Documenting everything associated with your Fort Worth rental property is the best way to protect yourself and your investment. It’s easy to make a mistake, even if you’re an experienced landlord. Mistakes aren’t quite as terrible as they could be if you have the right documentation, however.
Today, we’re explaining how the proper paperwork and the right rental agreements can keep you out of legal and financial trouble.
Use a Strong Lease Agreement
A strong lease will protect your rights as well as those of your tenants. If you don’t use the right lease, you could find yourself unable to enforce things like rental payments and move-out requirements.
Make sure you use a lease that’s specific to Texas. Downloading a lease template you found on the internet that was created by a real estate attorney in New York or Nevada or Florida will not help you. It’s important that your lease is legally compliant with all of the Texas laws, including the requirements of the Texas Property Code. Get your lease agreement from a trusted attorney or a property management company.
The lease should reference everything from when rent is due to what the consequences will be for unpaid rent. It should indicate whether pets are allowed, who is responsible for landscaping and maintenance issues, and how tenants should report repairs. Include all of the necessary legal addenda and make sure there are instructions pertaining to notice periods when a tenant wants to move out as well as a list of requirements that a tenant must follow to receive a full security deposit refund.
Track Maintenance Requests and Inspection Reports
When there’s an emergency repair that’s needed at the property, you’ll probably want your tenants to call you or your property manager.
However, for routine maintenance issues, have your tenants submit them in writing. This will give you the documentation you need to track when the request was made and when you responded to it. This will also provide you with a reliable maintenance record of work that was done on your property. It can help you plan for major repairs and replacements.
Maintain Effective Accounting Practices
Tracking the income and expenses related to your rental property is critical. You’ll need that information at tax time, and you also want to be smart about the decisions you make going forward. You need a clear understanding of what you’re earning and where you’re losing money.
Electronic forms, reports, and statements are easy to generate, especially if you’re using a software system that supports everything you need to do and track.
Work with a Professional Fort Worth Property Management Company
If you’re serious about protecting your investment property but you just don’t have the time to create a lease agreement, develop forms and paperwork, and double-check the state and federal laws that apply to your rental home, work with a property manager.
We already have the systems and paperwork in place to effectively and efficiently manage your property. You’ll be protected and successful. For more information on how we can help, please contact us at Trend Property & Management. We’d love to tell you more.