How Sacramento Rental Property Management Companies Avoid Legal Troubles

An investment property is designed to generate cash flow, giving you income or extra spending money. This is attainable when you carefully follow all federal, state and local laws along with ethics and do your research when choosing the right property. It is easy to lose this income or extra cash flow when you fail to adhere to laws, codes and regulations. Failure to follow laws can cost property owners so much money in legal fees, it wipes bank accounts clean. Do not let this be you. This situation is avoidable and Sacramento rental property management leaders at RPM SAC-METRO are here to support you and protect you against making these avoidable mistakes.

Know Your Laws

This task alone may feel overwhelming, as there are so many laws that you must following the second that you label your property as a rental property. Some laws are put into place to protect property owners and others are to protect tenants. Either way, you must follow them. Here is a list of some of the most common laws that property owners must know to dodge lawsuits:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act: Sacramento rental property management teams are not allowed to discriminate against any person who has a disability. This civil rights act protects tenants from being discriminated against for their race, sex, national origin, or religion. It also covers those with mental or physical disabilities. This is where the gray area starts for many property owners. If a tenant fills out an application and says that they have a service animal, that is not considered a pet. Even if you have a “no pet” policy, a service animal must be allowed at no additional charge. Property owners also cannot inquire as to what the disability is. They can only ask if the service animal is required for the disability. Remember, a disability does not need to be severe, obvious, or permanent to qualify for the needs of a service animal. If a tenant needs to make modifications to the property in order to make it functional for their disability, they can fill out a Reasonable Accommodation Request. Modifications to the property are to be paid for by the person with the disability who is requesting the change.
  • Fair Housing Act: This is a federal act that rental property managers in Sacramento must follow. This act applies to those in protected classes from being discriminated against in purchasing or renting housing. Protected classes include race, color, sex, age, familial status, national origin, or disability. Property owners cannot pick and choose their tenants by discriminating against these protected classes when renting or advertising, and cannot intimidate or harass anyone based on these characteristics. A recent article published by USA Today states that Facebook allows landlords to discriminate in housing ads on their social media website, HUD alleges. This means, HUD claims Facebook is allowing property owners to target only prospective tenants they would want to see their ads and can filter by race, sex, age, color, familial status, national origin or disability. Do not filter who is allowed to view your property in online ads, who is shown your property in person, or who you ultimately choose to be your tenant.

Make certain you are not violating either of these laws, along with many others not listed above. Be conscious of what you ask prospective applicants and tenants. Do not discriminate against anyone who is classified as a protected class. Follow a rigorous screening process and treat everyone equally.

Evictions in Sacramento Rental Property Management

This is another area that can land property owners in hot water if done incorrectly. Evictions are sensitive and must be done in compliance to the law. Afterall, if you evict someone, you are taking away their shelter and putting a mark against them on their credit report. This could follow them around for years when seeking future housing. Before moving forward with filing an unlawful detainer after failure to pay rent, seek the legal advice from your attorney. Evictions can happen if a tenant is not in compliance with lease agreement terms. A few of the most common lease agreement terms that property owners see getting violated include failure to pay rent, not following occupancy guidelines, or failure to comply with a “no illegal drugs” policy. The most common reason Sacramento rental property managers see the cause for eviction is failure to pay rent. If rent is not received on time, property managers can post a formal three-day notice to pay rent or quit. If three days pass by and still no rent payment is received, contact your lawyer for proper guidelines on how to collect rent or start the eviction process. Remember, that you cannot evict someone for failing to pay their late fee associated with late rent. For example, if rent is $2,500 and the late fee is an additional $35, and the tenant comes through with the payment of only $2,500, you are no longer able to evict them. The $35 late fee can be collected later. Do not accept partial rent payments. This requires landlords to itemize daily rent fees and can lead to a messy eviction process.

Document Everything

Possibly the best way Sacramento rental property management professionals can protect themselves against legal woes is to document everything. We are not saying it is easy or fun, but we are saying it is necessary. Make the time to put everything in writing. It is difficult to recall every maintenance request, what was done to solve the maintenance request, or every conversation you have had with tenants regarding lease violations, and much more that property owners deal with daily. By documenting these things, you create a paper trail that can protect you if a tenant or applicant tries to sue you. You can document the old fashioned way by handwriting notes, opt to type notes on your computer, or utilize property management software that allows a note taking option on resident files. Date and time stamp your documented notes.

