1.)    RUN YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY LIKE A BUSINESS. Whether you are leasing to: a relative; a friend from the office; or someone you don’t know, keep your leasing on a professional basis. Establishing business rules and policies allows you to maintain objectivity and complete proper screening practices Follow through on these policies and practices with each and every applicant.

2.)    TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY.  Federal fair housing laws, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status, or handicap, applies when you advertise or lease a residential property. Although it is acceptable to ask questions about a prospective tenant’s rental history, current employment, and financial history, it is important to ask every applicant the same questions to avoid the appearance of discrimination.

3.)    USE THE PROPER FORMS. Although there are all-purpose lease forms that are available at office supply stores and on the Internet, it makes more sense to use a “current” lease tailored to your state laws.

4.)    MAKE YOUR LEASE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE. Spell out exactly what is expected of the tenant and what is expected of the owner. Who is going to mow the lawn, pay for the water or be responsible if problems are not reported in a timely fashion? How are emergency repairs handled? Etc.

5.)    PRE-PLAN FOR TENANT DEFAULTS. Your lease agreement should spell out all the particulars and penalties associated with non-payment of rent or other fees. It should state: when rent is due; where it must be paid; what late fees, NSF, bank fees, etc.  you will charge. It should also state at what point late payments will result in notices or legal proceedings relative to an unlawful detainer (eviction) action.

6.)    DON’T TREAT SECURITY DEPOSITS AS A POTENTIAL FOR PROFIT. Security deposits belong to the tenant and are being held by the landlord, or their agent, against those damages in excess of “normal wear and tear.”  Security deposits can’t be used to fund upgrades or place the property in a condition superior to what the tenant received it in.

7.)    DON’T BE FOOLED BY APPEARANCES OR A SAD STORY. A fancy car, lots of bling, fast talk and/or convoluted personal problems are not necessarily reasons to choose a tenant. In fact, they may be reasons to do just the opposite. Run a credit check; verify employment; contact references, as appropriate; and perform a personal interview where you go over the tenant’s application(s) and the requirements of the lease before you make or communicate any approval decisions.

8.)    PROMISE – FIRST REALTY / PRYOR AND ASSOCIATES CAN SUCCESSFULLY HELP YOU WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE.  Since 1982, First Realty / Pryor and Associates has helped hundreds – if not thousands – of rental property owners successfully manage their properties. Our job is to help those real estate investors whose business plan acknowledges the need for outside help and/or expertise by our:

  • Handling the day-to-day hassles and headaches of property ownership
  • Advertising vacancies to attract prospective tenants
  • Qualifying and investigating tenant’s credit
  • Preparing lease or rental agreements that actually comply with current California regulations
  • Collecting rents
  • Paying bills
  • Handling repairs
  • Maintaining proper records of income and expense
  • And much more…


Call us at 925-595-4188 or E-mail us at Mark@MarkPryor.com and use our skills, knowledge and expertise to successfully help you with your property management needs.


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