What Landlords Need to Know About Tenants with Animals

You have heard the saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend.” It is no secret that people love their pets. In fact, a Zillow research study found that 41 percent of renters list allowing pets as a requirement. Pets come with pros and cons. If you allow pets, you open up the rental field to more potential renters. On the flip side, if you allow pets, you open your home up to risk of damage – – urine on your carpets, damage to baseboards if they have a puppy, lawn damage, and much more. What if someone has a service animal? This is a whole different ball park. Service animals cannot be discriminated against. There are many laws you must follow if you receive an applicant with a service animal. Rancho Cordova property management team, RPM Select want landlords to be successful and avoid lawsuits. Below you will find answers to your questions regarding pets versus service animals.

What is the Difference Between a Pet and a Service Animal?

Let us be clear, a pet is not a service animal. And a service animal is not a pet. According to Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. These tasks include pulling a wheelchair, alerting a person to sound, picking something up when dropped, pressing a button, or alerting a person to take medication. An emotional support animal is not a service animal. Rancho Cordova property management experts want to be clear that the work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. A doctor’s note is not sufficient to claim a dog as a service animal. The following list of service animals that fit the ADA description include:

  • A guide dog or a seeing eye dog (severe visual impairments or blindness)
  • Hearing or a signal dog (hearing loss or deaf)
  • Psychiatric service dog (reminder to take medicines, turning on lights, PTSD, etc)
  • Sensory signal dog (autism)
  • Seizure response dog (seizure disorders)

Remember, if a rental applicant lists that they have a service animal, you cannot inquire as to why. The person with the disability cannot be asked about the nature or extent of the disability. They can only be asked the following two questions:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

These questions should not be asked if the answer is obvious.

A pet is a domestic animal kept for companionship or pleasure. Rancho Cordova property management teams too often see people trying to pass off their pets as service or therapy animals.

Service Animals and Housing Laws

A landlord or professional management teams cannot discriminate against a person with a service animal. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord or homeowner’s association must provide reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities so that they have an equal opportunity to enjoy and use a dwelling. While emotional support animals are not protected under the ADA, they can be considered as reasonable accommodations under the FHA.

If landlords do choose to allow pets on the property, they can charge a pet deposit upon move in. A normal pet deposit ranges between $200 and $500. This protects the property owner if damage is done by the pet during the time that it resided at the property. Charging an extra deposit, however, is illegal when it comes to a service animal. Property management Rancho Cordova teams can ask a person to certify the following when accepting an application from a tenant with a service animal:

  1. that the tenant or a member of his or her family is a person with a disability
  2. the need for the animal to assist the person with that specific disability
  3. that the animal actually assists the person with a disability.

Landlords may not set weight, size or breed restrictions on service animals.

Rancho Cordova Property Management Rights

Landlords are permitted to exclude a service animal if it causes a fundamental alteration of the goods and services provided to other tenants, or if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants. Examples include a barking dog that keeps other tenants awake during the night or fecal matter left in the common area without getting cleaned up by the owner. Property management teams must document the evidence of these nuisances when they occur in order to exclude a service animal from the property. If you have any questions regarding service animals on your property, contact a lawyer.

The Bottom Line

Property management Rancho Cordova teams cannot discriminate against persons with service animals. They can choose to allow pets or not. They can charge for a pet deposit, but not for a service animal deposit. Landlords cannot inquire as to why the applicant or tenant needs a service animal. They can ask if the animal is required because of a disability or inquire as to the work or tasks that the animal has been trained to perform. Landlords cannot require a demonstration from the animal. If you have questions regarding a service animal on your property or renting to someone who has a service animal, contact your lawyer.

How Rocklin Property Management Protects Your Rental Home

Each year homeowners claim hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to their homes. Whether your home is brand new or old, it is still susceptible to water, wind, hail, theft, and fire damage. When this damage occurs, it will not only cost you a pretty penny, but it could displace your family, or your renters, for a significant amount of time. That is why Rocklin property management company, RPM Select, has put together a list of the most common reasons that homeowners file insurance claims and how you can protect yourself against them happening in the first place.

