Key Clauses to Include in Your California Lease Agreement

application-form-writing-printed-contract

Key Clauses to Include in Your California Lease Agreement

In order to avoid misconceptions between a landlord and his or her tenants, it is vital to have key clauses in your California lease agreement.

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

Are you still being confused between a landlord and a tenant? And can’t tell the difference between a rental and lease agreement? Don’t be concerned! Skybridge Property Group has compiled a list of key clauses in your California tenants and lease agreement that you should be aware of. We’re confident that by the end of this blog, you’ll recall these main clauses and have a better understanding of your rental and lease agreement. 

A California Lease Agreement is a contract that requires a residential or commercial property landlord to write a legally binding lease agreement with the tenant. That contract will define the land, monthly rent, and the list of both parties’ obligations and responsibilities.

Detailed lease agreements benefit tenants and landlords alike. Adding key clauses and using the right terms in contracts like California Lease Agreement prevent future misunderstandings. There is no such thing as a lease agreement that covers too much.

It is important to remember that you cannot hold your renter responsible for something that was not outlined in the agreement.

Let’s say your tenant allows a friend to move in with them. Your California lease agreement needs to contain a clause on occupancy limits. Otherwise, you will not have the grounds to evict them if they move people in without your permission.

In this article, we will examine some of the key items you should include in your California lease agreement contract.

#1: Is it a Lease or Rental Agreement?

Every rental document in California should establish whether it is a fixed-term lease or a rental agreement. These are not the same thing and call for different specifications.

Fixed-term lease agreement

  • You need to set a beginning and expiration date.
  • This document binds both sides to a specified term.
  • In many cases, the term is 12 or 18 months.

Rental agreement

  • You need to set a beginning date.
  • This document contains the notice period both sides need to end the tenancy. For both landlords and tenants, the period is at least 30 days. When tenancies last for a year or more, landlords need to give at least 60 days of notice.
  • Also, you should add a clause for the notice period to change a clause in the rental agreement. The minimum period is 30 days. Under specific rent increase circumstances, it is a 60-day period.
 

#2: Names of Tenants

Every adult tenant needs to be named in the agreements. This ensures that all of your tenants hold legal responsibility for the lease terms, such as paying rent and avoiding damages.

Should one of your tenants violate an important clause in the agreement, you can terminate the tenancy for all renters on that lease. Missing even one adult name from the California lease agreement could result in future complications.

#3: Occupancy Limits

Your California lease agreement should have a clause about the limits on occupancy. This means specifying that the rental unit is the residence of only the signed tenants and their minor children.

notice-writing-work-business

With this clause, you can take proper action when your tenant invites more people to live on your property. You will have the grounds for an eviction in case of any illegal subletting activities.

#4: Rent

Covering the rent in your California lease agreement is much more than putting down the amount. There are many details to consider, including the following:

  • How should your tenants pay the rent? For example, by mail or delivered to your working place. The latter should include the hours when they can pay the rent at this particular address.
  • What are the acceptable payment methods?
  • When is the rent due?
  • How long is the grace period (if there’s any at all)?
  • What are the bounced-check fees? (In California, the fee limit is $25 for the first rejected check. Subsequently rejected check fees are limited to $35.)
  • What are the late fees?

Note that California has communities that run rent control. Prepare to provide additional clauses in the lease agreement if your rental property is located in these areas.

#5: Pet Rules

Do you allow pets in your Orange County rental property?

Make sure to spell out any restrictions, including the number of pets allowed and any size or breed requirements in your California Lease Agreement.

pets-dog-bed-home

Any pet deposits or fees should be clearly noted in the agreement. If you do not allow pets, your California residential lease agreement has to reflect this as well. Keep in mind that keeping your property petfree could raise the vacancy rate.

#6: Security Deposit

Security deposits are a common source of conflict. It is important to detail the security deposit rules in your California lease or home rental agreement. Let’s take a look at the key details:

  • The dollar amount of the security deposit

– You can charge up to two months’ worth of rent in California.

– Is the property furnished? In this case, it is up to three months’ rent.

– You may add an extra one-half months’ rent if your tenant has a waterbed.

  • The use of the deposit

– You could use it for repairing damages that your tenant is held responsible for.

– You may specify situations that are not covered by the security deposit, such as failure to pay the rent.

  • The return of the deposit

– You have to itemize and return the deposit within 21 days of a move-out in California.

  • Interest payments

– In some cities, you have to pay interest payments on your tenant’s security deposit. Present all the details in the document.

