New Year, New Approaches; Refreshing Your Property Management Strategies for 2024

Posted By: Tiffany Van Buren Rental Housing Topics,

New Year’s resolutions: they aren’t a new idea, oftentimes used to set lofty self-improvement goals. But have you ever applied this philosophy to your business practice? What did you learn in 2023 that you can resolve to do better in 2024? Here are some ideas to get you started on your own list of 2024 New Year’s Resolutions:

  • I will maintain my BPOA membership.

This, of course, is paramount! We keep you informed of the changes to rental housing law that impact how you operate your business, remind you of important dates and deadlines, provide education and resources, and are always here to offer guidance in this challenging landscape. We are your Berkeley Rent Stabilization Ordinance experts, and if you’re flying without us, you’re flying without a net.

  • I will comply with Berkeley Rent Registry requirements.

It is unlawful to take the AGA increase if you’re not in compliance with the Registry, and the Rent Board is trying to add penalties for failure to register. Avoid consequences by ensuring your rental units and tenancies are properly registered.

  • I will address any habitability issues in my rentals and will require that repair requests be made in writing.

The implied warranty of habitability in California is a legal doctrine that ensures rental properties meet basic living and safety standards. Leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, lack of heat, electrical failures, pests, vermin, or floors/stairways/railings in disrepair require your immediate attention. A written request is helpful for historical documentation, but oral requests are still valid.

  • I will conduct the annual RHSP.

 Every rental unit in Berkeley, regardless of whether under local rent control, must be enrolled in the Rental Housing Safety Program and inspected annually by July 1st. The RHSP gives you a valid reason under state law to enter an occupied rental unit – take advantage of this opportunity to do a thorough inspection with the RHSP checklist, and ensure your tenants are keeping the premises “clean, orderly, well ventilated, sanitary, and in good condition and repair,” as codified in the BPOA lease.

  • When executing documents, I will always start with fresh downloads from the BPOA website.

Our lease, addenda and disclosures are revised annually, and we often update the forms in our Content Library. Don’t take the chance of using a stale document – always start with freshly downloaded documents to ensure you’re using the most current version available.

  • I will require that my tenants maintain renters’ insurance.

The BPOA lease requires that tenants obtain and maintain renters’ insurance. If you are not enforcing this clause, we recommend that you start doing so. You can find a printable/downloadable flier from Toggle. a low-cost option for renters, under the Resources tab of our website. Sharing the flier with your tenant lets them know you’re serious about enforcing the lease and gives them a reasonably affordable way to achieve compliance. If they have auto insurance, they can bundle it with a renter’s policy for additional savings.

  • I will not advertise on Craigslist.

Due to the propensity for fraud on this platform, we recommend avoiding Craigslist when marketing vacancies. You may consider using another ILS (Internet Listing Service), such as Zillow, CalRentals, &/or Intellirent.

  • I will not be intimidated by technology.

I know this is hard for some of you! Plenty of our members still prefer printing paper leases, meeting in person for lease signing, and want the rent paid by paper check. The harsh truth is that times have changed, becoming less analog and more digital by the day. The time to start conquering your fears of technology is now! Behind the scenes, BPOA is working on ways of making document signing easier…stay tuned.

  • I will utilize my BPOA membership year ‘round.

We're in this together, and your support is vital. Explore the wealth of resources beyond our document library – check out the upcoming events on our Calendar, delve into informative videos from our On-Demand library, navigate local governance with City Laws & Regulations under the Resources tab, and leverage Intellirent for seamless tenant application and screening. Plan to join us at one of our upcoming member social mixers (TBA) to connect with fellow independent rental housing heroes. Whether you prefer an in-person visit to our downtown office or a call to speak with a member of our staff, we're here for you. Your active participation makes us stronger. Thank you for being an essential part of the BPOA community!