Do not take your chances in falling victim to costly legal fees. Contact the leader in Sacramento rental property management, SAC-METRO today. Let us protect you.

How to Work with Auburn Property Management Teams

Making the decision to self manage a rental property can be the right decision for a lot of property owners. Whether you started out hiring an Auburn property management team or are considering making the change from self managing to hiring it out, the majority of investment property owners have seen a lot of success with hiring professionals. Property owners often underestimate the daily tasks and time that goes into managing a rental property. Everything from getting the property rent ready, to researching the rent rate, advertising, leasing the property, handling and scheduling maintenance, the financials, rent collection, evictions, and much more can be daunting and take more time than you bargained for. If you are considering making the switch from self managing to hiring it out, the experts at RPM SAC-METRO have a few shopping pointers to make certain you hire the right company for your property.

Choosing the Right Auburn Property Management Company

Shopping around for a property manager is like shopping for a nanny to care for your children. It is imperative that you do your research, conduct interviews and ask the right questions, and look out for a good or bad track record. Consider looking for the following characteristics when shopping for a manager:

  • Clear Expectations and Pricing: Know what is your responsibility and what is the management company’s responsibility. What you can expect from your manager should be clearly stated in your service agreement. Property management in Auburn should have a simple and clear pricing structure. Hidden fees are not acceptable. Ask what the standard property management fees are and how pricing and payment works when maintenance is required. Ask all of your pricing and expectation questions up front. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Transparent Communication: Possibly the most important thing to look for when shopping and working with Auburn property management companies is ask how they communicate with their clients. The best property managers communicate with their clients and tenants clearly and often. Just like you would converse with the nanny at the end of the day regarding your baby, think of your investment property as your baby. Investors need to know what is going on at their property, whether it is in the turnover stage, leasing stage, or occupancy stage, there is always room and time for communication on both ends of the service agreement. We are not recommending you call your management team daily, but we do suggest that communication happens as often as makes you comfortable.
  • High Standards: Look for a company with high standards, ethics, honesty, proper certifications, training, experience, and legal counsel when shopping for your experts of property management in Auburn. Companies who take the time to learn and attend seminars to stay informed on laws and amendments can protect their clients from lawsuits. Property managers also handle finances including security deposits, application fees, and rent collection. Knowing you can trust a professional property management team will put your mind at ease and those rent checks coming in routinely.
  • Good Reviews: Just like shopping for a nanny, you want someone with a good track record, who comes highly recommended from past employers. Check star ratings online and discussion boards or comments to discover what past and current clients have to say about the Auburn property management company you are interested in hiring. Once again, better safe than sorry.

How SAC-METRO Keeps Property Owners Happy

At SAC-METRO, we put the success of your investment property as our highest priority. We know that if your property fails to succeed, so do we. We feel that pressure and work tirelessly to prove why those seeking property management in Auburn choose us. When investors sign a terms of service agreement with SAC-METRO, they can sit back with confidence knowing we handle everything for them, including:

  • Turning over a property upon vacancy
  • Scheduling all vendors and maintenance during occupied times
  • Doing market research to make certain you get top dollar for rent
  • Marketing your property across dozens of the top used websites that potential renters use
  • Conducting professional and ethical showings of the property and renting properties more quickly than our competitors
  • Handling our rigorous application screening process
  • Executing lease agreement signings and making sure tenants understand what is expected of them
  • Collecting rent and enforcing the eviction process if needed
  • And enforcing lease agreement rules while occupied

How SAC-METRO Communicates

If you thought the list above was long, it gets longer. We still make it our priority to send our clients weekly leasing updates, offer 24 hour live support, and give our clients online access to their owner portal on our website. Auburn property management cannot get better than this. Weekly leasing updates consist of information regarding who has viewed your property, how many showings you have had, and our follow up conversations with these potential renters. Our 24 hour live support is just one phone call away. No one likes having to wait on hold for minutes on end, or even worse, talk to a recording. SAC-METRO knows that offering our clients the opportunity to speak live with a real person is the most efficient way to conduct business and keep clients happy. And if that isn’t enough for you, we offer access to our online owner portal, which allows clients to view financial records and transactions, maintenance that has been conducted on the property, rental payment history, and more from the convenience of their own living room.