#7: Entry to Your Property

The California lease agreement should define the legal right of access to your property. In order to avoid claims of unauthorized entry, you need to state the time period of advance notice.

California uses the term “reasonable notice.” Emergencies aside, your advance notice should be at least 24 hours before entering. However, it is 48 hours if you conduct a move-out inspection that your tenant requested. The latter has to be connected with possible security deposit deductions.

The Bottom Line: What to include in your California lease agreement

Your California lease agreement provides a legal basis for any tenancy-related actions you would pursue in the future.

Start off by defining whether the rental document is a lease or rental agreement. Move on by collecting the adult tenant names and setting the occupancy limits.

tasks-list-writing

Take extra care when covering rent and security deposits in every lease or rental agreement. Details matter.

Note that this article covered the basics of key clauses in your California lease agreement. Other clauses include:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Liability
  • Important rules and policies
  • Disclosures based on federal, state, and local laws

If any of this seems daunting to you, do not hesitate to contact a professional property management company to guide you through the process.

5 Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make When Budgeting for Their Property

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5 Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make When Budgeting for Their Property

Here are 5 mistakes to look out for when budgeting your property

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

Rental properties are businesses that you can derive incredible income from. However, let’s not discount the fact that there are also potential losses if you fail to consider your budget. Just like any asset, your real estate investment should be taken care of to provide an increased value over time. Real estate investors have to be realistic in budgeting for costs associated with rental properties’ management.

Most investors just have one purpose — to earn money. And in order to be successful, we need to track our activities and efforts, along with the figures we are getting. So what’s the primary reason of real estate investors’ loss or in the worst case scenario—bankruptcy? Proper management of income is very crucial for every business out there, because getting these numbers wrong will be the root of more mistakes. 

With our experience in property management, we were able to come up with a few mistakes to watch out for and address in Orange County, California:

1. Not budgeting for unexpected repair costs

Repairs are inevitable; therefore, you need to create a budget for repair costs. Allocate a small percentage of the annual rental income for repairs, so when it’s time for emergency fixes, you can take from this part of your budget. If you fail to set up a budget, you might frequently be scrambling around for extra cash. The worst-case scenario involves having to dip into your personal savings.

There are a few repairs that may arise in your rental unit:

 

Kitchen plumbing

You may need quickly address a kitchen plumbing problem to avoid flooding from the kitchen sink. Faucet leaks and busted pipes might cause undue damage to the kitchen area.

Furnace

Furnace problems might provide less heating to the property, which can be a hassle for your tenants during winter.

Toilet plumbing

A broken tank or overflowing pipe must be fixed right away.

Electrical system

Circuit breakers can trip and result in power outages. You might need to contract an electrician’s services.

Replacements

Broken appliances, damaged flooring, peeling paint, and roof holes and leaks might cause major inconveniences to your tenants.

old paint cracking wall 

Fence

Missing pickets need to be fixed to retain the attractiveness of your property.

Garage door

Cracks and gaps in the garage door might be troublesome for the inhabitants of your unit.

 

2. Not accounting for property management costs

Owning a rental property requires in Orange County and other areas taking on heavy responsibilities, as you need to attract tenants and conduct screening. You need to attend to repairs and maintenance and be well-versed in the local and state laws. As such, there are many advantages to hiring a property management company that will help you manage these stressors.

You must carefully select the property manager that will handle your property. Be aware of the fees they charge and the extent of services they provide with each corresponding cost. Here are a few fees that could be incurred with hiring a property manager:

Monthly management fee

Different property managers have different fee structures. Some charge a flat rate per month depending on your property size and expected services. Others will charge based on a percentage of the gross monthly income. This percentage might be lower if they’re managing commercial properties compared to residential units.

Tenant placement fee

Some property managers charge a separate fee for tenant placement. This might go to advertising expenses and screening procedures.

Vacancy fee

When you have a vacant unit, a property manager might charge you a flat rate each month or a one-time monthly rental payment to spend for tenant searches.

empty-room

 

Maintenance fee

Depending on the property manager, some might charge this fee to conduct regular maintenance for common areas. In lieu of the maintenance fee, a reserve repair fund might be needed. This is a budget for specific repairs that need to be fixed immediately.

Eviction fee

There may be eviction fees associated with using the services of a property management company for evicting a tenant. This is to pay for court expenses.

Early termination fee

Breaking your contract early with a property management company may require you to pay an early termination fee. You might only be charged for a month’s rental; the company’s policies will determine the additional fees you will need to pay.

