How Rocklin Property Management Companies Keep Maintenance Costs Down

When investors enter the property management industry for the first time, one of their biggest worries is maintenance costs. Too often, landlords find themselves unprepared for maintenance costs or did not see the need for repairs coming. When it comes to Rocklin property management, there are too many balls to juggle to be worrying about maintenance. RPM Select wants to see property managers succeed, so here are a few tips from our professionals who have more than 30 years of experience in handling maintenance and repairs.

Be Proactive

The best time to address any sort of maintenance issue is when the property is vacant. During the turnover process, inspect and assess what repairs need to be completed. Inspect the property for safety hazards, ensure the appliances are working properly, change filters on the stove hood, air conditioning and furnace units, check the condition and quality of the flooring, make sure there are not any leaking pipes, signs of water damage, or mildew growth, and much more. For a general rental house inspection checklist from the city of Sacramento, click here. Once you have completed your inspection checklist, ask yourself, “would I want to live here?” If you can answer “yes,” then the property is most likely in good condition. Rocklin property management companies recommend that landlords study up on local codes to make sure your property is legally safe and rent ready. At Select, we conduct routine property inspections during occupancy to stay on top of maintenance. We schedule regular gutter cleaning, fire extinguisher inspections, landscape inspections, pest control inspections when needed, and smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections.

Quick Response Time

The best Rocklin property management companies know a quick response time for maintenance makes for happy tenants. And happy tenants stay long term. This sends a message to your tenants that you care for and respect your property. In return, they will too. When you phone rings, whether it is a 2PM or 2AM, answer the phone. Document in writing what your tenant’s maintenance request is, whether it is minor or an emergency. Act quickly to inspect or send a professional technician to inspect and make the proper repairs. Always hire licensed and insured professionals. This protects property owners from lawsuits and allows you to rest easy knowing your house is in good hands. If a tenant requests a minor repair, remember that small repairs to you might feel like a big deal to your tenants because they live with them every day. Keep lines of communication open between tenants and your Rocklin property management team to let them know you are there to help make sure the problems get resolved.

Who Pays for What? Rocklin Property Management vs. Tenants

If you own your home and and find a leaking pipe, there is no question who gets hit with the bill—it’s you. If you rent, all you have to do is call your landlord, who will most likely be the one flipping the bill. In California, property owners are legally bound to provide a safe and habitable living environment for tenants. It is a landlord’s responsibility to take care of repairs and maintenance so that residents can comfortably live in the dwelling.  If it is a maintenance repair that is caused by general wear and tear or a random repair, the landlord is responsible. However, there is a loophole. A tenant is responsible for payment of a repair is if they caused it to happen. Examples include punching a hole in the wall, trying to install a shower head that resulted in a pipe break, damage caused by your pet, breaking a window while throwing a football inside, or flushing a diaper down the toilet causing it to flood. Rocklin property managers can also require tenants to pay for damages caused by neglect or abuse while the tenant lived on the premises. Landlords must make prompt repairs to maintenance requests and uphold a comfortable living standard for their tenants. Property managers should clearly state in the lease agreement which repairs are paid by the landlord versus the tenant.  

Setting Money Aside for Maintenance

Deciding the correct amount of savings for a rainy day is too often underestimated by property owners. As a general rule of thumb, Select recommends landlords set aside one percent of the value of the property for annual maintenance. If you property is valued at $300,000 a good way to be prepared for maintenance is to set aside $3,000 annually. This breaks down to $250 per month. There will be months where zero maintenance requests are submitted, and there will be months where you have a hefty repair bill. Either way, putting aside one percent is a safe way to protect yourself from draining your bank account when repairs arise.

Preferred Pricing with Select

When you become a client at Select, we provide you with our preferred pricing from our certified vendors. This ensures that our property owners keep maintenance costs low, while still getting quality work from licensed and insured technicians. Call our Rocklin property management team today to get cost-effective solutions through our extensive network of professionals. Our streamlined process for maintenance has never been better.

