Becoming a first-time landlord in San Diego can be exciting and challenging at the same time. While a fantastic way to make money in this sunny state, this business has its own set of challenges to be aware of. Due to the ever-changing demands and issues that could go wrong, a landlord must always be flexible to the challenges that may present. The IDEAL property manager/landlord is a combination between adaptable, friendly and firm. Even an individual who possesses these personality traits can become a victim to the pitfalls and mistakes that befall a newbie in this industry! We have been managing properties for over 45 years combined. During this time, we have learned of how to avoid some glaring mistakes from the get-go. Read this list to see what mistakes YOU can avoid as a first-timer that could cost you! 1. Not Knowing Fair Housing Laws It is important for you to understand state and federal regulations regarding fair housing laws especially in California. Violating these can have severe consequences. For example, become familiar with the Americans with Disability Act when a prospective tenant has a disability that requires a service animal. Failing to abide by these laws correctly can result in fines, or worse. 2. Not Conducting Effective Screening ALWAYS make sure to check a tenant’s references and their credit score! Not doing so could land you in a situation with a delinquent sub-par tenant. The small investment it takes to run a tenant’s credit could save you more than you know in the long run. Your kindness as a first-time landlord can be taken advantage of. 3. Being Too Lenient on Rent Monthly rent from tenants is your source of income. Allowing tenants to be late with their payments or delinquent only ends up taking money out of YOUR pocket! This also applies to rent increases. While tenants can convince you as to why they can’t afford the higher rent, this plummets property value while the market rent of neighboring apartments goes higher and higher. Be nice to your tenants, but also be FIRM. This is a business after all! 4. Not Maximizing Efficiency Maximizing efficiency by collecting rent online and essentially eliminating time-consuming administrative tasks saves you, the first-time landlord, a ton of money and time that could be better spent out on the property. 5. Lacking Thorough Documentation It is important to have plenty of documentation regarding your tenant’s lease, house rules, noise complaints, etc. When a tenant gives a 30 day notice, it is important to send a receipt of that 30 day notice. Keep this documentation for several months after they have left just in case a tenant becomes disgruntled and causes issues after they leave.
If you have any questions regarding being a first-time landlord or our services that we did not include in this post, we would be happy to answer your questions through the contact form on our website. We manage a variety of properties in the San Diego, California area.