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Property Management Tips – What to Do When a Tenant Goes to Jail

During the years that you own rental property it’s entirely possible that you may have one or more tenants who end up going to jail.

The big question is what do you do when a tenant goes to jail? Do you know evict them? Not evict them? Store their belongings until they return, or a combination of the above?

We know that this is quite possibly one in the most contentious property management issues that owners face that’s why in this article we will offer you several tips that you can use to protect your best interests in case one of your tenants ends up going to jail

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Confirm That Your Tenant Is Currently in Jail

Although their spouse, friend, or family member may have told you that they are currently in jail, the first thing that you need to do if you find out that your tenant has been incarcerated is to confirm that in fact, they are currently in jail.

You can do this by searching mugshots for your County Jail online or if you cannot locate a mugshot for your tenant the next step that you should follow is to contact one of your tenant’s emergency contacts to confirm the status of your tenant.

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How Long Will They Be in Jail?

After Confirming that your tenant it is in fact in jail, the next thing that you need to do is to confirm how long they are actually going to be there.

Will they be in jail for 30 days or longer? If so, you should visit them in person or speak with their emergency contact to confirm if they plan on coming back to your rental unit or not.

If your tenant is going to be in jail for longer than 30 days, and they cannot afford to continue paying rent, you should have a notary public visit them to have them sign a document which states that they will be vacating the unit.

Let’s say that your tenant intends to vacate the premises but they are unable to collect their belongings. One solution to this problem is to offer to store their belongings for them but before doing this you should require the tenant to sign a “hold harmless” clause which will relieve you of liability should any of the tenant’s items be lost or stolen while they are incarcerated.

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For more Property Management tips, 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.

Community Pool Guidelines for Your Phoenix Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

With the “dog days” of summer already here in Phoenix it’s a fact that temperatures are going to only get hotter and one thing you can expect if you own a multi-family rental property is to have your tenants spending more time in the pool.

Every landlord and property owner should have pool guidelines, or rules that they follow, in place to not only protect their tenants but also to protect their best interests and avoid lawsuits.

In this article, we will share with you 17 pool guidelines you should be enforcing at your multifamily rental property.

#1 – Invest in anti-entrapment drain covers for your pools that are compliant with the 2007 Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety act.

#2 – Change your pool pumps to vacuum release safety systems.

#3 – Educate children and parents about pool safety tips before they are allowed to use the pool.

#4 – Make sure all available staff is educated and trained in Red Cross Life Saving techniques.

#5 – Check all pool enclosures and verify that they are child-proof.

#6 – Post your pool and safety rules prominently so that residents see them before using the pool. These should include regulations that no child under the age of 13 will be allowed to use the pool without the presence of an adult.

#7 – Do not allow alcohol anywhere around your pool

#8 – Ban all plugged in devices from the pool area. This should include smart phones, tablets, and stereos.

#9 – Ban glass containers from your pool and spa area.

#10 – Get at least one or two staff members certified in pool maintenance.

#11 – Check chlorine and pH levels at least two times per day.

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#12 – Inspect all pool equipment annually.

#13 – Take inventory of all lifesaving equipment on a monthly basis to confirm that nothing has been lost, stolen or vandalized.

#14 – Think about hiring a lifeguard for your pool or a pool attendant.

#15 – Consider hiring a pool management company to professionally care for your pool.

#16 – Invest in CCTV cameras for your pool area. This will save you from potential lawsuits and keep residents from using the pool after hours.

#17 – Use a calendar program or reminder service to ensure that the maintenance and safety tips in this article are followed on a monthly basis.

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For professional property management in Phoenix contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

How to Fill Vacancies at Your Las Vegas Rental Property Fast

By Golden West Management

LAS VEGAS, NV. – Do you have one or more vacancies at your Las Vegas Rental Property? If so, there’s no doubt that vacancies can be a HUGE headache but the good news is that you can get those units filled by following these simple tips.

Tip #1 – Check Your Ads

Are you still running the same ads online for your rentals that you were years ago? Do you have professional photos? Are there spelling and grammatical errors? Take the time to view your rental through the eyes of prospective tenants and write a new ad that will catch the eyes of renters.

Besides writing new ads to market your rentals, you should also include a video walkthrough or aerial photo of your rental property.

