Landlords across the United States have several requirements they need to meet to continue renting to tenants. California has different rules and regulations when it comes to renting to tenants. Some of the issues California landlords face related to how much you can charge for a credit check and security deposit. Being a landlord in California can be complicated, which is why you may want to consider hiring a professional property management firm. Here are some of the things you need to know about being a property manager in Solano.
Understand and Comply with Anti-Discrimination Laws
Prior to advertising your rental properties, you need to understand the fair housing laws. Fair housing laws pertain to what you can say and do when you are finding tenants. There are specific questions you can ask on a rental application and you must abide by certain questions when you are interviewing people for apartments. If you do not know these laws, you will face lawsuits and discrimination complaints. For the most part, you can reject an applicant for bad credit history and similar factors, but you are not allowed to discriminate against tenants based on race, religion, sex, disability, and national origin.
Another thing to know is that California prohibits discrimination based on a person’s gender identity, sexual orientation, or public assistance receipt. If you need additional information on California discrimination laws, contact our Solano office.
In California, landlords need to follow specific charges. For example, you can charge $25 for a bounced check and then $35 for the second bounced check. You must provide three days notice to renters if they have not been able to pay rent. If they cannot pay this within three days, they face eviction. Rent control is enacted in several cities to make renting in California affordable.
Understand and Meet State Security Deposits and Rules
One of the biggest confusions between tenants and landlords is security deposits. You must understand California rule to know how to deal with security deposits. The deposit limits the two to three months’ rent. However, it changes to furnished properties. The best way to avoid disputes is to use a tenant-landlord checklist. When a person moves into the property, you can walk through it together and then again when they move out. As you are both on the same page for everything, it can eliminate disputes. Photographic evidence is a smart way to show a tenant the “before” and “after” look of the property when they move out.
Keep the Property Livable
If you want to continue being a landlord in California, you need to provide habitable housing. You must keep the rental premises livable. What this means is you must take care of important repairs as soon as possible. Certain repairs like a broken heating system need to be repaired immediately as it violates the habitable housing agreement.
Have a Legal Written Lease or Agreement
If you do not have a legal written lease or agreement, you will face serious problems. The lease or rental agreement keeps both parties safe. The agreement tells the tenant what they can expect in exchange for their monthly rent payments. There are legally required disclosures that must be part of the initial signing agreement. Failure to make tenants aware of things like bed bug threats or mold growth will lead to violations.
Respect a Tenants Property
You cannot barge into the property when it is occupied by the tenant. If you need to enter the rental for some reason, you need to provide 24 hours’ notice to the tenant. Including this information in the lease or rental agreement will help to avoid confusion. You need to follow specific protocol when it comes to tenant evictions and terminating a tenancy.
If you are confused about being a landlord in California, call Keyrenter today. We work with a variety of landlords throughout Solano to ensure they are in compliance with state laws.