Author Archive

Fair Housing and Your Responsibility: 4 Best Practices to Keep in Mind

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Rae Parker

In today’s busy world, it can be challenging to keep up with changing regulations, managing employee relations, and meeting residents’ expectations. Even though it may feel like you’re juggling multiple hats, one of your biggest responsibilities is to abide by and follow fair housing laws on a federal, state, and local level. As a property manager, you should familiarize yourself with applicable laws to avoid any violations or liability, and to ensure your business stays compliant. 

A fair housing trend report from 2020 indicates that there were 28,880 reported complaints of housing discrimination in the U.S. in 2019. Even though this is a 7.5% reduction from 2018’s total (31,202), it shows that there remains an issue within the housing market that needs to be addressed. Considering that housing is the foundation for so many other crucial life factors, it’s important to not only do the right thing, but also to use it as an opportunity to break away from these statistics and be an example for others when it comes to being fair in the process for prospective renters. Here’s some best practices around fair housing that can help you protect yourself and your business.

How Rent Control Makes Housing Less Affordable

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Market-Based Rents Will Increase Housing Supply, Improving Quality, Expanding Choice, and Lowering Costs

By Roger Valdez, The Center for Housing Economics

Executive Summary.  COVID-19 related job loss—and the resulting loss of income for many people—has spurred state and local governments bring back an old policy solution: the imposition of eviction bans and rent controls.  From a political standpoint, it’s not surprising. Price controls can be both popular and widely accepted in a crisis. However, what starts as a short-term intervention can become a medium-term expectation—and then a permanent, ossified mandate—with entrenched special-interest constituencies. Now, more than ever, we need to carefully consider how to make housing more affordable.

The Perils and Pitfalls of Tenant Screening Through Social Media

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Nicole Seidner

The internet loves to cancel people. It’s incredibly easy to look up a person’s entire history on their Twitter, find something controversial they posted in 2012, write #Cancelled and suddenly they’re the most hated person around.  The debate about if “cancel culture” is ethical is muddy with public-facing figures, but what about the average joe? You shouldn’t do this with your applicants as it will cause you to muddy the waters while screening and increase the chances of lawsuits as you see information regarding protected classes. Social media can lead landlords into searching for information that taps into implicit biases and is based solely on subjective information.

Some of the Dirty Tricks

11 Safety Tips To Give Tenants Peace Of Mind (All Property Types)

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

There are many ways to provide a safe community: better doors, extra locks, lots of lighting around the property, security guards, a gated entry, etc. Our goal is to list a few safety tips that you might not have thought of yet. These safety tips will help give your tenants peace of mind.

1. Don’t let prospects enter units unattended

One of the most important rules in real estate is to know who is supposed to be in each unit. If strangers are walking around your properties, your residents might get uncomfortable.

Some property managers leave keys in a lockbox and give prospects the code. This isn’t a great way to show a property because you don’t know these prospects and can’t be there to answer their questions. If something were to happen to the property or a resident, you could be held responsible.

Bonus safety tip: Unless you’re using advanced self-guided tour technology, it’s safer and smarter for you or someone on your staff to be there.

What the 2022 Federal Spending Package Means for the Multifamily Industry

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

President Biden signed the federal omnibus legislation into law on March 15 that will allocate funding to various parts of the government. Each time a government spending bill is brought up, NMHC remains highly engaged because its passage – or lack thereof – determines the funding for several key Departments, Agencies and programs critical to our industry.

This year’s spending package includes 12 different bills that set forth $1.5 trillion in discretionary resources. Key highlights for our industry include:

NAA – Statement on FCC Policy

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

The National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council Issue Joint Statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s New Multifamily Broadband Rule

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling for Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) are deeply disappointed in the Order and Ruling issued this week by the FCC.  The FCC claims its actions will increase competition, lower costs, and promote broadband in apartment buildings.

How Inflation Affects Multifamily: The Good, The Bad & The Uncertain In 2022

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Thinking about inflation? You’re not alone. According to Google Trends, searches for the word hit an all-time high in May 2021, returned to average in August and spiked again in December. As long as inflation is on everyone’s minds, we thought it would be helpful to do a deep dive into statistics provided by the Yardi Matrix U.S. Multifamily Outlook 2022.

