download

As a landlord you may be thinking that “it’s my rental, and I can rent to whom I want to” but, the reality is that you have to follow Fair Housing Laws just like every other landlord and property management company in the United States.

If you’re a landlord one of the absolute WORST things you could do is to deny a rental to someone based on “anecdotal” evidence or feelings. You may be committing this violation if you find yourself asking this question when reviewing applicants:

“Those two renters aren’t married so I am not going to rent to them, because what if one of them wants to move out”

“She is a single mom so 2.5x the rent in income verification is not enough.” 

“I don’t want to rent to them because you didn’t tell me they have kids.”

“What religion are they?”

Sadly, we hear these objections from Landlords (yes our clients!!!) EVERY DAY.  

And what they don’t realize is not only are they breaking Fair Housing Laws, and setting themselves up for potential legal trouble, they are putting the management company in jeopardy as well.

What Are Fair Housing Laws?

Fair Housing laws protect individuals during the sale, or rental, and financing of a dwelling based on their familial status, sex, race, religion, color and nation of origin. This means that landlords can’t purposely choose who they don’t want to rent to. In today’s world, that’s more than just skin color or race, it includes gender, familial status. In addition to these laws, there is the American Disabilities Act that protects prospects with certain physical and psychological dependencies as well.

What Happens When Fair Housing Laws Are Violated?

When Fair Housing Laws are violated a landlord may face a lawsuit from the tenant claiming that they have been discriminated against, or worse, they could face a Fair Housing violation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via the state attorney general.

Some of the other penalties a landlord could face include:

  • Pay a penalty to the Government up to $16,000
  • Pay the prospect for their emotional distress, humiliation, and suffering
  • Take Fair Housing Training.
  • Pay punitive damages.

And most parties elect to hire an attorney (which cost money) to represent them during the HUD investigation and if necessary hearing.

Avoid Fair Housing Discrimination

The easiest way to stop “playing with fire” as a landlord is to avoid Fair Housing Discrimination by sticking with a basic screening plan that relies only on tangible items.  GoldenWest, for example, lays out a basic initial approval diagram: Credit score of 685 or better; Verifiable income of 2.5x the monthly rent; No felonies with current probation or parole; 1 year of last 2, verifiable rental history  (or home ownership with no latest in last 2 years).

This would be an example of an “A” rated Tenant. Anything that deviates from here, the Landlord would then have to make a decision based on the overall factors, but a Tenant that does not meet these initial characteristics would not be given automatic approval. If you use this same rubric EVERY time, then you exponentially decrease your risk of being accused of committing of discrimination.

If you don’t have the time to study Fair Housing Laws or understand the importance of an in-depth screening process, you have to hire a qualified property management professional…and more importantly, you have to know and trust that they are following these procedures to both protect your investment and prevent frivolous lawsuits.

contact-us-1207802_960_720

To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact GoldenWest Management, Inc. today by calling us at (866) 585-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Couple-moving-in-together

One of the keys to success with owning rental property is getting your San Diego Renters to pay on time because, timely rent collection means that you will enjoy long term, stable cash flow from your rental properties.

Sadly, many property owners don’t have stable income from their rental properties because they have tenants who don’t pay them on time.

In this post we share with you several tips you can use to insure that your San Diego Renters pay you on time every month.

Tip #1 – Choose San Diego Renters Who Will Pay On time

Before choosing just any tenant make sure that you choose renters who have a history of making their payments on time, have stable cash flow, and good credit history.

This is an important tip because, taking the time to choose the right tenant who is financially stable and has good credit will save you the time, money, and hassle of choosing the wrong tenant who will only be a “headache” for you in the months to come.

You should also search for tenants that meet the following criteria:

* They make 2.5x the rent in income (verified by paystub or tax return)

* Have good rental history, again verified by a landlord

* No evictions

* Good credit, at a minimum 650 score or better of seasoned credit.

You should also search for “red flags” that a prospective tenant may have on their credit report including: Unpaid collections or utilities, unpaid phone bills, or other bills that haven’t been paid.

