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Rents drop by 15 percent plus
Aksland Real Estate is renting this 1,300-square-foot home with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms built in 2000 near Sierra High for $1,300 a month. For more information contact Aksland Real Estate at 823-2080. - photo by DENNIS WYATT
Rents for Manteca homes have dropped 15 to 20 percent across-the-board since the start of the year.

It reflects a growing number of foreclosures being snapped up as investment properties that are then being converted into rentals. A Bulletin survey of three firms managing property in town puts the vacancy rate at around 5 to 6 percent. The actual rate is probably higher due to the number of landlords trying to rent property on their own.

It is prompting many landlords when their tenants give them 30-day notices to ask why. When they find out it is to get less expensive housing that is sometimes bigger in terms of space, the landlord will sometimes offer as much as $100 off a month to get tenants to stay put in exchange for a 12-month lease. It is a sign of just how competitive it is becoming to keep rentals occupied with good tenants.

The overwhelming majority of homes being purchased now in Manteca are going to investors with most of them being from out-of-state and as far away as New York.

Linda Aksland of Aksland Real Estate – who has weathered several housing downturns – isn’t overly concerned about the growing number of rentals. She pointed out it has happened before in Manteca.

What normally occurs is after the market prices stabilize and start climbing, a large number of the investors typically sell off the property which more often than not becomes owner occupied due to the tightening margins on a new investor buying and then renting the home.

Aksland – along with son Jeff – manages just under 100 rental homes. They charge a flat rate unlike those who base their service on a percentage of what the home rents.

Aksland Real Estate is arguably Manteca’s most high profile real estate office as it sits prominently on the corner of Yosemite and Main where almost 26,000 vehicles pass daily right at the city’s heart.

It works will for walk-in traffic of people looking for a place to rent.

The typical renter today is coming from a home that has been foreclosed on and has specific neighborhoods in mind based on school attendance areas. The climate has improved somewhat for former owners who have been foreclosed on when it comes to getting a rental.

That’s because property managers are now considering credit history before the foreclosure and are scrutinizing credit reports to see whether all other bills were kept current when the former owners could no longer afford payments either due to them adjusting upward or a reduction in income.

Often times a visual inspection of the current place of residence in a property being foreclosed will be a deciding factor. If it looks trashed and uncared for, don’t except to find many landlords eager to rent to you.

The door, though, is swinging both ways. Aksland Real Estate not only interviews renters before they will consider renting a client’s home to them but they also interview landlords.

The reason is simple. A number of renters who have never missed payments and taken care of the places they rented have found themselves out on the streets when the landlord’s property goes into foreclosure. It is one reason why more and more longtime renters who are being forced to move because of foreclosures are going through property managements instead of individual owners.

Aksland also goes a step further than some property management firms and goes on site with potential renters to inspect the property of their clients. Some non-local property management firms give potential renters the keys to the lock box.

Linda Aksland said the big reason they do that besides making sure the client’s property is protected is to help get a better feel for the potential renters.