Landlord / Tenant Questions & Answers

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

  • Question:  I heard that VAWA was approved again by the government and that it applies all units.  Is that true?
  • Answer:  VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) was reauthorized in 2022.  Most of the law only applies to “covered housing providers” which are tax credit properties, HUD funded programs, and properties with subsidies under the USDA program.  There is only one section that applies to all housing providers and that is the right of tenants to summon law enforcement. 
  • Question:  The present rental agreement is for two tenants.  One has passed away.  Do I need to write a new rental agreement with the remaining tenant?
  • Answer:  You are not required to write up a new lease; the current tenant is still responsible for the full rent and other lease terms.

A Guide for Landlords and Building Owners: Navigating California’s Building Balcony Safety

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Inspections of Balconies and Other Exterior Elevated Elements Under Senate Bills 721 and 326

By Omid Ghanadiof, “Dr. Balcony” and EEEadvisor Engineering

As a landlord or building owner in California, it is essential to stay informed about the latest legislative developments that impact your responsibilities and obligations. Two important bills, Senate Bill 721 (SB 721) and Senate Bill 326 (SB 326), have been enacted to enhance safety standards for multi-unit residential buildings. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to help you prepare yourself and your building in compliance with these important guidelines.

Natural Disasters: How To Prepare Your Properties & Residents

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Max Glassberg

No one wants to feel after the fact that you could have done more to prepare for a natural disaster. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to prepare your properties and protect your assets from natural disasters. We’ll start with the basic elements of natural disaster preparation. Then we’ll look at how to protect your property, residents and finances during several natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and earthquakes.

Natural disaster emergency checklist for multifamily

Below are a few simple safety precautions that apply to most natural disasters. Communicate emergency plans and procedures to your residents via email or by uploading them to the resident portal. Encourage your residents to:

  • Have emergency food and water for three to seven days
  • Put together emergency kits that include first aid
  • Stock flashlights with extra batteries
  • Invest in an emergency radio
  • Ask an out-of-state friend or family member to be an emergency contact
  • Prioritize assistance for your most vulnerable residents
  • Keep carriers, water bowls, collar identification and extra food for pets (and get them microchipped)

Ask Kari: “Karen Tenants: How to Keep the Drama at Bay”

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

  • Dear Kari, I’m about at my wits end…One of my tenants is so demanding that it’s making me crazy? What should I do?

Karen (Slang / Noun):

A slang term originating from internet culture and popularized in the 2010s used to describe a stereotypical person, who exhibits entitled and demanding behavior. Typically associated with individuals who frequently complain, make unreasonable demands, and seek to assert authority over others in various scenarios; often characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a tendency to escalate minor issues into conflicts, and an expectation of receiving preferential treatment.

As property rent regulations continue to lean in the favor of tenants, dealing with tenants can get trickier. Now more than ever, tenants are savvier about what they are entitled to, and they are not afraid to speak up. At the very least, they expect proper living conditions and fair treatment, but sometimes entitlement creeps in and the requests surpass the basics. New air conditioning and heating, new flooring, extra parking, special privileges…the expectations from renters are higher than ever before. Many of today’s tenants will have no reservations about negatively hitting your social media or trying to rally city departments to get their way.

Independent Rental Owners Face 3 Myths We Need To Bust

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By Max Glassburg

In the world of independent rental owners (IROs), there are a few myths we need to bust. These falsehoods can negatively impact rental property owners who believe them and miss out on the full potential of their businesses.

This article is based off a panel discussion Yardi Vice President Chris Ulep took part in at the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) premier rental housing industry event, Apartmentalize, that took place June 2023. They discussed three myths:

  1. IROs are all small businesses
  2. Most IROs are too small to use technology or automation
  3. IROs cannot impact communities as much as a large rental operators

The Age of Wealth Redistribution

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Our industry is likely at a key strategic inflection point. An inflection point facing an industry is discussed by Andy Grove, founder, and former CEO of chip maker Intel, in his book Only the Paranoid Survive. He describes a key inflection point as a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. He cites six categories of cataclysmic changes: competition, technology, customers, suppliers, complementors, and regulation (emphasis mine). He explains that strategic inflection points creep up on you gradually. “They are often not clear until you can look at the events in retrospect.” [1]

We face a tsunami of adverse regulation which is increasing in force and effect and is unlikely to abate in our lifetimes. How can I make such a bold statement?

Save Money by Encouraging Residents to Conserve Utilities

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Livable Content Team

As a Housing Provider, managing expenses is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy return on your investment and ensuring long-term success. One area where costs can add up quickly is utilities, such as electricity, gas, wifi access, sewer, trash collection and – especially – water. Utility costs continue to rise and water bills have shot up dramatically over the last several years in many areas. 

By encouraging your Residents to conserve any master-billed utilities, you can not only reduce operational costs but also contribute to environmental sustainability. Read on for effective strategies to motivate Residents to conserve utilities, ultimately saving everyone money.

Delaware Statutory Trusts FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions on DSTs

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By Dwight Kay, Founder and CEO, Kay Properties and Investments

As one of the nation’s leading expert real estate investment firms specializing in Delaware Statutory Trust investments, Kay Properties is regularly asked about the nuances and strategies surrounding Delaware Statutory Trust investments for 1031 exchanges or direct cash investments. Recently, I sat down to discuss some of Frequently Asked Questions investors ask regarding Delaware Statutory Trusts and 1031 exchanges. I recorded and transcribed this informative article, so investors can have easy access and use it as a reference for their own Delaware Statutory Trust and 1031 exchange questions.

I believe this is a “must-read” interview for any potential investor because I provided a straight-forward and direct answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding Delaware Statutory Trusts.

Key Takeaways:

  • What is a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST)?
  • How does the Delaware Statutory Trust Differ from a Tenant in Common (TIC) Investment?
  • Are Delaware Statutory Trusts Eligible for 1031 Exchanges?
  • How are the Proceeds from Delaware Statutory Trusts 1031 Properties calculated?
  • What is the Typical Hold Period for Delaware Statutory Trust properties?
  • Can you 1031 Exchange out of a Delaware Statutory Trust?
  • What are Some of the Advantages of Delaware Statutory Trusts?
  • What are Some Examples of Delaware Statutory Trust 1031 Properties?

Three Simple Maintenance “Hacks” to Keep Your Building Healthy

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By David Crown, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Property Management Group

I once knew someone who ignored a termite report, thinking the problem couldn’t really be that bad. They then had to completely reframe a four-unit building, replacing every single piece of wood in two of the units. Who was the foolish owner in that scenario? That was me. I was relatively lucky—it only ended up costing me about $50,000 to fix that quadruplex in Silverlake, but that’s still an expensive lesson, and believe me, I learned it. I’ve been in property management for three decades now, and in that time, I’ve seen the best and the worst of what this industry has to offer, ranging from impressive workmanship to a few tragic mistakes.

Declaring a ‘Right’ to Housing Won’t Solve Homelessness

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Instead, try making it easier to build more housing!


Several California Assembly members this year introduced a constitutional amendment that declares housing a “fundamental right.” Who knew? Lawmakers have wrestled with innumerable complex issues over the years, but finally someone realized that all they needed to do to magically solve any problem is to pass a new “right” to something.

Expected soon: constitutional amendments declaring “rights” to a million dollars, to a brand-new electric SUV, and to a dog that’s properly housebroken. Sorry for the facetiousness, but Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10 epitomizes the lack of seriousness we’ve come to expect from the Legislature. Actually fixing the housing problem is a tough slog.