Managing beachfront property has its own set of challenges. In Santa Monica, this is especially true. If you are not managing one of many apartment buildings that skirt the beaches of this city, you are managing one or more of the beach houses right on the dunes. Here are some tips to help you as a property manager when this is all very new to you and you want to impress your boss(es).
Tip One–find out what the laws are regarding landlords and beachfront or on-the-beach properties. Does the city expect property managers to keep the beach clean when the beach is part of the property, or because the beach has public access can you skip that? Even if the city of Santa Monica does not expect landlords and property managers to keep the beach clean, you may still want to pick up the occasional piece of rubbish or set out a trash can to help keep the beaches clean for your tenants and the rest of the public.
Tip Two–make sure your tenants are not having wild parties because of their proximity to the beach. It is always very tempting for new tenants to throw a party and then make quite a mess and quite a disturbance because they are reminded of their spring break in college with the beach as close as it is. If they are renting a property already on the beach, just make sure they clean things up the next morning so that the litter does not have a negative impact on the ocean and wildlife. If you are required to pick up after their wild party, then you might want to check up on these tenants once or twice their first weekend in the beach house just to make sure things are not getting out of hand.
Tip Three–check the properties after every storm. With the way the winds, rain and waves pummel a beach, some of your beach houses that you manage may be worse for the wear. Beachfront apartment houses may survive just fine, with little to no damage, but houses on the beach might require your immediate attention. Tropical storms can be quite brutal in Santa Monica, and tidal waves or Tsunamis are not unheard of, which is all the more reason why you should check on the properties you manage as soon as possible after a force of nature has hit.
Tip Four–repaint at least once a year. The hot, Santa Monica sun can really eat through paint. Most beach houses are either whitewashed or painted bright colors, as are the accents on the beachfront apartment buildings. As the wind, sun and weather beats at the structures, the paint colors fade and peel, leaving just a rough driftwood color poking through. As the apartment manager, you will need to resurface and repaint these areas. Whether you do the job personally (because your boss and property owner requires it of you) or you hire it out to house painters, it has to be done to keep the properties looking their best and keep tenants content.