What Should You Replace in A Rental Property After Purchasing It?

Are you planning on buying a new rental property in San Diego, Las Vegas or Phoenix? If so, like many owners you most likely are eager to get that property rented quickly right? This is totally understandable but, there are things that should be replaced in your new rental property if you want to ensure that you won’t have any problems with that property in the future.

Replace the Locks

Always replace the locks after buying a new rental property regardless if the former owner claims they were changed recently or not because you just don’t know how many people had access to that property in the past and may have created their own key.

If the locks are in good condition you can save them and use them again in the future changing the locks on the next property that you buy.

Change the Toilets

Another important thing to change after buying a new rental property is the toilets because a leaky toilet can easily cause unseen damage to your rental property and thousands of dollars in repair costs so it’s best to replace them now so that you can have confidence that there won’t be any leaks going forward.


Get Rid of Old Outlets

Regardless of the age of the home, you should always get rid of old outlets because those outlets can potentially pose a fire hazard and it’s better to replace them now before your new tenants move in.

Swap Out Those Old Light Bulbs

Last of all, but most important, if your rental property has light fixtures you shouldn’t think twice about changing those light bulbs. Getting rid of those bulbs will save you the hassle of having to get called from your tenants whenever they need a light bulb changed unless you’ve instructed them to change the light bulbs themselves.

Need Property Management? Contact Us Today

At GoldenWest Management we specialize in full-service property management and can save you the time, money and hassle of managing your properties yourself. To learn more about the services we can offer you contact us today at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Should You Allow Pets at Your Rental Property?

Did you just invest in your first rental property and are wondering if you should accept pets?

This is a very common property management question to ask because there are seemingly more pet owners in the United States than ever before and it makes sense to take this into consideration.

In this article we will answer this question and provide you with pros and cons to consider allowing pets and not allowing them at your rental property.

Why You Should Consider Allowing Pets

The first reason to consider allowing pets at your rental property is most pet owners are responsible tenants who love their pets and would do everything possible to abide by the rules of the rental property because they don’t want to be faced with having to find another rental again.

Besides the obvious reason of renting to someone who is responsible, you can also charge a pet deposit of $250 to $500 and a monthly pet rent of $25 or more.

Why You Should Have A No Pet Policy

Yes, it’s true that many owners do have a no pet policy these days because they previously had a negative experience with pets in their rental properties that caused damage.

You have to consider the potential damage that can come with allowing pets in your rental property and place stipulations on the types or breeds of pets to eliminate the possibility of renting to tenants who have pets that might potentially damage your rental.

Besides banning specific pets, another helpful way you can protect your best interests as a landlord is to do a background/credit check.

This will give you the confidence in them that you need to be assured that they are going to be the type of tenant they claim to be on their rental application.

Get Property Management Here

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

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.



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Long Term Rentals Vs. Short Term Rental – What Are the Differences?

By GoldenWest Management

SAN DIEGO, CA – During our recent interview with Real Talk San Diego we sat down with the Lands Concierge team to talk about long-term vs. short-term rentals and the differences between both types of opportunities for owners/investors.

In this blog post, we will break down the differences between these two types of rental opportunities and provide you with the information you need to know if you plan on turning one of your homes into a rental property.

Long Term Rentals

At GoldenWest Management, Inc we specialize in long-term rentals and currently manage over 1,000 properties in three different states.

A long-term rental is a property that will typically be rented for up to one year at a time by A Rated tenant that we screen and place for our tenants.

To qualify for a long-term rental, a tenant must go through our qualification process which includes a credit check, background check, and verification of their income.

We recommend long-term rentals to any owner who is interested in renting their property because a long-term rental offers the following benefits including:

  • Stable cash flow.
  • The long-term renter will pay all monthly utility bills for the rental.
  • Your rental property will not have to be furnished because most tenants will bring their furniture with them.

Short Term Rentals

Over the last 4 years, we’ve seen many rentals across the country, especially in the San Diego area, turn into short-term rentals to capitalize on the demand created by companies like Airbnb.