Tip #2 – Be Clear With Your Tenants

From the moment that you get new San Diego Renters the first thing you should do is be clear with them that they are expected to pay their rent on time, app utilities must be transferred over to their name, before you hand them the utilities, and that there will be penalties if they don’t pay their rent on time.

Tip #3 – Make Paying Rent Easy

Last of all, but most important, you should make the process of paying rent easy for all of your San Diego Renters and this includes offering your tenants the ability to pay their rent online, since that’s by far the easiest option.

Remember to never have tenants bring rent to your house, mail rent to you or put it in a drop box because, all of these methods are unreliable and can cause problems for the property owner.

Get San Diego Property Management Here

For professional San Diego Property Management contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at 858-792-3442 or click here to connect with us online.

download

Are you thinking about buying Las Vegas Rental Properties? If so, you’re not alone. Las Vegas is a great place to buy rental properties right now and you can build long term cash flow from your rental properties by following these simple tips.

Tip #1 – Have a Plan

Know how much your mortgage, taxes and insurance (PITI) as well as miscellaneous expenses like a property manager, repairs and vacancy. If you have a budget in place, you can then determine how much and how long you will need to hold your property under both the “best” and the “worst” case scenarios. Be comfortable with your finances should the “worst case” scenario arise so you know you can weather the storm. Don’t sugar-coat the numbers, or you may find yourself regretting your purchase later.

Tip #2 – Make Improvements

You may find it difficult due to cash flow issues to make major improvements right away, but identify key items and strive to make improvements each year. The better shape your rental properties are in the more value you will retain not to mention better Tenants you will attract. Try to set aside a small amount each month plus utilize a small rental increase each year to handle long term capital improvements.

Tip #3 – Be Open to Innovation

As your portfolio of rental properties grows you should also stay open to the idea of innovation because, more renters are searching for Las Vegas Rental Properties that are wired for internet or have environmentally friendly furnishings and if your rental doesn’t have the innovation they are searching for, those renters will search for other rentals instead of choosing yours.

Besides choosing the right options to innovate your Las Vegas Rentals you should also choose the right innovative options for managing your rental properties so that you can manage them more efficiently and offer better service to your tenants.

Tip #4 – Know When It’s Time To Hire A Property Management Company

Last of all, but most important, you should know when it’s time hire a property management company because, with more Las Vegas Rental Properties to manage comes more responsibility and you can save the time, money and hassle of managing properties yourself when you hire a professional property management company to handle all aspects of property management for you including: rent collection, maintenance and more.

Contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (702) 685-7696 or click here to connect with us online.

Las Vegas Rental Property

2016 is shaping up to be another great year for owning Las Vegas Rental Property because Vegas still continues to be one of the top cities in the United States for “low hanging fruit” since many properties in Las Vegas are still very affordable when compared with other Real Estate markets across the United States.

More investors are coming here to buy single family homes, town homes and other rental properties to add to their portfolios, so if you’ve been thinking about buying a rental in Las Vegas, and don’t want to miss out on investment opportunities here, this post will offer you information on what you can expect for the rental market here in 2016.

Top U.S. City for Rent Growth

Las Vegas has been ranked by Axiometrics as one of the top U.S. Cities for rent growth in 2016 since rent growth increased from 3.8 percent to 6.6 percent from May 2014 to May 2015 and this is huge considering the national average for rent growth was just 5 percent during that same time period.

Still Not Full Occupancy Yet

The occupancy rate only increased by 1 percent between May 2014 and May 2015 while revenue grew to 7.5 percent.

Although some Las Vegas investors may were slightly disappointed by the negative demand for Las Vegas apartments during the 3rd quarter of 2015, net move outs were also historically low and at just 1 percent this is very encouraging for any Real Estate investor who has been looking for a great city to invest in where there’s “low hanging fruit” and still a great demand for properties.

Las Vegas Rental Property Report 

Moving forward into 2016 we can expect to see more people moving to Las Vegas since more than 20,000 jobs were recently added to the city and with an average rent of $885 per month, for a one bedroom apartment, most investors expect to see positive growth here for the near future.

