Preparation is the key to anything in life. Though you can never know what is going to come your way, having a plan for “just in case” can help offset a lot of problems.
This is especially true for property owners in Antioch, CA. Rental property issues cannot be avoided. However, preparing for emergencies can, at the very least, reduce a lot of hassles.
If you want to make sure you’re ready to tackle any problem that comes your way, keep reading. Today we’ve got the best tools that all landlords should have on hand, so you can face even the most unpredictable of situations.
Top Tools All Antioch Property Owners Should Have on Hand
When you think of a “tool,” it’s likely you think of something you can physically hold in your hand. However, it’s good to know there are other helpful tools that landlords can take advantage of that go beyond a hammer and nails.
Physical Tools Landlords Need
Unless you use a local property management company to handle your rental’s maintenance and repair needs, there will be times you’ll need to fix things yourself. Plus, sometimes taking the DIY approach can save you money.
That said, if you’re going to self-manage your rental and make repairs, you’re going to need to have some tools readily available.
1. Basic Toolbox
Even if you aren’t very handy or don’t perform many property repairs, having a toolbox with basic tools is helpful. Having the right tool on hand can even save you from having to call a professional to perform an easy fix.
Here are some of the most common basic tools to include in your toolbox:
- Tape measure
- Power drill and bits
- Pry bar
You will also want to have some basic maintenance supplies on hand so you won’t have to make a trip to the hardware store. This includes things such as touchup paint and brushes, putty, putty knives, wood glue, electrical tape, spackling compound, and sandpaper. Having these things ready to go for odd jobs that may pop up in your rental will save you time and money.
2. Pressure Washer
Siding, decks, and fences can become dirty, stained, or molded without proper care. Of course, you can always hire a professional cleaner to power wash your Antioch property. But this can cost you hundreds of dollars each year.
If you can rent or even buy your own pressure washer, you’ll avoid the headache of having to hire someone to clean the exterior of your rental. Instead, you’ll be able to power wash it whenever the need arises.
3. Spare Keys and Bolt Cutters
Bolt cutters may seem like a small thing to buy as a landlord, but it is essential. You never know when a previous tenant will vacate your rental and leave behind a padlocked shed or abandoned grill chained to your porch. Worse yet, your tenant may abandon your rental or change the locks without you knowing. Trust us, having bolt cutters to cut right through those things right away will be worth the expense.
In addition, having a spare set of keys for those times your tenants lose them or lock themselves out will be appreciated by everyone involved.
4. Cleaning Supplies
Again, self-managing a rental property in Antioch can be a lot of work. But if you haven’t hired a property management company to help, you’re going to have to do things like clean your property in between tenants.
To make things easier, it’s a good idea to put together some cleaning supplies for when that time comes:
- Mop and bucket
- Spray bottle and cleaner
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Dish soap
- Scouring pad and magic erasers
- Vacuum cleaner
- Rags and sponges
- Oven cleaner
- Dish gloves
There’s nothing worse than a terrible tenant who leaves a mess behind in your rental. Unless you don’t have any cleaning supplies — then you’re really in trouble.
5. Landscaping tools
Another set of tools all landlords should have center around the yard. Of course, it will depend on what type of yard you have as to which tools you’ll need. But unless your tenants are responsible for landscaping your rental’s yards, and do an amazing job, you’ll have to pay someone to handle it for you if you don’t.
Here’s a list of the most common landscaping tools all landlords with yards to maintain can benefit from:
- Shovel, rake, pruning shears
- Lawnmower, grass trimmer, leaf blower, hedge trimmers
- Gloves, safety equipment, buckets
You might even need seasonal tools such as a snowblower to ensure the walkways up to your property are safe for tenants.
In the end, having the right physical tools on hand to help you maintain your Antioch rental property will go a long way in terms of saving time and money.
Online Tools Landlords Need
As a rental property owner, you wear many hats. This means you will have to take care of not only your tenants but the paperwork too.
Because of this, all landlords must have an arsenal of online tools to help them manage their rentals in the most efficient ways possible.
1. Reputable Landlord-Tenant Law Website
If you self-manage your California rental property, it’s your responsibility to stay up to date on all landlord-tenants laws. This can be tough to do if you don’t know where to look.
Luckily, websites like Apartments.com have information about some of the most important California rental property laws gathered in one accessible place for you to reference, such as:
- Security Deposits: information about deposit maximums, interest accrual, itemized list requirements, return deadlines, and what happens if you fail to comply.
- Lease, Rent, and Fees: rules about when rent is due, how tenants can pay rent, rent increase notices, late fees, and rent withholding rules.
- Legal Notices: a list of rules regarding common notices such as Notice to Terminate Tenancy, Eviction for Nonpayment, Notice of Entry for Non-Emergencies, and Lockout/Utility Shutoff allowances.
- Required Disclosures: information about required disclosures related to bed bugs, mold, sexual offenders, pests, smoking, and much more.
- Court and Business Information: Links to California courts that handle rental property related issues and information about your rental property business license.
2. Notice Form Templates
There are many times when you’ll need to communicate with your tenants in written form. For example, you might send out a Notice to Pay or Quit when your tenant is late on rent, an Offer of Renewal when you want your tenant to stay, or a Notice of Entry/Intent to Enter when you need to enter your property.
One of the most convenient ways to take care of written notices is to have commonly used written notice templates on hand. They will have all the required information you need and are easy to fill in with the appropriate information. Then, any time you need to use one, you can just fill in the blanks and send it to your tenants.
3. Free Resources
We all love free things, especially when they can help us become better at generating a profit. Another great website to take advantage of is LandlordAssociation.org.
Here you will find tons of tools for helping you become a better landlord:
- Landlord-tenant laws
- Discussion groups
- Leasing, rental, and tenant screening forms
- Recommended reading for landlords
- Tenant screening and rent collection services
In what they deem the “Landlord Tool Box,” LandlordAssociation.org strives to gather everything you need to become a successful landlord in one convenient location for you to reference any time you need it.
In the end, there are plenty of “tools” you can use to make your life as a landlord less stressful and more successful. That said, it’s still going to take a lot of effort to stay on top of it all.
Are you ready to get some help managing your Antioch rental property? Then contact us today and see how we can help take a load off your plate and make being a property owner easier.
At Blueline Property Management, we know that understanding landlord-tenant laws, collecting rent, performing maintenance and repairs, and everything in between is tough — even with the right tools on hand.
When you use us to help with your property management needs, you never have to worry about a thing. All you have to do is hand over the keys and let us do the rest. With experienced and knowledgeable property managers working for you and your tenants, you can trust that all the tools needed to successfully manage a rental property are at our disposal.
So, let us take on all the work, utilize the landlord tools we have on hand, and give you the freedom to enjoy your investment property without all the headaches.