Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog, Laws & Regulations, Leases & Legal

SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Governor Signs Assembly Bill 3088, the “Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020”

Bill Passed by Overwhelming Majority, Bipartisan Vote in Both the Assembly (59-9) and Senate (33-2)

As anticipated, late Monday night, Assembly Bill 3088, the “Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020” was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom and takes effect immediately.  The “key” provisions contained in the legislation are described below.

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, cities throughout California are issuing orders and adopting urgency ordinances establishing temporary eviction moratoriums on evictions due to non-payment of rent for renters impacted by COVID-19.  Some cities are also prohibiting “no-fault” evictions except in limited circumstances.  In addition, some cities are also prohibiting Ellis Act evictions.

The number of cities that have instituted temporary eviction moratoriums continues to expand.  The list provided below is a sampling of the cities, with links to their orders and/or ordinances, that have implemented temporary moratoriums and not inclusive of all the cities that may adopt such moratoriums.  The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is committed to providing updated information throughout the pandemic.

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.

Public Health Advisory – March 24, 2020 Event Postponed

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to evolve, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and the producer of the Income Property Management Expo & Maintenance Mania has been committed to working closely with the City of Pasadena Public Health Department, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and we have been monitoring guidance being communicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State public health experts have determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.

As a result, we are postponing the March 24th Income Property Management Expo until Wednesday, October 7th.  The Expo at that time will again take place at the Pasadena Convention Center. In addition, Maintenance Mania will be cancelled until further notice. Additional information regarding the event will be made available as soon as possible.

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

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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.

Solving the Homeless Crisis Should Be a Public-Private Partnership

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Roderick Wright, California State Senator (Retired)

We can all agree homelessness or being unhoused is a social, economic and health problem.  The breakdown occurs when we try to solve the problem.  Nothing, particularly homelessness, is an easy issue to tackle, and if it were, it would have already been solved. 

Let us also all agree, people sleeping on the street is unhealthy, unsightly, and inhumane.  So now how do we solve this crisis?  U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered the City of Los Angeles to do something about the homelessness situation faced by the City following a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles Alliance for Human Rights. In Los Angeles County and most others, the Public Guardian is responsible for people unable to care for themselves, and this obligates our government to act.  However, many of the homeless on our streets and in temporary shelters today have not attempted to obtain assistance. 

The Earthquake Insurance Quandary: Is It Affordable?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Newfront Insurance

Many property owners today do not bother purchasing earthquake insurance due to perceived high costs and limited coverage.  Often, we are asked: “Is earthquake insurance affordable?”  The answer is, “Yes, it is.”

California considers Earthquake Insurance another type of “CAT” (catastrophic) coverage that is underwritten by several domestic and international carriers and has been the last of the CAT coverages to start experiencing rate increases, albeit moderate, due to the presently strained state of the Property Insurance marketplace.

Assistance Animals Revisited – Recent Guidance & Recent Regulations

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By David Levy, Programs Specialist, Fair Housing Council of Orange County

April is Fair Housing Month, during which we will mark the 53rd anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA).  The law being over a half-century old does not mean that its interpretation and application does not continue to evolve.

The FHA has been amended twice; once in 1974 and again in 1988.  Later this year will come the 33rd anniversary of those 1988 amendments to the FHA that added provisions to ensure equal, or at least improved, access to housing for people with disabilities.  Just as with other aspects of law, when it comes to the FHA’s disability-specific provisions, their interpretation and application are not static.  Evidence of that fact is shown by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity’s (FHEO) issuance of updated guidance on assistance animals on January 28, 2020.  That update came just 4 weeks after the introduction of California’s first fair housing regulations, which can be found in Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), starting at section 12005.  That January 2020 introduction of regulations was the first phase of developing comprehensive regulations that will eventually address most aspects of fair housing law.  Among the topics addressed in the first phase is that of assistance animals.

Difficult Security Deposit Dispositions – How to Avoid a Bad Situation

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog, Webinar

WHEN: 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Have you had to return a difficult security deposit? Have you gotten into trouble by withholding all or a portion of a security deposit when your tenant left?  Property owners are not legally required to collect security deposits from renters, but it is usually a good practice and in their best interests to do so.

