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Over the years one thing that we’ve learned when leasing a Property is that Tenants have wide ranging expectations before they move into a rental. Regardless of whether it’s a single family home, townhome, condo or apartment, you just never know how a Tenant is going to respond to a property that is not BRAND NEW. In this article we will cover some of the most common issues at move-in and try to temper expectations to help those who are getting ready to rent (or rent out) a home.

Cleaning

Professional cleaning the rental property before tenants move-in is an absolute necessity. And when we say professional, we mean, not the landlord, a friend or a random person from craigslist, we mean a true professional detailed clean. There is nothing worse than moving into a home that hasn’t been cleaned, and there is nothing more embarrassing than having Tenants show up to a home that has trash everywhere, dirty toilets, insects in the window sills, and blinds that look like they have been sitting in the desert for a year.

Unfortunately, some Tenants believe that “Professional Clean” means the home should pass a military white glove inspection…and that is just unrealistic. If you think that clean means eating off the floor, then as a Tenant, you should take it upon yourself to reach those goals…but don’t hold a manager or landlord to that standard.

What’s worse, this is where the most issues take place. It’s never over whether the home was actually cleaned or not, it’s always about the level of clean. Tenants and Landlords have to middle ground on reasonable standards of cleaning, and more importantly, all parties have to remember that if the basics are done well (appliances, toilets, sinks, fans, vacuum) then there is enough middle ground for everyone to satisfied and avoid going “nuclear.”

Carpeting

Before handing over the keys to a tenant you should walk through your rental and document the shape and condition the carpet is in, including traffic/wear areas just so they know that what they see is what they get. Because the carpet is not brand new doesn’t mean that you should be jumping up and down saying “I am breaking my lease.”

Professional carpet cleaning is not required before every move-in, but we absolute believe it is a must for every new Tenant.  Carpets wear, and it doesn’t make sense to replace them every year, but a professional company should be out at the property (not you renting a steam vac from home depot) to properly shampoo and steam clean the flooring.

A common misconception is that carpet is supposed to be replaced every year, or after every Tenant…and who knows where that folk tale started. But unless the carpet is significantly torn or ripped, creating an actual hazard or liability, there is no law that requires it be changed.  Tenants, you have to know that as a prospect, unless you are told in writing that the carpet will be replaced, it is as it is when you signed the rental. But Landlords, you should be budgeting to change your flooring every 3-6 years. Clean carpet or fresh tile (our favorite because it wears less and generally last longer) helps raise the curb appeal of your home and shows the Tenants that you actually take care of your property.

Paint

Painting is very similar to carpet…there is no law that says a unit has to be painted before a tenant moves in, unless habitability is effected, which is rare, because it would have to be old paint (pre-1978) that is peeling off the wall.

So Tenants, before you press the “nuclear” button, know that minor nail holes, stains, marks and scratches may not be touched up. The entire home may not be freshly painted… and here is why. Number one, touch up paint makes your walls look like a “checker” board. Even if you have the original paint, after a year, the sheen fades and the “touch up” doesn’t match the rest of the wall. It actually looks worse sometimes than the minor nail hole or scuff. And professionally painting a whole house, even a small condo is very expensive and it’s often difficult to be done in a timely manner (1-2 days). Reality is most of the nail holes and scuffs disappear when you hang your own pictures, and move-in your furniture. If you feel like it’s not good enough, go ahead and conduct a touch up on your own. You may not be reimbursed but you at least you are getting something done.

Landlords, please, use the wisdom to budget and properly repaint your unit as often as necessary. A lot depends on the former Tenants…if they were pigs, guess what, you might not get the 3-4 years you were hoping out of the last paint job. In addition, when possible, use better quality paint, and a higher sheen, which leaves less marks and scuffs (think handprints) and will last longer. Sometimes, you as a landlord may have a willing Tenant, split the cost of a repaint…maybe they handle the labor and you pay for the materials.  

Either way, both parties should continue to document the condition of interior walls so there are no he-said she said arguments at move-out. Landlords, unless a Tenant trashes your home, the courts rarely allow you to charge their security deposit to “repaint your entire home.”

General maintenance

Tenants, the landlord will do everything to fix minor issues like bulbs, air filters, blinds, and leaks…but sometimes things get missed. It happens for a plethora of issues ranging from the item not being seen in the walk thru to a contractor just “forgetting” to make the repair. This doesn’t make the home a disaster, in fact the home is probably not much different than when you toured it before signing a lease. Running toilets, sinks and tubs that drain slowly, these are rarely found during inspection and are easy fixes…you don’t even have to bother the landlord and wait for a handyman to replace a bulb, a smoke detector battery or pour some draino down the line.

