PG&E Wildfire Season & Safety Reminders

As many of you may know, California is very prone to wildfires during this dry and hot season of the year. To ensure that residents are as safe as possible when wildfires become a threat PG&E has issued a notice that in order to limit danger and damages they may temporarily turn off electricity to certain areas to protect the public. Additionally, they have released some safety tips for homeowners to keep in mind:

    • Avoid hitting electrical lines: check your surroundings when doing work outside. Look above you before lifting or moving pipes and ladders. Keep yourself and any tools at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Do not prune trees close to lines unless you are a qualified line-clearance tree worker.
    • If you are doing any digging (planting a garden, installing a fence or something larger) call 811 or visit two business days before you dig. PG&E will come out to place markers on any underground lines you need to avoid.
    • Know where PG&E’s larger transmission pipelines are located: look for pipeline markers and know that the pipes do not always follow a straight path between two markers.
    • Learn to spot natural gas leaks: If you smell a “rotten egg” odor it could be an indication of a leak. Listen for any hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground appliances. Look for dirt spraying into the air, bubbling in a pond or creak, or dying plants in an otherwise moist area
    • If you suspect a gas leak or damage an underground line, alert anyone in the area to move upwind, call 911 and then contact PG&E at 1.800.743.5000.
    • If you suspect a gas leak do not use anything that could be a source of ignition in the immediate area. Items such as vehicles, cell phones, matches, electric switches, doorbells or garage door openers could cause a spark.

    Additionally, in the event that PG&E must shut off power it is important that you have the correct contact information up to date on your account. Visit or call 1.866.743.6589 to update your contact information.

    Thank you for taking the time to review this information. Distinct hopes you all stay safe during this time and are able to enjoy the end of summer.

Distinct is a Santa Cruz Green Certified Business

Distinct Property Management became certified as a Green Business through the California Green Business Program on March 22, 2017.

At this time, Distinct is the only Property Management company within Santa Cruz County that is Green Certified. Certified Green Businesses in the City of Santa Cruz have gone above and beyond regulatory requirements to prevent pollution and conserve resources by: reducing water use, conserving energy, purchasing recycled content products, eliminating toxic cleaning chemicals, improving worker safety and reducing waste to landfill.

For additional information about Green Businesses, please visit the City’s informational page here: here.

Distinct Property Management’s Green Living Tips*

Distinct Property Management’s Green Living Tips

As a homeowner or renter in Santa Cruz there are many little steps you can take to live a more “green” life and conserve natural resources. Please see the useful tips below.

Save Energy

        • Switch interior lights to LEDs.  They’re inexpensive (oftentimes under $3 a bulb), last much longer than other bulb types and save energy compared with inefficient incandescent and somewhat-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
        • Lower your thermostat. You should set it at 68 max in the winter. Instead of gas/electric heat, throw on another layer – it’s good for you (cooler temperatures help you keep off extra pounds), your wallet and the environment.
        • Wash laundry with cold water. It saves energy, prevents some stains from becoming permanent and makes your clothes last longer (warm water removes more of the color from your clothing). Learn more from Gizmodo.
        • Switch off electronics. Get in a habit of switching off your computer, sleep/hibernate/shutdown your laptop, turn off your TV, when not in use.
        • Check weather stripping. Make sure cold air isn’t getting through around your doors and windows. 

Save Water

        • Use the shortest cycle for washing clothes.
        • Report all leaks immediately.
        • Take short (<5 minute if possible) showers. This saves water AND energy.
        • Turn off the tap. Gallons of water will be wasted each time you brush your teeth or shave if the tap is on.
        • Boil less water. Boil only the amount of water you need for tea/coffee, this saves energy too!

