The final weeks of Summer are almost certainly the hottest. As California continues to conserve water and energy resources, it is important to take note of the various repercussions this current Drought can have on your property. While cities begin formal implementation of “Watering Days” to limit the dates and times you are legally allotted to hydrate your landscape areas, it is clear that the status of water in our State is becoming an increasingly precious commodity. Water providers including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have introduced Tiers with increasing prices per unit of water. Both of these factors are the grand contributors to the dry, browning appearance of many lawns, yards, and common areas. Being that the severity of this use limitation continues without a definite end in sight, many are now opting for drought friendly designs to help maintain curb appeal. If you are in process of revamping your exteriors, consider using plants, succulents, and flowers specifically inclined to live in high heat, low water environments. These previously overlooked alternatives are now proving valuable as attractive, cost effective solutions to current constraints. Maximum Realty and Property Management is equipped to advise you on such changes and provides analysis on whether these such changes would reap long terms benefits to the management of your property.
As we approach the end of Summer and beginning of Fall it is important to consider how a sudden change in weather may affect your property. One of the most common complaints a property manager may receive with the onslaught of dipping temperatures are an increase in Pests on site. As natural to any animal instinct, a cold Autumn night is reason enough to search and even pry into a warmer, more cozy environment (i.e. your building!). Loose screens, unmaintained door thresholds, misaligned doors/doorways, and other seemingly minor results of normal wear and tear are often the chosen route by vermin and insects alike into an apartment or home. These openings give just enough opportunity to gain entry and cause damage or infestation to the property as well as personal property of the tenant. Additionally, common areas such as Laundry and Recreational rooms that are not properly equipped with closers on each door, sealed window edges, and secure door thresholds, etc., are vulnerable to stray cats, possums, and raccoons, etc. Avoiding material damages is key, but so too is the importance of Tenant safety. Any animal seeking shelter may be startled by an unsuspecting Tenant, with results that could be dangerous for you as property owner. Variables to predicting a potential pest problem include age of property, soundness of construction, and, perhaps most importantly, cleanliness and responsible nature of Tenants. Unfortunately, if the arena includes poorly constructed premises with less than hygienic Tenants you may be looking at a more involved approach to preventing and treating pest issues.
As best means to prevent these issues, we recommend proactive walkthroughs to inspect the property for anything that may pose an issue in the upcoming Fall and Winter months. Small adjustments to existing structures can make for large improvements and safeguards for both Owners and Tenants alike. Pests live up to their name- they can certainly pester! However, in most cases, with proper preparation Maximum Realty and Property Management can help you avoid many significant setbacks.
As we near the Thanksgiving Holiday, it is certainly of great importance to GIVE THANKS for the beauty in our world. As days get shorter and lists of Things To Do get longer, taking a minute to appreciate can change perspective as well as allow for more detailed planning for the coming New Year. Our last blog centered on the importance of keeping a close eye on Mother Nature and performing proactive duties to protect the health of your property. Another important point is to ensure that your Insurance plan coverage is both thorough as well as tailored to the specific location/geographical needs of your property. For example, a property located in South Pasadena will likely not require high coverage for Damage Caused by Aircrafts as, say, a property within 5 miles of Los Angeles International Airport. Similarly, a home nestled in beautiful San Marino may not need as much protection for Hillside Mudslide Risk as a property in the hills of Studio City. With regards to the units we manage, a home or property in sunny Southern California can probably forgo the cost of Snow, Sleet, and Ice insurance more so than you would in Illinois' Windy City. Having the knowledge and wherewithal to discern what you need and what could save important money is part of our responsibilities as Property Managers. As part of our commitment to you as Owner, our work centers on not only streaming Tenant Relations but assessing the effectiveness of fiscal commitments including your Insurance responsibilities. If you have any questions on how we can advise your Insurance Policies for your income properties contact us!
As the Holidays steadily approach there are a few key points all Owners should keep in mind to maintain the health and happiness of properties and tenants alike. The first on our list this year is preparation for the weather system known as El Nino. As forecasters predict records inches of rain fall it is imperative that Owner and Property Managers alike begin proactive maintenance and repairs to help heed off any unnecessarily catastrophic events. First and perhaps most important of these measures is the inspection and repair of all Gutter and Drain Systems on premises. A quick fix to either of these items can be an affordable, relatively quick procedure and save countless dollars in the future. Next, the state of every Roof including Roof Access area, doors, and locks must absolutely undergo inspection. Being that Roofers are in tune to the high demand for their services during Rainy season, it is in an Owner/Managers interest to book these appointments far in advance to ensure that the roof in questions receives the necessary attention as well as to provide adequate time to address any unexpected, dormant issues. The condition of your Roof effects a vast amount of maintenance issues within a property including, but not limited to, wall conditions, plumbing, flooring, electrical hazards, and more. Not to mention the irate tenants that will result from a leaky roof and subsequently damaged belongings. At Maximum Realty and Property Management, you can rest assured that our schedule of proactive maintenance is in use every day to keep your property in top shape. And, to be completely honest, there are times that relationships and networks alone may be what an Owner or property needs to expedite the pr
There are a number of situations in which an unsuspecting Homeowner may Lease or Rent a unit without the proper legal documents. Family obligations, friendly gestures, or simple misunderstanding of how to best protect yourself as the sole proprietor of a property are just a few ways the terms of a tenancy can become tricky. It should be noted that the first and perhaps most important advice any property manager will give is to ensure that any Leasing is documented in hard copy form with proper dates and signatures. Communication is the key! Clearly outlining terms, conditions, and expectations for the duration of tenancy as well as ensuring that all pertinent parties are informed of these requirements is always the preferred way of avoiding legal troubles in the future. It is helpful to include specifics such as rent due dates, late fee and pet policies, a list of the personal property of the owner that may remain within the unit, warranties-or lack thereof- on appliances, and notes on the use of security deposit are just a small example of what your fully encompassed lease should include. The Lease Agreement supplied by the MAXIMUM Team is a document 15 years in the making and covers these aspects and more. Our strength is in our experience and the invaluable document editing we apply to all of our contracts reflect the ever changing tenant-owner landscape. At MAXIMUM, protecting you and your investments is our highest priority.
