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3 Texas Laws Every Investment Property Owner Should Know

3 Texas Laws Every Investment Property Owner Should Know

If you’re a property owner or manager in any state, you should always stay abreast of any laws that could potentially affect you, your tenants, or the property and business. As an investment property owner, having a basic knowledge of Texas landlord-tenant law, tenant’s rights, and pending legislation, is essential to your investment success. Here are three Texas laws every property owner and manager should know.

1. All Bills Paid

If your property has an all-bills-paid promise, this one is for you. This law states that tenants have the right to know if their utilities will be disconnected due to unpaid bills by the owner or manager. In other words, you are accountable to your tenants for keeping payments up-to-date. If you fail to make payments, the utility company you owe money to has the right to notify your tenants.

2. Breaking a Lease

In Texas laws, there is little leniency for tenants to break a lease; but there is a law that allows just that, and for good reason. According to this mandate, victims of domestic violence are now allowed to break their lease if they feel they are at risk. It’s not broken down, but it’s probably safe to say that the property owner or manager must be notified of the possibility from the beginning.

3. Pet Allowance

An updated law now gives disabled Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, who have a service animal, the same access as others with service animals for other reasons. This law also applies to your property’s pet policy. You may not prevent someone with a service animal from living on your property, even if you have a policy against pets. In addition to an exception to the pet policy, the property cannot charge a pet deposit for a service animal. 

Navigating Texas Laws 

Do you need help navigating Texas laws to help ensure your property is always in compliance? We can help. Class A Management offers an extensive range of services that covers all property investment and management processes. It’s our job to monitor changes in laws and advise you on how this impacts your properties. We also work with tenants through the lease management process to ensure every aspect of their occupancy is within state-mandated requirements. 

Contact us today with any of your property management questions. You will connect with an expert member of our team who will assist you in finding the answers you need.

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Property Management Benefits: 10 Signs It’s Time to Hire the Pros

Property management benefits blog post image of a confident woman, smiling while sitting at a computer.

Updated September 2023

Wondering whether it’s time to investigate professional property management benefits? Here are 10 signs that you might need to hire a property management company and make your life a whole lot easier.

10 Situations in Which Property Management Benefits Property Owners

1. Limited Time and Personal Commitments

Do you find yourself juggling multiple responsibilities, personal commitments, and a full-time job? Managing an entire property on top of everything else can be overwhelming. By hiring a property management company, you’ll save time and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is being expertly handled by professionals.

2. Tenant Screening and Placement Headaches

Finding quality tenants is critical for the success of your rental property. A property manager will handle the entire tenant screening process, including credit checks, background checks, and verifying employment and rental history. This will minimize the chances of problematic tenants, lease violations, and rental income disruptions.

3. Rent Collection Hassles

Are you tired of having uncomfortable conversations with your tenants about rent collection? A property management company will handle all rent-related matters, ensuring consistent and timely collection. They’ll also enforce late payment charges and handle any necessary legal actions in case of non-payment.

4. Maintenance and Repair Issues

Responding to maintenance requests and arranging repairs can be a major headache. A property manager will handle maintenance issues promptly, utilizing a network of reliable contractors and vendors. Your property will be regularly inspected, ensuring necessary repairs are identified and handled before they become major problems.

5. Compliance with Tenant Laws

Navigating the complex legal issues that come with owning a rental property can be unnerving. Property management companies are well-versed in local laws and regulations, and will ensure your property is compliant with landlord-tenant laws, fair housing regulations, and any other legal requirements.

6. Marketing and Advertising

Struggling to attract quality tenants? Property managers are experts in marketing and utilize a variety of channels to advertise your property, including online listings, local publications, and social media. They’ll ensure your property stands out, minimizing vacancy periods and maximizing your rental income potential.

7. Handling Evictions

Evictions can be stressful, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Property managers will handle the entire eviction process, adhering to legal protocols, and ensuring timely removal of non-compliant tenants. They’ll minimize your involvement, saving you considerable stress and frustration.

8. Financial Management

Keeping track of rental income, expenses, and financial statements can be overwhelming. A property management company will maintain accurate financial records, providing you with regular reports that detail income, expenses, and cash flow. This ensures transparency and simplifies tax preparation.

9. Market and Rental Rate Changes

Setting the right rental rates can be tricky. Property managers conduct market research and analysis to determine the optimal rental rates for your property. This helps maximize your profitability without pricing your property out of the market.

