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Property Owner Q&A

What documents does an owner need to review and/or sign?

INTEMPUS REALTY will provide the owner with a Property Management Agreement to get started. During the course of the agreement the owner will be provided with various documents including a “Move-In/Move-Out Inspection,” “Residential Lease,” “Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Addendum,” and other statutory and compliance addendums.

Who chooses the tenant?

INTEMPUS REALTY selects the most qualified tenant in an effort to strictly comply with Fair Housing Laws. This process is designed to help prevent potential problems for owners. INTEMPUS REALTY works with the owner to identify and present the most qualified tenants, but INTEMPUS REALTY has the final say. If an owner refuses to approve any applicant because of bias or discrimination we will be forced to cancel our property management agreement. (Government Code Sections 12926(p), 12927(e), 12955(a),(d). See Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code Section 12900 and following; Federal Fair Housing Act, 42 United States Code Section 3601 and following.)

How does INTEMPUS REALTY screen tenant applicants?

INTEMPUS REALTY utilizes an investigatory system to prepare a report which evaluates credit history, past evictions, and criminal records. We also verify employment and income utilizing the applicant’s most recent two paystubs. The tenant pays for cost incurred for the screening report by INTEMPUS REALTY.

Who signs the lease agreement?

INTEMPUS REALTY signs the lease agreement as an agent for the owner as this is the most expedient procedure. The owner will receive a copy of the fully executed lease agreement and a copy will be retained in the owner’s file permanently stored on a server with our accounting system.

Can the owner review the rental application and credit report?

No. As an agent for the owner, INTEMPUS REALTY has permission from tenants to evaluate certain private information they are giving in return for being considered for a unit. INTEMPUS REALTY is not allowed to turn over this private information, however, the owner is entitled to have a copy of the fully executed lease agreement for their files.

Who determines the rental rate?

INTEMPUS REALTY works closely with the owner of the property to determine the appropriate rent.  INTEMPUS REALTY utilizes an innovative marketing campaign used to sell multi-million dollar homes to get top dollar for your rental.  INTEMPUS REALTY determines the current market rental rate based on comparable rentals in the neighborhood and surrounding marketplace. INTEMPUS REALTY will consult with the owner to collaborate and will use owner’s recommendation if owner insists. When the rental rate is competitive there will be many applicants ready to sign the rental agreement. If not, the property will stay vacant until some tenant agrees to the required rate.

Who holds the Security Deposit during the tenancy?

INTEMPUS REALTY holds the security deposit in a separate trust account as mandated by law. This process is designed to help prevent potential problems for owners who sometimes fail to maintain the proper balances in their security deposit trust accounts. In some counties, such as San Francisco county, tenants also can earn interest on the security deposits through the trust accounts which is paid annually or at the end of the tenancy. In Santa Clara county, deposits have to be kept in non interest bearing account and no interest is due to the tenant.

Who returns the security deposit and when?

The California Civil Code 1950.5 dictates the law regarding requirements and returns of security deposits. INTEMPUS REALTY will follow the law for tenant rights, landlord rights, landlord obligations, and course of conduct. Generally, a security deposit must be returned within 21 days after a tenant has vacated a property. The amount returned may reflect deductions for cleaning, repairs, unpaid rent, or damage to furnishings after the tenant has been given the statutory warnings and notices regarding their ability to rectify those issues. (California Civil Code Section 1950.5(g)(1))

What is the current law regarding giving notices to tenants to vacate?

California Civil Code Section requires a 30-day notice to vacate if the tenant has been in the property less than one year and a 60-day notice if more than one year. A 90-day notice is required if the tenant has a Section 8 Housing Voucher. (California Civil Code Section 1946)

How often are inspections done?

INTEMPUS REALTY offers a once-a-year preventative maintenance inspection conducted by our experienced staff for a fee. We will also conduct inspections upon request of the tenant, upon the receipt of a complaint, upon the notice from a vendor, upon the notice of a continued maintenance request, upon a 30-day or 60-day notice to vacate, as well as  prior-tenancy and post-tenancy inspections. If INTEMPUS REALTY has placed the owner on notice of problems and the owner refuses to repair or maintain areas of the property that require constant observation INTEMPUS REALTY reserves the right to bill owner for repeated visits and/or inspections of the property.

Why does Property Management company need reserve/escrow account?

The purpose of escrow/reserve account is so that the Property Manager can use these funds for emergency repairs. It is a held cash balance inside the owners operating account within a trust account. Usually, this amount is withheld from the first rent check and gets replenished every time the funds are used with the consequent rent payment.

Does INTEMPUS REALTY require owners to maintain a balance in their accounts for maintenance charges or miscellaneous expenses?

Yes. INTEMPUS REALTY requires a $500 balance in the owner’s account to pay for minor maintenance and miscellaneous expenses.

Who decides maintenance cost controls? What about emergencies?