The Most Common Reasons Homeowners File Insurance Claims

Windstorms

According to Travelers Homeowners Insurance data over an eight year period, windstorms take the lead by accounting for 24 percent of all annual losses. That is nearly one-quarter of all claims.

  • Short term solutions to better protect homeowners consist of pruning trees to prevent them from overgrowing and falling onto rooftops. According to the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety, tree-related windstorm damage causes hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage each year.
  • Long term solutions may include the IBHS FORTIFIED Home Program. By hiring the IBHS FORTIFIED home building team, you can build a home that is reinforced and can withstand hurricanes, high winds, hail, and severe thunderstorms. The experience FORTIFIED team uses reinforcements on both new and existing homes to tape roof deck seams, achor porches, decks, carports and other attached structures, and anchoring the roof to the exterior wall and the wall of the house to the foundation.

Water damage, Non-Storm Related

This accounts of 20 percent of all claims to Travelers Homeowners Insurance Company. It is made up of water damage caused from leaking pipes, water heaters, refrigerators, air conditioning units, and washing machines. Rocklin property management companies are all too familiar with water damage that is not storm related. Select takes preventative steps to make certain any sign of a leak is discovered and repaired before it becomes a flood.

  • Short term solutions to protect your home against flooding including conducting regular annual or semi annual inspections of your appliances, hoses, and fittings to check for leaks or corrosion. Fix any leaks immediately. If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, shut off the main water line and drain the pipes.
  • Long term solutions include purchasing sensors that detect water and signs of a leak at the appropriate locations in your home including behind the refrigerator, water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher.

Hail

Damaged caused by hail makes up 16 percent of all homeowners insurance claims. While property management Rocklin companies do not usually see much hail in this area of the country, the Midwest receives usual hail storms during tornado season with hail as large as the size of baseballs.

  • Short term solutions include removing patio furniture from outside and placing it under a covered area, like a carport or garage. Park your vehicles inside a garage of under a parking structure.
  • Long term solutions include getting your home IBHS FORTIFIED. You can click here here to see if your home is in a hail-prone area. If it is, IBHS can provide homeowners with a high impact roof covering.

Water Damage, Weather-Related

Melting snow, flash flooding, severe rain and thunderstorms, and ice damage make up 11 percent of national homeowners insurance claims.

  • Short term solutions that can protect your home include clearing rain gutters, storm drains, and inspecting your roof to ensure all shingles are in good condition. The Rocklin property management team at Select has adopted semi-annual property inspections to clear rain gutters of debris and inspect the property to ensure it is weatherproof.
  • Long term solutions include installing a waterproof membrane under your roof to prevent water from leaking in, insulating your attic to prevent ice-dams, and insulating water pipes to prevent them from freezing during the winter months.

Protecting Your Home Against Theft With Rocklin Property Management

Theft and burglaries account for 6 percent of insurance claims.

  • Short term solutions to protect your home include closing and locking windows, doors, gates, and garage doors. Refrain from hiding spare keys outside and if you are going to be away, talk to a neighbor about collecting your mail from your mailbox for you and bringing in your trash cans after trash day.
  • Long term solutions include installing a security system with alarms, cameras, lights, and even a live monitoring agreement with the security system of your choice. Manicure your yard to prevent overgrown trees and shrubs which provide a good hiding place for thieves. Property management Rocklin experts have found that installing motion sensor lighting, hanging curtains on windows that can be easily viewed from the street, and getting to know your neighbors can be helpful in preventing unwanted visitors at your property.

Select wants your house to be a safe and secure haven for you and tenants. Call Select today to see how we can provide you with the physical and financial security of your home.