Nothing is more frustrating than arguing with your tenant over their security deposit or even possibly being sued.  Join us and learn how YOU can avoid the hassles of difficult security deposit dispositions.

This course will help you protect yourself in uncomfortable security deposit disposition situations. We will teach you the proper way to end a lease, the step-by-step eviction process, and dealing with withholding all or a portion of security deposits.  Our property management expert, Patti Widget, will also be providing tips on what to do and what not to do when handling your security deposits.

Leading multifamily industry expert, Patti Widget, the founder of Widget’s Way again, joins us for an amazing presentation that will help YOU improve your N.O.I. and stay out of trouble, and help YOU to succeed during today’s “new normal.”

During the webinar, we will also cover the following:

  • Why conduct pre-move-out inspections?
  • Protective lease language YOU must have.
  • Ways you can use a security deposit.
  • What is “damage” vs. “normal wear and tear” and what can you deduct?
  • Returning all or a portion of a security deposit, and timing.
  • Kinds of security deposit disputes and what to do.
  • Is interest owed on security deposits?
  • And, so much more.  YOUR questions will help lead the discussion. 

Featured Presenter:

Title Sponsors:

The Big Real Estate Shift: Urban Migration

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog, Webinar

WHEN: 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. on Friday, April 16, 2021

Looking at selling your investment property and want to save on your State and Federal taxes?  Get the edge you deserve when it comes to wealth building tax-deferral and tax-exclusion strategies.  Do not waste money on annoying capital gains taxes ever again.  Join us for an informative webinar where we take you through examples of great real estate deals that are out there.  Be sure to come armed with all your questions.

During this important webinar, we will cover:

  • How to postpone or eliminate capital gains taxes due on the sale of qualifying properties.
  • Buying “triple net,” mobile home parks, residential rental or commercial properties, and single-family homes.
  • The Big Real Estate Shift – migration away from big cities and migration patterns out of dense, locked-down cities into suburban areas.
  • Understanding capitalization rates that YOU can achieve moving your money out of California.
  • Learn how YOU can achieve asset diversification and / or consolidation, and improved cash flow by deferring tax payments.
  • The impact of the global pandemic on today’s interest rates.
  • Real deals / real success – case studies of amazing transactions and currently available investment options.
  • And, of course, much, much more! Q&A to follow.

Featured Presenter:

Opportunity Zones – A 1031 Exchange Alternative?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Christopher Miller, MBA

As a tax-advantaged investment and 1031 Exchange expert, I was intrigued when I first heard of Opportunity Zones.  This is a program created by the federal government that is designed to encourage investing in certain areas of the country.  It was initially described to me as a “1031 Exchange Alternative.”  After much research, I concluded that; while it does work to somewhat ease the pain of capital gains taxes, the Opportunity Zone is a poor alternative to a 1031 Exchange.  This month, I will talk about why.

What Opportunity Zones Are

Opportunity Zones were created to offer tax incentives that would encourage investment in certain areas of the country.  Based on that description, one would expect eligible properties to be unattractive; flooded areas of New Orleans, the former Packard factory in Detroit that has been vacant for 60 years, etc.   It turns out that this is far from the truth.  Opportunity Zones were created by elected officials, so every politician in the country had their hand out to create zones in “their” neighborhoods.  The state of California alone has 879 Opportunity Zones and include areas in Beverly Hills and along Fraternity Row at the University of Southern California.

So; if I invest in an Opportunity Zone, I’m not stuck investing somewhere that I need to wait 10 years for growth?  I can invest somewhere with the potential to grow now?  I was interested.  What are the tax benefits?

San Francisco Cannot Foist the Pandemic’s Economic Burden Onto Landlords

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Oliver J. Dunford, Pacific Legal Foundation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the country have tried to limit the economic damage caused by the unprecedented lockdowns. That is certainly a worthy goal. But far too often, rather than providing assistance across the board — which might require unpopular tax hikes on everyone — governments stick only some people with the bill.

