Property Management Blog


5 Essential Tips for First-Time Landlords in San Diego

San Diego is the fourth most expensive rental market in the United States, according to a recent survey. This makes the city an attractive choice for potential landlords considering investing in California rental properties.

Becoming a landlord isn't difficult, but it does take some time and a little know-how to succeed at this endeavor. Check out these landlord tips for those who want to make the most of their investment properties.

1. Treat Your Rentals Like a Business

Even if being a landlord isn't your full-time job, you must treat it like a business. The three golden rules for this are:

  • Stay professional with your tenants
  • Stick to local laws
  • Keep tabs on income and expenditures

As a first-time landlord, it's important to educate yourself on the prevailing laws surrounding tenants in California. If you don't, you could face litigation.

2. Get Your Property in Order First

Go through your property and make sure it's safe and comfortable before you advertise it. There are strict criteria for renting properties under California law.

It makes sense to spruce things up a bit if you want to attract good tenants. Consider painting the house, changing the light fittings, and conducting minor repairs before you advertise the property for rent.

You can also upgrade some of the existing fixtures and install energy-saving devices if you want to charge higher rental rates.

3. Set a Reasonable Rent

Despite the current competitive rental market, you must still offer prospective tenants good value for money. Do some research into similar properties in your area and what tenants are paying to rent them.

Charging too little rent will leave you out of pocket. You could have difficulty finding tenants if you charge too much.

4. Screen Your Tenants

Good tenants are the lifeblood of the rental industry. These are people who pay their rent on time, stick to the conditions of their lease, and keep your property in great shape.

If you want these kinds of tenants, it's important to screen every application first. It's best to check their employment status, credit records, and references from earlier landlords.

You may charge your tenants for any costs incurred during the screening process, but you may not profit from it.

5. Take Out Insurance for Landlords

When you become a landlord, it's imperative to take out the applicable insurance. This protects you from any damage to your building as well as loss of rental income in some situations.

You should insist your tenants take out renters' insurance to cover their belongings and protect you from litigation if they incur damages.

Consider Hiring a Property Manager

Whether you're a new landlord or an old hand at the rental property game, you can benefit from some help with the above steps.

A property manager can take care of all these aspects and more. They're in tune with the latest tenant laws in San Diego and will help you get the best rental for your property.

We've been helping landlords maximize their investment properties for the last eighteen years. Get in touch for expert assistance with every aspect of becoming a landlord.