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Mesa Properties Blog

Is Rent Control Coming?

The November elections are just a month away and a very important measure will be presented to all California voters: Proposition 10.

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The Fiduciary Duties of Property Managers

There's a common saying that property management companies use when pitching their services to potential owners. "We will manage your property as if it were our own."

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2019 Law Update: Changes To The 3-Day Notice

Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation making it harder to evict tenants.

A well intentioned law that just makes everything more complicated

What's In It?

Last week the governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed Bill AB-2343 into law. This bill extends the amount of time that a tenant can stay in a rental house without actually paying the rent or fulfilling other obligations of the lease. This new law goes into effect on September 1, 2019.

This law is not a huge deal for landlords, but it makes the eviction process that much lengthier and complicated. Essentially, this law excludes holidays and weekends from the time that a tenant has to respond to a notice.

This includes the infamous 3-Day Pay Rent or Quit notice, which is the start of an eviction process. The 3-Day notice is simple, it tells the tenant that if they do not pay the past due rent within 3 days, the landlord is going to start the eviction process and remove the tenant from the home.

California’s new law also covers the 3-Day Notice to Perform Covenant (Cure) or Quit. This notice is served to a tenant when the tenant is still paying rent, but is somehow in violation of the lease. Examples of this include excessive weeds or trash in the yard, drugs on the property or adults living on the property who are not on the lease. Only If the tenant does not remedy the broken lease is the eviction process actually started.

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Selecting A Home Security System

In 2018, personal home security systems are cheap, they're everywhere and they are incredibly easy to install. It has become an absolute no brainer to have one in your personal home and may become more and more necessary to have one in your rental home as well.

Several Inland Empire cities are on the top 10 list for highest property crime rates in Southern California. With the passing of Proposition 47, property crimes have risen and the likelihood of becoming the victim of a home burglary has increased.

Homeowners and renters alike can ensure they are protected by taking simple measures to add security to their homes. The big companies with the confusing contracts and high fees are no longer the only option. There are several DIY systems that you can install in a matter of minutes and have up and running with free self monitoring or low monthly fees.

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How Long Does It Take To Find A Tenant?

How long will it take you to find me a tenant?

This is a question that property managers get asked a lot, and the answer is, it depends.

There are so many factors that affect the desirability of a home, it can be difficult to give an exact time frame for how long it will take to find a tenant. If the property is "standard" it will typically rent much faster than a "unique" home such as a mountain home, a home in a new development or a home with an extremely large lot.

For a professional property manager, renting out a home in under 30 days should be standard and what happens 90% of the time.

For an owner renting out their own home for the first time, it isn't uncommon for the home to sit vacant for weeks or even months.

Here are 12 questions to ask to help you determine if your home is likely to rent in under 30 days or not.

Take the free quiz below to see where you stand, or just scroll on by to see how you need to be answering these 12 questions if you want to rent your home in under 30 days.

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Are You Ready To Die?

Most people would say “no” but in reality we all die. Unless you are super rich and maybe a little goofy, you could look into a good cryogenic vendor to freeze your brain in the hopes of a future cure for whatever ultimately pushed you out of this life and into the next.

For the rest of us, death is inevitable. If you own income producing real estate, it’s vital to do some estate planning now while you are still counted among the living.

Don’t think death can’t come knocking at an early age. I know of two local men in 2018 who recently unexpectedly passed. One was in his late thirties, healthy, fit and heading out for a morning run when his running partner found him deceased on his front porch. Another man was 44 years old, in the process of getting healthy with diet and exercise. He left his Orangetheory Spin class early not feeling well. He went home and had a massive, fatal heart attack.

Neither one of these men had done any estate planning because they were "too young" to think about it. Both left their families with not only the emotional grief of losing a loved one but also a very complicated, expensive and time consuming task of unwinding their assets through the dreaded process known as probate. Letting a judge decide what’s best instead of the owner is not a good idea, which is why its best to make these decisions in advance.

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Investing in Rental Property in Riverside, CA

Home prices are continually rising in California, meaning the state is continuing to see more and more renters as opposed to new homeowners. In fact, according to a study conducted by The Street, in Riverside, the average monthly rent is 4.1% cheaper than the average monthly mortgage payment.

