Hiring a Property Manager

A rental property can be a great investment.  You hire a Property Manager (PM).  You get your monthly statements.  And,depending on certain factors such as the condition of the property or the debt obligation, you could receive a nice monthly income. While a great investment, it can also be a huge liability. Careful selection of a competent PM who can lower your liability, maintain your property and select qualified applicants is crucial.

How do you select an excellent Property Manager?  Here are a few questions you may want to ask.

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Landlord Liability

Did you know?  Should you have known?

I’ve always said, “You can do everything right, and still, someone will sue you.”  Being a housing provider is a high-liability business.  No matter how well you maintain your property there is always something that could go wrong.

Michele Holt Mamertoand NielMamerto (referred to as the Mamertos) owned a residential property located in Escondido, California.  In 2005, they rented the property to George Jakubec.  The same year the Mamertos hired Mario Garcia to maintain the landscaping, which he continued to do at least once every two weeks throughout the duration of the tenant’s residency.  On November 18, 2010, Garcia was injured when he walked over unstable explosive (bomb) material on the backside of the premises and the material exploded under him.

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Tenant Move Out Procedures and Security Deposits

Occasionally, someone will contact me saying their tenant just moved out and they want to know what charges they can deduct from the tenant’s deposit.   My first question to them is “Did you offer them an initial inspection?”

In California, you are required by law to offer the tenant an “initial inspection” during the last two weeks of their tenancy to give them the opportunity to repair any items you find so that they know what is expected of them when they move out.  Your notice to terminate the tenancy, or confirmation of the tenant’s notice to vacate, should include the following statement:

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Rental Market Slow Down

The ads are running but the phones aren’t ringing.

Over the last few years we have been dealing with a serious housing shortage causing a steady increase in rental values. This is not new news to anyone. But have the winds begun to change. Historically a hot market reaches a plateau where it flattens out and even declines. We may be experiencing such a market now.

Inquiring with owner/brokers of residential property management companies in Santa Clara County the consensus isthat there has been anundeniable shift in the market.

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Roommates are Okay, Subletting is Not

Do You Know Who’s Living in Your Unit?

We recently had a member ask us about an unusual situation after a tenant moved out.  The tenant had given a 30 day notice to vacate.  Once the tenant had moved the manager noted excessive damage to the unit.  Unfortunately, the manager didn’t send out the disposition of the deposit within the 21 daysprompting inquiries about the late return from not one, but two different parties.  The original tenant had sublet the unit to another party without the manager’s permission.  Both claimed to be entitled to the security deposit.

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