Why You Should Rent with Roseville Property Management Instead of Buy

You have been anxiously saving and working hard for years in order to purchase your first house. The time has finally arrived and you have all your ducks in a row. But when you start shopping for homes to purchase, you recognize the housing market does not have all its ducks in a row. You find it is cheaper to rent than buy. You are immediately discouraged and angry by this reality check because the amount of house you can afford to buy is smaller than what you can afford to rent with Roseville property management. Before you spiral down into deep sadness, remember there is a bright side to this dark side. You can reinvest the savings you will gain from renting and continue to grow your financial portfolio so you can afford a bigger house once the housing market shifts back in your favor.

Why the Shift in Housing Prices?

The recent acceleration in housing prices can simply be described as a classic economic supply and demand imbalance. Too much demand and too little supply. This imbalance has shifted the desired housing choice back in favor of renting a house with Roseville property management instead of buying. With low housing supply, buyers create bidding wars, driving up home prices and decreasing affordability to median-income families. Low interest rates on mortgages also drive up home prices. On the flip side, the market generally sees housing prices drop as mortgage interest rates rise. In a recent study performed by Zillow, 100 real estate economist experts claim by a 43% plurality vote that the housing market will shift back in 2020 to a buyers market. By that time, the supply of houses for sale should exceed the demand, making home-buying affordable again and abolishing bidding wars.

Research to Show Renting with Roseville Property Management is Better Than Buying

A study performed by Realtor states that the monthly costs of owning a home that you live in are up 14 % over the past year, which is more than three times the annual increase in rent prices on a national level. It states that rent prices are only up 4% annually.

New research from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty have found that the housing markets where it still might be cheaper to buy than rent can be found in much of the Midwest and Northeast, specifically Chicago and Cleveland. Otherwise, markets along the coasts including Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Houston are a renters market.

In May, a separate study performed by Zillow and Pulsenomics found that half of the economists polled predict a recession in 2020. The market is about as high as it was at its inflated peak in 2006. The housing market cannot go too much higher at this point.

According to a report released by Attom Data Solutions, Quarter 2 of 2018 saw a 6.3 percent increase in the national average home price for both single family homes and condos compared to one year ago. The new average home price is $255,000. While that is a new all-time high, it is also the slowest annual appreciation since Quarter 2 of 2016.

What You Can Do with Your Extra Savings from Renting

It is not just cheaper to rent with Roseville property management, it may also now be a better investment. New research from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty have found that renting and reinvesting the savings from renting will outperform, on average, owning and building home equity. This is in terms of wealth creation. That is the first time renting outperforms buying since 2010. If the average American home price is $255,000, a 20 percent down payment is $51,000. Whatever amount you have already saved for your down payment, build on it. Try investing the savings you get from renting into a brokerage account that tracks the market. Property management Roseville companies say you should find an investment where you can hope for a 7 percent annual return. Research shows that homeowners typically spend 1 percent of the value of the home doing repairs, annually. That means on a $255,000 home, a homeowner spends $2,550 per year on repairs that renters do not have to pay. Save that amount and invest it.

Homeownership Isn’t All it’s Cracked Up to Be

When you think about forking out a hefty down payment, paying thousands and thousands of dollars of interest on a home mortgage for many years, maintaining the home on your own dime, and paying a premium price in this market, you will quickly see that renting with Select is the smart way to go. Property management Roseville companies do not require a downpayment, just a rental deposit. There is no interest on your rent and we take care of maintenance for you. Give Select a call today to see how we can set you up for success, so you can make the move once the housing market settles down.

Why Rent Out Your House with Property Management Instead of Selling

Let’s say you’ve been a homeowner for 15 years, raised children in your home, held down a good and steady job in the community, made memories to last a lifetime, and cared meticulously for your home over the years. As time has passed, you’ve either outgrown the home as you have welcomed new babies or are ready to downsize as your children have moved out and grown up. Maybe after all those long years of hard work, it’s time to retire in a comfortable climate that promotes the desired lifestyle of laying by the pool, golfing, shopping, and visiting grandchildren. Or perhaps you are ready to upgrade your starter home. Whatever your circumstances, Sacramento property management company, RPM Select, urges homeowners to carefully consider the decision of renting out your home versus selling.

