Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Conditioning in San Diego?

If you own rental properties in San Diego or you think about renting a property in the area, you may be wondering if landlords are legally required to provide air conditioning in rental properties?

The answer to this question is no, landlords in San Diego are not legally required to provide air conditioning in rental properties but, if a rental property currently has an air conditioner installed, the landlord is required to maintain that air conditioner. (Source: Landlordology)

A Landlords First Requirement Is to Make Sure That the Rental Is Habitable 

In California, a landlord’s first responsibility is to make sure that their rental property is in “habitable condition”. This means that it must be pest free and have all the things that a typical home or rental property normally has including: running water, working electricity, a roof that doesn’t leak, and most important of all the property must be safe for the tenants live in.

If a landlord in San Diego has met these requirements, they can consider themselves to be following the law but, the reality is that most landlords do include air conditioning with their rental properties because in 2019 just about every tenant views air conditioning as a basic human right.

Although residents of Chula Vista, Oceanside or San Marcos may not use the air conditioners on a regular basis during the summer months, a resident of towns like El Cajon or Ramona will definitely be using their air conditioners a lot during the summer because temperatures in these towns can easily reach into the triple digits four consecutive days each summer.

Yes, it’s true, that landlords in California are not legally required to provide air conditioning in their rental properties but, there are some states where a landlord is legally required to provide air conditioning and the states include Nevada, Phoenix and some parts of Texas.

Contact GoldenWest Management

For more information regarding this issue, 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.

 

GoldenWest Management
Investment Property Solutions
CA LIC# 071791904

When is it okay to charge copay?

By GoldenWest Management

Another common question that most owners and investors have asked us over the years is if it’s okay for them to charge their tenants a copay when it comes to repairs that need to be made at their rental properties.

The answer to this question is that it’s perfectly acceptable to charge your tenant a copay, as long as the repairs that need to be made are not related to health, safety or other habitability issues.

Minor repairs like replacing light bulbs should be the tenant’s responsibility and if the tenant does not want to make those repairs themselves, or they are unable to, they should be made to pay a portion of the cost.

What Repairs Should You Not Charge A Co-Pay For?

Depending on your area, the most common repairs that you should not charge a co-pay for include repairs related to heating, cooling, water heater, stove, oven, or the mainline to your rental property since these types of repairs are all typically expected to be made by the owner.

In California, landlords are expected to make repairs like those mentioned in this article because of the Implied Warranty of Habitability. If a landlord fails to make repairs to their rental that affect habitability, the tenant may be legally able to withhold rent until those repairs are made.

Even though some landlords may not like to make repairs, it’s important for every landlord to remember that all appliances have a “lifespan” and they will eventually wear out so those repairs will come unless a tenant damages those appliances maliciously.

Make Sure Your Lease Is Clear About Repairs

One of the best things that every landlord can do to protect themselves is to make sure that their lease is clear about what repairs the tenant is supposed to make and what repairs the landlord is supposed to make. Repairs made necessary by misuse, negligence, excessive wear and tear, or
destructive activities of Tenant, other occupants, guests, invitees, pets or others, whether authorized or unauthorized. Doing this will clear up any misconception about repairs and save time/money.

Get Property Management Here

For property management in San Diego, Phoenix or Las Vegas, contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

 

 

 

GoldenWest Management
Investment Property Solutions
CA LIC# 071791904

Effective Tips for Dealing with Tenants Who Have Been Locked Out of Their Rentals

By GoldenWest Management

Ask any owner or landlord and they will tell you that besides chasing down tenants who don’t pay their rents on time one of their lease favorite jobs is to be on call for tenant emergencies, especially when those tenants become locked out of their rental properties.

Thankfully, you can eliminate the problem of dealing with locked out tenants by following these effective tips.

Tip #1 – Make Your Tenants Call and Pay for The Locksmith  

Although it’s perfectly acceptable to call a locksmith one time after your tenant has been locked out, you should have a clause in your lease which states that if your tenant is locked out again they will be faced with having to call and pay for a locksmith themselves.

Tip #2 – Install Deadbolts and Or Door Knobs That Won’t Lock on Their Own

One of the easiest ways to eliminate the problem of your tenants locking themselves out of their rentals is to install door knobs that won’t lock on their own, or deadbolts, that way tenants will not be able to unknowingly lock the doors to their rentals without actually having their keys in their hands.

Tip #3 – Charge Tenants for Going Out to The Rental

Let’s say that instead of calling a locksmith you’re willing to go out to your rental property yourself to let your tenants back in, in this case you should inform your tenant that it’s not going to be cheap for you to come out and they will have to pay you $25 to $50 each time you have to come and let them back into their rental property.