Give SAC-METRO the chance to wow you. Call us today.

How Folsom Property Management Firms Avoid Negative Tenant-Landlord Interactions

“Be friendly, but not friends,” is just part of the advice Folsom property management firms give to new landlords who enter the real estate investing industry. It can be a fine line, but maintaining professionalism and upholding lease agreement rules while still being kind and respectful is crucial to having a successful tenant-landlord relationship. Another way to look at it is “The Golden Rule of Property Management in Folsom.” Treat your tenants the way you would want to be treated. The experts at RPM SAC-METRO are providing landlords with the following recipe to help them establish successful relationships and avoid negative tenant interactions. Mix in just the right amount of these tips, and you are sure to have positive and respectful communications with your tenants.

Don’t Make it Personal

A house is just a house until you make it your home. Whether you intended all along to transition it into a rental property or if life threw you a curveball and forced you into it, you are now making the decision to rent out your home. Either way, memories were made in that home, time and hard work were executed there, and you now find yourself with emotional ties to a piece of real estate. Folsom property management teams see this love and emotion from landlords to their homes often. Unfortunately, it does not serve them well. As soon as a property is transferred from personal use into a business investment, it must be treated like a business. When emotions are mixed in to a business deal, it is a recipe for disaster. No tenant is going to have the emotional attachment to your property like you do. After all, they are renters. They are temporary. Each month that they pay you rent, they are throwing their money away. You gain equity, but they gain nothing. See the property as emotionally-removed as possible and treat it as a business.

Be Realistic

Setting realistic expectations for your tenants and mixing it with emotionally-removing yourself will prove to give you success as you navigate property management in Folsom. Remember when we said a house is just a house until you make it your home? These temporary renters will only make it their home if they intend to stay there at least one year. They may not give the property the TLC that you gave it in years past, and that is okay. This is one of the purposes of the lease agreement. Be clear with your wording in your lease agreement so that tenants understand what is their responsibility and what is yours. Landscape care, shoveling of a snowy driveway, changing a light bulb, or unclogging a clogged toilet are just a few of the gray areas that tenants have reported to Folsom property management firms.

Show You Care

When a phone call, email, text, or knock at your door arrive from your tenant, respond and take action quickly. All maintenance requests should be responded and attended to within 24 hours of first hearing of the problem. Maintenance emergencies should receive priority and get immediate attention. Even when the phone rings at 5:30 PM on Friday night just as you are heading out for a fun-filled night of activities, answer the call. It may be a minor maintenance request that can wait until Monday morning, like a blind slat falling off, or it may be a maintenance emergency of a pipe bursting. If maintenance is ignored, you open up a can of worms. Some of the percussions you can expect include an angry tenant, a tenant who stops reporting maintenance because they see that you don’t take action, difficulty collecting rent, higher maintenance costs because problems that go ignored often get bigger and worse, and high tenant turnover rates. Show that you care and your attentiveness will go a long way.

Document, Document, Document

Property management in Folsom is a fast-paced business. Depending on how many properties you are juggling, you may have multiple tenant interactions daily, making it difficult to remember who needs what and what was said. One of the most important tasks landlords will do while managing is to document. Document maintenance requests, conversations, emails, phone calls, texts, and even observations that you notice while conducting property inspections. Doing so will protect you in case a tenant ever tries to take you to court. Document how you responded to maintenance requests with time stamps, what was said between the two parties, and any lease agreement violations that you notice like occupancy or pet violations during routine inspections. If you do notice lease violations, address them promptly in writing.  

Why You Need Folsom Property Management Team, SAC-METRO

At SAC-METRO, we follow the Golden Rule and can prove that our recipe for successful tenant-landlord interactions always reap the best results. But if baking is not your forte, we invite you to step out of the kitchen and let SAC-METRO take control for you. Our experts have more than 35 years of experience in keeping tenants happy and long term. Call us today.

