Owner FAQs

Answers to your frequently asked questions

  • Who establishes the monthly rental rate for my property?

    Penny Realty will complete a thorough Rental Analysis and provide you with our market rate recommendations. Our suggestions are designed to maximize your overall Rental Income and minimize your vacancies. We work in collaboration with the Property Owner to finalize the asking price.
  • Can I pick the Tenant?

    Penny Realty selects all Tenants for our Owners. We have very high standards and we apply those standards evenly and fairly to all Tenants. There are very strict Fair Housing Laws in California which require the same standards are applied to all Tenants. If we allowed individual Owners to apply their own personal standards to the Tenant selection process, this would create a Fair Housing Violation. These types of violations are expensive to defend and carry harsh penalties.
  • What steps do you take to get my property rented?

    Please click here for details on Penny Realty’s exclusive 5 Step Process that can produce quality Tenants for your property… our average is 11 days to obtain a good Tenant!
  • How do you screen prospective Tenants?

    Penny Realty has a comprehensive 11 Step Screening Process. This process allows us to offer with confidence our “Eviction Free Guarantee”…. For more details, pLease see PennyRealty.com/resident-screening.
  • Who holds the Tenant’s security deposit?

    Penny Realty holds the security deposits in our Trust Account for safekeeping. By holding the security deposit ourselves, the move-out process with the Tenant goes smoother when it comes time to reconcile repairs, cleanings and return of the balance of the security deposit to the Tenants. By law, we must give a full accounting of the security deposit to the departing Tenants within 21 days. Having the funds in our Trust Account ensures that we do not miss the 21 day timeline.
  • Do you have a maintenance department on the Penny Realty payroll?

    No, Penny Realty does not have maintenance personnel on the payroll. We believe this is better for our Property Owners for a variety of reasons:

    • We can hand select the best Vendors available, and ensure they have proper insurance and necessary licenses.
    • Since we have “Buying Power” with our Vendors, they tend to be very responsive to our requests and provide us with good rates. We pass along these low rates to our Owners without any mark-up.
    • If one of our Vendor’s performances slips and regresses, we can easily and quickly pivot to another well vetted Vendor that is performing at a higher level. This is more difficult when your maintenance people are on “the payroll.”
    • Since we are not profit-motivated by maintenance items, we do what is necessary, but we aren’t over-zealous in churning high maintenance bills. Be careful with those Management Companies that have their own in-house maintenance divisions. They must keep their maintenance personnel “busy” so that they can earn a profit.
  • Does your fee include cleaning or any other repairs?

    No. Our fee covers the coordination of needed services, not the services themselves.
  • Can I use my own Contractors?

    We believe we have some of the best Vendors/Contractors available. They provide quality work at competitive prices. If you wish for us to use one of your own Vendors/tradesman, then they can apply with Penny Realty to become an approved Vendor. If, for any reason, they are not an approved Vendor, then Penny Realty cannot work with them. As the Owner, you still have the option to have your own Vendor. This means you will need to supervise their work and pay them directly.
  • What insurance coverage should I have on my property?

    It is important that our Owners maintain proper insurance with adequate coverage. Consult with your Insurance Agent to ensure you obtain a “Landlord/Rental Dwelling Insurance Policy.” We require that Penny Realty, Inc. is named as an additional named insured. This is a standard procedure with insurance companies and there should not be an additional cost to the Property Owner.
  • Are tax requirements different if I live outside the State of California?

    Yes, if a Property Owner resides outside of the State of California, Penny Realty, Inc. is required to withhold 7% of the rent collected and submit it to the state tax authorities on a quarterly basis. Withholdings are submitted quarterly by Penny Realty, Inc. on the Property Owner’s behalf to the California Franchise Tax Board with a FTB Form 592, Quarterly Nonresident Withholding Statement. Before January 31st of the following calendar year, we provide the Property Owner with a statement showing the total amount of income subject to withholding and the total amount withheld, using a FTB Form 592-B, Nonresident Withholding Tax Statement.
  • Can I meet the Tenant?

    No, it is considered a Property Management “Best Practice” if the Owners do not meet the Tenants. This would defeat one of the great benefits of hiring a property Management Company; that is the Owner gets to maintain their privacy and not be bothered by Tenant issues. Once an Owner meets the Tenant, it is our experience that almost always the Tenant will attempt to deal directly with the Owner, and not the Management Company. It is better for all parties if we act as the buffer between the Owner and the Tenant.
  • How can you possibly guarantee you will rent my property in 14 days?

    We have very robust marketing/advertising of our vacant properties. We have leasing experts that know how to position the property in its best light, and we move quickly to process rental applications and Leases.

    If the property is in excellent, move-in condition, unfurnished and priced at our recommended market rental rate, then we guarantee we will rent it in 14 days. If we miss this timeframe, then we provide two months of free Property Management Services. Our average time to rent a property that meets the above criteria is 11 days. This guarantee is not offered from mid-October through mid-January, due to it being a slower time of the year for Rentals.

