Everything You Should Know About Renter’s Insurance

What is renter’s insurance?

Renters insurance is essentially financial protection for you and your stuff. It’s like home owner’s insurance for tenants. However, it is much cheaper because it only includes what is inside the home. Some landlords require it, however often it is up to the tenants if they want to purchase it.

Personal Property Coverage

Most policies will cover property that has been stolen or damaged by fire or vandalism. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding or earthquakes that will be a separate policy.
Nearly everything you own will be covered. Tv, Jewelry, Furniture, Clothes, etc. Things it doesn’t cover include, car, pets, roommates’ stuff.
Insurance companies will reimburse you in one of two ways. Replacement Cost policies which will pay for the cost of replacing your stolen or damaged things with new ones. For example, if your bike was stolen, they will pay the cost of replacing your stolen bike with the cost of a new one. Then there are Actual Cash Value policies that pay to replace your things based on the value of them at the time of the incident. So, as you can guess the replacement policies will be more expensive.

Liability coverage

The second type of coverage you will get is liability coverage. Which protects you if someone gets injured in your rental and sues you. It sometimes covers medical payments if someone is injured in the property.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

Renters insurance is one of the most affordable policies you can buy. However, the cost varies by a few different factors. But the average cost I about $180 a year. According to the insurance agency group it is typically around $15 a month.

What can influence the cost of your policy?

• Your location: In general, if you live in a location that is prone to sever weather you can generally expect your rate to be slightly higher.
• Your credit score: In general, the higher your credit score the lower your rate will be.
• Amount of coverage: The more coverage you want the higher your rate will be. This depends on how much you own and the value of the items.
• The safety features installed in your unit: If your unit has a security system such as a house alarm, cameras, etc. already included or one that you choose to place, this could lower your monthly payments because having that amenities will reduce your potential risk of having a robbery.

The Need For Rentals Is Rising In 2021

 Are you in the know on what is currently happening in the real estate market here in Texas? Did you know that most young families and young professionals are turning to renting rather than buying? Available homes for purchase are also few and far between making many choose to rent long term. 

This means that rental properties are needed more than ever! So this may be your perfect time to invest in real estate! Do you have a home that could be used for your rental property investment already? Or have you found a home for a steal? Well you are already one step closer to making money off a real estate investment! Have you been worried about not making money, or running into trouble getting it leased out? Good news! The market here in 2021 makes it the best year for you to start your investment because those two factors are very unlikely to happen at this time.

Let me explain. Young families/ professionals who are just starting out may not have the cash to put a large sum of money down when buying a home. And as everyone knows Texas has become a very hot market in the past couple of years. This alone has caused housing prices to rise and these young people often times are getting out bid. Along side the rising cost of preexisting homes, housing materials prices are also at an all time high which has turned many away from building homes also. These factors are making it next to impossible to purchase a home. So what are these people to do. I’ll tell you. RENT!

Considering investing yet? Want more information on how to start? Ready to take the plunge? Visit our website or give us a call today so we can help you make the most off your investment! 

Should I Offer Internet At My Rental Property?

Can you think of a time in the last month that you have gone a whole day without internet? In this day and age internet access has become as necessary to some right up there with electricity and clean water. So as a property owner you may be wondering if it makes sense to offer free internet services included in the rent for their tenants.

While there is  no one right answer to this question, there are a number of important aspects to consider before deciding one way or the other. In some cases, including free internet service with your rental may help attract and retain quality tenants. But in other situations, renters may see the offered services as unwanted or dislike the service provider. Knowing your market and target demographic can help you decide whether offering internet to your tenants is the right choice.

Before you can offer internet, you’ll need to have both services installed and a service plan purchased in advance. For a single-family rental home in a heavily connected area, this may be a quick and straightforward process, especially if your rental property has had internet service in the past.

However, installing and maintaining internet services can place an additional strain on a property owner’s cash flow, and so looking at the financial aspects first is important. The costs to make internet and cable accessible may be completely justified if you expect your target demographic will be attracted to having those amenities already included in their rent. On the other hand, it may not make sense to offer internet to tenants in areas where they are still viewed as add-on services.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to offer cable and internet service to your tenants must come as a result of taking all of these aspects under serious consideration. And, if you haven’t already, consider contacting us with any questions regarding your property!

Valid Reasons for Evicting a Tenant

With these trying times due to the Covid-19 pandemic some tenants have not been as diligent when it comes to making rent payments as they once were. This has caused some property owners to ask what they can do if their rental property is not being taken care of and if money is flying out of their own pocket. Can they evict them? What are other valid reasons for eviction? In general, these serve as valid reasons for wanting to evict a tenant, and can spark the eviction process:

1.Chronic failure to pay rent

 Your property is made available as part of an exchange; your tenants pay you rent every month so they can continue living there. If they stop paying rent, or if you continually face problems with collection, it could be grounds for an eviction. Note that a single missed or late payment probably isn’t a good foundation to evict your tenant. In most cases, it’s better to have a conversation about the issue and try to work out a solution. Only if the issue is recurring, with no effort made to rectify the situation, should eviction be your go-to option.


