There are a few mistakes we see a lot of landlords make, and today we want to tell you how to identify them and what you can do to correct them.
One of the biggest mistakes landlords make is to skimp on screening. We have emphasized the importance of tenant screening in a number of other blogs. It’s critical. You must do a really good screening, or you’re putting your investment at risk. I worked for the Rental Housing Association in Oakland for 10 years, and we found that when a property was on the market for too long, the landlord would often start to worry that a tenant would never be found. Then, in a panic, nearly anyone who was willing to rent the place was allowed to sign a lease and move in. Avoid doing that. It’s much better for you and your property to take the time to screen and make sure you get the right tenant for the property.
Improper marketing is another big mistake landlords make. Craigslist is usually the first place owners go when they have to advertise a vacant property. That’s fine, but there are a number of other websites you can use to do good marketing. We like to advertise on Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo and about 20 other sites. Put your property out there and attract more people.
Another mistake with marketing is that owners don’t always add photos. Pictures are very important to a rental listing. You will get two or three times as many responses as an ad with no pictures. Give people something to look at so they will be motivated to contact you.
Not knowing and understanding the laws is a very costly mistake for landlords. It’s a big problem when you don’t get a good lease in place. It’s also a big problem when you don’t handle the security deposit properly at the end of a tenancy. When someone moves out, there are very careful and specific laws in the State of California that mandate how a deposit is handled. If you don’t follow those laws, you can create big problems for yourself that will be very expensive for you. Make sure you know the law.
If you need any help in avoiding these mistakes, please contact us at Astound Property Management, and we’d be happy to help you. We are located in Concord, and we serve Contra Costa county and Alameda county.