3. Not calculating for vacancy expenses

A vacant unit can be costly to manage, but sometimes this can’t be prevented. For example, a tenant may terminate the lease early or may not renew their lease. There are many expenses you have to consider even when the property is vacant:

Mortgage

You still have to make the mortgage payment when the property is vacant. If you don’t have other sources of income to deduct this cost from, it might become a stressful situation.

Taxes

You are obligated to pay taxes whether or not someone is renting your property.

house-calculator-calculations-analysis

 

Utilities

Even if the bills are lower compared to when someone is renting the unit, you still need to budget for utilities. When you show prospective tenants the property, everything needs to be in proper functioning order, including the electric and water systems.

Insurance

Absence of rental income won’t excuse you from paying the regular insurance payments for flooding, hazards, and liability for your property.

4. Not factoring for regular maintenance costs

The older your rental property, the more you need to budget for the regular maintenance costs. This will pay off in the long run, since frequent preventative maintenance will lessen emergency repairs and major damages.

Here are some areas to focus on when conducting regular maintenance:

  • Exterior curb appeal
  • Interior common areas
  • Seasonal maintenance (like tree pruning and snow removal)
  • Appliance maintenance
  • Landscaping

lawn-mower

  • Painting
  • Flooring
  • Cleaning costs
  • Pest control
  • Inspections
  • Waste maintenance
 

5. Not budgeting for miscellaneous expenses

Little expenses can quickly add up, and you should consider budgeting for miscellaneous costs. When you’re handling a rental property business, you should account for all expenditure:

Marketing

When you have vacant rental units, you need to spend money on marketing advertisements to attract potential tenants.

Visiting properties

When you live far from your rental properties, you must budget for transportation costs like vehicle maintenance and fuel. Additionally, there are time costs associated with constantly checking up your properties.

Administrative

Tax filing and bookkeeping documentation are required paperwork that must be kept updated to run a successful business. There must be an ample budget to hire professionals who will create organized systems to make the transactions easier for everyone.

The Bottom Line

Investors must set up a budget to prepare themselves against inevitable fees and bills associated with owning a property. Hiring an excellent property manager or a property management company is a great investment for first-time investors to help them lower their chances of making commonly made mistakes. Investors in Orange County should select a great property manager who will partner with them to manage their investment property and focus on maintaining an appropriate budget for the rental.

15 Questions to ask your Property Manager

Questions to ask Property Manager

15 Questions to ask your Property Manager

Are you looking for a Property Management Company? Here’s what you should ask them before you sign the dotted line.

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

If you are looking for a professional property management company to manage your rental property, you have thousands of property management companies to choose from, one of those is Skybridge Property Group — the best property management company in Orange Country. Here’s a super helpful guide to help you choose the right property management company.

As Skybridge Property Group helped hundreds of homeowners save more time and money through property management on their behalf, we definitely know a good deal about choosing the right property manager.

Great questions lead to great answers. Given our experience in property management industry, we could comfortably write an article titled ’50 questions to ask your property manager’.

But we understand the value of your time and hence we are going to stick with just 15 questions that will help you decide when choosing the right property management company.

Let’s go! Check out the list of questions that Skybridge Property Group has compiled to ask a property manager. We have also weighed in our thoughts on what answer can fit the bill for every question

Questions to ask a Property Manager

1. How long have you been in business?

If a property management company is at least 5 years into the property management business, it is a great sign. They would be managing hundreds of homes and you will be able to check a decent number of online reviews on Google or Yelp if they have been in business for this time.

This also means that they will get discounted rates from their strong network of service providers for repairs and maintenance saving you more money. 

Keeping your property green and eco-friendly is good for you and for the environment. It also makes your tenants happy.

2. How many homes do you manage?

A great restaurant has many customers. A great product has many buyers. A great property manager manages a good number of properties.

Depending on the size of their team, the number of properties they manage can be a clear indicator of how good they are in what they do.

3. What property management services do you offer?

Most of the property management companies will have an extensive list of services mentioned on their website. As a homeowner, it is important to understand the complete list of tasks that will be handled by the property manager.

Going with a property management company that handles A to Z is the best idea as the whole point of going for a property manager instead of self managing your property is to set it and forget it.

Are you still on the fence on choosing self managing vs property management? – this article will help you evaluate your costs and benefits.

4. Do you manage any rental properties in my area?

It is important to hire property managers who have a thorough understanding of your area or neighborhood.

Their knowledge about your area can be a differentiator when it comes to finding quality tenants quickly by focusing on marketing the positives of your neighborhood.