Tip #4 – Purchase A Realtors® Lockbox

Another handy way to handle situations where your tenant is locked out of their rental property is to purchase a Realtor’s® lockbox and place it in a secure location outside of your rental property that way if your tenant locks themselves out of the rental they can call you for the code to the lockbox and have a way back into the rental property.

Tip #5 – Get Property Management

By far the most effective solution for dealing with tenants is to hire a property management company because this takes the task of managing your rental property out of your hands and will make owning rentals easier for you.

To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at 866-545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Investment Property Solutions
AZ LIC# CO583886000
CA LIC# 071791904
NV LIC# B1000408

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back on a Rental

One of the biggest disappointments a tenant will face in a rental property transaction with a property manager or landlord is when he or she opens up that check for their returned security deposit.  We’ve seen and heard about many times where tenants were not happy with the return.  This is unfortunate because, as we’ve stated in previous articles about security deposits, losing a security deposit is completely preventable.  Disappointment over security deposits is typically a result of the following: Continue reading “How to Get Your Security Deposit Back on a Rental”

Why You Hate Your Property Manager (and Why You Might Be Wrong to Do So)

Property management is a challenging business where the property manager serves two different sets of customers with conflicting needs.  As a marketer for a multi-state property manager, I have witnessed the razor-sharp line that a property manager has to  walk in his place between the tenant and the landlord.  At times, it can sometimes seem impossible to stay the course of this line, and I’ll share my insight into why that is.

The business of property management is one where the landlord compensates the property manager to relieve them of the burden of owning investment property (a.k.a, managing tenants).  The late night phone calls with repair requests, the destruction to property, the late payments, not to mention the screening of and securing decent tenants – these are all part of the burden that the property manager bears.  The owner, usually, doesn’t want to deal with the tenants, fixing up the property, or worry about collecting money.  Usually, the property owner wants to make his investment by purchasing the property, and then simply collect checks by handing over the property to the property management company.  In other words, they don’t want to do the “dirty work”.  Despite this unenvious position, the property manager must do the bidding of the owner in order to get paid.  If the owner feels that the service is not up to his standards, he can take his business to the next property manager in the area as switching costs are typically not that high. Continue reading “Why You Hate Your Property Manager (and Why You Might Be Wrong to Do So)”

Challenges in being a landlord

At Goldenwest Management, we’ve managed properties for hundreds of landlords, and worked with hundreds more tenants over the past decade.  Most of you who follow this blog know that being a landlord isn’t easy.  Tenants come in a variety of personality and quirks.  If you are lucky enough to find the one that improves your property, then thank your lucky stars because these types of tenants are a rarity.  Most tenants will fall into an average range where the rent is paid on time, and no major issues arise.  The trick is to avoid the problem tenants.  These may be difficult to spot unless you have a seasoned screening process.  Even then, bad tenants can slip through the cracks.  For example, one article from the Durango Herald talks about undocumented pets, and tenants putting holes through the drywall.  Another article from the Hamilton Spectator, shares a sad story about a landlord whom lost her home after months of tenants not paying rent (and disappearing).  We’ve also heard stories of tenants selling illegal drugs, conducting illicit behavior, stealing materials from the property, and more.  These can be troubling situations, so make sure that you protect yourself appropriately (see our article on how to choose great tenants and/or how to handle a problem tenant).  If you really find that you are in over your head, use a property manager to help.

 

 

Investment Property Solutions
AZ LIC# CO583886000
CA LIC# 071791904
NV LIC# B1000408

Property Management: Does Size Matter?

Does size matter when it comes to choosing a property management company?  If you’re a property owner, there’s a good chance you’ve asked yourself this question when vetting property managers.  After all, there are property management companies of all sizes out there ranging from huge conglomerates to one-man shops. Is size a good metric to judge a company?  Luckily, you don’t have to use this metric to rule anyone out…Because size actually doesn’t matter…experience matters.

According to the CCIM, there are over 25,000 property management companies in the united states.  There are so many to choose from that deciding on a single property manager can be difficult.  You might be inclined to lean towards the large team at the conglomerate, but if those companies are filled with licensed managers who don’t know what they are doing, or don’t have a knowledgeable broker or office head supervising the office, things can fall apart quickly.  Things that traditionally go wrong are: Continue reading “Property Management: Does Size Matter?”

Professional Property Management: What to Look for in a Property Manager

Real estate investors in the Phoenix market have had their share of ups and downs in the past decade.  Those fortunate enough to have retained property despite the recession probably understand the headaches involved in managing a property.  Managing multiple properties only compounds these headaches.  This is where property managers can provide a valuable and efficient service to investors – by relieving the headache of the day to day management of real estate.

