Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

To assist residential renters who have been economically impacted by the Coronavirus, the Mayor issued an Eviction Moratorium Emergency Order

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. On March 15th, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti issued an Emergency Order which implemented a number of measures designed to protect the public and contain the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, the Mayor issued a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances may include:

  1. Loss of income due to work place closure or reduced hours due to COVID-19
  2. Loss of income or child care expenditures due to school closures
  3. Health care expenditures stemming from COVID-19 infection of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19
  4. Reasonable expenditures stemming from government ordered emergency measures.

The Mayor’s Order emphasizes that tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. However, during the emergency period, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to six (6) months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due. Please note that the City Council may extend the repayment period as necessary in response to the emergency.

Subsequently, California Governor Newsom issued a similar Executive Order to Protect Renters and Homeowners during the pandemic. The Governor’s order is in effect through May 31, 2020.


Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC)

While owning rental property is a terrific way to generate consistent passive income, preparing your personal and/or business tax returns can get complicated. To offset some of your additional income, as a landlord, you can take advantage of several tax deductions. Specifically, you must have a system in place to maintain all receipts, bills, and statements with ease during the year. Alternatively, you can use rental property software to assist with the process. The key is to be organized throughout the year so you can recognize and take advantage of every deduction you are entitled to receive. Whatever method you use, if you are audited, the IRS wants to see proper back up for every deduction that you take. 

Expenses for tax purposes are broken down into two categories, “current expenses” and “capital expenses.” Current expenses are those that are used to maintain the rental property, and/or help you operate your rental company. For an expense to qualify as a current expense, it must meet the following criteria: 

  • Ordinary and Necessary Expense. These are expenses that are common in real estate, such as interest, taxes, advertising, maintenance, utilities, and insurance).
  • Current Expenses related to your rental property, company, or activity. The expense must be something of short-term value and not a long-term improvement, which must be depreciated over many years. 
  • Reasonable expense. The expense must be in line with the current market rate. 

Housing, virus crises lead protesters to ‘reclaim’ houses

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Elizabeth Chou @reporterliz on Twitter

In a protest that appeared to be a convergence of California crises, a group of housing activists on Saturday aimed to “reclaim” vacant homes owned by Caltrans in El Sereno.

One by one, activists filed up a set of front steps in an act of civil disobedience, carrying a small writing desk, dining chair, an ornate glass coffee table and other furniture into a twobedroom house on Sheffield Avenue.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Should Landlords Respond?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog, For Landlords, Landlord Tips, safety

Rely on the People Who Know Science.

When coronavirus has been detected in a rental unit, the first and most compelling course of action is to call local public health officials to seek guidance in how to handle it.

Ask the infected tenant to voluntarily place themselves in a hospital facility, or at a bare minimum, self-isolate themselves.  For someone who exhibited symptoms or has tested positive, the most prudent course of action is to admit themselves into a medical facility. We still do not yet know, though, if the health care system can accommodate an influx of patients. In last Sunday’s press conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says a serious concern for his state (and, by extension, California) is that the number of infected people can severely tax the resources of hospitals.  Alternatively, a resident who tests positive for the virus can ideally self-isolate themselves in the rental unit.  Asking someone to sever ties with the rest of the world, of course, is a request that is hard to swallow, but hopefully heeded.  Tenants who are infected should be told that in the interest of transparency, other residents will be notified that someone in the building has tested positive; however, the name of the inflicted tenant shall remain anonymous.

Garcetti Orders Eviction Moratorium and More Closures As LA County Shuts Down Offices

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tonight issued a moratorium on evictions and wide bans on dine-in restaurants and entertainment facilities in the city. The order came just minutes after L.A. County officials announced they were shutting down all offices starting tomorrow.The city has endured challenges like wildfires and earthquakes before, Garcetti said. But unlike natural disasters, the mayor said that to tackle an infectious disease, “we are all first responders.”“This isn’t just someone else’s responsibility, but it is the responsibility of each one of us.”Here are some key points from Garcetti’s order:

