Tenant Anti-Harassment in Long Beach and Los Angeles, But Who’s Looking Out for the Welfare of Landlords?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Late last year, the City of Long Beach once again set out on a warpath by attacking a small group of residents comprised of those of us in the City who willfully provide rental housing to the vast majority of residents of the City.  As “landlords,” we are too often portrayed in a negative light by our elected officials who are unstoppable in their efforts to pander to a voting bloc of a City’s renters.  For the mere audacity of providing roofs over the heads of the City’s renters, severe negativity is constantly directed toward us in the form of unbalanced ordinances that seemingly always favor those who are being pandered to, which in our case is always the tenants.  This is the situation in Long Beach with the City’s so-called “Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance” that was passed late last year.

More recently, and now moving its way through the “system” at the City of Los Angeles is a newer, far more draconian version of a tenant anti-harassment ordinance.  Having passed through the confines of the City’s Housing Committee (a/k/a, Anti-Landlord Committee), many controversial and potentially harmful amendments to the ordinance had been put forth by the Socialist and far left leaning Councilmember Nithya Raman.  While many of Ms. Raman’s amendments failed in Committee due to our advocacy efforts, those that remained may still put rental housing providers who have not engaged in harassment at risk of being subject to frivolous litigation and prosecution. 

Will the City of Los Angeles Seize Private Property?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Homelessness and affordable housing are major issues facing the City of Los Angeles

By Jack Humphreville, L.A. Watchdog for CityWatch

But this does not give the City the right to commandeer hotel and motel rooms for use as homeless housing or to seize an apartment complex through eminent domain at prices that are less than fair market value.  As part of the City’s effort to renew and expand “Project RoomKey,” Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman instructed the City Attorney to report on what steps need to be taken to “begin commandeering hotels and motels for use as homeless housing.”

In response, City Attorney Mike Feuer confirmed that the “Mayor’s emergency powers grant him the authority to commandeer private property for public use when needed for the protection of life, and to bind the City to pay fair market value to compensate the property owner.”  But City Attorney Feuer fails to define what is an emergency.  Nor does he discuss the potential financial liabilities, the potential legal fees, the moral hazards, and the impact on the City’s reputation associated with the commandeering of private property, all of which may be substantial.

THE WORST THINGS A LANDLORD CAN DO REGARDING THEIR PROPERTY

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

To start something new is to accept that you will probably fail at first while figuring it out. You don’t know what you’re doing and while you can research and study up, some things must be learned the hard way. No one has perfect balance without falling a few times. No one can master a new language without accidentally saying something dumb. No one can start a new adventure without getting lost somewhere. Everyone must start somewhere, and that means that usually, everyone will make some pretty bad mistakes along the way.  If this is part of your research on getting started as a landlord, that’s wonderful! There are some big mistakes you could make, but you can avoid with just a bit of research.

No Screening

Here’s the thing, tenant screening can require time and money. Sure, it seems like a great corner to cut: faster acceptance time, more people applying, and your property may be vacant for a shorter period of time. The problem is that tenant screening exists for a reason. There are certain liabilities you do not want to risk on your property. People who are prone to property damage are a costly concern. If someone has been arrested and convicted for damaging property there is no promise they would have care and respect for your property.

“Ask Kari” – As it Was Just May, Mold is Surely Here to Stay

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer, SKY Properties, Inc.

Seasonally, the month of February is usually our wettest month of the year, but here in sunny Southern California, one may never know what we are going to get. Spring is a season favorite of many people but as we go into the warmer weather, we will likely still see some rain showers followed by heat.   Do April showers bring May mold, or mold in June, July or August?  Maybe so, but it can be avoided if water intrusion is addressed quickly and correctly.

What we need to know, as building owners and managers, about heat and water is that together they are the perfect combination to grow mold.  As of January 1, 2016, mold is considered a substandard housing condition as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 17920.3  Here is a general introduction, with some tips and recommended links that building owners might consider in regard to mold.

Dear Maintenance Men:

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:

Should I check smoke alarm batteries in my units or is that the resident’s job?  Also, how often should I clean out my water heaters, not to mention A/C filters and so on?

Linda

Dear Linda:

1-         Most rental agreements have a check box that says the resident is responsible for the operation of the smoke alarm. The newest rental agreements now have a check box for Carbon Monoxide alarms.   We lay awake at night thinking about that little check box. In order to sleep, we check the residents smoke and CO alarms every time we do maintenance on the unit. We keep a log of each time we check and what action was taken.  The smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms should be “Officially” checked and logged, at least once a year.  Typically, January is a good month for the annual check.    

 2-        A typical 100-gallon water heater depending on the BTU rating will costs anywhere from $4,700 to over $6,500 installed. That cost alone should be incentive to clean out the heater regularly.   Normally, the clean out should be done at least once a year. If the water at your building has a high mineral content, then it should be cleaned out every nine months. Again keep a log of each clean out; it will help in remembering when to do the next cleaning.

