The CARES Act: Help for Landlords Through the Small Business Administration

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The CARES Act: Help for Landlords Through the Small Business Administration

By Matt Williams, Founder, Williams Real Estate Advisors

COVID-19 has thrown the multifamily industry into a tailspin. With local cities empowering renters to not pay rent during the emergency period and giving them six to twelve months, and maybe longer, to pay back deferred rent, owners are finding themselves in a tough spot and struggling financially. They now have less money coming in but almost the same amount of expenses going out.

As a property manager, my clients call me daily asking what can they do? The truth is there is very little they can do in relation to the renter non-payment other than work with then in line with the local jurisdiction’s  ordinance or Governor’s Order.  However, there are other options such reducing operating cost, prioritizing bills, asking lenders for mortgage deferment or forbearance, and now with the recent passage by Congress of the CARES Act, looking at possible Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans available during an emergency like this. Out of the four options listed above, we are going to give a brief overview of the two SBA Loans: Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Tips for Collecting Early and On-Time Rent Payments

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Tips for Collecting Early and On-Time Rent Payments

by SherRon Marcek | PayRent.com

Late rent payments are a costly and pesky problem for many landlords. Aside from adding late fees, which may further delay payment, here are some positive strategies to help you collect rent on-time and keep you from pulling out your hair.

1-Report Payments to Credit Bureaus

Reporting rent payments will not only boost on-time payments, but it will also reward good tenants who are trying to improve their credit scores.  There are multiple services you can use to report payments to the credit bureaus, such as Rental Kharma or  Rent Reporters.

2- Make rent payments automatic

Eliminate the human error aspect of getting paid on time and have your renters signup for automatic payments. In a recent renter’s survey, PayRent found that 4 out of 10 renters actually prefer to automatically schedule their rent payments. They cited convenience as their primary motivator. To get more renters on-board, you could offer a discount for enrollment.

3- Accept credit card payments

Since rent due dates and paychecks don’t always line up the availability of money can delay rent payments. Give your tenant some wiggle room by allowing them to pay rent with a credit card. You’ll collect rent on-time and they won’t have to worry about expensive late fees or bouncing a check. 

Prediction For 2030: A Government Take Over Of Rental Housing

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Prediction For 2030: A Government Take Over Of Rental Housing

(This is Part 1 in a Series)

By Roger Valdez

Keeping a resolution is difficult and so is making an accurate prediction about the year ahead; I tend to avoid doing both at the New Year. But I have a prediction about housing. The United States may see the nationalization of private rental housing by the end of this decade. Through apparently disparate and incremental steps, housing is becoming the new health care, the subject of fundamental debate about whether everyone should have access to it regardless of ability to pay. The ideological and economic implications of this debate are no less consequential to our future; will we become a socialist country or will we keep a free market.

What do I mean by “nationalization” of housing? I mean that by 2030 we could see a housing economy in which federal, state, and local government set such limits on rental housing – its financing, development, and management – that, in effect, government will own and operate most rental housing in the United States. But isn’t this a drastic assessment or hyperbole? Here is why I think it isn’t.

Opportunities to Challenge California’s Rent Control Ordinances Under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause under the U.S. Constitution

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Opportunities to Challenge California’s Rent Control Ordinances Under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause under the U.S. Constitution

By Frank A. Weiser, Esq.

On October 8, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1482 enacting rent control as a statewide measure in California.  Once the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, the state will begin to regulate how much tenants’ rent can increase every year, limiting it to 5 percent, plus the regional rate of inflation. The rules, however, will vary for municipalities and local governments that already have rent control laws. Governor Newsom has stated that with Assembly Bill 1482, California will have the “nation’s strongest statewide renter protections.”

At the same time, property owners throughout the state are pushing back with new legal challenges to recently enacted rent control laws, including the state’s Assembly Bill 1482, on the basis of multiple constitutional challenges in federal district courts and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”). The challenges include claims that the government rent control regulations either unreasonably interfere with the economic value of a property in violation of the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause of the United States Constitution or constitute, under some tenant relocation fee payment laws, “private takings” of property in violation of the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause of the United States Constitution.

