Aapex Property Management, Aapex Property Managers,

510-293-3530

OWNER FAQS

ANSWERS TO YOUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you really want the cheapest company? The old saying “You get what you pay for” is always true. There are other companies that charge less than we do. There are other companies that charge more. We are somewhere in the middle. I feel that we offer the most comprehensive service package in the industry and our rates are very competitive.

Renting always has some element of risk. We always try to find tenants who have a history of longevity and who plan on staying for a long time. We are usually successful.

We ask that all maintenance requests be submitted in writing (except emergencies) so that we have a record of all requests. We try to resolve minor problems over the phone (i.e. re-set breakers) to avoid the cost of a house call. If repairs are really needed, we will arrange for the work to be done as soon as possible. We advise tenants of their responsibilities should it turn out that the repair was needed due to their neglect or misuse of the property.

Our office hours are by appointment only.

We have a 24 hour emergency line that calls a staff member.

We market your property in many ways. We maintain an in-house rental list with all available properties listed. The list is available without cost to anyone who drops by the office or calls and requests that a list be sent or faxed to them. Additionally we maintain a 24-Hour Hotline with information that can be accessed whenever it is convenient.

We have developed a very extensive application that also complies with the requirements of the law. When we receive an application we ask a lot of questions to make sure we have a feel for the applicant and their honesty in providing us with information.

Then we do the following to verify the information on the application:

Secure a national credit report on each adult resident which includes information on judgements, liens and credit history

Call current and previous landlords and ask specific questions regarding payment history, number of tenants, status of pets, condition of the unit, if there were complaints from neighbors, and whether the landlord would rent to the applicant again.

Review their employment history via two current check stubs

After reviewing this information we compare it with a specially designed formula that we have developed over the past 30 years to determine acceptability of the application.

At Aapex Property Management we pride ourselves on quick turnarounds. We add it to our in-house rent list and upload it to the Internet and many websites. We will have your property available to be seen Monday through Friday 9-4:30pm, and Saturday from 10-1:00;pm.

In the Management Agreement you can specify how much we are authorized to spend before we call you. The lower the authorization limit, the more often you will be called. The exception to this limit comes when there is an emergency.

In the event of an emergency such as a leaking water heater, non-functioning heater during winter, lack of electricity, or lack of water, I make a decision without contacting you. It is important that basic services be supplied to the resident without significant interruption.

If there are options such as repairing versus replacing, we will attempt to contact you as soon as it is reasonable and we will discuss the available solutions. If a temporary fix will avoid further problems, I will authorize it and then contact you with an estimate to make long term repairs.

When a tenant moves out, we will work with you to begin to prepare the unit for occupancy as quickly as possible.

We inspect your property in the following ways:

  • When the property is vacant we inspect it to determine any work that is needed to prepare it for the next tenant
  • When the work is done, we inspect it to insure the tenant has a good first impression
  • When our workmen visit the property for minor or routine maintenance they are instructed to report any problems such as pets, extra people, car problems, or anything else that is a potential problem. ( this is the most revealing “inspection” because the tenants are not expecting to be reported on)
  • Annually we inspect the unit for potential problems and to do minor maintenance that may not have been reported by the tenant

As we travel through different areas we drive by units to look at the exterior of the unit and order additional inspections if warranted.

If we receive a complaint from a neighbor or from you, we will initiate additional inspections.

We feel that it is best for the property owner to have a month-to-month rental agreement so that if the resident’s circumstances change (ie an extended family member or friend moves in to the unit or there’s a divorce or split-up) it is easy to remove an unwanted resident. Today’s judges make decisions that favor the tenant in most situations and a month-to-month agreement forces the judges to favor the landlord.

We always advise applicants that think they want a long term lease that if they take care of the property and keep their part of the agreement, we want them to be long term tenants and that we have no plans to get rid of them. This has always convinced applicants to go with the month-to-month lease.

If you are thinking about selling your unit and have not selected an agent, we have agents with whom we have worked in the past and who we feel are very good that we could recommend to you. Or if you have your own agent, that is fine too. We can turn everything over to you, or to your Agent whichever you prefer.

After we collect the rents at the beginning of a month and deposit them in our trust account, we process any payments that you have authorized us to pay for you. This could include mortgage payments, insurance payments, taxes and any maintenance work that has been done.