  • What is your “Eviction Free” Guarantee?

    Due to our strict 11 Step Tenant Screening Process, we are able to offer an Eviction Free Guarantee, at no additional cost. If there is a Tenant that we select, and they need to be evicted for non-payment of rent, we will pay up to $1,200. This usually covers court costs and payment of landlord’s attorney fees.
  • How do you guarantee a Good Pet?

    We use a large, National Pet Screening Company to screen all pets and their Owners. Each pet is rated and the Tenants are charged a fee according to the pet rating. We will pay for any pet damage that exceeds the security deposit, up to $1,000.00. Emotional Support and Service Animals do not apply to the guarantee.
  • Can I make changes to your management agreement?

    The terms in our management agreement are designed into our management operations. It is difficult for us to change any terms without having to change our operations and processes. We typically are not able to change the terms of our agreement. However, if you have a specific concern, we are open to addressing it with you.
  • Do you have a Tenant and Owner portal?

    Yes, most of our Tenants pay their rent online and submit any maintenance requests through our Tenant portal. Owners also will have their own password to access the Owner portal. They can view their monthly Financial Statements here and more.
  • What type of insurance do you carry?

    We carry General Liability, Workers Compensation, and Errors & Omissions insurance.
  • Who will I be working with?

    You and your property will be assigned to a highly experienced and Licensed Property Manager. They will be your main point of contact. Penny Realty has a skilled support team that backs up each Property Manager. This ranges from Assistants, Leasing Managers, and Maintenance Vendors for all trades, and Inspectors. Our main Accountant has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Accounting to ensure that all financial matters are kept in good, clean order.
  • What happens if the Tenant damages my property beyond the Security Deposit?

    With our thorough 11 Step Tenant Screening Process, we tend to rent to highly qualified Tenants. Due to this, we rarely have Tenants who Damage a property beyond the amount of the Security Deposit. However, this still could happen (although historically there is less than a 1% chance). If this does happen, we will make every effort to collect the full amount owed. Should the Tenant not pay, then they will need to be sued in a Small Claims Court. Penny Realty can assist and support the Owner in this process. Once we receive a judgement in Small Claims Court, the Tenants will likely pay what is owed. In the event they still do not pay our Legal Counsel has a Debt Collection division to pursue recovery of funds owed.
  • How long of a Lease term do you recommend?

    We mostly execute one year Leases. However, we can consider special situations and do month-to-month, or 6 month Leases. We have found we obtain higher quality Tenants that stay in place longer with 1 year Leases. We also occasionally execute 2 year Leases. We try to not have Leases expire in November or December which are historically the most difficult months to find a new Tenant.
  • Can I leave some personal property at my home?

    We highly recommend you remove all personal property from the residence. This is a potential deterrent to a prospective Tenant when deciding whether or not to rent your home. Your personal property could be taking away storage space for them. They also do not like the burden of being responsible for the Owner’s property. It is acceptable to leave a small amount of household items (paint, flooring, cleaning supplies, etc.).
  • Can I rent my property furnished?

    Yes, this is possible, but may not be the best idea. Of course Vacation Rental properties need to be furnished. However, most Long Term Rentals on a 1 year Lease should be unfurnished. There are many more prospective Renters looking for unfurnished rentals and they usually rent faster.
  • Should I provide a Gardener?

    Most of our Single Family Homes or apartment complexes include a gardener/landscaper. The exception may be a property that is designed to have a very low maintenance yard, or drought-tolerant landscaping. The typical Tenant will not maintain the Landscaping at a satisfactory level.
  • Can I sell my property while the Tenant is in there?

    If you decide to sell, please alert us before you commit. There are a number of things that we can do on our side to make it successful.

    You can sell a property while the Tenant is living there, but often that is not the best play. Occupied homes generally do not show as well as vacant, professionally staged homes. They are also harder to show as agents must work around the Tenants schedule and give 24-hour notice to show. If the Tenant has multiple months left on their Lease, the only buyers will be investors. This cuts out the largest majority of buyers, the Owner occupant. If the Lease is coming to an end, the Tenant keeps the home in great shape, and the Tenant is easy to communicate with, then it may make sense to list it for sale while occupied. We can guide you on the right approach for your situation.
  • Can I reach you after hours?

    Yes, we have someone on call 24/7 for emergencies. After hours we have trained staff that can assist with a property emergency. Non-emergencies should be addressed during normal business hours.
  • Do you sell Real Estate too?

    Yes, our CEO/Broker, Greg Flaherty, personally handles all sales. He has over 30 years’ experience selling Homes, Condo’s, Multi-Family Apartment Complexes and Tax Deferred Exchanges. Call or e-mail Greg for a free Market Analysis of your property.