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Los Angeles Property Management Blog

Beyond the Contract: What You Need to Know About Property Management That Your Agreement Won't Tell You

Beyond the Contract: What You Need to Know About Property Management That Your Agreement Won't Tell You

Signing a property management agreement launches you into a partnership with an expert in leasing, management, and maintenance. Whether you’re renting out residential homes, commercial properties, or a combination of both, you’re counting on your management company to fulfill all of the promises they’ve made and to deliver all of the services that are listed in the contract. 

What can you expect from your management team outside of the scope of service you’ve agreed to contractually? 

There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to your relationship with your property manager. Depending on who you’re working with, what you need from them, and what types of properties you own, you will likely need help with things that aren’t necessarily in that agreement. 

We’re thinking beyond the contract today, and telling you what comes with property management that isn’t spelled out there in black and white. Most of this is good news for you, the property owner. Some of it, however, might surprise you.

Compliance with California Rental Laws 

Renting out a property in California comes with quite a bit of risk. That’s due to the number of tenant protections that are in place and the constant shifts in laws, requirements, and regulations. If you’re not staying up to date on the latest laws, you might find that your lease agreement is missing some key language. If you’re not focused on what you can and cannot do with the security deposit you collected from your tenant, you might find yourself in court, being ordered to pay three times the amount of that deposit in punitive fees. 

Fair housing laws are far more complex than they once were; do you know the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal? 

There may not be anything in your management agreement about rental laws and legal compliance, but your property manager is constantly and consistently protecting you from expensive legal mistakes. We understand: 

  • Rent control laws and whether they apply to your property.

  • Just cause eviction and why you can and cannot remove a tenant from your property. 

  • Section 8 requirements and how housing vouchers must be used as income sources during the screening process. 

  • Security deposit limits, requirements, and timelines. 

  • Implied warranty of habitability.

You can expect your property manager to provide a lease agreement that’s compliant and enforceable in California. We’ll keep you protected from any extra legal liability that you don’t need. Your management agreement won’t tell you that you’re safer when you work with a property manager, but there’s a lot less to worry about when someone else is staying up to date with the laws on the local, state, and federal level. 

Leverage Investment Knowledge with Los Angeles Property Management

Thanks to your management agreement, you know you can count on your property manager to market your property, screen your tenants, prepare the lease, collect rent, conduct inspections, schedule maintenance, and manage the entire tenant relationship. Property managers will enforce the lease agreement, negotiate the lease renewal, and manage all of your accounting statements and financial reports. We’ll provide the technology, the paperwork, and all the expertise that’s required to effectively rent out your property.

With the right management partner, like Bell Properties, you get more than that. 

You can talk to your property manager about the market, the current trends in the property management industry, and any ideas you might have about buying an investment property, selling one that you have, or maybe making some moves to grow your portfolio or make your existing properties more profitable. Maybe you’re thinking about making some renovations to increase what you earn in rent. We can tell you which updates and upgrades are most cost effective. Maybe you’re considering a 1031 exchange because maintenance costs are getting out of control with a typical property. We’ll tell you what kind of rental home would be better for you, and where you might find it. 

Property managers are analyzing data, trends, and tenant behavior daily. We have a unique understanding of how the sales market impacts your investments and what you need to do to be well-positioned for anything that might be coming down the pike. 

If you’re not having conversations with your property manager about the market and your place in it, you’re missing out on a huge resource. If you’re not talking about what your property is worth, how your competitors are faring, and where the next surprise is coming from, you might be caught off guard when interest rates jump or inventory doubles or rents peak. 

Look for more than a property manager who places tenants and fixes leaks. You need an investment partner who can share good advice and help you reach your investment goals. 

Property Managers Care about Your Tenants 

As the rental property owner who hires us to lease, manage, and maintain their investment, you are our first priority. We’re here to represent you when it comes to your tenant relationship, your legal and regulatory requirements, and when it comes to protecting the value and condition of your asset. 

Bell Properties California is on your side. 

We also have to work well with your tenants, and we don’t see that as a conflict. The idea that landlords and tenants need to have an adversarial relationship is outdated and unfair. Serving your tenants is the same as serving you, because when your tenants are happy, they’re paying rent on time. They’re taking care of the property. They’re communicating openly and they’re renewing their lease agreements. 

We believe in customer service, and a good property management partner will ensure that your residents are having an outstanding rental experience. This is important to our reputation, and it’s important to what you’re able to earn. 

Avoid thinking about your relationships in an us-versus-them context. We can prioritize the work we do for you while also protecting your tenant’s needs. If we recommend replacing an appliance in order to retain a tenant, it’s because we know that this will ultimately be better for you, your property, and your earnings. 

We Don’t Need You to be Hands-On

Hands-on OwnerYour property manager likes you a lot, but they don’t want to hear from you all the time. 

A hands-on owner is usually trying to be helpful. They want to make sure they’re providing all the information and opinions that they can in order to help their property run profitably. We get it.

But, your property manager wants you to trust them to do the job you hired them to do. It’s not a great idea to call every day asking for updates or to insist on choosing a tenant or to want to do your own repairs or mow the lawn yourself. 

Are you a real estate investor or a landlord? If you want to be a landlord who is putting in their own time, sweat equity, and resources, then you probably don’t need to hire a property manager at all. But, if you want to be a real estate investor who earns real income off their properties, leave the hard work to your management company. 

It’s why you hire us. 

You can trust your property manager to make the right decisions, send out the right vendors, and deal with your tenant relationship. You can expect a phone call if something needs to be escalated to you, if there’s a major expense to approve, or if something’s happening that you need to be aware of. You can always check in with your online portal or send a message with a specific question. Otherwise, leave your property managers alone to do their work. 

Micromanagement is rarely welcome. 

You want to preserve your relationship with your management company. So…let them do their job.

All of this that we’ve talked about is based on our own perspective as Los Angeles property managers. We know that every management company is different. Some companies will stick to the management agreement and not give you anything that isn’t listed there. Others will charge you more for even a phone call or a consultation. 

Find a property management partner who is willing to work with you organically and completely. The management agreement sets up some expectations for both the management team and the owner. The way we see it, our relationship with our owners goes well beyond what’s found in the management agreement. Bell Properties is here to make sure you have a pleasant and profitable investment experience. We’re pretty sure that we want the same things, because when you’re successful, we’re successful. 

What we’ve shared in this blog is very general information, which can be applied to most owners and management companies. Why not personalize the discussion and customize it to you, specifically, and the properties you have in your portfolio? 

If you have any questions about what it might be like to work with our team, please contact us at Bell Properties. We’d be happy to share our management agreement, discuss our Los Angeles property management services, and talk about how we can help you have a better investment experience.