Reopening Amenities: Effectively Communicate Your Plan With Residents & Teams

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Reopening Amenities: Effectively Communicate Your Plan With Residents & Teams

In some areas, stay-at-home orders are beginning to lift, and restaurants, retail stores, gyms, and communal spaces are reopening to the public. The majority of businesses are taking a phased approach to ensure the safety of their patrons and staff. From closing off streets and parking lots to make room for outdoor dining to requiring face masks, cities are consulting the guidance of their local governments on what steps are needed to reopen their communities. 

As a property or community association manager with shared amenities, such as gyms, pools, dog parks, and playgrounds, you need to make sure your reopening plan is in line with your state guidelines to prevent any potential liability issues. In addition, it’s crucial your residents and homeowners are being informed of any changes in a timely manner and that your team members clearly understand each phase. 

Until Further Notice

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“UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE” by Elaine Simpson

We have all been hearing the phrase “until further notice” a lot lately:  item not available until further notice, closed until further notice, service not available until further notice.  In our digital world, there are plenty of ways you can still stay connected and provide excellent customer service, however, if someone wants to give you a good or bad review online right now – they can’t, at least not on two major platforms.  You guessed it, until further notice!

This week Yelp and Google My Business chose to temporarily disable new reviews, responses and any Q&A for all businesses “until further notice”.   Both companies made this critical update to their policies because a significant number of negative reviews and experiences had been posted based on offices being closed and limited services being available due to the pandemic and the Work From Home (WFH) request by government officials. 

5 Tips for Property Management Success

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5 Tips for Property Management Success

By:  Marco Vartanian, President and Owner, Sullivan Property Management

Apartment property management is getting more complex.  It seems almost daily, there are new laws, regulations and rules to contend with.  While the pace of change can be overwhelming, the following are 5 simple techniques to help ensure successful property operations.

  1. Stay Organized

As an apartment owner, make sure you’re managing your investment like the “business” that it is.  First and foremost, maintain pristine property records that are routinely updated, organized and securely stored for future access.  On the tenant front, create and save individual files that include all leases, rental payment ledgers, rent increase notices and lease expirations.  It’s also important to create and save a written log of all tenant communications over phone, email and text messaging.

How to Attract Long-term Tenants

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How to Attract Long-term Tenants

As a landlord, your goal is to attract long-term tenants; long-term tenants mean you’ll have a steady income and less trouble. Listing units, time in between renters, and running background and credit checks for new applicants, is not only time consuming, but it can also get expensive. As a landlord, there are a few different ways to both attract and keep your tenants.

Make the Price Right

The first thing a potential renter will look at is the price; know the rental prices in your area and set yours accordingly. Setting your rent slightly lower than similar units could pay off in the long run, if it attracts a long term tenant with a good job.

Maintain Your Property

If your property is dirty, smelly, and falling apart, you won’t attract good tenants. People with good jobs want to come home to a safe, clean, and secure home.

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

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Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq.

May 2020

1.  Question:  We rent a house to a family.  My husband helped the tenant move a washing machine into the laundry room and noticed that the tenant’s defective hoses had leaked water onto the sheetrock.  We want to have the sheetrock repaired.  Can we deduct the cost from his security deposit and then send a 30-day notice for the tenant to reinstate that amount?

Answer:  You can serve a 3-day notice to perform conditions and covenants or quit to require the tenant to make repairs or to pay for the repairs.  If they do not comply with the notice, you can proceed with an eviction, or alternatively, deduct repair costs from their security deposit.

2.  Question:  I heard that if a tenant is using drugs on a property, the landlord can be charged on a drug charge, is this true?

Answer:  A landlord can be cited for maintaining a drug-related nuisance if he or she does not take reasonable steps to remove the illegal drug activity from the property.  The local enforcement agency must first advise the landlord of the nuisance.

Prediction For 2030: Government Can Help Housing By Doing Less

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Prediction For 2030: Government Can Help Housing By Doing Less

(This is Part 2 in a Series)

By Roger Valdez

Last month, I indulged in a prediction not just about housing in the next year, but about housing in the coming decade. My argument is that when put together, anger about housing prices, socialist activism, and an incurious media and academia will lead to so much incremental regulation that, in effect, government will be running all rental housing in the country by 2030. Why is this happening? How do housing activists end up believing that the government must intervene dramatically in the housing economy? And what’s the real solution to housing inflation?

