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Owner's FAQ

Check out our answers to our most commonly asked questions from property owners.

Getting Started

Expect a call from our Leasing Manager within 1-2 business days.

For vacant properties or those in the process of a tenant move-out, the Leasing Manager will contact you and discuss specifics, collect keys, and address any other necessary items. After a property visit, you’ll receive a report of items that need attention in preparation for new tenants.

If your property has a tenant currently living in it, our Property Management Executive will contact you to review details, collect keys, gather tenant information, and process security deposits. Once everything is in order and finished, we’ll schedule an initial walkthrough with the tenant and provide you with a copy of the report.

Within 30 days of signing, or before we list your property on the market, we require proof of insurance. The insurance should include dwelling and liability coverage with a minimum of $500,000, and Good Life Property Management must be listed as an Additional Insured.

Please note that listing Good Life as an Additional Interest doesn’t meet our requirements because it doesn’t provide us with any added coverage. We recommend that you contact your insurance agent or broker to inform them that the property will no longer be your primary residence and will be used as a rental instead. In most cases, a new policy will be needed. Your agent or broker can also help you with our Additional Insured requirement.

Here’s a sample message you can send to your insurance agent:

“We have hired a new property manager to oversee our rental property. We need to make sure we have $500,000 in liability coverage and that our property manager is listed as an Additional Insured (for liability coverage). Please update our policy accordingly. Here’s their contact information:

Good Life Property Management, Inc.”

If you’re having any trouble finding insurance, please let us know. We have many trusted insurance brokers we can recommend to you.

Previous occupants should fill out the USPS change of Address form, which can be found at https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm. A change of address can prevent package and mail delivery to the previous address. Also, remember to update your address on other accounts like Amazon.

No, we cannot collect or forward mail or packages after the new tenant has moved in. Previous occupants must manage their own mail forwarding prior to moving out. Instructions for mail forwarding can be found on the USPS website.

No, do not deactivate utilities or trash services during property vacancy. We need all utilities to remain active during property maintenance and marketing. If tenant(s) moved out, please contact the utility, water, and trash provider to ensure continuity of service under your name during the property’s vacancy period.

New tenants are responsible for and are directed to transfer utilities starting from the date of their lease commencement. Please provide us with any necessary information, such as contact numbers of your utility providers, so we can swiftly provide that to the tenant to ensure uninterrupted services during the transition.

Once we identify qualified tenant(s), we sign the lease on your behalf. A copy of the fully executed lease will be shared with you through your online owner portal. Please retain this copy for your own records.

Yes. Once the property is leased, the property will be rekeyed by our locksmith using our key inventory. For safety concerns, we rekey the property between each occupancy.

We handle the rekeying process to ensure safety and security during occupancy transitions. Additionally, our rekeying process helps us maintain control over key inventory, which adds an extra layer of protection for both owners and tenants.

Leasing

Step 1:  Start by getting a free rent estimate here.

Step 2:  Schedule a call with one of our property management experts. In this call, we can learn more about your home so we can provide you with a rent estimate within a 10% range. Even though the rental market is strong year-round in Orange County, prices usually decrease 5%-10% during the holiday season (November – January).

  1. Clear It Out: Remove all furniture and personal items. Unfurnished rentals are typically more appealing (unless you’re specifically targeting short-term renters like on Airbnb).
  2. Tackle Repairs: Address any necessary repairs. If you’re comfortable with DIY:
    • Freshly paint all walls professionally (trim as needed).
    • Ensure all systems (plumbing, electrical, appliances) are working flawlessly.
    • Install smoke alarms (with 10-year batteries) in bedrooms, living areas, and on each floor.
    • Install CO alarms on each level.
  3. Boost Curb Appeal: Maintain landscaping – it should look neat and tidy.
  4. Deep Clean: Hire a professional cleaning service, paying special attention to carpets.

Typically, our properties lease after 14 days on the market. 

We do a walkthrough of the property annually and send you the report.

We provide peace of mind to our clients through our Good Pet Guarantee. At no additional cost to the owner, Good Life will reimburse the cost of damages to the home (above any normal wear and tear) resulting from pets approved to live at the home by Good Life that exceed the tenants’ security deposit, up to $3,500 total! Our Good Pet Guarantee eliminates having to ask for a pet deposit, which lowers tenants’ move-in costs and typically helps your property lease faster.