Shop Local, In Season, and Organic

        • Choose local, seasonal produce
        • Reduce meat intake. If everyone didn’t eat meat a day a week it would have a huge impact on global warming.
        • Avoid wasteful packaging. Many types of food packaging is not recyclable – buy in bulk, avoid clam-shells, return strawberry baskets, bring your own bags to the farmer’s market, etc.!
        • Buy USDA Organic. When feasible, buying USDA Organic certified products means rigorous, verified standards that reduce farm worker exposure, environmental damage, and possible health effective from synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are being followed.
        • Drink tap water. Santa Cruz has great water – use a basic filter (faucet mounted/pitcher style) to remove chlorine for taste!
        • Buy used. Thrift stores, Habitat for Humanity Restore, yard sales = cheaper prices and less waste in our landfill.

Reduce Pollution and Toxics

        • Homemade cleaning supplies. Vinegar, lemon, soap flakes, baking soda, Bon Ami, and many other common household items are effective for cleaning lots of types of surfaces. EXAMPLE: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Find more solutions here.
        • Buy recycled paper. Toilet paper, paper towels, and printer paper all come in 50-100% recycled variants. Use them!
        • Recycle batteries by dropping them off at Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Best Buy, some hardware stores, etc.
        • Avoid toxic pesticides! Use traps, barriers and cleaning to prevent/eliminate pests.
        • End junk mail! Remove yourself from junk mail lists by using

*Adapted from LifeHacker’s 20 Green Tips and Life Hacks for Sustainable Living    

Property Maintenance: What not to put down your kitchen sink

How to avoid kitchen sink backups after dinner

As a homeowner or renter in Santa Cruz there are many little steps you can take that help you prevent having to deal with an after hours emergency and plumbing ones usually can get pricey. Best example the kitchen sink!  Even if you have a garbage disposal, certain foods can seriously gum up the works. To keep your pipes flowing freely, don’t put these things down your drain .

1. Starchy foods

Pretend your sink is on a perpetual Atkins diet and steer clear of giving it too many carbs — even if you’re lucky enough to have a garbage disposal.

“There are several foods that cause big problems in your drain when you put large quantities into the disposal,” says Abrams. “The worst offenders are pasta, potato peels, and rice. These starchy foods turn to goo inside your drain.”

How to dispose of starchy foods: Drain those items through a sieve or colander and then dump the rest into the trash. Then, use a paper towel to clean out the remnants from the strainer before you wash it. (Or compost them of course!)

2. Fat

To keep on the weight-loss theme, your sink’s meals should also be fat-restricted. It goes in as a liquid, but it will congeal like candle wax and gradually decrease the diameter of your drainpipe until the flow eventually stops altogether.

How to dispose of cooking fats: What to do instead? Keep an old coffee can nearby and pour off oil before washing the pan. Some fat is bound to slip down the drain, so to keep it from building up, run the tap at its hottest temp for a minute, followed by a few healthy squirts of grease-cutting dish soap, like Dawn. Then, run the water for one more minute.

3. Breakfast Stuff

Even though they’re small and you think they’d be no big deal, broken eggshells and coffee grinds can cause problems. It takes a lot of water to push them through your drainage system so they usually end up contributing to a clog deep inside your pipes.

How to dispose of eggshells and coffee grounds: Peel hard-boiled eggs over the trash and throw away shells once you’ve cracked them. (Or compost the shells!) Use a fine-mesh sieve when cleaning out a French press and toss the grinds it collects. If your coffee carafe tends to get grounds in it, add a bit of water to a mostly empty pot and dump it in your garden.

4. Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods like celery chunks and carrot peels can overwhelm the disposal and clog your drain. And without a disposal, these chunks will obviously just sit in the drain and cause clogs.

How to dispose of fibrous veggies: Do your drain (and yourself!) a favor and put all veggie scraps right into the trash or compost.

5. Seeds

Seeds of all sizes are problematic. You might be tempted to see what your disposer can do with a peach seed, but know this: It won’t do much! Large seeds end up bouncing around inside the disposal like a rock. They’ll just clatter around inside and beat up your disposal until it is finally removed.  Smaller seeds, like flax seeds, will just get stuck in the curves of the pipes and cause backups.


