Santa Claus is Coming to Sacramento, Washington & Everytown USA

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If you think there is no Santa Claus, you are not running for office in 2020. Yes, the political Santa Clauses of the world are running for office with a sleigh full of free goodies. They have made their list and it includes:
• Rent Control
• Student Loan Forgiveness
• Social Security Increases
• and Free:
• Health Care
• College Tuition
• Child Care
• Legal Advice

The free goodies are free to everybody except the rich who are expected to pay as never before.

Health Care – “Medicare for All”
No choice, no private insurance and it is being negatively received by 50-60% of the electorate in the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

College Tuition
A wide variety of proposals are being made for free tuition, or partial tuition, for all four years of college, or alternatively for community colleges or technical schools. Assistance is also being suggested to reduce the amount of debt accrued by graduating seniors.

Child Care – more affordable
One proposed plan calls for federally subsidized care providers with fees scaled to family income. Many of the candidates favor nearly universal access to child care or universal preschool or tax credits for care.

Legal Advice
As noted in my previous articles, Governor Newsom would like to allocate the $331 million received from a settlement with mortgage lenders to legal aid for homeowners facing foreclosure and renters facing eviction.

The LA City Council is also considering a right-to-counsel program, with an estimated budget of $3 million, to begin by the end of the year. Councilmembers estimated the budget would serve about 195 tenants who have received eviction notices, making the average funds per tenant approximately $15,385 each.

And not only is the program under discussion in LA, but in West Hollywood an evaluation of their program already in place has been requested by the City Council. Note, West Hollywood evictions are also subject to just cause criteria.

AND, the LA County’s Board of Supervisors is weighing in on the issue. On its May 21 agenda was an item requesting the County’s CEO and Director of Consumer and Business Affairs to analyze right-to-counsel programs in other jurisdictions, then recommend eligibility criteria and funding levels

How will all this be funded? Taxes on the rich. Proposals advanced include:
• Wealth tax; thresholds and amounts are fluid
• Reverse President Trump’s tax cuts
• Tax wages, business income and capital gains at the same rate
• Tax income earned by US corporations world-wide
• Tax capital gains annually, not just upon sale of the capital asset
• Raise estate taxes and lower the exemption threshold

It is easy to say that only the richest of the rich will be responsible, but once the government gets their hands into the cookie jar, they will be tempted to lower the thresholds and raise the rates.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has a shelf life. The tax cuts have a shelf life as short as snowfall in a Santa Monica summer.

The rich know how to avoid taxes; they incorporate.
So the rich doctor or lawyer earning $1,000,000 per year, incorporates and draws a salary, say of $400,000 on which he will pay personal income taxes.

The remaining gross, say $600,000 remains in the corporation and thus is subject to the lower corporate tax rate and therefore this differential in salary and gross accumulates over time. Along the same lines, taxing US corporations’ worldwide income is gaining favor. Currently, 60% of corporate income avoids US taxes. A movement is afoot to tax these corporate earnings based on the US individual tax rates, which are far higher than corporate tax rates. For the first time in history, US individual tax rates were higher than corporate tax rates. Thus raising the corporate tax rates is proposed. The maximum rate is now 21% whereas the top individual rate is 37%.

How will the taxing agencies identify the rich? Create a wealth registry. Then we’ll know who you are and where to send the bill.

Another opportunity would be to strengthen and increase tax enforcement; give the IRS a larger budget; audit the rich more frequently and more intensely; and lower exemption levels.

How do they (the politicians) sell these big tax increases? The same way as they sell rent control; buy votes with other people’s money.

So, in summary, what are the takeaways; what should you consider? Realize that no one approach fits all cases but do realize that your biggest expense is not insurance nor maintenance and repairs but it is TAXES.

Income tax rates and capital gains taxes are likely to increase. Depreciable assets’ lives are likely to be lengthened and annual depreciation reduced

Be proactive. Discuss defensive measures with your tax and/or investment advisors. You worked hard to accumulate your wealth. Work equally as hard to protect it.