How to Select Rental Properties in the Elk Grove Property Management Market

Are you looking to purchase your first or second investment property? If you already have at least one, you probably have an idea of what makes for a good investment property. If you are a first time investment property buyer, the professionals at Elk Grove property management team, RPM SAC-METRO, know a thing or two about what makes a home desirable for renters. With almost 35 years of experience, you can trust what we have to say when it comes to attracting the right tenant with the right property.

Location, Location, Location

When a tenant makes their criteria for finding a rental property, the first thing they determine is location. Location is often determined by proximity to their workplace. Purchasing a rental home in a desirable location can be a game changer for property managers. Elk Grove is a sought after community in the Sacramento area, providing residents with everything they need to succeed in life. Purchasing a rental property in Elk Grove provides residents with close proximity to work, access for easy and quick transportation, restaurants, shopping, quality schools, beautiful landscape, and safety. Search for a home that is located in a quiet and safe neighborhood, away from busy streets, and near clean parks.

Elk Grove Property Management House Requirements

Searching for a rental property often starts online. Prospective tenants look at popular sites like Craigslist, Zillow, Rent.com, and Trulia, just to name a few. These sites allow landlords to post photos of their properties, which immediately give them the chance to hook someone’s interest. Property management in Elk Grove is competitive, so pick the best picture of your rental property, and use it as your featured image, or the image that shows up first on the listing. This picture is often of the exterior of the house, highlighting its curb appeal, or of the kitchen. When purchasing an investment property, search for homes that offer at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fenced in yard, an open floor plan, and one that is no older than 15 years unless renovations have taken place or you intend to renovate and bring it up to date in appearances. A house with a two car garage is also desirable. All of these factors will determine a person’s decision to rent. SAC-METRO recommends single family homes over condos and apartments because a single family home is more likely to offer these housing requirements. A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home will be attractive to families who intend to plant roots for a couple of years, giving you a long term tenant. Single family homes also provide property owners the opportunity for a better return on investment.

Things to Avoid in Housing

From so many years of experience, Elk Grove property managers have discovered that the following houses are difficult to rent and these characteristics in a house should be avoided:

  • Less than 1,000 square feet
  • Without a yard
  • Located on a busy street
  • More than 25 years old
  • Houses that fail to offer an obvious master bedroom. If all the rooms appear to be so similar in size that it is difficult to determine which is the master, keep looking.
  • Quirky or dysfunctional layouts

If a house that you are considering buying as a rental property falls into any of the above categories, do yourself a favor and keep looking. Though it may take longer now, your vacancy times in the future will be reduced if you avoid these features. Of course a few of these mentioned characteristics can be fixed, but do your research on pricing to fix these items if you choose to move forward with the property. Sometimes the price is simply too high to make it worth the fix.

Self Management or Professional Management?

It is a common misconception that investment property owners can save themselves money by doing their own property management. Elk Grove management experts have found that the most common reasons landlords hire professional property managers are:

  • Setting accurate rental rates
  • Rent collection and deposit handling
  • Marketing the property
  • Rigorous Tenant screening
  • Management of tenants
  • Scheduling maintenance and vendor credibility
  • Resting easy knowing you are in compliance with all laws
  • Capitalizing on your time and money

Private landlords either bring so much stress and anxiety upon themselves or fail to adhere to housing laws that it is either not worth the savings or it ends up costing them more to self-manage due to legal issues. With so many federal, state, and local housing laws, it feels nearly impossible to landlords to educate themselves fully. Maintenance requests and trying to do-it-yourself jobs cause added stress and anxiety. Landlords must also provide around-the-clock availability and service to tenants in case of maintenance emergencies. These are just a few of the most common stresses and burdens that landlords feel. Eliminate these pitfalls and reduce your stress level by calling SAC-METRO today. Discover how we handle the Elk Grove property management tasks while still having the shortest vacancy rates when compared to our competition and find high quality tenants for our clients. Call us today.

