Doing business in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties

Call 408-559-5649

Call 408-559-5649

New Inspection Requirements for California Balconies and Raised Decks

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Landlords, Property Management, Uncategorized

On June 16, 2015, a fifth-story exterior balcony collapsed at a popular apartment building named Library Gardens near the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of the incident, a group of Irish exchange students were gathering on the balcony celebrating a 21st birthday party. Unfortunately, six students perished as a direct result of the collapsed balcony and seven others were severely injured (many of these people were cousins from one family). After an extensive investigation it was determined that the cause of the collapse was defective construction, and defective building materials. The construction method allowed moisture to enter the balcony joists inside the building cavity, causing dry rot and eventually failed structural members. The California Contractor’s State Licensing Board revoked the license of the company that installed the balcony.  Diligent inspection and follow through by a competent property management team could have prevented this tragedy.

There were reports that evidence of dry rot had been observed on the balcony before this incident. Several lawsuits were filed and alleged that the building contractor Segue Construction used inferior composite wood in lieu of more robust pressure-treated structural members to construct the balcony. It was also alleged that one of the subcontractors allowed moisture to accumulate and saturate those failed structural composite members prior to closing up that balcony – thus encapsulating wet-wood members. It was also observed that mushrooms began to grow on the outside of that failed balcony as well as the fourth-floor balcony. Even though this information was brought to the property manager’s and building owner’s attention they elected to do nothing about it.  A 145-page report prepared by the Contractor’s State Licensing Board details the precise issues, defects, and negligence that led to this catastrophe.

Owners and Property Managers are Now Required to Perform Periodic Inspections of California Balconies and Raised Decks

In response to this tragedy, the California legislature passed SB 721 to impose additional inspection requirements on owners of buildings containing “exterior elevated elements,” such as raised decks or balconies. Building owners must obtain an inspection of the exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements. These inspections are now required to be performed by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official. The inspector must present its report to the owner of the building within 45 days of the completion of the inspection, and the owner must maintain copies of the report for 2 inspection cycles. Each inspection cycle is six years. A condominium conversion owner must obtain an inspection before the close of escrow.

If the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate hazard to the safety of the occupant, the inspection report must be delivered to the owner of the building with 15 day and emergency repaired be undertaken. Importantly, notice must be given to the local enforcement agency, or authority have jurisdiction. If repairs are not completed on time, the local enforcement agency or authority having jurisdiction my send a 30-day corrective notice to the owner of the building and assess civil penalties and liens against the property.

Contact Silicon Valley Property Management Group if You Have Questions or Concerns About this New Law

If you are a building owner with a raised deck or balcony you are now required to follow this new inspection law. Forward this article to your property management company so they are aware of these new requirements. If you manage your building yourself and would like additional information about this new requirement please don’t hesitate to reach out to David Roberson, Esq. at Silicon Valley Property Management Group or give me a call at 1-408-838-5113.

Hiring a Gardener to Trim Trees Might Expose Homeowners to Liability They Didn’t Bargain For

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management, Uncategorized, workers compensation

There is an old saying in the trades that goes something like this, “there is a high price to the low bid.”  Unsuspecting homeowners and property managers who hire independent contractors who subsequently get injured on the property could potentially be liable for the injured person.  California Labor Code Section 2750.5.  Several factors determine the ultimate liability, but I imagine this fact situation will make several of you reading this think twice before you hire your next tree trimmer.

The Law of Emotional Support Animals in Rental Properties

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management

Service Dogs are Paramount for People with Disabilities

Many of our clients desire tenants that don’t have pets for the obvious perception that pets cause more wear and tear on rental properties, however this is certainly not always the case.  Several times every year we encounter prospective tenants with emotional support animals, or people who claim they have emotional support animals.  It is both a sensitive and important topic which requires some cursory analysis and something that we cover with our clients during our initial meetings.  Believe it or not an emotional support animal is NOT a pet according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines and the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C.A. 3601 et. seq.).  Fair Housing guidelines require “reasonable accommodations” be made for persons with disabilities – and an emotional support animal (dog, cat, or other) is a type of assistance animal which meets this definition.  HUD is federal agency charged with marshalling the Fair Housing Act and investigates discrimination claims against landlords, property managers, among others.  It is of paramount importance that if you are a landlord or have hired a professional property manager to manage your properties that these laws are understood and complied with.

