Dear Maintenance Men:

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:

Should I check smoke alarm batteries in my units or is that the resident’s job?  Also, how often should I clean out my water heaters, not to mention A/C filters and so on?


Dear Linda:

1-         Most rental agreements have a check box that says the resident is responsible for the operation of the smoke alarm. The newest rental agreements now have a check box for Carbon Monoxide alarms.   We lay awake at night thinking about that little check box. In order to sleep, we check the residents smoke and CO alarms every time we do maintenance on the unit. We keep a log of each time we check and what action was taken.  The smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms should be “Officially” checked and logged, at least once a year.  Typically, January is a good month for the annual check.    

 2-        A typical 100-gallon water heater depending on the BTU rating will costs anywhere from $4,700 to over $6,500 installed. That cost alone should be incentive to clean out the heater regularly.   Normally, the clean out should be done at least once a year. If the water at your building has a high mineral content, then it should be cleaned out every nine months. Again keep a log of each clean out; it will help in remembering when to do the next cleaning.

3-         If your building has forced air & heating, the filter should be checked, cleaned or replaced each October or November and each May or June. This will help keep your systems working properly and reduce strain on the components. It will also ensure proper filtration before the winter and summer workloads.  

4-         Cleaning out the exhaust vent tubes of the laundry room dryer. Everyone knows about cleaning out the dryer lint basket and throwing it on the laundry room floor. We’re talking about cleaning out the lines leading out the back of the dryer. Keeping the exhaust vent tubes clean will help cut down on gas and electric usage, longer machine life and shorter drying time and lint in these tubes have been known to be a fire hazard. It should be done at least once a year and again, keep a log of each cleaning for reference. 

What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead in Los Angeles Multifamily

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Marc Frenkiel, Appfolio

What’s happening in the Los Angeles multifamily market is a microcosm of what’s happening in the broader US market. Rents in the city have fallen, vacancies are up, and with the lifting of COVID restrictions on June 15, owners, operators, and residents are now waiting in limbo as the statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June. 

Apartment List’s June 2021 Rent Report quantifies this narrative. According to their data, Los Angeles is the only city in the metro that has seen rents fall, with a year-over-year decline of 2.2% (the median two-bedroom currently rents for $2,054, while one-bedrooms go for $1,566). It is important to note that this is a 2.2% decline from May 2020 to May 2021. Rents fell precipitously in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Marcus & Millichap’s 1Q21 Los Angeles Multifamily Market Report, average effective rents fell 4.8% from 2019-2020.

How The Post-COVID Remote Workforce Will Impact Multifamily Properties

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

One thing became very clear for many workers during the coronavirus pandemic, you no longer need to “go to work” to work, and that has implications for owners and managers of apartment buildings and other multifamily properties.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 35% of all full-time employees say that, given the choice, they would continue working remotely as much as possible with some industries reporting a preference for remote work as high as 65%. Studies have also shown working from home makes many workers happier and more productive, motivating forward-thinking employers to accommodate the preference. This means today’s workforce will require more efficient and flexible living spaces. Here are four ways this shift in workstyle will translate to opportunities for your multifamily property.

1. Technology use continues to grow

As people consolidate their work and home life, efficiency becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. Renters continue to crave convenience through technologies – like keyless door entry and Wi-Fi adapter plugs – and the demand is fueling the implementation of a host of new technologies in apartment buildings and units. Installing smart technology that will facilitate work life – like smart thermostats, smart power strips and LED lighting with controls will help your property meet the expectations of the modern remote worker and can add significant value to residents through increased flexibility and reduced energy use.

Buying Real Estate: Measuring the Risks vs. the Rewards

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Christopher Miller, MBA

Specialized Wealth Management

Which investment is more desirable: one with a moderate projected return and moderate risk, or one with slightly higher income and slightly higher risk?  The answer to that question depends on the investor who is asking and on his individual financial situation.

As a real estate investment advisor, I am always working with my clients to find the right properties for them; the investments that will best fit their personal risk/reward objectives.

The Goal of Investing

As investors, we seek ventures that fit our goals and risk tolerances.  Real estate is my favorite investment vehicle since it offers the potential for income – with tax benefits – during the hold period and the opportunity for great appreciation; particularly when leverage is used. 