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Tip #2 – Double Check Your Rent

Always double check your rent before listing a new rental. Being overpriced potentially equals vacancy. If you are asking for more rent than other rentals your inquiries and applications will be drastically reduced.

Take a good look at the surrounding “like” properties and conservatively price your home based on what is being rented in your vicinity.

It’s always the landlord who “needs” to cover their mortgage or “feels” that the upgrades they put in make the home worth “way more” end up overpricing and having their rental sit for too long.

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Tip #3 – Make Sure Your Las Vegas Rental Shows Well

You might think your rental looks “retro” but prospective renters will just think your rental looks old especially if it’s in dire need of major updates.

You don’t have to add “granite counters” and “stainless steel appliances” just to procure quality Tenants, but the upgrades do help to not just raise the rental rate, but attract more applicants.

But most importantly, people want nice and clean…so have you had the home professionally cleaned? What about the carpet and tile? Is the landscape browning or overgrown?

Curb appeal matters and if you are getting lots of calls, but after showings people aren’t putting in applications, take a hard look at the property itself.

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Tip #4 – Consider Changing policies that exclude the prospective renter pool

Don’t allow pets at your Las Vegas Rental Property? Trying to rent the home furnished? Not including the detached garage so you can use it as storage?

These are all examples of policies or rental decisions made by a landlord that can reduce the number of prospective renters looking for your home.

For example, a 2016 study by Zillow stated that over 35% of prospective renters have pets…so if you say no pets, there goes a third of your eligible prospects.

Want the home to be furnished? A similar study showed only 15% of prospects searching for a fully or partially furnished rental.

Tip #5 – Ask Your Tenants for Referrals

In the world of property management, most landlords know that good people, generally know good people, so if you have one or more tenants who are responsible and pay their rent on time each month you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them if they know anyone who is looking for a rental property.

If your tenants do refer people to you it’s also a good idea to offer them a small rent credit to make it worth their time so they will consider referring people to you in the future.

Get Property Management Here

For professional Las Vegas, Property Management contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (702) 685-7696 or click here to connect with us online.

2017 Fire Prevention and Safety Tips for Your Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

Fire season is here and with 100+ degree temperatures happening daily in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas it’s more important than ever for owners to focus on fire prevention at their rental properties.

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2017 Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Tip #1 – Replace your shake shingle roof because these types of roofs can be found on homes built in the 1980’s and they should be replaced immediately because they have been known to catch fire quickly.

Tip #2 –  Think “smart” when adding landscaping by using more gravel and fire-resistant plants to create fire breaks and make it easier for firefighters to reach your home should a fire occur.

Tip #3 – Clear debris from your gutters – This tip is very important because leaves and tree branches can easily catch fire after drying out and they become the perfect “fuel” for embers blowing through the air during a wildfire.

Tip #4 – Consider installing a roof-mounted sprinkler system – A roof mounted sprinkler system is the ultimate in fire defense and you may be able to qualify for a FEMA grant to have one installed at no cost.

Tip #5 – Choose fire resistant materials when renovating your deck, fencing, or siding since this will give first fighters a few extra minutes that they need to save your rental property from burning down if it catches fire.

Tip #6 – Restrict open burning at your rental property during the summer months including grilling on balconies or wooden decks.

Tip #7 – Make sure you have the right insurance protection including fire insurance, loss of income insurance, and landlord insurance.

Tip #8 – Verify that smoke detectors and or fire alarms are installed and working in every room of your rental property.

Tip #9 – Purchase a fire extinguisher for the kitchen.

Tip #10 – If you own a two-story rental property you should purchase a ladder for every upstairs room.

Tip #11 – Prohibit smoking inside of the rental property.

Tip #12 – Post an escape plan so tenants are well aware of how to leave the property should a fire occur.

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Get Property Management Here

To save time and money on property management, especially during fire season, contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Reliable Glendale Arizona Property Management

Searching for Glendale Arizona Property Management? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

At GoldenWest Management we specialize affordable and reliable property management for the entire Glendale Arizona area, including other communities like Tempe, so you can have confidence in hiring us to professionally manage your vacation home, condo, town home or rental property.

Professional Glendale Arizona Property Management

What makes us different than other companies who specialize in Glendale Arizona Property Management is that we don’t just offer one property management solution, we offer a full suite of property management services including the following:

Rent Collection

Tenant Screening

Tenant Placement

Customer Service/support

Maintenance

And More!

