Dear Maintenance Men:

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:
Our rental has a non-standard size sliding glass door that we’d like to replace.   We’d like to get a whole new door and track.  How easy is that? We have siding on the house.  What should we expect in the way of wall damage or ability to get a larger standard door frame into the space?  I’m handy; is this a DIY job or should I have a professional complete the installation?

Dear David:
Replacing a sliding glass door and frame as a DIY job is not for the faint of heart!  It is not really that difficult as it is unwieldy and the doors are large and heavy.  You state the door is a non-standard size; this might be a good time to standardize your glass door.  Start by removing the door, bottom track and frame.  This will expose the rough opening in your door way.  Measure the rough opening for a standard sliding door of your choice.  It is sometimes easier to enlarge the rough opening to accommodate the new door.  The reason for a larger opening is because you will not need to find or install new outside siding or stucco nor patch the inside drywall.   “Rough opening” refers to the dimensions inside the trimmer studs and between the floor and the bottom header. This opening will be slightly larger than the patio doorframe. The extra space allows a little fudge room for squaring the frame with shims.  If you decide to have a contractor install the new sliding door, have the installer explain in detail what the job will entail, what the finish will look like and how long the job will take.  Make sure they are set up for dust control as a job like this can cause a considerable amount of dust during the construction if the opening is enlarged.

Do progressives support gentrification?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Support is growing for the idea that parents can help their families climb the economic ladder by building generational wealth through property ownership. Surprisingly, this support has even been spotted in the opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times.

It’s surprising because the Times has previously taken a highly negative view of families being able to pass along intergenerational wealth in the form of real property. In a lengthy 2018 article about the effect of a voter-approved measure that allowed parents to transfer property to their kids without reassessment and a tax increase, Times reporter Liam Dillon focused almost exclusively on how the measure had benefited some very wealthy families. In particular, he objected to actors Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges renting the Malibu home they inherited from their father, actor Lloyd Bridges.

Why DST 1031 Exchanges Are Growing In Popularity for Thousands of Multifamily Investors

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Dwight Kay, Founder, Kay Properties & Investments LLC

A 1031 exchange is considered by many to be one of the most effective tax deferral tools available.  Under IRS Code Section 1031, investment real estate owners are able to defer the capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated investment property if they reinvest in “like-kind” property. Real estate held for business or investment purposes can qualify as “like-kind” property, including the following:

  • Single-Family Rentals
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Office Buildings
  • Self-Storage Facilities
  • Industrial Buildings
  • Triple Net (NNN) Leased Properties
  • Other Types of Commercial Properties

This offers a fantastic tool that many real estate investors have employed for 100 years. It is used for $100,000 transactions and it is used for $100,000,000+ transactions – and everything in between. Now…although you may have heard of a 1031 Exchange, a surprising number of professionals – including investors, Certified Public Accountants, real estate brokers, and attorneys – do not know about the use of a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) to complete a 1031 exchange.

Back to Normalcy…But, What’s Normal?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Happy holidays to one and all!  As we round the corner on what has literally been for some and perhaps many of us, more than 20 months of hell and financial turmoil, we can somehow see light at the end of the tunnel as the last of the Eviction Moratorium Mohicans sunset and we can now hopefully look forward to some sort of normalcy if that’s what you want to call it.

As the New Year dawns, we can all lift our heads up and view the horizon in hope that with the New Year, a new, better day will be cast upon those of us still toiling in the multifamily rental housing industry.  Honestly, when you think about it, how much worse could “things” ever possibly get after the past couple of years we have just endured?  It is nearly impossible to know, but somehow, I fear that just one bad flu outbreak or bad fire season or, G-d forbid, a major seismic event, and we’re back in mandated mask wearing mode again, and possibly even worse, local, and state government may breakout the regulatory shackles once again, and there we are under eviction moratoriums and rent increase freezes, and who knows what else our renter pandering elected officials might conceive.  Yes, welcome to the Twilight Zone…we may just be living in a broken record.  Let’s just hope we can tolerate the music a bit longer.

Why Having a Spend Management Strategy Benefits Your Team

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Rae Parker

It’s no secret that maintaining and upgrading your properties can be a labor intensive, stressful, and costly process. Proper maintenance means regularly incurring hard costs, including people, time, and materials. But it can be difficult for your team to accurately anticipate these costs and take the steps needed to streamline where possible. And as all property owners and operators alike know, maintenance expenses can prove to be the most difficult to control. That’s why it’s important to implement a spend management strategy for the sake of your staff and your bottomline. 

Think of your spend management strategy as a safety net 

A safety net is defined as a safeguard against possible hardship or adversity. A spend management strategy acts in the same function for your business to help minimize errors, spot savings opportunities, eliminate out of compliant spending, and ensure policy compliance. This strategy can consist of something small, like having a list of approved suppliers or items for your team to purchase from, or more of a robust program, like property management software with features that allow you to manage your spend management process digitally. 

