California has one of the lowest homeownership rates in the nation, but that doesn't mean smooth sailing for landlords. With rising rental prices and limited options, tenants are left frustrated.
If you're struggling to find and keep good tenants, you may want to examine your own practices before blaming bad tenants. Proper lease enforcement can protect your investment while easing tensions before they get out of hand.
Read on to learn how to handle lease enforcement in Covina, CA.
Start With Clear Language
Before you can practice good lease enforcement, you need a solid foundation. Your lease should clearly outline things like:
- The duration of the lease
- The cost of rent
- When rent is considered late
- Penalties for late rent
- Tenant maintenance expectations
- Noise policies
Always make sure that your lease does not violate any California laws. For example, you can't ask tenants to sign a lease forbidding them to take you to court for violations of their rights.
Practice Equal and Consistent Lease Enforcement
The last thing you want is to be accused of violating the Fair Housing Act and other tenant protections. The best way to avoid accusations of discrimination is to practice consistency with lease enforcement. In other words, if you crack down on excessive noise in one of your units, don't let excessive noise in another unit go without comment.
If you aren't quick to address lease violations, you may also send a signal that you don't care about them. It's far less effective to tell a tenant they need to pay rent on time if you've let it slide without penalty for several months in a row. When it comes to maintenance-related violations, conduct regular inspections so you know what's going on at your property.
Make Tenant Participation Easy
Using a tenant portal can make it much easier for tenants to keep up with the rules of your lease, in the first place. For example, tenants can schedule automatic rent payments to prevent missing rental deadlines. They can also reference a digital copy of their lease if they're not sure what your rules are about things like painting the walls or hanging pictures with nails.
A tenant portal can also create a paper trail in the event that problems do arise. If you use your portal to communicate, you can access any messages between you and your tenant about previous requests you've made. If they continue to violate your lease after being asked to make changes, you may have grounds for legal action.
Improve Your Covina Rental Property Management with PMI
California is home to a higher percentage of renters than most other states. While that gives landlords a large pool to choose from, it doesn't solve all landlord tenant problems. Lease enforcement can protect landlord rights and, when done well, improve tenant relations.
Do you need help managing your Covina rental properties? PMI offers customizable property management services, from tenant screening to tenant relations. Let us know how we can help you get more out of your investment.