(831) 475-1355 After-Hours Emergency: (831) 621-1888

Mistakes can be expensive and make a huge mark on your ROI. If you’re a self-managing landlord who is worried about paying management fees, it’s important that you realize you can often make a mistake that turns out to be a lot more costly than the price of a professional property manager.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes we see, which are not only expensive, but also avoidable.

Understanding the Local Rental Market

You really have to understand the prices of comparable rental homes in your market. Otherwise, you’re likely to price your home incorrectly and cost yourself money. Sometimes owners will want to price their properties really high, but that’s only going to leave your home vacant. Vacancies cost a lot more than professional management. Use good data when you’re pricing your property, and make sure you understand local market trends and the things that tenants are looking for in a home.

Know Your Fair Housing Laws

It’s easy to get into fair housing trouble, especially if you don’t know the fair housing laws. By not understanding the federal, state, and local protected classes, you can find yourself embroiled in a discrimination claim without even realizing that you broke the law. This is one benefit to having a professional Santa Cruz property manager who understands these laws and stays up to date on all the changes in fair housing. Your property manager will protect you from expensive mistakes and tenant claims.

Screening Santa Cruz Tenants

It’s always surprising to us when landlords don’t screen well. Sometimes, they don’t screen at all because they have a feeling that a tenant is a good fit. This is dangerous, and you should commit to a rigorous and consistent tenant screening process. Landlords can often discriminate against potential tenants by deciding not to rent to anyone who has children or refusing animals, even if they’re emotional support animals.

Use a set of standard rental criteria, and apply that criteria to every applicant. It’s the only way to protect yourself from discrimination claims. You want to make sure you’re placing qualified tenants.

Sign a Strong Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement should be specific to California and cover all the necessary disclosures and requirements. It should also protect you and your property. Don’t grab a copy of any lease off the internet. Use a solid lease agreement that’s provided by a property manager or an attorney. This will help you get your tenancy off to a smooth and efficient start.

Showing Tenant-Occupied Property

Don’t show your property to new prospective tenants without providing your current tenants at least 24 hours of notice. It’s inconsiderate and it won’t help you get your property leased any sooner.

Resisting the Advice of Your Managers

Resisting the Advice of Your ManagersYou have to let your property managers do their jobs. If they call you with the news that you have to make a $100 repair, don’t fight it. Trust that your management team is making the best decisions for your property. Otherwise, they won’t be able to do what they do, and your tenants will be upset and ready to leave.

These are some of the common mistakes made by landlords. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us at Portola Property Management.

We are proud to share with you our very successful Pet Program!

I understand and agree that by applying for this property I will create a: (1) NO PET PROFILE, or (2) PET/ ANIMAL PROFILE by visiting: https://portolarentals.petscreening.com and pay the application processing fee. Application fee: $20 per pet/animal; tenants with no pets or service animals are free of charge. Your rental application with Portola Property Management will not be processed until this profile is complete. If approved as a tenant, a fee of $25/pet is due monthly with the rent payment.

Kathleen started this program to create more pet friendly housing for tenants, while also soothing any worries property owners may have about accepting pets.

We meet all pets before they move in. Upon approval, an additional $250 per pet is added to the tenant’s security deposit. Twice a year, a representative from Portola Property Management will complete a visual walkthrough of the home. The tenant fee for this is $50 per walkthrough at a total of $100 per year. It is VERY rare that we find any issues in the home, but if found, tenants must correct it at that time. When great tenants find great pet friendly housing, they tend to stay long term.

We take pride in offering about 50% pet friendly housing!

You can meet some of our furry tenants below.

Name: Charlie Tiger
Interests: Daily Siesta, performs head butt tricks, and enjoys the finer things in life such as Pate.

 

 

Name: Blue
Interests:play tug of war. Blue is social and happiest being the center of attention

 

 

Name: Peanut Butter and Jelly

 

 

 

Name: Guero
Interests: loves to cuddle up in a warm spot.

 

 

Name: Roman
Interests: Running on the beach.

 

 

Name: Mollie
Interests: Going to the groomers and napping in the sun.

 

 

Name: Mittens
Interests: hunting for critters, playing with my favorite toys, purring on my owner’s lap and looking pretty.

 

Name: Max
Interests: Modeling, helping Santa when called upon, love kids of all ages

 

 

Name: Maggie
Interests: Where’s the bird…I love being active, running, retrieving, swimming, jumping you name it. I am most happy outside but enjoy curling up on my bed and relaxing at the end of a long day.

