This article was posted on Thursday, Jan 01, 2015

AOA Consultants get calls daily from our members with a variety of problems; some unfortunately after our owners are already in trouble.  Please use the below as a guide to easier management, money-saving ideas and to avoid potential legal problems in the New Year.   Our goal is your continued success!           

  1. Have AOA search credit, eviction and criminal reports on all of your prospective renters.
  2. Have a written and legal Resident Manager’s agreement.
  3. Be sure to have your resident manager report their hours in writing to you on a weekly basis.  AOA’s form #119A is designed for this purpose.
  4. If you’re not already a member, JOIN AOA TODAY – get the help you need with your property – up-to-date rental forms, FREE advice, FREE seminars, FREE monthly magazine, low-cost, instant credit, eviction and criminal reports, AOA’s collection services and you may save money with AOA’s Group Insurance Plan.
  5. Have your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked every six months. Inspect your units regularly for plumbing leaks; preventative maintenance saves you money.
  6. Always conduct enter and exit checklist inspections – use AOA’s form #131.
  7. Serve 3-Day Notices to Pay Rent in a timely fashion – immediately- the day after rent is due.
  8. Be diligent in collecting your late fees.
  9. Call your AOA advisor BEFORE you make that mistake.  We’re here to help.
  10. Make a copy of proper IDs (license,SSN) on all prospective tenants.
  11. Check rental applications thoroughly – speak with previous landlords, verify employment, etc.
  12. When rejecting applicants, you must do so in writing.  Use the legally required Adverse Action “rejection notice” – form #140, available at
  13. Standardize and write down your rental criteria requirements to avoid discrimination lawsuits. This should be given to each new applicant with your application to rent.  A sample copy of a criteria list may be found under the forms section of AOA’s website –
  14. Keep rejected applicant files for five years and shred when tossing.
  15. Do not advertise for resident managers as “Couple Needed” or “Husband & Wife Team” – this is discrimination.
  16. Hire AOA’s Advertisers who are dedicated to serving our industry.  Always obtain competitive bids to cut expenses.
  17. Educate yourself – attend AOA’s FREE Trade Show and Landlording Conferences.  Our next scheduled Trade Show is April 15, 2015 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
  18. Consider accepting pets – many responsible pet owners make great tenants.
  19. Use the most updated, current AOA rental forms – toss your old ones.
  20. Call AOA Commercial Brokerage BEFORE you buy or sell an apartment building.  Our professional agents have been serving our members’ needs for over 30 years.
  21. Be sure to offer your vacating tenant the required AB2330 Walk-Through “pre-inspection” no sooner than two weeks prior to the move-out date.
  22. Send back security deposits within the 21 day legal time frame, including the necessary receipts/invoices for each item costing over $125.00.
  23. Update your tenants’ information (current employment) (emergency phone numbers). 

The staff at AOA wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!  

Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the Apartment Owners News & Buyers Guide.  . This article is a general guide and has no legal representation.  It is suggested that you contact an attorney for legal advice should the need present itself.


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