Welcome to your new home! This tenant handbook provides important information about your new home and answers frequently asked questions.
Please remember to have all the utilities put in your name (where applicable) effective the first day of your lease.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – Dial 911
County Police Dept Fire Dept.
Monterey Police Non-Emergency (831) 646-3914
Monterey(Station No. 11) Fire (831) 646-3905
Pacific Grove Fire (831) 242-8733
Pacific Grove Police Non-Emergency (831) 647-7900
If you have an emergency that cannot wait until the next business day, you can call the emergency numbers you recieved with your Move-In Packet. An emergency is a fire, flood, or any dangerous or hazardous situation.
Pacific Gas and Electric(PG&E) 1-877-660-6789
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Rent is due on the 1st of each month. Rent may be paid by direct deposit, personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. NO CASH PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Remember that there is only one grace day.
If a maintenance issue should arise, you may complete a maintenance request at 831-372-6400 or via your Propertyware Tenant Portal. When filling out the request in the portal be sure to provide the following:
- Be specific about the problem and remember to include your name, address and the best number to reach you.
- Permission to enter your home. Please submit a time when you will be available to let a vendor or repair person into the property. If you select the “Anytime” option, the management office will enter your unit in your absence.
- Tenants are responsible for securing any pets that the vendor may encounter on their visit to the property.
LOCKED YOURSELF OUT?
Bratty and Bluhm keeps extra keys for each property. During regular business hours you may come by and borrow a key, which will need to be returned to our office within 24 hrs. After business hours, keys are not available and you will have to call a locksmith. To avoid getting locked out of your unit, consider the following:
- It’s a good idea to leave a spare set of keys with a friend/neighbor. However, if you hide the keys and they are discovered, the locks should be changed and it will have to be at your cost.
- Be sure to carry all of your door keys (handle and deadbolt) with you. When vendors are authorized to enter a property to make a repair, they are required to secure the premises when they leave. That includes setting the deadbolts or locks whether you set them or not.
CARE & USE INFORMATION
The following information has been gathered in response to requests from residents looking for guidelines at move-in and move-out times. If you have questions about the use and care for items not on this list, please call Bratty and Bluhm. Most of our properties have care manuals for appliances, etc., provided by the owners. Please refer to them first whenever there is a problem. Answers are often found in these guides.
PLEASE REPORT UNSAFE OR HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS IMMEDIATELY.
FURNACE AND WALL HEATER MAINTENANCE
All tenants are responsible for cleaning or replacing the furnace filter at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of the fall or winter. Problems caused by failure to clean/replace the filter may be the tenant’s responsibility. To care for your furnace and wall heaters please do the following:
- Dust can accumulate at furnace vents as well as at fan vents. A small broom brushed across the vent openings will clear away any dust and help the furnace or fan operate efficiently.
- Prior to the heating season, please arrange to have PG&E check your furnace/heater to be sure that it is in good operating condition. If they identify needed repairs, notify Bratty and Bluhm immediately. This is a complimentary service.
GAS WALL HEATERS
If your home has a gas wall heater, it is prudent to turn off the gas at the unit when the heater is not needed. On any gas appliance, new or older, if the pilot light goes out you may detect a gas odor, which should dissipate in a few minutes after airing out the room. If the odor persists call the PG&E immediately.
POWER, FURNACE & HOT WATER HEATER OUTAGES
If the power goes out in your unit or house, first check to see if the whole area is without power. If it is out in the area, chances are the utilities company already knows about it. You can, however, try calling them to report the problem.
If the power is only out in your house/unit, check the circuit breaker box, GFI Outlets, and Light Switches. One or more circuits may be tripped and you may see the switches in the off position. If no switch is off turn each switch off then on to reset the circuits. Do this multiple times. If we send out an electrician and all that needs to be done is push a GFI button for an outlet, flip a switch for an outlet, or flip a breaker switch… it will be your bill and it can cost up to $150.
If either your furnace or water heater is not working, call the PG&E first to have them check it out and/or relight the pilot. If there are additional problems, they will inform you as to what needs to be repaired. Call Bratty and Bluhm with the information they provide you.
Please avoid letting food, hair, and excess soap get down the drains. Clogged drains caused by hair, grease and soap are the tenant’s responsibility. Per section 11 A of your lease “Tenant shall be charged for repair of drain blockages or stoppages, unless caused by defective plumbing parts or tree roots invading sewer lines.” Sending a plumber to do a repair that ends up being hair in the drain can cost up to and around $300. Hardware stores carry “hair catchers” to place in sink and tub drains that significantly help keep drains free of hair. We highly recommend you use an item such as a “Tub Shroom” to keep hair from going down the drain. You can buy one on Amazon for ~$12.
