Frequently Asked Questions
What is your managment fee?
The management fee may range from 8-10% depending on the size and condition of your home and management needs. We also offer special pricing for multiunit owners at $139 per unit with a 3 unit minimum.
How do you advertise your properties?
Getting our homes rented fast is key to our success and happy clients. We need to generate as many qualified leads for the home as possible by:
I am a out of state owner.
How do you handle repairs?
When a request comes in, we assess it and see if it needs immediate dispatch or if we can possibly trouble shoot the issue with the tenant. There are many common repair requests our team are trained how to troubleshoot. If the issue needs to be fixed, we send a work order to one of our vendors. We use all 3rd party vendors and do not do maintenance in house.
The vendor will contact the tenant to set up a time to make the repair. Our vendors will complete the repair if under $400, take photos of before and after work, and submit an invoice to our company for approval. The before and after photos of the repair get attached to your owner statement each month, so you can see what type of repair was made. You also get a copy of the work order we submitted to the vendor, explaining what we want them to fix, and a copy of the vendors invoice. We make sure the cost of the repair is fair and that the work was completed satisfactorily.
Once a repair is completed and invoiced, we email the tenant a survey asking them to confirm the repair was completed satisfactorily, was the vendor was professional, and to rate their overall experience with the vendor and our team.
Can I pick the tenant?
While your intentions are good, most of our clients are not up to date on Fair Housing laws. Letting someone pick a tenant, who does not understand the laws, puts a client at risk. Attorneys say the best way to reduce the risk of a Fair Housing violation is to have clear, non-discriminatory rental criteria, that is written, and transparent. Most owners do not have written rental criteria.
To help keep our owners out of trouble, we developed objective, non-discriminatory, written, rental criteria that is posted on our website. Other reasons it is not good for an owner to pick the tenant is:
Do you have a list of handymen, plumbers and other vendors?
Sign our vendor agreement, where they agree to a certain standards and a code of conduct.
Deliver great service and quality work.
Does your fee include cleaning or any other repairs?
No. Our fee covers the coordination of needed services, not the services themselves.
Can you refer a vendor to do work at my personal residence?
We have plumbers, flooring installers, cleaners, appliance repair, and other trades people who provide such great service, we are happy to refer them to our clients.
Can I use my own contractors?
Can I do the repairs myself?
Yes and No. If the property is vacant, owners can handle the repairs needed to make the property rent ready, if they choose. However, either the client does all the work or we do all the work. It gets messy when there are too many chefs in the kitchen. Once the property is leased, we require that we use only our preferred vendors. This ensures leasing deadlines are met, as we work with these vendors regularly and know what to expect.
Do you always get multiple bids on work?
On larger projects like replacing an AC, replacing a roof, large painting projects, etc., we definitely get multiple bids to ensure you are getting a fair price.
How do rent payments work? Does the tenant pay you than you pay me?
The tenant pays rent on or before the 4th of the month. Between the fourth and the tenth, pay any outstanding invoices for the previous month as well as pay the management fee. We begin to process owner's distributions on the tenth in order for them to arrive no later than the fifteenth.
Will you send me a statement each month?
On or before the 15th of each month, we provide you an owner statement. The statement shows income and expenses for the previous month. For example, in June you will get the statement for the full month of May. We also include copies of work orders and invoices.
Should I accept pets?
Statistics show over half of all households have pets. By being open to pets you will increase demand, thus increasing the rental price. However, by allowing pets you increase the risk of property damage. It is really a risk/reward play. If maximizing rent is important to you, maybe you should consider pets. If you would rather play it safe, it is OK to say no pets. If you are open to a pet, we always say, “will consider pets”. That means we may approve the right pet, not all pets.
What is your normal pet deposit?
We generally charge $250-$500 per pet depending on the type of unit. Hardwood flooring or other expensive finishes would push it to the higher end.
Can we charge a pet rent?
Yes we can. However, we can only charge one or the other. Either a pet deposit or a pet rent. Judges do not like it when landlords charge both. Rather than charging a pet rent, we recommend setting a higher rent price.
Can we charge a non-refundable cleaning or other type of deposit?
No. The law in California says non-refundable deposits are illegal.
How long should it take to rent the house?
We lease the vast majority of our rentals in 4 weeks or less. If it sits on the market longer than that it means either the property is priced too high or it does not show well. We get the most activity on a property in the first 2 weeks. If it has not rented after 2 weeks, it usually means we priced it too high and we need to reduce the price.
Can I meet the tenant?
You could, but we highly advise against it. One of the best reasons to have a property manager, is we are a buffer between you and the tenant. If you meet the tenant, you can be put on the spot for repair and lease term requests. The tenant should never have your contact information. When they do, often they will go directly to you with requests. This triangle of communication causes lots of problems for everyone involved.
What if I have someone that wants to rent my place?
Send the lead to us and we will send them information how to apply. All tenants must go through our application process, even if you know them. Keep in mind, renting to friends or family can get messy, so proceed with caution.