If maintenance issues arise INTEMPUS REALTY will delegate repairs up to $300 without consent of the owner. If the repair is over $300 the owner will be contacted and INTEMPUS REALTY will obtain bids before a decision is made regarding the repair. In the event of an emergency all attempts to contact the owner will be made, however, to prevent injury to person or property an emergency repair will be made to mitigate damages with expediency.  Regardless the cost of the repair, the owner is notified right away of any maintenance request via email and work order being created in their portal.  With INTEMPUS REALTY, you will never be surprised!

Can the owner use their own maintenance person, contractor, or handyman?

The owner can choose anybody they wish to perform repairs on their property. However, if the repair requires a building permit, the owner shall only use licensed, insured and qualified professionals. If the owner chooses to use unlicensed people INTEMPUS REALTY will issue a notice to the owner regarding the potential risks of this course of conduct.

What happens if the tenant is late with rent or doesn’t pay rent?

If a tenant hasn’t paid by the 3rd call, an email notification, and a written letter is sent via US mail. There is also a late fee charged at this time of $25 for first late and $35 for subsequent late fees (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161(2)-(4)). If the tenant doesn’t respond with a payment or a valid legal excuse by the 5th of the month, a three-day notice to pay or vacate will be issued and the eviction process will begin. We will also notify the tenant that we intend to report the late payment to a national credit bureau. We will report negative credit information to a credit bureau and disclose this policy to the tenant. We will also notify the tenant before or within 30 days after reporting the negative payment history. (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161(2)-(4); California Civil Procedure Section 1785.26.)

Does INTEMPUS REALTY provide a property condition report before tenant move-in and after the tenant vacated?

Yes, INTEMPUS REALTY provides a pre-tenancy condition report, and a post-tenancy condition report, complete with photos and damage description (if any).

What if the tenant or tenant guests causes damage?

If damage to the property by the tenant or their guests can be proved, the owner is within their rights to withhold the cost to repair and/or replace the damage from the tenant’s security deposit. (California Civil Code Section 1950.5(b)(3)).

How much is the maximum security deposit?

INTEMPUS REALTY can charge up to twice the monthly rent for unfurnished units, or 2-1/2 times for unfurnished units with a waterbed, and three times the rent for furnished units or 3-1/2 times for furnished units with waterbeds. (California Civil Code Section 1950.5.)

What can security deposits be used for at the end of the tenancy?

California Civil Code Section 1950.5 specifies that a tenant’s security deposit may be used for 1) unpaid rent, 2) repairs or damage caused by the tenant or tenant’s guests, 3) for cleaning the unit to a state identical to when tenant took possession, and 4) or any financial damages caused by tenant.  INTEMPUS REALTY will issue a courtesy furnishings or keys if agreed to at inception of lease. (California Civil Code Section 1950.5(b); California Civil Code Section 1950.5(b)(e)).

Can the owner charge extra for pets, or not allow pets?

Yes, if owner allows pets, usually $250 to $500 is added to the security deposit for pets. In addition, a monthly pet rent can be charged between $50 to $100, but the security deposit may not exceed two times the rent for unfurnished or three times the rent for furnished.

What happens during an emergency condition?

INTEMPUS REALTY is on call 24-hours for emergencies. During business hours we will send a vendor out immediately. If after hours the tenant’s call will go to a 24-hour call service. After assessing the emergency condition action will be taken either immediately or early the next morning if not life threatening.

What happens when major work is required on the property?

Some minor work may be required to turn over a unit (i.e., get it ready for rent to a new tenant). Such work may be quoted by Intempus. This typically includes minor handyman’s work, paint touch up, caulking, cleaning, etc. If work involved is basic Handyman services, Intempus bills at $75/hour.  Intempus also can bid on a larger construction and remodeling projects.   Outside vendors are usually  hired to repair major systems like roof replacement, exterior and interior painting, major remodeling, major plumbing or electrical replacement or installation. The project and its particulars are discussed and detailed out with owner. If you would like Property Manager to oversee the larger project performed by another contractor, the Property Manager may charge additional fee.

Does INTEMPUS REALTY obtain more than one bid for work?

INTEMPUS REALTY obtains competitive bids for all work, unless it is minor repair under $300. Intempus utilizes a trusted network of vendors to ensure timely property maintenance and repair of every issue.  Excessive requests by owners for more than three bids for work will result in a service charge for our time in obtaining the bids. Our best judgment will be used during these situations and sometimes less than three bids will be obtained if it is determined that the bids received and fair and competitive for the work required.

Does INTEMPUS REALTY inspect completed work?

Yes. However, some landscaping projects, minor leaks, and other minor repairs will not be inspected if the contractor is reputable and provides digital photographs of the work performed. These small projects will typically be inspected when INTEMPUS REALTY is getting the property ready to market for rent and/or showing to prospective tenants.

Does the owner get copies of receipts for work completed?

