Posts Tagged ‘Income Property Expo’

Should you be Required to Accept All Emotional Support Animals?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Becky Bower

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The term “emotional support animal” has always produced mixed opinions, with some property managers claiming that it’s a loophole term to get applicants’ pets accepted, while others cite federal law concerning tenants with disabilities. Whether your pet policy attracts applicants out of the 79 million households that own cats and dogs or prohibits residents from having their own big red dog, California property managers might be required to allow tenants to have emotional support animals, regardless of their pet policy.

What are the Differences between Service Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals?

Service animals are animals that are trained to help a specific individual with a disability. Some states, like California, limit service animals to dogs (and in some cases, miniature horses as well). Psychiatric service dogs are individually trained to help a person with a mental disability. Both of these service animals are trained to aid someone with a disability, whether it be pulling a wheelchair or responding to the owner’s panic attack. Emotional support animals, on the other hand, can be any type of animal and are not trained to perform a specific act that relates to an individual’s disability. These types of animals give their owners emotional relief, rather than physical relief, and unlike most service dogs, they do not need to wear any form of identification (like a vest or harness).

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires housing providers to provide reasonable accommodation to tenants with disabilities, allowing them to “request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal, including an emotional support animal.” Federally funded housing (like Section 8 housing) is required to accept emotional support animals without proof.  That being said, legally, you may not request to show proof that the animal has any specialized training. This means, if a resident with a disability requests for reasonable accommodation and provides a letter legitimatizing the need for an emotional support animal, under the FHA, you legally must provide reasonable accommodation for their support animal regardless of your rental policy on pets. If you deny their request for reasonable accommodation, the resident can file a discrimination complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Potential Legislation could require the Admittance of All Emotional Support Animals in California

Currently, it is within a property owner’s right to disallow pets on the property, and deny applicants (who are not covered under the ADA) based off of those written rental requirements. However, according to Ron Kingston of East Bay’s Rental Housing Association, that might change. Their online magazine, Rental Housing (issue Dec. 2016, page 22), illuminates that California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is currently proposing “broad new regulations requiring rental property owners to allow tenants to have ‘emotional support animals’ of all breeds and types to live with them in their units.” While (as said above) federal regulations require residents to request reasonable accommodations for support animals, Ron Kingston argues that the DFEH’s proposal is too broad and gives property managers limited authority to “deny a support animal request when the animal poses a threat to health and safety of other tenants, and to the property.”

As the transportation industry has enabled service and emotional support animals to fly on airlines for free and an increase in emotional support animals on airlines has been present, the validity of emotional support animals has come into question. Brian Skewis, California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind executive officer, has previously stated that he has found a “misuse” of the service dog law in airports. While Sacramento International Airport spokesman, Mark Haneke, has said that he is not aware of a false service dog problem, it puts into question whether or not significant misuse could be present in rentals.

Big cities like Los Angeles (which has the highest percentage of renters) have been facing a pet-housing shortage for a long time. Early last year, the City of Los Angeles even stated that they’ll start creating pet-friendly housing legislation to combat the 22.6% of dogs and 18.6% of cats that are surrendered to animal shelters due to pet restrictions. While no legislation has been passed since this statement, with misuse, the DFEH’s proposition could inadvertently cause rentals to become pet-friendly to avoid a discrimination case.

Although the California proposition has yet to be released in full detail (be sure to subscribe for updates), its broad nature would limit Californian property owner’s rights. While it might positively affect the pet-housing shortage in large cities, federal regulations already protect the resident’s right to request reasonable accommodation that allows emotional support animals. If these rights are already protected, the big question is what does this law really do?

Regardless of whether your community is pet-friendly or has a strict no-pet policy, make sure your online application has space to provide additional information (like about service animals or pets) and that you perform thorough screening of all your applicants. Just because an applicant doesn’t come with a furry friend in tow, doesn’t mean they’re a perfect fit for your community.

Becky 201509 Becky Bower is a writer for the ApplyConnect® Blog and the communications executive at ApplyConnect®, a consumer initiated tenant screening company.  She has also spent several years in compliance and auditing.  Becky holds a degree in English with a focus in creative writing from CSU Channel Islands and is a published writer.

Highlights from the Income Property Management Expo – Ontario 2013

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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Hundreds of apartment managers and prospective managers trailed into the Ontario Convention Center on May 7th to attend the Income Property Management Expo. The ballroom was full of booths that offered different services and information to the attendees to help them be the best manager they can be.  Every company from banking to damage repair were present, armed and ready with the help that owners are seeking for their buildings.  Several seminars were also taught by different groups to explain their company in a more in-depth way in order to achieve maximum potential in offering their beneficial services.

Many booths were promoting the use of solar panels to reduce electricity costs.  One company in particular, Herca Solar, recommends installation of panels into common areas such as a lobby or mailroom.  As electricity prices continue to rise, taking advantage of solar energy is more and more advantageous.  Herca Solar’s paneling has a 25 year warranty and due to new laws, since solar energy is an earth-friendly alternative to other lighting options, the government offers federal tax credit immediately after installation.  These treasury payments will eventually even out with the panel payments as owners continue to see their electricity bills dramatically decrease.

Any inexpensive way to make an apartment building look more expensive is by installing QuikCase patented, nail free, click-together molding kits that fit into windows.   This casing is only $60-$90 per unit (which is half the cost of those found at hardware stores) and will give the apartment building new, resort-looking window casings.  Available in four cut styles and three colors, this is a simple investment to make the building look nicer and even create the ability to slightly raise rent due to the classier look. Another small change to an apartment building can be made by hiring Vista Paint to re-do the interior or exterior painting of a building.  They will be the designers, painters, and maintenance crew that do routine checks to make sure the paint is still in excellent condition and make repairs if need.