Should Landlords Accept Credit Card Payments

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Should Landlords Accept Credit Card Payments

by SherRon Marcek | PayRent.com

Paper or plastic? It’s a term you’re used to hearing at the grocery store but it applies to rental payments as well. Will you accept only paper payments (cash or check) or can a tenant pay rent with their credit or debit card? There has been some hesitation around landlords accepting credit card payments as there is always a risk of a tenant disputing the charge. Could be the risk be worth it? Let’s look at the significant benefits you should also consider before making your decision. 

The most important reason landlords should accept credit card payments is that it gives their tenants more choice and flexibility. Your tenants are your customers so keeping them happy should be a top priority. There are a number of reasons tenants may wish to pay their rent with a credit card. Let’s look at a few:

Benefits to Tenants

  • Cashflow Cushion- The first of the month doesn’t always line up with payday which can put a strain on your tenants to pay on time. Having the option of paying their rent with a credit card can give them some breathing room when it’s between paydays or if unexpected expenses popped up. 
  • Credit Building- Tenants looking to increase their credit score may want to use a credit card as their payment method. Large charges that are paid in full will reflect positively on their credit and give them a boost. 
  • Credit Card Rewards- Many credit card companies offer rewards to their users. In order to qualify for some of these bonuses, users must charge a certain amount to the card in a set period of time. It is common for housing to be a person’s largest expense so charging the amount would allow your tenants that extra push to bonus programs. 
  • Avoid Late fees- Nearly all credit card payments come with a processing fee. For instance, PayRent charges 3.5% of the transaction plus $0.30 to process the transaction. However, these fees can be significantly cheaper than a 10% late fee or a bounced check and overdraft fees.

Benefits to Landlords

Your tenants aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of credit card payments. Landlords who accept credit card payments are more likely to be paid on time because of the flexibility they are allowing their tenants. The transaction is simple and funds are available sooner than ACH transfers. There is also a clear record of the payment for reference.

What You Need to Know About Prison Home Confinements and Rental Housing

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What You Need to Know About Prison Home Confinements and Rental Housing

Becky Bower

Federal and state prisons are considering granting susceptible inmates early release in an effort to avoid major coronavirus outbreaks – and some already have. While many U.S. states were at the forefront of releasing nonviolent (often older) inmates early, the U.S. Attorney General issued his own order last Friday granting those eligible the option of home confinement.

But who will house these vulnerable federal prisoners? And how will state-wide early prison releases will affect the rental housing industry, leasing policies, and criminal background screening in the future?

While the industry’s future might seem like an uncertain, complex, legal-ridden mess, we’re here to help shed some light during potentially the darkest timeline.

The Federal Response: Home Confinement

On April 3rd, 2020, Attorney General Bill Barr ordered federal prison officials to prioritize releasing vulnerable inmates at facilities struggling to contain outbreaks of coronavirus. On the federal level, this presently speeds up the process in complexes in Danbury, Connecticut; Oakdale, Louisiana; and Elkton, Ohio. However, the migration to home confinement will increase as other facilities are impacted by the pandemic.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) update on April 5th reports that home confinement has already increased “by over 40% since March” and the Attorney General’s emergency order will only further increase these numbers.

With this initiative, the criteria in which inmates are considered for home confinement have also changed. According to Politico, federal prisoners were previously eligible for home confinement after they completed 90% of their sentences, but AG Barr’s memo pushes for earlier releases.

