Property Owner & Real Estate Investor FAQ:
If I have my property managed by
American West Properties Property Management, can you
save me money?
In most cases we have found that our fees
are more than offset by our ability to
obtain higher rents, less delinquency, lower
vacancy rates, lower repair costs, and a faster
turn around of vacating units. In short, your cash flow will be better than if you try to manage all of the day-to-day burdens yourself. The Owner can also usually
write off these management expenses and get a schedule
E tax deduction for these services. Our services help to PROTECT your investment, ENHANCE your
cash flow, and SAVE your valuable time. You will be better off with Professional Property Management...
Especially when that management is from a
company that also is an owner / investor!
Do I lose control of my property
once you start to manage it?
No. We work for you, and with you, and guide
you in setting the
parameters not defined by law. We are
also real estate investors, and will help
you through the management, tax, accounting,
and even resale or 1031 conversion of your
Do you manage only residential
We are specialists in the management of
residential and small commercial properties.
Do you charge the tenant a security
deposit? What about a pet fee?
Yes. Our policy is that the security deposit
is typically one month's
rent for unfurnished properties. Pets are not allowed without your
permission except service animals. When pets are allowed, an
additional pet fee typically is required for
each cat, dog or other animal. Any
damage above and beyond the pet deposit
remain the tenants responsibility. The
pet deposit is used to offset the costs of a
mandatory steam cleaning that is done on
your carpet after the
What happens to the tenant's
security deposit? Do you send it to me?
We can return it to you or we can keep it into a trust fund according to state law. The owner is not required to place the deposit into a separate account but must be able to properly return the security deposit (after making lawfully allowed deductions) within 21 days as required by California law.
There are currently no requirements for owners to pay interest on security deposits unless you live in select rent-controlled areas. The move out
checklist documents the
condition of your property at Lease
termination. Any damage
expenses beyond normal wear are deducted
from the security deposit along with any
other money owned by the tenant. The balance
is returned to the tenant within the legal deadline
of move out.
The new legislation is confusing. Do
you keep up with all the changing rules and
Yes. we keep abreast of the changes affecting rental properties locally and statewide. Tenants and landlords, have a lot of rights in California. The rules and regulations are constatntly changing. We stay up to date on the latest changes.
Do you insure my property when you
No. You maintain your own personal Property insurance
coverage (either an amended homeowners
policy for residence rented to others, or a
Business Owners Policy (BOP). We
recommend that you obtain loss of use
coverage in the event the home is damaged
and becomes uninhabitable while being
repaired or rebuilt in the event of damage. This will
protect you from lost rental income.
You should also insure personal property not
part of the dwelling (refrigerator, washer,
dryer, etc.), and should also obtain, at a minimum, a
$1M umbrella liability coverage in the event of
physical injury on your property while the
home is rented. We
require that we are named as an additional
insured under your rental property policy. You should also
check to see that you have coverage during
extended vacancies as some rental insurance
policies only cover 60 day vacancies. Contact your
insurance professional for more information
on rental property coverage to ensure that
you are fully covered for all of the risks
and issues facing rental property owners. We will gladly recommend
insurance companies interested in writing
insurance on your property. We
stipulate in our Lease that the Tenant is
required to obtain renters insurance to
cover only their possessions in the event of
Will I know what is going on with my
Yes. We will communicate with you throughout
our contract. We will contact you at
reasonable times to discuss repairs and
notify you of any tenant requests to vacate.
Plus, throughout the contract, we will keep
you aware of other issues that may arise.
We summarize all activities occurring with
your rental property each month.
During vacancies, you
will need to check up on your property to
ensure that your water is turned off, and
that your heat is functioning in the winter
months as we do not provide regularly
scheduled visits to your property while we
are showing it to prospective tenants.
You should also ensure that the yard is
mowed and snow and ice are removed during
the times that the home is vacant. We
can arrange for these services if requested
by the owner.
You should also notify us of any maintenance
issues or repairs that may be required so
that they can be addressed before the new
tenants take possession.
Do you qualify all applicants that
want to rent my property?
Yes. Our application is designed to generate
complete information from each prospective
tenant. We process all applications to screen the applicants. We have specific guidelines
for tenant screening that are consistently
and fairly applied to all applicants. In
general, an applicant must have good rental
history to qualify.
Do you guarantee the tenants that you place in my rental property?
