Are You Ready for Required Inspections of Balconies and Exterior Elevated Elements?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

California’s Senate Bill 721 (SB721) and Senate Bill 326 (SB326) Mandate Compliance by Statutory Deadlines

By Omid Ghanadiof, EEEAdvisor Engineering

Get ready!  January 1, 2025 is the deadline for compliance with both Senate Bills 721 and 326 for multifamily rental properties and condominiums that contain three or more dwelling units.  Applicable residential property owners and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) throughout California must have inspections of balconies and exterior elevated elements at their properties.  Property owners and manages, and HOAs should seek the help they need before the deadline and become familiar with the inspection criteria to ensure they are in compliance with the so-called “California Balcony Inspection Laws.”

What Must Be Inspected?  Exterior Elevated Elements (EEEs)

These two state laws are designed for buildings that contain three or more dwelling units. Senate Bill 326 is for condominiums, and Senate Bill 721 is for apartment buildings.  The laws emerged following a balcony collapse in the City of Berkeley, which then established a local balcony inspection ordinance, and many of the local ordinance’s provisions have been incorporated into state law.  Accordingly, required inspections must be made to any elevated element structures.  Exterior Elevated Elements are building elements that are constructed of wood, have a walking surface, have any portion sitting 6-feet above the ground, and that extend outside of the four walls of a structure.  Exterior Elevated Elements include balconies, outside decks, porches, exterior stairways, and exterior walkways that have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level according to these ordinances.  Required inspection includes waterproofing system supports and railings, and load bearing component.

Conservation Remains Crucial: Improve Lifestyle & Cost-Effectiveness of Your Property

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

With dire weather events such as the current California drought, it’s as crucial as ever to reinforce conservation practices as a property owner or manager. Water and energy conservation efforts will protect community lifestyle and, equally as important, allow you to increase the net operating income (NOI) of your property. Across the country, property owners are seeking solutions for revenue generation since the usual tactics – like raising rent – aren’t always possible.

A great – and obvious – way to increase your NOI is by focusing on reducing consumption, thereby reducing expenses. With a utility-centered approach, you can increase your property’s income and help the planet. The approach is simple: cut costs by cutting back utility use. Here’s how a focus on conservation education can positively impact your expenses, lifestyle, and the environment.

“Ask Kari!”

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

I’m Talking Trash and More!  Government Continually Antagonizes “Us” by Charging Higher Fees and Providing Subpar Services!

By Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer, Sky Properties, Inc.

Dear Kari: Sometimes I feel as though our local government has something against property owners and continues antagonizing us through our trash companies – what do you think?

Well, I can see why you think that the “powers that be” are trying to screw us over – it is because they are.  Only cruel people would kick someone when they are down, and our government is kicking us as hard as they can in the ribs while we are literally begging for help while being down on the ground. 

Optimize Your Leasing Operations With These Data-Backed Solutions

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Marc Frenkiel

In a previous article, we pointed to data showing that despite leasing agents’ desire to grow their careers, many are not seeing opportunities to do so at their current place of employment. For leadership, this presents an opportunity to show leasing agents — often in the entry level of their careers —  how to grow their careers and prepare them for leadership roles. In the meantime, your leasing staff still has an important job to do, and it’s one that data shows can be optimized in numerous ways. So while you are showing your leasing agents how they can gain valuable skills that will prepare them for a successful career, it’s important to consider optimizing the lead-to-lease process so that they can perform at the top of their game.

Changing the Home Sharing Public Policy Landscape

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Short-term rentals (STRs) that are facilitated by online platforms like Airbnb have been the subject of intense debate across the U.S.  Local governments around the globe, including several cities in the U.S., have responded quite differently towards regulating STRs. Most cities have not significantly regulated these platforms, but a limited number of cities have recently put severe restrictions in place.   

The truth of the matter is that opposition to multifamily home sharing runs smack up against powerful demographic trends and market demand. And while the pandemic has been an inflection point, change was already taking place in the multifamily sector. Studies indicate that this “living as a service” model has already proliferated multifamily properties nationwide, albeit “under the radar.”

A Three-Phase Guide to Implementing Utility Billing

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Contributed by the Team at LIVABLE

Billing residents for water and other utilities has benefits! Property owners can offset their expenses while encouraging conservation. Here are some of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to billing your tenants for utilities.

Great news! If you’ve decided to start billing your tenants for their utility use, you’re not only making them financially accountable for their utility use, you’re also making them environmentally accountable.  Public concern about global warming exceeds 50% among most demographic subgroups of Americans, according to Gallup. People are growing increasingly concerned about the environment, and increasingly interested in ways that they can help. In a 2021 Mastercard survey, 85% of people said that they were willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability challenges. Scaling back water and energy use is great for the environment, but it’s not easy to get people motivated to do that.

Be Prepared: Maintenance of Fire and Life Safety Systems Starts with the Property Management Team

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Here’s a checklist for keeping your fire and life safety systems ready in the event of a disaster.

By Steve Goyette, Vice President, Telgian Fire Safety Services

Fire and life safety for small apartment buildings includes a wide variety of measures, many of which are more than capably handled by on-site management personnel.  Here are some general categories to consider, along with specific actions that can improve preparedness in the event of an emergency.

4 Ways to Strengthen Vendor Relationships

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Brittany Benz

Having solid relationships with your residents and owners is key to your success as a property manager, but did you know it is also critical when it comes to your vendors?

When you think of vendors, your relationship might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be. Why? Because having vendors who respond promptly and resolve maintenance problems efficiently will ensure happy renters and owners.

6 Ways IROs & Small Business Leaders Can Recruit Top Talent

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

IROs and small property management businesses are always looking for ways to recruit top talent for their teams. But even without the resources of a large, coordinated HR department, small, independent businesses can still play to their strengths. Let’s look at the ways you can position your business to compete with larger talent competitors.

1. Look outside the property management industry for talent

Industry experience is always a plus. If all other qualifications were equal, relevant job history should obviously come into play. However, if you’re only looking at applicants who have worked in property management, you’re missing out on the vast majority of candidates. This is especially true for entry-level positions or office positions with transferrable skills.

The Politics of a Housing Crisis

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Roderick Wright, California State Senator (Retired)

Listen to any political discussion today and apart from inflation and crime, the dual crisis of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing will be front and center.  There have been numerous solutions thrown around, but none that I’ve ever heard truly addresses the problem.  Mark Twain once said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”  Housing and homelessness have been handled about the same way as the talk about weather, only with a lot of squandered money.