2.Deliberately violating the lease agreement

 Most good tenants will do their best to stay within the parameters specified in the lease. If they step out of line, a polite conversation or request is usually enough to deter the behavior. However, if a tenant seems to deliberately or excessively violate the terms of your lease, such as misusing the property or having pets when none are allowed, an eviction may be on the table.


3.Significant damage to your property

 Tenants will inevitably cause some wear and tear to your property, whether they mean to or not. However, some tenants, through intention or negligence, may cause serious damage to your property. If these incidents are repeated without the tenant offering to compensate you for the damage, you should have grounds for an eviction.


4.Significant health or safety hazards

It’s important to keep your property in a condition compliant with good health and safety standards. If your tenant violates that, repeatedly, you may be all but forced to evict them. This usually involves unsafe or illegal conduct.


5.Chronic violations of noise or occupancy ordinances

 Some tenants may violate ordinances that make life difficult for you, put you in a bad legal situation, or otherwise negatively impact the neighborhood. For example, if they’re frequently hosting loud parties into the early hours of the morning or if they violate occupancy ordinances in your local area, you may be able to evict them.


Bad Reasons for Evicting a Tenant

These reasons, are invalid motivations to evict someone. Trying to evict someone for one of these reasons could lead to legal action against you:

Some tenants will be a thorn in your side without breaking the law, or make life difficult for you in a frustrating—but entirely legal—way. In these situations, you’ll be tempted to evict the tenant as a way of punishing them, or as a way to prevent future, similar behavior. This is considered retaliation and is not an acceptable motivation for eviction. For example, if they make a report to the health department that creates hours of work for you, that’s well within their rights. Attempting to evict a tenant after this could be problematic for you.

Any eviction that could be interpreted as discriminatory may also be disallowed in court. There are many possible forms of discrimination, including discriminating against someone based on their ethnicity, their race, their abilities (or disabilities), or whether they have children. Though it’s unlikely you’ll be directly motivated to evict someone based on prejudice, it’s important that you realize this potential interpretation exists, and that you have a crystal-clear case demonstrating why your eviction is not motivated by discrimination.



Pros and Cons Of Including Landscaping Services For Your Tenants

Thinking of hiring a landscaping company for your rental property? Here are some pros and cons!

1. Pro: You will maintain your property value/ Curb appeal
When you keep up with the landscaping at your property you will maintain a positive curb appeal and value for the home. Sadly, you can’t guarantee your tenants will handle the yard work on time and to your specifications. To avoid the potential for your property value to drop, hire a professional landscaper and include it in the lease price.

2. Con: Professional landscaping cost money
Unless you have the time, a green thumb and intend to do the yard work yourself you will need to hire a landscaping company to do the yard work for you. Generally, you can charge a slightly higher rent rate if you intend to pay for the landscaping for your residents. This may even draw residents to the property because its less work they will have to do to maintain the home as well.

3. Pro: You can control what gets cut down
In the winter when bushes and flowers aren’t in bloom residents could mistake them as dead and cut them down. When you control the land scaping you can prevent good plants from mistakenly being torn out. This will result in less you have to spend to replace them.

4. Con: Your tenants may feel invaded
If you constantly have people over at the home tending to the yard the residents may feel that their privacy is being invaded. You also will have some residents that want peace and quiet and the loud tools use to landscape can become frustrating. Especially when they come in the early hours of the day.

5. Pro: Landscaping expenses are a tax write off
Any expenses you incur to manage your property is a tax write-off. Just because it’s a tax write-off doesn’t mean you should spend the money. However, if it makes sense for you to cover landscaping services, don’t forget to itemize the services on your tax return.

6. Con: You will have to haul away debris
When a resident handles the landscaping themselves the  cleanup from the landscaping also becomes their responsibility. Which some residents may feel is a hassle and will leave it in the yard. So if you are considering different landscaping companies make sure that debris haul off is included in their services.

7. Pro: You won’t get in trouble with the HOA
Some homes and neighborhoods will have an HOA. As many know, you can receive fines if the yard violates the HOA regulations. To prevent from receiving the fines for your residents mistakes you could hire a company that knows how to keep the yard to the HOAs specifications. This may be a more cost efficient option rather than constantly receiving fines.


So as you can see their is many pros and cons to hiring a landscaping company. Ultimately you need to do what is best for you and your property! And as always we are here to help!