LA County Landlord Mistakes that Cost More than Management Fees

At Bell Properties LA we know that many self-managing landlords in LA County don’t want to hire a professional property manager because they think it costs too much.

That’s a misconception because in fact, professional Southern California property management can lead you to more income and fewer expenses.

It also helps you prevent costly mistakes. Today, we’re looking at some of the most costly errors we see landlords make. These mistakes will cost you much more than a property management fee.

Placing Bad Tenants in Your LA Property

Qualifying good tenants is a critical part of owning a rental home.

The tenant you choose will impact whether you have a positive rental experience or a negative one. When you work with professional property managers, you have access to a lot of experience and resources that make the screening process more thorough.

If you cannot check nationwide eviction records and you’re not sure what to ask a former landlord, you could end up with a tenant who doesn’t pay rent, won’t take care of your home, and may need to be evicted. Screen your tenants thoroughly and consistently, and make sure you pay attention to all fair housing laws. If any of that will be an issue, contact a property manager.

Not Complying with the Law

Landlords have to follow fair housing laws. You have to know the timeline for returning a security deposit and you have to know the difference between a pet and a service animal. If you don’t know these things, you could find yourself paying thousands of dollars in fines. You could be sued by a tenant. You could even lose your investment home.

New laws in California have made it especially easy to make an expensive mistake. There are statewide rent control provisions, just cause eviction laws, and a requirement that you consider all Section 8 tenants for housing if they’re qualified.

When you don’t know the law, it’s easy to unintentionally break it.

Increased Vacancy Times

Most self-managing landlords have other responsibilities taking up their time, and they cannot be at the home to show it when it’s convenient for prospective tenants. Or, they don’t have access to the self-showing technology that has become so critical during the pandemic.

This can result in longer vacancy times, which are very expensive. You lose money when rent isn’t coming in, and that’s money you’ll never be able to recover. A single month of vacancy can cost more than a year of professional property management in LA County. If you cannot rent your house out quickly, turn it over to a professional.

Improper California Evictions

Improper California EvictionsRent collection has to be consistent and enforced. If you let your tenants pay late one month, they’re going to think it’s okay to pay late every month. The eviction process can also be tricky, especially now with a moratorium still in place for tenants who are financially impacted by COVID.

Many landlords make the mistake of taking their own measures to get rent paid or to evict a tenant. You cannot show up at the house and angrily demand payment. You cannot change the locks or turn the water off. You need to follow the legal process of collecting rent and evicting tenants. Otherwise, you’ll face expensive fines.

These mistakes are easy to make and they’ll cost a lot. If you’d like to talk about the value of LA County property management services, please contact us at Bell Properties.