Tips to Help Landlords Protect Their Investments in Overheated San Francisco Market

For several years, the rental market in San Francisco has been what could best be described as overheated, with rents escalating each year.

  • Thursday, February 19, 2015

  General   Rental Market   California   

For several years, the rental market in San Francisco has been what could best be described as overheated, with rents escalating each year. In fact, last year, rents in San Francisco increased by 15.4 percent to a median monthly cost of $3,031. Most of the continually increasing rents in San Francisco can be attributed to well-compensated tech workers who have flocked to San Francisco, thus increasing competition and driving up prices. In the most desirable areas, which are often located near convenient transit, competition for available rental properties can often be fierce.

Applicants Clamoring for Properties with Amenities in San Francisco

Rental property listings frequently turn over quickly, particularly if those listings are located in popular neighborhoods and boast amenities, such as outdoor space and parking. This is certainly good news for property owners because it means they usually do not have to worry about vacancies. It is not uncommon for landlords to receive hundreds of email inquiries and phone calls when a property is made available for rent. In many instances, eager applicants might even submit multiple applications. Landlords who host open houses when they have a unit become available may have at least two dozen applicants show up to the open house.

While the state of the San Francisco rental market can certainly be a heady experience for any landlord, it is important to make sure that you keep your head about you and do not jump to rent to the first applicant who appears to have cash in hand and can move in the soonest. Regardless of how heated the market may be in San Francisco, it is still important to conduct tenant credit checks as well as to check employment and references through a comprehensive tenant background check.

Potential for Damage to Rental Properties in San Francisco

Without conducting a tenant check, how can you really know what type of tenant is applying for your property or whether they have a criminal background? In 2011, CBS SF Bay Area reported that an extensive indoor marijuana growing operation was busted in the Parkside neighborhood of San Francisco. According to San Francisco police, this is not an uncommon occurrence in the Sunset, Richmond, and Parkside districts, where rental properties are often converted into marijuana grow houses. Unfortunately, the landlords are left to deal with the aftermath. One landlord reported $30,000 in damage as well as lost rent due to repairs to the roof, walls, and floors where holes were cut in order to provide ventilation for the pot operation.

Even charging a significant security deposit cannot protect landlords against the potential for this type of damage. Conducting a tenant screening and background check can provide landlords with the information they need to make a more informed decision when reviewing multiple applicants. With free tenant screening services available from VerticalRent, landlords in San Francisco can continue to benefit from the strong rental market while putting their minds at ease.


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