Get Las Vegas Property Management

For effective property management for your Las Vegas Rental Property contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (702) 685-7696 or connect with us online here.

san diego rents

SAN DIEGO, CA. – Thanks to recent statistics from Fox 5, and the USC Casden Multifamily Forecast, we know that rents in San Diego County are predicted to continue increasing through 2018 to at least $1,577 per month, while the average from in Los Angeles County by then is predicted to increase to $1,416 per month.

Supply And Demand Problem

One of the biggest reasons why the San Diego area still continues to suffer rent increases is due to the fact the Southern California has a lack of housing, which will ultimately cause rents here to increase by 10 percent in the next few years, and over 8 percent in the Los Angeles area too.

Sadly, California is actually doing better with building more housing but a large portion of the 38,000 multifamily units that have been built in SoCal within the last 24 months have been higher priced townhomes like those in Downtown San Diego, rather than affordable housing.

A good example of the inventory problem can be found in Chula Vista where just 273 apartments entered the market recently thanks to the new construction of Pulse Millenia, a new apartment complex in the area.

Out of all the areas in San Diego that have been hit hard during this housing crisis, we’re seeing the East County rental market take the heaviest hit, since the area has close to 20,000 apartments but only 204 were available for rent during the month of March.

Average Rent in SD Already $1,618 Per Month

What’s shocking about the recent statistics about rent increases in the San Diego area is that the average rent here is already over $1,600 per month, and the vacancy rate is the lowest that it’s been in five years so it’s likely the average rent in SD will be more than $1,577 per month by 2018.

The good news for property owners is that there's never been a better time to buy rental properties in San Diego since demand for rentals here is the highest it's ever been and shows no sign of slowing down for at least another two years.

Good News on the Way For Renters?

Thanks to statistics from MarketPointe we know that rent only increased by 2.79 percent between March 2014 and March 2015 so this could be good news for renters because many analysts are wondering if the reason why rent increases slowed down is because landlords felt that they reached the threshold for what they can ask for rent, or if the average San Diego renter can no longer afford to pay the high cost of living in the area.

Learn More about the San Diego Rental Market

To learn more about the San Diego Rental Market, or to speak with us about property management, contact Goldenwest Property Management today by calling us at (858) 792-3442 or connect with us online.

We can help you get the most out of your San Diego rental property with our effective and professional property management services.

Phoenix Rental Homes

As a property owner one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is if you are going to target short term or long term renters because each represents a different segment of the rental market and comes with its own challenges.

In today’s article we will break down short term vs. long term rentals so you will know which option is right for you.

Short Term Rentals

Some of the obvious pros to short term rentals include the fact that you could use the rental property more often during the year as a vacation home since it won’t be occupied for 365 days and you could also enjoy a higher rental income as well since rentals especially in big cities like San Diego, Las Vegas or Phoenix can rent for more money during peak season.

The cons of short term rentals include the need for more furnishings and upgrades since if you’re marketing your property as a vacation home you will need to keep upgrading it so it stays attractive to buyers.

Short term rentals aren’t always the best option because they’ve come under heavy fire in the last 12 months since homeowners don’t like the instability that they can bring to neighborhoods and many companies don’t screen their short term tenants so neighbors don’t really know who is living in the same area as them.

Long Term Rentals

It’s been our experience that long term rentals are always better, especially for the Real Estate investor because long term rentals produce stable, consistent cash flow which helps investors pay their bills, there’s no need to furnish the rental, and long term renters also help to protect the value of the Real Estate investment especially when proper screening of tenants is done since the right tenant is usually responsible and will maintain the property.

Some other benefits of long term rental properties include:

1.       The income stream is often more due to the fact that vacancy rate is much lower

2.       This reduction in “Peak season rentals” is also offset by not having to pay for utilities and regular turnover maintenance (cleaning, high wear and tear)

3.       Short term renters are NOT screened anywhere near the level of long term Tenants. Usually there is no credit report, background check, rental verification, etc…

4.       The laws are still very “occupant friendly” when it comes to vacation renters and so its difficult to just “throw out” occupants.