Holiday Season & Safety Reminders

How to be safe and sound this season

The winter season is here and along with it the holiday season; both provide the opportunity for some recommended annual maintenance around your rental property or home.

Fire  Extinguishers:
Every homeowner or tenant should have at least one fire extinguisher in the home and know how to use it. Fire extinguishers must be periodically re-charged or replaced.  Please check your fire extinguisher today and make sure that fully charged and easily accessible in the case of a fire.

Smoke Alarms:
A smoke alarm should be installed on each floor of the home and inside each sleeping area (bedroom). In the event a fire starts inside a bedroom and the door is closed the sleeping resident will be overtaken by flames and smoke before the fire alarm outside the door awakens them. The beginning of the heating season is a good time to remember to change the batteries. If your smoke alarm is “chirping” it is telling you that the batteries are low. Never disconnect the batteries except to change them. The life you save could be your own or a family member. If you prefer to upgrade your smoke (and carbon-monoxide) detector, batteryless detectors are now available ranging from $30 to $50, which are guaranteed to work for 10 years.

Chimney Cleaning:
Another annually recommended maintenance task for your Santa Cruz Property: If your home has a fireplace or wood burning stove it needs to be periodically cleaned and inspected for damage. If your heating system is a wall furnace, remember to get it periodically checked and the filters changed annually as well.

Dryer  Vent Cleaning:
Many companies offering cleaning service for furnace and heating ducts, will also service your dryer vent. Lint  building up in those dryer ducts create a fire hazard.  If you have noticed that it takes longer to dry your clothes you have a built-up of lint inside the line. Get all your vents and ducts attended to and it easily can be a one stop shop with the right service provider.

Packages and Mail Theft:
Online holiday shopping has many of us have ordering gifts for friends and loved ones. Packages are being delivered by the truckload on front porches numerous homes in the Santa Cruz.

Packages that are left unattended make for easy targets for criminals. These thefts commonly occur during normal working hours, since many people are not at home. This is a crime that occurs in virtually every community in Santa Cruz country.

Here are the Santa Cruz Police Department recommendations to avoid becoming a victim of package theft:

  • If your employer will allow it, have packages delivered to your office.
  • Request that the shipper hold your package at their pick-up facility so you can pick it up in person at your convenience.
  • Have packages delivered to a place where they can be received in person, such as the home of a trusted neighbor who stays home during the day, or a retired relative.
  • If purchasing something from a large retailer, request that your package be delivered to a local branch of the store so you can pick it up in person at your convenience.
  • Request a specific delivery date and time from the shipper when you know you will be home.
  • Provide delivery instructions to the shipper so that packages can be left at a safe location at your home that is out of sight from the street.
  • Sign up for delivery alerts (text messages or e-mails) from the shipper; call a trusted neighbor when the packages are delivered, and ask them to take the packages inside for safekeeping until you get home.
  • Request that the shipper require a signature confirmation upon delivery; this will prevent your package from being left at an unattended home.
  • Check out other secure delivery options. For example, has an option for purchases made on their website called “Amazon Lockers,” which delivers your package to a secure site. There are three Amazon Locker locations in Santa Cruz.

This is a great time of year to get to know your neighbors and encourage them to keep eye out for suspicious behavior.  Call 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity immediately in your neighborhood.

If you see a theft in progress do not attempt to stop the suspect on your own. Call 911 and give the operator a detailed description of the individual, including clothing description, physical description, vehicle description, and direction of travel.

Happy holidays and a great 2017 from your Distinct Team, the premier provider for Property Management Service in Santa Cruz Cruz County!

Santa Cruz Properties – Emergency Procedures

Preparing a Family Emergency Plan

Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year, and with the increased risk of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and tornadoes in the summer months, it’s a good idea to think about having an emergency plan in place. Consider preparing a family emergency plan now before it’s needed.

Have an open discussion with your family about the types of emergencies that could happen. These include severe weather like tornadoes, natural disasters like earthquakes and fires and even civil unrest like rioting or acts of terrorism.
Designate a meeting place in the event you cannot return home. It’s a good idea to choose both a neighborhood meeting place and a place to meet outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t access the area surrounding your home. If you have pets, ensure the meeting places you choose will accept them if you have to evacuate your home for any length of time.

