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Common Mistakes California Landlords Make – And How To Avoid Them

Being a landlord In California can be a lucrative venture. Still, it can also be fraught with potential pitfalls, especially since 2020, because the rental market has been dramatically changed by COVID and the economic impact that it’s had on the economy.


Despite the challenges, it’s important to remember that landlords in California can still thrive, especially if they know the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. 


Mistake #1 - Poor Tenant Screening


One of the most critical mistakes landlords make is inadequate tenant screening. This happens when a Landlord accept approves a tenant without conducting a thorough background check. This includes, credit, collection, and criminal history checks along with basic verification of employment/income and rental history. Most “online” services do not include a full package (or it cost an arm and a leg) background screening program.

Using a property manager like GoldenWest Management to screen and place tenants not only ensures detailed screening services, but “standards” which prevent discrimination law suits. Too often we see Landlord’s do things like “demand in person interviews” or ask inappropriate questions “ex how many children do you have” that can lead to fair housing violations. 


Mistake #2 - Not Keeping up with Changing Laws or Local Ordinances


Most Landlords rarely update their lease agreement and documents. Landlord-tenant laws constantly evolve, and staying informed about these changes is crucial. Failure to have the correct forms, disclosures, updated statutes and even proper “text font” may result in “automatically losing” what would be a simple situation. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense in court, and non-compliance can result in hefty fines and penalties.  


Mistake #3 - Poor Communication with Tenants


Effective communication is critical to maintaining a good landlord-tenant relationship. Many landlords need to pay more attention to keeping open and transparent lines of communication with their tenants, but this isn’t always possible in California as most landlords also work full-time jobs and have families. 


Thankfully, landlords can streamline communication with their tenants by hiring a property manager because a qualified manager acts as the ‘middleman’ between the landlord and tenant so that questions are answered promptly, and issues are resolved. 


Mistake #4 – Not Requiring Tenants To Have Renters Insurance


Another common and costly mistake that many landlords make is not requiring their tenants to have a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance is necessary because it protects the tenants personal possessions and also provides them with additional coverage should someone be injured in their home.


Contact Us


Being a landlord is more than just owning a rental property; it involves careful management and proactive measures to avoid costly mistakes. 


The good news is that the GoldenWest Management team can make owning rental properties a passive venture again because we take the hassle out of day-to-day management, so there’s nothing landlords must do themselves.


To learn more about the full suite of property management services we offer, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or clicking here to connect with us online.