No Hidden Fees

We have all had the experience of finding out about hidden fees too late. The Rental Source prides itself on being honest and straightforward. Whether it’s property management, relocation services or sales and acquisition services, The Rental Source knows no other way to deal with its clients.

In this video, Kent makes two other points. First, pricing is important. It is the difference between getting a tenant or not. The Rental Source is a group of experts on fair market value. Pricing should always adjust to the market: “not too high, not too low.”

Secondly, some income property owners may ask, what happens if tenants stop paying rent? Kent answers by saying that bad tenants at The Rental Source is “very, very, very rare.” This is due to the fact that The Rental Source is careful in how it matches landlords with tenants.

– The Rental Source




Property Management at The Rental Source

In this video about Property Management at The Rental Source, Debbie fills us in on the advantage of having a property mangager to handle all the necessary tasks that come with owning small income property. Whether it’s a city mandate or tenant requests, The Rental Source can take care of it.

Debbie puts it in the simplest way possible when she says that the “landlord is outsourcing their responsibilities to us.” Less work for more income is of course a nice way to live, but maintaining a property and communication with tenants is not always as smooth as it should be. With The Rental Source, a landlord can be involved as much, or as little, as he or she wants.

– The Rental Source


Property Management for Small Property Owners

The small property owner can find it difficult to find an affordable and reliable property manager in the Bay Area. This sometimes forces the small property owner to become a property manager. The horror stories are everywhere. Landlords can suffer from bad communication with tenants which creates disagreements. In addition, landlords may not have the time or resources to run proper credit and background reports on their tenants.

The Rental Source makes it a point to ensure proper relationships between tenants and landlords. As Damon, General Manager, puts it, “tenant/landlord relationship should be a good one.” He goes on to say that when tenants and landlords are happy, their relationship “shouldn’t be a contentious one.” With 17 years of experience, Damon and the Rental Source know a thing or two about property management for the small property owner and proper communication with tenants.

Throughout the years, The Rental Source has realized that landlords sometimes want more than just property management; sometimes they want to sell their property or talk about special issues with their property. Damon reminds us that The Rental Source is somewhat of a one-stop-shop:

“Sometimes they might need a special consultation, sometimes they might want to buy another income property or to sell the income property they have. Either way, we have expert people who are involved that can help with that.”

Rents in the Bay Area are of course, skyrocketing. Some landlords are thinking about buying a new property. The Rental Source can connect those landlords with their own clients who wish to sell. Higher rents means renters may find it beneficial to buy. This is one reason why The Rental Source opened up its Sales department. To learn more about how The Rental Source is utilizing its experience in property management with sales, click here.


Renters Want To Buy

The first thing anyone wants to know when renting or selling their property is to know what the price tag should be. As Joann from the sales department points out, The Rental Source provides its clients with “a free market analysis.”

It is no secret that apartments for rent in San Francisco and the surroundings are going up. Some people find the investment in buying a home, rather than renting one, a worthy one. The great tenants at The Rental Source may at one point decide to buy. Joann believes there’s an advantage in having access to a community of landlords and tenants, as The Rental Source clearly does:

“There’s an advantage: that we have our own clientele.”

She mentions that the opportunity exists for an owner to be ready to sell and a tenant to be ready to buy. A win-win situation! This opens up a question: if a tenant decides to buy, an owner may be losing out on monthly income, right? Not quite. The Rental Source will make sure to fill the gap with another qualified tenant.


An Exciting Time for Income Property Owners

An income property owner’s dream: great tenants. Lucilla from The Rental Source explains that she is saying an influx of almost over-qualified tenants from all the corners of the world. Silicon Valley is a major source of good paying jobs in the Bay Area and it shows.

Another dream come true for the small property owner is that it is increasingly easy to find a new tenant after their property has been vacated. Lucilla explains how much clients appreciate this:

“They really appreciate [our effort] when we have to lease the property again, when it’s vacated. So, we try to get the best tenant possible.”

She reminds us that although the primary clients of The Rental Source are the small property owners, The Rental Source aims to provide “excellent service to the tenant and to the landlord.”

To learn more about Property Management at The Rental Source, click here.