 

Name: Kale
Interests: Cuddle, Sleep, Run in the forest, and Sun Bathe on the beach.

 

 

Name: Jack & Jill
Interests: Chasing birds, retrieving balls and getting massages.

 

 

Name: Hot Sauce
Interests: Hunting socks.

 

 

Name: Daphne
Interests: Going for long walks on the beach, sleeping by the fire, listening to music.

 

 

Rental Criteria
Basic Criteria
Selection of a resident is based on income, credit, and tenant history or ownership. Each applicant must qualify individually based on references and credit, while the income requirement can be met as a household. Negative findings on one or more of the three areas can cause denial of an application. Denial of one application results in the denial of all applications.
Income
  • Monthly household gross income must equal three (3) times the stated monthly rent. PPM must be able to verify all income sources and reserves the right to disqualify applicants for failure to prove income and/or supply adequate documentation.
  • You are required to supply reasonable, reliable, and legal documentation on all income in either of the following forms:
    Last two paycheck stubs.

    • Recent tax returns or W2.
    • Award letters (i.e. alimony, SSI, child support, new employment offer letter)
    • Self-employed individuals must be verified through State, or Federal tax returns.
Credit
  • PPM obtains a credit report for all applicants, and does not accept copies of credit reports from applicants, no exceptions. Good credit is required. Negative credit reports can be grounds for denial of an application.
  • Outstanding bad debts being reported on credit report of more than $100.00 but less than $1,000.00 may be accepted with proper explanation and proof.
  • After a bankruptcy has been discharged, applicant must show six (6) months of positive established credit.
Rental History or Property Ownership
PPM requires a minimum of two (2) years of rental history and/or proof of homeownership. Negative references can be grounds for denial of an application.
All references must be third party and verifiable.
PPM will make a reasonable attempt to contact references provided. PPM reserves the right to decline tenancy based on inability to contact reference provided.
Responsibility of Applicant
It is the responsibility of the applicant to inquire from PPM about any information on the application that they do not understand.
If notified, it is the responsibility of the applicant to accept the offer to rent by submitting a holding deposit.
Automatic Denials
1) Giving false information is automatic grounds for denial.
2) Three (3) or more 3-Day Notices within a 12 month period will result in denial.
3) Two (2) or more NSF checks within a 12 month period will result in denial.
4) Rental history reflecting any unpaid past due rent will result in denial.
5) Rental history reflecting any property damage or disturbance will result in denial.
6) Any collection filed by a property management company or landlord will result in denial.
7) Any applicant with unlawful detainer action or eviction within the past three (3) years will be denied.
8) If unable to verify the income necessary to pay rent, applicant will be denied.
9) Excessive collections will result in denial.
10) Outstanding debt to property management or landlord will result in denial.
11) Any applicant with a bankruptcy not shown as discharged will be denied until shown otherwise.

I understand and agree that by applying for this property I will create a: (1) NO PET PROFILE, or (2) PET/ ANIMAL PROFILE by visiting: https://portolarentals.petscreening.com and pay the application processing fee. Application fee: $20 per pet/animal; tenants with no pets or service animals are free of charge. Your rental application with Portola Property Management will not be processed until this profile is complete. If approved as a tenant, a fee of $25/pet is due monthly with the rent payment.


Rose

Leasing Assistant

Duties: Provides administrative support, processes applications, and maintains ads.

Education: BA in English Literature and has taken graduate level classes in Linguistics

After Hours: On weekends, when Rose is not with a book or spending time with friends, she likes to relax and binge-watch movies and series all day.


Fred Thompson

Maintenance Professional

Duties: Support Portola PM Owners/Tenants with their maintenance requests and provide excellent customer service.

“I am the “MacGyver” of Property Maintenance, providing creative solutions to all your unique property needs.”

Experience: Over 10 yrs experience in residential remodeling, repair, and property management in Santa Cruz County.

After Hours: Scuba diving, RV camping, and enjoying the local music scene with my wife & friends.


Steve Thompson

Construction Specialist

Duties: Construction and maintenance

Experience: Over 30 years of general building construction and maintenance.

After Hours: Spending time with Heidi, enjoying life’s adventures along the way. Surfing, Biking, Scuba Diving, Camping, and traveling.


