Despite some of the crazy stuff you see in the business, property management is no laughing matter. You, the tenant, and the landlord work as a team sharing responsibilities to keep the property and the tenants safe. When you get an emergency call from a tenant about a maintenance or repair concern, they usually fall into one of three categories.Read More
Whether you're still house-hunting or have just moved into your new place, the central connection between any renter and their landlord is the lease. The terms of the lease are contractually binding, meaning that once both of you sign it, you are both obligated to uphold whatever's written inside. You may think you know everything about being a renter and have seen every boiler-plate lease on the market, but when it comes to contracts, never ever assume. You never know if this landlord has customized their lease, and it's important to know what you have actually agreed to. Here are the top ten things every renter should look for in their lease agreement.Read More
When you love your dog, you wouldn't dream of ditching them for a new rental property that isn't pet-friendly. As a responsible tenant and pet owner, you always make sure to find a new place with a reasonable pet agreement in the lease and you're more than willing to pay an extra deposit promising you and your dog will treat the property well. But what do you do if a landlord or property manager won't allow your dog unless you promise there won't be a single sign of your furry friend after you leave? If your pet is well-behaved, then you are safe to make this promise as long as you take the necessary precautions to control the usual troubles like scratched floors, dog-smell, and shedding into the carpets. Here's your 101 on how to be a responsible tenant and keep your landlord and property manager happy with your whisper-quiet canine companion.Read More
When you live in an apartment, you are probably living in close contact with your neighbors. Though not all apartments allow pets, you might be lucky enough to find one that does. However, just because you are allowed to bring your pets, that doesn’t mean that you can’t lose the ability to keep them. You have to be a responsible pet owner (or you might anger your neighbors and landlord).Read More
Just as the honeymoon period ends with so many types of relationships, roommates can often irritate one another. But what do you do when one roommate violates the terms of the lease or causes you undue stress? In some cases, you can work out disputes such as who cleans the kitchen or why a roommate left her clothes in the washer. In other situations, your property management company helps you enforce a lease issue. Of course, if your personal safety is at stake, always contact the authorities or lawyers for legal protection.Read More
If you are leasing a property in the San Diego area, you should be aware of these new laws coming into play for 2017. As a renter, just because you don't own a property doesn't mean you don't have any rights. These are laws that are meant to protect you as a tenant and as such you should know what your rights are so that you can make your living experience as pleasant as possible. With that in mind, here are 3 new laws to be aware of in 2017. We hope you find this helpful.Read More
This year, there have been many natural disasters all throughout the country – tornadoes, flooding, fires, and other unexpected and uncontrollable events. You never know when something could happen to your residence. Therefore, obtaining renter’s insurance is very important. It’s amazing how much money it can take to replace personal belongings. Not convinced? Sit down and make a list of what you own and how much it would take to buy it again. You will find the results amazing.
Many tenants have the misconception that the property owner’s insurance will cover all of their personal belongings within the residence. This is not the case - the owner’s insurance covers the structure and certain areas of liability, but it will not include the tenant’s personal property. As such, it is important to obtain renter’s insurance when moving into a new home or apartment.Read More
Handling Tenant and Owner FundsRead More
A year ago we wrote on how to avoid a rental scam. Unfortunately rental scams have only continued to increase in frequency and complexity since then. In this article we will review a few rental scams, how to detect them and resources you can use in avoid becoming a victim.Read More
If you're looking for a rental, the last thing you want is to fall victim to a rental scam. Scam artists like to take advantage of prospective tenants for several reasons, many times prospective tenants are under financial and time constraints in looking for a affordable property in a short period of time, this provides a potential opening for scam artists to operate in.
Fortunately, there are ways for people who are searching for rentals can lower the likelihood of getting caught up in a rental scam.
Here's what you should keep in mind when you're looking for a rental property
What's a Rental Scam?
Rental scams are a variation on a theme. The scammer tries to get money from a prospective tenant for an apartment that the scammer is in no legal position to rent out. The apartment might be real (in which case, the scammer doesn't have the authority to lease it) or fictitious. The scammer could be a real landlord or, more likely, an impostor. Scammers typically try to get money from unsuspecting rental applicants, then disappear. For example, a tenant who's vacating his rental might decide to show it, pretending to be the landlord. He might lead all prospects to believe they're getting that rental, and collect fees and security deposits upfront. Once the prospects realize they have been scammed, the scammer has usually vanished with their money.
Follow the General Rule
Don't let your guard down when looking for an rental property. Just because you use a reputable search Website does not mean you can't get scammed by unscrupulous landlords or people posing as landlords who manage to get theirfake rental listings onto these sites.
If something feels wrong with a listing, the application process feels rushed, or the whole experience just seems too good to be true, it may be wise not to pursue it.
Avoid Common Red Flags
Here are some common red flags to help you spot and avoid rental scams while looking for a rental:
You're asked to send money without having met anyone or seen the rental. It's not common to pay a lot of money for something sight-unseen. One of the common methods scammers use is to take photos from other properties online. Confirm the photo you are seeing belongs to the property you are looking to rent.
The landlord seems too eager to lease the property to you. Many landlords want to know your credit score, and they may also want more information about you, such as a criminal background check and employment verification. If a property manager or landlord is too eager to lease the property without doing any screening on you be wary.
You're asked to pay an unusually high security deposit or too many upfront fees. If the landlord wants a higher security deposit than what's required by law, or if upfront fees seem excessive to you, it could be a sign that the landlord wants to take your money and run. Below is a breakdown of current state limits as of the writing of this article, for more information contact your local state agency.
California (as of 2013)
Maximum Security Deposit
Furnished - 3 months
Unfurnished - 2 months
Maximum Application Fee
2010 - $42.06
2011 - $42.41
2012 - $49.50
2013 - $49.50
For more information: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/looking.shtml
You feel unwarranted sales pressure. If a landlord acts too pushy, it can be a red flag.
You're told you don't need a lease. It's true you do not need a lease to live in an apartment. Although renting an apartment under a lease is the most typical situation, but amonth to month lease agreement is also common. But only you know what you need. If a landlord tries to get money from you without considering that you might want a lease, think twice. It could be that the "landlord" doesn't have any lease to show you.
The landlord has a convenient excuse for not being able to meet you or show the property. The person behind a listing might say he's out of the country indefinitely or that he won't return until after you would need to agree to the rental and pay money.
Here are a few variations of this:
Example 1: I am currently on a job relocation in (insert location here) so I will not be able to provide you a key. If you can please send over the amount of security deposit I will have one of my associates meet you at the property.
Example 2: I am not available to attend the showing of the property, however if you send over the funds to secure the property I would be more than willing to send you a key via US Mail.
If it doesnt feel right, walk away.