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Win-Win!: A Laundry in Your Rental Property

Some landlord-owners of small residential buildings do not have laundry facilities on the premises. In some cases, there never was a laundry, or in others the landlord felt it would be just another thing that had to be fixed, and so removed it.

Landlords, though, should realize that having a laundry on the premises is almost always worth the expense. Why is that?

Well, my first rule of landlording is, “thou shalt always provide a rental that thou shalt wish to live in”. So, would you like to live in a home without a laundry? I think not, and tenants actually do think like you too! A tenant will pay more for a home with this amenity.

Oh, well, maybe if you are prohibitively rich, and you simply send out your laundry, whether you take it all to a cleaner, or a wash-and-fold laundry that are common in urban areas. Or, maybe you are a young, 20-something, where going to a laundromat is actually a social event. And even if you do use a laundromat, you better stick around all the while, you may have a few hundred dollars of clothes in those washers, the price of clothing today. But really, it is primitive, time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient to do your laundry.

As a landlord, having a washer/dryer translates to more desirability, which means higher rent, and a more stable tenancy, since it provides an important service, that perhaps another landlord would not provide.

With this logic in mind, I would advise any landlord who does not have a laundry to think again. It is a huge issue with many tenants, and an absolute essential for any upscale tenant. Sure there is some initial investment for bringing the utilities to the laundry location, and the appliance cost, but this is a long-term investment that should pay dividends a long time.

For a single family home, it is normal to provide either washer/dryer or hookups for same. For a multiple unit building, it is normal to have a coin operated appliances (this can also be a great income source).

If you do not have a laundry facility in your rental, you really should give this some serious thought, and realize how it can really be a winning decision for both you and and your tenant.

Coming to a blog soon: It’s Here! The Coin-Operated STACKING Washer AND

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Tenants Having a Party!

Parties Do Happen. Sometimes landlords like to think of a tenant as in a parent-child relationship; they are always limited in what they can and should do at all times. While there is some truth to this attitude, there are natural human tendencies, on the tenant’s part, to do normal human things, like have friends visit, to socialize, and have fun.

One of our basic rights in this land is the right to freely associate with people of our choice, and to have them come to our homes and visit. In this case, I’m not considering “overnight guests”, but people who come, visit and leave. When we have a number of folks like this at one time, we sometimes call it a party.

Party Etiquette in regards to “the landlord”. Parties are meant to be relaxed and fun, welcoming people into your home, having some good laughs, good food, some great people experiences. Tenants, however, need to be aware of two potential problems: the landlord, and the neighbors.

Besides the rent, the landlord is concerned with keeping the property in good condition and keeping the peace with the neighbors. The neighbors, whether the house next door or the apartment next door, are concerned with their right to “quiet enjoyment”. To avoid problems, it is important that the tenant address these factors straight-on; it will make for better party and happy neighbors.

Tips to Avoid Problems. A lot of what you do with your party is common sense. Keep it under control, be ready to have guidelines should anything or anybody get out of control. Control any possible unruly guest, noise or visual factors so neighbors’ eyebrows stay unraised. The best parties are the ones that are a little on the edge, but not crossing over.

Protect the premises and the property as if it were your own, and speak up to your guests if somebody gets out of line. If the party is has a lot of guests, be sure to inform your immediate neighbors of what is going to happen, in advance, and the hours. If you are friendly with your neighbors, you might even want to invite them!

If the party is exceptionally large, there may be a need sometimes to inform your landlord as well, to let him/her know that you are simply enjoying their place, your wonderful home, and that out of respect you’re letting them know what’s up.

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Upgraded Amenities Can Cause Headaches

The decision to add special amenities to a rental property may seem a great idea. You think it’s a way to attract a more discerning tenant, one who may be so very happy to have those little extras, like a garbage disposal, icemaker, speaker and alarm systems. Happy tenant pays more rent, owner gets happy too, right?

Ah, be mindful, though, that one day those special devices will break and need servicing. Somebody has to pay for it, especially when the item is question is a little exotic, and if you’re a landlord, you realize that not only did it cost more than normal to purchase it, well now it costs a little more than normal to fix it.

