Author Archive

New Year resolutions for landlords and property managers

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Source: Bornstein.law

2021 has been a tumultuous year for rental housing providers. Let’s hope that everyone stays safe, our community recoups a mountain of rent debt, and that the new Omicron variant does not prompt lawmakers from instituting more regulations.

In an annual tradition and drawing from what we learned the past year, here is what made our top ten list of resolutions for landlords and property managers to focus on.

I will create or fine-tune a tenant ledger that clearly notes when the rent became due, what the tenant paid, and document any communication about unpaid rent amounts. 

When we ask our clients what is owed to them in terms of rent and other fees and dates on which rents became due, we are amazed that many of them do not have that accounting at their fingertips. We need this information in order to file an unlawful detainer (eviction action) and categorize rent owed during key dates. 

If an application for rental assistance is denied and you are compelled to go to civil courts to recoup rent debt, a tidy accounting will also prove to be essential. Please get your financial house in order. 

Towing Should be Used Sparingly in Recognition of Laws

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Space is a scarce and prized commodity in the Bay Area so it is no wonder why parking has become a vexing issue for drivers, landlords, and tenants.

Physically removing a vehicle can fix an immediate problem, but it can invite acrimony later on.

Source: Bornstein.law

With so much clamor over parking spaces, rental property owners and their agents are faced with a decision on when or when not to tow unrecognized or improperly parked vehicles. As in most landlord-tenant matters, the question we ask is what is reasonable and what concessions can be made?

We were intrigued to come across this article that reported that the Alameda District Attorney has filed charges against a towing company for predatory and unauthorized towing, among other allegations of systematic fraud, largely concentrated in one apartment complex. Granted, it is an egregious example, but it does raise important questions. Under what circumstances can rental housing providers tow vehicles, and should they tow vehicles just because they could?

Private tow truck drivers and their employers clearly get paid for towing cars, and so there is a built-in financial incentive to haul out as many as possible, but state law gives the final say to landlords, property managers, or onsite security.

San Francisco looks to give problematic tenants more time to pay rent or turn over a new leaf

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Source: Bornstein.law

A proposed ordinance would require landlords pursuing certain types of evictions to first provide their tenants written notice and an opportunity to cure, unless the eviction is based on an imminent health or safety issue. 

Throughout most of our legal careers, Bornstein Law has been able to serve 3-day notices demanding rent or that a tenant cease certain behaviors. If rent remained unpaid after three days, or if the underlying behavior continued, an unlawful detainer (eviction) action would then be filed. This was a rather perfunctory process.  

For lawmakers in some locales, three days is not long enough to make a formal demand to quit the underlying transgression. Landlords have to first make a written warning to show that they are serious before the saber-rattling of an official notice.

San Francisco may soon join the company of forgiving cities like Oakland and Berkeley by giving more latitude to tenants who are not paying rent or wreaking havoc in and around a rental unit.

Under a proposed ordinance designed to modify the Administrative Code, tenants in San Francisco would have a 10-day period to rectify certain conduct unless there is an imminent threat to health and safety.

Smoking in Multifamily Housing: Tobacco, Marijuana, or E-Cigs – They All Stink!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Daniel Yukelson, Executive Director

I thought I would address the subject of smoking from the perspective of a rental housing provider.  No offense!  If you are a smoker and enjoy it, more power to you.  Merely keep your smoking self away from our properties…as in way far away.

The “bottom line” on smoking from the perspective of rental housing providers is we just don’t want smoking anywhere in or at our rental properties because of the damage it causes to our rental units, the increased turnover costs, and also because of the many complaints we will surely get from non-smoking renters, particularly renters that have young children or health issues making them extra sensitive to second-hand smoke.  Face it, we don’t want the “stink” around bothering other people and harming our otherwise healthy and quiet existence. 

However, at the same time we do not want smoking at our rental properties, there are those rental housing providers that are sometimes reluctant about no-smoking policies being imposed because of concerns about being responsible for enforcement.  I get that.

Delaware Statutory Trusts & Investing Across Real Estate Market Cycles

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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

Key Takeaways:

  • What are the Four Stages of a Real Estate Cycle?
  • What are some Current Macro Real Estate Trends Impacting Investment Real Estate?
  • Why Should Delaware Statutory Trust Investors Be Aware of Current Real Estate Trends?

One of the common topics that frequently pops up in investment conversations these days involves questions about what stage of the “real estate cycle” is the market currently in, and how does the current real estate market cycle impact the world of Delaware Statutory Trust 1031 exchanges? 