A Property Manager Should Be a Trusted Advisor

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By David Crown

If you’d looked closely, you may have noticed a new type of property owner in the market. This class of owner is confident in every aspect of their investments. They don’t stress the minutia of day-to-day work on their properties. They live in a state of sureness regarding the direction of their assets, and they out-earn their competitors by a wide margin. But the owners I’m describing aren’t some species created in a lab for the sole purpose of profiting on rental property. They’re not hyper-educated prodigies of real estate. They don’t all wear the same sunglasses, and the truth is, they don’t know anything you don’t—except maybe for one thing. They know that no owner can afford to settle for management that’s less than excellent. Their secret is that, rather than hiring the bare minimum, they’ve chosen property managers they can depend on as trusted advisors. If you’re a rental property owner and your manager doesn’t offer you that type of confidence, you should find one who does.  

Senate Bill 668 Needed to Buy Time for California Families

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

If Passed, Senate Bill 668 Could Delay Impacts of Proposition 19

By Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

It is hard to imagine anything more callous than the government sending a giant tax bill to a bereaved family, but thanks to Proposition 19, many California families will have that unfortunate experience.  Proposition 19, which passed by a razor-thin margin in the November election, expanded a tax break for some homeowners but repealed an important taxpayer protection for families. The effective date of this change was February 16 before most Californians even knew what had happened.

Here is what happened: homes that are transferred between parents and children are no longer excluded from reassessment. Previously, children would continue to pay the same property tax bill that their parents had paid, with increases in the assessed value capped by Proposition 13 at a maximum of 2% per year. Not anymore. Now children inheriting their parents’ home or other property will receive a new tax bill based on a current market-rate assessment.

Thoughts of Earthquake Hazards Rise As COVID Slows

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Ali Sahabi

Nearly everyone has experienced some of the widespread economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic — business closures, loss of income, unemployment, working remotely, or unavailability of services we have come to depend on.

And many of us know someone who has been personally impacted by illness or death.

COVID-19 raged into our communities somewhat unexpectedly, much like an earthquake or other natural disaster might, and the impacts have been very much the same: lives lost, medical services stretched thin, businesses shuttered, jobs lost and economic disruption.

Risks of an L.A. earthquake

Now that California is in recovery, and life is “getting back to normal” – it’s time to focus on building community resilience for all natural and manmade disasters, including the very real threat of a major earthquake striking Los Angeles.

Somebody Awoke the “Woke” – That’s No Joke!

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

According to the great depository of knowledge in this Universe, Wikipedia, the term “woke” refers to awareness of issues that concern social and racial justice.  Use of the term “woke” resurfaced in 2014 in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement as a label for vigilance and activism concerning racial inequalities and other social disparities such as discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, women, immigrants, and other marginalized populations.

“Woke,” however, has earlier beginnings.  Centuries ago, the term was used in place of “woken,” which is the usual past participle form of wake (I had to look this up because I had forgotten what a past participle was from my high school English courses.  I studied accounting in college, so what do I know from past participles?  Nevertheless, a past participle is the form of a verb, typically ending in “-ed” in English, which is used in forming perfect and passive tenses and sometimes as an adjective, e.g. “looked” in “have you looked?” or “lost” as in “lost property.”  Now I have confused myself a bit more…).  This then, led to the use the term “woke” as an adjective similar to “awake,” which has become mainstream here in the United States.

5 Spring Maintenance Jobs For Manufactured Housing Managers

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

1. Update your property marketing 

When is the last time you did a health check on your property marketing? With leasing season upon us, this is the perfect time to refresh your community marketing strategy.

  • Update your online listings 
  • Review your lead generation process (the marketing funnel)
  • Walk the property and consider its curb appeal as though you’ve never seen it before
  • Set up a referral program for current residents

2. Inspect roads, sidewalks & pathways at the property 

When prospects visit a manufactured community for the first time, they’ll start forming judgments before they even get out of their car. 

What’s the condition of the community roads and pathways?

Is it easy to identify restricted fire hydrant curb access? 

Are the sidewalks (if applicable) easy to walk over without tripping?

These spring maintenance tasks may not seem like high ROI concerns, but they matter to community members. They’re also important for resident safety.

Winter temperatures can damage concrete and asphalt. If you chose not to address a small crack or pothole last year, it might have gotten worse. You want to make a good first impression on any first-time visitors, so make sure your roads and walkways are in tip-top shape for leasing season.