Yes. All receipts and invoices will be included in the monthly invoices and/ or reports sent to owner. A copy will also be included in the owner’s portal and permanently stored on a server with our accounting system.

Does INTEMPUS REALTY prepare properties to sell?

Yes. INTEMPUS REALTY is a licensed real estate broker and can assist owners with any and all real estate needs including pre-sale remodeling, pre-sale curb appeal make over, marketing, listing, sales, and closing. If the owner has an agent they would like to use other than INTEMPUS REALTY we can help with all services the agent does not want to handle, however, INTEMPUS REALTY will charge a reasonable fee to perform such services.

How would the property owner contact INTEMPUS REALTY with questions, comments or concerns?

INTEMPUS REALTY is always available to discuss the ongoing contractual relationship between property owners and INTEMPUS REALTY. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions, concerns or comments at (408) 748-7592.

Why is homeowner's insurance required?

Homeowner’s / Landlord’s Insurance is important because it protects you from financial loss resulting from accidents, natural disasters, injuries and other liability issues associated with your rental property.

Why does Intempus need to be added as Additional Insured?

We ask that you add Intempus Realty as additional insured which extends coverage to the Property Management company since we are hired to help you limit exposure to and manage the inherent risk of owning and renting property. Below are the additional reasons to have such coverage:

1.Property managers take on liability to manage your property

If a tenant gets hurt on the property by falling off the roof, or hurting their hand in the garbage disposal, or getting injured in a fire, their attorney will find a reason to sue you, your manager, and the last three contractors that worked on the house. Management’s company liability policy will not cover incidents like this. Landlord’s Insurance company will come to everyone’s defense if the manager is named on the policy.

2.Management Agreements require it

There is language in the management agreement you sign with your property manager requiring that you add them as an additional insured. Every reputable property management company requires it.

3.It is standard practice

Most landlord policies “automatically include the management company” as an additional insured (State Farm is one example). Some insurers require that you ask the agent to add the manager (like AllState).

4.It costs you nothing

There is no additional premium charged to add your property manager to your policy. It is standard practice.

Are tenant required to carry renter's insurance?

Renter’s insurance is a mandatory requirement under our lease agreement. Tenants must have a minimum of $100K of personal liability coverage for damages caused by negligence. Additionally, tenants may choose to insure their personal property against loss or damage.

Is it better to have a home warranty policy?

When you hire Intempus, you will have use of internal maintenance staff and partner vendors to complete the work quickly and efficiently at competitive costs. It may cost you more with a home warranty policy since not all claims are covered and turnaround time may be around 3 or more weeks because it has to go a through an authorization period. Renter’s can quickly get frustrated just due to delays and if there are any hazardous conditions, it may be a means to not pay rent.

Are carbon monoxide and smoke detectors required?

State law requires smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all single family dwelling units. Smoke Alarms shall be installed in each room, hallways with exception of bathrooms and kitchen. This applies to all stories of the dwelling, including basements, excluding crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. (for additional details refer to Cal. Health & Safety Code sections 13113.7 and13113.8).

Can I be notified if workorders are over $150 instead of $300?

We prefer not to slow down the repair process by requiring additional approvals for simple fixes. This keeps the tenants happy and make them stay longer at the property which results in lower vacancy for the landlord.

What if I have unpermitted upgrades in the home?

Unpermitted upgrades are any construction that does not carry necessary permits from local jurisdiction. Unpermitted upgrades will need to be notated in the property management agreement that is signed between Intempus and Landlord. When the city becomes aware, they record the violations and provide landlord with a deadline to rectify issues accordingly. This can mean either obtaining a permit for the upgrade by having a city or county inspector review the update to bring the property up to code or to restore it back to it’s original state. This can become more complicated if there is a tenant in place because the residents will have to make the specific area of the home in question available for potential reconstruction.

Can Intempus manage a remodeling project?

Since managing a large remodeling project is beyond the scope of Property Manager as it takes a lot of extra time and coordination, there is an additional charge of 10% from the total project cost.  If the work is done by Intempus Contractor that fee is included in the bid.

Will there be anything I need to be aware of If I live out of the country?

In the state of California, property management companies are required to withhold 7% of gross payments that is paid as Franchise Tax to the state. This only applied to owners who reside outside the state. There is a waiver IRS form 588 that we can submit on your behalf to have this withholding waived. It will still need to be paid at the end of the year when you submit your taxes. We send all the statements and funds electronically so it doesn’t matter if you reside out of state or country.

Does it make sense to rent my home furnished?

Renting your home furnished makes it easier for tenants to move out easily so this may not be a good idea if you are looking for long term tenants. We can charge up to 3 times rent for security deposit on a furnished home versus 2 times on unfurnished home. Generally, you can charge extra 5% on a furnished home depending on the quality and condition of the furniture. At the time of the move-in inspection each piece of furniture will be itemized in an excel sheet along with the condition summary and picture of the item. We highly suggest to keep any personal items of personal value away from the property.

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