5.       The guidelines for Tenant eviction are very clear and thorough as it relates to long term vs short term Tenants

6.       Short term is great for seasonal only; but the vacancy rate is normally as much as (6) months or more than 50% so unless you are enjoying the property or living there when its not rented, its not a great steady investment

7.       Management fees or rental fees are much higher with short term. VRBO ex charges 10% to find a tenant, and if you have a professional vacation manager, they charge as low as 20% all the way to 40% in some areas.

8.       Long term management fees are closer to 8-10%

Learn More about Short Term Vs. long Term Rentals

For more information about short term vs. long term rentals, or to get property management for your rental properties contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

our house at night

In the past it wasn’t uncommon for some landlords across the United States to have a some type of ban on renting to anyone with a criminal record but times have changed and thanks to recent changes by the Federal Government criminals can sue landlords for discrimination because failure to rent to anyone with a criminal record is a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Arrests Must Not Ban Be Reason to Ban Applicants

Thanks to recent guidelines released by Julian Castro, HUD secretary, landlords must make a distinction between arrests and convictions when deciding not to rent to an tenants because they have a criminal record.

Federal Officials give landlords some flexibility here by stating that a landlord can prove that their decision to not rent to someone can be considered to be justified based on the severity and or nature of the applicants crime but landlords need to tread carefully here because the legal system is changing and thousands of inmates are being paroled across the United States after serving time for minor drug convictions.

All Applicants Must Get Fair Consideration

Thanks to a recent interview we know that HUD Secretary Julian Castro supports this new legislation because he feels that some individuals with criminal records who are trying to re-enter society after a previous crime are being unfairly banned from some rental properties regardless of the nature or severity of their crimes.

Besides not renting to certain individuals with criminal records landlords must not ban Latino’s or Blacks because this practice has had what’s known as “disparate impact” on people of color in the past and has never been justified.

Landlords are still allowed to ban or exclude anyone who is found to be manufacturing or selling drugs since drug related crimes are the only ones that are exempt under the Fair Housing Act.

Learn More

To learn more about the latest legislation affecting your rental property, or to speak with us about our property management services contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

San Diego Rental Property

Have you had the problem of attracting the ideal tenants for your San Diego Rental Property?

Your ideal tenant is literally right around the corner and you can attract them to your rental property by using these simple but proven property management tips.

Tip #1 – Don’t Let Tenant Screening Slide

One of the biggest reasons why some owners have a problem with bad tenants is because they neglect their tenant screening and this is why many people have found themselves renting to tenants who are chronically late paying their mortgages or tenants who engage in questionable behavior in their rental properties.

Tip #2 – Focus on Improvements Where They Really Count

Since most tenants will spend their time in the bathroom vs. the kitchen these days you should invest money into your property where it really counts by upgrading the bathrooms in your home because most people would rather come home to a soaking tub rather than spend time standing on their feet cooking something in the kitchen.

Tip #3 – Create a Profile for Who Your “Ideal” Tenant Is

Another great way to find your ideal tenant is to create a profile for the tenant you would like to rent to because this will also help you when it comes to how and where you advertise to attract those tenants.

Tip #4 – Go Green with Your Rental Property

If you plan on making repairs and upgrades to your San Diego rental property this year you should go green by investing in low flow toilets, energy efficient windows, low VOC carpeting and more.

Tip #5 – Communicate With Your Tenants

From the moment that you first take a call from a prospective tenant to the time that they finish filling out their lease you should make communication a priority with your tenants and do your best to be available for them during normal business hours in they have maintenance requests or other issues that need to be resolved.

Get San Diego Property Management Here

To get excellent property management for your San Diego rental property contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (858) 792-3442 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

sign-1176539_960_720

LAS VEGAS – Following the collapse of the Real Estate market in 2007 and 2008, Las Vegas has been dealing with a major squatter. This problem exist because many homes here have sat vacant for long periods of time making Vegas almost irresistible for squatters since they know that they can move into a home, have electricity and all of the normal services that come with owning a home without having to pay monthly rent.

