Tenant Handbook

Welcome to your new home

As your new property management team we would like to welcome you into your new home and thank you for choosing to work with us. The purpose of this handbook is to assist you with caring for your home and also answer the most common questions you will have while working with a property management company. Please take a moment to take a look through this packet, it will give you all the basic information you will need to get started and settled into your new home. If after looking through, you still have some questions, feel free to call our office or come in and someone will be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you in any way we can. Bell Properties, Inc.  is committed to providing friendly and helpful services to all of our tenants. Our team members play specific roles to best service your needs. Anytime you have a question or something to discuss, someone from our team will always be here to help,  and look forward to your ongoing long term tenancy. 

We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

The Management Team

BELL Properties, Inc.

440 E Huntington Drive,

Suite 300

Arcadia, CA 91006

626-317-0425

Paying Rent

When is rent due:  Rent is due on the 1st of each month and is considered late on the 4th.

Please note this timeline includes weekends and holidays.

How to pay rent:  Rent can be paid online,  by check, money order or cashier’s check payable to Bell Properties, Inc.  We will NOT accept cash. 

Rent can be paid by mail, but it must be physically received in the office by the 3rd otherwise it will be considered late.

Please address mail to: Bell Properties, Inc., 440 E Huntington, Suite 300, Arcadia, CA 91006. 

Rent can be paid in person during normal business hours (Mon-Fri 9a - 4p). Be sure the check is properly labeled with your address.  Important Notes:  Place your name and property address on the check or money order to ensure that you are properly credited with rental payment.  Review your check or money order and ensure it has the names of the payer and payee. 

Rent can be paid online, through your tenant portal, at https://BellPropertyMgmt.com/residents there is a small convenience fee of $2.95, when paying from a bank account.

We also allow payment through some retail stores, for information on this option, contact your property manager by email or through the tenant portal.  

Leaving cash or an incomplete check or money order on the premises is not the management company’s responsibility.   Operation hours are Monday-Friday 9:00AM to 4:00PM.

The office is closed for lunch 12:00PM to 1:00PM every day. 

If a rent check is returned for insufficient funds (NSF), all charges including NSF, Late and posting fees will be charged to you. All future payments must be certified funds and you will not be able to pay online. 4 The Basics Important Policies:  Rental agreement: The duration of your rental agreement is fixed andØ specified in the document. Any early termination must be discussed with the property manager. The last page of your lease will detail the consequences of breaking your lease early.  We offer a 3 month buy out, which allows you to exit the lease legally, without being held liable for the full term and the entirety of the lease. 

Security Deposits: Your security deposit cannot be used to pay last month’s rent or any other month’s rent. 

Pets:  Animals are only allowed with prior approval of the owner and the management company.  Each animal must be 30lbs or less and older than 18 months.  A maximum of two pets are allowed.  The pet deposit is $250- $500, it is owner specific.  Upon move out, the property must be professionally treated for odor and pests.  To apply for a pet, and review the pet policy,  visit https://bell.petscreening.com

Keys:  If you lose or lock yourself out of your home you may call our office to get the key to make a copy.  We may not always have a key on file; in that case you will need to go about getting the home re-keyed at your costs.   The charge for key replacement is $25 if we have a set on hand.

Yard and Ground Maintenance:  (If applicable) You are responsible for the watering of yard. If vegetation dies due to lack of water you will be held responsible for replacing any dead plants/trees or sod.  If you are responsible for maintaining your yard, upkeep the flower beds, lawn care and maintain other parts of the yard is expected. Additional care should be taken to keep the ground clean. Please consult your rental agreement for more details. You are responsible for the watering of the yard. 

Vehicle Parking: Only approved and operational vehicles in designated areas are allowed. Please consult the rental agreement for more details. 

Storage:  Storage is only permitted in designated areas, outlined in your lease.  Storage is prohibited in parking spots or other areas designated for other usage.  

Guests:  A guest(s) staying longer than 7 days will require approval from the management company. Consult your rental agreement for more details.

Noise: You are subject to all laws pertaining to noise and your rental agreement, any site rules, HOA rules or other rules provided separately.  Violation of any local laws, or house rules will be cause for rules violation fee of $100 plus any action by local law enforcement.

