Author Archive

5 Fair Housing Laws & Occupancy Standards Property Managers Should Know

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Fair housing laws and occupancy standards are notoriously tricky. So, it’s no surprise that even well-meaning property managers may inadvertently violate the Fair Housing Act. To protect yourself and ensure compliance, make sure you are well versed on these five common standards.

But before we dive in, there’s a general rule that applies to every policy decision in property management:

Document everything

That includes:

  • Why you approved or denied an applicant based on screening criteria, making sure that non-discriminatory reasons are clear should you be challenged or sued
  • Written policies and implementation processes
  • Evidence that policies are distributed evenly and fairly

Now let’s look at the fair housing laws property managers need to know. 

Congratulations! We’ve Been Turned Into Our Tenants’ “Bitches”…?!!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Have we?  It feels that way.  Through the stroke of the pen by our Governor, Mayors, and County Supervisors, it feels as though we have become our tenants’ “bitches.”  Hold on, now…I am not making any derogatory comments about women or anyone else here merely by stating that we have become our tenants’ “bitches.”  Yet, Microsoft Word scolded me as I typed the “B-word” warning me that it might be offensive to the reader.  Well, just get over it, Microsoft, and each of you too!  Let me finish making my point.

No, I am using the term in the context of “someone’s bitch” as in someone (we landlords in the context of this editorial) who does everything for another, not very loved by the other person who we are doing stuff for. In other words, if we are our tenants’ “bitch,” then we are their indentured servant like someone who they need to clean-up for them, or someone who does not mean very much.  Stripped of all of our rights, forced into providing free housing services, handcuffed from taking legal action to protect property and other residents, and all at the same time, shamefully and harmfully demeaned, lambasted, demoralized, and subdued.  The past year and a half, or so, has been like hell in a handbasket for many of us.

Six Reasons You May Want to Sell the Income Property You LOVE…and How to Avoid Taxes When You Do

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jason Salmon, Senior Vice President, Kay Properties & Investments

Many investors recoil at the thought of selling an investment property. And they usually have a good reason, whether it’s missing out on future appreciation, having to pay a massive tax bill, or other factors.  However, it can often make good sense to sell your property thanks to a real estate investment alternative that simplifies your life and lets you defer the taxes using a 1031 exchange.  So, let us take a look at six reasons you may wish to consider when selling and reinvesting in this alternative.

Reason 1: You’re Sick and Tired of Actively Managing Your Investment Property

Let us face it, managing real estate is often a “real” hassle. You have to keep your eye on the ball 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And dealing with tenants, stopped-up toilets, and trash just gets old after a while.  Sometimes even the sound of a ringing phone can fill you with dread.

Roofing 101 Series: Is Your Roof Rain Ready?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Inspections and Maintenance Are Key

Authored by Steve Pinkus, Owner of Royal Roofing Company

Preventative maintenance is always better than waiting for a problem to arise and having to fix it in a panic. If you ignore the “check engine”  light in your car for too long, you could end up stranded on the side of the road. If you do the same to your roof, you could be awake at 2:00am during a storm begging for an emergency leak repair. Even after the clouds pass, you’ll be left with property damage, angry tenants, and a big bill from your roofer.

Contrary to popular belief, water is NOT the #1  cause of roof damage. Extreme weather is a culprit, but the sun does far more roof damage in the long run. In the summer months, the impacts of extreme heat and UV rays make your roof vulnerable before moisture becomes a problem.  Similarly, fallen leaves and debris from a lack of regular maintenance can compromise the integrity of your roof.

5 Maintenance Areas to Improve Your NOI

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Rae Parker

Property maintenance and utilities represent some of the largest, most difficult-to-control hard costs at your properties. When managed with outdated and inefficient processes, they can seriously affect your revenue. In a recent webinar featuring Stephanie Anderson and Mark Vanderhoof of Grace Hill, along with AppFolio’s Kelly Dean and Daniel Waas, our panelists addressed the most common maintenance challenges that can streamline your task boards, improve resident relations, and boost your NOI. Read below for a recap of the webinar, as well as tips from those who attended. 

