SF South Bay Area Advice on renting out house

6 Replies

There was a great article on BP: https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

However, hoping to find some local advice in the bay area (We're in South bay Cupertino/Sunnyvale area).  We are exploring leasing it out ourselves and property mgmt remotely.

Would great appreciate any local advice what's been successful, questions such as:

1) Where did you list the rental (Craiglist and Zillow?) How long in advance? 

2) Examples of listing verbiage - what to really emphasize that catches the right tenants

3) How long to set the appointments (15 min increments?)

4) Include lawn service? pets?

5) Resource guide for laws of tenants/landlords (What landlord legally responsible for)

6) Handling repairs remotely (Small items from replacing light bulbs to emergency situations - water/electricity/etc)

7) Finding a tenant that could be more self sufficient (need to embed any language in the contract?)

Greatly appreciate any tips, recommendations and what's really worked well for you!

Stay away from Zillow. The prospective tenants that inquire through there are a hot mess. 98% of them don't read the ad...they simply see the beds/baths, price per month and they click on a link so if you don't want smokers/animals/pets...you will spend 90% of your time telling them what is already in the ad.

CL is certainly better.

Also google websites that cater to traveling nurses, etc.

Good luck

@Katy L. - Happy to help answer

1) Where did you list the rental (Craiglist and Zillow?) How long in advance?

Post everywhere -- you want the most leads. But make sure to objectively qualify them (credit, income, etc.) before offering a showing.

2) Examples of listing verbiage - what to really emphasize that catches the right tenants

Make sure to follow fair housing. Depends on what is an "attraction" for your neighborhood or property (close to transport, close to restaurants, new remodel, etc.)

3) How long to set the appointments (15 min increments?)

15 minutes is fine, but know that tenants are always late

4) Include lawn service? pets?

If a single family home, best to make tenants do the upkeep. For pets, you can charge pet rent or an addition to the deposit. 

5) Resource guide for laws of tenants/landlords (What landlord legally responsible for)

Happy to provide if needed. 

6) Handling repairs remotely (Small items from replacing light bulbs to emergency situations - water/electricity/etc)

You'll need to be 24/7 in case of emergency.

7) Finding a tenant that could be more self sufficient (need to embed any language in the contract?)

You want to talk to past landlords. Self sufficient isn't as important as competence. 

Hope that helps!

@Katy L.

I would recommend if not interested in full service property management that you maybe looking a tenant placement service. Our company current only operates in the East Bay Area but most managers will offer a placement service. They will handle all of the marketing, inquiries, lease execution, showings, screening etc. on your behalf. It may be worth it the first time around for you!

If that’s not an option for you here are some answers for you:

1. We personally advertise on all of the most used sites; Zillow, Hotpads, Trulia, etc.

2. You will want to highlight - upgraded kitchens are a big hit, spacious nicely designed backyards, upgraded master bathrooms, upgraded floors

3. We utilize an auto showing, agent free feature to practice safe social distancing and abide by COVID guidelines. Some examples are tenant turner and rently.

4. Lawn service can be offered if it makes financial sense for you but is not mandatory. You can make this tenant responsibility but will have to understand that tenant do not take as good of care as a homeowner typically would.

Pets - a majority of American households have a meat one household pet so cut down your applications substantially by not accepting them. We recommend accepting pets with additional security deposit, pet rent, and abiding by breed restrictions that can cause troubles with your home owners insurance.

5. Check courts.ca.gov/documents/California-tenants-guide.pdf

6. Handling repairs will be tough for you remotely. Small items of course like light bulbs will be tenant responsibility. You’ll want to have connections with vendors for larger items who can be available for you quickly for emergencies. Of course I’d recommend a Property Manager with 24/7 maintenance assistance for your tenants.

7. You cannot make this request - beware of Fair Housing Laws