Sources: Los Angeles Times; Vox.com; wbur.org; Saez and Zucman, The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay

Wesley V. Wellman | Wellman Realty Company
2812 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite #203 Santa Monica, CA 90404
Direct: (310) 829 – 7423 | Fax: (310) 829 – 2079
DRE License No. 00467451
Email: wes@wellmanproperties.com
www.wellmanproperties.com

New California Rental Housing Laws: AB 1482 Is Only the Beginning…

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While the rental housing industry in California has been abuzz about the latest rent control and “just cause” eviction law (more on that below), Gov. Newsom has passed five other rental laws. From extended rent increase notices to the mandatory acceptance of Section 8 vouchers, you won’t want to miss these other hot-off-the-press laws.

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According to AARP, Baby Boomers spend about $3 trillion annually and a whopping 78 percent are online, where they’re buying $7 billion in goods and services. As of 2017, they spent more time online than Millennials.

TYPICAL BUSINESS PLANNING CONCERNS

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People often ask me, what are some of the typical business owner’s concerns that I discuss with them regarding their business?  In an article by Martin S. Finn, CPA, who mentioned the top ten businesses and estate planning mistakes, I was reminded of the three areas that I typically spend most of my time discussing with owners as mentioned below.

RISK MANAGEMENT 101, Part 2

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By Eric D. Jarvis, Esq. | Founder of ReassureRent

It’s every landlord’s nightmare: A tenant who can’t, or won’t, pay the rent. You’ve invested in your property.  You are obligate to continue to pay taxes, insurance, a mortgage, and maintenance, and you depend on that income. You provided a home for your tenant and you have a right to expect that tenant to keep their end of the deal.  Now you’re involved in a time consuming and emotionally draining eviction process. In the best situations, you will pay some legal fees and lose some rent.  In the very worst situations, you could spend thousands in legal fees and lose half a year of rent before you get your property back.

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WHY 1031 DST EXCHANGES ARE GROWING IN POPULARITY

1. Free yourself from the three Ts of active management – tenants, toilets and trash. Many investors are attracted to Delaware Statutory Trusts because they offer the potential for a passive income stream. This feature is especially popular among those investors transitioning from an active real estate management role via a 1031 tax-deferred exchange. Active real estate management can be a time-consuming and tiring occupation which many property owners don’t want to continue into retirement. However, cashing out of a property held over a lifetime will usually incur a substantial capital gains tax hit that will erase much of the wealth that has been accumulated. Delaware Statutory Trusts allow an investor to utilize a 1031 exchange to acquire a professionally managed asset, which provides a potential stream of income without the headaches of property management and asset management.

How to Manage Trash Left Behind by Renters

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By the CIC Blog

Its Monday, again… I open the door to my office, throw my coat on the back of my chair and stick a coffee cup under the Keurig.  Then, I walk over to the drop box to collect the keys from my renters who have moved out over the weekend. With just two apartments, I think to myself “I can get these units inspected and have the cleaning crew in by Tuesday.” I take my freshly brewed java onto the elevator up to the third floor and unlock unit 3-B. I push the door open and a big bag of garbage is waiting right there in the middle of the room to greet me. “Perfect,” I think to myself. Well, garbage would have been “O.K.” but once I get inside the unit, I spot a few other items left by Mr. and Mrs. Former Renters. These scenarios happen all the time. From garbage to old furniture, these are just a few of the common items left behind by renters.  But what you can do in these situations?

R.I.P “Ming” The Bengal Tiger

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“Ming” the Bengal Tiger Once Raised in a Harlem Apartment Has Passed

The Bengal Tiger Lived in a Rent Controlled Apartment for 3-Years Until Being Discovered and Becoming a Front-Page News Story

A Bengal tiger cub named Ming had once lived for three years in a public-housing project as his owner’s “only friend,” and became front-page news when he was discovered nearly 16 years ago.

AB 1482 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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AB 1482 (“TENANT PROTECTION ACT OF 2019″)
RENT CAP, JUST CAUSE EVICTION & RELOCATION FEES

This guidance is intended for rental properties in cities that do not currently have rent control, tenant eviction protections, or relocation fees. If your rental property is located in a jurisdiction that is currently regulated, please contact your local property owner association to receive guidance on the possible applicability of AB 1482.

‘Rising tide’ of tenants getting 60-day move-out notices in advance of statewide rent cap

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AB 1482 was significantly watered down to accommodate reluctant lawmakers and appease opposing interest groups: The proposed rent cap was raised to 7% plus inflation from 5%, exempts landlords who own fewer than 10 single family homes and would expire in 2023. (iStockphoto)

Loophole that expires Thursday lets landlords raise rents by evicting tenants during the holiday season.