Although short-term rentals can be an excellent source of cash flow, especially during events in San Diego like Comic Con, they do have several requirements that many owners don’t often think about including:

  • The short-term rental must be furnished and have hotel style or concierge amenities which would be attractive to renters.
  • Owners of short-term rentals should be willing to rent their homes for up to 3 months at a time.
  • All valuables should be removed from the short-term rental before the property is rented out.
  • Some HOA’s don’t allow short-term

Many communities are opposing short-term rentals because they feel that the quality of tenant who rents a short-term rental affects home values and the stability of the neighborhood where the rental is located.

It’s best to research the neighborhood where the property is located before investing there to find out if there’s been local opposition or new measures put in place which will prevent short-term rentals there.

Which Option Is Better?

As a homeowner/investor we know that every situation is different, this means that even though a short-term rental may have worked for your friend or business associate in the past, depending on your situation, it may not work for you.

If you’re not sure about the option you should choose for your rental property contact us today for a free consultation at (866) 545-5303 or connect with us through our website.

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Rental Home Energy Efficient

By GoldenWest Management

Are you searching for ways to make your rental home energy efficient? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Making your rental property energy efficient is more important than ever before because an energy efficient rental property will help your tenants save money every month.

Creating an energy efficient rental property will also help attract tenants who are concerned about the environment, want to reduce their carbon footprint, and do their part to save the planet, that’s why in this article we will share with you 10 ways to create an energy efficient rental property.

Tip #1 – Keep the Air in Your Home

Air loss is one of the top ways renters lose money every year, especially if it’s an older rental property, because the air will leak out from cracks around doors or windows.

To fix this problem you should consider replacing those old windows and doors in your rental property with energy efficient doors and windows.

If you’re unable to replace them due to cost, you should reseal all doors and windows in the rental property because this will keep cold air from leaking out during the summer and prevent warm air from escaping during the winter months.

Tip #2 – Replace Old Appliances with Energy Efficient Appliances

Only replace your older dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer with appliances that have been Energy Star Certified.

Tip #3 – Replace the Water Heater

The water heater in most homes is typically the oldest functioning appliance but when they begin to show their age a typical water heater will take longer to heat the water up for use inside the home and this will only increase monthly energy costs.

Choose a tankless water heater because these units don’t actually store the water, their heating coils will heat the water when it’s needed to be used in the rental property

Tip #4 – Fix Your Furnace

Another area in your rental property that you should fix and ultimately make energy efficient is your furnace.

You should first have it professionally serviced by an HVAC technician then once it’s functioning properly you should install a smart thermostat in your home because this will regulate energy usage and help your tenants to save money.

Tip #5 – Change the Light Bulbs in Your Rental Home

Replace all incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs.

Tip #6 – Plant Trees Around Your Rental Home

This will help to cool your rental property during the summer months and limit energy usage.

Tip #7 – Add Solar Panels

Yes, it’s true that solar panels do come with a cost but they are worth it in the long run because solar panels will give your renters the ability to produce their own energy and cut down on their carbon footprint more than they imagined.

Tip #8 – Install A Low Flow Shower Head

This is another practical way to make your rental property energy efficient and it’s also one of the most cost-effective tips because a low flow shower head will only cost about $20 and they will help your tenants to cut down on their water usage.

Tip #9 – Purchase A Water Efficient Toilet

Besides installing a low flower shower head in your rental property, you should also install a water efficient toilet as well because these toilets can reduce water usage in a home by 20% or even more.

Tip #10 – Add Insulation to Your Attic

Last of all, but most important, another great way to make your home energy efficient is to add more insulation to the attic.

Blow in insulation will dramatically lower your tenant’s energy costs and provide your rental property with the ultimate in energy efficiency because your property will no longer lose warm or cold air through your attic.

Get Professional Property Management Here

Tired of self-managing your rental properties? Or, are you searching for a new property management company? Contact the team of experienced property managers at GoldenWest Management by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

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How important is communication for a client…It’s the most important.