We Make Owning Glendale Arizona Rental Properties Easy

One of the most difficult things about owning rental properties is managing them yourself! Thankfully, with our Glendale Arizona Property Management service, you can get back to enjoying your life once again because we will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties and dealing with all of the day-to-day tasks that you may be doing right now.

Grow Your Portfolio Of Glendale Arizona Rental Properties

What’s best of all, when you choose GoldenWest Management for managing your rentals you can focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties with confidence in knowing that our experienced team of Glendale Arizona Property Management Company will be there to professionally manage your rentals so you can keep focusing on growing your portfolio of rentals.

Learn More About GoldenWest Management

The GoldenWest Management Team specializes in residential property management for Single Family Homes through the mid-sized Apartment Complexes in Arizona, California and Nevada areas. Our friendly and knowledgeable leasing agents strive to limit the vacancy times and increase the rental income of your property without sacrificing the need for quality tenants. GWM will market your property, run background checks on all applicants, conduct routine site visits, schedule and coordinate maintenance, and ensure your rents are collected ON TIME! Our on-call Contracting staff will be able to handle all property issues so that you don’t have to. We promise that you will not find a better full-service manager with our competitive prices anywhere else. All included at fixed monthly rate without any hidden fees!

For affordable and professional Glendale Arizona Property Management contact GoldenWest today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

Nevada Marijuana Laws 2017 – What’s Legal?

By GoldenWest Management

LAS VEGAS, NV. – On July 1st, 2017 recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Nevada and it seemed like everyone celebrated as ling lines could be seen at marijuana dispensaries across the state.

Although many are still celebrating this victory it has landlords wondering what’s legal and what’s not legal when it comes to marijuana in the state of Nevada.

 

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One marijuana plant in four growing phase

Buying Marijuana In Nevada

If you’re 21 or older, and you have a valid ID, you can buy an ounce of marijuana for your own recreational use at home.

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Growing Marijuana 

Can you grow marijuana in Nevada?

The answer to this question is yes you can grow marijuana at home but there’s a BIG CATCH, you have to live 25 miles away from a licensed marijuana dispensary.

Since the large number of licensed dispensaries in cities like Las Vegas almost make this impossible for the average Las Vegas resident it still would be “technically” illegal to grow marijuana at home

Rules for growing marijuana at home:

  • You can grow no more than 6 marijuana plants at a time.
  • Have no more than 12 plants in your possession.
  • You can keep everything you grow.
  • Plants must be in your possession.
  • You may not give away more than one ounce.
  • Plants must be grown in an enclosed area.

Possession Is Legal but The Laws Have to Be Followed

If you’re a Nevada resident you can be in possession of marijuana in your own home especially if you plan on smoking pot in your yard, porch or at the home of someone else but it’s still illegal to smoke pot on the streets of Las Vegas and that can also come with a fine of up to $600.

It’s also still illegal to smoke marijuana while in a moving vehicle, especially if you have passengers with you, but you can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana if you’re pulled over by the cops.

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Can Property Owners Prohibit Marijuana from Being Grown in Their properties?

Let’s say that you’re a landlord and are concerned that your tenants might want to grow marijuana in your rental properties.

You’re not alone in this concern since many landlords across the United States still will not allow marijuana to be used or grow at their rental properties but to protect yourself you must first have a rock-solid lease with a clause which states that marijuana of any kind is prohibited to be either grown or used in the home.

Since most landlords prohibit smoking of any type of cigarettes or cigars in their rental properties anyway it’s perfectly acceptable to prohibit smoking or growing marijuana in a rental property especially if the landlord refers to existing federal laws which still prohibit marijuana use.

Get Property Management Here

Tired of managing your rental properties yourself? Contact the experienced team of property managers at GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (702) 685-7696 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Tips for Selecting Your First Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

Are you planning on buying your first rental property?

Now is a great time to buy a rental property thanks to low mortgage interest rates and demand for rental properties especially in cities like San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Since more people are investing in rental properties for the first time this article, we will share with you several tips you can use to successfully purchase your first rental property.

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Make Sure Your Ready to Invest in Rental Properties

Although your family members, co-workers, and accountant may be advising you to invest in rental properties you have to make sure that you’re really ready to invest in rentals.

