Owner FAQs

What needs to be done to prepare a property for rent?

The property should be in the best possible condition to attract a quality resident. Paint should be in good shape. Neutral colors for walls and floors work best. Blinds or shades are ideal for windows. The home should be clean and yard in excellent shape. Strategic Property Management can visit your property to give recommendations that will help lease quickly.  Call for a free evaluation.

How do I determine rent price?

Rent prices vary from place to place. The competition determines rent prices and many variables come into play when setting the price.  As experts in the field, we know the local markets. If the rent price is too high the home will be vacant much longer. If rent price is too low, you miss out on potential income. Strategic Property Management has leased over 2300 single family homes in California; including Ventura County, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Antelope Valley, and desert cities.  Call for a free evaluation.

How do you market the property?

Your property is immediately added to our list of available rentals and shared with our network of leasing agents. We take high-quality pictures and write welcoming marketing description.  We market your rental on over 50 distinct rental web sites. We regularly track activity, checking number of calls received, number of showings, prospect feedback, and leasing agent recommendations. Strategic Property Management works to ensure maximum exposure to your rental property.  Call for a free consultation.

How long will it take to rent?

Vacancy periods are market driven. For example, it typically takes longer to lease a property in the Antelope Valley than it does in the San Fernando Valley.

Below is a list of variables that have an effect on how quickly a property will lease:

  • Is rent price competitive?
  • How many other rentals in the area?
  • Do you accept pets?
  • Do you accept Section 8 tenants?
  • Are utilities included?
  • Are appliances included?
  • Are you offering any incentives?
  • Do you answer all inquiry calls?

Homes rent more slowly between Thanksgiving and New Years. Utilizing our expertise, Strategic Property Management has demonstrated lower-than-average lease times. Call for a free consultation.

What are the policies regarding Pets?

Statistics indicate 75% of renters own pets. Restricting pets reduces the number of available qualified residents. In general, a well-behaved cat or dog causes less wear and tear on a home and yard than a young child. We found most Landlords allow pets and include either a breed or weight restriction.  In addition, we charge an additional deposit for each pet.

What about smokers?

It is common to restrict smoking inside the property. This does not significantly reduce the marketability of the property.

Is it possible to refuse to rent to families with children?

In federal, state, and local Fair Housing regulations, children come under the protective class of “familiar status”. It is unlawful to discriminate against children in any way.

Is “first and last month’s rent” and “security deposit” collected up front?

If a resident has good credit, it is common practice to collect first month’s rent and security deposit. If resident has sub-par credit, we charge 1.5x or 2x rent as security deposit. A security deposit can be used for any owner costs while a last month’s rent can only be used for rent. The security deposit is held in a property trust account as required by state real estate regulations.

What happens if the rent is late?

The rent is due on the first of each month. We begin collection proceedings after the fifth of the month. If the rent is not paid by the 10th, we take the first step in the eviction process.  We send out a 3-day notice to pay rent or vacate. If the resident does not pay by the 10th of the month, the owner is notified and eviction papers are filed at the courthouse. Most evictions are the result of loss of employment. In most cases we use an attorney for evictions. We currently manage over 370 properties. Our eviction rate is less than 1% of properties under management.

When are monthly funds distributed?

State Real Estate Regulations require that rent checks must be cleared with the bank and accounts reconciled to the penny before disbursing funds. Payments to owners along with statements are processed around the 10th of the month. Payments to Owners who had late rents (received after 5th) are processed between the 20th and 25th. Disbursements and statements are mailed to owners. Other disbursement payment methods can also be arranged.

Who handles emergencies?

We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies. We have an extensive network of maintenance personnel and sub-contractors to handle any emergency on your property, day or night.

What is the average length of tenancy?

Over 95% of rental agreements are for one year. Other agreements range from six to eighteen months. At the end of the lease term the owner can decide to renew the lease (if the resident wishes to remain), vacate the resident, or allow the resident to remain month-to-month. If market rent has increased, the owner can raise the rent at lease end.

How are repairs handled?

Residents are encouraged to submit all repair requests in writing or online. It is our policy to notify owners of all maintenance requests above the agreed upon limit. If funds are available, the expense will be deducted on the next month’s accounting statement. If funds are not available the property manager will contact the owner for payment arrangements. Sometime a request falls into the category of a maintenance emergency. Emergencies are scheduled immediately and the owner notified at the first possible opportunity. Some maintenance requests can result in rent abatement if not handled timely. The owner is notified immediately when there is a rent abatable maintenance issue.

What happens if the resident leaves before the end of the lease?

The resident is responsible for the rent for the term of the lease. If residents leave before the termination date they will be charged for rent until the home is rented to another tenant. We, on behalf of the owner, will do everything possible to rent the home and minimize the residents’ cost. If Strategic Property Management placed the original tenant, the owner is not charged for advertising or a re-leasing fee.

How is the owner protected if the resident damages the property?

A refundable security deposit taken at move-in is usually sufficient to handle the minor damage caused by residents. Residents with excellent credit and references seldom cause significant damage. If the resident leaves the property owing money for rent and/or damages they will be billed. If they do not pay, at the owner’s request we will have our attorney file a writ for restitution with the local court. If the court agrees with the charges, the court will enter a judgment against the resident. The judgment can either be turned over to an attorney or a collection agency. A judgment remains on the person’s records for 14 years or until satisfied.

What are your fees?

Services are available “à la carte” or as a “package deal.” Consult with our management experts to create a management plan custom to YOUR needs.