By GoldenWest Management

One of the “keys to success” if you plan on owning rental properties is to be a great communicator with your Tenants. Communication has proven to be the #1 issue when it comes to renter satisfaction and retention.

If you have a problem with communicating with your renters, this article will provide you with tips you can use to improve the communication process so your tenants will feel like their needs are being met when it comes to them needing help or support at their rental properties.

Estate Agent Showing Empty Office Space To Clients

Tip #1 – Set Expectations Up Front

Everyone may have a different idea of what a “timely responses” looks like. This is why it’s important to tell clients/landlords/tenants who have vacancies up front what they should expect.

At GoldenWest, we strive to return every call and email within (1) business day. Obviously, emergencies (your home is flooding; your home is on fire, etc.…) will garner faster responses. But having a guideline will help keep heads cool as well as set the expectation.

Tip #2 – Use Technology to Make Yourself Available at All Hours

Although it’s common for some owners to give their renters their cell phone numbers you should prioritize communication with your tenants by giving them an email address to email all of their requests. We recommend to limit texting as it is not a formal method of communication and difficult to present or recall for evidentiary purposes.  

Many states require that you have a clearly listed phone number for emergency service. If you don’t use a call center, which means you (Landlord) are answering calls at all hours of the day or night. GoldenWest uses a live answering call center combined with on call managers to handle emergencies.

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Tip #3 – Document All Communication with Renters

Regardless if you receive an email, voicemail, or speak with a tenant in person, you should always document all communication with your tenants. After every important phone call, you should absolutely send a “per our conversation” email outlining the discussion and agreed upon actions. This is the best way to clarify if you and the Tenants are actually on the same page. It’s not surprising that many times after a phone call, both parties walk away with a totally different perspective on the conversation.

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Tip #4 – Get Property Management

Why do you want to take that midnight phone call? Why do you want to be bombarded with texts and repair requests from Tenants? How do you handle complaints when you have to tell a Tenant “No” (example, “No I won’t replace the floors for you”)?

Hiring a licensed Property Manager will save you that time energy and headache. Your renters will always have someone to call or communicate with when it comes to repairs, rent collection, or any other issues at your rental property.

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

How Often Should You Have Your Rental Property Inspected?

By GoldenWest Management

One of the most common questions that most owners want to know these days is how often they should have their rental properties inspected because some property management companies will inspect rentals every six months, while other companies will never inspect the rental while it’s occupied.

The answer to how often you should have your rental inspected ultimately depends on your own personal preferences but we’ve compiled a list of factors for you to consider when thinking about how often you should have your rental inspected.

Does Your Home Have a Basement or Crawlspace?

If your rental property has a basement or crawlspace you may want to have your rental property inspected every 3 years, or each time before your rental is vacant, because this will give you the opportunity to confirm that any wiring or plumbing under your rental property is still in good condition.

Has Your Rental Been Through Extreme Weather?

Do you own a rental property in an area of the United States that’s prone to extreme weather? If so, you may want to have your rental inspected at your next opportunity because, heavy snow or rain can cause damage to a rental property that you may not be aware of.

Just Bought Your Rental Property but Never Inspected It?

Have you recently bought a new rental property but never had it inspected? In this case, it would be a smart move to have your rental thoroughly inspected just to avoid any potential problems that you may not be aware of.

Planning A Major Renovation?

Are you planning a major renovation? If so, you should still have your rental property inspected anyway because this will save you the hassle of finding out about other problems in your rental home after work has started.

Get Your Rental Property Inspected From GoldenWest Management 

At GoldenWest Management we inspect our owner client’s rental properties at the beginning of every lease, every six months in between, and at the end of the lease

Which areas of your rental property do we inspect?

  1. Roof.

  2. Air Conditioner.

  3. Water Heater.

  4. Exterior plumbing (to ensure they are winterized and not leaking)

All these areas of your rental property should be inspected yearly, except the roof, which can be inspected every 3 years.

Get Property Management Here

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

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.



