paid. The lease should also reference any late fees and other consequences that are part of your rent collection policy. Then, you have to enforce this part of the lease.

When you allow tenants to pay whenever they feel like it, you’re setting a dangerous standard. What if the tenants stop paying altogether? You might find yourself having to evict them, and if you’ve been inconsistent with your rent collection up to that point, getting them to meet their obligations or leave your property will be difficult.

Don’t get emotionally involved with your tenants. They will have excuses and stories for why rent is not paid on time, and some of them might even be true. But it’s your responsibility to get the rent in on time so you can meet your own obligations. If you have trouble enforcing your lease and consistently collecting rent, turn it over to a professional property manager so you don’t end up losing money or your property.

Dallas Landlord Mistake No. 5: Deferring Property Maintenance

Maintenance can be expensive, and if you don’t have relationships in place already with some great vendors and contractors, it can be a struggle to coordinate. However, it’s a fact that your rental property will need maintenance and repairs at some point. Some landlords put those things off, which is a mistake. You absolutely must be responsive to maintenance needs. You have to be thorough and proactive.

There are two reasons for this.

  • First, preventative maintenance preserves the condition of your home and keeps it increasing in value. If you begin to ignore the small maintenance problems like leaks under sinks or holes in the roof, you’re going to end up with bigger, more complicated, and more expensive repairs in the future. You’re also going to compromise the integrity of your house. It will be difficult to increase rent or to eventually sell the home when it’s falling apart. Keep the property maintained so you don’t drive down its value.
  • Another reason it’s a mistake to ignore or defer maintenance is that it has a negative impact on your tenants. A good tenant is not going to stay in a property that isn’t well-maintained. Your current tenants will move out as soon as they have the chance if their repair requests go unanswered. That’s going to lead to longer vacancy times and more expenses for you.

Make those repairs and work with good vendors who can tell you when things are going south. It’s a mistake to think that small problems won’t get worse.

These are just the top five mistakes that we see landlords in Dallas make all the time. We can help you avoid these errors. For more information about Dallas property management, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management.

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Getting Your Property Rent Ready - YouTube

Preparing your property for the rental market is the essential first step in becoming a landlord who earns rental income. You cannot advertise your house, show the unit to interested people, or place a tenant until the property is ready to be someone’s home.

To attract the right tenants and get your property rented quickly, it has to be move-in ready. Today, we’re sharing some of the things you must be sure to do before you begin to market your rental property to prospective tenants.

Pricing your Home to Rent Quickly

Everyone wants to earn as much rent as possible. But that doesn’t always mean charging the most every month.

To really increase your rental income and your long term ROI, you need to avoid vacancy and get a good tenant into your property quickly. Over-pricing your home will not help. You need to take a close look at the market, and price your home accordingly. Forget what it will take to cover your mortgage payment, expenses, and a little extra cash flow every month. Those things don’t matter when it comes to pricing your property correctly. What really matters is:

  • Location.
  • Property condition and size.
  • The market and how it’s performing.

Focus on your competition. Look for properties that are similar to yours, and make sure you aren’t pricing your home higher than they are. That will only give your prospective renters a reason to choose a house that isn’t yours.

Overpricing means extending your vacancy. If it takes you a month longer to rent out your home, you’ve lost an entire month’s rent. That’s going to hurt a lot more than reducing your rent by $25 or $50 or even $100 per month. Be smart. Overpricing will also attract the wrong tenants. Only people who are rejected by other landlords will be willing to pay more than the Dallas rental market will bear. Good tenants who pay rent on time and have excellent landlord references will know what they’re willing to pay. They will know your competition, and they will choose their next home wisely.

Take Care of Maintenance and Repairs

Your property isn’t ready for the rental market until everything is safe, functional, and habitable. Everything needs to be in perfect working order. That includes the closet door that sticks and the tubs that need caulk. You have to present a well-maintained home. It helps you in a number of different ways.

First, it preserves the condition and value of your asset. Deteriorating homes are always more expensive when it comes to upkeep. Any deferred maintenance will come back to haunt you.