Owning Real Estate means that you will be responsible for paying landlord insurance and property taxes and unless you hire a property management company you will be responsible for things like tenant selection/placement, rent collection and more.

 

Yes, owning rental property is a smart investment thanks to benefits like current income, appreciation, equity and tax right offs but if you’re not ready for the responsibilities which come with being an owner you should be ready to hire a property management company after purchasing a rental or hold off on buying a rental property for a few years.

If you’re ready to invest in rental properties but aren’t sure if you’re sure investing in a property out of state is a smart move, you should stick with investing in a rental in your area because you know what’s happening economically, who’s hiring and the advantages of living there compared to purchasing property that’s out of state.

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Determine the Specifics

Before choosing a rental property it’s important to first determine the specifics of what you’re searching for in a rental property including the location that you want to own a rental, because in most cities rental properties that are located close to downtown or close to colleges will rent for more money than rentals in suburban areas.

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Investigate the Area Where the Rental Is Located

You should also verify if the area where you plan on buying a rental property has many rentals or not because if a neighborhood is primarily owner occupied this could mean that it might be more difficult to have a rental property there versus owning a home in an area that’s primarily renter occupied.

If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood or area, take the time to drive there to meet with homeowners, landlords (if possible) and people who live in the area to determine what it will be like for renters if you were to purchase a rental property there.

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Get Your Budget Ready

Since prices for Real Estate in many cities have reached all-time highs you should set your budget before you start searching for rentals because in this real estate climate it’s very easy for any buyer or first-time investor to overspend.

It’s also important to save at least 20% or more for a down payment because lender requirements are much more stringent with rental properties and the investment rate on a rental property will be higher so you will have to think about that as well.

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Avoid Fixer Upper Properties

Yes, most people are talking about investing in fixer-upper properties these days the reality is that fixer upper properties can be costly (unless you know what you’re doing) so it’s best to avoid them and purchase rental properties that are in as close to the move-in condition as possible.

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Create A List of Properties

Once you know the specifics of the property you’re searching for, and you’ve set your budget, you should next create a list of properties that match your criteria because this will help you to simplify your search especially when you use online tools to find suitable rental properties.

Some criteria that you should consider applying to your search for rental properties include:

Bedrooms – The single-family home, condo, or duplex should have at least 3 bedrooms.

Bathrooms – 2 bathrooms are recommended.

Square Feet – Home should have no less than 1200 square feet.

Age – The property shouldn’t be older than 25 years old since renovation or demo may be required to remove potentially hazardous materials like Radon, Asbestos or Lead Paint that may be on the property.

Rent – Search online or speak with a property manager to determine the market rent for the area where you are buying a rental property.

Cap Rate – We recommend looking for rentals that offer a 4% cap rate or better (cap rates and gross multipliers are important).

HOA – Check the HOA rules and regulations for the community where you plan on buying a rental property because some communities are very strict and will even go as far as placing you on a waiting list until you can rent your home.

Garage – In today’s rental market it doesn’t matter if a property has a garage or not.

Renovation – Know how much it’s going to cost to make renovations in the property, especially in the kitchen or bathroom, because you may be able to rent a property for $80 to $90 more per month if it has recently remodeled kitchen or bathroom.

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Be Ready for Screening Tenants

Once you’ve purchased your first rental property the real work has only just begun since you have to be ready to screen tenants and this should include reviewing their credit score, work history, criminal history and financial history.

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Save Time and Money with Property Management

Buying a rental property in Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego?

Each city has major differences in terms of average rents and requirements for owning rental property.

Once you find the right rental property don’t attempt to manage it yourself, save the time, money and hassle of managing rental properties by hiring our experienced and professional property management team.

Contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

What is involved in screening and approving a Tenant?

Do you own rental properties or are planning on investing in rentals for the first time?

One of the most complicated aspects of owning rental properties is screening and approving tenants because tenants are the “life blood” of every rental property since if the wrong tenants are chosen they can bring major headaches for the owner.

When the right tenants are chosen the owner can often expect 12 months or more of effortless renting to a tenant who pays their rent on time, abides by the rules, and maintains the rental property.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring a property management company to manage your rental properties here is the screening and approval process that we follow at GoldenWest Management.