What is the eviction protection you offer?
We are so confident in our ability to pick quality tenants that we back all of our tenants up with free eviction protection. If we have to evict a tenant we chose, we will pay for the eviction up to $1200. This usually covers all court costs and attorneys fees. We are one of a few companies in the county that offer this service to our clients, free of charge.
How long is our management contract?
Our agreement is for one year and can be cancelled with 30 day notice from either party. We have the HomeViewer Property Management Agreement, which says you can cancel at any time if you are not satisfied, there is a one time cancellation fee.
If I decide to go with GNHM, what are the first steps?
If the property is vacant, we will perform a Unoccupied Initial Property Evaluation. We carefully go through the entire property and make a list of all repairs needed to make the property rent ready. We email you regarding our findings and explain our plan to make it rent ready.
If the property is occupied, we contact the tenant and set up an Occupied Initial Property Evaluation. We go through the property and check for visible leaks, test smoke alarms, check furnace filters, take photos of property condition, and address any maintenance issues or concerns the tenant may be having.
What type of insurance do I need to carry?
You need to carry a Landlord Policy. This has specific coverage’s important to landlords, so it is important you switch to this type of policy, if you currently have a homeowners policy. A Landlord policy is usually a little more expense, but the extra coverage is very important.
Why do I need to add HomeViewer Rentals as an additional insured to my insurance policy?
Let’s say a tenant trips at the property, breaks her leg, and sues. She is probably going to sue you and HomeViewer Rentals. Your insurance should step in and defend you. Since we are acting as your agent, we need that same protection.
What type of insurance do you carry?
We carry General Liability, Workers Compensation, & Errors & Omissions insurance.
How are showings handled?
We do Agent showings where one of our agents will meet prospects at the property to view. The other way we show is Rently lockbox showings. This allows tenants to view vacant properties on their own, after putting a valid credit card on file. This leads to more showings and less vacancy, as many prospects work 8am-5pm and can only view the property after hours.
Do you have a tenant and owner portal?
The owner portal is where we publish monthly financial statements. Owners can also send us money for repairs and keep important documents like leases, all in one place.
I want to get out of my lease with the tenant. How do I do that?
A lease is a legally binding contract and cannot be cancelled unilaterally. Only with the agreement of both parties can a lease be terminated early.
Can I make changes to your management agreement?
The terms in our management agreement are designed into our management systems. It is hard for us to change terms without having to change our processes. Most of the time we cannot change our agreement. If you have a specific concern, we are always open to addressing it with you.
How do I switch property management companies?
Read your contract to see what the terms of cancellations are- Some companies have a 30 day cancellation while others may lock you in for a fixed term. It is important to understand what fees you may be charged if you cancel as well as understand how to cancel. Most require written notice which means a letter sent by US mail. Feel free to send your contract to us at email@example.com if you would like us to review it for you.
Cancel per the terms- Send official notice of cancellation per the method required in the contract. We also ask that you send this email to your current property manager and CC our office:
Per our property management agreement dated DATE, I am hereby cancelling our management for the property located at PROPERTY ADDRESS. I have mailed official notice of cancellation to your office at OFFICE ADDRESS as well. The above referenced letter and this email shall serve as official notice of my intent to cancel our management agreement effective CANCELLATION DATE.
I have hired HomeViewer Rentals Property Management as my new property management company. You have my consent to work with them during this transition and release to them all deposits, rents, documents, photos, and keys in connection with my managed property.
Should you have questions or require anything further from me to cancel our agreement, please contact me right away. Thank you.
Move in photos
Move in walkthrough
Call the tenant to introduce ourselves. We also send them a welcome letter explaining how to pay rent and submit maintenance requests.
We arrange an Initial Property Evaluation at the property. We meet the tenant at the property and address any maintenance issues they may be experiencing, establish a baseline of property condition, test smoke and CO alarms, inspect furnace filters, and check for plumbing leaks. We create an inspection report with photos of the property and any maintenance issues and share it on your owner portal.
It is OK if your lease is between your current manager and the tenant. It is still enforceable and would transfer to you the owner. Since we are managing on your behalf, we can still enforce the lease.
Since you worked with two property management companies, you will get two 1099's and 2 year end statements a the end of the year. Be on the look out of those in January the following year.
You will probably get double charged the month you switch since you have two managers working on your property during the transition month.
Sometimes a property manager will only send the tenants deposit to the owner. In that case, we need you to send it to us when you get it. We must hold the tenants deposit in our trust account so that it can be returned in a timely manner at move out and avoid penalties for late return of a security deposit.
Who will I be working with?
This gives us a strong advantage over our competition. Most companies hire independent contractors to manage a portfolio of properties. That sole person is responsible for all showings, maintenance, accounting, collections, tenant screening, and many other duties. This results in a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Since no one person can be available all day, every day, we allocate our resources so that as a company, we can be available all day, every day.
