Avoiding Legal Implications
Managing an investment property is a 24/7 job with no nights, weekends, or holidays off. Emergency circumstances can arise at any time of the day or night, and you must respond quickly to your tenants. Otherwise, it is easy to get caught in a sticky situation if you’re not following all landlord laws and regulations. Sacramento property management companies do so much more than simply collect a rent check each month. The team at Real Property Management Select knows how to maneuver through the ins and outs of owning a rental home, all while avoiding costly legal pitfalls.
A Complex Job
Some landlords learn the hard way that having an investment property is not as easy as it may appear. Renting out a house comes with legal and financial risk. You need to be careful to comply with any federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Expensive violation fines hurt your cash flow and can ultimately put you out of business. Remaining up-to-date on all codes, ordinances, and rules can be difficult due to the law constantly changing and being restructured. The legal experts at Real Property Management Select offer a few suggestions to protect yourself as a homeowner and safeguard your property.
Comply with Anti-Discrimination Laws
Selecting tenants can be an overwhelming process. After all, your profitability hinges upon receiving a rent payment on time and in full every month. While a thorough screening is the best way to find qualified applicants, you must not discriminate against potential tenants as defined by the Fair Housing Act. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:
“In the sale and rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing
- Refuse to negotiate for housing
- Make housing unavailable
- Deny a dwelling
- Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
- Provide different housing services or facilities
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
- For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
- Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing”
Protect Tenant Information and Handle Funds Properly
During the tenant screening process, you gather a significant amount of personal information about your applicants. You should keep this information secure and private. There are serious legal consequences if you fail to keep their personal data confidential.
There are also rules pertaining to the application fees and security deposits you gather during the application process. According to the government website for California legislative information,
“A landlord may not demand or receive security, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of an amount equal to two months’ rent, in the case of unfurnished residential property, and an amount equal to three months’ rent, in the case of furnished residential property, in addition to any rent for the first month paid on or before initial occupancy.”
No matter where your rental home is located in the greater Sacramento area, from Auburn to Roseville, property management experts from Real Property Management Select can help you handle the tenant application process in a legal manner.
Document Calls, Requests, and Interactions
Precise documentation is a huge asset if you find yourself in a court battle. It all begins at the lease signing. A clear and concise rental agreement helps protect you in a court of law. It is vital for a contract to outline exact tenant duties versus landlord responsibilities. Once tenants move in, the need for documentation only continues. Sacramento property management companies use a variety of methods to track tenant interactions. At Real Property Management Select, landlords and tenants have access to user-friendly online portals. This is a convenient and reliable way to record every exchange.
As an investment property owner, you will encounter various circumstances when you are required by law to provide notice to your tenants before taking action. The government website for California legislative information outlines what scenarios necessitate formal notices. For example, if you need to terminate the lease, whether your tenants are violating their rental agreement or have not paid rent, a written notice is necessary. On the other hand, if you want to extend an offer to your tenants to renew their contract, this requires notice as well. If you intend to increase the rent rate, notification is mandatory. If you need to enter the home to conduct a home inspection or make maintenance repairs, a notice of entry is essential. Just because you own the home, does not mean you can enter it at any given time.
Maintain Safe Living Conditions
Your rental home must meet certain habitability standards. Under the law, a number of conditions can deem a property uninhabitable including:
- A serious water leak
- Missing structural elements (roof, stairs, walls)
- Fire hazards
- Environmental toxins (mold, asbestos, lead paint dust)
- Broken plumbing
- Non-working heating, ventilating, or A/C systems
Tenants are entitled to a safe and livable environment. While making needed repairs can be a financial burden upfront, not fixing a problem can drastically impact your profitability if you incur legal expenses or fines. Conforming to the law saves you money in the long run. Also, make sure to hire licensed and insured contractors to conduct all maintenance.
Compared to Other Sacramento Property Management Companies
Whether you own a rental property in Carmichael or Roseville, property management professionals at Real Property Management Select can help you stay clear of costly legal mistakes. Our highly trained experts understand the rental industry and know how to protect your investment. We ensure you:
- Avoid discrimination during the tenant screening process
- Keep tenant information confidential while managing funds appropriately
- Document all tenant interactions
- Supply written notices when necessary
- Provide safe living conditions
We are committed to your success. With more than 30 years of experience, other Sacramento property management companies do not compare to our standards. You can trust our proven processes to increase your cash flow. Check out our comprehensive list of services and see how our experienced team can get you a better return on your rental property. Call Real Property Management Select today.