State of California and City of Sacramento Ban Evictions Due to COVID-19 Financial Hardship & State of Emergency
Governor Newsom issued an executive order effective immediately (3/16/2020) that prohibits the eviction of residents who are unable to pay rent because of a substantial decrease in income. This order protects residents who are subject to a layoff, reduction in work hours, or significant out-of-pocket medical expenses as a direct result of Covid-19.
Moratorium on Bank Foreclosures
Also, the executive order requests financial institutions to implement an immediate moratorium on foreclosures, which may provide relief to rental owners who are unable to collect rent from their residents. This executive order expires May 31, 2020 unless extended by Governor Newsom.
Sacramento Issues Emergency Ordinance
The Sacramento City Council also implemented an emergency ordinance (also effective immediately) that places a moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent if residents demonstrate that the inability to pay rent is due to COVID-19. Residents must notify their landlord or Sacramento property manager in writing before rent is due, provide verifiable documentation of the reason, and pay the portion of rent that there are able to pay.
Unlike the statewide executive order, the moratorium on evictions passed by the Sacramento City Council only applies to rental properties within the city and will remain in effect until the termination of the local public health emergency is declared by the Sacramento County Public Health Officer. Once the public health emergency is over, residents have 120 days to pay all unpaid rent. The moratorium on evictions will end after this 120-day period.
Click here for the full text of Governor Newsom's executive order.
For more information about how to handle non-payment of rent during this pandemic or anything else related to Sacramento property management, please contact us at Sacramento Delta; we'd be happy to help.
Rental property maintenance requires responsiveness, budgeting, and a great network of professional vendors and contractors. All of us work at Sacramento Delta Property Management to ensure the properties we manage are well-maintained. Today, we’re talking a bit about our process as a professional property management company.
Working with Trusted Vendors
You need to always be on the lookout for good vendors. In our industry, if someone hears about a great vendor, everyone tries to get to them and they get booked up quickly. We’re constantly looking for competitive rates with our vendors, and we do work with some awesome long-term vendors. Many of our maintenance partners have even been with us for over 35 years. Some will only work with Sacramento Delta and smaller companies. This makes it easier to keep the rates low. They don’t have to advertise or market themselves because they get enough business from us.
Maintenance costs are always on the rise. We do our best to keep costs contained, but there is always inflation, and repairs and parts are not going to cost what they did five years ago. Many of our owners benefit from our discounted pricing negotiations with our best vendors. When you work with us, you get a much better price than you would if you were self-managing or getting your management services elsewhere.
Invoicing transparency is important to property managers. As an owner, you’ll receive the original invoice with the exact information from the vendor. There is no hiding anything and we don’t have any hidden costs or upcharges. The owner gets the exact original invoice and we only keep a copy of it for our records. Transparency is important and so is documentation. We like for each property to have a detailed record of exactly when and how things were repaired.
Comparing Maintenance Prices
We also have a long list of licensed and insured contractors to choose from for our bigger ticket items. We will always get second or third opinions when necessary. These vendors are insured and licensed and bonded, so if something is not done completely or correctly, we can always go back to them and have it handled. They are liable for the work that they do, and a lot of times we won’t even pay an invoice until we get a clear photo of the completed work.
For larger projects, we keep things as cost-effective for our owners as possible. We are always looking for ways to save money for our clients because at the end of the day, we want the best-case scenario.
It’s not uncommon for our clients to send one of their own vendors out to get an estimate after we have provided our own estimates. Usually, our vendors are more affordable.
Gathering competing quotes isn’t always possible. If it’s an emergency and a new furnace or HVAC system needs to be repaired immediately, we get it done because it’s a habitability issue. We can’t have tenants without a place to live.
In-House Maintenance is not Always Best
In-house maintenance is always an interesting process for repairs, and it has both benefits and drawbacks. There can be some pretty high bills when companies use their own maintenance teams. Having a neutral third party take care of these repairs will provide more accountability. And, it reduces liability.
The main goal is to get the item fixed, not to make additional money off our owners. Upcharges and additional fees just for coordinating maintenance is not something we agree with as a company. This is included in your management fee and should not be charged additionally.