No. We do everything legally possible to
thoroughly screen each applicant to make sure that they will be good, responsible tenants. We also closely manage properties during tenancy including periodic
exterior property inspections,
sending regular maintenance reminders, and
providing quick follow-up on delinquencies. However, it is impossible to guarantee that at some point there may not be a problem. Things change in people's lives. They may lose their job, get a divorce, or have a death in the family. If there is a problem, we stay on top of it to make sure that
any issues are handled quickly and
effectively to preserve your cash flow.
Do you advertise vacancies?
Yes. We start marketing the vacancy as soon
as we receive notice from the tenant of
their intention to move. We know where to advertise most
effectively to find the best tenants,
quickly. We will produce
better prospects sooner, and will
minimize vacancies, which is likely your biggest expense.
We know the rent values, vacancy
factors, and time on the market in your
area. We will sometimes place a
sign on the property. We then advertise in
the local community and web-based resources,
and additionally disclose the availability
to our relocation network, and through a
Realtor referrals network.
Advertising costs are passed on to the
owner, but will be your most cost effective
investment in finding a responsible, high
quality tenant quickly. We also pay
commissions out through our relocation and
real estate network, which is included in
the leasing fee.
Do you handle problems late at
Yes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tenants are given our number when they
move in and in the case of an emergency they
are directed to call us 24/7. We will talk with
the tenant to determine how best to proceed.
Many times we can solve minor problem over the
phone, and initiate a scheduled
Can I still use my favorite plumber,
AC Company or handyman?
Yes. We will be happy to contact the companies or
individual's you specify as long as they
are actually licensed, insured and in the
business of performing the required work.
This will apply only to those contractors
that have actually previously provided work
for you on your home.
Do you pay the bills for me?
Yes. We will gladly pay
for you from owner funds. There must, of course, be
sufficient cash flow from the property to
cover such expenses and we may require you
to set up a reserve fund for this purpose or
send a check to cover the expense.
Recurring bills like utility bills
during vacancies, association fees, or mortgage payments
are paid directly by the owner.
EFT / Bill pay systems are available to
owners to directly pay bills
conveniently and reliably. Utility
companies can also set up a landlord
account so that utilities automatically
revert back to the owner at the end of
each tenancy during the short intervals
between tenants so that the utilities
remain on at all times.
When do I get my monthly statement and check
after the tenant pays their rent?
Rents are due on the 1st of
each month, and
there is a short grace period.
Sometimes, however, tenants pay late, or if
payments are received by check, they may
take a few days to clear the bank. We
make every effort to collect delinquent
rents in the event of a late payment. To ensure that
all tenants' rent payments clear the bank
monthly statements are typically sent on
the 10th of each month, or next business day
if this date falls on a weekend or holiday. Cash
distributions to owners are subsequently
posted on the 15th of each month, or next
We will perform an ACH direct deposit into
your bank account with the proceeds from
your rental payment, less maintenance,
repair, and management fees. As
required by Internal Revenue Service
regulations, we will prepare and submit a
1099-MISC form showing the total gross rent
income that we collected on your behalf
during the year. A copy of this form
will be posted to your Owner folder as well
as sent to you in January. We also summarize all of
your annual repair, improvement, cleaning, and
other rental costs as required so you can
quickly and easily file your tax return.
Are your management fees
Yes. Our range of services allow us to provide very competitive management fees based on desired level of service.
We feel we offer some of the lowest fees and
the best service available in the Bay Area
area. We do not charge a
management fee while your property is
vacant. We also pay referral
commissions out through our relocation and
real estate network, which is included in
your leasing fee. Just like with
some discount Real Estate brokers, if you
don't offer referral or market rate buyer
agent commissions, you will not get the
marketing exposure you need to bring
tenants. We have found this
formula to be very effective in finding and
placing qualified tenants, which reduces
your biggest expense - vacancies.
Don't trust your most valuable asset to the
lowest cost manager. Hire an
experienced fellow investor who knows
management, taxation, low cost maintenance, 1031 exchanges, etc.
You will find that your results will be
Does your management agreement give
you exclusive right to sell my property?
No. We can sell your property if you would
like us to, but it is not a requirement of
our management contract. We will
provide facilitation services for you and your tenant in the event
that an agreement to buy the property is
arranged by us. We charge a nominal
sales commission for arranging this type of
Are you licensed?
Our Property Managers and
Real Estate Agents are licensed by the
California Department of Real Estate and the City of San Jose.
Can you start managing my properties
Yes. We can start the process immediately.
Contact us today to set up a no obligation
consultation to discuss your property in
If you have a question
that was not answered here or require
further information about our services,
please feel free to contact us at (408)
981-1565 or by email
and we will gladly respond within 24 hours.