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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.

Provide Notices

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.

10 Rules to avoid legal problems

 

Avoid Going to Court: A Landlord Story of What NOT to Do in Sacramento Property Management  

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

I started the day with the typical 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. 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 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 property management in Sacramento, CA. To save money, I hired a friend who said he could do restoration, but the damage was double what I would have last night due to the increased damage, so I still lost any hope of any profit that month. He asked for the information of the tenant so he could follow up with her later on the leak and I provided both her e-mail and cell phone number.

How many Sacramento property management violations did you catch?

  1. Failure to document the first and second call.
  2. Failure to respond to the first requestion.
  3. Failure to answer emergency calls 24/7.
  4. Failure to document the mitigation efforts and response.
  5. Failure to provide a safe, comfortable living environment.
  6. Failure to hire licensed and insured contractors.
  7. Failure to protect privacy and secure information

Real Property Management Select knows the laws and regulations of property management. Let us be your partner for your greater investing success without the legal mistakes. Learn more today!

Also Read: Legal Mistakes Landlords Need to Avoid

Avoid Costly Real Estate Violations

 

Avoid Expensive Legal issues

A legal issue can quickly deplete any profit that a rental property generates. This situation is every property owner’s nightmare, but it doesn’t have to keep you up at night. By following Real Property Management Select’s simple guidelines, you can rest assured that you have the best protection against legal liability available. We can help protect your investment in Auburn. Property management by professionals keeps you safe from legal woes.

Know the Laws

There are many laws that are designed to protect renters against discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity or religion. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure these laws are strictly observed. Even an accidental violation of laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act can cost property owners thousands of dollars in legal fees alone. Ignorance is no defense. Additionally, federal, state, and local laws can differ widely.

Know Your Part

While it may be obvious that discrimination will land you in hot water, there are some Auburn property management laws you might not be as familiar with. For example, did you know you must allow a service dog in your property without charge even if you have a no pet policy? And, property owners are required to make accommodations for tenants with disabilities.

Get the Support You Need

If you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed, you don’t have to be. Well-versed experts who stay up on the latest codes, laws, and ordinances daily can help you with your property management. Auburn, CA-based professionals at Real Property Management Select can help you obtain the best legal defense by avoiding legal issues before they happen. They can help you know what you can and cannot do to protect yourself, your property, and your profits while maintaining tenant rights.

Stop the legal battle before it starts. Investing in competent Auburn property management now will more than pay for itself in the long run. Let the professionals at Real Property Management Select guide you and avoid legal risks.

Legal Mistakes Landlords Need to Avoid

Aledo property management companies

THE DILEMMA:

One of the most complex parts of owning rental property is understanding federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and codes that come with being a Sacramento property manager. Inexperience with these laws can lead to legal pitfalls and headaches, some of which include:

  • Failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Violation of California Fair Housing Laws
  • Violations of habitability laws by refusing to attend to safety, mold, or structural issues
  • Hiring property maintenance or management companies that do not follow the proper licensing requirements
  • Failure to comply to local or state laws regarding smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  • Failure to maintain an after-hours point of contact and improper documentation of the rent cycle
  • Failure to hire a licensed real estate agent to conduct property management activities
  • Violating trust in accounting laws by improperly handling security deposits
  • Failure to keep personal information confidential

If you are unsure how to handle these and other legal risks that fall on your shoulders as a property manager in Sacramento, it may be time to hire a professional property management company to handle your rental portfolio.

THE REAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOLUTION:

Real Property Management Select helps rental property owners reduce the risk associated with owning rental property by providing a team of local compliance experts. This team protects you through a proven process and regulatory experience and offers:

  • In-house legal counsel specializing in risk mitigation
  • Compliance to trust accounting laws when handling funds
  • Eviction Services
  • Writ of Possession Services
  • Thorough understanding of Fair Housing Laws and Americans with Disabilities Act
  • High Ethical Standards

AVOID LEGAL RISKS WITH PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT

Put simply; our Sacramento property management team stays on top of local, state, and federal regulations, so you don’t have to. Since these laws are continually changing and apply to both the tenant and the landlord, our team saves you the headache of studying up on:

  • State property code laws
  • Local city ordinances
  • Fair Housing Act & ADA
  • Department of Real Estate
  • Tenant screening regulations
  • Real estate contract law on residential leases
  • Trust and escrow laws on security deposits and monthly rental payments
  • Tenant and landlord maintenance laws
  • Collection and eviction laws
  • Property inspection regulations

With all of these laws carrying both financial and legal risk, our compliance team stays abreast of changes to protect you, your investment, and your tenants.

Put our team, experience, and ethics to work for you! Call (916) 452-5000 today!