What Are The Essential Items That You Should Include In Your Lease Agreement?

The key to success as a landlord is having a “rock-solid” lease agreement because it’s the one thing that will provide your tenants with all of the rules for things that they can do, and can’t do, when they are living in your rental property.

If you’re new to owning investment properties, or have already had a portfolio of rentals, this article will provide you with a list of things that you should have in your lease agreement.

Disclaimer – The most important thing to do when creating or editing a lease agreement is to consult with an attorney because you want to make sure that your lease is in compliance with all State, Federal and local laws.

The Essential Items for Your Lease Agreement

#1 – Name of Every Resident – This is the first thing that your lease agreement should have because you want to know the identity of each person (over age 18) who is living in the property.

Each resident must be responsible for paying the rent and they should abide by the terms of the lease agreement.

#2 – Communication Preference – Another thing that you should have in your lease is your preference for how you expect your tenants to communicate with you. If your preference is email or text message, make sure that you have the ability to backup all communication with a tenant should you need to have records of that communication later on.

When it comes to repairs that the rental property may need, you should ideally tell your renters to communicate those repair requests in writing because written communication will create a paper trail and prove to be helpful should you have to face them in court.

#3 – Description of The Rental – This is another important part of the lease because you want to specify what your tenant gets with the property, and which items stay with the property after they move out.

Tip – If your rental property includes an assigned parking space or storage area, you must specify the parking space number or lot number for the storage.

It’s also important to be clear about any areas of the rental property that are “off-limits” like a locked shed just so your tenant knows what they should not attempt to access when renting from you.

#4 – Term of Tenancy – If your lease is month-to-month then you should specify in your lease that it’s going to renew automatically until either you or the tenant chooses to terminate their lease. For annual leases, you must be specific about the start date, tenancy length and expiration date so there’s never any question about the length of your lease.

#5 – Rent – Obviously this is one of the most important parts of the lease. You should be very specific about when rent is due, how it’s to be paid, when it’s late and how late fees are assessed if your tenant is late paying their rent.

Besides the points in this article that we’ve offered you, your lease should also include the following information:

  • Deposit and fees
  • Landlord access
  • Your rules for the property and or policies
  • Any additional restrictions that you may have

Contact GoldenWest Management

We’ve covered a lot of information in this article that you should consider adding to your lease. To speak with a property manager about the services we can offer you contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

What to Do When A Tenant Wants to Terminate Their Lease Early

Over the years that you own an investment property in Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego, you may encounter at least one tenant who wants to break their lease early. This is to be expected because there are a variety of reasons why a tenant may need to break their lease while they are renting from you.

Before falling back on your lease, or penalizing your tenant for wanting to terminate early, there are a variety of things that you should consider before responding to your tenant’s request to terminate their lease.

Find Out Why They Want to Terminate Their Lease

Although it’s natural for any landlord to want to take the hardline approach with their tenant regarding their desire to terminate their lease, the reality is that there are a variety of things that you should take into consideration regarding your tenant’s reason for them wanting to break their lease

Military Deployment – The first reason why you should be willing to let your tenant terminate their lease early as if they’re in the military and deployed. Since 9/11, our military has had to work harder than ever before so it makes sense to be compassionate with a member of the Armed Forces if they tell you that the reason why they have to break their lease is that they’ve been deployed.

Domestic Violence – Another excellent reason to let your tenant out of their lease is If they’ve been the victim of domestic violence. This is an important thing to consider because, even if the state where your rental property is located doesn’t have any specific laws on the books protecting victims of domestic violence, you should seriously consider letting them out of their lease especially if their safety is at stake.

Job Loss – Let’s say that your tenant has informed you that they’ve lost their job and are unable to find another job in the city or town where your investment property is located. In this situation, you should also consider showing compassion and be willing to let them terminate their lease rather than forcing them to fulfill the remaining months that they may have left with you.

Some of the other reasons to consider letting your tenant terminate their lease include if the property that they’re renting from you is uninhabitable.

In cases where you may have inadvertently violated your tenants’ rights by entering the rental property without providing them with a 24-hour notice to enter, your tenant is to provide you with a written warning telling you that you must stop coming around the rental property unannounced.

If you continue showing up unannounced, they have every right to terminate their lease without having to worry about dealing with repercussions from you.

Contact GoldenWest Management

To learn more tips about how to deal with tenants who may be trying to terminate their leases, or to speak with us about our Property Management Services, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Renters

Are you ready for a disaster?

This is something that no renter ever wants to be asked but the reality is that a disaster like a fire, earthquake, or man-made disaster can occur at any moment.

If your home isn’t prepared for a disaster, this article will offer you tips that you can use to get yourself and your family ready for a disaster.

Tip #1 – Get Your Insurance Paperwork Ready

This tip is important because, insurance paperwork is something that just about everyone, including renters, has a hard time finding when they need to find it quickly.

You should invest in a fireproof box or choose a central location in your property where you intend on storing all of your important paperwork including your renter’s insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and auto insurance policy.

Let’s say that you don’t want to store all of your insurance documents in your rental property, no problem.