Routine Maintenance: As you become more settled in your home it isØ important to manage routine maintenance items. Here are some examples of maintenance items you are responsible for: 

Replacement of light bulbs

  Cleaning or replacement of furnace filters

  Regular yard and lawn maintenance (if applicable)

  Replacement of batteries in smoke detectors and CO2 detectors

Submitting a maintenance request:  If a maintenance issue should arise, please complete a maintenance request by submitting a work order online at                                               https://BELLPropertyManagement.com/residents

We ask that you submit maintenance requests in writing to avoid confusion and to ensure that we have a clear record of your request.

When making a request, be as specific as possible about the problem. 

When preparing your work order please remember to complete the section of best number to contact you. This way if your number has changed we can update your record to the correct number.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES In case of medical, fire, or other emergency situations that could involve Immediate peril to you or those nearby, always call 911.

Maintenance Emergency Procedures: If you experience an emergency situation, please follow the steps outlined below. As a note, if the problem occurs in the middle of the night it is very unlikely we will be able to dispatch a contractor to the property until morning, so please try and contain the emergency best as possible. 

  • ❖    The specific definition of a maintenance emergency is: an issue that is dangerous, hazardous, or if not addressed immediately could cause damage to the property or your personal well being (e.g., Flooding, no AC in the summer, no heat in the winter, gas leak). 
  • ❖    An emergency is not an annoying sound, heat failure unless it is below freezing outside, appliance malfunction, drain stoppage, and the like, while inconvenient, these are not considered emergencies and will be handled by our office on the following business day. 
  • ❖    If the situation is considered a maintenance emergency and occurs normal business hours, please complete a maintenance request online through your tenant portal. 
  • ❖    If the situation occurs after business hours please call our office line 800-341-3281 and listen for directions on how to reach our emergency contact.  Remember leave your name, phone number, address, and type of emergency.   
  • ❖    If the situation involves natural gas, notify the local gas company directly. 
  • ❖    If an emergency situation is outside of your unit, but has potential to come inside your property, call 911, then the building emergency number then Bell Properties 800-341-3281.
  • ❖    NON EMERGENCY TEXT ONLY,  MON – FRI  9am-4pm:  THIS LINE IS NOT MONITORED EVENINGS OR WEEKENDS:  626-727-9082 (NO VOICE CALLS)

Emergency failure check steps   (prior to contacting Property Manager)

  • ❖    Air Conditioning
  • ❖    Check the thermostat to see that the controls are set properly.
  • ❖    Check the batteries on the thermostat; they may need to be replaced.
  • ❖    Check all fuses and circuit breakers.
  • ❖    Check the filter and ensure has been replaced in the last month.

Maintaining Fixtures and Appliances

Air Condition/Heaters:

  • ❖    All tenants are responsible for cleaning or replacing the furnace filter eachØ month. Problems caused by failure to clean/replace filter will be the tenant’s responsibility. 
  • ❖    Dust will accumulate at furnace vents as well as fan vents. A small broom brushed across the vent openings will clear away any dust and help the furnace or fan operate efficiently. 
  • ❖    Air Conditioning can only lower the inside temperature 15-20 degrees lower than outside temperature.

Power 

  • ❖    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, report outage to your local energy provider. 
  • ❖    It could be your GFI if the lights are out in the bathroom or kitchen. You will need to reset your GFI which is located in the garage on same wall as the house wall. 
  • ❖    If the power is only out in your house/unit check to see if the circuit breaker panel. 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. If this doesn’t solve the problem, report a maintenance emergency.

Drains: 

  • ❖    AVOID letting food and hair get down the drains. Clogged drains caused by hair and grease are the tenant’s responsibility. Some dishwashers will clog from food left on the dishes when put in the machine. Run the disposal before running your dishwasher. 
  • ❖    An excellent drain cleaning/clearing solution recipe is 1 cup salt, 1 cupØ baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, followed by 8 cups of boiling water. We recommend performing this treatment monthly to avoid build-up.
  • ❖    Hardware stores carry “hair catchers” to place in sink and tub drains thatØ significantly help keep drains free from hair.

Garbage Disposals: 

  • ❖    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 of the machine makes when completely free of garbage. 
  • ❖    Disposals are designed to grind up organic items only. Exceptions include: banana peels, artichoke leaves, celery stalks, flower stems, coffee grounds, potato peelings, bones, or any item that is particularly tough. NEVER put paper, plastic, glass, aluminum foil or grease in the disposal. 
  • ❖    If the unit becomes inoperable, ALWAYS be sure to check the reset button first (located on disposal under sink). If that does not work make sure to remove all debris. Problems caused by users are the tenant’s responsibility.   If the garbage disposal is not used regularly, tenants must perform a weekly maintenance, adding ice and running for 1 to 2 minutes.   Never put your hand into the garbage disposal. 

