Q: How Do You Handle Repairs?
A: When your tenant submits a repair request, our qualified staff will troubleshoot the problem and if the issue requires attention, a work order is sent to one of our preferred vendors, at which point you will be notified, via email, of the repair request. If a necessary repair is under $500, as agreed upon in your Property Management Agreement, it will be approved by our office. The repair will be completed, and you will receive before and after pictures along with the invoice in your monthly statement. If the repair is over $500, we contact you for approval before proceeding. Upon your approval, and once the repair process is completed, we email the Tenant a survey asking them to confirm the repair was completed satisfactorily and to rate their experience.
Q: Can I Do Some Repairs Myself?
A: As long as the property is vacant, owners may handle the necessary repairs to make the property rent-ready, with the understanding they will see the work through to completion themselves, using vendors of their choice. We will not be involved to avoid any confusion on who is running the projects. Once the property is leased, we require that we use only our preferred, insured, and vetted vendors who know and meet our expectations.
Q: Why Do I Need To Add Palomar Property Services As “additionally Insured” On My Insurance Policy?
A: If your tenant should have an accident or incident on your property that prompts a lawsuit against you, it is highly probable they will sue Palomar Property Services (PPS), as well. Since we are acting as your agent, we need the same protection your insurance provides you.
Let’s say a Tenant trips at the property and breaks their leg. It is highly probable that the Tenant will sue you and PPS. Your insurance should step in and defend you. Our management agreement, like all management agreements, has an indemnification clause that says you agree to indemnify PPS, unless we are found to be negligent. This means, if your insurance does not cover us, we must hire an attorney on our own. Our attorney will then be fighting your attorney and the Tenant. If we are found not guilty, our attorney will come after you for the attorney fees. Had we been added as additionally insured; your insurance company would defend us both equally. Most major insurance companies do this, and for no additional charge. If your insurance company will not add PPS, you will need to switch to an insurance carrier who will.
Q: Can The Owner Leave Some Items In The House For The Tenant?
A: Examples of common and acceptable items an owner might leave at their rental property would be a refrigerator, washer, and dryer or patio furniture. We recommend you leave these items of personal property without warranty and with the understanding, though you are not required to repair or replace such item, in turn, a tenant cannot be held responsible for damage or missing items. An exception would be an appliance that is under a manufacturer’s warranty, in which case, you would accept responsibility for repairs and pay any costs associated with the repair. Other items, such as garden tools or household items, are discouraged but can be taken into consideration.
Q: The Owner Lives Out Of State. Will PPS Be Required To Withhold Taxes?
A: For owners that live outside of California, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) requires property managers to withhold 7% of gross payments and submit to the FTB quarterly. You may be exempt from this regulation, eligible for a waiver, or eligible for reduced withholding. Your tax professional can give you personalized advice.
Q: What Type Of Insurance Must An Owner Carry?
A: We highly recommend all homeowners carry a Landlord Policy, which is specific to landlords with rental properties. If you currently have a simple homeowners’ policy, it is imperative that you consult with your insurance agent to discuss putting a Landlord Policy in place. A Landlord policy could be a little more expense, but the extra coverage is very important.
Q: Will PPS Pay My Mortgage, Hoa Or Other Bills?
A: We do not pay mortgages but are happy to pay your other bills. Please note that the reserve balance in your account may need to be increased by an amount equal to the total of the recurring bills.
Q: Why Does PPS Require Properties To Be In Top Condition?
A: A property that is not in top condition simply won’t rent as quickly, or for as much as those that are. There are some things you can do ahead of time to improve the overall condition of the property, greatly increasing its rentability. When meeting with you, we will be happy to go over possible upgrades which will help get top dollar and attract the best tenants. We have checklists for cleaning and require all properties to be in rent-ready condition. It is very important that the property is clean and attractive so that it will catch the attention of the best, qualified tenant.
Q: How Does PPS Determine Rental Prices?
A: We provide an expert market analysis, cross-checked by several rental-value programs, to determine a competitive rate and to maximize your return on investment.
Q: What Length Of Lease Do You Recommend?
A: We recommend one-year leases. Sometimes a tenant will offer an owner more money for a shorter lease for a variety of reasons, which we may entertain. Longer leases are discouraged, however we will discuss the pros and cons with the property owner. All leases are in writing and agreed upon by the owner. At renewal, we may, on occasion, elect to place a tenant on a month-to-month or 6-month rental lease, with owner approval.
The process of a lease renewal begins well in advance of the end of a tenant's lease. We start by looking at the current rental rates and the comps on your property. At approximately 90 days before the end of the lease, we will be sending you our rate recommendation. At this point you will have two weeks to respond. Without a response, we will assume you want to move forward with our rate recommendation for the next lease.
Between 60-120 days before the end of the lease, we will be doing interior property assessments. If we see any red flags, we will stop the renewal process and contact you. Approximately 60 days prior to the lease expiration, we will be sending the new lease to the tenant, providing there are no red flags or past due balance. The tenant will have 30 days to sign the lease renewal, however if they decline, they will be allowed to continue on a month-to-month basis at an increased rate. Once the lease is signed, we will upload it to your owner portal.
If the tenant chooses to move out rather than renew the lease, we will notify you via email.
Q: Can I Pick The Tenant?
A: In the best interest of the homeowner, Palomar Property Services (PPS) always selects the tenants. As your property manager, our job is to assure the strict California Fair Housing Laws are followed. Without the proper guidance, a homeowner might easily select a tenant based on their bias or inexperience and end up in court defending themselves against a costly unintended Fair Housing violation. We are skilled in the tenant selection process; we would never want to leave this responsibility in the hands of one who does not know how to navigate the California Fair Housing Laws.
Q: How Long Will It Take To Rent My Property?
A: We lease most of our rentals in 2 weeks or less. We review market information daily and update the Owner weekly. If the property sits on the market longer than two weeks with little or no promising prospects, that is a strong indication that either the property is priced too high, or it does not show well. We get the most activity on a property in the first 2 weeks.
Q: How Do You Screen Tenants?
A: We screen Tenants for credit and eviction history. In addition to screening, we verify income, review rental references, and screen pets.
Q: How Do You Market Properties?
A: We take quality photos, provide a video tour, and market on approximately 20 of the top rental websites. Interested Prospects are pre-screened, then shown the property using our self-service digital lockboxes, or an agent will meet them for a scheduled showing appointment.
Q: How Do You Handle Rent Payments?
A: Our tenant has access to an online 34/7 portal which makes paying rent quick and easy. Once received, we deposit the payment into our trust account. Providing the rent is received in full and on time, we will process the funds via direct deposit to your account no later than the 10th of the month. Typically, you will have access to your funds the following business day.
Q: Am I Required To Accept Section 8 Rental Payments?
A: On July 30, 2018, the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance that requires landlords of properties in the city of San Diego to participate in the Section 8 Housing Voucher Choice Program and other rental assistance programs. Enforcement of the ordinance became effective August 1, 2019. The ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of source of income. While source of income discrimination is already prohibited under California law, this ordinance broadens the definition of source of income to include “rental assistance from any federal, state, local, or nonprofit-administered benefit or subsidy program, or any financial aid from any rental assistance program, homeless assistance program, security deposit assistance program, or housing subsidy program, whether paid directly to the program participant, landlord or representative of either.”
Q: Will I Have An Opportunity To Review The Lease?
A: All owners approve terms of the lease before it is presented to the tenant, to ensure we have met all the owner’s needs. After we have your approval, we will sign the lease as your authorized agent.