Principal, Interest, Down Payments, and Closing Costs

During the first part of a 30 year mortgage, most of the money in your monthly payment goes to pay down the interest. Very few dollars go towards the principal of the loan amount. Of course this is dependent upon the length of the term, your interest rate, and down payment. Don’t let all those years of paid interest go down the drain. You made the monthly mortgage payments, now let someone else make them for you until the house is paid off.

Remember that large lump-sum of money you transferred from your bank account all those years ago the day you closed on the house? Down payments and closing costs account for a big amount of the money you spent on your home. Closing costs typically range between five and ten thousand dollars, which have nothing to do with the equity you gain your home. Selling your home, when you don’t need the cash to purchase another property, would be unwise.

Building Wealth and Equity Through Tenants

Sacramento property management companies know that purchasing an owner occupied property and living in that property for a few years works in your benefit if you plan to build wealth with real estate investments. Interest rates for owner occupied homes are directly affected by credit score, the type of investment property, and your down payment. Let’s pretend your interest rate would be 4.5 percent for an owner occupied residence. However, if you choose to buy a house with the immediate intent of renting it out, you could plan on an interest rate closer to 5.0 – 5.25 percent for a single family residence. This proves the benefit of property management in Sacramento, CA, when choosing to rent out your once owner-occupied home, and transition it into a tenant-occupied home. Lower interest rates.

Few things are as wonderful as having someone paying for equity in a house for you. As your tenant makes the required monthly payment, you are getting further along in your quest to build wealth in the real estate market. Put simply, your tenants are buying a house for you. If you eventually choose to sell the home, you get all the equity back, not the renters. Homeowners who transition their homes into investment properties must ensure the rent amount covers the all home expenses, as well as protects you during vacancy times. If it does not, you may reconsider your option to rent.

Some Things to Consider in Sacramento Property Management

Is it Profitable? If only it were as easy as collecting an on-time rent check once a month, renting out your house would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. That’s why property management companies exist. They do the dirty work for you, sometimes quite literally. Before choosing to rent your your home, it is crucial to do market research to determine the rent rate you could ask for your property. Your asking rent rate must be sufficient to cover the principal and interest (mortgage), HOA fees, taxes and insurance, maintenance, advertising, vacancy, and Sacramento property management fees. If your asking rent rate covers these expenses and more, you are looking at a positive cash flow rental property – the best of all worlds.

How’s the Market? Just like home prices, the rent market has been on the rise in recent years. Some housing markets seems almost fail-proof with rising numbers – the Bay Area and Sacramento markets being some of them. Some homeowners feel the need to make big repairs to their home before selling in order to get top dollar, but when you choose to rent out your home, time is on your side. If you are short on funds right now, you might have the money for the repairs in six or twelve months. Renting out your home for now would allow you time to save for those repairs. And who knows, you might like renting out your house so much, you keep the property as a rental forever.

Are you coming back? In the fast-paced world we live in, we sometimes feel the need to make life altering decisions immediately. Decisions like, “should I sell or rent my home?” This decision should not be a hasty one. However, many homeowners relocate for jobs or retirement, and do not know where the next turn in the road will take them. They like the security of knowing they have a “home” to go back to, if things do not work out elsewhere. Selling and purchasing another home incurs costs. You save money and gain more equity in your home when you choose to rent it out with companies who specialize in property management in Sacramento, CA, like Select.

Let someone else build your wealth through real estate investments by choosing to rent out your home with our expert team at Select. Call us today.