One option that you may want to consider is storing each of your insurance documents online by uploading those documents to a cloud storage drive. Some of the most common solutions for online storage include Dropbox or Google Drive.

Tip #2 – Have an Emergency Evacuation Plan in Place

Regardless if it’s a fire, flood, or another type of disaster, the next thing that you should do is have an emergency evacuation plan in place.

This plan should include a document which shows were every exit in your rental property is located so that regardless if it’s a single-family home that you’re renting, apartment, condo, or town home, you and the other members of your family will know how to exit the rental property safely at a moment’s notice.

Besides having an emergency evacuation plan in place, you should also create a plan for you and other members of your family to follow just in case can you become separated if an emergency or disaster were to occur.

Knowing where each member of your family will go in the event of an emergency will give you peace of mind knowing that you can easily reconnect with other members of your family should you be unable to contact or communicate with them after a disaster.

Tip #3 – Create A Disaster Preparedness Kit

Last of all, but most important, another thing that you should do to prepare for disaster or emergency is to create a disaster preparedness kit. This kit should include common household items that you would need to use after an emergency has occurred especially if the power, sewer, or other utilities are shut off for any length of time.

Some of the items that you should consider adding to your disaster preparedness kit should include batteries, candles, matches, water, canned food, toilet paper a first aid kit and anything else that you would need to use to get you through a brief period of time following a disaster or emergency in your city or town.

Contact GoldenWest Management

To learn more about the things that you need to do to be prepared for disaster, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Property Management Tips – What to Do When Your Tenant Abandons Their Property

There’s no doubt that owning rental properties can be an adventure, especially when your tenant abandons or leaves property behind after they move out. If this has happened to you recently, here are several tips you can use for dealing with their abandoned property.

Tip #1 – Determine That the Tenant Has Moved Out

Before taking steps to deal with your tenant’s abandoned property, you should make every effort to determine that they have moved out.

Obviously, if the tenant gave you a 30-day notice then it’s likely that they have moved out in accordance with their notice but it’s possible that they may have left abruptly and you will have to legally determine that they’ve moved.

To verify that your tenant has moved out you will have to go through the court system and file a “Notice of Belief of Abandonment”.

This notice can be served either in person or by mail and the tenant has up to 18 days (California) to answer it. If they have not answered this notice within this time frame then you can move the belongings out of your tenant’s rental and rent the property to another tenant.

Tip #2 – Store Their Belongings

After moving your tenant’s belongings out of their rental property, it’s best to store everything in a storage unit.

Instead of cleaning out their belongings yourself, it’s best to hire a neutral (3rd party) to clear out the rental unit because you don’t want to be accused of stealing if your former tenant contacts you with claims that some of their belongings are missing after they pick them up.

Take pictures of the items then give them one week to contact you to pick up their items. If they are not answering their cell phone, or it’s been disconnected, you can still find your former tenant by calling their references and mailing the pictures to their address because they may already have a forwarding address set up for receiving mail.

Always remember to create a paper trail when dealing with abandoned property, this way you can have records to back up any calls that you made or other efforts to contact your former tenant regarding their property.

If your former tenant contacts you regarding picking up their belongings, you will want to charge them a fee for storing their personal items because you’ve taken the time and effort to deal with those items even if they didn’t want to.

Tip #3 – Sell or Donate Their Items If They Don’t Contact You

Let’s say that your former tenant doesn’t respond to you within one to two weeks after abandoning their personal items.

In this case, you can move forward with confidence that you did your best to reach out to them and were unsuccessful.

Once again, you should document all of the steps that you took to contact them regarding their property then move forward with selling or donating their property if they don’t respond to you.

Contact GoldenWest Management

To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by clicking here to connect with us online.

Tiny Houses – Will the Movement Take Off in The San Diego Area?

If you’ve watched HGTV for a length of time you may be familiar with tiny houses. These are homes that are typically under 250 square feet, built on wheels or can be constructed for tenants in any backyard in the San Diego area.

With the housing crisis, it makes sense to build more tiny homes because each tiny home could provide space for up to two people but the reality is that environmental regulations and building codes may stop tiny homes from taking off in the San Diego area.

San Diego Housing Panel Gives Tiny Homes The OK

As of October 2019, tiny homes are now approved in the San Diego area. The panel recently voted to approve tiny homes in San Diego as long as homeowners choose to follow a long list of city regulations and their requirements.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Councilwoman Dr. Jennifer Campbell. “Let’s do it.”

– San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego joins a long list of cities in California, like Los Angeles, who have recognized the benefits of approving tiny homes and they now are approving their construction in cities across California and nationwide.

Good News for Local Homeowners and Investors

Besides benefiting the local housing market by bringing affordable housing to the market, tiny homes also immediately benefit homeowners and investors because they can be built within 30-45 days (or sooner), are less expensive to build than traditional granny flats and can rent for $900 per month in some areas.

Investors who want to get more ROI out of their existing properties will be thrilled to be able to consider tiny homes as another source of revenue for their portfolios.

Contact GoldenWest Management

To learn more about the San Diego rental market, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.