San Francisco, for example, recently adopted an ordinance that prohibits landlords from evicting certain business tenants that cannot pay rent because of COVID-related impacts. The ordinance allows these tenants, upon a showing of financial hardship, to stop paying rent immediately and grants them a forbearance period to repay, during which time landlords cannot recover possession of their property. Businesses with less than 10 full-time employees are even permitted to cancel their leases altogether and avoid early-termination fees, regardless of what their leases say. The ordinance provides one meager sop to smaller landlords (those that own less than 25,000 square feet of rental space), who may proceed with eviction against non-paying tenants, but only if the landlords can prove that the inability to evict would cause them a “significant” financial hardship.

Where Are We Headed

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

My father was a Protestant minister. In our services we had a segment for testimonies. This was an opportunity for people to stand and discuss anything regarding their walk of faith.

My dad told the story of a woman who once said during her testimony, “Brother Wellman, sometimes I think…-well…and then again I don’t know”.

I think we can all relate today to her ambivalence as we ponder where we are headed. I see us heading into 4 concurrent eras.

Emergency Era

We are nearing the one-year anniversary of Covid-19 emergency declarations under which government at all levels assumed unfettered authoritarian control over virtually every aspects of our lives.

What is remarkable is how quickly and comprehensively this occurred amid only isolated pockets of resistance. Apartment owners’ rights, about which I will discuss more later, were a notable casualty.

What is most troubling is the addictive nature of emergency control. Government leaders love power and once in possession of it rarely surrender it willingly. So we can expect, not a reduction of emergency rules, but a continual extension of declared emergencies.

The Covid-19 emergency can be succeeded or be accompanied by  a housing emergency, a climate change emergency, or other emergency de jure as needed to perpetuate the need for government control.

Shock and Anger Over the L.A. City Waste Haulers’ 6.15% Increase

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Albert Mass

I was shocked and angered that the City of Los Angeles’ City Council has allowed the City’s waste haulers to increase trash removal fees by 6.15% effective in January while rent increases are frozen, late fees and interest are banned, and evictions are prohibited.  Because I am unable to increase rent at my building (let alone collect it from tenants now living for free under the disguise of a COVID impact) during this global pandemic, the City should require its monopolistic waste haulers to freeze prices.  This is especially so, and the City should take responsibility, because is was the City that established its anti-competitive monopoly arrangement known as “RecycLA” that set and imposes upon me and thousands of other property owners ever-increasing waste hauling fees.  It was the City that has negotiated the waste hauling rates and that has chosen my waste hauler, not me.

All this started back in 2017 when property owners were shocked and dismayed by the huge fee increases rolled out along with horrible service levels so that the City could extort a $25 million to $35 million franchise fee from property owners based upon a “10% take” of the waste haulers’ gross receipts.  Gone were 100’s of waste haulers competing for our business leaving us with just 7 each granted exclusive rights to service designated territories within the City.  For the City, there’s no skin of its back – the more property owners pay, the more the City earns.  But there is no doubt about it.  A 10% franchise fee is no more than a tax on property owners.

How Has COVID‑19 Affected Renters and Homeowners?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Report Prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor

Summary.  In this report, we look at how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) has affected renters and homeowners and how state and federal policies have helped to stabilize household finances for both groups. We find that the unprecedented actions of the state and federal governments to boost incomes and provide rental and mortgage relief have helped many households who otherwise would have faced an eviction or foreclosure avoid these destabilizing events.

Despite these actions, many households continue to struggle financially because of COVID‑19. Low‑wage workers were in a precarious financial position before the pandemic and tend to work in industries that were most affected by the pandemic. These workers are likely to rent, rather than own, their home. As a result, there has been significant interest in how the pandemic has affected renters, especially how much rental debt has accumulated in California due to COVID‑19. To help answer this question, we collaborated with researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia to update their recent national assessment of rental debt to reflect economic conditions and policies more accurately in California. In this report, we present the findings of our collaboration.

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