Liliane Molda

Resident Pre-Inspection Coordinator

Duties: Pre-Move-out Inspections

Experience: Licensed Realtor with Lawrie & Lawrie, property management experience

After Hours: Spending time with family, friends, and enjoying the beach and nature


Sue Gerwin

Client Care / Office Manager

Duties: Provide Excellent Customer Service and Office Support

Experience: 11 years in customer service, admin support positions, 10 years as business owner and operations manager, 10 years experience in commerical and residential leasing.

After Hours: Cooking & Camping.


Roxanne Ramos

Accounting Clerk

Duties: Handles all accounting associated with properties. Interacts with property owners and tenants.

Experience: 7 years with Portola PM, and 15 years property management experience.

After Hours: Enjoys time with family and friends.


Michael Catalano

President

Duties: Strategic & Leadership Development, Operations Management.

Goal: To provide excellent customer service, to manage properties efficiently, to maximize the investors return, to provide tenants with quality housing.
Mike grew up in real estate and property management and learned at the age of 10 how to take a maintenance call. Mike has over 20 years’ professional experience in all facets of real estate and property management.

He is currently the CEO of NextGen Property Ventures, Inc., with offices in Roseville, CA & Real Estate Connections in Los Gatos, both real estate investment and property management firms. Mike sits on the boards of Fourandhalf, an internet marketing company specializing in property management and of HappyCo, a mobile application for property inspections. Mike is a sought after industry speaker on the topics of property management firm acquisitions, real estate investments, and real estate marketing best practices. He is a member of NAR (National Association of Realtors) and CAR (California Association of Realtors), and NAPRM (National Association of Residential Property Managers).

After Hours: Mike grew up in Saratoga and has family ties to Santa Cruz. Mike is married with 2 children and in his “free time”, he enjoys golf, coaching his kids’ sports teams, and relaxing with his family.

CA DRE: #01824514

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Call or text us at (831) 824-5199 during business hours.

We guarantee that a team member will be on the other end to answer any questions you may have.

Get A Free Rental Analysis

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How to Rent One of Our Properties!

Read the property listing
• We want you to know what is and is not included with the property!
Review our Criteria and a SAMPLE LEASE.
• We want you to self-evaluate whether it’s worth your time to apply and to be comfortable with the future lease you could be signing.
Drive by the property – Do not disturb any current residents
• We want you to like the neighborhood you might be moving to!
Call (831) 475-1282 or email rentals@portolarentals.com for a showing for ALL intended residents who are 18 and over.
• We cannot accept applications until everyone 18 and up in your party has attended a showing of the property.
Once you have completed these steps, you can provide all of the following online for each resident who is 18 and up by clicking on “Apply Now” on the property listing
• An Application
• Proof of income
• Copy of Photo ID
• Payment for the non-refundable $40 application fee
• [If you are unable to submit an application online, please notify our office at time of setting up showing]
Please allow 24-48 hours for the processing of an application (additional time may be needed during the busy season or if references do not return calls quickly).
We may receive multiple applications for this property. We do not necessarily select the first application submitted. Selection of a resident is based upon better credit history, rental references, Proof of Income, Number and type of pets if allowed, and Move-in date.
Next Steps:
1. You will hear from us whether your application is approved or denied.
2. If your application was in good standing, but another application was stronger, you can apply your application towards any of our other properties for 30 days for free (you will still need to attend a showing).
3. If you are offered to rent a property, you will need to turn in a Holding Deposit within 48 hours to secure it in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. This is always in the amount of a half month’s rent made out to PPM and is fully applied towards your move in funds.
4. By your established move in date, you will have started any necessary utilities, submitted proof of renter’s insurance, signed your lease, turned in your remaining move in funds, and can pick up keys! At this point we will have already completed a report of the property and you will have the opportunity to add any comments you would like; we do not do a walkthrough of the property with you.

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Diana Wilson

Admin Assistant / Receptionist

 

Hello, my name is Diana Wilson. Though I grew up in Santa Clara I had often found myself spending most of my time in the surrounding Santa Cruz area. In January of 2018,  my son and I had made the move over the hill and became permanent residents of Aptos. In March of 2018, I was honored to have joined the Portola Property Management team as an administrative assistant/receptionist. I have five years of previous experience in property management working as an assistant to property managers as well as a maintenance coordinator. I am furthering my education to advance my career in the property management field. While we are talking about the field, I am also a huge baseball fan. Go Giants!