3-         If your building has forced air & heating, the filter should be checked, cleaned or replaced each October or November and each May or June. This will help keep your systems working properly and reduce strain on the components. It will also ensure proper filtration before the winter and summer workloads.  

4-         Cleaning out the exhaust vent tubes of the laundry room dryer. Everyone knows about cleaning out the dryer lint basket and throwing it on the laundry room floor. We’re talking about cleaning out the lines leading out the back of the dryer. Keeping the exhaust vent tubes clean will help cut down on gas and electric usage, longer machine life and shorter drying time and lint in these tubes have been known to be a fire hazard. It should be done at least once a year and again, keep a log of each cleaning for reference. 

What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead in Los Angeles Multifamily

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Marc Frenkiel, Appfolio

What’s happening in the Los Angeles multifamily market is a microcosm of what’s happening in the broader US market. Rents in the city have fallen, vacancies are up, and with the lifting of COVID restrictions on June 15, owners, operators, and residents are now waiting in limbo as the statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June. 

Apartment List’s June 2021 Rent Report quantifies this narrative. According to their data, Los Angeles is the only city in the metro that has seen rents fall, with a year-over-year decline of 2.2% (the median two-bedroom currently rents for $2,054, while one-bedrooms go for $1,566). It is important to note that this is a 2.2% decline from May 2020 to May 2021. Rents fell precipitously in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Marcus & Millichap’s 1Q21 Los Angeles Multifamily Market Report, average effective rents fell 4.8% from 2019-2020.

How The Post-COVID Remote Workforce Will Impact Multifamily Properties

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

One thing became very clear for many workers during the coronavirus pandemic, you no longer need to “go to work” to work, and that has implications for owners and managers of apartment buildings and other multifamily properties.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 35% of all full-time employees say that, given the choice, they would continue working remotely as much as possible with some industries reporting a preference for remote work as high as 65%. Studies have also shown working from home makes many workers happier and more productive, motivating forward-thinking employers to accommodate the preference. This means today’s workforce will require more efficient and flexible living spaces. Here are four ways this shift in workstyle will translate to opportunities for your multifamily property.

1. Technology use continues to grow

As people consolidate their work and home life, efficiency becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. Renters continue to crave convenience through technologies – like keyless door entry and Wi-Fi adapter plugs – and the demand is fueling the implementation of a host of new technologies in apartment buildings and units. Installing smart technology that will facilitate work life – like smart thermostats, smart power strips and LED lighting with controls will help your property meet the expectations of the modern remote worker and can add significant value to residents through increased flexibility and reduced energy use.

Senate Bill 668 Needed to Buy Time for California Families

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If Passed, Senate Bill 668 Could Delay Impacts of Proposition 19

By Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

It is hard to imagine anything more callous than the government sending a giant tax bill to a bereaved family, but thanks to Proposition 19, many California families will have that unfortunate experience.  Proposition 19, which passed by a razor-thin margin in the November election, expanded a tax break for some homeowners but repealed an important taxpayer protection for families. The effective date of this change was February 16 before most Californians even knew what had happened.

Here is what happened: homes that are transferred between parents and children are no longer excluded from reassessment. Previously, children would continue to pay the same property tax bill that their parents had paid, with increases in the assessed value capped by Proposition 13 at a maximum of 2% per year. Not anymore. Now children inheriting their parents’ home or other property will receive a new tax bill based on a current market-rate assessment.

Thoughts of Earthquake Hazards Rise As COVID Slows

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Ali Sahabi

Nearly everyone has experienced some of the widespread economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic — business closures, loss of income, unemployment, working remotely, or unavailability of services we have come to depend on.

And many of us know someone who has been personally impacted by illness or death.

COVID-19 raged into our communities somewhat unexpectedly, much like an earthquake or other natural disaster might, and the impacts have been very much the same: lives lost, medical services stretched thin, businesses shuttered, jobs lost and economic disruption.

Risks of an L.A. earthquake

Now that California is in recovery, and life is “getting back to normal” – it’s time to focus on building community resilience for all natural and manmade disasters, including the very real threat of a major earthquake striking Los Angeles.

Somebody Awoke the “Woke” – That’s No Joke!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

According to the great depository of knowledge in this Universe, Wikipedia, the term “woke” refers to awareness of issues that concern social and racial justice.  Use of the term “woke” resurfaced in 2014 in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement as a label for vigilance and activism concerning racial inequalities and other social disparities such as discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, women, immigrants, and other marginalized populations.

“Woke,” however, has earlier beginnings.  Centuries ago, the term was used in place of “woken,” which is the usual past participle form of wake (I had to look this up because I had forgotten what a past participle was from my high school English courses.  I studied accounting in college, so what do I know from past participles?  Nevertheless, a past participle is the form of a verb, typically ending in “-ed” in English, which is used in forming perfect and passive tenses and sometimes as an adjective, e.g. “looked” in “have you looked?” or “lost” as in “lost property.”  Now I have confused myself a bit more…).  This then, led to the use the term “woke” as an adjective similar to “awake,” which has become mainstream here in the United States.