5. What types of properties do you manage predominantly?

Every property management company has its own strength when it comes to property types. They might dominate one or few categories as most of the properties they manage will fall into those categories.

It is essential to understand their strengths and check if your property falls into those categories as each type of property comes with its own set of property management challenges.

6. How much do you charge per month for Property Management?

Pricing is always a critical factor when it comes to signing the dotted line. The pricing charged by the property management company is inversely proportional to your return of investment from your rental property.

It is essential to understand their strengths and check if your property falls into those categories as each type of property comes with its own set of property management challenges.

Lower the property management fees, higher the savings.

Most of the property management companies will reveal their pricing when you get on a call with them. In this day and age, we feel it has to be transparent and outright displayed on the website.

It can either be a flat fee pricing per month or a percentage of your monthly rental income every month or the greater of the two.

(At Skybridge, we have added a welcome twist to the same. You can calculate your pricing on your own here)

7. Are there hidden charges apart from my monthly costs?

The devil is in the details

In terms of pricing, the little * next to the number holds the key to your surprise bills. Check with the property management company on what are the other standard charges that you can expect from them.

Leasing fee, Tenant Replacement Fee, Inspection Fee, Credit check fee.

Some companies can say they handle everything at a fixed monthly cost, but they might come back in a few months to overcharge on specific services that will eventually increase your costs.

8. How will you find good tenants for my property?

Their answer should educate you on their marketing strategies for filling up a vacant rental unit as well as their action plan on how they find and vet a tenant.

It will definitely include background checks, employment check, credit check as well as previous landlord references.

9. How quickly can they find a tenant?

This question is really important from your perspective as the more time your property remains unrented, the more money you are missing out on.

Especially in the Los Angels and Orange County area where there are a lot of qualified tenants looking for a home to move into, an unrented property is a big no-no.

Many property management companies offer guarantees on how quickly they can find a tenant.

10. Can I cancel my contract if I am unhappy?

Contracts can be a great idea to lay out everything officially but make sure you are not locked with no quick way out into a contract with a property management company.

There should definitely be a way to exit the contract easily if you are unhappy with their services. You should be able to switch to a different property management company instantly.

If their answer is no for this question, RUN

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11. How do you handle service requests?

One of the best benefits of hiring a property management company is that you need not worry about handling the service or maintenance requests of your tenants.

Property managers will handle everything on your behalf. You will need to understand the complete process.

Will you be making the final call when it comes to repairs and maintenance? Do you need an authorization if it’s above a certain number?

Professional property managers will be able to take you through their tried and tested plan when it comes to service or maintenance requests.

12. What is the percentage of vacant units in the properties you manage?

If this percentage is below the market standards for the area, they are a good fit. If it’s higher, it means that they are not the best in the business.

13. Does your team include specialists or generalists?

If they have an in-house legal team, you can stop worrying about all the legal aspects of renting out your property in case things go south.

If they have a marketing expert in their team, it helps in getting the word out effectively about your vacant property and getting a qualified tenant faster.

If they have an in-house accounting team, you can forget about the numbers and taxes as it will be all done for you.

One of the main reasons of going for a property management company is that they will take care of everything professionally instead of you figuring out everything.

So, it is important to work with a team that has experts on board than having a generalist who does everything.

14. Will you help me grow my investment portfolio in Real Estate?

This is a good-to-have as the property managers with a investor mindset will be able to offer practical advice to increase your real estate portfolio as well as bring in vetted opportunities for you to consider.

Great property management companies have their own sources for finding great rental properties in your area that is not yet on the MLS sites.

15. Can you explain Fair Housing Laws?

Seasoned property managers know fair housing laws like the back of their hand. They should be able to answer any questions you might have in the housing laws.

Of course, it is hard for the property manager or the property management company to score 15/15 in this test.

From a homeowner’s perspective, you can decide on what factors are must-haves or good-to-haves and you can make a wise choice accordingly.

May the force be with you.

Self Managed Vs Property Manager – Everything you need to know

Self Managed Vs Property Manager

Self Managed vs Property Manager

We will break down the costs and value of self managing your property compared to choosing a property manager to do it for you

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

When you own a commercial property, you can be tempted to manage it yourself in order to save money. It is possible. Self-management can also help you save money. However, in some situations, the expense of hiring a specialist management firm may pay for itself by preventing costly errors. Now, why is learning this important? Learning how self-management and property management by a property manager works is very much important so that you can learn which one is the best for you. This can help you decide whether you can manage your properties yourself or if you need a property manager to do it for you. 