Pick an out-of-town friend or relative as an emergency contact. When disaster strikes, it could be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town. Your out-of-town contact could help communicate and reunite separated family members or assist with an evacuation. Make sure every member of your family has the phone number for your out-of-town emergency contact person.
If you have children, communicate with their schools and daycare providers. Make sure you know the emergency plan at your child’s school or daycare provider. Find out how they plan to communicate with families during a crisis, whether they’re prepared to “shelter in place” and where they plan to go if they must leave.

The Top Twelve Traits of Great HOA Boards

The following is reprinted with permission from ECHO. The original article was written by Julie Adamen, president of Adamen Inc. , and modified for ECHO.

Great Santa Cruz HOA Boards Focus on the Big Picture

It’s the big picture problems that count for great boards, who spend their time continually reviewing and refining their HOA’s big picture plans for the community in Santa Cruz County. To do this effectively, great boards will establish a Mission Statement for their HOA along with a clear policy for all facets of community administration to follow. With both of these in place, a great board will stand back and observe if that policy is being carried out through each step of their HOA’s operations, starting with management, continuing down through the vendors, and finally reaching the community at large.

Let’s consider a board who sets the following policy:

“The objective is for the common areas to have continual esthetically pleasing landscape conditions within budgeted figures”

Is this a good board policy or a great one? The policy is a broad statement that seeks a general outcome, an “esthetically pleasing landscape”, and does not concern itself with particular details, such as the type of flowers planted, number of planting beds, etc. At the same time, the policy gives management enough direction to carry out the policy administratively and financially (“within budgeted figures”). This policy therefore covers the big picture goal of the HOA’s landscaping, and is the policy of a great board of directors.

Great Boards Hold Productive Meetings

Great boards hold efficient, productive meetings while still allowing homeowners to air opinions and board members to discuss, debate and take action on various issues. There are five main elements to a successful board meeting, and great boards will do them all. In a great board meeting, board members…

  • Start off organized and stick to an agenda
  • Keep their priorities in order
  • Assign responsibility for every action decided on
  • Focus on results
  • Control homeowner input

But board members can’t just have a successful meeting; it takes a little preparation. Namely, great boards always read relevant materials before the meeting.

When a great board member comes to a meeting, he or she will have read the agenda and board packet beforehand, that way they’ll be ready to make decisions based on solid information. These board members know that time is valuable and do their best to not waste their own time or their fellow board members/ and staff’s. They know being prepared develops the community’s trust in them as leaders and gives them the ability to make decisions on the community’s behalf in a timely manner. Any questions these prepared board members have were answered before the meeting began by staff, vendors, or another board member so the HOA’s business can be conducted efficiently and productively.

Great Boards Protect Against Liabilities

Great boards know that liabilities are a risk to the HOA and to themselves, and always face that risk head-on by dealing with potential and evident liabilities quickly and surely, according to their set policy. Great boards understand, and never shy away from, risk management. They obtain information and direction from insurance, legal and management experts to guide them on the safest path, which starts with a heads-up approach to running the HOA.

This means that great boards…

Keep Rogue Board Members in Check

Great boards don’t allow a single board member to put the entire community in jeopardy by making racial, ethnic or sexual comments at a meeting. If a board member says or does something inappropriate, a great board member will control the situation by addressing the improper behavior. Failing to reign in these types of situations can be a serious liability for the board and the community.

Hire Insure Vendors and Contractors

Great boards know they have a duty and responsibility to the community not only to hire a professional (and not, say, a brother-in-law who once did a drywall project in his house), but also to make sure they are protecting the community from liability by utilizing only licensed and insured contractors. If the Board has not yet considered a professional Santa Cruz property management company at this point but the Board feels increasingly overwhelmed with their duties, feel free to contact Distinct Property Management at 831.420.0202 to receive more information.

