Property Management Blog

Security Deposit Release Procedures

Micki O'Toole - Thursday, February 2, 2012

The release of security deposits to tenants after move-outs is an integral function of property management. Security deposit funds must be returned to tenants within 21 days after move-out with a full accounting statement and invoices. If the security deposit disposition is not returned within 21 days, then the tenants can sue for twice the amount of the security deposit. Therefore, it is imperative that all tenant charge repairs be done promptly.

The expectation of tenants at move-out is for them to return the property to the condition it was rented minus normal wear and tear. We consider normal wear and tear items to be nail holes from to picture hanging, light bulb replacement and minor scuff marks on the walls, etcetera. If anything is questionable, we tend to be more cautious when determining tenant charges in order to avoid the time and cost of litigation.

As always our goal is to keep our owners investments in good condition and to be their advocate. Did help with your property? Contact our Business Development Department at 760-585-1751.

New 2012 Laws

Micki O'Toole - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy New Year from everyone at PropertyADVANTAGE! We hope 2012 brings you new and continued success!

With the new year comes new laws. Our legal counsel, The Law Offices of Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP (KTS), have provided new laws for us to be aware of:

  1. Recycling: Beginning July 2012, landlords of properties with 5 or more units are required to provide recycling services. Additionally it is required that residents participate in recycling.
  2. Water Conservation: Single family residences built before January 1, 1994 must contain water conserving fixtures by 2017. For multi-family residences built prior to January 1, 1994 these fixtures must be in place by 2019.  
  3. Small Claims Increase: Individuals can sue for up to $10,000 in small claims court. While entities can sue for up to $5,000. This is effective January 2012. Different amounts apply to guarantors.

For a full list of new 2012 laws, please click here.

For information on KTS services, please call 800-840-0372 or visit

San Diego Moves

Micki O'Toole - Monday, September 12, 2011

San Diego County tends to be a transient community and frequent moving is common place. The high military and college student populations, as well as the economy are significant factors to our migrating community. 

PropertyADVANTAGE consistently has about a 3 to 5 percent vacancy rate. When our tenants decide it is time to move, they must submit a 30-day notice to vacate. Once we receive written notice to vacate, we contact our owners as soon as possible. When we have confirmed the new lease terms and the rental price is agreed upon, the property is immediately put on the market.

In order to rent the property as quickly as possible it is important to analyze the activity on the available property. If the property has been on the market for more than a week with little or no interest, it usually means the rent is too high for the area. Occasionally, we will receive a lot of calls and show a property regularly but do not receive applications. This could mean many different things but we see these two most often:

  1. Prospective tenants view the property but think the rent is high for what the property is offering. For example, the tenants did not realize how large the yard was and the lease terms do not include a gardener.
  2. Maintenance issues can hold the prospective tenants back from submitting applications. If the property looks unfinished, then the tenants tend to think "will it ever be finished?" For example, if you're planning to replace the carpet, do so as soon as possible.

Our goal is to have the property re-rented by the time the vacating tenants move out with as little down time as possible. However, depending on the extent of the turn maintenance, at least 3 to 5 days are needed to get the property in rent ready condition. A smooth move in transition will start the lease term out on the right foot.

The Roommate Shuffle

Micki O'Toole - Sunday, August 28, 2011

Many of the properties we manage are multiple occupancy properties. Occasionally during the term of a lease one tenant may want vacate the property, while the remaining tenants would like to continue their occupancy. In order to release the vacating tenant from the current lease, all parties on the lease must agree. 

It's important to note that the security deposit stays with the property until all tenants have decided to vacate. Therefore, tenants will need to work out the security deposit between themselves. Keep in mind, as long as a tenants' name is on the lease, he or she is responsible for rent. This is the case even if the tenant is no longer living at the property.

If the remaining tenants would like to add another tenant to the lease, the new tenant must be qualified by PropertyADVANTAGE prior to move-in. We want to insure the new tenant will be able to contribute to rent, verify rental history and check for collections or evictions on their record.

Dos and Don'ts of Roommates

Micki O'Toole - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Living with multiple people is often stressful. Use these simple dos and don’ts to help avoid problems before they start.

The Dos of Roommate Relations:
Do Clean Up After Yourself
Do Release a Vacating Roommate from the Lease
Do Pay Your Portion of the Rent On Time
Do Be Cautious of Your Electrical Output (Utility Costs Are Usually Shared)
Do Talk About Issues You May Be Having
Do Be Considerate of Your Noise Level Late at Night and in the Early Morning
Do Help Clean Common Areas
Do Report Maintenance Issues

The Don’ts of Roommate Relations:
Don’t Mooch Off Your Roommate (Buy Your Own Food)
Don’t Have a New Roommate Move In Until They have Been Approved
Don’t Throw Parties Without Consulting Your Roommate
Don’t Have “Extra” Guests Over All the Time (Girlfriend/Boyfriends)
Don’t Use Your Roommates Things Without Asking
Don’t Just Move Out, Give Your Roommate Proper Notice

Remember open communication is probably the best way to minimize conflict. 

Anyone have any other dos, don'ts or suggestions?

The Property Turn

Micki O'Toole - Thursday, August 4, 2011

The property turn is the maintenance done after a tenant has moved out and before a new tenant has moved in. This time in-between tenants is a great time for a rental property get in rent ready condition. It is also a good time to do small or large renovations to the unit.

One of the best benefits of refurbishing a rental unit is to attract good tenants. Good tenants who are looking for a nice place to make their home, not just a place to live. The more pride a rental owner takes in the rental, the more the tenant will care about the unit and take pride in maintaining it. Depending on the location and what kinds of upgrades are made, another benefit is the ability to collect more monthly rent.

Some properties turn maintenance may only consist of cleaning, carpet cleaning and minor repairs. Other properties require a little more time and effort before a new tenant can be secured. Large changes like replacing carpet, re-painting, re-staining cabinets, changing countertops, installing new appliances, removing wall paper and removing acoustic ceilings make huge improvements to the look of a home and will likely make a difference in the units ability to rent quickly.

While large changes tend to have the most impact on the overall esthetic of the unit, it is important not to forget the little things; such as cabinet hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures. Replacing gold faucets with chrome or changing the boxed light fixture in the kitchen with canned lighting will give your rental a polished, finished look.

If a thorough maintenance turn is done, you will avoid differed maintenance problems and have less maintenance issues during the new tenancy. 

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the rental vacancy rates are declining in the United States. This time last year the vacancy rates were 10.6 percent, it is now 9.2 percent. Additionally, the vacancy rates are even better on West Coast and in California. The vacancy rates on the West Coast are 6.8 percent and the California vacancy rates are 5.9 percent.

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