In fairness, the tenant signed-on with the expectation that everything would be in working order at all times, so if that doorbell works but the little light in the button went out, as a landlord, you’re expected to fix it. That intercom system you installed? Now it has a scratchy sound when you listen to the audio, so open your wallet, my friend, you now need a special technician to come take care of it.

To think about, here are some examples of “upgraded amenities” compared to a simpler counterpart:

Dishwasher vs no dishwasher. They take a long time to run and baked on food still needs extra hand-scrubbing. Then they break….OY!
Lighted doorbell vs un-lighted doorbell. The difference in price is about a dollar or two, but a repair to the light could cost a ton more.
Icemaker in Refrigerator vs filling those ice trays. How necessary?.
Garbage disposal vs trash/composting. Bad for pipes, creates sludge. Disposals are prone to abuse, and jamming. If you have a garden, better compost!
Shower wand vs showerhead. Wands work great but hoses fail. A showerhead is almost forever.
Automatic Landscape sprinklers vs manual watering. Great if absolutely necessary, but don’t expect a tenant to understand these.
Kitchen sink faucet with built-in sprayer/hose vs one-spout regular faucet. Hoses often fail, and need replacement by a plumber.
Owner-paid internet vs tenant pay. Better tenant takes control here.
Owner provided washer/dryer vs bring-your-own. They will break at some point.
Automatic garage opener vs manual. Special Tech required.

While many of these amenities are standard expectations, some you might want to avoid. Certain ones might actually be a disservice to the tenant and landlord both, as some gadgetry is just too much trouble. They may take time to learn, extra time to operate, and then when they break, there is an inconvenience.

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Tenants and Landlords from Hell

In these days of being politically correct, one might say it is inappropriate to talk trash about tenants or landlords. They are all good people just trying to get along in this world, right? Um….well, in my many years of experience in property management, I’d say the word “all” in that sentence should be replaced.

Most landlords and tenants are fine. It is a good, honest business transaction that they have. One gives a product, housing, with all the included features. The other pays money, and agrees to abide by certain rules. In most cases it works out just fine. But enter the landlords and tenants from hell.

The exalted landlord starts from a logic that says “I will provide housing that I would be proud to live in. A basic premise of a LFH is the person renting from them is “just a tenant”, so the property doesn’t need to be anything special. The tenant is a troublesome creature who must be kept in line, antagonistically.

Looks at a landlord as wealthy and manipulative, and is always trying to do the minimum to get the maximum.
Has an entitlement attitude, any little thing must be fixed.
Feels that every problem should be fixed by landlord.
Feels that all disputes must involve a lawyer
Tenant speak: mildew is toxic mold, a puddle is a flood, a spark is a flame


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Tenant Noise Complaint Letter

Everybody makes noise, but occasionally some noise crosses the line. If a tenant has a habit of making excessive noise, that is a breach of one of the main principles of habitabiliity: “the covenant of quiet enjoyment” of one’s premises. The laws of the land protect such quiet enjoyment.

An initial reaction to a excessive noise complaint, when practical, would be to communicate verbally to the offender what the problem is. Something severely excessive or after hours miight entail a call to local law enforcement. However, a carefully worded letter to the offending tenant is an effective yet inexpensive way of ensuring compliance and cooperation. Here is a sample letter, that you are free to adapt to your needs, editing as needed.

Date June 6, 2012

From: Justin DaHood
Property Manager for 1234 Elm Street
9876 Main Street
Anytown USA

To: Johnny and Mary Noisemaster
1234 Elm Street, Unit 52
Anytown, USA

Re: Excessive Noise

Dear Johnny and Mary,

It has been reported, and documented, that excessive noise and disturbance has been coming from your rented premises at 1234 Elm, Unit 52, (describe, giving times/details). It is absolutely essential that all residents respect the right to quiet enjoyment of their neighbors, a right that is protected by law and by the covenants of your lease.

I ask that you respect the concerns of your neighbors and control the noise levels generated within your rented premises. If you do not do so, you will be in violation of your lease, and with local law, but more importantly, you will be disrupting the quiet enjoyment of your neighbors.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Justin DaHood