How to Get Cost Effective Maintenance with Sacramento Property Management Companies

“I have a maintenance request…” are some of the most dreaded words heard by a property manager. It does not have to be this way. Sacramento property management company, RPM SAC-METRO, wants to change the effect this sentence has on investment property owners. For unprepared property owners, these words cause stress and anxiety. For prepared ones, they are merely words that cause you to take some action and probably take a little bit of money from your maintenance savings account. Something all investment property owners should have. To make sure that you feel like a prepared property owner for maintenance, here are some tip from the professionals at SAC-METRO.

Establish a Maintenance Budget

You have heard the Scout’s motto, “Be Prepared,” and it is a good rule of thumb that property management companies in Sacramento follow. SAC-METRO recommends that property owners set aside one-to-two months of rent to account for annual maintenance costs. Another way to look at it is to set aside one percent of the value of the property for annual maintenance costs. If your property value is $300,000, set aside $3,000 for your yearly maintenance budget. Keep in mind that you may not use all of this but it is better to be safe than sorry. When establishing your annual maintenance budget, consider what appliance are old and new, what will likely need repairs or replacing this year, or any upgrades you intend to complete.

Sacramento Property Management Companies are Proactive

Nothing hits you with regret like a small maintenance request that went ignored and ultimately turned into a big maintenance request with high price tags attached to it. To avoid this from happening to you, respond promptly and immediately when maintenance requests are submitted. It is easy for property owners to adopt an “out of sight out of mind” attitude, and while a request may seem small to you, you are not the one living with the maintenance issue on a daily basis. Keep your tenants happy by taking action when they alert you of maintenance. By doing so, you will get two things in return: tenants who see that you respect your property, which will cause them to do the same, and long term tenants who are satisfied with their living conditions and will forfeit thoughts of moving elsewhere. Sacramento property management companies have also seen great success with keeping maintenance costs in check by conducting annual and biannual property inspections of the interior and exterior. Check and inspect appliances, structures, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, evidence of any water leaks or water damage, the condition of the roof, rain gutters, evidence of mold or mildew, and pests. A thorough inspection can also include checking that residents are in compliance with occupancy guidelines and pet rules.

Communication is Key

Lines of communication must be kept open on both ends of the tenant-landlord relationship. It should be stated and clearly explained in the lease agreement and during the lease signing process that tenants must alert their Sacramento property managers of any and all maintenance needed on the premises. Landlords should respond quickly to all maintenance requests, immediately to maintenance emergencies, and should see repairs all the way through to ensure quality maintenance was conducted satisfactorily.

Removing Liability

Hire licensed and insured repairman and technicians to fix maintenance requests. It may be tempting to take the DIY road and try to save yourself a few pennies, but too often this road leads to landlords paying more money to correct the DIY job that they did incorrectly. By hiring licensed and insured companies, Sacramento property management companies remove any liability from themselves, and place it on the company they hired. This protects them from lawsuits because licensed and insured technicians must follow laws and codes to make sure the fix is legal and safe. If you do the repair yourself and if it results in injury or hazardous living conditions to your tenants, you are the one sitting in the courtroom.

Conduct Maintenance While Vacant

While completing your walk-through checklist upon a tenant moving out, address all maintenance issues while the property is vacant and in the turnover process. This does not guarantee there will not be maintenance requests once occupied, but it will cut down on maintenance requests once your new tenants moves in. Sacramento property management companies find that by doing maintenance while the property is vacant provides many advantages:

  • You do not inconvenience your tenants
  • You spend less time on maintenance because you do not have to maneuver around someone else’s belongings
  • You do not have to clean up after yourself since you are likely hiring a professional cleaning company anyway after all maintenance is completed like painting and flooring replacement
  • You are more likely to get quality and highly interested applicants when the property is clearly properly cared for and respected

How Hiring a Property Manager Can Save You Money

At SAC-METRO, our clients automatically get our preferred vendor pricing as soon as they sign a management agreement with our company. This means that all of our licensed and insured vendors give our clients discounts on their services. We not only save you money through our preferred vendor pricing, but we also remove the stress and anxiety that comes with responding to maintenance requests. Let the experts at SAC-METRO, who have more than 35 years of experience, manage your investment rental property for you. Call us today.

