As advisors at AOA, we are required and always strive to address concerns with kindness and professionalism. It is not my intent to “belittle” anyone, but sometimes, we are amazed at questions and are grateful that thoughts can’t be heard.
At a time when it seems that being a rental property owner is most difficult, I thought a little humor may take the edge off. I’m not making these up, folks. Below are some of those calls.
Caller: I have a house in Downey and when I filled out the rental agreement, I mistakenly put the start date as May 2021 and the end date of June 2021 and it was signed by both parties. I meant to make it a one-year lease – can we just call it a typo and it can be effective for a year?
Caller: I have a house in Montebello I’m renting. Am I supposed to give them a form that tells whether or not they are under state rent control?
Me: That notice is not necessary for new tenants as we have now included that notice in our new rental agreements and there are boxes to check to let them know if they are subject to or exempt from state rent control. Just check one of the boxes on your rental agreement.
Caller: So, I should just check one of the boxes and give them a blank rental agreement?
Caller: My current tenant, who is moving, asked me to rent to her friend who she described as very nice and also “religious”. When I ran the credit on her friend, I discovered that it’s not quite what I require, but I decided to rent to her anyway as she will move right in her friend’s unit and it’s less of a headache for me.
Before I received the move-in fees, I completed the AOA lease that specifically states that I acknowledged receipt of those funds (I filled in the amounts anticipating…) and I gave her a copy signed by both of us. This new tenant now says that she doesn’t have the first month’s rent or security deposit and I have also found out that she has financial problems. Do I have to give her the keys because I don’t want to?” (By the way, I’ve been a landlord for 30 years and this has never happened to me.)
Caller: Hello, is it okay to raise the rent now?
Me: In what rent control jurisdiction is your building?
Caller: I don’t know, you tell me.
Caller: How much money should I put on the rental agreement for a late fee charge?
Me: Courts have found anything above 6% of the rent to be unreasonable.
Caller: So, I should put 6%?
Me: Yes, you can.
Caller: How much is 6% of the rent?
Caller: My tenant had a contract with Section 8 and Section 8 canceled her. She moved out with no money and was living on the street so I let her back in my apartment. Since then, (2018) she has not paid any rent and it is now several years later. I contacted housingiskey.com to apply for funds and they said they wanted a copy of the rental agreement. Can I back-date one now and get rent for all of those years due to COVID? (Nice try.)
Caller: My tenant died without giving a 30-day notice …
Caller: I have been looking for a resident manager who can do some handyman work for quite some time. I’m getting many calls from women, but I want a man. The only good male applicant I have found who has handyman skills owes a previous landlord $3,000, has bad credit and an eviction record. Should I hire him anyway?
Caller: On the rental agreement, there are two boxes that give options notifying whether or not a tenant is subject to or exempt from California state rent control. I didn’t know which one to check so I checked both.
Patricia Harris is Senior Editor of the AOA News and Buyers Guide