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Property Management Blog

Landscape Maintenance and Rental Properties

Web Admin - Monday, April 15, 2013
While residents want to rent a nice looking home, they often have no interest, time, or knowledge on how to maintain the property. They may agree to landscape maintenance in the rental contract but it can be difficult for a property manager or owner to enforce. The owner can charge the tenant for maintenance or include landscape maintenance but it is not always practical to increase the rent with the full cost, particularly if the landscaping on the property is extensive.

How to Handle the Move Out Process: by a Hayward Property Manager

Deanna Hansen - Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today we are talking about how to handle the move out process. When a tenant moves out of one of our properties at Aapex Property Management, we do a complete inspection. We never do the inspection with the tenant there. In our 24 years of experience, we have found that if the tenants are present during our move out inspection, they will follow us around to try to explain everything that we notice or document. They might try to claim that something was left a certain way before they moved in, for example. It is hard for us to get a true assessment of the property when the tenants are present. Wait and do your inspection after the tenant vacates.

Another thing to remember is documentation. You want to document every detail of the property and how it was left. Take pictures. It is absolutely true that a picture is worth a thousand words. They will come in especially handy if you need them during a security deposit dispute.

Make sure you handle that security deposit within the 21 days that the law says you have to deal with it. When you do return all or some of the security deposit, make sure you include a detailed explanation and pictures of the property as well. We did not do this for a while at Aapex, and then we found that tenants would come back to us and say “but the stove was spotless when I left.” Upon reviewing the pictures, we’d see that the stove was in fact filthy. So, by including pictures with our security deposit explanation, we have prevented a lot of disputes coming in when tenants are unhappy with the amount of their deposit they are getting back. Tenants can see how the property was left. It’s possible that one tenant thought her husband was going to clean the stove, and the pictures will demonstrate that no one cleaned it before moving out.
 How to Handle the Move Out Process: by a Hayward Property Manager
When you putting together a move out process, make sure you conduct your inspection without the tenants on the property, take a lot of pictures, hand the security deposit quickly and thoroughly and always include pictures and receipts in your explanation of what is being returned and held. If you have any questions at all about Hayward property management or the proper way to handle a move out process, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Rental Property Inspections in Hayward Part 2: Periodic Inspections – Why?

Deanna Hansen - Thursday, April 11, 2013

Inspecting your rental property regularly is important, and today we are going to talk about why you should have them, and what you should be looking for when you do inspect. Before a tenant moves in, you want to let them know that you will be coming out to the property periodically to do an inspection. If they know you are coming, your tenants will be more likely to take good care of the property and to follow all the rules and regulations you give them at the time of move in.

When you do go out to visit the property, check the smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide detectors. You should be looking for batteries that work and you also want to make sure they function properly. Another thing to check for while you inspect is animals. Look for signs that unauthorized pets might be living in the house. You do not want an unauthorized pit bull on your property that could cause damage or hold you liable if something should happen to a guest or a visitor.

You also want to take the opportunity to look for any repairs that might be needed around the house. This is a good way to keep damage from happening in the future. An example might be a water leak. If a minor leak is left unattended, it could cost thousands and thousands of dollars in damage to your floors and subflooring. It can also cause mildew or mold, which can lead to bigger and more expensive problems. You will end up spending a lot more than you need to, so check these things out any time you have the opportunity to inspect your rental property during the term of a lease.
 Rental Property Inspections in Hayward Part 2: Periodic Inspections – Why?
Sometimes, tenants are afraid to call you to tell you there is a leak at the property, or something that needs to be repaired. They might worry that if they tell you about a problem, you will raise the rent. So, if you let your tenants know you are going to visit the property on occasion, they will be more likely to report problems and take care of things. This will save you money on maintenance in the long term.

If you have questions about how to conduct periodic inspections, or more information on what to look for, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Rental Property Inspections in Hayward Part 1: Move in and Move Out

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When you own a rental property, it is really important to do a thorough move in and move out inspection on your own and that you document those inspections with good pictures. A always advise against taking video because if you find yourself in court with tenants, and you bring a video as evidence, the judge will not have anything set up that will allow a video to be played. Your video won’t matter if the judge cannot see it. So, take pictures instead. You can use your smart phone or a camera; just make sure you have good pictures of the property’s condition.

In addition to pictures, jot down anything new you have done to the property. Make a note during the move in inspection of any new carpet you have put down, new paint or any other details. You want to include those facts in your inspection report. Allow tenants to do their own inspection. Give the tenants something to fill out when they move in. Have them go around the house and fill out the inspection form. They can also take pictures if they want to, and they can record notes on the condition of the home. Not everything in your property will be new, so tenants need the opportunity to note any scratches in the floor or burn marks on the countertop, for example. Your tenants should do their own inspection at move in and put everything in writing. Give them a deadline. You can ask for it back within seven days of their move in date. This way, you will get the information back and keep it in a file.