In late March, the AG issued guidance detailing a non-exhaustive list of factors to consider when assessing which inmates should be granted home confinement during the pandemic. These factors are:

Wealthy tenants are SQUATTING in multi-million dollar homes in the Hamptons and refusing to pay rent after NY issued a non-eviction order due to the coronavirus crisis

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Wealthy tenants are SQUATTING in multi-million dollar homes in the Hamptons and refusing to pay rent after NY issued a non-eviction order due to the coronavirus crisis

  • Hamptons landlords are losing money as tenants try to stay during peak season 
  • One uses the summer rent to pay his son’s tuition and is out of pocket this year 
  • NY Gov Andrew Cuomo issued a moratorium on rent payments until 20 August 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By RYAN FAHEY FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 04:30 EDT, 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:14 EDT, 20 May 2020

Some wealthy tenants in the Hamptons are using New York state’s non-eviction order to squat in luxury while weathering out the coronavirus crisis, local landlords have claimed. 

One homeowner, who chose to remain anonymous but identified as middle-class, said that short-term renters are overstaying at his property in Sag Harbor and refusing to pay rent. 

Properties in the Hamptons rent for much less in the winter and early spring months, when the coronavirus outbreak began, but can ask for thousands more in the summer months.  

‘We’re not talking about poor people,’ the anonymous told the NYPost. ‘[…]It’s a very modest Sag Harbor house. And we use our summer rental to pay our son’s school.’

The squatter was paying $3,600 a month between October and March but claimed he didn’t have rent for April and dismissed the homeowner’s requests to vacate the property.   

The landlord said he is now looking at huge losses for the year – $15,000 in May alone with an extra $55,000 between Memorial and Labor days.

READ MORE

Virus Fighting Germ Zero Team rolled out by Mold Zero

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Virus Fighting Germ Zero Team rolled out by Mold Zero!!

By Robert Tweed (Rusty Tweed) CEO MoldZero

Five years ago, local Glendale resident Rusty Tweed started Mold Zero, a company focused on eliminating mold from people’s homes and businesses.    Since then Mold Zero has grown quickly into a multi-million dollar operation, doing business around Southern California and the Tampa Bay area of Florida.  

The reason for this exceptional growth is Mold Zero’s unique patented process that is used to eradicate fungus in any indoor environment.   The process involves 2 steps.   The first is a unique “dry fog” that is pumped into the building.   The fog particles are as small as 6 microns, which is unusually tiny and allows the small nano particles to permeate every nook and cranny of the room or space that is being treated.   This non-toxic, environmentally friendly “dry fog” immediately destroys any single cell micro-organisms it comes into contact with.   Mold or Fungus is very hard to kill, as it is a living growing organism that shuns light and therefore thrives in dark, damp, hard to get at places.    Mold Zero’s technique will seek out and envelope the mold and it’s spores and render it inert in even the tiniest, tucked away locations.

Rent-Reduction Bill a Vast Abuse of Power

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Rent-Reduction Bill a Vast Abuse of Power

Assembly Bill 828 the “Gut and Re-Write” Former Human Trafficking Bill, Is Bad News

By Steven Greenhut, California Columnist

We’ve all accepted the need for some unusual public-policy measures to deal with coronavirus, but we should always look askance at proposals that are unnecessary, counterproductive and abusive of our rights.  Sadly, some legislators seem to be using the crisis to push the types of far-reaching legislation that could never get approved during normal times.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, recently introduced the most striking example of this phenomenon. Assembly Bill 828 purports to protect tenants during an emergency but poses a grave threat to property owners and established contracts – and could obliterate California’s already tight rental market even after the crisis passes.

COVID-19 Contract Issues

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March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Newsom’s “stay-at-home” order create challenges for businesses and landlords in California. As a result, parties to contracts could seek to delay or terminate their obligations. This article discusses some of the legal concepts with respect to delayed or excused contract performance.

Please note that federal, state, and local regulations, laws, and ordinances may override the common law and contractual principles discussed in the article.

Contract Provisions

Force Majeure

A “force majeure” provision in a contract allows a party certain rights if a given event arises. For example, a contract’s “force majeure” provision might allow a construction company to temporarily stop construction of or repairs to a building in the event of a hurricane, a riot, or governmental mandates in connection with a pandemic that impacts their work.

Generally, for a party to invoke “force majeure”rights under a contract, the contract must:

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