Managing investment property in San Francisco under the San Francisco rent control ordinance requires you to be aware of the law and protect yourself and your investment. If you are a landlord managing your own rental, keep these 3 things in mind. Please note this is not legal advice. These are opinions we are happy to share based on 25 years of experience managing rental property in San Francisco.
1. Familiarize yourself with the rent control ordinance. There are many good resources you can use to find information on San Francisco’s rent control law. Going online to research facts around what the ordinance requires will help. If you join the San Francisco Apartment Association, you will get a lot of updated information and helpful suggestions. Read the magazine they send out and check out their website. This association is a great tool in understanding the rent control ordinance.
2. Do not ignore problems. If you have a problem tenant who is acting out, or you discover that someone is storing junk or housing pets that are not allowed, take action immediately. It is very important that you address the problem instead of hiding from it. Follow up on the issue and put your expectations in writing. You must make clear demands on how to rectify the problem. If you ignore issues, San Francisco law will see you as giving your renters permission to do whatever it is they are doing to cause problems. Document everything. A phone call to the tenant will not be enough. Follow up with an email, a letter or some kind of written proof that you have discussed the problem and required the tenant to change a particular behavior.
3. Consider hiring an attorney. If you are managing investment property in San Francisco your self under the San Francisco rent control ordinance requires you to be aware of the law and protect yourself and your investment. If you are a landlord managing your own rental, keep these 3 things in mind, having a reliable and experienced real estate attorney with specific knowledge of landlord – tenant law in San Francisco will help you a lot. If you run into a situation where you think you might need a lawyer, you probably do. Look for an attorney who has experience in rent control cases and can provide sound advice and help when you need it. It will make a difference in how effectively you are able to manage your rent controlled property.
If the task of staying on top of your rent controlled residential property seems too much, you might be better off working with a property manager. A professional property manager can take care of your investment property for you, and ensure that all issues with your rent controlled apartment are managed. Property managers can be your best tool in managing tenants, rent control ordinances and legal issues that may arise in the care and leasing of your residential property.