By JEFF COLLINS | JeffCollins@scng.com | Orange County Register

A “rising tide” of California tenants have been getting preemptive, 60-day “notices to vacate” their apartments in advance of AB 1482, the state’s new rent cap law, as landlords take advantage of a window that closes Thursday to raise rents before the law kicks in on Jan. 1, tenants rights groups report.

Even though most tenants are paying their rent and obeying the rules, many have been told they need to move out by Christmas.

“We’re getting people who are long-term tenants, 10 or 11 years, suddenly getting the notice for no apparent reason,” said Dave Levy, programs specialist for the Fair Housing Council of Orange County. “ … That’s a blow around the holidays. Typically, we don’t see landlords handing out such notices at this time of year because it’s not a good time to re-rent those units.”

Nobody knows how many tenants have received such notices.

Daniel Yukelson, CEO of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, said his group hasn’t heard of large numbers of landlords issuing such “no-fault evictions.”

But tenant’s rights groups say the number of calls reporting the practice has been mounting. San Francisco-based Tenants Together, a statewide tenant’s rights group, reported a bump of 20% to 30% since last summer when the statewide rent-cap measure was under review.

And prominent eviction attorney Dennis Block said in a recent YouTube video, “We’ve been serving these up like hotcakes.”

The practice is legal until Thursday, Oct. 31, two months before AB 1482’s “just cause eviction” provisions take effect.

Those provisions ban move-out notices for tenants in good standing unless the landlord needs to renovate the unit, move into the unit or take it off the rental market. And even then, the landlord must pay the tenant one month’s rent in relocation assistance.


“We do not condone preemptive evictions in advance of Assembly Bill 1482’s effectiveness…”

Daniel Yukelson, CEO of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles

Block and others maintain the practice is a legitimate way for landlords charging below-market rents to get around AB 1482’s rent cap of 5% plus inflation, retroactive to March 2019. Once the old tenant is out, landlords can raise rents to market rate before a new tenant moves in, Block said.

But even some landlord leaders have been squeamish about the practice, with California Apartment Association lobbyist Debra Carlton telling the nonprofit news outlet CalMatters, “This is unconscionable.”

“We do not condone preemptive evictions in advance of Assembly Bill 1482’s effectiveness,” Yukelson added.

The cities of Los Angeles and Milpitas voted last week to adopt moratoriums on no-fault evictions until AB 1482 takes effect.

At least six other cities – Anaheim, Burbank and Bell Gardens in Southern California and Santa Cruz, Daly City and Redwood City in the Bay Area – are discussing similar action this week, city records show.

Current law allows landlords to issue move-out notices unilaterally without giving a reason, provided the renter isn’t under a lease and gets at least 60-days notice, 30 days if the tenant has lived in the unit for under a year.

But that option expires Jan. 1. AB 1482 imposes “just cause” eviction controls for tenants of at least a year throughout the state on apartments or corporate-owned rental houses that are at least 15 years old.

Block, who claims to be the nation’s leading eviction attorney, has been advocating for months that landlords take advantage of the closing window. He also has been posting a countdown to Thursday’s deadline on Twitter, urging property owners to “call my office for assistance.”

“Kick them out. Serve a 60-day notice,” Block said during an Apartment Owners Association seminar in mid-October posted on YouTube. “Do you have to feel guilty? … The answer is no. Did we create this problem? No. Did our Legislature create this problem? The answer is, of course, they did.”

But tenants’ rights groups argue landlords should think about the human consequences of preemptive move-out notices.

“Property owners should think about the domino effect of their decisions,” said Lupe Arreola, executive director of Tenants Together. “Just because you want to increase the rent, someone has to (move) further and further out. They may have to switch jobs or their children may have to switch schools. … It affects their entire lives.”

Meanwhile, a statewide emergency declaration issued Oct. 27 in response to California’s wildfires also imposed a 10% cap on rent hikes for all housing in all 58 counties under the state’s long-existing anti-gouging law.

The cap, which will be in effect for 30 days, applies to all homes, affects housing not included in AB 1482, including houses and condos and including new homes and apartments.