When the tenant moves out, don’t do the move out inspection with the tenants present. I always suggest you go to the property as soon as they vacate. Do the same thing you did at move in. Take pictures, note issues with the property and compare the condition of the place at move in with the condition of the place at move out. Remember that tenants are never responsible for normal wear and tear on the property. The Rental Property Inspections in Hayward Part 1: Move in and Move Outy are responsible for any damages they do to the home. If there is a hole in the all, they are responsible. If they have not cleaned the carpets and your contract states they must do that before leaving, they are responsible. If they do not clean the unit, they are responsible for that as well.

Conduct a thorough move in and move out inspection and compare the two reports as well as the pictures. This will help you decide what to charge out of the security deposit. If you need any help or have any questions, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Hayward Investment Property How To: Evicting a Tenant

Deanna Hansen - Friday, March 08, 2013

Today we are discussing how to evict a tenant, as well as why you might evict someone. You might need to evict if a tenant stops paying rent. If that happens, you will need to serve those tenants with a 3 Day Notice to pay rent or quit. If they do not pay rent within those three days, you can go ahead and start the unlawful detainer action through the court system.

You might also need to give your tenants a 30 or 60 Day notice to vacate the property if you want to sell the place, or move back into it yourself. According to California law, you will need to provide a 60 Day notice if the tenants have lived in the house for over a year. If they have lived there for less than a year, you can use a 30 Day notice. If they do not vacate, you will find yourself in another situation where you have to face an eviction through the court system.

Make sure you use a property notice and deliver it correctly. You don’t want to leave something out of the notice that California law requires you to have in it. If you do that, you’re going to go through the whole court system and maybe wait 30 or 60 days before you finally get in front of a judge. Rent Property Faster If the judge finds your notice to be improper, it will be thrown out of court and you will be forced to start the whole process over again. I have seen this happen to property managers before.

At Aapex Property Management, we use attorneys. Any time we are required to go through the courts and start an unlawful detainer process, we always hire an attorney to take the lead. I am not a legal expert, and I am sure most of you are not either. So, when it comes to this point, use an attorney to take care of it for you. It’s the best way to ensure it’s done correctly.

Many people ask me who pays for an eviction. The landlord pays for it. Unfortunately, by the time the eviction happens, those tenants have already not paid rent for a period of time, so it could be a 30 to 90 day wait for the eviction to be completed. Add that to the rent  Hayward Investment Property How To: Evicting a Tenantyou have already lost and your attorney fees and you have lost a good deal of money. Some Hayward property management companies, Aapex included, provide you with information in the contract on how you can have your eviction fees and lost rent minimized. We have programs and services available to help with expensive evictions.

If you have any questions about how to evict your tenants, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Get the Best Rental Price for Your Hayward Investment Property

Deanna Hansen - Friday, March 01, 2013

When you want to get the best price for your Hayward investment property, the first thing you must do is purchase your property in a good neighborhood. No matter what you have to spend for your property, if it is in an undesirable neighborhood, you are going to get bad tenants or no tenants at all. Location is important, and you might not get what you would expect for a rental value.

If you are going to make upgrades to the unit, make sure those upgrades are consistent with the property. Do not get granite countertops in a low end neighborhood, for example. Think carefully before you choose flooring. Expensive flooring in a rental unit does not make sense. Just make the upgrades to fit the property and the neighborhood.

Another thing to do, especially if you’re buying a condo, is to ask about association dues. Checkout whether there will be additional assessments in the near future, and how much you will be expected to pay annually in dues. I have had owners buy properties who are excited to get the house for a good price. Then, they realize the HOA dues are around $450 per month, and that an additional $10,000 assessment will be charged in the next year or two to cover the cost of replacing all the roofs in the association. Make sure you check into those costs before you buy a condo.

Consider additional costs if you are buying a multi-unit complex as well. If your building will have 16 units or more, you are required to have an onsite manager. That is an additional expense and will require additional bookkeeping.
 Get the Best Rental Price for Your Hayward Investment Property
When you are looking to buy an investment property keep these things in mind. You have to find a good location if you want to be able to charge a reasonable rent. You also have to ensure the upgrades you make to the property are appropriate and worth the time and money you will put into them. Finally, you need to research any additional fees or charges that you will be responsible for when you become a landlord.

If you have any questions about how to find an ideal investment property in Hayward, or you need more information on how to get a good rental price, please do not hesitate to contact us at Aapex Property Management.

How to Make your Hayward Rental Property Rent Faster

Deanna Hansen - Friday, February 22, 2013

If you want your property to rent faster, one of the best things you can do is create a good first impression. The first impression is the most important. When a potential tenant pulls up to your house, the tenant wants to know that it is a nice looking home, with a well maintained lawn, trimmed shrubs and a fresh coat of paint on the outside. Everything should really look nice so the tenants are encouraged to take a look inside.