That isn't to say that rents aren't rising either. They certainly are, but the rise in home prices and interest rates have outweighed the rise in rents.

What this means is that many would-be first time home buyers are opting to rent instead of buy. It also means that people moving to the area for a new job are choosing to rent instead of buy, even if they were homeowners previously.

In fact, Riverside has a median home price of just under $400,000 and a price/rent ratio of 18. With a low price/rent ratio rental property owners are seeing a higher return on their investment.

This is all good information for the short term, but other data points besides just market condition need to be taken into account when deciding whether or not to purchase or hold rental property in Riverside.

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Typical Neighborhoods Renters Love Most

Some neighborhoods are going to be better than others. It’s just a natural fact of life. Take The Urban Avenue in Dallas for instance. It’s located in the gorgeous Oak Lawn section in Dallas. It’s perfect for those looking to enjoy fine dining experiences and an exciting and urbane nightlife. Couples with young children probably won’t want to live in this cultural hotspot.

Let’s face it. Some regions will be perfect for some people and not so hot for others. It all depends on where they’re at in life. So to help renters discover the best neighborhoods perfectly suited to meet their needs, we’ll share information about the various types of neighborhoods below.

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Everything You Need To Know About A 3 Day Notice To Pay Rent Or Quit

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, everyone dreads the 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. No one wants to be evicted and no landlord wants to make that difficult decision or go through the process of evicting someone.

For landlords, this is a big reason why they hire a property management company in the first place. They dread this process and many have a hard time following through when it comes time to serve this notice and possibly file an unlawful detainer.

For tenants, receiving this notice can be scary, frustrating and confusing. Maybe you didn't realize that your check bounced or your account had insufficient funds so the automatic rent payment didn't go through. Or maybe you had a financial emergency and you just don't have the money for rent this month.

Landlords are not required to serve tenants with this notice as soon as they are late on rent and most won't. If there's a good relationship between landlord and tenant, it's much more likely that the landlord will call the tenant to figure out what's going on and when the rent will be paid. If there have been multiple late payments or there isn't a good reason for the rent being late, tenants can likely expect one of these notices from their landlord. Legally, this notice can be served the day after rent is late or if the lease has a grace period, the day after that has passed.

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What Can I Withhold From A Tenant's Security Deposit?

After a lease ends and the tenant moves out, it's guaranteed that there will be some amount of work that will need to be done to get the property ready to rent again.

This can range anywhere from just a good cleaning to a full scale rehab project. If it's the latter, this can take weeks to complete and cost thousands of dollars.

Many landlords are left wondering how much of the security deposit they can use to help cover the costs of getting the property prepped and presentable for a new tenant.

The hard part is determining what damage is considered tenant responsibility and what is normal wear and tear, and how much you can charge for each given item.

Also, how long do you have to complete repairs and return the unused portion of the deposit to the tenant?

Some landlords view the security deposit as a bonus that they get for renting out their property that they will keep no matter what. This is not only unethical, but can have some serious legal ramifications as well.

All of this is covered under California Civil Code Section 1950.5 but we'll go ahead and break it all down for you here.

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What Does An Appraiser Do?

If you're looking at buying a home, chances are you've been told that you will need to get an appraisal.

You may then find out that you are responsible for paying for the appraisal and that it can cost several hundred dollars.

Maybe you don't need to have an appraisal done. Is it actually required in order to purchase a home?

Usually, it is and is ordered by the lender. You will end up paying for the appraisal as a part of your closing costs.

So what are appraisals and why are they so important?

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Raise The Rent Or End The Lease Agreement?

When a lease nears the end, many property owners wonder if they should raise the rent, keep it the same, or end the agreement altogether and look to rent to a different tenant.

Assuming you signed a 1-year lease agreement and you would like the tenant to continue renting your property, decide if you want to have the tenant sign another 1- year lease or simply let the lease expire and go to a month-to-month term. Your original lease should specify if the the lease will convert to a month-to-month tenancy. Legally, as long as the tenant continues paying you rent and you continue to accept the rent, you have a month-to-month tenancy.

If the tenant has been a good tenant, paying the rent on time, in full every month and taking care of the property, you should evaluate the local rental market and decide if you want to give the tenant a rent increase. Be sure you abide by any rent control laws in your area as you look at increasing the rent.

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