Second, it shows the tenant that you are serious about the condition of your home, and it tells them what you expect in terms of maintenance during the tenancy. If you allow a tenant to move into a home that needs repairs and replacements, you’re basically telling the tenant that you don’t care much about the property.

Before you rent out your home, make sure all of the appliances work. Check every outlet and light switch. Flush every toilet, turn on every faucet, and open and close all drawers, cabinets, and closets. You want the tenants to move in with a clean slate. Promising that you’ll come back to fix something before a tenant has even unpacked is not the best way to begin your relationship.

Put together a checklist, and go through the property. Once everything on your list is checked off, you know that the maintenance needs have been met and it’s ready to be occupied by a responsible, proactive tenant.

Consider Upgrades and Improvements

It’s hard to pour extra money into your property before you’ve even begun earning any money on it, but investing in some small cosmetic upgrades can really help you earn more. You don’t have to do a complete renovation. Instead, make some small improvements that tenants will notice and appreciate.

For example, if you install new hardware on the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, you’ll give the whole room a modern, updated look. Instead of replacing worn carpet, consider putting in some hard surfaces such as tile or laminate. New faucets will get attention and so will updated window coverings. A rental property that has something other than those plastic, white mini-blinds will really stand out.

Check the Texas Property Code

Before you can rent your home out to tenants, you need to make sure it’s compliant with the Texas Property Code. For example, all of your exterior doors must have a keyless deadbolt. You also need to re-key your property before new tenants move in. A door viewer, commonly called a peephole, is also required, so your tenants can see who is outside before they open the door.

If you have a sliding patio or balcony door, it needs to have a pin lock and either a locking handle or a security bar. These are not recommended features; these are things you are legally required to do. Make sure they are taken care of before you begin showing your property. Your home is not ready for the rental market without them.

Professional Cleaning for Your Dallas Rental Property

A clean property is absolutely critical. Do not put it on the market if it is still cluttered with your own personal property or with things that belonged to former tenants. It should be empty, fresh, and clean. Hire professionals who will clean every bit of the home. You want the appliances to be pulled out from the walls, ceiling fans to be relieved of their dust, and toilets sparkling like they’ve never been used before.

It’s important not to be stingy when it comes to cleaning. Good tenants will simply be unwilling to move into a property that isn’t totally clean. Would you want to live with someone else’s dirt?

Provide an outstanding home, and you’ll attract an outstanding tenant. Outstanding homes don’t have to be huge, perfect, or even ideally located. But, they do need to be clean. Cleanliness is never negotiable with a rental property. Clean it thoroughly and make sure the tenants understand that you’ll expect to have it returned in an equally clean condition.

Curb Appeal and Landscaping

First impressions are very important, and the way your property looks from the outside will help prospective tenants determine whether they even want to bother checking out the interior.

If you are renting out a single family home or a duplex with a yard, make sure the lawn is mowed and the bushes are trimmed back. Provide an outdoor space that is easy to maintain. Your tenants will not want to spend their weekends pulling weeds and watering lawns.

When you have a pool, you’ll want to ensure it is safe. Hire a professional to maintain it. You can include the cost in the rent, and you’ll be sure that the pool stays safe, pleasant, and pretty.

Take a look at your home from the street. If you see debris, trash, and a general mess, you need to take action immediately. Make sure you give prospective tenants a reason to come inside and look around. Show them that you have pride in your property, and they’ll have pride in it, too.

Marketing your Dallas Rental Property

Once your home is clean, maintained, and compliant with all state, local, and federal laws, you’re ready to put it on the rental market!

Have a clear strategy about how and where you’ll market your home. Many landlords are quick to simply throw an ad up on Craigslist. While that may be a valuable resource when you’re seeking tenants, you want to remember that you’re hoping to attract high quality tenants. Those prospects are going to be on some of the more popular rental sites. They’ll be looking for their next home on Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, or Rentals.com. They might be working with a real estate agent, who has access to the MLS. Make sure your listing shows up in these places, and make sure it stands out with professional photos and clear, descriptive text.