How Rancho Cordova Property Management Teams Find Reliable Tenants

There are few things as wonderful as Christmas, puppies, and babies. But if you are familiar with the rental property management scene, you know having a reliable tenant who pays rent on time each month and treats your property with respect, makes everyday feel like Christmas. The Rancho Cordova property management leader, RPM SAC-METRO, knows that your experience with your tenants can make or break how you feel about owning a rental home. With so many applicants and different factors that go into considering accepting a new tenant, SAC-METRO has provided landlords with a fool-proof way to keep your cash flow routine.

The Basics

Listing your home on the rental market is a big step for many landlords. Homeowners often have an emotional attachment to the home, making this big step a scary step. The California Real Estate Commission considers rental properties as business ventures, and they should be treated like one. The most successful Rancho Cordova property managers let go of their emotional attachments and get down to the basics:

  • Applications: Require that every person who is 18 years or older who wants to reside in your rental property fill out an Application to Rent. On this application, you will discover how many occupants wish to live in the residence, if they are employed, their income, rental history, and if the applicants have pets. Double check that the applicants have all signed and dated the bottom of their applications.
  • Income Proof: This can sometimes get messy. People are paid in a variety of different ways while some are self-employed. Always require that applicants submit sufficient income proof when they return their Applicant to Rent. Prior to listing your home on the rental market, Rancho Cordova property management teams need to establish a proper income to rent rate ratio. This ratio is often 2.5 to 3 times the rent amount. If your listing price is $2,800 per month in rent, the combined gross household income must be a minimum of $7,000 if your ratio is 2.5. Always looks at gross household income, not net. Most property managers consider proper income proof to be the two most recent pay stubs, six months of bank statements, or two years of tax return documents.
  • Credit Checks: It is difficult to rank one of these four rental selection basics above another, but credit checks along with rental history are arguably the most helpful. A credit check will tell you any outstanding debts that an applicant has. These can range anywhere from unpaid utility bills, to medical bills, to unpaid balances to previous landlords or management companies, and more. In the Rancho Cordova property management industry, credit checks alone can determine the outcome for an applicant. Landlords and managers should not accept any applicants who have unpaid balances to utility companies or previous landlords, but many do offer leeway to those with medical bill balances. If a tenant does have a small balance to a utility company, some landlords will give them the opportunity to pay off the debt that day and bring them proof of the payment as a condition of accepting the applicant.
  • Rental History: When screening your tenants, call previous landlords and management companies. Some good questions that Rancho Cordova property managers ask previous landlords. Answers to these questions can be very insightful and helpful in selecting the right tenant for your property.
  1. Did the tenant pay their rent on time and in full each month? If not, how many late payments were received?
  2. What was the rent amount when they lived at your property?
  3. Did the tenant take good care of the home or property?
  4. Was the tenant a courteous neighbor?
  5. Would you rent to this tenant again?

Rancho Cordova Property Managers Must Treat Everyone the Same

Be aware and educated on discrimination laws. Big corporations as well as private landlords must treat all applicants equally and with respect. Landlords cannot discriminate against religion, race, color, national origin, gender, familial status, or disabilities. Some local governments have also enacted that property managers cannot discriminate against sex, age, marital status, source of income, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender orientation, or public assistance recipients.

Do your due diligence and screen your applicants with uncompromising guidelines. The work you put in up front will pay off in the long run. You might find a tenant so good, they will stay for years and care for your house as if it were their own. Industry experts at Rancho Cordova property management team, SAC-METRO, adhere to a rigorous screening process to find clients only the best of the best. Our proven process helps property owners know they can depend on that rent check coming in month after month. Call us today to see how we can find you the perfect tenant and in record time.  

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 SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO, 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, SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO

When you become a client at SAC-METRO, 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 SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO.

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, SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO, 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 SAC-METRO 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. SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO has over 35 years of experience in rent collection, and welcomes you to take a crash course from the pros and discover how SAC-METRO 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, SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO, 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 SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO, 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, SAC-METRO consults with legal counsel before moving forward with an eviction to ensure all is done properly. SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO’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 SAC-METRO 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 SAC-METRO today to get started.