• About Frank

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  • Frank Rizzi manages Bos Commercial in West Covina and has been in real estate since 1988. Since then, he has made millions for his investors over the last decade.

    With his team of experts, he has built a solid reputation as a responsive expert with in-depth market perspective of a local firm coupled with the sophisticated capabilities of a national company.

    BOS Commercial has positioned itself to handle every aspect of your commercial property
    investment whether it be purchases, management, leasing, renovations, or sale of your property.

How to Take Better Real Estate Photos

beautiful house at dusk

In this digital age, first impressions are often formed from online listings, before potential renters have even visited a property. Poor-quality photos- or even worse, no photos at all- can cause your property to be overlooked. Short of hiring a professional to take your pictures for you, here are the best steps you should always take into consideration before posting property photos online.

Equipment

  • Camera: Depending on your phone, cell phone cameras may not cut it if you want quality real estate photos. However, you really don’t need a professional camera that’ll cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Newer phone models sometimes have surprisingly good quality cameras, and even basic 5 megapixel cameras will do.
  • Tripod: Tripods are not at all necessary for taking good photos, but if your pictures are turning out blurry or crooked from shaking hands, it might be worth considering.

Pro Tips

  • Clear Clutter: Make your property look show-ready. That means no papers, clothes, people, etc. Fluff pillows, clean windows and mirrors, sweep away leaves outside, and stage the rooms to the best of your ability.
  • Lighting: For shooting indoor rooms, turn on all the lights and open curtains. Avoid shooting on rainy days or at night. Rely on phone or camera flashes as little as possible. For outdoor shots, avoid shooting at the brightest points of the day- the sun will cast shadows on your property.
  • Angles: Try shooting from corners as opposed to head-on. This makes your rooms appear spacious and allow buyers or renters to see the room’s depth. The same goes for outdoor shots- don’t shoot directly at the property. Go from an angle, and you’ll better be able to see the home or apartment’s depth.
  • Composition: When photographing a room, take into consideration the height you want to be taking your photo from. Be sure to include as much of the room as possible, but don’t aim too high or too low and end up with a shot that’s mostly ceiling or floor. Shoot from a height which suits the contents of the room. Chest height- that is to say, midway between the floor and ceiling- will work for some rooms, while hip height will work better for others. Judge the contents of a room, and try at different heights to see which better represents your home or apartment. Fill your photos with the contents of the room, not just empty space. In any case, be sure to keep your camera straight and don’t tilt it more than you have to.
  • Multiples: Take tons of photos! That way you’ll have more selection to choose from and can give customers the best sense of your property.
  • Editing: If your pictures aren’t exactly what you wanted, you can fiddle with the settings post-shooting. Slightly adjusting exposure, cropping out unsightly telephone wires or other ambient clutter, etc. Don’t overdo it, however, and don’t make your home unrecognizable. Do not, by any means, use a blurry or low-quality photo to represent your property.

At Responsive Property Management, we are experts at creating listings that sell themselves. From quality photos to descriptions sure to catch the eye, we can help you rent your property as soon as possible, and take care of all management issues later on. Contact us at (626) 339-1000 today!

What Utility Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Everyone who’s ever had problems with utility services knows the struggle of sending utility companies to a property. With the hassle of connecting to a live representative and scheduling an appointment long after you need the work done, it almost doesn’t seem worth it. However, utility companies are required to send repair people to your property immediately if you fulfill certain conditions.

gas electric water utilities

Did you know that if you have an infant in need of warm milk, gas and electric companies are obligated to send representatives to handle your issue as soon as possible?

If someone on the property is in need of medical attention or has a life alert system, then electric, gas, water, and phone services will expedite your claim so you can be taken care of rapidly.

Additionally, if you’re behind on your utility bills and you’re facing a shut-off of services, if you have an infant under a year old or a severely ill person living on the property, you can avoid a shut-off by getting a form from your doctor.

It’s a huge liability for utility companies if something happens to someone young or ill on your property while their services were disengaged, so companies are more likely to take your case seriously and deal with issues as soon as they possibly can.