Some dishwashers will clog from food left on the dishes when put in the machine. An excellent drain cleaning/clearing solution recipe is:
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
- Followed by 8 cups boiling water.
We recommend performing this treatment monthly to avoid build-up.
Be sure to always run water while the disposal is operating to avoid damage to the unit. Let the water run long enough to grind all the material in the disposal. Then let the water run for 10-15 seconds after turning off the disposal. Learn to recognize the sound the machine makes when completely free of garbage.
Disposals are designed to grind up organic items only. Exceptions include: banana peels, potato skins, egg shells, artichoke leaves, celery stalks, flower stems, coffee grounds, bones, or any item that is particularly tough. Never put paper, plastic, glass, aluminum foil or grease in the disposal.
Always be sure to check the power switch (usually under the sink), try the reset button (somewhere on the bottom of the machine), and remove all contents before calling for maintenance. Problems with the garbage disposal are the tenant’s responsibility.
REFRIGERATOR COILS / DRIP PANS
Keep coils on refrigerators (especially sub-zeros) free of dust. Coils need free air flowing around them to operate efficiently. Failure to keep coils clean may cause the appliance motor to burn out. The replacement of a burned out motor due to dirty coils may be the tenant’s responsibility. Some refrigerators have drip pans under them. If not kept clean, the pans can start to develop a strong odor. Please take the time to get acquainted with the appliances in your unit.
Please burn only hardwoods in the fireplaces and woodstoves to minimize to buildup of creosote, etc. in the chimney. Creosote build-up is a fire hazard. Be sure a fireplace screen is in place when a fire is burning to prevent hot ashes from burning the floor or floor coverings.
OVEN RACKS AND PANS
The easiest way to clean oven racks and pans is to put them in a heavy duty garbage bag (do this outdoors), add 2 cups of ammonia and seal the bag. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then carefully open the bag (without inhaling the strong odor). Remove racks & pans and the grease will wipe off with very little effort.
Never use abrasives on brass or gold fixtures. It is best to wipe fixtures clean after each use. If brass needs to be polished, please use a product specifically designed for use on brass. Many homes and apartments have low-flow toilets. We strongly recommend that you keep a plunger nearby. Low-flow toilets tend to clog or back up if too much paper, etc. is flushed. Tenants must be prepared to plunge the toilet to clear clogs and avoid damage from over-flows.
Tenants must take care to avoid water damage caused by allowing water to sit on counters and floors. Care must be taken to ensure that shower curtains are inside the tub, and that shower doors are completely closed when taking a shower. Water on tile floors can seep through the grout and cause dry rot on the floorboards below. Water can also seep around the edges of linoleum and damage the flooring below. We recommend putting a mat, towel or rug on the floor to step on when exiting the tub or shower. Water can easily be splashed into the space behind the faucet in the kitchen or bath and damage the counter surface. Please be sure to keep these areas dry to prevent damage.
SLIDING GLASS DOORS, SCREEN DOORS AND SHOWER TRACKS
It is imperative that dirt and debris regularly be cleaned out of sliding door tracks. Rolling over dirt, leaves and pine needles that frequently accumulate in the tracks can damage the wheels on sliding doors, especially the heavy glass sliders. Please make it part of your cleaning routine to clear the tracks. Please do not use oil or WD40 to lubricate slider doors or screens. They only attract dirt and gum up the wheel mechanisms. In order to retard the growth of mold in the tracks and at the bottom of shower doors, keep the tracks clean. Use an old toothbrush and do a regular monthly cleaning, it’s much easier than doing one major cleaning at move-out time!
Bleach is the best product for removing mold that forms around the edges of showers, tubs, on tile walls, around metal windows, and anywhere there is moisture. The easiest way to remove mold is to cut paper towels in half and fold them into one-inch strips. Dip each strip into the bleach bottle and hold your finger against it as you draw it out. Lay the bleach-soaked strips directly on the mold and leave them there for several hours. It works like magic. Remember to use rubber gloves, and air out affected rooms.
Be sure drip pans are kept under all plants. Water run-off will stain or damage most surfaces.
To avoid costly damage from nicks and cuts in counter tops, please use a cutting board at all times. Tenants will be responsible for any damages to kitchen counters during move out.
