Smart investors surround themselves with experts, and today, we are talking with Nick Roscha, an attorney who specializes in real estate law and business. We wanted to discuss the benefits of working with both a property manager and a professional real estate attorney. Nick has been practicing law in California for 20 years. His specialty is in residential and commercial real estate transactions and litigation, so he’s the right guy to answer these questions.
Why Work with a Real Estate Attorney?
The residential landscape is fraught with legal issues and pitfalls for an unwary owner. If you don’t know the ins and outs of listing a property and leasing a property, and you don’t understand the rights of the tenant, or how to terminate a tenancy properly and file an unlawful detainer action without violating any rights, you’re going to get in trouble. Under that giant umbrella, an attorney is vital to navigating those waters in this market.
Are Owners without Property Managers at a Disadvantage?
When an owner comes in and they haven’t had counsel or professional management in the past and they want to get a tenant out of their property, one of the main things we notice is that they often don’t have the proper lease forms. We will be dealing with a California property, but the owner has an Alabama lease that’s 10 years old, which they pulled off the internet. Our legislature is constantly changing what’s required in a lease, and new things have to be included all the time. If you’re going to evict someone, you need to have proper forms and notices because California courts will protect the tenant’s rights during an eviction. If you’re asking for too much or not using the proper wording, you could file it and lose. You’ll pay your tenant’s attorney fees and start all over again. Having legal advice at the outset will be helpful in fixing issues.
Staying Out of Legal Trouble
Take all the proper steps when you’re first leasing out a home, and honor the tenant’s rights during the tenancy. Some tenants sue landlords because the landlord has decided to go into the property without notice. This bothers tenants and violates their rights of quiet enjoyment. That opens you up to litigation and damages. So, understand your tenant’s rights. Another thing landlords struggle with is lease termination. If you include an improper amount in your Three Day Notice, you’ll lose your eviction case. You can only include rent – not late fees or utility charges. Those things require a separate notice. You can avoid these mistakes by working with a property manager and a real estate attorney from the beginning.