SVPMG Offers Property Management Performance Guarantees

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management

Property Management Performance Guarantees

Silicon Valley Property Management Group (SVPMG) offers Performance Guarantees for our clients and owners.  We are unaware of any other Northern California property management firm that offers similar guarantees.  The five (5) performance guarantees that SVPMG offers are; 1) Payment Guarantee, 2) Response Guarantee, 3) Fee Guarantee, 4) Transparency Guarantee, 5) Service Guarantee, 6) Satisfaction Guarantee – for a detailed breakdown of these guarantees go to and check them out.  Notwithstanding the fiduciary duties we owe to our clients per California law, owners and clients want peace of mind, they want to trust their property managers, they want complete transparency, and most of all they want guarantees.  We have tried to implement a guarantee for each critical component of the property management cycle.  We believe the most important guarantee is our response guarantee.  If a client or owner calls, texts, or emails us we guarantee that that inquiry will be responded to within 24 hours.  If we fail to respond within 24 hours we will not charge that client or owner for that month’s property management fees.  This guarantee is just as important to us as it is to our clients because we want everyone associated with the property to know that we are there for them with any and all questions.

It is a simple but paramount task for us to respond to our client or tenant inquiries in a timely manner.  In fact, most text messages are responded to within the hour – even if the response is “we need to do some checking or research before we get back to you later this evening.”  This guarantee is a very important cog in our business and we look forward to helping our clients and tenants each time they reach out to us as it is an opportunity to perform our duties.

Finally, since SVPMG is being paid to manage the client properties it is an imperative that we strive to offer the most comprehensive customer service experience possible in the property management space.  In addition to the performance guarantees SVPMG offers clients free legal advice with respect to their properties situated in California.  Owner/broker David Roberson, Esq. is a licensed California real estate attorney who practiced real property law at one of the most notable real property firms in Northern California.  David consults with clients on all real property questions, investment strategies, IRC Sec. 121 and 1031 exchange strategies, tax strategies, site development feasibility, complex transactions, among other things.  David has also written two books about real estate which you can find on and over 120 real estate blog articles which can be found at our website.

If you have real property questions call David today for an appointment or a confidential conversation 1-408-838-5113.


Monte Sereno – Luxury Country Community in Silicon Valley

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management, Silicon Valley Real Estate Investing

The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck while he lived in Monte Sereno

The small city of Monte Sereno, California is nestled in the northern slope of the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and is just ten miles away from San Jose and 50 miles away from San Francisco. It is shoe-horned between the desirable communities of Saratoga and Los Gatos, sharing public services and utility providers with Los Gatos.  Little traveled El Sereno open space preserve quietly overlooks and marshals the city limits.  Minutes from a convenient Silicon Valley commute, many top innovative minds, entrepreneurs, business professionals and executives call Monte Sereno their home. The entire city spans less than two square miles and consists of a quiet residential community of around 4,000 people with no commercial activity within city limits. However, due to sharing a zip code with the city of Los Gatos and being so close to other large cities, residents of Monte Sereno still have all the resources they need to live a comfortable, peaceful and safe life. These are all reasons why investors are focusing their attention on Monte Sereno for potential investment properties, and it’s expected this attention will continue to rise before it falls.

All About Los Gatos and the Rise of Investment Properties

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Landlords, Los Gatos, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management

The incorporated town of Los Gatos may not be known as widely as other areas in Santa Clara County, but it still has plenty to offer. It’s located just 60 miles from San Francisco, merely minutes away from San Jose, 20 minutes to Stanford University and is essentially a vital cog in the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. The beautiful landscape of Los Gatos is truly unique with a mix of flat topography and low-lying wooded hills with streams, creeks, a reservoir, and nature open space preserves scattered around the town.  Los Gatos is also 15 minutes to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (give yourself more driving time during the summer tourist season).  The Cats, Dio Deko, Los Gatos Lodge, Lexington reservoir, Testarossa Winery, and Netflix all call Los Gatos home.  Permanent residents, renters, rental property owners and investors all find Los Gatos to be attractive in one way or another.  It is by far a phenomenal place to invest in real property as it is as desirable as any enclave in Silicon Valley and continues to grow in both popularity and value on a seemingly daily basis. 

