8 Obstacles to a Great Looking Pool

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by Donald Lapa

It would be nice if every pool water problem could be prevented. But even the most diligent adherence to routine maintenance programs can’t eliminate every algae bloom, stain or odor.  So we have products and procedures to kill algae, clear water and help keep water chemistry balanced.  In-store testing stations, poolside trouble shooting methods and problem-solving products all play important roles in ongoing battle against water menaces.

Before any problem can be treated, the water chemistry must be checked.  It is, therefore, imperative that the testing of the water is placed in the hands of an experienced person who could diagnose, solve and hopefully prevent pool water problems.

We have prepared a guide to 8 of the most common obstacles to pool-owner happiness.

The State of Income Property in Orange County

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By Carm Gullo

In light of the negative news reported by the press, tv, and political leaders, you might ask yourself “How is my business faring? “ How has the business environment affected my revenues?  Will the business climate further affect my revenues?”

It is essential to track sales, revenues and expenses for any business (and managing apartments buildings is a business).  This is what we at CFG Investments, Inc. do in examining the rental properties we manage.  We have tracked performance on a daily and monthly basis for many years. CFG Investments manages over 200 properties throughout Orange County, and this gives us a fairly large data base in our statistical analysis.

Tips For Choosing A Cooling And Heating Contractor

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NAPSI

As seasons change, the inevitable change in temperature may trigger a need for repairs or perhaps replacement of many heating and cooling systems. Choosing the right contractor to repair or replace your home comfort system is an important decision. Homeowners can make an informed decision by considering the following tips for choosing a qualified contractor:

1.    Search for contractors who employ NATE-certified technicians or belong to professional trade organizations. Technicians certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) are skilled professionals who have proven their knowledge in the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry by passing specialized certification exams. To locate a contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians, use the contractor locator at www.hvacradvice.com.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Windows

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(NAPS)—You wouldn’t think of running your air conditioning or heat with your windows open, but that’s essentially what you’re doing if you neglect to replace your windows when they need it.

The good news is that new windows can make your home greener by providing energy efficiency, healthier by preventing water intrusion and mold, and safer if you consider impact-resistant products. Plus, a retrofit project provides one of the highest rates of return—up to 90 percent, according to some surveys.

How Do I Manage Asbestos In My House Or Apartment Building?

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Information presented in this publication is intended to provide a general understanding of the statutory and regulatory requirements governing managing asbestos. This information is not intended to replace, limit or expand upon the complete statutory and regulatory requirements found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code.
This fact sheet applies to privately owned homes and apartments with four or less units. If your building was at one time used for public or commercial purposes, refer to the “How Do I Manage Asbestos in My Building?” fact sheet.

Homeowners Should Be Aware of Asbestos Hazards

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As a new homeowner or potential seller, it is not likely that you are acquainted with the inner materials of a home. However, most buyers seek an updated home inspection before closing on a new property. It is important to reassure buyers that the home is safe and does not contain any potential health hazards. These inspections are critical to clearing hurdles down the road that may slow the sale of property.

One of the most common surprises new homeowners and sellers confront is asbestos in older structures. Indeed, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are now banned for use in the United States but many older buildings still contain these products, which are generally safe, but homeowners should be aware of where they are and when they become hazardous.

Corporate meltdown leaves renters in limbo: Large apartment complexes abandoned to receivership and unruly weeds

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By Kari Huus
Reporter

updated 1:55 p.m. PT, Thurs., March. 26, 2009

Nicholle Krause first noticed the weeds sprouting in the usually well-manicured grounds of her 320-unit apartment complex in Chandler, Ariz., in December. Soon, signs of neglect began multiplying: Garbage spilled over from the dumpsters, the water in the swimming pool turned a slimy pea green and the grounds were infested by swarms of bees — especially alarming because Krause is severely allergic to bee stings.

“I couldn’t even go outside to enjoy where I live,” said Krause, a 21-year-old office worker who pays $827 a month for a one-bedroom apartment with garage space. “I shouldn’t have to pay $800 a month to live in a … hole.”

It wasn’t until early March that Krause and other residents learned why the complex – the alluringly named Alante at the Islands — was rapidly going to seed. The property owner, Irvine, Calif.-based Bethany Holdings Group, had abandoned the complex and a dozen other large rental properties in the greater Phoenix area after defaulting on hundreds of millions of dollars in loans.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON MSNBC

Eminent Domain Power Abused

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—“A Case of Condemn First, Decide What to Do with the Property Later”

By David S.White, Esq., of Fainsbert Mase & Snyder, LLP

A recent case graphically illustrates that, if a City wants to take your real property by use of its Eminent Domain power, the City had better be honest about what public purpose makes taking away your private property so necessary and what the City actually plans to do with your property: City of Stockton v. Marina Towers, LLC, et al., an opinion of the California Appellate Court for the Third District (San Joaquin), filed Feb. 13, 2009.  For our purposes, Eminent Domain and Condemnation are one and the same thing – the power of a city (or other governmental entity) to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation to the private land owner, sometimes also called a “Taking,” for reasons we will explain.

Calming “Tenamonsters” and Other High-Maintenance Tenants

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By Kate Zabriskie

It’s been over twenty years since Madonna first sang about being a “material girl in a material world,” and since that time, women and men throughout the nation have become more demanding of businesses and what they expect in terms of service.  One might argue that this age of the high-maintenance tenant is simply due to businesses’ inability to get qualified help, and in some cases this is true.  However, the facts are that product and service customization, competition, and “the tenant is always right” have helped create more than a few high-maintenance “tenamonsters” that over time, may be more work than they are worth to your business.

To endure demanding tenants and give your employees the tools they need to successfully manage that audience, there are several actions you should take when planning your service strategy and tactics.

Apartment Security: A Reminder

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by  Chris E. McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM

the Crime Doctor™

I just finished inspecting a one-bedroom apartment unit, for a friend, on a twenty-year old upscale property in Phoenix.  This property is managed by one of the largest property managers in the country.   I was surprised by what I found.

Because of the premium rent, I expected to find the property in compliance with all the minimum recommended security features. I  expected the property to have been certified by the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. I was wrong.

On my recommendation, the new resident selected a highly visible second floor unit, in view of the office, because it would be inherently safer for a single woman living alone.  I inspected the door locks and found only one in place.   It was a tired-looking and worn deadbolt lock that had been switched from another unit. I thought a new resident surely deserves a newly keyed lock, especially if it’s the only one on the door?  To make matters worse, the old lock had paint splashed on it making it easily distinguishable to the former users.   No one could say for certain how many times this lock had been rotated between units and how many keys were out there.

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