At the end of the month, we prepare a monthly statement that itemizes the income and expenses for that month. After reviewing this report we mail the report and the monthly check to you on the last day of the month. You should receive this by the first couple of days of the following month. We can also send your report via e-mail, so that it arrives without delay.

We direct deposit the money into your designated bank account.

I feel that what most people want in a management company is honesty, integrity, a well trained and experienced staff who uses all of today’s technology to keep you informed of the happenings at your property and keep it rented at the best rental rates while keeping expenses at a reasonable level. That’s what we do and who we strive to be every day.

NOTICES INFORMATION FAQ

This notice is used when a serious breach of the Rental Agreement has occurred. It could be used if the tenant was arrested at the unit with drugs or for performing some other illegal action. It could even be used in the event of a more minor infraction such as having an unauthorized pet at the unit.

This notice is not widely used in the Hayward area due to the difficulty that has been encountered when a court action is needed to enforce the notice. The burden of proof is on the owner of the property to show that the tenant has really broken the Rental Agreement. This has proven to be difficult with the current feelings of the courts towards tenants.

If you have Month-to-Month Rental Agreement, it has proven best to use the 60-Day notice to Terminate Tenancy because no reason is (in some cases) needed to terminate this agreement.

If you have a lease with several months remaining on the term of the agreement, a 3-Day notice to Correct or Quit may be your best choice. Keep in mind that you have to prove that a breach of the contract occurred.

This notice is typically used to increase the rent. It can also be used to change the day of the month when the rent is due, change the late charge fee, add a charge for an NSF check, or not allow pets in the unit. Any change that is desired can be made through this 60-Day Change Terms of Tenancy notice (in most instances).

A change in the terms of a Rental Agreement can only be made at the end of the term of the Agreement. If the Rental Agreement is a Month-to-Month agreement, a change can be made at the end of any month. If the Agreement is a lease for a year, the change can only be made at the end of the year.

When an owner wishes to make a change to the terms of a Verbal Rental Agreement a written notice to make these changes should be given to the tenant

The notice should contain all of the following items:

  • The name(s) of all the adult tenants, including those who were not originally on the rental agreement.
  • The address of the unit.
  • The date when these new terms will become effective (at least 30 days from the date you prepare the notice). Also include the words “or 60 days from the date this is served”.
  • State the new terms. For example: “the new rent will be $995.00” or “pets are no longer allowed at the property”.
  • Date
  • Signature line
  • Your address or phone number.

The notice does not need to be typed but should be legible. Be sure to keep a copy of the notice for your file.

This notice is very similar to the 30-Day notice to Change Terms, with the change being that the tenant will no longer live in the rental unit. This notice should contain all of the items mentioned for the Change Terms notice with the exception of the “new terms”.

As with the Change Terms notice, this notice can only be given at the end of the term of the agreement, either at the end of the month or end of the lease.

Once the notice has been prepared it must be served to the tenant in order to become a valid notice. This can be done in one of several ways.

Personal Service

This is the best type of service and should be attempted every time a notice needs to be delivered. Make a copy of the notice. Go to the unit where the tenant lives, knock on the door and when the tenant answers the door, verify that this is the person on the notice either by sight or ask them who they are and hand him/her the notice. Once they take hold of the notice it has legally been served.

If the person refuses to accept the notice, just place it on the floor or porch. This too is a valid service.

On the copy that you made of the notice, note the time and date that you served the notice and to whom you served the notice. If the person served is one of the tenants, the service is now complete.

If the person who comes to the door is not someone that lives there, give the notice to them, and write down the name of the person that you gave the notice to and the time and date. If the person will not give you his/her name, just make notes about the physical description of the person. When you return home, make another copy of the notice with all of the delivery information and mail the copy, first class mail, to the tenants. Be sure to make a note on the original notice that has the personal service information written on it, the date you mailed it to the tenants. This service is now complete.

If no one is home when you drop by to deliver the notice, try a second time a little later in the day. Make a note of when you tried to deliver it. If the tenants are not home when you try to deliver the notice the second time, tape the notice to the front door of the unit. This is often referred to as “posting” or “nailing” the notice. Make a note of the date and time that you “post” the notice. Then when you are back at home, make a copy of the notice with the posting information on it and mail it, first class mail, to the tenant. This service is now complete.