Pre-Market Rental Property Inspections Are Critical

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management, Silicon Valley Real Estate Investing, Uncategorized Rental property owners usually desire three things from the professionals helping them; trust, transparency, and guarantees.  Specifically, they want to know their properties are being taken care of properly by a trustworthy professional.  To accomplish that first goal SVPMG performs pre-market rental property inspections of the properties we are considering to represent to determine compliance with the California Habitability Standards and state building codes.  Most of our competitors don’t have the broad based experience and knowledge to competently accomplish this task.  Our principal owner/broker, David Roberson, Esq., is a former building inspector (certified in 12 separate and distinct building codes and standards) and has inspected over 2,500 single family residences, 12,000,000 square feet of new construction commercial space and is very knowledgeable about each and every building he inspects.  Having your rental property inspected prior to marketing and leasing it can save hours of troubleshooting and headaches after the tenant moves into the property.

New Garage Door Opener Law Goes in Effect July 1, 2019

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management, Silicon Valley Real Estate Investing, Uncategorized

Unfortunately, at least five souls lost their lives during the most recent devasting Northern California forest fires because their garage door openers did not function after power failed at their properties.  In an attempt to help prevent unnecessary loss of life in similar situations the California Legislature passed SB 969 which will take effect July 1, 2019.  The law effects any and all residential properties going forward because it imposes new requirements on all garage door openers installed into the future.  Homeowners, residential rental property owners and property managers managing rental units who are replacing automatic garage doors will now be required to install garage door openers with battery backup systems.

Contractors Can Not Under Report Workers Compensation Insurance Obligations

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management, Uncategorized, workers compensation

In the state of California, every employee (not a family member) working for a contractor must be covered by Workers Compensation insurance.  Not having proper Workers Compensation insurance in accordance with California Business and Professions Code Section 7125 et seq. can lead to serious ramifications for contractors, including having to pay back any compensation provided to them on any given project, no matter where the project is at in the construction phase.  California Business and Professions Code Section 7031 et seq.  Workers Compensation insurance is serious business in California and contractors must abide by the laws to avoid significant legal issues and potentially lose their license.  To defraud the state of California by failing to pay insurance for employees or under report the type of work or amount of work being conducted has equal penalties for contractors.  Importantly, consumers are the ultimate losers as insurance claims against uninsured or underinsured contractors end up being distributed to California citizens.

Rental Property Owners Achieve “Peace Of Mind” with Silicon Valley Property Management Group

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management

Rental Property Owners Desire “Peace of Mind”

At Silicon Valley Property Management Group (SVPMG) we provide professional property management of residential, commercial and retail properties in the greater Silicon Valley.  Most rental properties owners do not want to listen to tenant complaints, neighborhood squabbles, or hear about failed appliances.   In fact, landlord surveys suggest that owners merely want to collect rent, and ignore all of the other issues that come with owning rental or investment properties.  Many rental property owners seek help in the property management field once they have a bad experience with a tenant, or significant damage to the property.  The owner becomes anxious, fearful, and many decide they just do not want to deal with it anymore.  Thus, to eliminate those 3AM phone calls, the tenant nightmares, and the ongoing nagging maintenance problems with all buildings consider hiring SVPMG to give you Peace of Mind – knowing that your property is taken care of, that issues are being resolved, and that your tenants are being cared for without your involvement.  Additionally, we have a real estate attorney principal, David Roberson, Esq., who is available to consult with our clients on issues related to any properties they own in the state of California.  This value added service is virtually unmatched in Silicon Valley as no other property management company we are aware of has this service for their clients.  SVPMG service area cities include San Mateo, Redwood City, San Carlos, Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Monte Sereno.

Silicon Valley Property
Management Group

1900 Camden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124

We manage residential and commercial rental properties in San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos Hills and every point in between.

They get things done right and right away

Great services organization. They get things done right and right away, highly professional and no nonsense. I would highly recommend this firm for leasing or renting/selling a property.
- Eric Frazier
Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 1 reviews

CA RE Broker #01942886