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Everyone makes mistakes, and we are hoping that with today’s blog, you’ll be aware of the most common mistakes made by Santa Cruz homeowners who rent out their properties. If you can avoid these, you’ll be poised to have an excellent rental experience.

Friends and Family

While it might seem convenient to rent your home out to a family member or a friend, we don’t recommend doing it. You have to think about what you’ll do if that person decides to stop paying rent. You probably aren’t going to be able to evict your children or a personal friend. You need to think about your rental property as an investment, or a business.


Lots of homeowners will show the property without ensuring it is in move-in condition. You need to make sure that home is ready for a tenant to move in the next day. It has to be clean and appealing before you show it. First impressions are what count; they show the tenants exactly what they are going to get. Take the time to spruce the place up and be attentive to detail. It will help you get a better tenant.


There are a number of things you need to check during the screening process, and running a credit check is one of those things. We are always surprised at how many landlords don’t do this. It’s a mistake not to, so make sure you’re checking credit.


It’s a serious mistake not to collect enough of a security deposit from the tenant. Your deposit has to cover any possible damages. It can also cover you if rent isn’t paid at the end of the tenancy. You are allowed to collect up to two times the amount of a month’s rent for an unfurnished apartment.


Always take photos of the property prior to move in. Property owners make a huge mistake when they are unable to document the condition of the property when the tenants moved in. It’s going to be important that you’re able to compare the condition of the property at move in and at move out.


Finally, it’s a big mistake not to require your tenants to get renters insurance. This will protect them and it will protect you.

Characteristics of a Good Santa Cruz Property Manager by Portola Property ManagerThese are some of the most common mistakes we see. If you’d like more information on how to successfully rent out your investment property, please contact us at Portola Property Management, and we would be happy to help you.