Here are some of the most common reasons to give a notice to a tenant:

  1. When the rent is late. If the rent is due on the 1st and you are nice enough to give them three days before you charge a late charge, and the rent has not been paid by the 3rd, you should serve the tenants with a notice on the 4th.
  2. When the tenant is breaking the lease by his/her actions. If the tenant has moved someone else in to the unit that was not part of the original agreement you should serve them with a notice. If the tenant now has a pet that was not part of the original agreement you should serve them with a notice.
  3. If it has been a year since you last raised the rent you should serve the tenant with a notice to increase the rent. (or a letter letting them know that you appreciate the way they take care of your unit and you will not be raising their rent this year)
  4. If you want to change any term or condition of the rental agreement you should serve a notice. When it comes to serving notices, it is not important whether you have a Verbal Rental Agreement or a Written Rental Agreement. Both you and the tenant have certain rights and responsibilities protected by law. There are also certain terms that are considered a part of every rental agreement whether the agreement is verbal or written.

A Rental Agreement does not have to be in writing to be enforceable. A Verbal Rental Agreement is just as binding, it is just more difficult to prove the terms of the agreement if the parties disagree on those terms. If your only Agreement is a Verbal Agreement, we need to ( ie Professional Publishing) put in writing the terms of your agreement with your tenant as you understand them, and have all adult tenants sign the Agreement.

There are 3 basic notices that are used with a 4th notice that can be used to the owners advantage under certain circumstances. We will discuss the 3 notices in detail.

3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit – May become a 15 days notice in 2021

This is perhaps the most widely used notice. When a tenant has not paid the rent as prescribed in the Rental Agreement (written or verbal), you should use this notice. Most of the time, the tenant will realize that you mean business when you serve this notice and they will pay the rent or make some sort of arrangement.

HABITABILITY INFORMATION

When “habitability” is referred to in the rental business, it is dealing with the basic, inalienable services that a Landlord must always supply to the tenant. These items cannot be forfeited by the tenant in the rental agreement or by any other means. Even if the Landlord and the tenant agree in writing that the tenant will be responsible for these items, a judge will hold the Landlord responsible if these are not provided for the tenant.

If an owner elects not to restore any of these services after receiving notice and given a reasonable time, the tenant has the option to do one of several things that include:

  1. To pay someone to restore these services as long as it does not exceed one month’s rent and deduct the expenses of the repair from the rent when due.
  2. Leave the unit regardless of the time left on the rental lease and not be responsible for the rent or any other contractual responsibilities.

If the tenant withholds rent because of the lack of services, they usually do not pay someone to have the repairs done. They usually argue about the work needed and just don’t pay. If a Landlord begins an eviction under these circumstances and the tenant contests the eviction and requests a court hearing before a judge, the tenant will prevail in the eviction as long as they can prove the work is not done and the Landlord was notified about the needed work.

Judges, especially in the Hayward courts, are very sympathetic towards tenants who are forced to live in units that do not meet the habitability standards of the law. The best that will happen to a Landlord in this situation is that the judge will decide to reduce the rent that is due, require the Landlord to make the needed repairs and tell the tenant to pay the reduced rent as soon as the work is done.

The worst that could happen is that the judge decides that no rent is due (or very little) and then the judge reduces the rent that was due (and paid previously) over the last 2-6 months, (depending on how long the problems have existed) and requires the Landlord to make the repairs and come back to court to prove the repairs were made. You hope this never happens to you because the loss of rents could be very high.

Actually, there is something else that could happen that would be worse. If the tenant were to ask for a jury trial and you were to present the case to a jury, this would be worse. This could take up to 5 court days, you may seek the counsel of an attorney at $300/hour or more and then lose back rents, current rents, and still have to make all the repairs. This would definitely be worse.

I hope that I have educated you enough to make sure that you provide these basic, inalienable services to your tenant.

Additionally, if there are any other services or working appliances that you offer to your tenants by way of a rental contract, (oral or written) or just by supplying them with the appliances, these items fall under a category similar to habitability when it comes to taking legal action. If these services are not provided, similar penalties could be required of the Landlord.

These habitability issues include the following:

  1. Lockable doors and secure windows that are not broken
  2. Clean dwelling at time of move-in.
  3. Working heating system
  4. Working electrical system that meets code requirements
  5. Working water system, including hot water
  6. Secure roof with no leaks
  7. Insect and rodent free environment
  8. Plumbing system that is functional and not leaking

If for any reason these services are not working properly and the owner has been notified either verbally, in writing or should know of any problems by way of personal inspections or reports from others who have been at the unit, the Landlord should restore these services immediately or as soon as is reasonably possible.