Landlords, things are going to get missed sometimes, but do everything you can to be reasonable in taking care of your new Tenants. Are you going to fix every little cosmetic item…each case is different. But make a good faith effort to be fast and efficient with repairs. Doing those little extras like caulking the shower, fixing screens, and ensuring all the doors and sliders work well is important to making things go smoothly at moving.

Score Some Points with each other.

Last of all, but most important, if your tenant reports to you that they found missing or broken items in your rental property that should be replaced, and they ask if they can replace those items then deduct the cost from their rent, you should say yes and be willing to let them do this within reason because, tenants who are willing to show that they care about a rental property are the “perfect tenants” (assuming they pay their rent on time) and you should always encourage their initiative when it comes to replacing smaller items themselves because this will also save you the time, money and hassle of having to do that work yourself. Does that mean everything is a negotiation when it comes to repairs…of course not, but when Tenants fix little items that save time and energy, working together to keep the home in good condition is a win-win for all. No matter what, avoid the “nuclear” response when moving into a new property…take a few breaths, prioritize what is a habitability issue (as defined by the law not your opinion) and work together to get things done.

Get Property Management

GoldenWest Management is a residential property management company with offices in San Diego, CA Phoenix, AZ; and Las Vegas, NV. We have spent almost 15 years and conducted several thousand “move-ins” with Tenants and Landlords. If you want experience to make sure that things are done right,  contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us toll free at 866-545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

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Learn More About Landlord Tenant Laws In California Here!

One of the most contentious topics when it comes to Landlord Tenant Law in California is when a landlord accesses their rental properties.

Sadly, many landlords feel that they have the right to access their rental properties whenever they want but the reality is that every landlord is required to follow the law when it comes to accessing their rental property and they must give their tenant a 24 hour notice before entering the property.

Landlords Right to Enter

In California a landlord has the right to enter a rental property to make alterations, improvements or supply necessary services to the rental property, including making repairs, that they agreed with the tenant would be made, via provisions in the lease.

If both parties agree that the home can be listed for rent/for sale, then showings can be conducted with property 24 hr written notice (usually during business hours).

If a landlord plans on selling their rental property they must provide their tenant with an oral or written notice at least 120 days in advance, then another notice within 24 hours of them showing up to inspect the rental property.

Landlords in California also have the right to enter their rental properties if they have a court order or if their tenant has surrendered / abandoned the rental property.

Landlords Must Not Harass Their Tenants

Another important reason for the 24 hour notice is that it gives tenants plenty of time to prepare for the landlords arrival and eliminates the prospect of the landlord showing up to harass their tenants.

Even though the Landlord Tenant Law in California is clear on this issue some landlords may choose to disregard the 24 hour written notice and enter their rental properties at will. In these cases the tenant may submit a written notice to the landlord requesting that these illegal entries are stopped immediately and that future visits be made Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PST or normal business hours when they submit a written notice.

Tenants who have landlords entering their rental property illegally may take the landlord to small claims court and file a Breach of the Warranty of Quiet Possession (California Civil Code 1927) since this is implied with their lease.

Learn More about Landlord Tenant Law California

Learn more Landlord Tenant Law in California, or speak with us about our property management services by calling (858) 792-3442 or click here to connect with us online.

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Learn More About The Latest Laws Landlords Must Follow

If you own rental property in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada you are a landlord and have the responsibility of following Nevada state law or else you risk the possibility of facing a lawsuit and fines.

In this article we will share with you the top landlord laws that you must follow in the state of Nevada just so you can have confidence that you’re managing your rental properties legally and following the letter of the law.

#1 – Anti-Discrimination Laws

As a landlord in Nevada some of the most important laws that you must follow are anti-discrimination laws. For example: under the Fair Housing Act you do not have the right to discriminate against anyone in a “protected category” and Nevada state laws prohibit you from discriminating against anyone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Under the Fair Housing Act landlords must also not discriminate against tenants if they have a criminal record and served time in the past.

Thanks to a recent interview with HUD Secretary Julian Castro we know that a prospective tenant can sue a landlord if they feel that they’ve been discriminated against due to their criminal record.

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#2 – State Rent Rules

Before evicting a tenant who lives in your Nevada rental property you must follow state rent laws and give them a 5 day notice that they must either pay the rent or face eviction.

