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Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

by Daniel Bonstein, esq.

Immigration law has become a combustible subject lately and while all politics are local, some are more local than others. The Bay Area has become a microcosm of weighty immigration issues that have recently stirred up a lot of soul searching and widespread national debate.

Our role at Bornstein Law is not to legislate or get mired into policy, but to educate the rental housing industry on legal issues that impact their business and to prepare for any anticipated changes in the law.

With California seemingly hunkering down as the capital of democratic resistance in the Trump era, the state was prophetic in enacting AB 291, or the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act. This law clamps down on unscrupulous rental housing providers who use an individual’s immigration status against tenants. Assemblymember David Chiu spoke to his colleagues on the Assembly floor and made his case for the bill.

What Do You Mean My Landlord’s Not Responsible? New Survey Shows Tenants Don’t Understand Liability Issues

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Kyle Gelsthorpe

Airline tickets? Check. Credit cards? Check. Wireless charger? Check. Renters preparing for vacation have a checklist of items they don’t want to forget.

Unfortunately, many renters fail to consider a key question that should be at the top of the list: While they’re away, who is responsible in the event of burglary/theft or property damage from a fire, weather or negligence?

Turns out a lot of renters are in the dark about who bears ultimate responsibility.
According to a new survey by global risk solutions provider Assurant of 1,000 U.S. renters, nearly one-third (32 percent) believe either the landlord or property management company should be responsible for damage or liability protection, while an additional 25 percent said they were “not sure” who’s responsible.

This misunderstanding among U.S. renters is significant, especially considering that more Americans rent their homes now than at any other point in the past 50 years and the value of their possessions continues to rise.

Education is Key

It is incumbent upon apartment owners and managers, property management companies and leasing offices to spend more time not only educating renters about damage and liability protection but also helping them understand that a renter’s policy is very affordable.

Not surprisingly, of the 45 percent of respondents from the Assurant survey who said they didn’t have insurance, many cited cost as the reason. Multifamily housing professionals can boost their value and strengthen relationships by:

 Providing specifics on the affordability of a renter’s policy. In other words, how the average annual cost is only $160 a year, which includes $10,000 in coverage for belongings and $100K for liability coverage and replacement costs.

 Discussing how the cost of repairing damage, paying hospital bills or replacing stolen items is often much higher than the cost of protection.

 Positioning a renter’s policy as a competitive advantage. In other words, many landlords and building owners require renters insurance, so having insurance when applying for a new apartment is beneficial.

 Informing renters that insurance may also offer liability coverage if a guest or visitor is injured on the property and litigation ensues.

To Post or Not to Post

Another important area where renters need guidance is around how to mitigate risks while out of town.

Start by offering renters a salient piece of advice: wait to post vacation photos on social media until after they return. Among the 85 percent of Americans who post their vacation news on social media, 38 percent do so while they are away. Frankly, this is concerning because most burglaries and thefts happen while tenants are not home. Bottom line: these posts may be unintentionally sending an open invitation to thieves and other bad actors to break-in to their homes.

Compounding the problem, few renters take precautions to prevent a robbery.

Despite 41 percent of renters experiencing or knowing someone who has experienced a theft, the Assurant survey found that more than one-third (35 percent) do nothing more than lock the door to prevent it. In fact, one-quarter of respondents said they never lock up their valuables when on vacation while an additional 25 percent only do so occasionally.

Because renters are choosing the path of least resistance when it comes to protecting their property and possessions, there is an opportunity to educate them about the risks that come with renting an apartment.

It behooves apartment managers and owners, PMCs and leasing offices to work with renters to help them understand the true value of their possessions, the affordability of insurance policies and the responsibility they may bear if something goes wrong – especially while they’re away on vacation.

Kyle Gelsthorpe, Vice President of Client Relationships and Business Growth

Kyle Gelsthorpe is Vice President of Client Relationships and Business Growth at Assurant, where he is responsible for identifying new domestic and international markets, channels and growth opportunities, as well as directing teams with disciplined prospecting, analysis, negotiation, and implementation of business partnerships throughout multiple product lines.

Gelsthorpe has consistently lead his teams to profitable year-over-year, double digit growth and established strategic partnerships with apartment management companies, owners, and other aggregators of renters, to provide risk mitigation through renters insurance programs and security deposit alternatives. He joined Assurant Specialty Property as a Sales Consultant in 2005 and has since risen through the roles of Senior Sales Consultant and Executive Sales Consultant, and VP National Sales Manager of Assurant’s Multifamily Housing business unit.

Gelsthorpe earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Valdosta State University.

