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Preparing for Leasing Season in Davis, CA

Mynd Knowledge Center

Rental Investor Starter Kit

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Last modified on 8/31/2020

Tips to Prepare for Leasing Season in Davis

How do you know your Davis CA rental property is ready for leasing season?

Davis, CA leasing season

Davis, CA is a college town, so all the leasing revolves around the college schedule. Leasing season for this area is May-August, and you should be aware that leasing in the off-season is going to be slower. If you buy an investment property in Davis during the offseason, you may have holding costs while waiting for the leasing season to begin. Your potential tenants could be primarily college students or faculty due to the proximity to the college campus. You will also have plenty of potential tenants who are working in Sacramento and prefer to live in one of the surrounding, less expensive cities.

Which types of property rent quicker in Davis CA?

Larger floor plans with 2 bedrooms or more will rent faster since most college students want at least one roommate to share costs. One-bedroom properties can be more of a challenge to lease due to one person being responsible for the entire rent. Rental rates are higher in the Davis area because it is a college town, and leases typically start in August to coincide with the beginning of the Fall semester. There isn't anything unique about the 12-month lease in Davis. It is the same lease you would find in Sacramento or other nearby cities.

There are other ways to get your property leased quicker in Davis, CA including some of the rental property updates and cleaning basics:

  • Apply a fresh coat of paint if needed
  • Get your carpet cleaned or replaced
  • Examine your HVAC filters, replace as necessary
  • Ensure appliances, Fridge, Washing/Dryer, Dishwasher, etc, are all working properly
  • Check the outlets are working throughout the unit

Do you see a lot of co-signing on leases due to the tenants being students?

We see some students that have a parent as a co-signer. If a student is attending Davis on scholarship, that scholarship usually includes a housing allowance that can be calculated to go towards their income and help them to qualify on their own to lease a unit. If a student is not attending on scholarship, we may need to have a parent guarantee the rent on the lease. Evictions rates tend to be on the low side. It is up to the landlord or property management companies discretion whether or not they want to accept a cosigner on the lease. This is something you must consider if you own a rental property in Davis, CA.

How are utilities and lawn care handled?

Students are responsible for paying utilities that include:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Trash
  • Electric and gas

Yard maintenance can be done by the residents or a lawn service hired and billed to the tenant. This, of course, doesn’t apply to apartment communities that have their own crew that maintains the common areas of the complex. As an owner, you must decide and make it clear in a rental property lease whether or not your tenants are responsible for law care and utilities. To ensure your tenants are happy, you will want to set expectations with them before the lease has started. Otherwise, you may run into angry tenants who were not aware of additional monthly charges.

Does Your Rental Property Meet Rules and Regulations in Davis?

As an investor you want to make sure you are following the habitability laws in regards to safety, occupancy regulations, and fair housing laws. The state of California is under rent control and that effects all rental property across the state.

Resources for laws and regulations regarding rental property

Your best resource for the current laws and regulations are the various state and federal fair housing websites.  

  • California’s fair housing website is just straight  across the board all the same rules and regulations for any rental home that you own in California.
  • The HUD website lists all the occupancy standards and processes in regards to fair housing discrimination.
  • If you have an attorney, they can help you find the rules and regulations
  • Mynd Property Management’s staff are all trained on the current laws and regulations, so we are a great resource as well.

Tenant Occupancy Rules

As a property management company, we know the rules and regulations regarding occupancy.  Someone  unfamiliar with the rules might think they can make more money by adding more occupants to a house, but they, too, must follow the guidelines for occupancy based on the size of the home.  Not following the guidelines could potential get you in trouble for occupancy, habitability, or safety issues.

Rental Maintenance Laws

There are codes in regards to habitability that you must follow.  The main ones have to do with having operable:

  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Heat/AC
  • CO detectors
  • Smoke alarms

As a property owner, you will want to make sure all of these items are working and up to code to avoid being sued.

Hire a Property Manager that knows the Laws and Regulations

Cindy has 27+ years’ experience in the property management industry and strives to build strong owner relationships supported with the most current industry knowledge to provide the most profitable experience.  If you are looking to purchase an investment property in Davis CA, have questions about local regulations and laws, or thinking about hiring a property manager, contact Cindy.

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