Hi this is Paul Kankowski with HouseMatch property management, and today I’m going to talk to you about what is Renters Rights in San Diego California, in property management?
So, you have a property, a house or apartment, and you want to know what the renter’s rights are. There’s a ton of renter’s rights, and I suggest that you study it, but I’m going to give you the top five things that people screw up with on renters’ rights, and that you need to know as a renter or as a landlord- what their rights are?
The first right of a renter is showing up the property. As the owner of the property, when you rent the property, you are giving the renter the fact that that’s their property. You can’t just show up, you can’t just walk into their property. Now, can you go to the front of the house and take pictures of the front house whatever you want? Sure, just like the mailman could or anybody else could. But, can you go and climb into the backyard, or walk into the backyard, and see how the fruit trees are growing without letting the tenant know? NO! that is not legal. You are trespassing on their contract that they have. Yes you own the property, but that doesn’t give you a right to do what you want. Can you walk into the property as you see fit? Definitely Not! that is just going to lead to you getting sued, so understand if you want to go inside the property, if you want to go in the back, you need to have a reason. It can’t just be because I just want to go look at it – it’s my property.
So, what are some reasons?
Tenant has a repair that needs to be done, can you check on the repair and see how it was done? Yes! as long as you give proper notice to the tenant, and say, Hey! I saw a bit of sink repair, and I want to check on the sink repair.
Another good reason would be to check on safety issues. So, here at HouseMatch, we check the smoke detectors, the water heater, those types of things. We check them every six to 12 months. We check to make sure that the smoke detectors are working, and so you know, but we give ample notification to tenants. Hey! we’re coming in, and are we filming the tenants personal belongings? No, our job is to look at the property, look at the things that we need to see, and make sure that we account for that.
Tip number two is notice! You just can’t say that I want the tenant out. You have to give proper notice in California. So, let’s say you sell your house – the tenant has six months left in their lease. You can’t just say – Hey! Tenant, I want you to move. They get to stay till the end of their lease when you can sell your house, but the new buyer needs to know that there’s a tenant in place, and they have to respect that lease. that’s there.
That’s the rule number one with giving notice.
Second one, is if the tenant’s been there for less than a year, you need to give a 30-day notice, if the tenant has been there for more than a year, you need to give a 60-day notice. If you’re watching this video and still doing COVID time right now, we are required to give 60-day notice to all tenants.
Tip number three – As the owner of property, you can say no pets, that is completely legal – you cannot allow pets into your property. But service animals and emotional support animals are not pets – they are not that and you cannot
restrict them. So, if you have a policy, and someone has a comfort support animal, you can’t say I’m sorry I don’t take that pet as that is illegal. You can make them validate that it’s a comfort support animal. Here at HouseMatch, we have a third-party provider that we use to validate all pets and support animals. But you cannot restrict that – that is against the law and you will get yourself sued. So, understand even though you might not want that Labrador that’s a comfort support animal, that’s not your choice.
The fourth thing is, it is not required by California law to change locks between tenants. It is smart to do that. I would tell you right now to change the locks between tenants. If the key for some reason went off to somebody else between tenants, and something bad happens. As a landlord you’re leaving yourself very liable. We at house match require all locks be changed between tenants. If you are a tenant and you’re moving into a property, make sure the locks are going to be changed and if they’re not going to be changed, ask to see if you can pay to have them
changed. You don’t want to have the keys out there between tenants, it’s just a safety issue.
The last tip is, when in doubt contact your attorney. Make sure you’re doing things right, make sure you’re following the guidelines. Here at HouseMatch, as a property manager, I listen to hours and hours of webinars a month to make sure that I’m caught up with the laws, and the laws change all the time. It’s your job, it’s your responsibility. If you are doing property management yourself, it’s your responsibility to be up-to date on the laws. You can’t go to a judge and say I’m sorry I didn’t realize the law changed – that is your responsibility. Make sure you stay current on all laws, so you don’t do anything that would go against your tenants’ rights.
This is Paul Kankowski with HouseMatch, have a wonderful day and if you’re looking for property management, we would love to help.