How Roseville Property Management Avoids Legal Pitfalls

There are many variables in property management that can lead to doing things legally or illegally. The local, state and federal laws and codes help property managers know and understand where to draw the line.

The Fair Housing Act protects certain classes of people against discrimination in renting, buying or applying for a mortgage. These protected classes include race or color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, age, and those with disabilities or handicap. Roseville property managers must treat all of these protected classes equally. They cannot choose to deny a rental application based upon these factors.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that protects people with physical and emotional disabilities in the workplace, in housing markets, transportation, and anywhere in public against discrimination. The purpose of this law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as those without a disability. Roseville property management companies must tread lightly here. If there is an applicant for your rental property who is protected under this class, we recommend you study up on this law or hire RPM Select to make sure all is done in compliance with the law and that this applicant receives a Reasonable Accommodation request.

In addition to staying updated on revisions to the above mentioned laws, property managers must also be educated and in compliance with:

  • Habitability laws which ensure a tenant has a safe and comfortable living space
  • Hire licensed and insured contractors to complete maintenance and repair work on the property
  • Follow smoke and carbon monoxide detector laws
  • Handle evictions properly
  • Handle the rent collections process correctly and ethically
  • Keep all personal information confidential
  • Availability to take and respond to maintenance emergency calls

As you can clearly see, Roseville property management is not for the fainthearted. Knowing these laws and complying with them takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. However, it is worth the time and effort or the cost to hire a management team to avoid the following scenario.

A Real Life Experience from a Private Landlord Prior to Hiring Select.

I thought I was a perfect candidate to do my own property management. I had nothing to lose. In reality, I had everything to lose. Three years ago, I got myself into some serious Roseville property management legal trouble. How many of my violations can you catch in the following story?

I started the day with a cup of coffee, sitting in my home office. I had just noticed an urgent email an important client sent at 5 a.m. when the phone rang.  

“The water from the back outdoor faucet is leaking,” my tenant said. I apologized for the inconvenience, then told her I would stop by to take a look at it shortly. I then returned to my email, and the rest of my day is history. I got sucked into my projects and completely forgot about the call. Days go by. Weeks go by. Three weeks later, my phone rang at 10:30 p.m. just as I was getting ready for bed. I decided to let the phone ring this time. I was too tired to deal with anything.

The next morning I listened to my voicemails. “The basement is flooding!” my panicked tenant said. “We just discovered it in our storage room. Everything is soaked!” I remembered the faucet from three weeks earlier and slapped my head. It was too late.

On the way over, I thought how I never planned on water issues when I started doing my own Roseville property management. To save money, I hired a friend who said he could do restoration, but the damage was double what it would have been three weeks earlier due to the increased damage, so I still lost any hope of any profit that month, or the next. He asked for the information of the tenant so he could follow up with her later on the leak and I provided both her email and cell phone number.

How Many Mistakes Did This Landlord Make?

  1. Failure to document that he received maintenance request.
  2. Failure to take action quickly and assess the situation.
  3. Failure to hire a licensed professional with liability insurance.
  4. Failure to document what course of action was taken to solve the problem.
  5. Failure to provide a safe living environment for his tenants.
  6. Failure to protect a tenant’s privacy and secure personal information.

Don’t let this be you. All of these mistakes were avoidable. Keep your profit and your sanity. Call the top Roseville property management team, Select today to make certain you stay in compliance with all the laws.

How Property Managers Get Homes Rent Ready in Record Time

You’re reliable and trustworthy tenant has just turned in their 30 Day Notice to Vacate and all you can think about is “how will I find another tenant as good as my last one?” At least that is what we hope you are thinking. If not, you’re thoughts might be, “how will I get my house rent ready and how soon until a new tenant can move in?” If this is where your mind goes, rest assured, we have the answer. At RPM Select, our goal is make Sacramento property management a successful investment and business venture for property owners. No one likes to have a disruption in their cash flow. That is why our knowledgeable team of professionals at Select has provided landlords with tips and tricks they can use during the turnover process to get their home rent-ready as quickly as possible.