The importance of finding the right tenant for your property is immeasurable! The right tenant can make or break the success of your building and affect your revenue, neighbors, and peace of mind. Just as a good tenant can help improve living conditions, a poorly selected one may sometimes negatively influence your environment. As precaution, tenants should always be selected only after successfully passing a series of requirements and qualifications. The MAXIMUM team selects tenant based on a tried and true formula that goes far beyond a simple credit check. Checking and doubling checking a number of factors including pay scale, yearly income proof, bank statements, previous rental history, previous work history, work and personal references, and more are just a quick glimpse of our process to ensure the best tenancy fit. At MAXIMUM, we know the urgency that follows a vacant unit and with our expertise utilize a number of innovative avenues to get you the absolute, perfect fit. Smarter screener, better results.
One of the most important aspects in Property Management is maintaining and repairing properties with precision and care. The importance of Maintenance excuted with clear attention to the task at hand is priority. However, it is also beneficial to be proactive in Maintenance and anticipate large scale problems before they manifest into a costly, labor intesive project. A management team of excellence the likes of our own at MAXIMUM know the exact steps and precautions necessary to avoid the dreaded worst case scenario events that may plague buildings managed by less experienced and knowledgable staff. Our office will:
1. Perform routine inspections of all units to ensure Tenant compliance with Lease Terms.
2. Assess and address any looming or potential Safety or Fire Hazards.
3. Utilize knowledge of commonly experienced issues to proactively circumvent maintenance and repair issues.
4. Supervise all Vendors from start to finish.
5. Keep clear records of all invoices and receipts as well as provide and store photos of projects "Before and After".
6. Obtain owner approval for any request if so noted in the owner file.
7. Maintain knowledge and record of any City Ordinaces affecting both the Interior and Exterior of any property and perform tasks accordingly.
Maintenance is key in protecting your investment. The MAXIMUM team will ensure the above points are greatly taken into consideration to provide you the highest peace of mind.
Many view the management of HOA properties as a great asset to any management portfolio. We at MAXIMUM agree! Our services extend well beyond the scope of the Single Family Home and Apartment Building realms with skills encompassing the needs of both HOA Associations and Individual Condominium Owners. The highest goal? To help provide a most comfortable living environment while protecting a most important investment. There are many rules and regulation tailored specfically to HOA's, however, that an owner and management team must be kept current on to ensure a safe, legal premises and transactions. An article in today's LA Times (link posted below) discusses the first question in our upcoming series of Blog posts titled HOA Management: Rules to Live By. Namely, how much infleunce does an HOA Association have concerning an Owners right to Lease his or her own unit. In sum, there are indeed some HOA's that require a full screening and approval of any tenant living on premises. That said, it may be in your by-laws and regulations that the community of owners must approve of the incoming tenant. This is a practice in many high-end communities with high profile residents. More common is the requirement set forth by Civil Code section 4740(d) which states that before renting or leasing your properties, "an owner shall provide the association verification of the date the owner acquired title to the separate interest and the name and contact information of the prospective tenant or lessee or the prospective tenant's or lessee's representative." Further, an owner may be penalized for failing to provide this information by the required date. The specifics of this goes beyond a simple blog post and at MAXIMUM we take this concern from your hands. Our team specializes in keeping current with any information pertinent to the leasing of Condominiums- its that much less to worry about.
LA Times Link:
As the first quarter of our year comes to a close changes in the Real Estate Market can create an unfamiliar climate for even the most seasoned of Real Estate investors. However, it is important to keep conscious of a terrain that, though unpredictable, can be molded to increase your own portfolio. As our year moves along we now see some of the lowest interest rates in years. Currently, Freddie Mac offers a 30 year fixed mortgage rate at only 3.5%. Will low, affordable rates like this the time to act for the betterment of your investments may be closer than you think.
Link: LA Times Article on Freddie Mac Interest Rates.
An at times unavoidable aspect of property ownership and management is the issue of unit vacancy. We here at Maximum Realty and Property Management strive to meet these challenges with dedication. In aiming to keep your property at top performance level at all times, our leasing department takes immediate charge of any questions of tenancy to get you the best results. Our advertising strategy includes placing listings on a wide array of online databases and search engines along with pictures and specs as well as utilizing the tried and true method of placing rental/leasing signs on the property itself. Open House opportunities and the scheduling of property showings ensure that all units are shown under the supervision of our team. The final and most important aspect of leasing at Maximum Realty and Property Management is our extensive credit and employment check on each potential tenant. Utilizing the services of Experian and others, we here at Maximum strive to fill your vacancy quickly, responsibly, and to the best of our professional abilities.