Great Boards Remember Their Fiduciary Duty

A fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of special trust and confidence, and board members are fiduciaries to their HOA membership. Great board members always keep this in mind when making decisions for the HOA, knowing that their decisions should work towards the community as a whole, not just their neighbors or friends.

To make decisions as fiduciaries, boards must base their decision on logic and reason, not on emotion or fear, giving the board and the community credibility and integrity for the long-term as they occupy that place of special trust and confidence.

An HOA board is a deliberative body that makes decisions based on solid input. That solid input should include, but not be limited to, their own experience, facts, data, standard of care and standard of the industry, precedents set before them, and expert opinion. Using these information gathering tools, great boards make informed decisions that are best for the community, even when those decisions may be unpopular.

Great Boards Acknowledge Staff and Volunteers

Publicly and privately, in the newsletter or on the website, great boards continually acknowledge all contributors to the administration of the community, including other board members, committee members, management staff, etc. Cheering on or acknowledging fellow board members and volunteers creates a positive, successful image for the HOA. People like to be a part of something they find effective and worthwhile, meaning this positive image will help encourage homeowners to get involved in HOA initiatives, and foster a friendlier environment for the staff already on board.

In other words, great boards know they can’t do it alone, and embrace all the help that comes their way.

Great Boards Know They Get What They Pay For

Great boards suffer no illusions. They know that if they receive three bids for a vending contract and one of the three bids is substantially lower than the two, they should thoroughly investigate the reason why, because something could be amiss. Maybe the contractor read the Request for Proposal wrong, or maybe he or she low-balled the bid.

And if a board accepts the low bid despite the contractor’s shortcomings, a great board will know there’s a cost to managing that low bid. Great boards realized that accepting the lowest of qualified bidders may mean a cost to themselves, whether it be it in their own time, staff time or having to have another contractor come in and finish the job or clean up the mess.

Whatever choice a great board makes, they’ll know they get what they paid for.

Great Boards Speak with One Voice

Boards are like a family: different (and sometimes conflicting) personalities thrown together to try to accomplish one main goal: help the community thrive. What sets great boards apart from the pack is that they know there will be disagreements, they know they don’t each think alike; yet, once the votes are cast they move forward together—speaking with one voice to the membership.

This is crucial for any board, but particularly those who have seriously disgruntled folks in their midst. Any chink in the armor of the board will be exploited by those with agendas that are not within the current board’s policies, goals and objectives. Great boards stick together and show a united front to their members, creating credibility and integrity.

Great Boards Put Aside Personal Agendas

A great board member will release his or her personal agenda, even if it’s what got him or her elected in the first place, to become a functioning and contributing member of the board. Oftentimes board members are elected for promises they may or may not be able make, such as lowering the dues dramatically or switching management companies overnight. After the election, that board member often finds out the platform, or agenda, on which they ran is based upon misinformation, or maybe just can’t be done in the way he or she envisioned. A great board member realizes quickly things were not as he or she thought and will put aside their agenda for the good of the community.

This means that when new members are added to the board, great boards know how to handle personal, contrary agendas. The great board brings the new board members up to speed through corporate memory, helping them recognize what Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Policy has been set in place. This gives the new board member a foothold on established process so they may embrace the big picture (which great boards focus on) rather than their personal agendas.

Great Boards are Proactive with Information

Great boards seek out information and education on all aspects of community administration and maintenance as it applies to their community. Sometimes, it’s information they don’t want to hear, such as learning that the most recent legislation calls for all boards to hold their meetings on Tuesdays when the moon is full and for all members to receive written (engraved) invitations to attend. But great board members listen anyway because they know as a board member it is part of their duty to always gather information. Sometimes they learn valuable information on ways to run their meetings, paint the decks or collect dues in a more efficient manner.

Whether by reading websites and industry publications or by attending workshops and forums and networking with other board members, great boards know they do their jobs best by being informed, and they strive to stay that way.