As a customer-focused property management firm in Los Angeles, we meet over 25 homeowners every month and one important talking point during our meetings is the difference between having properties that are self-managed vs homes managed by a property management firm. 

Before we get our hands dirty with the pros and the cons, let’s work out some numbers. 

The Time Factor

The first and foremost thing to be done is to put a $ value for an hour spent by you.

If you are a full-time employee, divide your monthly income by the number of hours you work per month. If you are a freelancer or a solopreneur, the calculation is even easier as you will know your hourly rates.

In Los Angeles, the average household income is $51538.

This is a gross number and it does not include taxes. For the purpose of calculation, let’s assume you are a single earner in your house, and you make $51538 per year and you work 40 hours per week.

Yearly Income – $51538

Approximate Monthly Income = $4294

Approximate number of working hours per month – 160

Hourly Income – $26

If you would like to calculate your approximate hourly income, you can use the calculator below.

Now that we know the $ value for your hours, we can dive into the value and costs of self-management vs property management. 

Your Profit Margin

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Credit : Giphy

For a homeowner, the basic profit calculation every month boils down to the following simple equation. 

Monthly Profit = Rental Income – (Mortgage + Expenses)

The expenses entered in this equation is mostly the costs incurred for maintenance or repairs.

What is often overlooked in this equation is factoring the expenses in terms of your time and energy spent as a landlord in managing the property on your own.

Energy spent cannot be measured but the time spent can be easily measured.

Let’s say you spend an average of 8 hours every month to manage your property including trips to your property to collect rent, regular inspections etc.

Assuming your hourly income as $26, you are spending $208 every month for self-managing your property. If you have a couple of properties or more, this cost would go even higher. 

If you still think it’s right up your alley, here are the top four landlord duties you will be taking on when you self-manage your property. 

 1.     Maintenance

 This comes right at the top of the list as the need for maintenance can crop up anytime in your rental property. There is a difference in the way an owner treats his house compared to how a tenant treats the house he lives in. We’ve all been there. 

Apart from the routine maintenance checks to keep the appliances at good condition, you might also have to respond to emergency maintenance requests from your tenants.

 Importance: Let’s say you absolutely love your tenants. For you to retain the tenants, they have to be happy with the property. If they feel there is a delay in attending to their maintenance issues, they will start looking for a new place. This might affect your profits and mortgage payments even if the house remains vacant for just a month.

 Who does it better: Property managers have a significant(unfair) advantage when it comes to maintenance and repairs as they can get great discounts from service providers as they provide the service providers with job orders every month. You can save a lot on the maintenance costs when you work with a property manager.

 2.   Rent collection

On the outset, the collection of rent at the start of every month sounds like a trivial issue. The major cause of any rifts between the homeowner and the tenant is a delayed rent payment.

Instead of wondering why the rent cheque has not reached your mailbox or frantically calling your tenant who is on vacation, you can automate the rent collection using new-age applications.

Importance: Importance of rental income does not require an explanation.

Who does it better: If the homeowner does not mind following up with the tenants every month on delayed rent payments, the odds are just the same for both self-managed homeowners and property managers.

 

3. Managing the Vacancies

 A vacant rental property does not generate any revenue. As of 2018, only 4% of the rental properties are vacant in the Los Angeles – Orange County.
 
With limited supply and huge demand, this is great news for a homeowner as there are a lot of tenants looking for a home to rent. However, the competition is not only between the tenants but also between the homeowners (4%) in marketing their property as the best bet in the market.
 
Importance: When a property remains vacant for a significant period of time, the homeowner is at a disadvantage because he/she is losing money every month. Marketing a property today requires digital marketing skills too.
 
Who does it better: Property Managers have an edge because it is their day job and they are very comfortable in making the best use of modern day online real estate platforms. They have a huge network and they also work closely with tenants in finding them a rental property. They can play the matchmaker and get your property rented in no time. 
 

4. Tenant Screening

 Marketing a rental property is just half the job done. You will receive dozens of applications from tenants for your property. You will have to reach out to them and do your due diligence before you hand the keys to your property.
 
Rental Property Management takes a lot of time as you will have to perform credit checks, background history, job income, eviction history, verify previous landlord references etc. 
 
Once you are satisfied with the above, you will need to schedule the showing with all the prospective tenants. This takes a lot of time than the above three responsibilities.
 
Importance: Dealing with a bad tenant can be an emotionally frustrating experience. It is always better to vet and pick a good tenant as tenant retention and renewals becomes much easier in the future. 
 