Combine that with basic “tenants rights” which put the onus on the Landlord or or property owner to prove that the Squatter isn’t an valid Tenant, and you can see how this can be a real issue. Property owners have literally been outside of a home with Metro Police in tow and they couldn’t remove a Squatter in the same manner you couldn’t just “throw out” a Tenant.

Thankfully the problem with squatters in Las Vegas will be drastically in part to the Nevada Squatters Law.

Lets take a second to familiarize everyone with AB 386 and how it will impact you as a current rental property owner in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Metro Police believe the number of vacant homes with people illegally living in them is up more than 40 percent compared to last year.

That prompted a new state law which took effect at the beginning of October.

Before AB 386 evicting squatters from your home was a civil matter. Now, it's a crime and police can take action to remove them in a fraction of the time it used to take. It was not unusual for evictions to stretch on for weeks or months.

"They knew the rules, they knew how to bend them, they knew how to take advantage of them," said Keith Lynam, Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors president. 

"At best sometimes we'd have a trespass, but now we actually have a law in the books for home breaking and unlawful occupancy," said Metro Lt. Nick Farese, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Police project there are at least 5,000 homes in the Las Vegas area occupied by squatters.

That's a sharp increase over last year when the number was 3,600.”

Source – Lasvegasnow.com

Detailed Process for Dealing with Squatters

Although there were laws on the books for dealing with squatters in Las Vegas (AB 286) the new Nevada Squatters Law (AB 386) creates more protections for property owners via a detailed process by which squatters can be removed from properties when they are found to be inhibiting unlawfully.

If someone is found to be living in a Nevada home unlawfully they can be convicted of a brand new criminal offenses called “house breaking” and or “unlawful occupancy” and the squatter could face jail time but another reality of this economy is that not everyone who is classified as a squatter is living in a home maliciously.

Many people over the last 24 months have fallen for rental scams and have been found to be renting a home which was “owned” by someone who claimed to be working and living overseas only to find out the reality that the property they are living in is actually owned by someone else.

In cases where someone has proven that they’ve fallen for a rental scam the court has within their discretion to offer that individual 30 days to vacate the property.

Protect your rental in Las Vegas

Work with a company that not only knows the laws, but is an expert in protecting your investment property in Las Vegas, by contacting us about our property management services. Managers at Goldenwest Management are standing by to take your call at (702) 685-7696.

Goldenwest-Management-Phoenix-Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ. – There’s no denying that Phoenix Arizona rents have gone up dramatically within the last 24 months but the big question that many renters, economists, property owners and industry experts want to know is how much have rents gone up within the last two years and what can we expect for 2016?

In today’s article we will show you an example of how rents in Phoenix have increased within the last 24 months and what you can expect moving forward during 2016 especially if you plan on renting a property in Phoenix.

Average Rent Increases between 2014 and 2015

Thanks to a recent study done by rentcafe and Yardi Matrix we know that rents in the Phoenix area rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015.

Here’s a breakdown of rent increases in Phoenix over the span of 12 months, these statistics were taken from buildings that have 50 or more units.

85034 (Phoenix) – 21% rent increase

85251 (Scottsdale) – 20% rent increase

85302 (Glendale) – 16% rent increase

85295 (Gilbert) – 11% rent increase

85338 (Goodyear) – 7% rent increase

85351 (Sun City) – 4% rent increase

What to Expect For 2016

During 2016 renters in the Phoenix area can expect more of the same as rents here are expected to continue climbing and rents area increasing in a lot of different places in the Metro Phoenix area including South Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and the South Mountain area.

With more rent increases expected this year it certainly makes sense for any property owner to hire an experienced Phoenix Arizona property management company like Goldenwest Property Management.

To learn more about how we can help you to grow your portfolio of Phoenix Rental Properties and get more ROI from your investments contact Goldenwest today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.