Great Boards Communicate Positively and Regularly with Members

Much of the job as a board member entails having to tell members “No,” as the board is trusted with enforcing the CC&Rs for the continuity of the community. “No parking in that spot,” “No leaving pool towels on the balcony,” “No dogs without a leash”. Great boards know there are ways to say no, but in a positive fashion.

For example: “No walking dogs in the park from 8 am to 12 noon,” can be couched as “Dog walkers are encouraged to take their pets to the park from 12 noon to 6 pm for sunshine and fresh air seven days a week.” Or, “No parking on Snowy Palms Dr. during Easter Break,” can be turned in to “Owners are encouraged to park their vehicles on Warm Alaska Dr. during the Easter Break so as to create less congestion for all residents entering the community.” .

Great boards also know the importance of regular (monthly or bi-monthly), upbeat, professional-looking newsletters, updated websites and other forms of communication.

These forms of communication create a sense of openness and allow for the outflow of positive communication about the community. They also create board credibility, and they do so by fostering a positive attitude while still giving the membership needed information and reminders. Because people want to be a part of something successful, upbeat and positive, a community with this image is one that fosters volunteerism.

Great Boards Have a Sense of Humor

Great boards see the all the problems and challenges as something with which to be dealt with a healthy sense of reality and a big dose of humor. Why? Great boards know three things:

  • It’s not IBM, it’s an HOA.
  • The smaller the stakes, the pettier the politics.
  • It’s not personal.

Great boards have a sense of humor because they maintain perspective, giving much of what we do a very humorous aspect.

Great Boards Value Integrity and Credibility Above All Else

Integrity and credibility is what we all look for and respect in friends, family, school, church, work, business and what we want to see in board members and in any board as a whole—boards that don’t get mired in minor details, that are consistent in their decisions, assist new members in adjusting to their roles and create a polite atmosphere in which to volunteer, to be serious but not take themselves too seriously, and demonstrate they are mature and responsible in their actions. These board members are Credible. They have Integrity. And they are the best of the best. They are what make great boards.

Is Your Board Great?

All boards are potentially great boards. By determining which of the top traits can be incorporated in to your board, you can achieve outstanding service for the community and a satisfying experience for each board member. Taking your board from good to great takes true vision, and the will to serve yourselves and the community at the highest level.

Do you know what insurance you need for your condo?

It is not uncommon for condominium owners in Santa Cruz Owners Associations to be confused about homeowner’s insurance.  If we had a quarter for every time we heard a unit owner say “I don’t need insurance -the HOA’s insurance covers everything” we could probably have retired to a tropical island already.

So what type of insurance do condominium owners need?  What does the association’s policy cover?  The first question is easier to answer than the second.

Condominium Unit owners need HO-6 insurance. HO-6 is a type of policy specifically for condominium owners.  It covers the personal property of the unit owner, improvements to the interior of the unit, liability insurance, and can also provide coverage if a unit owner is held responsible for the deductible of the HOA’s insurance. With regard to property, the HO-6 policy should take over where the HOA’s policy leaves off.  Ideally, the insurance agent for the homeowner should work with the agent for the HOA to be certain that there are no gaps in coverage.

The Association’ s insurance (should) cover what the governing documents required to cover. Well-written CC&Rs state exactly what the HOA is responsible for insuring. (But if we also had a quarter for every time we’ve seen unclear CC&Rs, we would probably OWN that tropical island…)  Most CC&Rs have a section regarding insurance, with specific paragraphs about what property needs to be insured by the HOA and also by the owner.  For assistance in deciphering your governing documents, contact your insurance agent and your legal counsel. Your Association Manager of your property in Santa Cruz should be able to direct you to a good agent that understands the special needs of Owner’s Associations.

Distinct Property Management Home for Rent in Santa Cruz

If you have a home for rent in Santa Cruz, Distinct Property Management, Inc. can help you find the right tenants and manage the rental for you.  Distinct Property Management, Inc. is a professional management company that will help you make the most of your rental property and save time and money as a landlord.

What Is A Property Management Company?