Roommates Best Practices


By Goldenwest Management

As a landlord one of the things that you can expect to deal with is renting to roommates, especially if your rental property is close to a major college or university, but renting to roommates is much more than just collecting the rent, there are roommate best practices you should follow including the following:

#1 – Make Sure Roommates Are Jointly Liable

When renting to roommates you should make them sign a lease that holds them “jointly and severally liable”; this is a standard provision in leases to roommates and ensures that if one roommate violates the lease, the other roommate will be held equally responsible for paying damages, fees, and bills that their roommate may be responsible for.

Tenants should make sure that they choose their roommates wisely and only rent a property with someone that they know and trust considering the financial burden they could be faced with paying should one of their roommates cause damage or skip out on paying rent.

#2 – Think Twice Before Subleasing

Although subleasing may seem easy to some landlords, you should think twice about agreeing to sublease your rental property because a sublessor is not considered to be jointly or severally liable for paying rent or other lease obligations should they decide to move out since they didn’t actually sign your lease.

#3 – Always Follow the Same Process for Screening Tenants

Let’s say that one roommate decides to move out and the remaining roommate has someone in mind that they will like to rent to; in this case you should always screen the replacement roommate and don’t relax on your screening standards because landlords often get into trouble when they relax their screening standards or do things on the fly.

#4 – Create a New Lease When New Tenants Move In

If you have new roommates moving into your rental property you should always execute a new lease agreement and make sure that all tenants sign the new lease because this will ensure that every tenant who lives in the rental property is held jointly and severally liable.

#5 – How to Handle the Security Deposit

Before all roommates move in they should pay you the security deposit as you would expect it to be paid from your individual tenants but, if one of the roommates move out, the security deposit should not be broken up, the incoming tenant should pay their portion of the security deposit to the outgoing tenant.

#6 – Insist On One Rent Check

Although it might be common for some landlords to expect payments from all roommates at their rental property, you should insist on receiving one rent check because not only will this cut down on administrative work for you, it will also effectively treat all tenants as one individual.

#7 – Ask the Roommates to Assign a Tenant Representative

Another handy thing to do when dealing with roommates is to assign a tenant representative since this will make it easier with resolving issues at the rental property instead of having to deal with each roommate when problems or issues arise.

Get 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.

Vacation Rental vs. Long Term Rental – Which One Is Better?


By Goldenwest Management

Thanks to websites like airbnb & vrbo people around the world have taken to buying real estate with the goal of turning those properties into vacation rentals. But when taking a deeper look at the net figures as well as return on investment (ROI), vacation rentals often do not perform as well as long term rentals.

Vacation Rental vs. Short Term Rental

Over the last year short-term vacation rentals have been very popular especially in cities like San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. This follows the success of companies like Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway in many cities around the world. These sites do a great job of connecting property owners with travelers from all over the world.

But there are problems, and not just with bottom line figures:

  • Screening: Every long-term rentals managed by a landlord or professional company will perform a tenant screening to include background, credit, and an eviction check. The average short term rental property doesn’t peform any checks. Many rely on the previous reviews of from the online vacation hosting site, and even less actually demand any form of ID.
  • Community PushBack: In spite of the popularity of short-term rentals, some cities are starting to ban rentals less than 30 days with many communities (HOAs) imposing 6 month or 1-year Heavy fines are being levied when neighbors turn in other neighbors for not following the community vacation rental policy. And lets be honest, it only takes one unruly guest to turn your neighbors into your biggest opposition.
  • Guest Experience: Short term rentals are expected to provide “Concierge Service” to would be hotel guests. This takes a lot of time and energy and has increased (which equals dollars) with ever growing competition. If you haven’t hired a third party firm, you are left on your own to do everything from checking the guests in and out; arranging cleaning, repairs, restocking and inspections. If you don’t have the best in wifi, upgraded cable, perfect pillows, or soft beds, you will hear about it online.

vacation rental san diego

What Is your “Real” Return On Investment With A Short Term Rental?