Is dealing with utility companies on your properties causing you discomfort, headaches, and sleepless nights? Let us help! For all property management services, contact us at (626) 339-1000.

10 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager RIGHT NOW

Home-Property-Management1

For many, real estate seems like the perfect way to add extra money to their income. They envision the ease of property ownership- a check that arrives promptly each month from agreeable tenants who flawlessly maintain the property, all while they sit back and watch the money flow in. But then reality sets in. Vacant properties, argumentative tenants, emergency calls in the middle of the night, meager returns on the property, assets that eat more money than they produce- these are just a few problems investors are unequipped to deal with. Sound familiar? Here’s why hiring a property manager will save you headaches and will deliver the results you want today.

  • Emergency Phone Call Buffer: Tired of getting those “my drain is clogged!” calls in the middle of the night? With a property manager on your side, those issues are no longer your problem. Property managers will deal with tenant emergencies any day, any time, without bothering you.
  • Dealing With Tenant Disputes: Don’t know how or don’t want to handle disagreeable tenants who fight you for every rent increase, repair charge, or other lease enforcements? Property managers do. They’ll take care of every issue and will act as a liaison between you and squabbling tenants.
  • Screening Tenants: Do you consistently seem to pick bad residents? A property manager can help by screening applicants, choosing the best and most qualified ones, and advise you on how to keep the good tenants year after year.
  • Rent Collection: No more dealing with late rent payments, chasing down tenants who haven’t paid up, or hassling over “the check is in the mail!” claims. Your property manager will collect the rent on time, every time, or will collect late fees from tenants who don’t pay on time.
  • Local Knowledge of Rent Rates: Property owners can worry about charging too much or too little for the area, and often don’t increase rent for long after an increase is due. Property managers know the area, can charge appropriately for your property, and can raise rent, ensuring you’ll make the most out of your properties.
  • Internal Team of Trusted Personnel: Another hassle property owners deal with is contractors trying to overcharge for their services. Not to fear! Property managers have their team of trusted and affordable contractors, brokers, suppliers, and maintenance personnel who will do the job right and will keep the cost to you as low as possible.
  • Knowledge of Lease and Property Laws: Oftentimes, landlords go into the lease drafting process blind. They might miss important disclosures and land in hot water if something goes wrong. Fortunately, property managers know all the tips and tricks of property and lease laws, protecting tenants and saving you hassles later.
  • Inspections and Upkeep: You’d like to think your tenants are minding your property and keeping it in great shape, but that isn’t always the case. Property managers perform regular inspections to make sure your property is being taken care of, and that no unapproved activities are occurring on the property.
  • Easy Evictions: Evictions are a landlord’s worst nightmare, but sometimes they’re necessary. Fortunately, property managers are equipped to deal with evictions and can make the process much smoother.
  • More Time on Your Hands: Property managers take care of all the day-to-day tasks regarding your property, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. You spend less time looking after your property, and you have more time to invest in new ones!

If running your property is making you lose sleep at night or you feel you are falling behind, give us a call and we will take your stress and headaches away. Our program is designed to make owning property profitable and enjoyable. We can handle your condos, apartment complexes, single family homes, office, industrial, and retail buildings. We have been in business for over 15 years and manage numerous properties in the Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino County areas. As a full service asset/property management firm, we offer 24/7 emergency contact, eviction and lease enforcement, commercial and residential leasing, accounting and record keeping, maintenance, and construction. Contact us today at 626-339-1000.