Preliminary Move-Out Inspection

When a tenant give you a 30 Day Notice to Vacate, acknowledge their intent to vacate by giving them a list of cleaning guidelines and an official move out date. For example, if someone turns in a notice to vacate on January 15th, day one of the notice is January 16th. Count 30 calendar days to determine the move out date. This means their move out date is set for February 14th. Let them know that keys must be returned to their Sacramento property manager no later than midnight on the date of their move out, February 14th. Provide the tenant with the option for you to conduct a Preliminary Move Out Inspection. During this inspection, the property manager enters the home while the tenant is present to walk through the property and address any concerns, maintenance, or repairs needed upon move out. This gives the property manager a heads-up as to what condition the property is in prior to move out. During this inspection, the landlord should make notes of flooring, paint and wall, and appliance repairs or replacements, and much more.

Getting the Home Rent Ready Once Vacant

  • Day 1 of Vacancy (Feb 15th): Leave the first day of vacancy open for you and your maintenance technicians to walk through the property and test all appliances and determine what can be fixed versus what needs replacing. If appliances need replacing, order them immediately so they can be delivered in a timely manner. Maintenance technicians should also inspect all window coverings, countertops, baseboards, hardware, replace caulking and silicone in the kitchen and bathrooms, and change door locks.
  • Day 2 – 3 of Vacancy (Feb 16 – 17th): If it was obvious during the Preliminary Move Out Inspection that paint and flooring will need to be replaced, you should have already called your paint and flooring contractors to get on their schedule for February 16th and 17th. The most successful property management Sacramento companies schedule contactors back-to-back to cut down on vacancy times. Many contractors will recommend painting before new flooring, because even the best painters can accidently smudge or drip paint on unwanted surfaces.
  • Day 4 of Vacancy (Feb 18th): The property manager should walk through the property and ensure all work has been completed satisfactorily. Use this day to also install any new appliances so they are up and running by the time your first prospective tenant sees the property. Take updated photos of the interior and exterior. A recommended tip from the best Sacramento property management photographers is to turn on all interior lights and open window coverings to enhance the look and natural light of the room you are photographing.
  • Day 5 of Vacancy (Feb 19th): First day of showings.

How Sacramento Property Management Companies Set Rent Rates

It can be difficult to determine asking rent rates without doing your homework. If your asking rent rate is too low, you run the risk of getting less qualified and less sophisticated applicants. If your asking rent rate is too high, you run the risk of prolonged vacancy as tenants walk away disappointed with what you are offering versus your competition. Select recommends conducting a Market Analysis. This can be done by searching for local housing ads from other Sacramento property managers that offer comparable characteristics to your house. Find homes that have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as your house, similar square footage and yard sizes, were built within the same time frame, and are located within a half mile to one mile away. What is their asking rent? How does the interior and exterior of those houses compare to what yours looks like? Are they remodeled or updated? Are they old and tired looking? Take these characteristics into consideration to determine your asking rent. Doing a Market Analysis can at least give you a ballpark figure on asking rent rates. Start your asking rent rate high. If no one expresses interest in your ad, lower the price a little.

Advertising Your Vacancy

Property Management in Sacramento can be disheartening to see all the options people have when renting. You may feel like a small fish in a big pond. That is why having a strong and attractive advertisement for your home can help reduce your vacancy time. Pick the best picture of your property as the featured image on your ad. This is often the exterior of the home which accentuates the curb appeal, or the kitchen, living or dining area. Go for the “wow factor.” Make people want to click on your ad to see more. Let renters know when the property is ready for move-in, the features the house offers, amenities, nearby entertainment, grocery stores, schools, and major roadways for commuting to and from work. Inform prospective tenants looking at your ad of additional costs for utilities and income requirements. Make your advertisement so attractive, people have to see it in person.