Who does it better: If a rental property manager manages 50 rental units, he/she would have spoken to at least 300 prospective tenants to fill these rental units. This experience is invaluable, and their instincts will go a long way in picking the right cherries. As their day job is property management, they do not need to take time off for tenant showings. 
          
The above four points are the major factors that can impact your decision of taking the self-managed route or hiring a property manager. For the extensive list of the responsibilities of a landlord/ property manager, click here.
 

Final questions to ponder

 

1.    How far is my rental property?

If your rental property is far away from your home or work, you will spend a significant time commuting. Factor the time taken each way as well as the fuel costs.
 

2.    What is the level of support you may receive from your family?

If you can divide and conquer the responsibilities of property management amongst your family members, you are one of the lucky few.
 

3.    How much is your time worth?

Add up all the hours you will spend every month managing your property and multiplyit with your hourly income.
If the pricing quoted by the property management company is cheaper than that, it is worth choosing a property management company instead of self-management.
 

4.    What is your ultimate financial goal?

 

“It is better to work on your business than work in your business

If your ultimate goal is to attain financial freedom faster by multiplying your rental income by increasing the number of investment properties you own, you should focus on that instead of managing the properties.
 
When you spend a lot of time in managing a property and since it is a very demanding job, you might eventually lose interest in investing more in real estate. The time spent prevents you from working on any of your side hustles.
 

5.    Are you a process person?

Managing your property on your own requires a lot of processes to be followed to a T. If you are not a process person, you can outsource it to the right property manager and focus on rinsing and repeating your investment journey.
—–
 
At Skybridge Property Group, we make it even simpler by offering a pricing to homeowners that is unbeatable.
 

5.6% of your Rental Income or $98 per month (whichever is lower)

 
You can save a lot by choosing Skybridge Property Group instead of our competitors. We have done the research so that you that you don’t have.
 
Use the calculator to find out your Monthly savings in Property management costs when you work with us.

 

 

Job Description of a Property Manager

Property Manager Job Description

Job Description of a Property Manager - What do they do best?

Thinking of managing your property on your own? This article is a must-read for Home Owners. 

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

Are you considering getting a property manager? Maybe you’re considering a career in property management but aren’t sure what the work entails and thinking that you can pull it off. A property manager is a third-party person appointed by a landlord, or a property investor. He is responsible in overseeing the day-to-day operations of a rental property. 

What specifically are the responsibilities of  a property manager?

What does the job description of a Property Manager look like?

What does the Property Manager do?

I can manage my own property. Why do I need someone to do something I can do?

A property manager’s duties can vary greatly, but there are certain tasks or responsibilities that are common to all types of properties. If you are a homeowner and you are pondering on the above questions, here is our detailed take on the responsibilities of a property manager. Let us take a look for a common job description of a property manager.


1.    Property Marketing and Listing

Marketing a product / service in the modern day requires a lot of technical skills and targeted efforts. It is important to stand out in the market when there is so much competition.

It is the same for rental properties too. Tenants look for specific features and amenities when they are looking to rent a home. A property manager will make sure those terms are out in bold whenever it is listed on websites to attract qualified tenants.

It is not just for the tenants to find but also for algorithms to understand and list them in listing websites prominently. It takes a lot of time to master these platforms and play the game right.

Property managers know their way around these platforms as they use them daily to attract qualified tenants to fill vacancies in the properties they manage. It is best to leave it to the experts.

2. Setting the Rent

The Property Manager will be able to help you arrive at the right rent for your property depending on a variety of factors.

By choosing a fair rent, there are greater odds for attracting a good number of tenant applications for your property. They will analyze the location and see the similar properties and their rents to help you arrive at the magic number.

Every year, your property manager will also guide you in revising the rent according to the State and Municipal laws. 

3. Tenant Verification and Vetting

There are good apples and then there are bad apples. It takes a lot of time and efforts to screen through the list of applicants who have expressed interest in renting your property.

A good tenant is a godsend while a bad tenant can be a source of constant worry. Credit checks, reference checks, background checks – leave it all to the property manager. Their experience in this industry and their instincts will go a long way in finding the right tenants for your property.

Great tenants maintain your property like their own and finding such tenants require a special set of skills which are often mastered by expert property managers.

They are the ones who will be dealing with the tenants on behalf of you and so they will look for the best tenants for your property. 

4. Rental Property Showing

We are often in a race against time. 

“Wake up – commute – work – commute – rest – repeat”

Most of us follow this pattern everyday.