Getting a Head Start on Budget Season: Property Inspections, Maintenance and Project Bidding for Commercial Properties

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

The kids are back in school and fall is around the corner . . . which means the commercial property budget season is officially upon us.

Preparing a solid operating budget for your commercial properties is a critical part of successful operations. Well-planned budgets allow property managers to assess controllable operating expenses and analyze revenues while working to increase their properties’ NOI, keep tenants happy and attract new ones.

While there are many components to preparing a good commercial property budget, in this blog we’re going to share a few helpful tips to prepare for the budgeting process, including property inspections, tenant surveys, ownership discussions, and creating RFPs for bidding on both standard maintenance projects and capital expenses. These pre-budget activities will support your strategic and financial plans so they make sense in the context of the bigger picture of NOI and asset value.

Here are four helpful activities that may better prepare you for budget season and assist in successful property operations.

California and Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium Updates for October 2021

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By David Piotrowski, Esq., Law Office of David Piotrowski

Now that October 1, 2021, is in the rearview mirror, there are some updates on the eviction moratoriums in California, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles City. This article will provide insight into some of the biggest changes to these three eviction moratoriums.

  • California Eviction Moratorium – Statewide

California’s statewide eviction moratorium applicable to residential rental properties expired on September 30, 2021, after having been in effect for just over a year and a half. This means, if the residential rental property is not subject to any other eviction protections at the local or state level (for example, Assembly Bill 1482 at the state level, or local rent control such as the City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO)), landlords will again be able to commence evictions without just-cause , typically beginning with the serving of a 30- or 60-day notice to terminate tenancy. For areas that my law firm services, the allowances for no-cause evictions are primarily limited to Ventura County and Orange County (and for members of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, also limited to San Bernardino County), since as of this writing, Los Angeles County and the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, and  Beverly Hills, among others, still restrict no-fault evictions as will be discussed below. If you are a landlord in Ventura or Orange county and want to pursue a no-cause eviction, schedule a call with an attorney to discuss possible representation. One of the most popular no-cause evictions are tenancies that are currently month-to-month, and the landlord simply no longer wishes to rent the property to the tenant any longer because the landlord has other plans for the property.

Why a Delaware Statutory Trust Specialist Can be a Real Estate Broker’s Best Friend

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Chay Lapin, President Kay Properties & Investments

Key Takeaways:

  • Why should real estate brokers present a DST 1031 Expert to their clients?
  • Why is a DST 1031 perfect for a multifamily investor who is ready to sell their asset?
  • What is “mortgage boot” and why should it be avoided?
  • What do DST 1031 experts bring to the table for both the seller and real estate broker?

Today’s multifamily market is bustling with activity as the number of owners and investors from Maine to California are executing thousands of sell / buy transactions every single day.  According to a recent multifamily market  report[1] by CBRE Real Estate Group, this deal velocity can be attributed in part to favorable economic conditions and reduced negative impacts from COVID-19. So far in 2021,  the multifamily market saw $148 billion in transactional activity, representing a 33% total increase over the previous year.

Credit in Crisis: How COVID-19 Has Changed the Credit-Checking and Screening Process

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By David Crown

Now more than ever, researching the credit of rental applicants is essential to choosing the most qualified tenant for a vacant apartment unit. Credit-checking has never been able to tell you everything you need to know about an applicant, but historically, it has provided important information in the selection process.

The pandemic, however, has complicated things where credit is concerned. Millions of people were unemployed for a year or longer due to shutdowns for public safety, and they have relied on assistance programs to continue renting their residences. Many still do. We think of our current time as “post-COVID,” but in truth the pandemic is not over yet. As property managers, the question we should ask ourselves is: what do these changes in the effectiveness of credit checks mean for our industry?  Let’s explore some information that’s pertinent to answering that question.

Dear Maintenance Men:

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:
What is an economical method of cleaning concrete driveways and sidewalks?  The concrete has oil stains, chewing gum and organic matter stains.

Dear John:
There are a few things you can do to help clean up the concrete.  Oil stains can be spot treated with cat or absorbent litter.   Spread the cat litter over the oil stains and grind the litter into the stains with your shoes.  Leave it for 24 hours and sweep up after.  Chewing gum can be removed by chilling the gum with ice or CO2 spray and using a putting knife to lift and scrape the gum off of the concrete. Use detergent and a stiff brush to remove the gum stain.   Organic matter stains can be removed with power washer spray.    If you have a large area of concrete to clean, use a power washer.  Set the power washer to 3000 PSI and use the wide spray head.  Be careful not to gouge the concrete with the spray; keep the hand wand moving.  Softer material like brick will need less PSI or more distance between the spray head and the bricks.