A bigger change available for apartments is the installation of a new gym facility with the help of Matrix Fitness Centers or the addition of state of the art washing machines and dryers from PWS Laundry Company.  By including an exercise room, more rent can be charged to tenants for use of the facility.  Matrix Fitness Centers will design the space as well as provide and service the equipment in order to make the gym a great success.  Using coins for the laundry is becoming more tedious so PWS Laundry Company partners with Speed Queen equipment that functions on a SmartCard systems and they will help apartment buildings transition to the technological advance.  They offer four different options of machine according to size and cycle time.

Also present at the convention was the Southern California Apartment Owners Association that is an advocate for apartment owners’ rights at the local, state, and national levels.  With over 55,000 members nationwide, this group does many things to fight for apartment owner’s rights and even offer classes and seminars on a variety of topics for people to learn how to be the best apartment managers they can be.  The NAA is truly looking out for the well-being of their members and will go to great lengths to help and protect them.One of the most important parts of owning an apartment building is pre-screening applicants and the Contemporary Information Corporation can help with that.  They do a vast amount of learning a person’s credit score, previous evictions, fraud search, criminal record, alias scan, and even the sex offender database.  There is no monthly or annual fee; there is only one charge per potential tenant being researched.

The Duringer Law Group presented a seminar at the exposition on good management techniques, especially for times when a tenant is being combative, while also informing owners of their rights to evict residents.  Their brochure from the booth has a very detailed but easy to understand description of how to properly evict someone and it says that they are always willing to answer any questions owners may have, free of charge.  If there is a need to hire the law firm to prosecute a resident, they have a minimal fee of between $95 and $150.

With other 100 companies with booths present at the Income Property Management Expo, it was a great success.  There were so many different areas of help for apartment owners to take advantage of during the day that they can use the information now or in the future.  With all of the knowledge gathered, managers now have even more tools to be the best they can be for their tenants.  See everyone again next year!

Income Property Management Expo Yields Answers to Uncertain Times

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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This is an exciting, dynamic, ever-shifting time for income property managers and investors.

Land values and rents are on a rapid upward climb – finally – but so too are operating and maintenance costs, legislative mandates and potential liabilities.

What does this uncertain mix of events mean to the future of the industry?

  • Will the collective assault on Prop. 18 succeed?
  • Will affordable rent become an enforceable mandate?
  • What impact does California’s energy policy have on commercial and investment property now and in the future?

The answers to many of these questions won’t be known until they unfold in the months ahead.

Clearly, the industry is in flux – poised between unprecedented opportunities, demands and uncertainties – and it will become increasingly important as we all move forward for income property owners and managers to stay informed.

How does a busy real estate professional stay current?

A collective resource of experts will provide a one-stop cache of information at the Income Property Management Expo May 7 at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California. (Visit www.incomepropertyexpo.com for details.)

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Through a variety of presentations, workshops and face-to-face meetings, they will address current issues and trends in the industry, from finance and maintenance to energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental laws.

FAIR HOUSING, LITIGATION AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES:  Law firms and legal experts will be on hand to provide the latest information on new statutes, mandates and precedents affecting property managers and income property owners.

FINANCE AND TAX STRATEGIES: Today, 1031 exchanges provide more value than ever. Lending rates are at an all-time low. Experts will be on hand to discuss custom-made solutions for those in attendance, including low-rate cash flow loans.

MAINTENANCE: Frankie Alvarez, co-author of the “Dear Maintenance Men” column, will provide seven important tips and other details to keeping operations to a minimum.

GREEN MANDATES AND INCENTIVES: How do AB32 and other new pieces of legislation impact how you must do business? What kinds of incentives are available to income property owners to save energy or to go solar? Government representatives and service providers will be on hand to explain the many incentives that can help building owners save money on energy costs.

This is a great opportunity to catch up on the latest, to touch base with experts with questions specific to your situation, and to network with others in the industry who might be of value later on.

When it comes to staying informed and getting the most from the time invested, the Income Management Property Expo is an efficient resource that could bring about significant returns. A second expo is planned for October in San Mateo. Visit www.incomepropertyexpo.com for details.

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Deniene Husted is a longtime journalist and public relations professional with nearly 25 years of experience serving the Southern California region. Reach her at dhusted@sdrpr.com

Income Property Management Expo

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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Apartment News Publications Inc. is teaming up with the Income Property Management Expo to provide Apartment Owners/Managers & Commercial Property Management Companies with tools for efficient, cost effective management, operation and maintenance of their communities & facilities!

Join us May 7, 2013 for the Southern California Income Property Management Expo at the Ontario Convention Center!
Click here to Pre-Register Online!
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Southern California Attendee Information:

  • Apartment Owners
  • Property Managers
  • HOA
  • Commercial Property Management Companies
  • Service & Maintenance Staff
  • Industry Partners & Vendors

This expo will host FREE seminars throughout the day addressing CA Energy Efficiency Programs, Landlord Legal Updates, Tax Code & 1031 Exchanges, Property Maintenance and more!  The goal of the Expo is to provide attendees with the opportunity to network with other industry professionals while enjoying fine food tastings, the PGA Experience, Luxury Car Display & Test Drives, raffles & giveaways and the expo floor which will have over 100 exhibitors!

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To learn more about the Income Property Management Expo, how to attend for FREE, or learn how to reserve a booth for the Expo Floor, visit IncomePropertyExpo.com!

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