As a homeowner, it will be hard for you to be available at all times to show your property to prospective tenants. Especially when you are living away from your rental property, it is really difficult to do the showings. When you work with a property manager, they will take care of the showings on your behalf. They will save a lot of time for you and they will answer all the questions to tenants on your behalf and as we all know, time is money, and because of this, your property management will be a lot easier and convenient since you have someone that you can trust and rely on. 

5. Handling Tenant Concerns

Ever felt relieved after talking to a great customer service agent who solved your burning concern in a jiffy? Do you picture yourself doing the same to your tenant whenever they have a concern?

Handling concerns and solving problems immediately requires a lot of experience. Even if you have relevant work experience in customer support, we are sure you do not want to continue your day job even after coming home.

A good property manager is very resourceful and years of experience in property management has converted them into a ready-reckoner for any queries / concerns. They know the right people for every situation, and they bring them on-board to solve your tenant issues. 

6. Supervision of Repairs and Maintenance

“To err is human, to repair is divine”

Bad quote, right. It is completely natural for a home to require repairs from time to time. What may seem like a small deal to you (as a homeowner) may be the deal breaker for your tenant.

Practically speaking, you may take some time to fix things for your tenant. Every passing day will be a difficult experience for your tenant, and it will lead to friction between you and the tenant.

Enter property managers – they will handle the concerns without even bringing it to your notice. Preventative maintenance of the property to keep it functioning in top condition is one of the key responsibilities of a property manager. 

Property managers are often well connected with top-rated service providers in your locality and they will be able to get stuff done quickly at affordable costs as they will usually get better prices from service providers due to their volume of business from all the properties they manage. 

7. Rent Collection

Money is the most important element in any transaction. Collecting the rent on time requires follow-ups, reminders and lots more. Although most of the tenants will pay up on time, there are always exceptions. It is important.

A property manager will collect the rents every month on behalf of you and transfer it to you as a part of their contract. They will setup a system in place for collecting the rent every month. 

8. Handling the Accounting

This is a no-brainer. There are very few people who are gifted with the love for numbers. They become chartered accountants. Let’s talk about you. Maybe you love them too, maybe not.

How magical it would be to get everything sorted out when it comes to accounting without raising a finger. Property managers can do that for you. One of the major advantages of working with a property manager is the accounting taken care of.

9. Tenant Renewal

“It is far cheaper to keep an existing customer happy and retain them than looking for a new customer”

This is not just true with marketing and customer acquisition world. It holds true even for renting out your property. Great tenants need to be retained. This boils down to their experience of renting your property.

By hiring a good property manager who can address your tenant concerns quickly, the tenants will have a pleasurable and stress-free experience. This will substantially increase the odds of tenant renewal. 

10. Move-out Assistance

When a tenant moves out, the property manager is responsible for inspecting the unit thoroughly and checking for any damages to the property. If there are damages, they will deduct the appropriate charges from the security deposit to be paid back to the tenant.

Once the tenant moves out, they are responsible for cleaning the property and taking care of any needed repairs before they find a new tenant for your property. 

11. Tenant Evictions

There will be instances when things go south like the need for a tenant eviction. It may be because of unpaid rents or breach of contract. Property managers are experienced with handling such situations and they will take the essential steps to file and move forward with the tenant eviction.

12. Regular Inspection of the Property

Inspections lead to findings and findings lead to fixes. In your busy schedule, it is impossible to do inspections of your rental property regularly. Sometimes, you can save a lot of money in repairs and maintenance when you spot problems at the earliest.

Property Managers always schedule routine inspections for the properties they manage. They will bring any concerns to your attention immediately. These concerns when fixed immediately leads to happy tenants and stress-free tenant renewals. Not to forget, the savings of fixing it early.

13. Maintenance of Records

As a single point of contact for everything, your property manager will have a record of every transaction / update with regards to your property.

This includes income, expenses, inspections, leases, complaints, repairs and maintenance requests, maintenance costs, record of rent collection and insurance payments. This data will serve as a central repository of information on everything related to your property. 

14. Capital Improvement Ideas and Execution

Property Managers know exactly what the majority of the tenants are looking for. They work with hundreds of property owners in managing their properties and they speak to over a dozen tenants to find the right one for your property.

Since they act as the bridge between the tenants and the property owners, they understand both the sides of the coin. By making small fixes and improvements to your property based on their recommendations, your property can fetch you a higher rental income thereby increasing your returns considerably. 

Note: The exact responsibilities of the property manager may vary depending on the location, type of the property, their fee structure and terms of their contract.