Yard signs are still effective. When you post a professional yard sign that provides general information about the property, when it’s available, and contact information, you might attract someone who happens to be driving or walking through the neighborhood. It will also give neighbors in the area an opportunity to make a referral.

One of the best ways to effectively prepare your property for the rental market is to work with a professional Dallas property management company. Property managers know the Dallas market, and they understand the needs and desires of Dallas tenants. When you partner with a professional, you know you’re getting:

  • A smart pricing strategy.
  • Professional marketing.
  • All legal guidelines will be met.
  • Excellent photos that show off your home’s assets.
  • Relationships with the real estate network in Dallas.
  • Knowledge and experience on what works well and how to rent quickly.

Even if you want to manage your property on your own, it can help to have a professional prepare it for the market and find you a tenant. This is the best way to protect your home and your bottom line.

If you have any questions while you’re getting your own investment property ready for the market, or you’re interested in hearing more about Dallas property management, please contact us at Specialized Property Management.

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DIY vs. Professional Property Management - YouTube

Do you remember the last time you gave yourself a root canal or washed the windows in your office building?

You probably don’t do those things regularly, because you know they are best left to the experts.

Property management also has better results when you leave the day-to-day work to experienced professionals.

There are some good reasons for landlords to take care of their own rental properties. If you only have one or two properties and you’re retired, with some experience in real estate and maintenance and law, and you enjoy enforcing rules and dealing with tenants, you might make a great DIY landlord. However, if you have a full time career, family responsibilities, or other passions you’d like to spend your life pursuing, you may want to hand over the management responsibilities to a professional.

If you’re not able to keep up with the ever-changing landlord and tenant laws in Texas, you’re not interested in staying on top of fair housing and discrimination cases, and you’ve never read the Texas Property Code – it’s time to hire an expert.

Today, we’re explaining why hiring a professional Dallas property manager is almost always the best way to be a successful real estate investor.

Dallas Property Management: Knowledge, Experience, and Resources

Smart investors know that it’s impossible to put a dollar value on the amount of knowledge and experience that comes with working alongside professionals. Your asset is better protected and better positioned to earn you more money.

Professional managers have experience in a variety of areas, and these happen to be the areas in which DIY landlords tend to struggle the most:

  • Finding and placing tenants. If you’ve been managing your own home and you don’t understand why you can’t find great tenants, you probably don’t have a process in place for pricing, marketing, and screening like professional property managers do.
  • Enforcing the lease. It’s harder for individual landlords to collect rent on time and ensure the tenants are following the terms of the lease. Unauthorized residents and pets are more likely to show up in a property when there’s a DIY landlord.
  • Understanding laws. The Texas Property Code requires you to re-key the property before a new tenant moves in. You also have to provide peepholes and deadbolts on all exterior doors. If you don’t know this and you’re unsure about how long you can hold a security deposit or how to know the difference between a service animal and a pet, you need professional management.

Your property manager has access to procedures, forms, and resources that individual landlords simply cannot find on their own. Take advantage of all this experience and knowledge so your property performs better.

Investment Property ROI and Professional Dallas Property Management

Some landlords worry that paying for professional management will mean a reduction in rental income and ROI.

This is not the case. Yes, you’ll pay a management fee, but that fee is usually tax deductible. Most landlords find that the money they save and the extra rent they earn more than pays for professional management. So instead of worrying about what you have to pay your manager every month, think about what you’re earning that you might not earn if you were doing this on your own.