Why You Shouldn’t DIY in Sacramento Rental Property Management

The DIY fad has been on the rise since the birth of the internet, finding ways to save yourself money by doing-it-yourself. While projects can be fun and get your creative juices flowing, you don’t want a property management project. Take it from real estate investors who have learned the hard way, or should we say, the “do-it-yourself way.” RPM Select has found that DIY in property management most often leads to stress, loss of sleep, endless internet research on how to fix things when they break, and time-intensive research on how to adhere to the housing laws to avoid lawsuits.

Time is Money

Time is your most valuable asset. Think about it—you can always get more money, but you cannot get more time. Time is limited. Time is what gets stolen away from you when you choose to be a DIY landlord. It sounds harsh, but it is reality. Sacramento rental property management does not take vacations or holidays. It comes knocking on your door at 3:00 AM when you have to get up for work at 6:00 AM during a weekday. Or on the weekend when it’s your only day to sleep in. It calls your cell phone on Christmas morning while your family is wrapped up in the magic and tearing open presents. It comes emailing even when you are sitting on the beaches of Bora Bora with your sweetheart soaking up the warm sun and smell of coconut sunscreen.

Everything from inspecting the property on a tenant move-out to scheduling maintenance to paying vendors and ensuring they completed their work to advertising of the property, conducting property showings, proper tenant screening, lease agreement signings, collection of rent payments, chasing down rent payments when a tenant doesn’t pay, maintenance, and handling of the finances all takes time and energy. In addition, tenants want a landlord who is available. Allowing yourself to be available at all times helps with tenant retention and encourages renters to take better care of your property. Do you have time for all of this? If so, be our guest and DIY in the property management industry. If you’re like most people, you may reconsider and hire a Sacramento rental property management team, like Select.

Be Friendly, But Not Friends

Finding a balance between good cop and bad cop can be difficult. You want your tenants to like you, but you also need them to respect you and the lease agreement rules. That’s why it is wise to be friendly, but not friends, with your tenants. Sometimes this can be a thin line in rental property management. Sacramento investors should think of their rental property as a business, and not as a personal asset. When you have the business mindset, you can easily stick to your lease agreement rules. For example, what will you do when your tenant comes to you and says they lost their job and their car broke down last week, leaving them with no money left to pay rent. While the sympathetic personal side of you will want to say, “I’m sorry to hear this. Please pay when you get your next paycheck,” the business side of you will say, two weeks down the road, “Where is that rent check? I never should have bent the rules like this.” Always follow the lease agreement rules and treat all tenants the same way. If you do not have the strength or firmness to be strict and follow your lease agreement rules, it would be wise to find a management team. Bending the rules for one tenant, but not the other, can lead to discrimination lawsuits.

Follow Sacramento Rental Property Management Laws

Failing to follow the housing laws, can lead to endless hours of stress, loss of money, and time in court. A recent lawsuit filed by The U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development (HUD) against Facebook claims that the social media website which also allows users to advertise items for sale, including rental properties, was participating in housing discrimination. In the press release, HUD claims that rental property owners were able to control and select which types of Facebook users could see their ads, discriminating against race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and zip code, all of which are protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.

Failure to treat all persons equally is a quick way to land yourself in court in rental property management. Sacramento rental properties are often patrolled by “secret shoppers.” These “secret shoppers” pretend to be interested in your property, but they are undercover agents for companies looking to file discrimination lawsuits against property owners and management companies who may be discriminating against protected classes of people. This is why it is so important to treat everyone equally when showing properties, accepting applications, and during tenancy. With so many housing laws, it is difficult to stay educated on all of them. Select participates in regular education courses to stay informed on all local, state, and federal laws.

Save Yourself a Headache, Hire Select

Select’s management fees are so reasonable, they practically pay for themself. Our vacancy rates are lower than our competitors and our tenant retention is exemplary. We save our property owners time, money, stress, and the risk of lawsuits. Keep your rental property safe. Call the top Sacramento rental property management team, Select today to receive a quote for service.