Investor Beware

INVESTOR BEWARE
How hard can it be to invest in rental property in Riverside County or the rest of Southern California? Prices for real estate keep going up. Even if you don’t find a single tenant, you’ll still make money when you sell your purchase after a few years.

And locating tenants is no problem when people keep coming to fulfill their dreams in the Golden State. They only make the housing market even tighter, so you can continue to raise rates as long as you avoid buying a property in cities with rent control. There’s always someone new willing to pay what you decide to charge. That constant monthly income plus appreciation makes the rental property a secure investment.If only it were that easy.

Do You Know about the Rules?
California is a land of standards, rules, regulations, and laws. Nowhere is that more evident than in landlord-tenant relations. And most of those rules favor the tenant. For example, you can’t merely change locks on tenants who don’t pay the rent. To enter a tenanted property requires an advance announcement. Before you can evict, you also have to give them at least three days’ notice. In the meantime, they can move out at any time, withhold payment at their whim, deduct repair fees from their rent, and sue you in small claims court for a host of reasons.

Then there are local ordinances regarding health and safety, noise, nuisance, and anti-discrimination that you have to follow. Based on the location, these regulations can vary, and conflict with the state, county, and municipality.

Money Effects
Many of the rules affect the money you could earn. You can only charge specific amounts for a security deposit, depending on whether the tenant is a service member. There are also regulations on other fees, such as for late-payments and bounced checks.

As of January 1, 2020, a rent control regulation applies to the entire state in locations that don’t have such directives. Annual rent increases are limited to a set amount, plus the rate of inflation. And don’t even think about evicting someone just because you think you can get higher prices from a new tenant. You need to show “just cause” to remove someone who has been in place for 12 months or more.

The Daily Grind
If you want your tenants to keep renting from you, then you have to keep them happy. That means knowing what to do when a bathroom faucet springs a leak or the kitchen stove stops working. Communicating in person at least once a year is also a good idea to ensure that everything is going well and that they’re keeping the rental in good shape.

Easy Income
If all you want to do is invest in a rental property and collect the monthly income, then let Rancho Plaza Realty handle the rest. We can do everything from finding the right tenants and negotiating the lease to collecting rent and maintaining your property. We’ll ensure that your investment remains in compliance with all applicable regulations for as long as you want to lease it. Give us a call today at (951) 723-1333.