San Jose Property Management Blog

Why are Rental Property Inspections Important?

Why are Rental Property Inspections Important?

John from Real Property Management Select takes a minute to talk about the importance of rental property inspections.

We rented out a nice one bedroom, one bath unit in our in the local Bay Area neighborhood. Nice individual, great guy, well-qualified, he came in and everything was fine. Fast forward a few months… we start getting a few phone calls from the neighbors that there were more people coming and going and staying in the home. Parking was becoming an issue.

We conducted a periodic inspection, and come to find out they had eight people living on that property. Eight people in a 1-bedroom 1-bath. Now not to mention all the heavy usage of the appliances, the bathroom, the showers, the wear and tear on the carpet and whatnot. Obviously, that is an occupancy hazard and is not allowed. So with a simple periodic inspection, we were able to catch and rectify that problem, preventing any future damage to the property.

Another of the many things we look at when conducting property inspections is HVAC and furnace filters. Are they free of debris? Is air flowing smoothly through the HVAC system? Maintaining a clean filter is going to reduce drag and workload on your HVAC system, and as you know, Northern California is starting to heat up. Anything we can do to minimize the workload on the HVAC will help and will minimize future expense and help maintain positive cash flow for our owners.

Some of the other things we look for is smoke alarm batteries and CO2 detectors. Are they installed correctly throughout the house? Now, these are very important items. Again, you’re helping to alleviate any liability for both you as the owner. The other thing we look for in your rental property is general disarray, neglected but necessary repairs, and obvious signs of lease violations. Did they turn the garage into an auto body shop? Are they holding a flea market in the backyard selling fruits, vegetables, car parts, whatever? Who knows…

The only way we can really properly manage a home effectively is if we can get eyes inside to see how are they preserving your asset. So by properly conducting move-in inspections, periodic rental property inspections, and move-out inspections, you are performing your due diligence in protecting the value of your asset.

For more information on how and why rental property inspections are crucial to the management cycle, please visit us at www.norcalpm.com. Thank you!

How Do I Screen My Tenants

How Do I Screen My Tenants

As a property management company in California, we get this question from rental property owners all the time: “How do I screen my tenants?”

Real estate investors and property managers in the Bay Area and Greater Sacramento face some of the toughest challenges in the world when it comes to finding good renters for their properties. John May of Real Property Management Select describes common mistakes made by rental property owners when screening their tenants.

One of the most common questions asked by rental property investor is, “How do I screen my tenants?”. Which is a fabulous question. One of the things we’ve heard from numerous owners is they post a Craigslist ad, they get a great response, they have a great rapport with a nice couple or an individual. They feel good about that person. They feel he’s a hard worker and a nice guy. So they move forward with a lease.

A few months later… horror stories arise.

Another common story is renting to a family member. I hear, “I’m going to rent it to a family member, it’s my nephew. We’re going to give him a break on the rent, but we know he’s going to take care of the property.”

One of the things we do here at Real Property Management Select is a 5 Point Tenant Screening Program.

This includes:

  • Credit check
  • Rental history and landlord verification
  • Income and employment verification
  • We ensure they have no evictions on record
  • Nationwide criminal background check

Most property management companies only perform a simple credit check. That is only one leg of the determining factors we look at.

All of these steps are very crucial in properly screening your tenant. You can see why the “Eh, he feels like a good guy,” screening method doesn’t seem to work.

For more information about how Real Property Management Select can advise rental property owners on how to screen your tenants, visit www.norcalpm.com to learn more. Thank you.

Renting Out Your Home in San Jose: Initial Legal Concerns & Costs

So you have decided to make some extra money by renting out your home in San Jose.  Before making the leap, there are a few things you need to consider.

Are you familiar with the landlord/tenant laws that can affect what you can and cannot do within the rental relationship? How about local San Jose health codes and/or San Jose city or Santa Clara county licensing requirements for San Jose rental properties? Do you have to have carbon monoxide detectors or how many smoke detectors are required? When is rent due and what is the legal late fee? And then there is the question of security deposits: whose money is it and when does it need to be returned? How do you make a claim to be reimbursed for expenses incurred by the tenant?

As you can see there is quite a bit to know about being a San Jose landlord and many ways to put your San Jose investment property and yourself at risk by not following guidelines, rules, ordinances and laws pertaining to rental properties. Before renting out your home, make sure you familiarize yourself with these items and talk with your insurance provider to make sure you have an investment property or landlord policy as a homeowner’s policy will not cover loss, damage or injury once you are no longer the primary resident in the home. You will need to plan spending three to seven hours to familiarize yourself with the various legal and insurance considerations before renting out your home in San Jose.

Next, you will need to have a way that the prospective renters can apply to rent your property. Leases can be purchased online or at an office supply store for low prices ($30-$40). However, many times these leases are not compliant to your local laws, and expose you as a Landlord to undue risk and liability. Use caution to ensure that you are not inadvertently violating renter’s rights by asking questions that may be unlawful as a landlord to ask. It is a good idea to have your lease reviewed by legal counsel to ensure the lease protects your rights as well as is compliant with your state’s laws.   You will need to plan spending two to three hours finding a lease, as well as $300 to $600 for an attorney to review your lease to ensure that it complies with regulations.

If you’d prefer to skip the headache, you can always call the RPM Select Team for some advice. Even if you don’t want to take advantage of our services, we consider ourselves to be educators, and will be happy to advise. Call our team today at (408) 526-0900 to speak to a San Jose property management professional.