Just how much does maintenance affect NOI?

There’s many reasons why maintenance can affect your NOI. If you compare two properties, where one has all the proper procedures, technology, and employee trainings in place and the other does not, one could argue that the latter is not adequately prepared and its long-term effects could be very costly down the line. 

Land-use bill promotes freedom and property rights

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO – Conservatives promote the importance of property rights, free markets, regulatory reform, small businesses, family values and the need to reduce the power of unelected bureaucrats. In California, for instance, they want to exempt projects from the dreaded California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and streamline the permit process so builders can boost housing supply.

They are completely right on all those points. Yet after a bill came along that promotes those concepts, many Republican legislators and right-leaning activists have opposed it. Apparently, these conservatives support freedom and property rights, but not when it affects their neighborhoods or intrudes on their personal preferences.

Senate Bill 1157 – Helping to Solve the Issue of Credit Inequity

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Contributed by The Verification Company

(Editor’s Note: In the June issue of “Apartment Age Magazine,” we published an article titled “California Passes Legislation to Help Renters Establish Credit for Paying Rent” which explained the requirements imposed under Senate Bill 1157.  This article provides a solution for reporting rental payments to major credit bureaus.)

There are currently about 43 million rental housing units in the U.S. today, and it is estimated that less than 1% of rental payments being made are reported on renters’ credit reports.   Renters in historically marginalized, impoverished, and distressed communities that often can be disproportionately of color, immigrant or Native American are unable to build solid credit histories and credit scores when their largest monthly payment, the rent, is never reported to the credit bureaus.  This is contributing to a growing, new national crisis termed as “Credit Inequity.” 

SMOKIN” JOE THROWS 1-2 PUNCH at 1031 EXCHANGES

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Let’s start with what we know.

President Biden’s American Families Plan contains tax proposals with major implications for IRS Section 1031 like-kind exchanges. If adopted, they would land the following 1-2 punch:

  1. Limit the cumulative amount of gain to $500,000 an individual ($1 million a married couple) can defer from taxation on the increased value of exchanged investment property;
  2. Tax the un-deferred portion at ordinary income rates for taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $ 1 million. (This $1 million income includes the gain from the sale of the building.) The top federal rate will be 40.8%.

An Open Letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Roderick Wright, California State Senator (Retired)

I understand your desire to protect the County’s renters, however, your proposal to extend the eviction moratorium gives very little consideration to smaller rental property owners.  We are small business owners and like all other businesses we deserve to receive income for the housing services that we provide.  No other business is required to give away their services or products for free, yet we have been forced to do just that because of your eviction moratorium. 

The eviction moratorium did not forgive our mortgages, income and property taxes, utilities, trash hauling fees, nor the costs of our landscaping or repairs.  The replacement, 30-gallon water heater I just installed cost $1,000, yet I am unable to collect the rent needed to pay for this and many other costs.  The County’s eviction moratorium provides no protections to me from bank foreclosures.  Many similarly situated small rental property owners in Los Angeles County are being foreclosed on today.  As we small owners are driven out of this business, the “big guys” will swoop in and buy our properties resulting in the loss of affordable units within the County. 

How To Prevent Fraud At Your Properties

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Yardi Breeze

Fraud prevention is always a priority in property management, but it’s an even bigger issue now that many (or most) interactions occur online. So, how do you really know someone is who they say they are? What steps do you need to take to prevent fraud in your community? 

This article is based on a virtual session from our 2021 IRO Summit. Check out the full discussion between Paul Vengilio, owner of LVPM, and Patrick Hennessey, vice president at Yardi. They discussed some refreshingly simple ways to verify renter identify, keep technology on your side and not get bamboozled by fraudsters.

Types of fraud

There are a few common ways fraud occurs. Property managers may recognize these common strategies:

  • An applicant poses as someone else (e.g., family helping family when the true resident has bad credit)
  • A new, false identity is invented
  • The identity is real, but some details are slightly changed

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