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By Tammy Sorensen, Harbor Bay Realty Property Management
Alameda, CA - It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re managing your own investment property; but, they are usually avoidable. Listed below are ten common errors
landlords often make when managing investment property.
Owning rental property means being in business and the day to day operations should run professionally. Proper screening involves having written standards of your criteria. Your standards should be strict but reasonable so that you obtain the best qualified tenant for your property.
Having a written agreement is your opportunity to have all of your requirements, both legal and personal detailed so that your tenant will know your expectations. This will avoid potential disputes and problems.
Once you have your written rental agreement, enforce the policies set forth. Enforcing your policies is essential to being a good landlord and business owner.
An annual inspection will help to protect you and your resident form safety and financial liabilities. Some tenants have been known to remove smoke detectors batteries. Annual inspections provide you with the opportunity to verify that the alarm is working properly and is in the proper location. An annual inspection will also allow you a chance to catch lease violations and deferred maintenance.
Whether you are attempting to perform an annual inspection or to conduct a repair; you must give proper notice to your tenant. California Civil Code Section 1954 grants the owner the right to enter for specific reasons. Notice must be given 24 hours in advance. In the event of an emergency, the landlord may enter without 24 hours notice.
It is simply not a good idea to attempt to handle an eviction yourself. There are eviction attorneys in our area who have the expertise to deal with an eviction. Many times they may be able to reach a stipulated agreement with the tenant and can get you your money or possession of the property by a specified date.
Postponing rent increases is easy to do, but not your wisest business decision. Evaluating your monthly rent and giving small increases annually is a better decision than waiting until you need to give a much larger increase.
A detailed inspection of the property should be performed as each tenant vacates your property. Have all of the work completed and then inspect again. It is easier for you to start a business relationship with your new tenant when your property is 100% ready. First impressions are lasting impressions, especially in a landlord-tenant relationship.
When your tenant calls to request a maintenance repair, show them that you are genuinely concerned about keeping your investment in the best condition possible. When your tenant realizes that you have pride of ownership, you may find that they respect both you and your investment more.
California law allows you 21 days to deliver an itemized list of deductions from the tenant’s security deposit. The remaining balance must be sent to the tenant. In the event that you do not have a forwarding address for the tenant, simply mail the deposit disbursement and documents to the address of the property which they just vacated. The U.S. Postal Service will forward the mail to them.
By utilizing the professional property management services provided by Harbor Bay Realty Property Management, you can avoid these costly mistakes. Harbor Bay Realty is committed to increasing the value of your investment and the safety of your tenants by providing the best service and the latest property management business practices. We have specialized in full service property management for almost years. Our number one goal is to help owners achieve the best possible return on their real estate investments. For more information regarding our services, please call Tammy Sorensen at 510.814.4899.