CERAMIC TILE – MOLDED TUB AND SHOWER WALLS
To clean ceramic tiles and molded fixtures tiles follow these instructions:
- Bleach Products
- Dilute 1 part white vinegar in 5 parts water
- Never use scrubbing cleansers like Comet or AJAX on molded fixtures, as these products will permanently scratch the surfaces
- Use a soft sponge and apply the solution to the molded areas
When cleaning mini blinds, don’t soak them – the finish may bubble and peel. Spray them with a mild soap & water solution and wipe them. You can buy a spray cleaner which is inexpensive and easy to use, making cleaning a breeze. Weekly dusting or wiping can save a lot of work later.
SMOKE AND CO DETECTORS
Please don’t take these down. Tenants are responsible for keeping fresh batteries in smoke and CO detectors. We recommend changing batteries twice a year. Per CA Building Code: There should be one smoke detector in each bedroom and one in the area immediately outside the sleeping areas (usually hallways). There should also be a CO detector in your house. If your smoke detector starts beeping and there is no reason for it to beep, check the back of the smoke detector for info about what the beeping means. If it is at its end of life, call us and we will replace it. If the batteries need to be changed, replace them and put it back up. 10 year smoke alarms do not need batteries and you should call us if the beep indicated end of life for the alarm.
WOOD DECKS / PORCHES
If you have planters or pots, please put raised trays under them so that they are off the deck a few inches. This will to allow air to flow beneath the pot, and to prevent water run-off from rotting the deck.
Never use a mop or oil for cleaning hardwood floors. Use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the surface. It is best to sweep and dust regularly to avoid build up of dirt. We recommend cleaning your hardwood floors in your home with a small amount of vinegar in water. Periodically clean floors with Bona following the directions on the label – make sure to dry the floors thoroughly afterwards. We encourage the use of throw rugs in front of the sink and the stove to protect these areas from water and grease.
We highly recommend that tenants vacuum carpets at least once a week and have carpets professionally cleaned once a year. Damage to a carpet can wipe out your security deposit – so PLEASE take care of your carpet. If you spill something, clean it up immediately. We’ve found Folex (http://www.folexcompany.com/) works really well for cleaning stains.
MARBLE AND GRANITE
Marble is a porous material. Be careful that water run-off from plants is not left standing on the surface since it will permanently stain the marble. Never use any acidic or abrasive cleaning products including vinegar. It is best to use warm water and a sponge with a small amount of dishwashing liquid such as Dawn or Joy.
WALLS AND PAINT
Section 17 of your lease states that you cannot alter the premises without written prior permission from your landlord. We highly recommend using command strips and hooks to hang up pictures, curtain rods and other items on your walls. When you use command strips properly, they will not damage the walls. https://www.command.com/3M/en_US/command/products/
If you made a mistake and have to touch up the walls use a Q-tip and/or a toothpick to fill tiny holes in the wall and use the exact same paint to dab over the tiny hole. If you leaves holes like below in the walls or do a bad touch up job upon move out – it costs a minimum of 150$ to have a painter come paint( and that’s just one wall!!)
BREAKING YOUR LEASE
Per Addendum 1: In the event of a breach of the terms of this agreement by Tenant or termination by Tenant prior to the completion of the original term of this agreement, Tenant shall be responsible for lost rent, rental commissions, a leasing fee of $1000, advertising expenses, and other costs necessary to ready the premises for re-rental. So, you are responsible for the $1000 fee and the rent until the unit is rented again or until your lease is up (whichever comes first).
FINAL WALK THROUGH
Below are some common mistakes that tenants make when we do final walk throughs:
- They forget to clean the blinds.Sending a cleaning person to clean the blinds is a minimum of 100$.
- They forget to replace lightbulbs that are out– sending a handyman to replace a bulb is a minimum of 75$.
- They do apoor patching job of the walls(see attached pictures). Do NOT leave holes/screws/nails in the walls. Sending a painter to touch up the walls is a minimum of 150$.
- They forget to have all cabinets, drawers, appliances(inside the oven, fridge etc.) wiped down and cleaned.We will be checking every drawer and cabinet – again, sending a cleaning person is a minimum of 100$.
- They leave toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and other items at the house or apartment – the house/apartment should be ready for move in. Nothing should be left behind unless it came with the house/apartment – don’t leave cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
- They remove a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms cost roughly $30.00 plus sending a handyman to install for a minimum of $75.