What happens if the if the tenant does not pay the rent?
If we do not receive the rent after the 3-day notice is up, our owners are notified. We will give you our recommendation on how to best proceed. Options include moving forward with the eviction process or working out a deal with the tenant.
What happens if the tenant ruins my property?
We do a very good job of screening tenants upfront, so tenant damages are limited. However, even with the strictest of criteria, things can happen. Only a tiny percentage of our move out dispositions have tenant damages exceed the security deposit. In that event, we try to collect the sum from the tenant. Should the tenant not pay, you will need to sue them in small claims court. We are not debt collectors, but can refer you to companies who can assist you.
What happens if the tenant wants to break the lease?
The tenant is required to pay us the and rent until it is re-rented. Our lease agreement covers this topic so the tenant knows upfront. If the lease is terminated there is a termination fee of 2x the monthly rent.
Who holds the Security Deposit?
Good Neighbor Home Management holds the tenants security deposit. By law, the money belongs to the tenant and can only be used for past due rent or damages. The property management company is a neutral third party. We hold it in a trust account until the time of move out.
Do I need to provide a fridge and washer/dryer?
Whether you need to include a washer/dryer depends on the type of home. You always want to include it for apartments and condos (assuming you have hook ups). For single family homes we say include it if you have a set already, as it gives you an advantage over the landlords not offering one. If you do not have a set already, you do not need to include it. Should the property sit on the market, it is a good idea to say “Owner open to including washer/dryer”.
Can I rent my property furnished?
Can I leave some personal property at my home?
In some cases yes, but we do not recommend it. There is no good way to protect your personal property, nor is there a good way to prove the tenant damaged it. In most cases the tenants would prefer not to have your personal property at the house as it takes away room to store their own property. Additionally, the tenants don't want to be responsible for the property owner's personal property. It is acceptable to leave a reasonable amount of household items (paint, sample flooring, special cleaner, etc…) neatly tucked away in one corner of the house.
How long of a lease term do you recommend?
We generally do one-year lease terms, however the time of the year does play a factor. For example, if we rent the property in December, a 12-month lease would end in December. If the tenants decide not to renew the lease, the property owner is looking at filling a vacancy in the worst month possible. We encourage leases to expire in any month outside of November, December, and January.
Should I provide a Gardener?
If your property has beautiful, high maintenance landscaping, you should include a gardener. If you have poor landscaping or a low maintenance yard, it can make sense to have the tenant care for it. We have a few landscapers we work with who provide great service and are an extra set of eyes on the property.
Should I provide a pool person?
You always want to include a pool person. Pool equipment is very expensive. If it breaks you’re going to say it was the tenant’s fault. They’re going to say that the equipment was faulty. It’s a no win situation.
Can I sell my property while the tenant is in there?
You can sell a property while the tenant is living there, but often that is not the best play. Occupied homes generally do not show as well as vacant, professionally staged homes. They are also harder to show as agents must work around the tenants schedule and give 24-hour notice to show. If the tenant has multiple months left on their lease, the only buyers will be investors. This cuts out the largest majority of buyers, the owner occupant. If the lease is coming to an end, the tenant keeps the home in great shape, and the tenant is easy to communicate, then it may make sense to list it for sale while occupied. We can guide you on the right approach for your situation.
Do you sell homes too?
We have a sales division at Filkey & Associates that sells many of our client's properties. Contact us today for a free market analysis of your property!
Do you accept co-signors?
We do accept co-signers on a case by case decision.
Do you have any properties coming up in ________?
We get multiple new properties all over San Diego each week. Please check our website from time to time and if you see something you like, let us know!
Do you take section 8?
I’m sorry, but we do not participate in the section 8 program.
I have bad credit, what is your screening process?
Our screening criteria is listed on our website under the "For Rent" tab. We ask all applicants to please review our application process online. There are a lot of factors involved, so it is best if you read it over yourself.
I don’t want to pay the screening fee and be denied. Can you assure me that I will be approved?
Please review our screening criteria on our website. If you feel you meet all our requirements, please apply.
How does your application process work? Is it first come first serve?
We process all applications using a qualified scoring sheet, which can be found on our website. In turn, we select the best tenant. Only fully completed application packages will be processed. An incomplete application package will not be processed.
My spouse does not work; does he/she need to apply too?
Every adult living at the property must complete an application package.
I recently had my credit pulled. Can you use my report?
Unfortunately we cannot use outside reports. Our report runs a criminal and eviction check as well as a credit check.
Can I put down a holding deposit?
I’m sorry but we do not take holding deposits.
I want to make sure I get this place. What do I need to do?
Please view the property ASAP. After you have seen the property, apply online via our website. Make sure you follow all the application instructions. If you follow the application instructions, you will have the best chance of being approved for the property.
Do I have to see the property to be approved?
If you have not seen the unit, your application may be subordinated to other applicants who have seen the unit.