If you are like most landlords and want to keep your occupancy rate high while your vacancy rate stays low, call Select today to learn more about how we do turnovers in record time.

How Property Management Companies in Sacramento Maintain Cash Flow

You have heard the phrase, “money makes the world go round.” In essence, money does solve a lot of problems, including a lot of problems in the property management industry. If only it were as easy as receiving a rent check in the mail on time, each month, then depositing it straight in the bank. The reality of this painted picture is not reality at all, unfortunately. Rent collection for property management companies in Sacramento is much more complex. RPM Select has over 35 years of experience in rent collection, and welcomes you to take a crash course from the pros and discover how Select ensures its clients maintain a steady cash flow of rent.

Rigorous Tenant Screening Process

Keeping the rent checks coming in each month starts at the beginning of the leasing process with the search for tenants. Establish your asking rent price, remember to start on the higher side of the spectrum, and determine what your income requirement will be for prospective tenants. A common rent-to-monthly income ratio is often somewhere between 2.4 and 3 times the monthly rent amount. If you are asking $3,000 for rent each month and want a 1:3 ratio, you would require a monthly gross household income of no less than $9,000. Sacramento property management companies let their income ratios be known up front to prospects to help weed out those who would not financially qualify. By doing this, landlords do not waste time showing properties to those who could not afford to live there.

Once you have determined your income qualifications and have an interested applicant, Select runs background, criminal and credit checks. Credit checks are crucial to making certain you have a reliable tenant who pays their bills on time and in full. If you have a tenant who applies and all things look good except for their credit check, do not settle. Hold out for a more qualified tenant. You will be glad you waited for the right tenant. Hold each applicant to same standard as the other. This will prevent a discrimination lawsuit.

Require that tenants submit reliable income proof at the time they turn in their applications. The two most recent pay stubs, three most recent years of tax return documents, or six months of bank statements should suffice. You can and should verify employment by calling the human resources representative or manager listed on the application.

Property Management Companies in Sacramento Communicate Clearly

The lease signing process is an ideal time for landlords to set crystal clear expectations with their tenants regarding when rent is due, the amount of rent, how it should be paid or delivered, and what happens if they fail to pay. Too often property managers hear the phrase, “I didn’t know,” when referring to rent collection rules. Communicating rent rules keeps steady cash flow for landlords so they can continue to pay the mortgage, cover maintenance costs, and make a return on their investment. At Select, on time rent payments are rewarded. Tenants who pay rent on time and in full each month receive benefits like coupons and discounts to local grocery stores, shopping and dining. If rent is not paid, document and follow through with proper legal notices. Consult your lawyer before moving forward with an eviction process. Sacramento property management companies must treat each tenant equally and will respect whether the tenant pays rent or not.

Automating Rent Collection in the Digital Age

We live in a time when the majority of people are attached to their screens. A Nielsen Company audience report found that the average American spends more than ten hours a day in front of a screen. This includes computers, television, smart phones, video games, radios, and tablets. Why not capitalize on this? Property management companies in Sacramento know that residents are more likely to pay their rent on time, when it is convenient for them. That’s why Select created an automated rent collection process that allows residents to pay online, so it is at their convenience. When a payment is not received by Select, there is an automated collections process. This automated system follows the rules set forth in the lease agreement pertaining to rent and follows all legal guidelines for the collection process. Having an automatic process helps eliminate tension between management and tenants. If the tenant still fails to pay rent, Select consults with legal counsel before moving forward with an eviction to ensure all is done properly. Select even offers an eviction protection program for clients. For a small fee, clients are protected from eviction costs, if one occurs. Though it rarely does due to Select’s  rigorous screening process.

Sacramento property management is a tough business to navigate. Especially when rent collection is so crucial to the success of the business. Let the professionals at Select handle the hassle of rent collections for you. With more than 35 years of trusted experience, you are sure to get your rent on time and deposited in full into your bank account each month. Call the experts at Select today to get started.