When the tenants walk into the home, they want to feel welcome. They want to get the impression that it would be a nice place to live. The carpets should be clean, there should be fresh paint on the walls and everything should be in working condition and look good. As I said, you want them to walk into that house and say, “this is where I want to live.”

Make sure you have the right upgrades in place for the property. If your kitchen countertops are a few years old, think about installing a new kitchen counter. If you have not painted the cupboards in 10 years, you need to have those cabinets painted or at least oiled and cleaned. These upgrades will help you create the best first impression you can.

Price the house according to the market. I have people call me occasionally and say they have a two bedroom, one bath property in Hayward that they want to put on the market. They tell me their mortgage is $1,800, and their taxes are $300, so they need to make at least $2,100 in rent. While I understand the math, I have to let them know that the property in that area will only get around $1,200 per month. So, if yo How to Make your Hayward Property Rent Fasteru price your property way out of its league, you will not rent it quickly. You might not rent it at all, and if you do, it won’t be to quality tenants. Good tenants can have any property they want. If tenants have good credit, good landlord references and a stable income, they have choices. They will not take a property that is overpriced. The only tenants who will take overpriced properties are desperate people, and you do not want them living in your house.

For some additional advice on how to get your investment property rented out quickly, please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we would be happy to help you.

How to be a Landlord in Hayward Dealing with Late Rent Payments

Deanna Hansen - Friday, February 15, 2013

Dealing with late rent payments is never fun, and I am always getting that question from owners: what happens if my tenants don’t pay their rent on time? The first thing you need to do is to keep up with your tenants’ payments. Don’t let them get too far behind. At Aapex Property Management, if a tenant has not paid by the sixth of the month, we get on the phone and begin our attempts to contact the tenant to find out what’s going on. If we cannot get a hold of the tenant, we will issue a 3 Day notice.

If you have tenants who have been really good and they have been living in your property for a year or two, and there happens to be one month that they cannot pay their rent on time because of a family emergency or a situation at work, you might want to be flexible. If they normally pay their rent on time but have a special circumstance one month, you might want to give them a little extra time to pay their rent. We don’t usually let tenants go past the 15th of the month, though. If they get too far behind, it will be impossible for them to be able to catch up.

So, give those great tenants a little bit of leeway if they need it for one time only. But, don’t let them get several months behind. I have had owners call me out of desperation and ask for help with a tenant who is behind on rent. When I ask how far behind the tenant is, the owner might say four or five months behind. If that’s the case, there is very little I can do except refer the owner to an attorney, who will issue a 3 Day notice and begin unlawful detainer proceedings.

Make sure you don’t How to be a Landlord in Hayward Dealing with Late Rent Payments let your tenants get too far behind. When they do go past a reasonable amount of time, issue the appropriate notices, specifically the 3 Day notice to pay rent or quit. If they do not pay their rent, act on that immediately, and move forward with the eviction process.

If you have any questions about this blog, or you need further information on how to collect late rent from tenants, please do not hesitate to contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Hayward Property Management Help – Using Inspections to Reduce Tenant Damage

Deanna Hansen - Friday, February 08, 2013

Inspections are a good way to help you reduce the amount of tenant damage that can potentially occur at your rental property. The first thing you want to do is to be upfront with your tenants about your intention to make periodic inspections of the property. If you tell them you will be stopping in once in a while to check the place out, they will be less likely to engage in activities or behaviors that can cause damage, and they will be more likely to take care of the home and keep it in acceptable condition.

In addition to making your own regular inspections, it will help you to train your vendors or any handymen you might send into the house. When you send maintenance personnel to make a repair or to replace something, you can use their eyes to get a better idea of what is going on inside the home. While we may only go out to inspect a property once or twice a year, vendors are in and out on a regular basis. Maybe a tenant will call to report a clogged toilet. When you send the plumber to fix the problem, ask him to report back to you about anything unusual he may notice at the property. If might see four beds in the living room and three beds in each of the bedrooms. This would seem strange to him, and it would tell you that there might be unauthorized people staying with your tenants at the property.

Also, make sure your vendors will tell you if they notice any dogs, cats or other animals at the property. Your plumber might not know if a dog is authorized or not, but it will help you if he reports what he sees. For example, if a pit bull is barking at him while he fixes the toilet, you will know that the dog is an unauthorized pet.

Your vendors c Hayward Property Management Help – Using Inspections to Reduce Tenant Damagean help you stay on top of anything unusual at the property. They will also help you stay on top of the tenants there. We hear horror stories all the time about landlords renting out a house to three or four people, and then a few years later it’s discovered there are 13 people living there. You don’t want unauthorized people in your house for a variety of reasons. Make sure you use these inspections to reduce tenant damage as well as wear and tear on the property.

If you have any questions on how to use inspections to reduce tenant damage, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

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21550 Foothill Blvd. Suite 201,
Hayward, CA 94541
510-293-3530

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