Renting out your Oakland CA property is a simple process, but it will be difficult if you don’t assemble the right team. Oakland has laws called “Just Cause” and “Measure EE.” Those are not bad laws; they were put on the books to help tenants in Oakland California.
The problem is most landlords really have no clue about how important carefully screening a tenant has become. Working with a talented leasing and management firm in Oakland is the key to a landlord’s success. Below we outline 5 Tips to help you lease out your Oakland California property.
1) Hire A Professional Leasing Agent to perform “Rent Screening,” which includes criminal background, credit history, eviction history, and other factors that help you determine if this is the right person for your property. A professional can help guide you in the pros and cons of each particular tenant. Avoid “Just Cause” mistakes, which are big in Oakland. Most landlords before they rent are not aware Oakland has rent control and “Just Cause.”
2) Removing Personal Items is vital. For example, do you really want to leave behind a precious family heirloom that you don’t want broken? Or, you really love your storage bins; shouldn’t you take the trouble to bring them with you? Specialty items that you would like to keep should always be removed from property.
3) Prepare Your Oakland Property for Leasing by making sure you get the property in rental condition, especially by fixing and eliminating hazards. Make sure electrical fixtures are working properly, and perhaps have a pre-inspection done by professional companies prior to renting. Also, nothing is better than just great cleaning.
4) Insulate Yourself from the Tenant(s) by hiring a property manager. A good property manager is the caretaker for the property. If there’s an issue at 4 in the morning, your property manager is the contact person for emergencies. Issues related to management, such as tenant issues and collection of rents, are handled by the manager you hire. Manager’s work on a percentage payment arrangement relative to the yearly rent collected. For instance, the monthly management fee might equal 6% of one month’s rent. If your rent were $1800 per month, 6% would equal $108.00 per month management fee. Good companies do not charge any upfront fees.
5) Use Your Local Resources. Say you want to try Section 8. Well, if you are in Oakland you can contact the Oakland Housing Authority, download forms on their website, work with a handyman to make minor repairs, and then you are set. I grew up in Oakland. Participating in Section 8, you must still do the same careful screening you would normally perform when renting or leasing your property.
In closing, there is an old saying in football that goes: “You win the Super Bowl in the off-season by the way you prepare.” In leasing your Oakland property, you will win by making sure all 5 tips are followed to perfection. Please contact me at (510) 250-0946, Ext 7, for any help or questions regarding leasing, sales, or management in Oakland California.
Jonathan Fleming runs a full service real estate services company located in the San Francisco Bay Area; his company handles Sales, Leasing and Management of residential and commercial properties throughout Northern California. He can be reached at (510) 250-0946 or 800-892-1755, Ext 7.