Salinas Landlords and Tenants

Tenants are the only clients for real estate property owners. If you are one of the Salinas landlords, you may encounter tenants who help you build equity in your properties through timely payment of rent. You find a good match, then meet your tenants’ needs with your housing facility, and everyone maintains a harmonious relationship with one another.

Unfortunately, not all tenants tend to be the same. Sometimes the landlord-tenant relationship works for many years and other times, your tenants leave the property in a few months even before the lease ends. Worse yet, is to discover that the tenant has left your property in bad shape with majority of the repair cost coming from your own pocket.

The Dilemma

One of the hardest aspects of dealing with the damages done to your property by a bad tenant is to determine who pays for those damages. Tenants often assume that landlords own their properties free and clear and are rich enough to take care of anything that is thrown at them. From their perspective, they are handing out a bundle of cash each month to cover the landlord’s lavish lifestyle or funding his or her retirement. So, when they are told to bear the expenses related to damages other than normal wear and tear, they either simply deny or threaten to take the matter to the court.

As a Salinas landlord, on the other hand, you will be expected to act with utmost patience and respect. You will curse yourself for not investing a great deal of time at the beginning of the tenant screening process that would have otherwise saved a lot of grief. You will also consult a local property attorney to make sure that whatever remedy is in your mind is not crossing the line of legality.

Agreement in Writing

Well, here is the answer you have been looking for. What you need is a comprehensive rental agreement in the first place, that contains all terms and conditions related to property damage during and after the tenant moves out. This agreement is a valuable piece of evidence that can come to your rescue should you encounter a problem like extensive damages to your rental dwelling. So, if arguments and disagreements arise later, you can immediately refer to the agreement signed by the tenant.

Salinas landlords are required to have rental agreement form at all times, according to real estate law in California. It is a good device to protect yourself from potential lawsuits and tenant damage situations. It provides you and the tenant proof of the condition of your property at the time of rental. It also serves as the determining factor for who pays for what when the damage is done. Signed copies of rental agreement and statement of condition should be kept for your records and one furnished to the tenant as well at the time of signing the contract.

If you run into problems with the condition of the property in the beginning of the lease, say within one month of renting, an addendum may be required to describe the property from that point on after rectifying the issue. Typically, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to pay for all costs related to repairs as a result of misuse, intentional damage, accidents and incidents not related to maintenance failure. Nevertheless, you need to re-establish the rules with the tenant and ensure that they understand the terms and conditions laid out on the agreement.

Deposit Policies

Every Salinas landlord faces the difficulty of how much of a security deposit to receive from the tenants during the lease, whether to take additional deposit to cover missed rent and damages. If they are asking too little, they are exposing themselves to a huge risk. Ask too much, the number of applications will drastically reduce. Here are the guidelines. No matter what the situation is, landlords in Salinas CA should never waive the requirement for deposit in the beginning of the renting process.

The purpose of the deposit is to prevent financial disaster as a result of non-payment of rent or, in this case, property damages. If the tenant disagrees to that full deposit, it is a clear indication that he or she has difficulties with planning financially. Your deposit amount should be set based on rent amount as well as other expenses that the tenant is responsible for while renting your place.

Dealing With Damages

Laws vary by state to state, but California’s civil code in real estate law book states that you, as a landlord of Salinas property, can apply security deposit for cleaning, against unpaid rent, covering damages and much else. You don’t have to distinguish two or more separate deposits for these purposes. So, if a tenant uses moving out as an opportunity to leave behind unwanted items that need hauling to the landfill, or if only a partial rent payment is made, you can cover these expenses plus additional related cost through security deposit. Some landlords collect first and last month’s rent along with security deposit at the time of lease sign up. This could be a significant amount in the eyes of the tenant, but it’s the only way to protect yourself from huge losses down the road.

Hiring Salinas Property Management Company

If dealing with tenants all by yourself is too tiring, hire a property management firm like Coast & Valley. This will allow you to insulate yourself from dealing directly with annoying tenants as well as protecting your assets from destruction. Property management firms like Coast & Valley take care of all the needs related to rental properties, such as screening tenants, paying utility bills, collecting rents and deposits on time, advertising property, even following up with the tenant for payment of damages and related expenses after move-out. When a tenant becomes a problem or repairs, which the tenant is responsible for, go unpaid, a trusted management firm will offer the same level of care and concern as you, the landlord, would.