  1. Lower vacancy rates. A professional property manager can rent your home a lot faster than you could on your own. With a lot of experience marketing rental properties, a system for showings and screening, and immediate lease signing and tenant placement, your property manager can save you up to a month of lost rental income by avoiding a longer vacancy period.
  2. Higher rents. You might not know exactly what to charge. A lot of independent landlords will pick a random rental amount that sounds good, or matches the mortgage and insurance payments they need to make on the property. Strategically and intentionally pricing your home according to the market will help you earn more and find a better quality of tenant.
  3. Lower maintenance costs. Professional property managers have relationships in place with vendors and contractors, and we provide them with a steady stream of work. This allows us to negotiate owner-friendly rates for the work that’s done on your property. You’ll end up spending a lot less on both minor repairs and major projects when you’re using the relationships that professional managers already have in place.
  4. Increased property value. With regular inspections, preventative maintenance, and legal protections to ensure your rental property is compliant with all codes and laws, your investment will increase in value. One of a property manager’s jobs is to preserve the condition of your home so you can continue to earn more in rent and eventually prepare to sell at a profit.
Professional Property Management Reduces Stress

As a DIY landlord, you must be prepared to answer the phone and respond to tenant emergencies 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Inevitably, the water heater will burst at 2:00 in the morning on a Saturday. The air conditioning will go out while you’re on your summer vacation. This is stressful, but if you aren’t available and responsive, both your property and your tenant will suffer.

It’s also stressful when someone claims your application is discriminatory or you violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. What do you do when a tenant breaks the lease or cannot pay rent or accidentally drives a car through your garage door? Owning a rental property isn’t always one horror story after another, but terrible things do happen. Even the everyday tasks can be a hassle, whether it’s showing a property to prospective tenants or arguing over the definition of wear and tear when you’re refunding a security deposit.

It’s hard to enjoy the profits of owning rental real estate when you’re bogged down in the problems and the details. A professional manager can keep you above all that. Your property manager will be the buffer between you and your tenant. A good manager will stay one step ahead of everything your property needs, cutting down on the emergencies and the catastrophes.

From Best Case Scenarios to Worst Case Scenarios

Perhaps you’ve been lucky. Maybe you continue to manage your own property because you’ve had the same tenants in place for the last five years, and you never ever hear from them. They pay their rent on time, so you haven’t raised it. Plus, they’ve never requested maintenance and they’ve never complained about anything.

That may sound like a great situation. But, if you’ve never been inside the property to make a repair or conduct an inspection, you have no idea what it looks like. That can be dangerous. And, if you haven’t bothered to renew the lease year after year or raise the rent, you’re probably losing money.

Even the easiest tenants can have a sudden change in life circumstance. That tenant who has been paying reliably on time might suddenly lose a job or get sick. The resident who never requests maintenance might move out and you’ll find thousands of dollars in property damage.

Property managers won’t wait for the worst possible thing to happen. Instead, you’ll have a proactive, businesslike professional who is not emotionally involved with your tenants. That will create the best outcome for your investment property.

Weighing the Cost versus the Benefits

So, for the cost of a leasing fee and a management fee, you’re getting experience, knowledge, protection, resources, and procedures. You’re getting your time back, reducing your blood pressure, and increasing your ROI.

The benefits of professional management go far beyond what we have discussed here. A property manager can help you decide if it’s time to buy a new investment property. You can rely on his or her experience to tell you where you should invest and how much your new home will bring in for rent. If you’re an out of state investor, you can count on your property manager to be your local eyes and ears.

Whether you want to be a hands-on investor who participates in every decision that’s made for the property or someone who sits back and collects the rent checks, a professional Dallas property manager will make the most sense for you. You’ll earn more. You’ll spend less. You’ll have a better experience as a landlord and an investor. Your tenants will be happier, too, and happy tenants tend to stay in place.

Think about your goals as a real estate investor. Are you hoping to spend all your time taking care of your rental property while pinching pennies, or do you want to access the talents of some of the smartest people in the real estate industry to improve your investment decisions and help you earn more on your property? You probably don’t hesitate to get professional haircuts, professional health screenings, and even professional car washes. There’s no reason that you wouldn’t consult a professional when it comes to managing one of the largest assets in your portfolio.

If you need any help deciding whether you’re in a position to manage your own home properly, contact us at Specialized Property Management. We can tell you more about how to benefit from professional Dallas property management.

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