The first caveat that must be iterated here is that nobody can predict the future of any market, and there are always material risks associated with investing in real estate, which investors should carefully consider with their own tax and legal advisors. However, by taking a closer look at typical real estate cycles and why these cycles are important to understand, investors can be better prepared for the future, and maybe recognize why more and more real estate owners are selling their properties and moving into DST 1031 exchanges.

How to Recruit Winners to Your Company

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By David Crown, Los Angeles Property Management Group

When I was a child playing little league baseball, a coach once told me, “your team is only as good as its weakest player.” That truth has stuck with me, and it can be applied to any industry, but I’ve found it especially true of property management. Great property management requires a combination of professionals with vastly different skillsets all working toward the same goal: maximizing the quality and profitability of their clients’ investments. In other words, it’s a team sport. And, just as in sports, some organizations are better than others at assembling a championship team that stays great.

For evidence of that, look no further than Los Angeles’ two baseball teams. The Dodgers were 2020 World Series champions playing for a repeat win in 2021, and they had made the playoffs for nine straight years, whereas the Angels have only made the playoffs once (2014) in that time span, and haven’t won a ring in almost 20 years. My point is that building a successful team is a skill all its own, and if you’re a property manager, it’s a skill you can’t afford to go without. In this article, I’ll lay out the best ways to improve your hiring practices and field a contender.

Court Approves Lying to Voters to Pass Bonds

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

If ever voters needed a reason to vote no on every single bond measure that appears on the ballot, here it is: The Court of Appeal for Third Appellate District just ruled that, despite all the lies voters were told about California’s infamous High-Speed Rail project, taxpayers have no remedy, even though the project as it exists today bears no relation to what voters were told when they approved the $9.9 billion bond in 2008.

Californians were promised a super-fast train that would travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in about two and a half hours; the ticket price would be about $50; the total cost of the high-speed rail would be about $40 billion; and there would be significant private-sector support –money from investors — to build the project.

Landlord / Tenant Law “Q&A” With Kimball, Tirey & St. John

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Ted Kimball, Esq., Partner, Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

  • Question.  What is the code section pertaining to the tenant’s obligation to pay rent subsequent to a thirty (30)-day notice?
  • Answer.  California Civil Code 1946 requires the tenant to serve a thirty-day notice or a landlord to serve either a thirty-day or a sixty-day notice to terminate the tenancy.  The rent is owed until the lease terminates.
  • Question.  Several prospective tenants have inquired about renting an apartment for a month or two.  The high turnovers could be detrimental to my rental units and will create a lot of work for us in terms of doing paperwork and cleaning.  Are there any rules that require a tenant to rent a minimum amount of time?
  • Answer.  There are no laws requiring you to rent month-to-month or a minimum or maximum amount of time.  Many landlords require six-month or one-year leases.

Expand the L.A. City Council?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jack Humphreville, L.A. Watchdog for CityWatch

The Los Angeles Times recommended that the City Council be enlarged to 31 members, an increase from the current level of 15 elected representatives.  This follows the Redistricting Commission’s suggestion to create 22 Council Districts.   

By increasing the size of the City Council, Angelenos will have more responsive elected officials because the number of constituents for each district would shrink from 260,000 to 126,000 residents. More council districts will also mean less gerrymandering and allow the districts to better accommodate the “diverse geographic, demographic and social landscapes” of our City’s 3.9 million residents, its 99 neighborhood councils, and 114 distinct neighborhoods that are spread over 460 square miles. 

The Top-5 Scams That Property Owners Fall For

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Matt DiBara, DiBara Masonry

For many, a house is the largest investment one will make in a lifetime. With so much at stake, the home improvement, contracting, and home insurance industry is rife with deception. Homeowners need to be savvy and stay alert to people out to scam them out of their hard-earned money and out to put their stature as homeowners in jeopardy. Here are five of the top scams that homeowners fall for time and again.

  • Insurance Related Scams

Wading through the murky waters of insurance can be a daunting task for any property owner not up on insurance terminology or insurance law. Unscrupulous contractors like to take advantage of people’s unfamiliarity with all of the “ins and outs” of insurance claims. Scammers usually prowl neighborhoods following damaging storms, promising cheap fixes with low-ball bids. They typically try to “weasel” up-front payments out of a property owner, or at least large down payments. These scammers will try to steer you away from filing legitimate homeowner insurance claims and then skip town with your cash. If they do any work, it’s typically substandard. If a scam contractor completes work on storm damage before a legitimate insurance adjuster can inspect the damage, your claim will likely be denied, and you’ll be stuck footing the bill to repair the shoddy work.