We want to rent my house in SF, what do i do first?

Asked by Weid3232 (Steff), San Francisco, CA Wed Apr 18, 2012

Just want to know what i need to do to get our home rented in Sf. IF we use a rental agency who or where do we start? I think i need them to do credit checks, collect payments and advertise the place for us. (3bd,2 bath)
Thanks for your help.

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Peter T. Chin, , San Francisco County, CA
Wed Jun 13, 2012
There are so many things to consider when renting your house:

- Do not rent two sections of your house with two different leases, or else you will be defined as a two unit rental and be subject to eviction control and rent control (two seperate and different statutes)

-Do screen your prospects and check their info: too many to list here; hire a pro; call SF Apartment Assoc. and get leads on pros and check their lic. and reputations.

-The rental company will offer two different types of services: 1. Leasing only 2: management only or both; there are different costs for different plans; get quotes..

-Do familiarize yourself with the rental laws in SF; you will need to know the basics and then leave the specifics to the pros you hired.

I used to do rentals but now I'm more focused on selling and buying.

Peter T. Chin Realtor #01866332 415-863-7500
1 vote
William, Home Buyer, Daly City, CA
Fri Apr 20, 2012
I would first start off by checking padmapper and rentometer for your market rate rent.

Now you can decide do you want to go with a rental agency, typically 6-10% of your rate and sometimes they charge a finders fee.

From my experience, I typically spend about 1 hour or less per month dealing with my tenants. Now not sure is it worth it for you to manage the place yourself. If your living far away might be better to hire a rental agency, but if your living in the city I suggest just managing it yourself.

Don't know how to rent out your unit? Just use craigslist. There are plenty of template application. A 30 sec I found a rental application, http://www.rentalguide.com/pdf/rental_application.pdf and lease agreement "san francisco apartment lease agreement pdf" first google link.

I am assuming your renting out a single family home with one unit only. So the rental board law doesn't apply to you. But if you have an legal/illegal unit up in there you will have to read up on San Francisco rental board ( http://www.sfrb.org ). Rental board protected houses are a little more complex.

Also find a good handy man in your neighborhood. Or if you are handy around the house you can do the stuff on your own. Stuff like changing a O-Ring on the faucet takes 10 min or less, but will run you like $80 bucks if you call someone out.

Lastly adding a fresh coat of paint goes a long way (Extra Rent). 3/2 around 1200sqft double coat + another color for trims, should run $1000-1200 Kelly Moore + Labor.
1 vote
sfdragonboy, Home Owner, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012
Since all of the responses up to now have only been by professionals, it is only fair that an individual home owner like myself who has done this in the past chime in as well. Granted, it is only my opinion, but I feel that professional management companies do not always do as good of a job as an actual owner might. Obviously, it can also go the other way too.

One thing to consider is are you able to budget for the cost of hiring a professional management company? Also, do you want to be a hands on owner, who will not mind the occasion service call? If you can afford it and quite frankly do not want to deal with it, then a management company is for you. However, if you are handy around the house and can not afford it, then you may want to do it yourself. A lot of people do it and it is not that difficult as long as you do the right things. Let's be honest, the rental market in SF is red hot right now so it is not going to be difficult to find great candidates to rent your place on your own if you are pricing it right. It is kind of like selling Toyota Priuses, how difficult can that be? You will need to gain access to the latest rental forms like the application and lease agreement, so if you can't find online you may have to join the local apartment owners association in order to not only gain access to those needed forms but also a credit checking firm. Once you have that part down, you can start figuring out how much your place should rent for. Check Craigslist and websites like this one in which rentals are posted. Once you have determined that, you can pretty much go ahead and post the listing in Craigslist or websites like this one if the place is ready to go. Look at how other posters list and incorporate those ideas into your posting. Be professional always and follow all protocals like not discriminating against any race or protected classes. Definitely do the credit checks or accept a current report from your applicants and do call their references. I sometimes drive by where the applicant is currently staying just to see if I can tell how the applicant is. Listen to your gut too since applicants often make excuses and may lie on applications. As long as you do your due diligence you should be fine. There are no guarantees however even with the aid of a professional mangement company. Good luck!!!
1 vote
Matthew Goul…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Jun 13, 2012
In this market and considering all the complications that can occur in our fabulous city I would personally use an agency to do this, especially if you are leaving town.

Good luck, and call for a referral

0 votes
Trimaine Eley, Other Pro, Carmel, IN
Wed Apr 25, 2012
Hello Steff,

As others have said, I would look at Property Management Companies. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have! We have offices in Oakland, San Francisco and Carmel.

Bridget Ernest
Advent Properties, Inc.
0 votes
Mike Ackerman…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Apr 19, 2012
Oh you poor thing!

My former business partner who owns many properties up and down the coast taught me a thing or two. First you need a good rental agent, Charmaine Emery of SF Homefinders is one of the best and does my own rentals! She provides me with the clients' references, SF Association lease, rent and security. She is reasonable and has been doing this for over 12 years!

Then there is a little trade secret that can empower the tenants to help maintain the property and allow you to sleep at night. Please feel free to call me and I'm happy to share it with you.

All my best and good luck!

Mike Ackerman
Building Trust for Life
Zephyr Real Estate
0 votes
Manzar Azari, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012
Dear Steff:

The best is to hire a property management company who has a good reputation and has been around for several years.. Recently, due to real estate market not being so active, many large real estate companies started working in property management. Our company has been around for many years now and we have picked as #1 San Francisco Property Management due to almost 200 positive and negative reviews in many internet site;


The reason of our success is very simple; to treat all our investors properties like ours...

Manzar D. Azari, MBA, Broker, Realtor
Azari Property Management
(415) 377-4115
0 votes
Ellie Kravets, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012
Hi dear,
You can go on Yelp! to choose a management company. Read reviews, give them a call.


Good luck!

Ellie Kravets
0 votes
Matt Ciganek, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012
Hi-There are many rental agencies and real estate companies that rent properties in the city to choose from. My company generally has a few rental properties that we are working on at any given time and I would be happy to help. Barbagelata Real Estate has been a family owned real estate company in San Francisco for 60 years. Call me if you'd like to learn how I can help rent your property as well as get you the right advice about tenancy laws in the city and how to best prepare the property for presentation. Thanks and hope to hear from you!

Matt Ciganek
Barbagelata Real Estate
0 votes
Lizete Santos, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012

My colleague does rentals and would be happy to provide a consultation.
Feel free to contact me for further information or visit our the website

Web Reference:  http://www.LizeteSantos.com
0 votes
Oggi Kashi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Apr 18, 2012
Try contacting Mark McNabb of Paragon Real Estate. He is great at what he does, and can answer all your questions and concerns:

Mark McNabb
Rental Agent
Paragon Real Estate Group
1400 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109
M: 415.302.5333

Best of luck,

Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
Web Reference:  http://www.oggikashi.com
0 votes
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