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Help, I'm in a cringe worthy situation. Behold:

Me and my wife own a house in California. We've been renting it out since October of 2017 from overseas (expat now). Up until recently we had a property manager handing everything, but this person wasn't really doing a good job. Good friend, but it was clear after a while we needed someone else to handle things. A couple of months ago we went back to the USA for vacation, and while we were there we hired a highly rated property management company. Basically we just wanted to make sure all rent was received on time (an issue that happened twice, but I think it was mostly due to our previous property manager not being on top of things 100%), and have an inspection once a year or so, just to make sure everything is working okay maintenance wise. Something our first property manager didn't do.

So some weeks pass. Get the first rent under new management on time. Now it's in the second month, and I was asking my new property management team about an inspection that was supposed to take place not too long after the first new payment under them. I got a response rather quickly that for a couple of weeks now they've tried to schedule an inspection with the tenants, but they couldn't get them to work out a good enough time to inspect. So a new "notice of entry" was given to them, and there is an inspection to be planned this coming Tuesday. When I got this information (last night my time) I was thinking "great". Things are rolling along. However, just a few minutes ago my wife contacted me telling me she got an email from one of the tenants themselves. My wife isn't sure how her email was acquired (maybe it was our first property manager that gave it out just in case something came up), but basically the response was something along the lines of this (I'm paraphrasing): 

"Hi, I'm your current tenant. Me and my husband moved into your house nearly two years ago after our daughter was born. We've always taken care of your home, and taken care of any maintenance issues ourselves. Unfortunately there was a couple of miscommunications incidents with getting the rent to you through your first property manager. Since that time, we've tried inquiring to her before if there were ways to send money directly to you like (that information was not communicated to me) direct deposit, or Zelle via Wells Fargo. With the recent property management change we feel like we've been harassed from the start. Today we got a notice of entry stating that we've been uncooperative, and thatthe owners are unhappy. Not sure why the sudden need for an inspection, but my husband is really busy traveling for work recently, and I have my hands full with a toddler. We have never done anything wrong and do not understand the need to go to the extremes of serving us with this notice of entry. We loved your unit, and had been very happy raising my little girl here. But now we longer feel that way. If you and your husband are truly unhappy due to any of our actions, we apologize. But with your new management in place, we are unlikely to renew the lease at the end of the contract. Also, if the notice of entry must be enforced I would like to kindly ask for an extension to a time when my husband can be home with me. Thank you.

So that is where I'm currently at now. I feel like one inspection a year is normal from what I've researched. And the option for that is in the lease. I'm not trying to disrupt anyone's livelihood (we have a child ourselves right now), and they seem like good people from what I've heard, but it's our house, and we just want to make sure that everything is ok with our investment. Don't think that is so much to ask. I just don't know how to take care of this. I feel like I shouldn't have to email my property manager again with this recent response. Two months in they've been way more on top of their game compared to what I previously had. Quick response time too. I was going to email the tenant myself and have a dialogue. I can see myself granting an extension, but I feel like an inspection needs to happen. Their lease is up in October. How should I handle it? As you can tell, I don't have much experience renting out.

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You should certainly have the right to this inspection. Really depends on what's in the lease contract, I would think.

I'm no expert, but there easily could be something they are hiding there. Drug den? lol.. Maybe you can suggest that if she is not feeling so safe with an inspector coming out, and husband out of town, you can send another rep from the management company out with the inspector. She could certainly call a friend or family member over to be there through the quick process. If it doesn't smell right, it probably isn't. She's hoping her threat will back you off, so depending on lease contract, you have to decide how much you want to keep them on beyond the existing contract. 

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You have every right to serve a notice of inspection, furthermore, they should be somewhat aware that in a change of management as well as a pending lease situation, stuff like this is somewhat expected. Don't back off the inspection.

 Secondly, owning and renting property sucks. My family owned apartment complexes and hated it. They sold a couple years ago. If this is still an issue, PM me and I'll see what my aunt/dad would do in this situation. Also, are you sure that you're past manager/friend wasn't doing something sketchy? The fact that your tenants asked to send money directly to you and you weren't aware about them asking is weird. Albeit understandable as to why that might not have been conveyed to you. 


As for the communication, It doesn't seem like you were really that annoyed at the delayed inspection and your property management might have said somethings about your attitude that wasn't true. In a personal dialogue, it might be good to convey that. 


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Agree with the responses above that an inspection is not asking for anything more than any other tenant would not hesitate to comply with (unless there are underlying issues they are trying to hide). And YOU should not be the one feeling like your in a bind, it is your tenants. I know you now live abroad but I'm assuming you are aware of the housing shortage here in California right now. Especially if your home is in the Bay Area. I have several long term employees at my hospital with great credit reports that lost their homes in the North Bay fire that had a hell of a time finding a place to rent. And when they did, it was for $4,000 a month (In Novato, not Belvedere!) for a 3 bedroom modest home. Hell, even a 2 bedroom apartment goes for $2500+. You are not being unreasonable in your request and hold all the leverage my friend...

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