When GoldenWest Management (GWM) setup our professional property management services in Phoenix years ago, we noticed that this market was especially ripe for investing.  Property was cheap, which allowed savvy and even new investors to snatch up distressed, bank-owned, and foreclosure properties for pennies on the dollar, and turn them into rentals for some nice cash flow.  As these investors acquired more property, they realized that they couldn’t sustain the management of these income properties while still keeping their focus on acquiring new properties, or even worse, keeping their day jobs!  They needed help, but had many questions about professional management. Continue reading “Professional Property Management: What to Look for in a Property Manager”

Can you really get your money back from deadbeat Tenants?

After completing hundreds of evictions in 3 states, it has become very clear that the most important thing that comes from those evictions is that the Landlord finally gets the property back and the Tenants are given the boot.

But the most common question our clients usually ask is “can we go after the Tenants for monetary damages, including lost rent?” The truth is you can definitely go after them…but do you really want to?

The time and energy it takes to file the judgment, track down the Tenant (and if in certain states like California, you have to find all of the Tenants), find where they work, file a writ against their place of employment to attempt to garnish wages, or turn it over to a collection agency and possibly get 30-40 cents on the dollar (if they can even collect) is often a lot more work and money than the judgment is worth.

Then there is the question of exactly how much can you get? Remember you are only going to be awarded damages to the property above normal wear and tear and you have to prove those damages. Also, you can only collect lost rent by month. For example if you have 6 months left on a lease when a Tenant is evicted, you are not entitled to all 6 months. You are only entitled to the vacant months until you re-rent the property.

Lastly, in the current rental market, many of the Tenants don’t have great credit to begin with, so threatening them with collections or judgments really has no impact. You may not be the first collection and if you have had to evict, you most likely will not be the last.

So what should you do?

  1. Screen better: This doesn’t mean you become obsessed with credit score but rental history references and employment history will be key to decreasing the likelihood of eviction
  2. If you do have to evict, don’t make it an emotional experience. Try to reach out to the Tenants and get them to leave before the eviction. This will save you money and potentially stop the Tenants from unnecessarily damaging the property (don’t bet on the property being cleaned, but its better when the home isn’t missing appliances and cabinets).
  3. If you do evict and retain a judgment against a Tenant, pay the money to file the judgment where it will remain on record in the county where it is awarded for 3 to 5 years.  This isn’t expensive and is usually enough to get the judgment onto the Tenant’s credit report.
  4. If you choose to go the collection route, you can file a motion for a debtors examination or attempt to garnish wages, garnish bank account or have a writ of execution completed against the personal property of the Tenant.

Understand that Number 4 can be extremely time consuming and may not bear fruit. As always, consult your local attorney for their expert opinion, but remember the key here is determining whether the “Juice is worth the squeeze.”

 

 

Investment Property Solutions
AZ LIC# CO583886000
CA LIC# 071791904
NV LIC# B1000408

Tips for Finding a Rental near the University of Arizona

One of the biggest mysteries is how to find the best houses, or at least the ones closest to campus every year. It seems that most students can’t find a home that is decent around the UofA campus unless they start looking in January, roughly 8 months before they will move into that new place!

For many this means trying to find out who their new roommates will be just as they are finally getting used to (or sick of) their current roommates. 10 years ago students wouldn’t start looking for a new home or apartment until after spring break. Today the same can be said, except those students are the same ones who call our office desperately trying to find something within biking distance and are constantly told “we don’t have anything else that close.”

This year GWM has put together a few simple rules to help you secure that great home close to campus without losing your mind.

  1. Start Early – If you haven’t started looking at homes by the first of February, you are going to miss the best deals.
  2. Determine what side of the campus you want to live (sam huges, between park and mountain, south of the stadium) and try to find out the ballpark price for homes or condos on that side of school.
  3. Figure out if you want a house or an apartment…the best rule of thumb for this is if you will only live by yourself or with one other person, then look at apartments (or condos). If you need a yard, want a garage or want to be with a bunch of friends for the year, then start focusing on a house.
  4. Don’t try to identify all your roommates right away. Instead If you can identify at least one and in the best case a third person, then you are in great shape. Landlords don’t need everyone, but they will want one or two Tenants plus Guarantors (yes, that means mom or dad most likely).
  5. Get your Co-signer or Guarantor(s) ready! Every college student will need a guarantor because most of them don’t have credit history, a job (that pays enough to cover 2.5 times the rent) or references from previous rentals. This means that a parent or guardian will most likely have to fill out an application and submit it with your application in order to be approved for that house you like.
  6. Remember – its first come first serve! So the longer you take to turn in applications or come up with the security deposit, the more likely another organized group of students will come in and rent that house from beneath your nose!

Investment Property Solutions
AZ LIC# CO583886000
CA LIC# 071791904
NV LIC# B1000408