Plumbing Fixtures: 

  • ❖    NEVER use abrasive on brass or gold fixtures, and it is best to wipe fixtures after each use.
  • ❖    Many homes have low flow toilets. Low-flow toilets tend to clog or back upØ if too much paper is flushed. You may need to continue to hold down the handle when flushing to avoid clogs. Tenants must be prepared to plunge the toilet to clear clogs and avoid damage from over-flows. Tenants are responsible for stoppage.

Water Damage: 

  • ❖    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 thatØ the shower doors are completely closed when taking a shower. Water on tile floors can seep through the grout and cause dry rot on the underlayment and discolor the vinyl. 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.  Please be aware that the rubber backed mats can discolor vinyl floors, and the tenant could be charged to replace the floor at move out.  

Sliding Glass Doors, Screen Doors, and shower tracks:

  • ❖    It is imperative that dirt and debris regularly be cleaned out of sliding door tracks. Opening and closing doors over debris that frequently accumulates in the tracks can damage the wheels on sliding doors, especially the heavy glass sliders. Please make it part of your cleaning routine. 
  • ❖    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 slow 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 moveout.
  • ❖    ENSURE YOU REMOVE ANY WATER FROM the surrounding area after bathing.  It’s tenants responsibility to keep areas dry & ventilated after water use.

House Plants:

  • ❖    Be sure plant saucers are kept under all potted plants. Water runoff willØ stain or damage most surfaces.

Kitchen Counters: 

  • ❖    To avoid costly damage from nicks and cuts in counter tops, please use a cutting board at all times. Ceramic Tile-Tub and Shower Walls:  Dilute 1 part vinegar in 5 parts water for cleaning all ceramic tiles andØ fiberglass tub surrounds.  NEVER use scrubbing cleaners like Comet or Ajax on fiberglass tub surrounds, as these products will permanently scratch the surface.

Smoke and CO2 Detectors: 

  • ❖    Tenants are responsible for notifying the Bell Properties, of any non operational smoke detector.  Bell Properties will respond to tenant’s notification of inoperable smoke alarm and take corrective action.  24 hour written notice is provided to tenants before entering to perform any repair.  Repairs are only performed during business hours. 

Hardwood Floors: 

For cleaning or applying oil to hardwood floors only use a soft cloth. It’s best to sweep and dust regularly. 

Kitchen areas only: Once every three months clean the floors with a small amount of vinegar and water.  Use throw rugs in front of sink and stove to protect these areas from water and grease.

Marble and granite:  Never use any acidic or abrasive cleaning products including vinegar. It isØ best to use warm water and a sponge with a small amount of dishwashing liquid such as dawn or joy.  Marble is a porous material. Be careful that water run-off from plants is notØ left standing on the surface. It will permanently stain the marble.

SEASONAL MAINTENANCE

Interior: Furnace 

Clean or replace the air filter each month. All tenants are responsible forØ cleaning or replacing the furnace filters. Problems caused by failure to clean/replace the filter will be the tenant’s responsibility.  Set the thermostat to an appropriate heat level for winter and cool level forØ summer.  Inspect all supply and return vents for cleanliness and obstructions.

Fire Place 

When not using the fireplace, ensure that the damper is in good operatingØ condition and closed.  Inspect the flue and chimney and ensure it is unobstructed. PeriodicØ inspection and cleaning are strongly recommended.

  • ❖    Smoke and CO2 Detectors  Test all smoke detectors on a regular basis. Battery operated models will begin to make an intermittent beep when the battery is running low.  Call Bell Properties when your Smoke Detectors start beeping. 

Exterior: Lawn and Shrubbery  (For Single Family Home Tenants)

  • ❖    Maintain the lawn and shrubs surrounding your unit. Remove leaves and branches in the fall. Winterization: Faucets and Outlets Wrap all outside facets and anti siphon valve.

VACATING CHECKLIST: We understand that moving can be a stressful and busy time. However, there are some important items to consider when moving, which if done properly will save you time and money in the long run. There is a level of cleaning that is required to return the unit in the condition you received it. If you have any questions, please contact your property manager. 