Many courts are also throwing out junk fines such as 5 day and attorney fees, excessive late fees

#3 – Security Deposit Return

Here in Nevada you must also follow security deposit rules and return their deposit to them within 30 days after they move out.

Under Nevada landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of three months' rent for the security deposit. And also in Nevada, if both the landlord and the tenant agree, the tenant can use a surety bond for all or part of the deposit.

Source - Nolo.com 

To make things easier you should also include an itemized checklist of all items that had to be fixed in your rental property, or cleaned, after your tenant moved out just so they know why you only returned a portion of their cleaning deposit.

#4 – Habitable Housing

You must provide your tenants with habitable housing and a working HVAC system. Since the implied warranty of habitability gives tenants the legal right to withhold rent if your rental property is not considered to be habitable and has issues like broken windows or a busted water heater.

Learn More About Landlord Laws

Not knowing the specifics mentioned in this article will hurt you when negotiating with a tenant, or when trying to take litigate an issue against a tenant. If you aren’t 100% sure what you as a landlord are responsible, the court won’t forgive you. Hire a professional

To learn more about what are the top laws that every Nevada Landlord must follow contact Goldenwest Management, Inc by calling us at (702) 685-7696 or click here to connect with us online.

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There's no denying that summer is the hottest time of year if you live in Phoenix or Las Vegas but this summer is going to be especially hot this is why it's important for everyone reading this to use extra precaution if you have to spend time outside this weather can be deadly. 

PHOENIX (AP) -- People across the Southwest were preparing Monday for more of the unrelenting heat that left two dead over the weekend.

The mercury hit 118 on Sunday, breaking a record of 115 set nearly 50 years ago, according to the National Weather Service. Portions of Arizona and southeast California were expected to keep getting scorched Monday with a high pressure ridge lifting out of Mexico.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bianca Hernandez anticipated more triple-digit temperatures.

"We're expecting something similar with highs around 115 to 120, with the warmest areas in Southern California," she said.

Going out early in the morning Sunday didn't save a 28-year-old woman who became unresponsive while mountain biking with friends in north Phoenix. She had set out with two friends around 6 a.m., carrying water, but became exhausted about three hours later, then could not breathe.

Firefighters rescued the unidentified woman, who was an avid hiker and a personal trainer, and she later died at a hospital, fire Capt. Larry Subervi said. She had no known medical issues, and her condition appeared to be heat-related, authorities said.

Click here to read more!

Get Property Management

To get property management for your Phoenix or Las Vegas rental properties contact Goldenwest Management, Inc by contacting us today at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online. 

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San Diego Rental

Over the last five years, we’ve had a lot of new apartment, condo and town home construction around San Diego, especially in North County, and some people who own older San Diego rental properties might be wondering how they can make their older rentals stand out from the newer rentals on the market.

In this article, we will share with you several tips you can use to make an older rental property in San Diego stand out in a competitive rental market.

Step #1 – Publicize the Best Features That Your San Diego Rental Offers

Does your San Diego rental property have a two car garage, walk-in closet or built-ins? If so, you shouldn’t hesitate to publicize the best features that your rental offers because it’s those very features that will interest the right San Diego renters.

Step #2 – Talk about the Lifestyle

Are there dozens of small cafes or coffee shops within 10 minutes of your San Diego rental? Lifestyle is important to every renter and when you advertise your rental property you should always talk about the things to do or lifestyle that a renter can enjoy when they choose to rent your property.

Step #3 – Get Professional Photography For Your San Diego Rental 

For an extra $100 - $200 you can have the best photos (including drone aerial) of your property. Consumer magazine states that Tenants only look thru the first 3 photos so it’s important to organize the “money shots” to attract online viewers.

Step #4 – Get Creative

Focus on the Move-in Special portion: First month’s free or 50% off first month’s rent with excellent credit or references. We don’t recommend splitting up the security deposit or offering specials for people that don’t meet a certain benchmark criteria.

Get Property Management for Your San Diego Rental Property

For affordable property management for your San Diego rental property contact Goldenwest Management, Inc today by calling us at (858) 792-3442 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Phoenix Rental Property

As a property owner, one thing you will be dealing with at your Phoenix Rental Property at one point or another are tenants who complain.

Although tenants who complain may be annoying, you can handle their complaints professionally by following these simple tips.

Disputes involving repairs are the most common

When dealing with these types of disputes you should do the following:

• Look at all repairs thru the lens of “what does the lease interpret?”
• Normal wear tear isn’t every single repair item. Tenants have to be responsible for things that don’t break without outside influence.
• Respond initially very quickly.
• Be firm, but be fair…sometimes you can earn a little good will by letting the “tie go to the Tenant”.