LANDLORDS BEWARE: You MUST Disclose These on Your Leases! (PART THREE)

disclosure

PART ONE

PART TWO

As landlords, property managers, and contractors, you can be held liable for negligence occurring on your properties. Disclosures are problematic, but necessary. To make sure you never end up in hot water for failing to alert tenants of potential hazards, be sure to always disclose the following:

  • Presence of Environmental and Health Hazards: These include lead-based paint (also a federal disclosure requirement, as discussed in Disclosures, Part One), mold, radon, and bedbugs
  • The identity of the landlord and the person authorized to receive legal papers and manage the premises, such as a property manager
  • Recent flooding in the rental unit (or location in a flood zone)
  • The presence of a methamphetamine laboratory at the rental prior to the tenant’s occupancy
  • The availability of fire protection
  • Planned condominium conversions, intention to demolish the rental unit (as discussed in Disclosures, Part Two), or in-process foreclosure proceedings
  • Outstanding building inspection or condemnation orders or housing code violations
  • Rent control ordinances typically require additional disclosures, such as the name and address of the government agency or elected board that administers the ordinance.
  • Some cities may require specific disclosures—for example, New York City requires landlords to inform tenants of the building’s and the rental unit’s bedbug history for the past year. (New York City Administrative Code§ 27-2018.1.) Check your local laws for more information.

Drafting leases is a complicated process, full of insider knowledge and required disclosures. We can help! For more information, see Avoiding Common Landlord Liabilities or contact us at 626-339-1000.

LANDLORDS BEWARE: You MUST Disclose These on Your Leases! (PART TWO)

PART ONE HERE

full disclosure

As landlords, property managers, and contractors, you can be held liable for negligence occurring on your properties. Disclosures are problematic, but necessary. To make sure you never end up in hot water for failing to alert tenants of potential hazards, be sure to always disclose the following:

  • Intention to Demolish Rental Unit: Landlords or their agents who have applied for a permit to demolish a rental unit must give written notice of this fact to prospective tenants, before accepting any deposits or screening fees. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.6)
  • Notice of Default: Lessors of single-family homes and multifamily properties of four units or less, who have received a notice of default for the rental property that has not been rescinded, must disclose this fact to potential renters before they sign a lease. The notice must be in English or in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean (if the lease was negotiated in one of these languages), and must follow the language specified in Cal. Civil Code § 2924.85(d).
  • A Landlord’s Imposition of Nonrefundable Fees (Where Permitted): Pets, cleaning, and other fees tacked onto the security deposit are legal in some states. Some, like California, prohibit such fees, so check to make sure you’re within your rights to charge a nonrefundable fee.
  • Tenants’ Rights to Move-in Checklists: These checklists must document existing damages to the rental property so there’s no confusion about what a tenant has to pay for when they move out.
  • Tenants’ Rights to be Present at a Move-out Inspection: A tenant is allowed to tag along at move-out inspections to make sure they are being charged fairly. If you see any new damages, this gives you the opportunity to point out the damage and explain to the tenant why the security deposit is being deducted.
  • Details on Landlord-Tenant Law: Laws such as local rent control rules, and other information such as registered sexual offender database
  • Details on Installation and Maintenance of Smoke Detectors and Alarms
  • Location of a Former Federal or State Military Ordnance: Prior to signing a lease, landlord must disclose known locations of former federal or state ordnance in the neighborhood (within one mile of rental). (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.7)

Some of these disclosures are specific to California leases, so check your local and state requirements for specific information you must include in your area.

Drafting leases is a complicated process, full of insider knowledge and required disclosures. We can help! For more information, see Avoiding Common Landlord Liabilities and Part One of this article or contact us at626-339-1000.

LANDLORDS BEWARE: You MUST Disclose These on Your Leases! (PART ONE)

Disclosures-Debt-Program1

Recently, a southern California contracting company was fined $28,564 for failing to comply with the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule while performing updates on two pre-1978 residences that contained lead-based paint. The company did not receive EPA certification, did not distribute the federally-required Renovate Right brochure, and did not make sure the contractors were doing lead-safe work. In short, they failed to take proper precautions or warn residents of potentially harmful lead particles disturbed by renovation, and they paid a heavy price.