We highly recommend allowing pets in your rental property. Since tenants with pets generally tend to stay longer in rental properties, your chances of a costly vacancy are decreased significantly. To implement our Good Pet Guarantee, Good Life charges and retains a pet rent from the tenants.

Please note, according to California law, service animals legally accompany tenants authorized to have them, and Good Life cannot prohibit their residency. The Good Pet Guarantee excludes damages attributed to such service animals.

Maintenance

Vacant Properties

We create an inspection report and share it with you. You approve all maintenance costs over $500. We start any work under $500 ASAP so we can get your property on the market. We have many relationships with professional 3rd party vendors who handle all our maintenance work.

Occupied Properties

The tenant submits a maintenance request and you get notified. We troubleshoot common issues with the tenant. If needed, we dispatch a preferred vendor who schedules a visit with the tenant. If the work is over $500, we contact you for approval. If under $500, we make the decision for you so it’s fixed efficiently.

If the property is vacant, yes. If the property is occupied, we only use our preferred vendor network in order to protect the tenant and maintain that the repairs are done right.

We utilize the funds that we have on hand for your property to pay vendors for any work performed. In the event we need additional funds, our clients will have access to an online portal where they can deposit funds if needed.

It depends on what repairs are needed. Usually, our team is able to give you an estimated range of cost for common repair items. If not, we can typically get a free estimate from our vendors within a couple of days.

We use a professional after-hours maintenance service who is available 24/7/365. This company takes the call, troubleshoots, and dispatches emergency repairs based on our instructions. If warranted, they contact the property manager after hours to help manage the situation. The next business day, you will receive an update regarding what happened and the actions we took. It’s important to note, after-hours emergency maintenance is handled without prior notification so that your property and the tenant are protected (and so you can get some sleep!).

  • Damage they cause above usual normal wear and tear
  • Plumbing blockages they cause
  • Cleaning and carpet cleaning when they move out

Accounting

We usually require a security deposit of $25 less than one month’s rent. We do this so the tenant does not confuse the deposit as last month’s rent. We are legally required to return the deposit within 21 days of getting possession back of the home. During that time period, we will conduct a move out inspection and coordinate any repairs if they are needed. We collect all the receipts from the vendors and provide the departed tenant with the deposit, minus any deductions we make, as well as any invoices for deductions made.

No, we do not require a cash reserve. However, if you would like us to take care of other bills associated with the property, then we would need a cash reserve.

The 1st of each month. We deposit the prior month’s rent directly into your bank account for you. We also send you an owner statement detailing income, expenses, invoices, and photos of any maintenance work that was performed in the previous month.

If you are not a resident of California, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) requires property managers withhold 7% of the gross rent and submit it to them. If you are a California resident, you simply complete a Form 590 which we’ll send you with the management agreement. If you are not a California resident, you can apply through the FTB for a Waiver or Reduction from the 7% withholding. More information will be provided in your management agreement.

If you would like us to take care of other bills, then we require a cash reserve. We can pay anything besides mortgage and insurance bills.

No, we do not have a fee if the unit is vacant. We only collect a leasing fee once the property is rented and a commission each month that it is occupied.

General Questions

Yes. About three to four months before your lease is up, we’ll get in touch with you to talk about renewing renewing the lease. Typically, we suggest bumping up the rent by about 5-7% each year, depending on how the market is doing.

We want to make sure you feel comfortable and have the freedom to make changes, so our contracts are set up on a month-to-month basis. You can cancel anytime you need to, just let us know 30 days in advance.

You can only visit the property while it is vacant. When it’s occupied, we kindly request that you don’t drop by. It breaks the buffer between you and the tenant, and hurts our ability to manage the property smoothly. To make owners feel confident their home is being cared for, we do an annual inspection and take photos of the property.

We usually recommend to wait until the property is vacant to sell it. If our client needs to sell their property while someone’s living in it, we’ll collaborate closely with the tenant to ensure the process is seamless and efficient for everyone involved.

We make owning rental property easy

Renting your property shouldn’t be a hassle. It should give you a greater abundance of time, money, and energy. We’ve developed a team of A-Players who have made this a reality for over 1000 property owners.
We can do the same for you.

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