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When you own rental property, protecting yourself against liability is a major priority. Today, we are sharing three specific ways you can do that with your Santa Cruz home and your tenants.

Vendors and Insurance

First, make sure you always use licensed and insured vendors for any kind of maintenance or work that’s being done on your property. You don’t want the risk that comes with having an unlicensed person fix something. It’s also a good idea to evaluate your own liability insurance to make sure that you are properly covered in case someone gets injured on your property. You always want to carry enough coverage.

Rental Contract

Make sure you have a current updated rental contract. If you have a tenant who has been living at the home for 10 years or more and now they are on a month to month agreement, it’s time to update the old rental agreement with a newer contract. Language and verbiage has changed so much over the years and several important laws have been updated. A new contract protects you and your tenant.

Know the Laws

Finally, protect yourself by understanding and complying with the fair housing laws. You have to know what you can and cannot do and how to avoid the appearance of discrimination. You also might not know that there are other legal requirements that are important as well. For example, if you want to go into your property where tenants are living, you have to post a written notice at least 24 hours before you arrive. This is required even if you’re just on the outside of the property, taking a look around. Most people are surprised to learn this, and it illustrates the importance of knowing the local, state and federal laws.

As an independent property owner, follow these three things and you’ll be safe from a lot of the liability and risk that can come with owning rental property. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact us at Portola Property Management.