Will inflation affect multifamily for better or for worse in 2022? Let’s look at the data to find out.

The good news about inflation

To understand how inflation has affected multifamily over the past year, we first need to look at this sector within the context of the overall economy. Since the Great Recession, federal interest rates have stayed near-zero. They rose slightly, starting in 2016, before sliding back to near-zero territory in response to COVID-19. In 2021 alone, inflation rose about 7%, the fastest rate since the 1980s. Between record-low interest rates and rising inflation, there have been concerns of an overheated economy that could cause inflation to get wildly out of control.

HELP STOP HIGHER TAXES IN CALIFORNIA!

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

GIVES VOTERS THE FINAL SAY ON ANY NEW AND HIGHER TAXES!  California has some of the nation’s highest state income, sales and gas taxes as well as rising property and utility taxes. Yet still, the State Legislature has proposed billions in new taxes this year alone while local officials have enacted $8.8 billion in annual general and special taxes from 2010 to 2020.  It seems our state legislature and governor have a never ending appetite for more spending and never ending taxes and fees.

PLEASE!  Help Support the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act:  This proposed ballot initiative, if passed, increases voters’ voice on all statewide tax increases: The Act requires state legislation imposing any new or higher taxes to be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide election.  It also closes tax loopholes at the local level.  The Act will reinstate the two-thirds approval requirement for any new or higher “special taxes” proposed by initiative in a local election, while still maintaining the current majority vote requirement for general tax increases.  The measure is focused on returning control over tax increases to the hands of the voters while ensuring California can continue to address its most pressing issues.  Isn’t it about time?

Join the coalition and sign the petition to get this measure on the upcoming ballot using the following link: taxpayerprotection.com.  Help us gather enough signatures to get this important measure onto the ballot.

Housing Provider / Tenant Law “Q&A” With Kimball, Tirey & St. John

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Ted Kimball, Esq., Partner, Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

  • Q: My tenants are asking me to accept a rent payment from their cousin. Do I have to take this payment?
  • A: Yes, a landlord is required to accept third party payments made on tenants’ behalf provided that the payment is accompanied by a statement that it is made on behalf of the named tenant and does not create a tenancy or grant any rights to the payee.
  • Q: My tenant moved in a few years ago with a roommate, and they paid the security deposit together.  One roommate moved out and another roommate moved in.  At that time, the rent was increased, and they paid some additional security deposit. Who is entitled to the security deposit when the unit is vacated?
  • A: You should make the check out to all of them unless you receive in writing from any one of them that they have relinquished all rights to the security deposit to the other tenants.

Dear Maintenance Men:

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a toilet that runs every ten or twenty minutes.  I have replaced the fill valve, the flapper valve and I have even scrubbed under the rim!  In other words, all the items I can think of that are replaceable in the tank are new.  What else should I be looking at? 

Sam

Dear Sam:

You replaced all the easy ones!!  When all else fails on a toilet leak down issue; it is time to put on your rubber gloves and get an adjustable wrench.  Chances are the problem lies with the Flush Valve Seat.  The rubber flapper valve seals against the flush valve seat (the big hole at the bottom of the tank.) to either keep the water in the tank or let the water out of the tank.  The seat may have a burr, crack or calcium deposits that allow a small amount of water to seep past the rubber flush valve.  Sanding the seat to remove the burr or calcium deposit is a short-term solution and rarely solves the problem for long.  A permanent solution is to replace the flush valve. Start by turning off the water supply, completely empty the tank and remove the water line.  Remove the two or three bolts holding the tank to the toilet bowl.  Turn the tank upside down and remove the large nylon or brass nut that holds the flush valve to the tank. Install the new flush valve.  Be sure the tank bottom is clean and no debris gets between the new valve’s rubber gasket and the tank. Tighten the large nut on the outside of the tank and you are ready to reassemble the tank and bowl and put the toilet back into action.   When reassembling the tank to the bowl, install new rubber washers and bolts.