Disputes involving neighbors

Before taking steps to deal with a dispute at your Phoenix Rental Property you should make sure that the complaint is really legitimate because some Phoenix Renters may file complaints about the wall color of your rental property when these are issues that the tenant should have been aware of before they moved in.

a. Unfortunately, you don’t control what neighbors do

b. If there is an HOA, ask them to put the complaint in writing to the HOA, of if required, to you and have you forwarded it to the HOA. This covers noise complaints, pet issues, and HOA contractors.

c. Remind them that they need to try and approach the neighbors, first verbally, then in writing…adults can often handle issues by being polite and direct

d. If there are complaints about other neighbors in properties you own or manage, then stay partial and only involved when it’s regarding a violation of a lease

e. When necessary have the Tenant involve the police (if the situation warrants)

Always Keep Communication Open When Sealing With Tenant Disputes

As a landlord, another important thing you should do to deal with tenant disputes is to communicate with your tenants immediately regarding their complaint and then take steps to resolve it because their complaint can also turn into another issue about management unresponsiveness if you are slow to respond to tenant complaints at your Phoenix Rental Property.
Don’t fire back email after email in succession, handle things in a methodical manner.

Follow up every phone call with a “per our conversation email”.

Keep calm and respectful even if the tenant is not.

Don’t respond at unreasonable hours, and be careful responding via text.

Hire a Phoenix Property Management Company

To save the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself hire a third party, one that knows the law and can act as your middleman. To get effective property management for your Phoenix Rental Property contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at 602-765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

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As long time Las Vegas Property Management professionals we're sure that you can agree that here’s no denying that owning rental property is a great way to build long-term cash flow, and wealth, but like most inexperienced Las Vegas Landlords you may make a few mistakes along the way to building your portfolio of rental properties.

In this post we’re going to save you the time, money and hassle of making common mistakes that we’ve seen landlords in Las Vegas make over the years by providing you with a list of mistakes that inexperienced Las Vegas landlords make so you can avoid making them.

#1 – Not Checking Out a Prospective Tenant

When a tenant fills out an application and shows the desire to rent your Las Vegas Rental property you should always do a professional background check on them, including pulling a copy of their credit report, because this will provide you with their credit score, information on their late payments, or other delinquencies that they may have had over the years. You want to use the bundled background checks that include criminal and eviction history. Make sure you verify income by getting copies of the prospects last two pay stubs, or bank statements showing the Tenants make 2.5 x the rent.

Las Vegas Property Management

#2 – Don’t Think the Property Is Always Going To Occupied

Another Las Vegas Property Management mistake that we’ve seen new Las Vegas Landlords make over the years is thinking that their properties will always be rented, and this is a BIG PROBLEM, because, a rental property in Las Vegas can easily be vacant for months at a time, and you risk foreclosure, so it’s important for every landlord to analyze the cash flow from a property and prepare for leaner months, so they will be able to cover the mortgage and bills from the rental property while it’s vacant.

It’s okay to see a property become vacant for a few weeks, every other lease, but if you are gauging the current tenant on rent for a renewal, or you are priced way above the market, then you may be vacant for many months. A professional should never leave your home vacant for more than 30 days unless you, landlord, are controlling the price or are not maintaining your rental property.

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#3 – Underestimating Ongoing How Much Long Las Vegas Property Management Will Cost 

Moving forward, you absolutely have to budget for long-term maintenance costs, Things like a water heater, AC, roof, and appliances, which will come with owning your Las Vegas Rental Properties because repairs are going to need to be made down the road and if you can’t fix things or solve problems when they occur you will lose tenants.

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#4 – Don’t View Owning Rental Property as a Hobby

Last of all, but most important, as your portfolio of rental properties grows one of the worst things you can do is view your rental properties as a hobby, you need to view it a business like any professional Las Vegas Property Management company, or landlord, because you will have a stable income stream from your rentals for years to come if you view the income from your properties professionally instead of just a passive hobby.

Get Las Vegas Property Management

Take your rental properties to the next level with professional property management from Goldenwest Management, Inc. Contact us today at (702) 685-7696 to learn more about how we can make managing your rental properties easy.

 

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At Goldenwest Management we would like to thank ALL Veterans who have served our country because without your sacrifice we wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

In honor of Memorial Day all Goldenwest Management offices will be closed on Monday 5/30 but will reopen on 5/31.

 

Goldenwest Management Staff

Phone (866) 545-5303

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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.

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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.

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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.