As landlords, property managers, and contractors, you can be held liable for this kind of negligence. Disclosures are problematic, but necessary. To make sure you never end up in hot water for failing to alert tenants of potential hazards, be sure to always disclose the following:

  • Lead Paint: For a lease or rental of all residential property, built before Jan. 1, 1978, the landlord must provide the tenant with a lead hazard information pamphlet, disclose the presence of any known lead-based paint, and provide a statement signed by the tenant that the tenant has read the warning statement and has received the pamphlet.
  • Details on Security Deposits: Disclose use and return of the security deposit
  • Sex Offender Database: Landlords must include the following language in their rental agreements: “Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender’s criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and ZIP Code in which he or she resides.” (Cal. Civ. Code § 2079.10a)
  • Tenant Paying for Others’ Utilities: If a tenant is paying for gas, electricity, or other utilities that serve other areas as well as their own unit, landlords must include this information on the lease. Additionally, the lease must disclose how the funds will be allocated fairly. (Cal. Civ. Code §1940.9)
  • Toxic Mold: Prior to signing a rental agreement, landlords must provide written disclosure when mold exceeds permissible exposure limits or poses a health threat. Landlords must distribute a consumer handbook, developed by the State Department of Health Services, describing the potential health risks from mold. (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 26147, 26148)
  • Pest Control Service: When the rental agreement is signed, landlord must provide tenant with any pest control company disclosure landlord has received, which describes the pest to be controlled, pesticides used and their active ingredients, a warning that pesticides are toxic, and the frequency of treatment under any contract for periodic service. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.8, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8538)
  • No Smoking Policy: For leases and rental agreements signed after January 1, 2012: If the landlord prohibits or limits the smoking of tobacco products on the rental property, the lease or rental agreement must include a clause describing the areas where smoking is limited or prohibited. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1947.5)

Some of these disclosures are specific to California leases, so check your local and state requirements for specific information you must include in your area.

Drafting leases is a complicated process, full of insider knowledge and required disclosures. We can help! For more information, see Avoiding Common Landlord Liabilities or contact us at 626-339-1000.

5 Steps to Get Your Full Security Deposit Back

Tenants often have to deal with disputes over security deposits, which can add headaches to the already stressful moving out process. Here are 5 ways to guarantee you’ll get your full security deposit refunded.

security-deposite-locked-down

  • Clean, Clean, Clean

Quite possibly the most important step in getting your deposit back is cleaning everything. An apartment can benefit greatly from a good scrub-down. Clean the windows, kitchen appliances (yes, even inside the oven and refrigerator), showers, tubs, toilets, and mirrors; vacuum the carpets, dust, remove nails and screws and putty over them, etcetera. All of these improvements are vital to keeping the place livable. Landlords can deduct from your security deposit if they have to hire a cleaning service to fix any filth tenants leave behind.

  • Fix What You Can (beyond wear and tear)

Landlords cannot deduct from your security deposit for normal wear and tear, such as slightly chipping paint, faded curtains, worn-out carpet, etc. Damaged or broken items- anything beyond wear and tear- is your responsibility. Rug stains from pets or spills, broken tiles, holes in the walls, broken windows, kids’ drawings on the walls, and any other damages must be fixed before moving out.

However, if you have resided in the building for about five years or more, landlords can deduct a little for wear and tear on carpeting, paint, and other such items. These items are time-based, so if you have been a long-term tenant, expect to see a little bit of your deposit put towards repainting or recarpeting.

  • Don’t Leave Anything Behind

Make sure you take everything with you- trash, appliances that belong to you, all of your belongings. You will be charged if your landlord has to remove items from the property.

  • Take Pictures

After you’ve cleaned and fixed everything, take pictures of the condition of the property. In case your landlord tries to make unfair deductions, you’ll have the pictures to prove the state of the place. If you have to go to a small claims court, these pictures could save your case and help you get the full deposit back.

  • Walkthrough

Schedule a walkthrough with your landlord. Have him or her point out any deductions they would make so you can fix the issues before you move out. Go through a rental walkthrough condition assessment form together so you can make sure you’re getting the full deposit amount you’re entitled to.

For more information, please visit Parting Ways- Quick Tip

As a full-service property management company, it’s our duty to act as a liaison between the customer and the property owner. We are experts at what we do, so contact us today, and let us show you how we can help you today. CALL 626-339-1000.

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