10. Peace of Mind

Last but not least, hiring a property management company provides you with peace of mind. Knowing that experienced professionals are handling all aspects of your property—from marketing and leasing to maintenance and tenant management—allows you to focus on your other priorities—personal or professional.

Reap the Benefits of a Great Property Management Team

If you decide it’s time to hire a professional property management team to help you in the day-to-day and operations management of your multifamily property, our team is ready to help. Contact Class A Management today to learn more about the benefits you’ll tap into by partnering with our team. Call 817-295-5959 or email

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7 Lease Violations You Can Unknowingly Commit

As a renter, lease violations are easy to commit if you haven’t thoroughly read your lease agreement. How often have you taken the time to thoroughly read through a lease before you sign it? If you’re like most tenants, you probably skim the text for dollar signs, but otherwise assume you won’t violate any terms of the lease because you’re a generally good person.

Yet, in so doing, you’re legally binding yourself to an agreement you may not fully understand. This is the situation many renters find themselves in, especially when it comes to lease violations they didn’t even know existed. Here are 7 examples.

  1. You bought a new car or borrowed your friend’s car while yours is in the shop. Most leases require tenants to register all vehicles with the leasing office. Neglecting to do so is a violation and can result in a fine or towing. Yes, even when just borrowing.
  2. You support your favorite candidate with a campaign sign in your window. While political opinions aren’t against the rules, going against property uniformity may be. Look closely and you may find that your property has a rule against placing anything in or around the unit that keeps it from looking like others.
  3. You decide to grill steaks out on the patio. If using an electric grill, you’re probably okay. But, open flames are a big no-no near building or overhangs and can result in fines or worse due to the risk of fire.
  4. You leave town for a couple of weeks for a much-needed vacation. Indignant that your property may have a rule against getting away? Consider it a way to protect yourself and your belongings. Landlords will most often want to know if you’ll be away for extended periods of time. They will be more alert to your unit, watching it while you’re away. You may have to sign an agreement that he/she can enter while you’re away in the event of an emergency.
  5. You let a friend spend the night…with her new kitten. If your property has a “no pets” policy, it covers even one-night stays. You could wind up facing a hefty fine even with the best of intentions.
  6. You let a friend spend the night…for the whole month while she’s searching for her own apartment. You must be the nicest person on Earth. Yet, your lease likely specifies how long a guest is considered such before they are considered a tenant who needs to sign the lease and pay additional rent.
  7. You find a great bundle and sign up for satellite TV. Attaching a dish to the owner’s property is usually not allowed, and it’s not the satellite company’s job to know it. Imagine having to pay to have the dish removed due to a lease violation, then being stuck in a contract for satellite TV you can’t even watch. Check your lease terms.

Avoid Lease Violations With Clear-Cut Lease Agreements

Class A Management has a number of properties throughout Texas and the surrounding areas. If you live in one of our properties and have a question about the terms of your lease, contact your apartment manager or login to your tenant account to send a question. If you’re looking for a new apartment rental, check out our apartments for rent in Texas and Oklahoma.

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How Property Management Companies Deal With Hoarders [Infographic]

Image of hoarding situation featuring clothing, boxes, and trash many property management companies must face.

Property management companies have to be prepared to manage a great variety of people, personalities, and the challenges that can accompany them. That includes tenants who keep everything – including trash and food – in hoarding piles throughout their rental property.

What is Hoarding?

The idea of hoarding may be fascinating. It’s certainly garnered the attention of a national audience enough to create a few popular television shows. But, what many don’t realize is that hoarding is a real disability with far-reaching implications. See the Appfolio infographic below to learn more about this disorder.

Infographic explaining hoarding and how it may affect property management companies that have to deal with damage from tenants who hoard.

Believe it or not, hoarding is a disability protected under the Fair Housing Act. It cannot be used as a qualification criteria.

What this means for property owners and property management companies is you need to understand people who hoard, and what steps to take when addressing a problem situation before it gets too far out of hand.

Property Management Companies’ Hoarding Nightmares

You can control and protect yourself and the property against the potential issues posed by people with bad credit, criminal records, and prior eviction lawsuits. What you can’t control are the unknowns that come with every other tenant.

Take Ms. Brown in 2A, for example (names and apartment numbers have been changed, don’t worry). She moved in two years ago and seemed to be the model tenant. She was always on time with her rent, quiet and respectful, and kept to herself. But, several months ago, she stopped coming out except on the rare occasion to take out the trash. Even then, other tenants noted odd behavior, and commented on the length of time it took her to discard the bag. Sometimes she even decided not to do so and returned with it to her unit instead.