We are very transparent, and we are never going to throw in hidden fees, especially for maintenance. Our clients also appreciate getting to know our vendors. They know our HVAC guy or our plumbing guy and they know they can trust the work.
At Sacramento Delta, we have a motto that deals with the four “F-s”. Those F-s are:
- Be Friendly
- Be Flexible
- Follow Up
- Fix the problem
If you’d like to know more about our maintenance process, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
**Please see our newest blog about changes to this information during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As professional property managers, we have some strategies for when tenants don’t pay rent. Sometimes, landlords want to jump straight to eviction. But, you really want to avoid eviction if you can. It’s costly and time-consuming.
Today, we’re talking about how we handle tenants who aren’t paying on time.
Property Management and Eviction
Eviction is always available to us, but we like to take steps to avoid that. Everyone has different circumstances that come up in their lives, and I think you do need to take that into consideration. You also want to stay compliant with fair housing laws.
A professional property management company understands the importance of treating all tenants equally. We work hard to communicate and maintain a positive relationship with all our tenants so that if rent doesn’t come in, we can call them and see what’s going on. It could have been an accounting error or something with the mail, but whatever the situation is, always give them an option to respond and at least rectify the situation.
Make sure all late fees are paid along with the rent if it is indeed late. If the tenants aren’t going to have rent for another two weeks, we always call the owner to figure out how that is going to affect their own finances. If you’re relying on that rent payment to make your mortgage payment, you may have a strong opinion on what we do next.
Three Day Notice and Payment Plans
There’s always an option to immediately serve the Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit and move forward with an eviction. However, sometimes it’s better to talk to the tenants and come up with a plan. It provides accountability to the tenants while avoiding eviction. Keeping a good tenant in place for the long term is always the best option for your investment. Some of our tenants have been with us for 10 years, and we don’t want to lose them over one month of late rent. When you evict, you have to pay eviction costs and worry about a vacant property. Tenants who run into temporary financial trouble appreciate when we’re willing to work with them to avoid the eviction process.
Another thing is if it is just a tenant that is delinquent on a regular basis and they are not ever going to be able to catch up, you may need to give them a change of terms. Give them a longer notice so they have time to prepare if they cannot rectify it instead of jumping right to the attorney. Unfortunately, this is also contributing to the housing crisis. But we do want to make sure our owners are getting paid and that tenants are held accountable to their lease terms.
Fair Housing Act
Always be fair and work with your resident. Try to understand their situation and where they are coming from before jumping right into the eviction process. We think you should always treat your tenant the way you would want to be treated.
The most thing that we stress is that the Fair Housing Act is important and cannot be violated. We can’t offer a payment plan to one tenant but not another. It’s the same with late fees; you cannot waive them for one tenant but enforce them for another. It sets up a presumption of discrimination.
Fairness is appreciated by everyone. So, set your standards and stick to them. Then, there are no questions asked. You have a happy owner and a happy tenant.
Choosing a property management company is an important part of your investment success. You want to work with a property manager who understands your goals and your needs as well as the unique needs of your rental property. Today, we’re sharing some things you should look for when you’re finding a Sacramento property management company.
Property Management and Property Type
You want a property manager who has experience working with properties like yours. Multi-family and single-family homes require different types of management. Every one of our California property managers does hold a license to sell real estate if we want to. But, instead of looking for a real estate agent, look for a property management company that understands your home and can help you execute effective rental management.
Transparency and Property Managers
Transparency is a big thing. Property managers and owners should always be 100 percent transparent with each other. You don’t want upcharges or invoices and statements that don’t make sense. Owners don’t want to see hidden fees or surprises. Communication is important in a property manager.
Legal Knowledge and Expertise
You also always want to make sure the different property managers that you are considering are all up to date on the current local, state, and federal laws. That will protect you from liability and lawsuits.
At Sacramento Delta Property Management, many of our team members hold board positions with our local NARPM chapter. This puts us in an excellent position for staying up to date on the current legislation. We know a little bit more than those around us.
