As a new landlord, you’re still learning the ins and outs of property management. Wherever you pick up new advice, know that nothing compares to advice from seasoned property owners.
An important piece of advice for new Sacramento landlords is being cautious leasing to cannabis growers. More property owners are requiring cannabis appeals and cannabis attorneys because of their tenants’ illegal grow costing them a six-figure fine. Many times, they had no idea their tenants were growing.
Additional advice includes these 3 proven tips:
1. Document your rental unit before your tenants move in and out
Before accepting your tenant’s signed lease, walk them through the unit as you take photos or video of the current condition. If they claim damage was there before moving in, you’ll have physical proof against their word.
The best way to make sure nothing is left undocumented it to go through a checklist as you walk through the unit. Should your tenant eventually move out, do a final documented walkthrough. Take note of the repairs and the costs with them present, so they can’t claim they weren’t notified of their security deposit not being refunded in full.
2. Keep open communication
California law forbids general inspection of rental property. The only times you can enter are in emergency situations, to make repairs, or with your tenant’s invitation. However, don’t expect your tenants to always contact you when something’s amiss. They might be intimidated to bring up property damage.
They’ll be more comfortable reporting if you keep open communication with them. Ask if there are any issues and list specific events. For example, are the cabinets closing properly? Are the pipes rattling? Are any of the electrical outlets broken? This tells the tenants that should the following occur, they can speak up.
3. Have the proper insurance
Check with your insurance provider to see how far your existing homeowner’s insurance extends. Most don’t cover tenants, so you’ll want to get landlord insurance that includes property and liability protection. Property protection covers the cost of repairing after damage from weather and climate, while liability protection covers the medical cost if someone sues you after getting injured on your property.
Additional coverage options include acts of nature protection for coverage in the event of earthquakes and hurricanes (but typically doesn’t include flooding), and is recommended for property in at-risk areas. You might also be interested in rent loss protection, which provides financial support if your property becomes unlivable.