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

Call 408-559-5649

Call 408-559-5649

What Property Managers Must Know About Fair Housing Laws, But Are Afraid To Ask

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

Fair housing laws were implemented in the U.S. during the Lyndon Johnson Administration of the 1960s to help prevent discrimination towards minority and underrepresented groups in housing or renting.  Some fifty years later we are still faced with it on a daily basis.

According to recent data there were close to 30,000 housing discrimination complaints filed in the U.S. in 2012, which is an increase of nearly 5% from 2011.  As a property manager or a property management company it is paramount to understand these basic fundamental laws to avoid any violation and potential liability for you and the property owner.

Property Managers Need To Be On Lookout for Potential Water Intrusion Issues

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

During winter and rainy months property manager and professional property management companies need to be mindful of potential water intrusion problems with each and every property in their portfolio.  Many buildings start leaking right after construction, but do not manifest the water intrusion and building damage until years after the leakage has started.  Water intrusion can lead to structural damage, rot, mold, termite, sick building syndrome and eventually significant mitigation repair costs.

A prudent property manager will spend time during periodic inspections of the property to help prevent these issues from occurring and also ferreting out any existing and ongoing issues.  A property owner should expect nothing less from their property manager.

California Water-Saving Plumbing Law Effects Investment Properties

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

A California law enacted in 2009 is finally taking effect and causing concerns among property owners, sellers, buyers, and realtors.

California Civil Code Section 1101.4 requires owners of single-family residences which were “built or available for use on or before January 1, 1994” which will be altered or improved on or after January 1, 2014 to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures only when the existing plumbing fixtures are “non-compliant” by certain dates specified below.

A noncompliant plumbing fixture is defined by California Civil Code Sec. 1101.3 as:

The Real Property Management Issue is Education

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

The Conundrum of Investment Properties

Investors seeking diversification have frequently turned to a rental property or a collection of rental properties to even out and spread risk across their investment portfolios.  As with any investment people should consider all of the issues, problems, and pitfalls along with the potential returns.

Unfortunately, a lot of investors aren’t aware of the potential problems and do not take the time to investigate these issues before they close escrow.  A property management course and a course in basic real estate investment would be great investments of time for someone considering rental properties as a source of investment income and long-term investment.  Some of the problems and concerns are discussed below.

Screening Tenants and Reporting Credit Issues Requires Care and Intelligence

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

Property managers, or rental owners who manage properties on their own, who fail to take the necessary precautions when screening tenants are asking for headaches and potentially long down time for their rental properties.  Cutting corners in this process is a nightmare waiting to happen which will only increase the amount of time one will spend in pursuit of quality long-term tenants and diminish overall return on investment for the portfolio.

Today, background check screening software available from a professional property manager can quickly and accurately paint the prospective tenant’s employment background, criminal record (if any), eviction record (if any), and credit history.  Without using a professional property manager to help in this process is like dancing on a tightrope which could lead to problems.

Property Managers Must Know the Contractors They Refer to Their Clients

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

In addition to having one’s own list of construction trade vendors professional property managers get bombarded with numerous requests by their clients for the names of contractors; floor guys, cabinet guys, tile guys, plumbers, electricians, handymen, etc.

Before a true professional property manager refers any contractors or any vendors to their clients it is important to make sure you know who they are. Property managers and property management companies should seriously consider asking the following simple but extremely important questions below before referring contractors or vendors to their clients, or even before hiring them to do work on their clients’ properties.

California Multi-Family Residential Real Estate Building Signage

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

California multi-family rental home owners and property managers need to be educated about appropriate ‘Signage’ for their properties.  The following is a concise list of typical signage at multi-family buildings, rental properties, and neighborhoods.

Responsible Person (At Property) Signage

For 4-15 unit residential properties, if the home owner does not live on-site, a sign must be posted showing the name and address of the property “responsible person”. California Code of Regulations Title 25, Section 42 reads in pertinent part, a supervisor, a manager, a janitor, a housekeeper, or other responsible individual shall live upon the premises and shall have charge of every apartment building in which there are 16 or more apartment houses, and of every hotel in which there are 12 or even more visitor rooms, in the event that the owner of any such apartment house does not live on the premises.

What the Law Requires Property Managers to Know About Lead-Based Paint

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

Lead, (Pb on the Periodic Table from Chemistry 1A), has been an integral part of human existence for thousands of years.  It has been very useful and instrumental in the development of plumbing, waste disposal, and water diversion systems from early civilizations.

Most importantly lead-based paint was used prolifically up until 1978 to paint the homes, dwellings, and buildings of the United States.  It is estimated that 38 million homes in our country have some form of lead-based paint in the interior or exterior.  Although lead has helped advance our human cause it has also presented hazardous health side effects which required laws restricting its use and requiring disclosures.

Property managers, landlords, and owners who rent for a fee must be aware of the requirements set forth by State and Federal Law before renting, leasing or even selling a property built prior to 1978.

What California Law Requires Property Managers to Know About Smoke Detectors and Smoke Alarms

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Property Management

If you manage properties or rental units for a fee, or you are an individual who rents properties or rental units to people/tenants for a rental fee or leasing fee you should pay attention to what the law requires when it comes to smoke detectors or smoke alarms.  As a landlord you are responsible to know the law; ignorance is no defense to a wrongful death lawsuit or serious fire causing major property damage.

Smoke alarms and smoke detectors are critical residential components which must be handled with care and diligence as they are life-saving and property-saving devices which must not be taken lightly.  The undertaking of managing properties is wrought with legal pitfalls and unknown obstacles, however understanding the law is paramount to being a fiduciary for your client, or being on the right side of the law if something goes wrong.  A new 2014 law in California implements some standards which all property managers and property owners who rent to individuals must be aware of and abide by.

Attorneys’ Fees, Property Managers, Landlords and Tenants

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in For Tenants, Property Management

The American rule for attorneys’ fees is that each party bears its own attorneys’ fees and costs unless otherwise specified by contract or statute.  When a contract or statute specifies that the prevailing party is entitled to their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, assuming the matter is litigated to conclusion by a court or a jury, the prevailing party can then make a motion for their attorneys’ fees and costs (Motion for Attorneys’ Fees).  The motion is then taxed (Motion to Tax Costs), or opposed, by the opposing party by paperwork, a declaration, and exhibits.

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