Q: Why use Bayside Management & Leasing as your Property Management Company?
A: Renting your home out to a complete stranger can be very scary. Failure to adequately screen tenants, an owner faces the possibility of unpaid rent, damages and possible evictions. At Bayside Management we screen our tenants very thoroughly. We have developed a point and grade system for screening tenants. The tenants are screened based on credit, rental references, home ownership and job history and information obtained via public records. Based on their final point score, they are either qualified or not. With our company no tenant will qualify for a property if their references are negative. Although screening and securing a good tenant is critical, it is only the first step in the process. Next comes the move in, documentation of condition, lease signing, monthly rent collections, routine inspections, monthly financial statements and eventually the move out and turnover of the property to find another tenant, all while following the law. We are educated in property management and our team of professionals will handle every step for you, all while keeping you informed.
Q: How do you get my property rented?
A: To get your property rented, we must photograph and gather all data pertaining to your property. We list your property in a number of different ways all with the expressed intent of maximizing the property’s exposure, including the Realtors’ MLS (Muiltple Listing Service) – a data base which is available to all real estate agents county wide. We place your property on our website, as well as listing the property on Craigslist, Trulia, HotPads, Zillow and numerous other Internet sites, and post a sign for drive by traffic and/or walk by traffic. We have a leasing agent available to show properties when prospective tenants call. We answer our phone lines so perspective tenants can get through to us.
Q: How much will my property rent for?
A: Pricing a property correctly is the most critical decision an owner can make to start off on the right foot. Rental price determines everything – how fast a property will rent, what type of tenant you will get, etc. We will conduct a comparative market analysis for you from a variety of databases. This report will show what properties are available for rent in comparable neighborhoods and what all properties in those areas have rented for in the last few months. Based on the price per square foot of the averages we see, we will multiply that by your square footage to come up with “fair market value”. It is always advisable to list your property a small amount below the competition or below fair market value. Tenants who have good credit and income are looking for a deal, they know they will qualify and want the best bang for their buck, so well priced properties attract good tenants. Over pricing your property by even $50 could end up costing an owner months of vacancy and is rarely ever worth it in the end.
Q: How do I know if a prospective tenant is qualified?
A: We have an extensive screening system. All information on the tenant will be relayed to you if you so desire. Sometimes if the tenant scores lower than required, additional security deposits can be requested.
Q: When will I receive my funds each month?
A: Bayside Management will distribute funds as timely as possible, generally by the 10th business day. To speed up the receiving of funds we encourage all owners to work with us to set up electric funds transfer.
Q: What happens if my tenant does not pay rent?
A: Rent is due on the first day of the month and there is no grace period. If rent is not received by the 3rd of the month we make a courtesy phone call, if by the 5th the rent still isn’t paid then the eviction process is started. It begins with a “3-day Notice to Pay or Quit;” If the tenant still has not paid by the end of the period, the 3-day notice is followed by an unlawful detainer. This is legal proceeding where the courts will grant you the right to repossess the unit. If an owner was granted the right to repossess the unit and the tenant is still not out, the tenant can be physically removed from the property by the sheriff’s office, the locks are changed and the property is secured. Complete evictions are very rare. Tenants will usually pay or move out at some point during the process.
Q: How would I know if the tenant is tearing up my rental home?
A: Many property management companies claim they inspect properties; but when pushed on the issue, you will find out at best they are doing a “drive by” once a year. With Bayside Management, we go into the property at least once per year during the occupancy of the tenant, take photographs, and do a report for our owners. This provides great peace of mind for our clients to know how the tenants are living, decorating and caring for the property. We also inspect the property anytime we have to go out for routine maintenance calls.
Q: How do I handle units where I believe I have illegal occupants?
A: Most rental agreements provide that the premises are to be occupied by the tenants named on the lease, and no one else, and that there is no right to sublet the premises. When tenants named on the lease move their extended family into the unit, a landlord has the right to serve a three-day notice to perform covenant or quit. This notice would specify the paragraph number of the lease that limits the occupancy of the unit to the tenants and must state how the agreements are being breached. If the tenants don’t comply with the notice by either removing the occupants not listed in the agreement or completely vacating the unit, the land lord could terminate the tenancy by filing an unlawful detainer action. As you alluded to in your question, however, proving the existence of illegal occupants who aren’t listed on the lease can be difficult. IF the tenants file an answer to the unlawful detainer case, the landlord would have the burden of proving that people were living in the premises that were not on the lease. The landlord might even have to subpoena the neighboring tenants to testify about what they see when the so-called guests come and go. It would be a question for the judge to decide, so the more evidence you can produce, the better, as it’s basically your word against the tenants. If your tenants are on a month-to-month tenancy, you always have the option of serving an appropriate written notice of termination of tenancy.
Q: A tenant is complaining about a neighbor who smokes constantly. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Unless there’s a prevailing law in your area, common sense will have to prevail. Have you reviewed the tenant’s lease as to restrictions on smoking? Has management asked the smoking tenant to close windows whenever possible or consider an air purifier or smoke away from the building? Are you as the owner receptive to the idea of prohibiting smoking in some areas? If so, a smoking ban in all public or common areas, such as elevators, hallways and laundry rooms, is a good place to start and can usually be done with out the grace of local law. Meanwhile, unless otherwise stated in the lease the existing smoker probably has the right to enjoy the inside of the unit. Bayside has a no smoking policy for all of our units.
Q: What needs to be done to my property to make it 'Rent Ready'?
A: The likelihood of attracting a higher quality Tenant is improved if your property is in very good condition. Since most rental homes are not “new” they are not expected to be in “perfect condition” but should be safe, in reasonably good repair, have working appliances, and most importantly very clean.
Carpets should be professionally cleaned and all debris and personal belongings removed from the home. Neutral window coverings, such as blinds should be left, preferably not curtains. Tenants generally expect some sort of window coverings to be provided for safety and privacy.
As part of our services, we will make recommendations as to what may need to be done to make the home more marketable. We can also arrange for vendors to conduct the initial work if you are not available to arrange for this on your own. If you do elect to handle the initial cleaning on your own, we can provide you with a cleaning checklist to use as a guide.
Q: Can I say that I do not want pets or smokers in my property?
A: Since almost 75% of households have a pet, it is advisable to consider your options carefully. We can advertise the property as “pets allowed”, “pets negotiable”, or specify certain allowable pets such as, “dogs under 25 lbs allowed”, or “no pets”. If you opt for the latter, you may be significantly reducing the universe of potential tenants.
In any case, we do not allow certain “vicious” breeds of dog for liability reasons. If pets are allowed, past landlord references are queried for any past pet problems and an additional refundable deposit is collected prior to move-in.
Q: How do Fair Housing Laws impact me?
A: Fair Housing Laws were enacted to protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status”. The intention of federal, state, and local fair housing laws is to require that all individuals be given the same treatment, the same services, and offered an equal opportunity to live in a home of their choice. In other words, the same rights as everyone elseâ€”realize that all of us fall within one or more protected classes and are all, therefore, protected under the law! Our consistent screening policies help ensure that Fair Housing Laws are fully adhered to.
Federally protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, and disability.
State and Local Protected classes: California’s fair housing laws include the following protected classes: marital status, legal sources of income, and sexual orientation/gender identity.