It was when her neighbor in 1A started complaining of a smell wafting through the vents that it became necessary to take action. The owner, friends, and family were utterly shocked to discover the conditions in which Ms. Brown had been living, at least for several months, if not more.

What Hoarding Looks Like in an Apartment

Mrs. Brown had stacks of items grouped in every room in her apartment. She used every available surface to stack and store a wide variety of items—from old newspapers, bills, and magazines, to boxes and boxes of toiletries and paper goods.

Even the bags of trash were sitting by the door. She said she was going to go through them to see what she could salvage.

What Rights do Property Owners and Property Management Companies Have When it Comes to Hoarders?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Commonly hoarded items may be newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, cardboard boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing.”

While it may seem like a harmless condition, the potential threats to a rental, and especially to multifamily properties, include:

  • Damage to floors where items are stacked
  • Interior decay from collection of trash and other items
  • Fire hazards from collection of paper goods and flammables
  • Obstruction hazards that make access difficult in case of emergency

And these really just scrape the surface.

Relationships Can Help Identify Issues

Know your tenants, and talk to them regularly. Property management companies focus a lot of time on developing relationships between tenants and management, for many reasons. Mrs. Brown’s neighbors noticed a problem, and management was able to get some help and address property issues before her hoarding got too far out of hand. Does your property manager have that kind of relationship with tenants?

Contact Class A Management for more information about the importance we place on community development and creating connections with the tenants and families we serve.


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Rental Deposits: What’s the Right Amount?

Apartment Rental Deposits Amount: blog post image

If you’re new to multifamily property ownership, or even if you’re new to residential renting in general, it’s likely one of the decisions you’re grappling with is the correct amount to charge for a deposit. But let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: charging a deposit is a must. It’s a non-negotiable under any circumstance. It’s your protection in the event of default or damage, and it establishes the relationship between tenant and owner.

Now, the key is making sure the amount you decide to charge fits your needs and doesn’t drive away prospective tenants. Here are six tips to help you find that balance.

Six tips for setting and reviewing rental deposits

  1. Know your state’s limits.  Some states do have a set ceiling on the amount owners are allowed to charge for deposits. It’s important to know whether your state is one of them and the exact limitation.
  2. Know your tenants. What are your tenants going to be comfortable paying? If it’s a higher priced rental in a nice neighborhood in a wealthier part of town, you know tenants are going to expect to pay for what they get. So, it’s important to understand the type of tenant the property will appeal to.
  3. Know the competition. Do your research. Get on any number of the apartment listing sites online and dig a bit into the properties located around you. It’s important to compare apples to apples, targeting competing properties in your same neighborhood, around the same age, and with similar offerings and amenities. What do they have listed as deposit requirements?
  4. Know the property. It’s likely you think very highly of your property; but you need to be realistic when it comes to how others will see it and what they’ll want to pay. What is the property’s age? What will it cost to repair or replace items or aesthetics within a unit? Having a realistic number in your head of what it will cost to address real damage (not just normal wear and tear) will help put this in perspective.
  5. Know the risks. Are you going to allow higher risk tenants? These are people with less than stellar payment histories, criminal backgrounds, and the like. If so, a considerable allowance for protection is a must.
  6. How will renter incentives impact your deposit? Some properties offer incentives to improve marketing effectiveness and increase occupancy rates. How you structure your incentives may impact the amount you’ll require for a deposit.

Having answers to these questions is a great start that will give you a much more accurate idea of what you’re dealing with and what you might need in order to protect yourself and the property. Many owners and managers ask for a deposit equal to a month’s rent. That way, if he/she skips town on the lease, that last 30 days is covered. Taking it a step further, some charge first month’s rent, last month’s rent plus a deposit equal to a month’s rent. And then even still, it’s not unheard of for deposits to be up to three times the cost of a month’s rent. But this, of course, is for high risk tenants and/or costly properties.

Make deposit language clear, fair, and consistent

Whatever you decide, make it consistent. Charge the same to everyone who requests a lease and don’t show favoritism. The key is to make sure you’re covered. Then, you want to make sure to put it in writing, every single time.  Clarify all the stipulations, detailing out whether the deposit will be refunded or partially refunded, under what terms, and in what time frame. Leave nothing to guessing. And, remember that if you are going to allow pets, it should be treated as a separate and additional deposit.

Need some help walking through the steps and determining the best deposit amount for your property? Let our property management experts help. Call us today at 817-295-5959 or send us an email to