Voluntary Guidelines For Residential Rental Owners & Managers in the City of Monterey
adopted October 24, 2001
While there may be individual circumstances under which these guidelines cannot be followed, the following voluntary guidelines are submitted for the consideration of residential property managers and owners:
1. Keep rent increases reasonable for your residents. A variety of factors should be considered when determining what is reasonable. These factors include, but are not limited to the following items, which should be considered collectively, not individually:
- Maintenance and operating costs
- Capital improvements & debt service
- Provision of housing services
- Return on investment to property owner
- Utility costs - Rent history of tenant
- Local Area Consumer Price Index (CPI) 1
- Period of time resident has lived at the property
- Existing market value of rents for similarly- situated units
2. Give your residents predictability and the opportunity to plan ahead.
a. Provide at least a 60-day notice for all rent adjustments;
b. Consider adopting a policy of one annual rent adjustment;
c. Consider offering your residents the option of longer-term leases instead of short-term rental agreements.
3. Recognize the value of long-term, stable residents, who pay their rent on time.
a. Consider phasing-in the rent adjustment to accommodate a hardship request by a resident;
b. If your monthly rent for existing residents is significantly below market-rate, increase rents over an extended period of time, bearing in mind the residents' history at your property, and realizing that rents will increase to market as units turn-over.
4. Attach a sensitively written letter to your notice of rent adjustment.
a. Point out any increased operational costs such as taxes, utilities, maintenance, and debt service;
b. Highlight upcoming or recent improvements to the property;
c. If available, provide information on comparable rents.
5. Be open, available and responsive when residents want to discuss their rent adjustment.
a. Be knowledgeable about their rent history at your property;
b. Be willing to listen to them openly and consider special arrangements, such as a phased-in rent adjustment for hardship cases.
6. Keep your property maintained.
a. Provide residents with a method to report repairs, damages or conditions that need to be corrected;
b. Attend to all maintenance requests promptly.
7. Embrace voluntary, professional mediation.
a. Be responsive if a mediation agency calls;
b. Be willing to enter into a mediation discussion.
8. Be sensitive to the fact there may be circumstances that result in residents voluntarily vacating your property.
a. If requested, attempt to help them find suitable housing in other units you may own or manage;
b. If a resident is forced to break a lease in the middle of a lease term, work with them to quickly fill the unit and minimize the expense to the resident who is leaving;
c. As soon as is practical, and within the guidelines prescribed by law, account for and return the resident’s security deposit.
9. Consider how your actions concerning adjusting rents may affect public perception of you, your company and the rental housing industry. You are in the business of providing housing, and your residents are your customers. As in any business, you should strive as much as possible to satisfy your customers at all times, which is the foundation for business success.
10. Ensure that your resident managers are well briefed on your commitment to these guidelines and that they follow through as your on-site emissary.