A leading reason why we’re skidding toward government control of housing is because housing policy has been inappropriately saddled as the cause and the solution of various social ills. One of the best examples of this addled thinking is the battle over single-family housing. Lately, it’s in fashion to call single-family zoning racist. There is no doubt that in most American cities, many neighborhoods were deliberately set up to exclude African American families. This is something that is extensively documented by the Mapping Prejudice Project, a collaborative effort by the University of Minnesota and Augsburg University.

Tenant Problems: Not taking it Personal

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Tenant Problems:

Not taking it personal

When I started my property management business, the only owners that would take the time to work with me were owners with real headaches from tenants with whom they no longer had the patience to deal  themselves. For example, one of my first clients had a property in Beverly Hills on which he never raised rents. He brought me on to raise the rent by 10% back when rents could be increased by 10% with a 60 day notice. Let’s just say this young bright eyed property manager suddenly learned why the owner had never raised the rents. The tenants fought tooth and nail to challenge the rent increase. The owner’s headache was now outsourced to me, which was my job. In the end, the rent increase went into effect, the tenants paid and I had resolved an owner’s headache. Still, I learned just how aggressive a tenant could be when they felt aggrieved.  

After several years of being in the business, not much has changed. Tenants can still be incredibly aggressive when they feel their home, finances or way of life is being challenged. As for me, I have learned some very powerful lessons that may come in handy for owners who find themselves faced with defensive and combative tenants.

Renters Request Smoke-free Housing

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Renters Request Smoke-free Housing

Landlords Enjoy the Financial Benefits 

LOS ANGELES (May 5, 2020) – As of April 1, 2020, “60 municipalities have enacted a law at the city or county level that prohibits smoking in 100% of private units of multi-unit housing properties,” according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. These increasingly popular smoke-free policies are a benefit to public health and help protect the lung health of all residents. 

Secondhand smoke is a health hazard that harms tenants and makes housing units less livable. Almost half of tenants report that secondhand smoke has infiltrated in their home from elsewhere in or around the building, according to a UCLA-SAFE Multi-Unit Housing Tenant Survey.

Legal Corner

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Legal Corner

By Stephen C. Duringer, Esq., Partner, The Duringer Law Group

Question.  Most of my residents paid their rent in April, and again in May.  I know it was difficult for many due to reduced hours, furloughs, and lay-offs, but most were able to pay their rent, and many even paid early.  I have a few that didn’t, some I haven’t heard from, some haven’t returned my calls, and have kind of gone dark on me.  I know that there is an eviction moratorium in place right now, and not much I can do until it is lifted, but what should I be doing now in preparation of someday when the moratorium is over?  I can’t just sit around not knowing if they will pay or not.   I am very concerned about June’s rent, and whether my good fortune will continue.  What can and should I do?

            Stephen W., Beverly Hills

Answer.  At the time of this writing, the second week of May, the eviction courts are essentially shut down, except for limited exceptions.  There are statewide eviction limitations in place, and many cities and counties throughout California have chimed in with their own unique requirements.   Most of these restrictions are intended to protect those residents whose ability to pay their rent has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

California Commentary: Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Lead to a Tax Increase?

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California Commentary: Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Lead to a Tax Increase?

By Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

In January, Governor Gavin Newsom presented a proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 which envisioned a several billion dollar increase in spending for existing programs as well as a host of new programs. But that was before COVID-19 arrived at our shores.  In over the course of just three weeks in March, it became obvious that the original budget plan would have to be scrapped because of the most rapid economic downturn America has ever seen.

So. it was with great interest that all those who follow California politics were watching last Thursday, May 14, 2020 as Governor Newsom released the “May Revision Revise” of the budget. To no one’s surprise, the huge dive in state revenues forced the Governor to slash $19 billion from January’s initial plan. According to the Governor’s Department of Finance, the budget deficit is now $54 billion. But this figure may be overstated in order to present to the public the worst possible case. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst projected the deficit to be as low as $18 billion with a worst-case scenario of $31 billion.  The question is whether the budget shortfall will lead to a demand for tax increases. Taxpayers can also take some comfort that there are no immediate plans for broad-based tax increases. The Governor proposed two tax hikes, a suspension of a business deduction for what are known as “net operating losses” and a tax on vaping products.