The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area provides an incredible opportunity for landlords. With a booming economy, a large percentage of renters, and an array of neighborhood types to choose from, DFW is a prime location for rental investments.
Tip #1: Do area-specific research
Due to the size of the DFW metro area and the number of distinct cities, the rental market is extremely varied. When pricing your rental property, you will need to research the specific city and neighborhood where your property is located. For example, if you have a rental unit near the Cultural District in Fort Worth, you will be able to charge a higher premium than if your property is located in the White Settlement area of Fort Worth. On an even smaller scale, a one block difference in the DFW area could mean a price difference of hundreds of dollars per month.
Take the time to pull reports and research the specific neighborhood to determine a competitive price point. Doing this research up front will save you from either losing out on money because you priced your property too low, or missing out on rental income as the property sits vacant due to overpricing.
Tip #2: Brush up on local regulations
Each rental market is governed by local laws and regulations. Beyond just being familiar with federal policies, such as the Fair Housing Act, it is important that you understand the specific laws that regulate the DFW rental market.
In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, for example, there are specific circumstances that allow a tenant to legally break their lease. These regulations are found in the Texas Property Code Chapter 92. Under this law, tenants are given legal grounds for lease breaking, including the following circumstances:
- The tenant needs to move due to active military duty
- The tenant is a victim of sexual assault
- The tenant is being stalked
- The rental unit does not meet health code standards or is considered uninhabitable
These are just a few examples of the circumstances that allow for legal lease termination.
Another unique regulation to the DFW area is that there is no limit to the amount a landlord can ask for as a security deposit. There are, however, specific regulations about the time frame in which a security deposit must be returned and what is allowed to be deducted from the deposit.
Make sure that before you operate as a landlord, you understand the regulations specific to the city you are operating your rental property within.
Tip #3: Gain the upper hand through superior marketing
The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area is an excellent location to own a rental property due to the influx of new people moving to the area. According to a report from Forbes, 50 percent of households in Dallas County are renters and 40 percent are renters in Tarrant County (Fort Worth).
While there is a large pool of renters to choose from, you will also be facing a highly competitive rental property market. Single-family homes provide the best competitive edge, due to the proliferation of apartment housing.
The best way to stand out from the crowd is to market your property more effectively than your competition in the area. Instead of simply putting up a yard sign or listing your property in one location, focus on a diversified marketing plan. By using a free online marketing tool, you can create one listing that is then syndicated out across the web. This will help you garner more interest in your property.
DISCLAIMER: TurboTenant, Inc. does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.