Alpha Property Management

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Landlord FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Property Owners

Along with being in Business for over 25 years, we have the experience to handle all aspects of your property management needs in a caring, professional, efficient and timely manner. Most of our clients are referrals or have been with other property management companies that they were not satisfied with. Communication with our tenants and owners is a key to our success and it shows. When you call us during normal business hours you get a live person and not a recorded message.

If you have questions that you don’t see and would like answers to, contact us today 916-596-1669.

Why should I use Alpha Property Management to manage my home?

While the reasons our clients choose our services vary, here are some of the key reasons many people select professional management over self-management:

  • We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
  • We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
  • We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
  • We know the local market, have an elaborate network of contacts, and have multiple advertising sites available to us at reduced rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents, and fill those vacancies.
  • After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you’ll receive on advertising, and the competitive rate we get on repairs, you’ll make more money than if you managed the property yourself!
How do you determine the rental mount?

Rent amounts are determined by finding the “fair market” rent value of comparable properties in the same neighborhood. We do extensive research using local newspapers, the internet, other property management companies, and our own expertise to provide the rental rate recommendation to you. It is our opinion that it is best to rent a house right at or slightly below the fair marked rent. By staying just below or at, we will frequently have more applications to consider and rent property quicker.

How long will it take to rent my property?

It is impossible to predict exactly how long it will take to find qualified applicants for your property but, correctly advertised, priced, and presented property greatly increases the chance it will rent in the first 2-3 weeks, with a goal of no more than 30 days on the market. A number of factors can contribute to the ease of rental of your property, including size, location, amenities, overall condition of the property, time of year, and the rental price compared to that of comparable properties in the neighborhood. Pricing your property competitively and having your property in the best condition possible are crucial to effective marketing.

Why won’t my property rent?

There are many factors that contribute to an extended vacancy. Some of the reasons may be:

  • The property is overpriced – has a lack of amenities – location – does not show well due to; cleanliness – outdated appliances or deferred maintenance – lack of curb appeal including paint, landscaping, neighbors, etc.  In addition, the time of year your property becomes vacant may contribute to a longer vacancy, as fewer people tend to move during the winter months, especially from late November thru the end of January.
Is there anything that needs to be done to make my property rent ready?

The better condition, and the more attractive the curb appeal is, the faster the property will rent, and the better quality tenants it will attract.  If needed and feasible, we recommend that the interior be painted or at least touched up, the carpets, window coverings, floors, fixtures, and appliances are clean, and all repairs are made. We also strongly recommend that front and back yards are mowed, trimmed, edged and free of weeds. After the price, the most important controllable factor in renting a property is appearance and condition. We would be happy to offer suggestions to you to help you make the property more marketable and look great. Our company is full service and can provide all the vendors necessary to get your property in a rent ready condition.

How do you market vacant properties?

The marketing process begins at the time we receive a 30-day notice to vacate from the current tenant, or if vacant, as soon as you sign up for our services.

  • The property is added to our vacancy list that is offered to numerous prospective renters, and the many real estate agents we cooperate with.
  • The property is added to our website, and with this and other exposure from the internet, we find this has become a vital tool in renting our properties.
  • We will place an attractive eye catching “For Rent” sign at the property in a high visibility location.  20% to 30% of all our prospects come from signage at the property.
  • We constantly get referrals from current and former owners and tenants, and then find a large number of referrals from friends, family, and neighbors from them – looking to rent property.  One of our largest renter and owner bases come from continued referrals. *
  • If an owner has any specific advertising approach or would like to discuss options, we are happy to accommodate, just give us a call.
How are prospective tenants screened and selected?

We consider this the key to successful property management! We apply stringent screening process in the selection of all of our tenants. All applicants must have good rental history, have 2 ½ or better times the rental rate in verifiable monthly income, and have an acceptable credit history. In some instances, we may ask for an additional security deposit or cosigner.

Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?

We comply fully with the Fair Housing; this means that you cannot choose to disallow anyone that is part of a protected class under the Fair Housing guidelines. You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal. If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please contact Fair Housing.

Should I accept pets?

The majority of prospective tenants have pets and having a no pet policy greatly reduces the pool of qualified tenants to select from. It is up to you to allow or not to allow pets on your property, but our standard policy is that pets are acceptable depending on the property, pet size and type, and landlord references regarding the pet. Certain breeds of dogs are never acceptable on any of our properties. This can be further broken down into dogs that have a history of violence in their specific Breed. We require prospective tenants to provide us with a current photo of the pet or to bring the pet in for us to see, along with an updated shot record and in some cases proof of renter’s insurance. Our minimum additional security deposit for a pet is $300.00.

Who holds the security deposit?

We hold all security deposits in a non-interest bearing trust account. Any rent due, damage expenses beyond normal wear and tear, and cleaning are deducted from the security deposit with the balance returned to the tenant within 21 days of them returning the keys to us and moving out.

How are maintenance requests handled?

The tenants are asked to contact our office directly whenever they have maintenance or repairs issues.  We have developed certain guidelines to alleviate your stress and to aid in the expedient service for your tenant. For any legitimate, non-cosmetic maintenance request that will cost less than $250.00 (unless otherwise specified in the management contract), we will contract the work without contacting the owner. Any questionable or cosmetic items or repair costs that exceed our agreed on amount will be handled after advisement of the owner, and with the owner’s consent.  If we find that a repair is due to tenant negligence, misuse, abuse, etc. , we will automatically bill the tenant. If we have a health, safety or any other emergency situation, $250.00 limit will not apply. Many times we are able to solve problems right over the phone avoiding what might have been an additional expense.

Can I do repairs or have you contact my vendors?

You may continue to provide repairs to the property but if it is occupied we ask that any repairs you make are to the satisfaction of us and the tenants. Due to liability concerns, there may be certain repairs that; unless you are qualified in that specialty, we will insist on using a licensed contractor or vendor. If you have your own favorite vendors we can certainly contact them for repairs on your property as long as they are licensed, insured and qualified to perform the repair needed.

Do you provide me with a report of activity on my property?

Yes, a comprehensive and easy to read accounting report detailing all income and expenses will be sent to you each month along with any Owner distribution or ACH notification due to you after all bills are paid.

Can you pay monthly bills for me and when will I receive my check?

We can pay any bill associated with your property including utility, maintenance, taxes, insurance or mortgage payments. There must be sufficient cash flow from the property to cover such expenses and we may require you to set up a reserve fund or send a monthly check to cover these expenses. Any funds available after paying all necessary bills are sent to the owner or owner’s bank via direct deposit (ACH), typically between the 10th & 12th of each month.

What if I want to sell my property, can you help?

Yes, even though we do not sell properties, we can refer you to some of the most experienced real estate agents in the Sacramento and surrounding areas.

For more information about Sacramento Property Management, please visit our educational blog page.