With a position as the education chair on the board, we can collect and share all the available information regarding laws that have an impact on how we do our job for our clients. We also get to educate others on property management and the industry’s best practices. When you’re looking for a property management company, make sure they’re involved in NARPM and make sure they understand the laws.
These requirements change on an annual basis. A couple years ago, smoke detectors were required in all the bedrooms and the year before that we had carbon monoxide detectors required in the hallways. Now, we have to be careful not to use mini blinds with strings. There are constant changes within the market, and property managers who deal with that on a regular basis are always going to be in the know. So being up to date on education and actually having an agent that looks into your best interests as far as longevity for your property and the legal rights of their tenants is really important.
We always start the rental process by giving the owners and the tenants a document that informs them of what their rights are.
Check the Rental Agreement
When choosing a property management company, you also want to make sure that they have a flawless rental agreement. This is especially important if you already have a tenant in place and you are just choosing a property manager to take over. Update your rental agreement because there are new clauses that get added yearly.
Look for a Certified Residential Management Company, or a CRMC. Property managers who gain this certification have to go through audits and complete extra training to be given that distinction. It is a highly coveted honor and there are only a handful across the country who have this. We’re proud to be one of those companies.
Education is important with our team. You need to look for a property manager who never stops learning.
If you’d like more information about choosing a property manager, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Vacancies are extremely expensive for landlords, and if you’re working with a great property management company, you can count on some strategies to keep your vacancy rate low.
Today, we’re discussing how we prevent and reduce vacancies in the properties we manage at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Tenant Relations and Retention
Keeping tenants in place is an excellent way to reduce vacancy. This is why we are quick to build a strong relationship with our residents. Property owners and tenants have a partnership, and as property managers, we negotiate and facilitate that partnership. We are here to make sure things go smoothly and to take care of things inside the home. If we can accommodate your needs as an owner as well as the needs of your residents, we’ll reduce your vacancy. People undervalue their tenants sometimes, and that’s a huge mistake. These residents are paying part of your mortgage and helping you keep expenses down on your investment.
Provide a Rent-Ready and Well-Maintained Home
We always conduct an inspection before placing the property on the market so we’re sure it’s ready for great tenants.
The current condition has to be excellent. We look at cleaning, paint, flooring, etc. You don’t want to offer a home that isn’t move-in ready because a potential tenant is looking for their home. They want to be able to picture their family there or their friends there. They want to imagine their possessions inside that home immediately.
Make sure the home is rent-ready. Some people do not think having fresh paint on the walls is a big deal because new tenants will just hang things over the wall anyway. But, tenants notice the paint. Everyone has their own level of cleanliness, but you want to be able to eat off the floor when preparing for new tenants. You should walk into a bathroom and see the toilet sparkle and shine. Let prospective tenants envision themselves in that space. This will reduce your vacancy period.
Always have the place repaired and prepared. A tenant will not want to be told that the fence will be fixed before they move in or the walls will be painted. They might have heard that before from other landlords, and they won’t trust it. A property will sit on the market longer if the fence isn’t fixed and the walls aren’t painted.
The expectations are set from the beginning when getting a home rent-ready. You are setting a standard for the tenants when you provide a well-maintained home. If you provide a home that has clean carpets, fresh paint, etc., you are really going to have a tenant that values the time and energy you put into getting it ready for them. Cleaning is a one-time charge for the owner. After a tenant moves out, if they have not cleaned the home, they will be charged because cleaning is not a wear and tear item. So, having high cleanliness standards really pays off and the tenants will appreciate it.
We screen for the most highly qualified tenants. So, we want to provide a property that those tenants will want to live in. This keeps vacancy rates low.
Pay Attention to Property Pricing
Make sure the property is not overpriced. This can definitely cause long vacancy periods.
If the property has been on the market a few days and you haven’t heard anything or gotten any potential leads, get with your property manager about your price. We have had several properties in the same neighborhood just lingering out there for a while. They may all have different prices but sometimes there’s just no interest. So, we’ll adjust the price as necessary to try and get good tenants interested. Lowering the price will actually save you money because you’ll have a shorter vacancy period. A vacant home earns you no money.
If you’d like some help avoiding vacancy, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
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