It is one of AOA’s goals to support you in making your business of providing housing for others more profitable, easier and more enjoyable! We also aim to provide information from which you will discover at least one idea that will help you make and/or keep more money than ever before.
Our commitment to you is to assist you in becoming as successful as possible in all that you do!
Below are a few of the most common questions and hints to help your business of landlording.
- Did you know that a Federal Fair Housing law requires every property with four or more units to have a Federal Fair Housing poster displayed in a conspicuous location on the property? It can be in the rental office or some place that is visible to residents and prospective tenants when they apply. To be in compliance with this law, the poster must be a minimum of 11 inches by 14 inches. AOA has a laminated copy of this poster available for $15.
- Do you use the “two people per bedroom PLUS ONE” rule for your vacancies? National groups are now filing discrimination suits against owners who are restricting occupancy using only “two people per bedroom” as a rule. HUD ruled that families with small children should be accommodated, so if you haven’t adopted the PLUS ONE rule, do so immediately. It could save you lawsuits and/or fines.
- If your building is under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles rent control, you must also post the L.A. Rent Control Notice to Tenants which can be found on aoausa.com. A laminated copy is available for only $10.
- Have you created your written Criteria Qualification List to hand out to applicants, along with your application? Get an application and apply your list to each applicant 18 years or older to avoid discrimination lawsuits. (Get a FREE sample copy on www.aoausa.com.)
- Do you make sure an application is filled out completely AND signed? You may not run credit/eviction reports without your applicant’s signature.
- Do you always, as required by law, give your prospective tenant a written receipt for screening fees when received? (AOA form 147)
- Did you know it is against the Fair Credit Reporting Act to discuss results of a credit report with rejected applicants? You must send the required Tenant Rejection Notice (adverse action) in writing? Does that notice have the proper, required language? (AOA form 140)
- Are you aware of these required forms that need to be included with every rental agreement?
- Flood Disclosure
- EPA Lead-Based Paint Booklet – (buildings built before 1978)
- Information on Bedbugs
- (Please check with your city for other city specific forms)
- Do you completely fill out the Move-In / Move-Out Checklist (AOA form 131) in the presence of your new tenant BEFORE they move in? Did they sign it?
- Do you take photos of the move-in condition?
- Do you make it a rule to never make exceptions and give keys to prospective tenants before the rental agreement is signed and full monies received?
- Do you have an updated, professionally drafted Resident Manager Agreement? Laws for resident managers are very intricate and change Be sure to update your agreement accordingly.
- When a tenant gives you a 30-day notice to vacate, you are required and MUST offer them a “pre-inspection” walk-through no sooner than two weeks before the actual move-out date. This gives your tenant a list of items that will be deducted from their security deposit if not corrected/repaired before move-out. Are you familiar with the AB 2330 Walk-Through? (AOA form 135)
- As with the move-in condition, do you take pictures of the move-out condition? Photos are worth a thousand words in court.
- Are you aware that it is the owner/manager’s responsibility to inspect and ensure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly functioning? Are you conducting regular unit inspections? (AOA form 139)
- Are you familiar with all of AOA’s forms? They are designed to make your life as a landlord easier, from processing applications for move-in to sending the security deposit refund letter when a tenant vacates. (AOA form 133)
- Are you getting the best and paying the least for your credit, eviction and background reports? AOA’s “4-Star” Tenant Screening Package is only $16.95 and you receive:
- TWO Nationwide Eviction Searches
- Choice of Experian or a Transunion Credit Report
- Instant Nationwide Criminal Search
- FICO Score
- ABC Credit Report Card
- Sex Offender Search
- America’s Most Wanted Search
- Terrorist Search
- Narcotics Traffickers Search
- Public Records
- Civil Judgments
- Social Security Verification On Credit
- Consumer Information
- Consumer Trade Lines
- Account Payment History
- Account Payment Obligation
- Account Credit Availability
- Are you, as a member of AOA, set up to run these reports? If not, call your nearest AOA office and ask for the Compliance Department.
- Did you know that AOA has a “Group Insurance Plan” that has saved money for many owners? Please call and see if we can save you money too!
If there is a topic you would like to see covered in the AOA magazine, please feel free to send your requests to [email protected] and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the AOA News and Buyers Guide.