You don’t have to be an experienced real estate investor to understand the importance of protecting your San Diego rental property. There’s a lot of risk involved in renting out a home, and you want to be prepared for every possible threat.
When you think about protecting your investment, you need to consider how you protect it financially and physically. You want to keep it in excellent condition. You want to make sure rent comes in on time. And, you want to be sure that your tenants are taking good care of it and not causing damage.
There’s also the matter of disasters. How can you protect your property from fires or floods?
We’re sharing some of the best ways to protect your San Diego rental property and ensure you have a positive and profitable investment experience.
Purchase Adequate Insurance
The first step in protecting yourself and your property is to make sure you’re well-insured. You might need more coverage than you think. Talk to your insurance agent, especially now that home values have risen, and you would likely need more money to rebuild or make replacements.
A good landlord insurance policy is essential when you’re renting out properties. Insurance will cover your property and cover any repairs or replacements from covered losses. A comprehensive policy will include liability coverage. You should also consider loss of rent coverage so your income is protected if the property becomes uninhabitable.
When you own more than one building or a series of properties, an umbrella policy can be a great way to provide yourself with additional protection.
Always require renter’s insurance from your tenants as well. Your landlord policy will cover the structure of the home as well as any items that belong to you, such as appliances. However, it will not cover the personal property of your tenants. If a tree falls through a window and shatters a television or a leaking pipe damages furniture, your tenants will need their own insurance to recover those losses. Luckily, renter’s insurance is fairly inexpensive for your tenants. Include this requirement in your lease agreement.
Prioritize Preventative Maintenance
How can you protect the condition of your San Diego rental property? By keeping it well-maintained. This will require that you work together with your tenants. You’re not inside the property every day like they are. Make sure they understand the importance of reporting maintenance needs right away.
Be responsive. You’ll need a plan for immediate attention when there’s emergency maintenance needed, and it also helps to respond to routine repair requests with a sense of urgency. Leaving small problems to fester and grow will only create more frustrating and expensive repair situations. Protect your property from that deterioration and protect your bottom line from that shock.
Preventative maintenance can go a long way in reducing the number of emergency repairs you’re called to respond to.
Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced once or twice a year. This will reduce the chance that your heat runs out in the winter or your air conditioning fails in the summer. It also expands the lifespan of your most expensive items, like furnaces and air condensers.
Keep up with regular pest control.
Have your roof inspected annually?
Check the plumbing whenever you’re in the property. Look for drips and leaks behind toilets and under sinks.
A good preventative maintenance plan will protect your property’s condition and eliminate the need for costly repairs later.
Inspect Thoroughly and Routinely
In California, you are not permitted to make unannounced visits to your rental property. You cannot inspect the home for no reason when your tenants are living there. However, you can conduct maintenance checks, and we recommend you do that at least once a year. Schedule them in advance with your tenants and write them into your lease agreement so residents know to expect them.
This protects your investment property by ensuring that everything is working as it should. It also gives you the opportunity to look for lease violations. By walking through the home during the lease term, you can be sure the tenants are treating it well. You can also check for deferred or unreported maintenance issues. It’s a good opportunity to look for improvements and upgrades that may further protect the property and increase its rental value.
Screen Your San Diego Tenants Thoroughly
By placing good residents, you can protect your rental property.
The best tenants will pay rent on time every month and take care of your property.
Bad tenants have the potential to do damage. You need to protect your investment from tenants who will do it harm.
This starts with good tenant screening. Make sure you’re consistent and thorough, checking for prior evictions and current financials. You should run a credit check and if possible, talk to current and former landlords. This will give you a good idea about how the tenant you’re considering has treated rental properties in the past. Ask landlord references if rent was paid on time, if any damage was left behind, and whether the terms of the lease agreement were faithfully followed.
When you have the right resident in place, there’s less of a chance there will be late rent, evictions, and property damage to hurt your rental home and your bottom line.
San Diego Property Management Protects Your Investment
An easy way to protect your property is to work with an experienced property management team.
Your property managers can take care of the tenant screening and inspections for you. You won’t have to worry that your property is being mistreated or your investment is falling apart. Property managers will provide detailed inspection reports so you can see exactly how your property looks.
Protecting your investment is one of the most important roles of a property manager. When you’re looking for a partner, don’t settle for someone who is content to simply place tenants and collect rent. You want to know exactly how they’ll protect your property, through preventative maintenance, good screening, regular inspections, and constant attention to your property and the tenants who live there.
Would you like to hear more about how we can protect your investment property? Please contact us at North County Property Group. We’d be happy to tell you more.