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.

Insurance Commissioner Orders 60-Day Grace Period for Policy Premiums

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Insurance Commissioner Orders 60-Day Grace Period for Policy Premiums

On March 18, 2020, in response to the substantial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice requesting all insurance companies to provide policyholders with a grace period of at least 60 days to pay insurance premiums.  That means, insurance policies will not be cancelled unless and until 60 days past the payment due date.

Got the Los Angeles Rent Freeze? HCID+LA Explains SCEP and RSO Fees, and Other Pass-Through Costs

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Got the Los Angeles Rent Freeze?  HCID+LA Explains SCEP and RSO Fees, and Other Pass-Through Costs

  • Question: Even though there is an eviction moratorium and rent increase freeze in place, may I continue to pass-through Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fees and Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) fees to my tenants?

Yes, owners of rent stabilized units within the City of Los Angeles may continue to recover or “pass-through” the costs associated with RSO and SCEP fees.

BREAKING NEWS: Rent Control is Here to Stay in California

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On Tuesday, October 8th, California Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1482 imposing rent control and just-cause eviction rules and fees across California. After a long battle within the state, rental properties not currently covered by stricter rent control provisions will need to adapt to the upcoming changes by January 1st, 2020.

Misunderstanding And Inconsistency: The State Of Fraud In The Rental Housing Industry – Property Management Companies Lack A Layered And Systemic Approach To Fraud

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A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By TransUnion

In today’s property management environment, rental applications have mirrored our desire to do more online and less in person. However, with this increase in accessibility and convenience comes risk — which property management companies are not appropriately prepared for. Unbeknownst to them, the housing industry is experiencing an intense increase in fraud, and current fraud identification methods have not been able to keep up with today’s savvy fraudsters.

Real Estate: Strong Fundamentals Persist—As Do Opportunities: REITs should have several more years of solid growth in property fundamentals as the economic cycle continues and many sectors have the peak in supply growth behind them.

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By Kevin Brown | Equity Analyst

U.S. Real Estate Outlook 

After falling in the first quarter due to pressure from rising interest rates, the U.S. real estate market performed in line with the broader U.S. market in the second quarter. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield increased rapidly at the start of the year but has stayed near the 2.85% rate since mid-February, bringing relative stability to real estate stocks. Given the circumstances, many investors wonder whether we are near the peak of the commercial real estate cycle—higher interest rates could pressure growth rates, cap rates, return expectations, and ultimately asset prices. Also, to the extent that low interest rates have steered investors searching for higher yield and capital preservation toward REITs, the same funds could flow out of REITs if interest rates rise, further pressuring commercial real estate valuations.