Formerly Bankrupt Stockton is Fiscally Healthy Again, but Offers Warning to Others

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Steven Greenhut

Two mid-sized California cities, Irvine and Stockton, have topped a national list of financially healthy governments compiled by an influential watchdog group. Irvine’s top ranking shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that the affluent Orange County city has long been a model for prudence, despite some high-profile spending miscues over the years. But the second-place ranking for the formally bankrupt and chronically mismanaged Stockton is an eye-opener.

Is the poor San Joaquin Valley city really a model for the nation?

How to Produce Eye-Catching Photography in Multifamily that Attracts Renters

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Tim Blackwell

A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. But when it comes to photography in multifamily, a shot featuring the property shouldn’t be that verbose. The right picture with the right angle, the right composition and the right lighting should send the very concise message to prospective renters that this is the place to be.

Tips for Dealing With Difficult Renters

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Elizabeth Millar of AppFolio, Inc.

A great tenant is gold. You know that they’ll respect your property, keep you informed as ears on the ground, and most importantly, pay rent…on time! As great as it would be to have all renters be just like this, it doesn’t always happen. Have you ever signed a new tenant thinking everything is going to be great, but shortly after you hand over the keys you realize that it’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows?

Delaware Statutory Trust DST 1031 Exchange Advantages

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Kay Properties and Investments, LLC

Delaware statutory trusts offer a number of potential advantages to investors. Used correctly, they can be an effective tool for building and preserving wealth. This article discusses a handful of the potential advantages that are available to investors using DSTs for their 1031 exchange. Please remember that Delaware Statutory Trusts also have a number of disadvantages that investors should consider as well.

Better (and Cheaper) Ways to Boost Senior Living Occupancy

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

by Guy Lyman, RealPage, Inc.

Solid occupancy numbers often blind senior living property managers to a glaring problem: the cost of keeping those units full.

Add up what you’re spending on third-party lead sources along with internal resources devoted to working leads and you’d probably be shocked at your cost per lease. The good news is that forward-thinking senior property managers are slashing this cost dramatically by simply taking full advantage of marketing tools that have been around for a while now.

Why California Has the Nation’s Worst Poverty Rate

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Ryan McMaken, Mises Institute

The LA Times recently reminded its readers that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. 

Specifically, when using the Census Bureau’s most recent “Supplemental Poverty Measure” (SPM), California clocks in with a poverty rate of 20 percent, which places it as worst in the nation.

To be sure, California is running quite closely with Florida and Louisiana, but we can certainly say that California is a top contender when it comes to poverty.

This continues to be something of a black eye for California politicians who imagine themselves to be the enlightened elite of North America. The fact that one in five Californians is below this poverty line doesn’t exactly lend itself to crowing about the state’s success in its various wars on poverty. 

Many conservative sites have seized on the information to say “I told you so” and claim this shows that “blue-state” policies fail. One should be careful with this, of course, since there are plenty of red states in the top ten as well.

4 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Vacation Rental Home for Income

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Rob Stephens

Interested in renting out your yurt, tiny house or couch? Now there are several options homeowners have to make extra income. For those looking to purchase a second home, often called a vacation rental home, renting out to vacationers is a great way to afford purchasing an additional property. Not to mention, for a growing number of travelers, renting a private home is the only way to go and typically offers more choices, comfort and privacy than hotels, and often cost less as well.

There’s no question that the vacation rental business is booming. In the United States alone, revenue in this market is approaching $18 million, with a projected annual growth rate of 6.6 percent. That makes operating a short-term vacation rental an extremely attractive option for generating extra income.

While there are plenty of opportunities in the vacation rental business, there also are plenty of questions about how to succeed. If you’re thinking about investing in a vacation rental property (or renting out property you already own), here are the top four questions to ask before you purchase:


Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

by Steven Greenhut

In the seven years since Gov. Jerry Brown shut down California’s redevelopment agencies, their defenders have managed to resuscitate their image. Never mind that these controversial agencies ladled out corporate welfare, wantonly abused eminent domain on behalf of developers and diverted $5 billion annually from public services. A new bill would bring them back to life, and its supporters would have us believe they’re the means to resolve California’s housing crisis.

That argument is bizarre given that “redevelopment” actually helped cause the current housing shortage because it overvalued the construction of sales-tax-generating big-box stores at the expense of home construction. Sure, redevelopment law required agencies to set aside 20 percent of their proceeds to build subsidized apartments, but the relatively small number of redevelopment-created units pales in comparison to the havoc wreaked by the land-use distortions caused by these agencies.