  • In addition to preventing residential evictions, he’s asking the city attorney “if we can legally prevent commercial evictions” to help businesses.
  • Bars and nightclubs will close. So will movie theaters, arcades, gyms and fitness centers.
  • There’ll be a prohibition on eating-in at restaurants but delivery, takeout and drive-through options are allowed.
  • Groceries, pharmacies and food banks are exempt from closures.
  • The mayor is urging churches and places of worship to close

City of Santa Monica Issues Temporary Moratorium on Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent by Residential Tenants Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

The City of Santa Monica (the “City”) issued a supplement to the local emergency proclamation that places a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The order, signed by City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Rick Cole, is effective immediately. During the period of local emergency declared in response to COVID-19, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, including (1) being sick with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19; (2) lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19; (3) compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency; (4) extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; or (5) child care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19.  A landlord also cannot pursue a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord.   

The order also suspends the discontinuation or shut off of water service for residents and businesses in the City for non-payment of water and sewer bills; the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent water and/or sewer bills; and the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for parking violations for the next 60 days.  

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Santa Monica will continue to enact policy changes that will ensure that our residents can weather this crisis”, said City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Rick Cole. “Our community is over 70% renters and this order provides our them the security of housing during this difficult time.  We recognize that the vast majority of landlords will act responsibly, but this order serves to ensure no renter loses their home due to a crisis beyond their control.  Everyone needs to feel safe to stay home if they are sick, care for sick loved ones, and have access to essential services.”   

These local orders follow President Trump’s national emergency declaration earlier today where it was announced that $50 billion in emergency funding would be made available to assist state and local governments in preventing the spread of and addressing the effects of COVID-19.  

Local emergencies can be declared by the City Manager, with ratification by the City Council within seven days. The local emergency is now in effect and will be confirmed by the City Council before March 20, 2020.  

Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Dependent Adult Abuse and Human Trafficking in Rental Housing

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Lynn Dover, Esq., Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

If you own or manage residential rental property, you may have had to deal with domestic violence incidents between residents.  And if you haven’t yet, chances are you will at some point. When domestic violence occurs in a rental unit, owners and managers frequently have questions. For instance, if the victim obtains a restraining order and wants her locks changed, should you change them? Or if there is no restraining order and you receive complaints from other residents about loud fighting, should you evict both the victim and the perpetrator?  What if the victim wants to terminate his or her lease?  If you let the victim out of the lease, how do you handle the security deposit when the unit is finally vacant?

Definition of Abuse

Before we look at these and other questions, let’s look at what does – and does not – constitute domestic violence. California Family Code § 6211 defines domestic violence as abuse perpetrated against someone with whom the victim has (or had) a romantic relationship such as marriage, living together, dating, engagement or having a child with the person. It is also defined as abuse against a child of one of the parties to the relationship or against a person who is related to one of the parties (such as a parent, sibling, in-law or grandparent of one of the parties). The definition does not include disputes between people who are only roommates or neighbors.

The Artist Formerly Known As the Golden State of California

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

My family moved to California sometime just after World War II.  Mom’s family moved to the Westside of Los Angeles around 1948 or 1949 from Rochester, New York when she was in her early 20’s.  My grandmother, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, was a widower who had lost her husband to cancer and, at the time, was left with three children under the age of 5, including my mom who was only 3 years old and one brother that not much later died as an infant.  Following my grandfather’s and my mom’s sibling’s untimely deaths, my grandmother and her older sister, my great aunt, moved in together to care for my mom and her brother who had been inflicted with polio and suffered from its effects his entire life.  Together, these two strong women worked long and hard at often back-breaking, unskilled jobs while at the same time saving and sacrificing as much as humanly possible to put a roof over my mom’s and her handicapped brother’s heads.

A Strong Lease Agreement Means a Strong Business

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

A rental or lease agreement is a legal binding contract between a landlord and a tenant that describes the rules to follow for each party in their relationship. Rental agreements could be long, they could be short, they could be nicely printed on legal paper, or they could be hand typed. Whatever your case may be, you as a landlord need to be sure that you cover the basics; and more!

Rental agreements need to disclose important factors such as how much the tenant will pay a month for the property, how long the tenancy will last, and what would happen in the event that the tenant would to forcibly opt out of the contract. Along with these crucial clauses, we could also find other important business related details. Here are some of the more important clauses that you need to be sure to include in your rental agreement.