Can Security Deposits Be Used to Cover Unpaid Rent

Landlords sometimes wonder whether they can use a tenant’s security deposit to cover unpaid rent. The answer depends on whether the landlord planned ahead. Although security deposits cannot be used to cover “normal wear and tear,” California law allows property owners to use security deposits and pet deposits to pay for various tenant expenses, as … Read more

The Pros and Cons of Using a Property Management Company

Hey, I had the opportunity to give away another one of my Schat’s Bakery gift cards with this column, since it was in response to a question from a reader. The reader asked, “What are the costs and benefits of hiring a property management company to deal with my rental property, and what’s typically required … Read more

Being a Good Renter

The real estate market continues to evolve into a seller’s market. Prices are up, inventory is down, and buyers outnumber sellers. However, if you would rather rent than buy right now, here are some tips on how to be a savvy renter. Find a property that fits your needs. You can find places for rent … Read more

Being a Good Landlord

Owning a home isn’t right for everyone, which is why many people invest in rental properties. This week I’m sharing my thoughts on how to prepare a home to be rented, and what it means to be a good landlord. To prepare a home for rent, consider these six suggestions: Really clean your house. As … Read more