Though some landlords are able to manage properties on their own, many landlords need more help. A property management company provides this help. A property management company is a third-party company that is hired to handle the daily operations of your rental property. Property management companies manage many types of properties including single family homes and large apartment complexes. Property management companies are a huge asset because they can fully manage your properties while you sit back and collect the profits.

What Do Property Management Companies Do?

Property management companies can do a lot for the property owner. They deal directly with prospective and current tenants, saving you time and stress. They can also handle important tasks like collecting rent and handling maintenance and repair issues. A property management company can also respond to tenant complaints and even pursue evictions if needed.

When you hire a good management company like Distinct Property Management, Inc. you gain the experience and expertise you need to properly manage your rental. This can give you peace of mind, especially if you are new to property management.

A property management company is great for property owners who:

  • Have a large number of properties or rental units – The more rental properties you own, the harder it can be to properly manage them without help. Those who own multiple properties will certainly benefit from a management company
  • Do not live near your rental property – It can be very difficult to manage property when you are not close to it. Having a property management company can be invaluable in dealing with issues that you cannot handle from far away
  • Do not want to deal with hands-on management – Being a landlord brings many challenges including finding good tenants and maintaining an attractive property. Those who view rental property ownership as an investment and do not want to deal with the day-to-day management of the property should hire a company to manage the property
  • Do not want to be an employer – Some property owners find they need help and choose to hire a resident manager or other employee. However, this makes you an employer who suddenly has to deal payroll and other legal requirements. A property management company is an independent contractor, not an employee, and thus saves you a lot of hassle

A good property management company is essential to those who do not want the hassles of being a landlord. At Distinct Property Management, Inc. in Santa Cruz, we provide a quality approach to the management of a range of properties including:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multi-family residential complexes
  • Condominiums
  • Homeowners associations

Distinct Property Management, Inc. is a trusted company in the Santa Cruz area known for providing reliable, timely, and consistent services to minimize the stress of property ownership for our clients.

How Much Do Property Management Companies Charge?

The amount a property management company charges is generally determined by the type and size of your property. There is a big difference between commercial property and residential property management .  In order to determine the exact amount of the property management fee, we consider:

  • The number of properties being managed
  • The number of units in each property
  • The location of the property
  • The condition of the property
  • What services are included in the fee

At Distinct Property Management, Inc. we offer property owners a fiscally efficient approach to Santa Cruz property management. As a premier Santa Cruz property management company, Distinct Property Management, Inc. is known for excellent property management, complete financial reporting and maintaining a clear and open line of communication. Our team of highly trained professionals provide a comprehensive level of support for property owners including:

  • Locating and screening prospective tenants
  • Preparing rental agreements
  • Collecting deposits and monthly rental fees
  • Conducting pre- and post-rental assessments
  • Regular inspection of properties
  • Managing all financial aspects of properties
  • Pursuing “failure to pay” activities when applicable
  • Overseeing and responding to maintenance and repair

At Distinct Property Management, Inc. our wide range of services can be custom-tailored to suit your specific property management needs. Be sure to contact us at for more information!


Stacy Austin acknowledged for her CACM certification in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

We would like to congratulate Distinct’s own Stacy Austin to her accomplishment with this milestone as Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM®) – a certification she received during her continues education with the professional organizations like the California Association of Community Managers. In addition to passing the exam earlier this year, she was acknowledged by her peers in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Tuesday August 17th, 2014. Stacy Austin is one of the three owners of Distinct Property Management, a Santa Cruz Property Management firm.

Professional Organizations like CACM are important to establish guidelines that promote professionalism, provide information, education and resources to all community association stakeholders, including community managers and homeowner leaders. When CACM was founded in 1991, it was created by managers for managers – and their certification programs directly reflect those same ideals.

We at Distinct Property Management believe, that credibility counts with our clients, board members and homeowners. They need a community manager with expertise – someone who can answer questions, offer solid advice and provide solutions. Be the expert they need by pursuing CACM’s certification programs.