At Skybridge Property Group, we offer full-service property management services in Los Angeles and Orange County. We have over hundreds of satisfied homeowners who love working with us. You can check their reviews here.

Cities and Neighborhoods we serve : Long BeachSanta MonicaCosta MesaWest HollywoodEast Los AngelesAnaheimYorba LindaAliso ViejoBrea and Dana Point

Property Manager Job Description
Job Description of a Property Manager

How much should Property Management cost you?

Los Angeles Property Management

How much should Property Management cost you?

Pricing is one of the key deciders in any transaction. Here’s everything you need to know about the costs associated with Property Management

Faraaz Hashmi

By Faraaz Hashmi

Property management companies differ greatly, and many depends on the nature of engagement. What are your expectations of a property manager? What tasks do you want them to do for you?

A property owner’s agreement with a property management firm is a delegation of agreement. A property owner can only assign those tasks and functions to a property manager while being involved in other areas, while some owners might prefer to be almost completely hands-off.

The cost of property management also differs in location, because of the different cost of living from one location to another. The type of property and the amount of tasks and estimated working hours to be rendered can also affect the cost of the property management. 

Pricing can make or break a business. It is essential for every business to educate their customers on the costs involved for their services and products.

Pricing tends to be complicated for most products and services. Thanks to hidden costs as well as * conditions in fine print. Property Management covers a whole lot of services done for a monthly fee. 

Skybridge Property Group is a top-rated property management company in Los Angeles and Orange County. We talk to landlords and investors all the time, and one of their first questions is the cost of professional property management. In this article, we will dive deep into the costs of property management.

Basic Property Management Costs - Explained

Rates for Residential property management in Los Angeles and Orange County can be as low as 5 percent and as high as 12 percent of the monthly rental income your property earns. You may wonder why there is such a wide range on the price scale. 

The cost typically depends on the property management services offered by the company. There are standard services most property management companies will include in their monthly pricing, but it’s crucial to watch out for any additional services that would incur additional fees. 

These are the most common services offered by Property Management companies which is included in their monthly pricing.

  • Accounting and finances
  • Maintenance requests and issues
  • Collection of Rental payments both on-time and late
  •  Tenant Evictions

These are standard/essential services, and depending on the location and type of property you have, the property management costs between five and eight percent of the rental income. In different parts of the country, there are different rates. For the most part, you will find no matter what location, these are the standard services included with most property management company fees.

Now it’s time to look at the possible additional costs that you can incur as a home owner. These costs come into the picture only during specific situations. But it is important to understand the numbers before you sign the dotted line to avoid surprises at a late point in time.

Additional Property Management Fee 1: Lease Renewals

Most property management companies will charge additional fees for services that are not included in the standard  property management agreement. A prominent one is your lease renewal. You may need to pay your property manager to negotiate your lease renewal once the 12 or 24 months have passed and the tenancy is coming to an end.

Many times, property management companies will charge you an additional fee to renew a contract or lease with a tenant after the original one expires. You want to make sure this information is clear in writing when you are about to sign a contract with a property management company.

At Skybridge Property Group, our Lease Renewal charges is a flat fee of $250

 

Additional Property Management Fee 2: Leasing Fee

The Leasing Fee is the fee charged by a property management company to lease up the property. The tasks involved in the extensive process are marketing the property, screening the applicants, showing the property, lease paperwork, planning the move-in process etc.

Most property management companies charge a flat percentage of the first month’s rent paid by the tenant to the homeowner as per the contract. At Skybridge Property Group, we charge a flat 50% of the first month’s rent as the Leasing Fee.

 

Additional Property Management Fee 3 : Eviction Costs

No homeowner likes to think about the scenarios of unpaid rent which leads to tenant eviction. If your property management company has done a great job in screening and placing qualified tenants, your eviction risk should be pretty low. 

However, unfortunate things happen even to great tenants and you may find that you need to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent. While the standard eviction process / clauses should be included in your property management fees, there are often times that the process takes longer.

Find out how court costs are handled by your property manager, and ask about who will be responsible for paying legal fees. It’s crucial to have all this in writing so you can refer back to it should anything comes up.

It is the responsibility of the property manager to make sure everything is transparent and all your questions about pricing should be answered. Working with a great property management company has its perks, but you need to be sure you have everything laid out in front of you and you understand how they operate before you make your final decision. Interested in knowing what we charge when we manage your property, check out our pricing page

Cities and Neighborhoods we serve : Long BeachSanta MonicaCosta MesaWest HollywoodEast Los AngelesAnaheimYorba Linda, Aliso Viejo, Brea and Dana Point