General

❖ Provide a written notice of your intent to vacate a MINIMUM of 30 days prior to the end of the month for your lease. This written notice must be RECEIVED in the office and signed by all the tenants on the lease at that time. 

❖ Complete change of address cards for the post office and provide our office with a forwarding address. 

❖ All ultilities must remain on, but it is your responsibility to cancel any cable, phone, internet services.   Utilities must be on, in tenants name for move out inspection. 

❖ If vacating in the summer, set the thermostat no higher than 85 degrees to prevent the house from settling and or cracking. 

Refrigerator 

❖ Defrost freezer if needed. DO NOT use sharp tools to pry ice off. 

❖ Wash inside of refrigerator with warm water and baking soda. Clean door gasket. 

❖ Take out refrigerator shelves and drawers and wash in warm water, dry and replace. Clean under drawers. o Wash and dry outside of refrigerator and vacuum back and lower grills. 

❖ Move refrigerator from wall and clean underneath. DO NOT TURN OFF! 

❖ Sweep down cobwebs on walls and ceiling 

❖ Replace light with an appliance bulb if necessary. 

Stove 

Remove racks and broiler pan; soak in hot water and clean, dry well. 

❖ Clean inside of oven, top of stove, knobs, under elements, under burner pans and drawer. 

❖ Wash and dry outside of stove o Replace oven light with appliance bulb if burned out 

❖ Replace burner pans 

❖ Move stove out and clean wall and floor. 

Cabinets and Drawers: 

❖ Wash cupboards inside and out 

❖ Wipe out drawers with damp rag. 

❖ Clean sink, baskets, and counter tops well 

❖ Make sure garbage disposal is empty and clean Miscellaneous In and Near Kitchen 

❖ Wash all light fixtures in warm water and soap. 

❖ Clean switch plates. 

❖ Clean inside and out of dishwasher; include inside seal 

❖ Wash range hood and clean filter. 

❖ Change appliance bulb if necessary. 

❖ Wash windows, blinds, screens and clean sills and tracks 

❖ Scrub kitchen floor, including under moveable appliances and baseboards. 

Living Room: 

❖ Wash windows, sills and clean tracks. 

❖ Clean light fixtures and switch plates.  

❖ Sweep down cobwebs.  

❖ Clean out fireplace 

❖ Vacuum carpet and clean baseboards

❖ Clean drapes/blinds  

❖ Clean out fireplace; wash screen and doors Bedrooms: 

❖ Sweep down webs. 

❖ Wash light fixtures and switch plates. 

❖ Wash windows, clean sills and tracks. 

❖ Vacuum carpet and clean baseboard. 

Bathrooms: 

❖ Clean bathtub, tile around tub, sink, door and fixtures. 

❖ Clean inside and outside of toilet. These should be free of soap scum. 

❖ Scrub floor, baseboards and behind toilet. 

❖ Clean inside of medicine cabinet 

❖ Wash mirror 

❖Clean windows, sills and tracks. 

❖Clean fan 

❖Clean vanity inside and out, including drawers. 

❖Wipe toilet paper holder and towel rods. 

❖Clean light and switch plates. Miscellaneous: 

❖Replace A/C filter o Wash inside and outside of front and back doors. 

❖Clean tracks of sliding doors o Replace ALL burned out bulbs. 

❖  Clean and dry inside and outside of washer and dryer. Clean lint trap. 

❖  Pull out washer/dryer and clean floor. 

❖Wash ALL doors, especially around knobs. 

❖Sweep garage and seep down cobs. Clean windows. 

❖Mow and weed yard (if applicable, please see your lease)

❖Haul ALL trash away. 

Final:

Schedule your exit walk through with the office. One of the property managers will walk through the property and make sure everything was completed. Reminder: Please reference the cleaning checklist provided with your rental agreement.

Note that carpets are required to be professionally steamed cleaned.

Disclaimer: Management has the final authority to determine how much of the deposit shall be refunded in accordance with the conditions set for in the Rental Agreement. 

Please see attached move in, move out, addendum B, incorporated into the lease agreement.   We appreciate your tenancy!

How to reach us:

BELL Properties, Inc.  

440 E Huntington Drive, Suite 300

Arcadia, CA 91006        

V:  626-317-0425              

Emergency (causing damage or likely to  cause damage)

 800-341-3281

Routine Maintenance, enter the details through your tenant portal:  www.BellPropertyMgmt.com

Life Threatening Emergencies:  911

GAS EMERGENCIES:  Call your local GAS COMPANY

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