Determining an Acceptable Credit Score

Did you know that nearly one in two landlords said the results of a credit check were among the top three factors that they used when deciding whether to accept a tenant’s lease application or not?

At GoldenWest Management we determine an applicant’s credit score or (scoring rubric) from data we receive from the National Association of Credit Reporting.

How much in verified income do we need to approve? How do we prove income?

2.5x – 3x rent, this information can be verified by viewing an applicant’s paystubs.

If an applicant doesn’t have pay stubs we will ask for their recent tax returns or bank statements.

Once the tenant has proven their income they must also show that they have at least six months of reserves (rent x 6 months), after accounting for security deposit and first month’s rent.

Rental history

Although having good credit is still important, at GoldenWest Management we also request a tenant’s rental history because, like a credit report, rental history also shows a tenant’s rental behavior including if they have a history of paying their bills on time.

What if the tenant owns a home? As with running a credit check and inquiring about a tenant’s rental history, we will also want to know if that tenant (homeowner) has a current mortgage as well since this is also a sign of financial stability.

Criminal History

With new HUD laws outlawing or simply refusing people due to their criminal records we must know specific and relevant information about their criminal history including if they are: still on probation, a sex offender, or if they are a violent offender since this information may affect the safety and security of other tenants in the building and neighbors in the area.

Get Professional Property Management Here

For professional property management contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

More Renters Want to Be Energy Efficient

By GoldenWest Management

In today’s rental market with rising rents in cities like San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas more renters want to live in rental properties that are also energy efficient because they cannot afford to pay higher rents and high energy costs at the same time.

If you’re concerned that your rental property might not be energy efficient you can give yourself the advantage over other owners in your area by following these tips for making your rental energy efficient.

Tip #1 – Reduce Drafts

You can reduce drafts coming into your rental property and also the loss of heat or cool air from your A/C by using solutions like foam tape, door sweeps, and draft stoppers to seal doors and windows. These solutions are affordable, can be purchased at any convenience store and will save your tenants hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.

Tip #2 – Install Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Take energy efficiency to the next level in your rental property by installing energy efficient light bulbs.

These bulbs are important because they have been proven to last up to 15,000 hours and energy efficient light bulbs are a sign to any tenant that you care about the environment and want to create the best possible environment for them to live in.

Tip #3 – Invest in One BIG Energy Efficient Upgrade

Another great way to make your rental property more energy efficient is to invest in one big energy efficient upgrade like a new washer, dryer, air conditioner or air purifier.

Investing in one new appliance now can easily save your renter up to $100/year in energy costs and also save you the time, money, and hassle of having to repair older appliances later on.

What to Do When You’ve Made Energy Efficient Upgrades

Once you’ve made energy efficient upgrades don’t forget to market your rental property as being “energy efficient”sustainable” or “eco-friendly” especially if you’ve made upgrades that are known to help the environment.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management, contact the team of experienced property managers at GoldenWest Management at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

 

What Are the Benefits of San Diego Property Management?

By GoldenWest Management

SAN DIEGO, CA. – Have you been managing your rental properties yourself and have been thinking about hiring a San Diego Property Management company?

Regardless if you own one or more rentals, hiring a property management company is important because it will free up your time so you will no longer have to manage those rentals yourself and you will also enjoy the following benefits:

Benefit #1 – Easy Rent Payment

Since most property management companies offer their tenants the ability to pay rent online you can expect easy rent payment from your tenants and you will no longer have to concern yourself with rent collection when your tenants fall behind on their rent.

Benefit #2 – Repairs & Maintenance

When it comes time for repairs or maintenance at your Rental Property you won’t have to plan for making those repairs or driving out to the rental to perform maintenance yourself, you can count on your property management company to handle those repairs or maintenance for you.

Benefit #3 – Thorough Inspection

Another benefit of hiring a San Diego Property Management company is a thorough inspection of your rental each time new tenants move in or move out. This will ensure that your rental property continues to be maintained to the highest possible standards and is in the best condition possible.

Benefit #4 – Tenant Selection

Last of all, but most important, another great reason to hire a property management company is tenant selection. We make screening and finding new tenants hassle free so you don’t have to worry about doing any of that work yourself.

Contact GoldenWest Management

To get started with speaking with the experienced team of San Diego Property Management professionals at GoldenWest Management contact us today by calling (858) 779-0577 or click here to connect with us online.

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