If you were to ask the owner of a typical short term rental property about their profits they may tell you that their gross revenue is high, and they are loving the profits, but their P&L statement will tell a different story and their net income will usually be equal to or less than long term rentals. Here’s why:

Management Costs – Property management companies specializing in short term rentals charge roughly 20% with fees ranging as high as 30 and 35 percent in some areas (Vail, Co for example). This is usually double to triple the fee that you would pay for Long-term management (7-10%).

Even if you self-manage, you still have to find “guests” using VR sites like HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb. These sites now have base fees equal to at least 10% per booking with additional charges like credit card and international fees, etc.

Utility costs – Tenants in long term rentals normally pay all utilities, with the possible exception of Landscaping or Pool service. Vacation rentals not only have the landlord pay the basic utilities, to be competitive, Landlords must also force pay for the internet, phone and more than just the basic cable to be competitive. At $300 – $500 per month, this is another 4-6% of a rental that grosses $100k per year and 8-12% of one that grosses $50k.

Cleaning costs – For LTR, the Landlord pays to have their home get a detailed professional clean before the 1st Tenant moves in and then the Tenant normally covers this expense when they move out. But for vacation rentals, it can be anywhere from $75-$150 after EVERY rental. Sticking with the standard 50% occupancy rate (talk about that more in a second) that’s 26 times a year for a weekly rental…or roughly $3000. Even if you have the Short term rental guests cover the basic cleaning costs, most managers will tell you that you will need a “Deep” clean done at least once per quarter. This is above and beyond what you may push onto your guests and is something you wouldn’t do with long term rentals.

Restocking –  Vacation rental Landlords and management companies at a minimum provide Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, soap, coffee, paper cups, towels, and if you include annual repurchases of kitchenware (people break bowls and glasses all the time) you can spend another $50 per month on average ($600 per year). For higher end vacation rentals, there are other amenities provided including “welcome gifts” such as wine, champagne, food, flowers, car and maid service, shopping services, etc…

San Diego property manager

 Getting Down To Reality

 When focusing simply from a profit stand point, choosing to vacation or short term rental your home, whether that be by the beach in San Diego, near The Strip in Las Vegas, or near Old Towne in Scottsdale, may not always be the best course of action.

For example: let’s say that you own a short term rental property in San Diego and it brings in about $100k per year in gross revenue at 50% occupancy (at 26 weeks and average of just under $4k per week). Although the profit sounds exciting, you have to think about the cost and fees associated with this short-term rental property including:

  • 20% management fee = $20k
  • $5000 for utilities
  • $3500 in restocking and cleaning fees

Net profit is rough $71,500.

Consider a conservative long term monthly rental at $6k per month, (usually 1.5 of the average weekly rent) is $72K gross, but you still have to think about your fees and other expenses which come with this rental property including:

  • $4000 management fee
  • 1 time cleaning $150


       Net income is $67,500

Notice that we use conservative numbers for the long term and the net difference without factoring in the cost to furnish the property or any local rules or prohibitive ordinances. There is a 4% difference.

If your VR rental occupancy figures dip or bring in less in rental income you can quickly see that 4% disappear. Example, year two your rental only brings in $90k, and your expenses don’t change, now you net $63,500, or 5% deficit to the long term.

This is all before the cost to “furnish” and maintain your residence that will undoubtedly absorb more in wear and tear via short term vs a long term rental.

Property Management San Diego

Owning a Long Term Rental Property Makes More Sense

Another reason to think twice before owning a short term rental property is volatility either in the economy or marketplace which could impact the profits you were enjoying from your rental property.

It’s also important to think about natural disasters and or terrorist events because either scenario could affect your long-term profits. What once was a profitable vacation rental could send your finances in the red, very fast.

Why own a vacation rental? Unless you and your family are going to spend more than 1 full month at the property per year, or the home is located in such an area where the gross vacation rental revenue beats the long term rental revenue by more than 35%, it makes no financial sense to choose short term/seasonal/vacation rental over the steady and stable long term option.

Learn More about Vacation Rental vs. Long Term Rentals

To learn more about vacation rentals vs. long term rentals, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.