Welcome!

Posted: 4th January 2012 by Melissa in Uncategorized
 

Welcome to the FBS Rent Sense Blog. We will be posting weekly Rent Sense Articles written by Neil and Chris. These articles can also be seen in major publications such as the San Diego Union Tribune. Our goal is to bring quality information to help counsel those already in or interested in the industry. Check back each week to see what is new and exciting in the Property Management world.

“Nearly half of all the housing in San Diego is offered for rent. This condition has existed locally for decades and will continue for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that rental owners and rental residents respect the other for their important role in the essential segment of our local economy. The more informed each are about their respective rights and responsibilities as well as changes in the marketplace the more realistic are the expectations. That just makes good sense; Rent Sense.” – Neil,  2008

Where your home matters…

Ms. Management Sept 2015

Posted: 28th September 2016 by Melissa in Ms. Management
 

Ms. Management

Carol Levey, writer and creator of Ms. Management also appears as a guest blogger on Rent Sense. Her insights appear in dozens of other industry publications across the country. Carol is a regular presenter at the annual AAMD Education Conference, has served as MC Host for Award Events, and consistently over 35 years of volunteerism taught & authored curriculum for AAMD Education. She has been acknowledged for her outstanding contribution as an Industry Supplier becoming the recipient of the Jack Shapiro Award Winner twice; in 1987 & 1990.

Carol Levey is perhaps more recognized at the national level as an educator in the real estate industry. She served as one of the original team that produced the National Apartment Association coursework leading to the respected NALP designation. Her company Levey Enterprises has provided temporary leasing specialists, site managers and marketing offsite personnel to major apartment community operators throughout Colorado and across the U.S. Her business was founded on decades of experience in property management and executive leadership as a third-party leasing and corporate housing provider.

Read on for this month’s Ms. Management Q and A!

 

Q. I’m a regional manager trying to create team cohesiveness. Recently, after completion of a long month a number of us went out for drinks. Everybody let their hair down and initially I thought it had gone well. However, after a couple of weeks I’m becoming aware of several incidents during the activity, at least one display of bad behavior, and some hurt feelings on the part of those not included.

I’m frustrated. I thought some time together after work would naturally be a good thing.  Was I wrong? Any suggestions?

A. I applaud your intentions and your discovery. To make good on your intention requires forethought, effort and experience. Some team leaders become close friends with members of their team. They would point to these friendships as paying off with extra efforts and/or results in the workplace. Some conclude that as leader you should not become friends pointing out that complications arise: some team members will take advantage of the friendship. Examples: preferential scheduling, misappropriating confidential communication, excluding others on the team to name a few. Then there is the question whether alcohol should be included in any team building exercise. Different approaches can create team cohesiveness though perhaps with unwanted consequences.  Let’s start with what you want from your leadership assignment.

You want to be authentic, direct and transparent in your work place relationships.

If you’re not authentic you’re not yourself. This condition is unhealthy for you and your team cannot trust you. They don’t have to like you but they need to trust you. It is the basis of respect between that person and yourself.  Mutual respect can spread throughout the team if it is founded on being able to trust you as leader.

You want to be direct. If you don’t like a behavior you can’t correct it unless you confront the person(s) and describe it with clarity. People want to know specifically how they’re doing; what is lacking and what’s next.

Your leadership rightfully has expectations. You need to be transparent about these expectations. Transparent expectations can be transformed into productive goals can be supported with delegation, coaching and accountability.

You can apply these principles to your current circumstance.  Bring the entire group together to review your concerns. Explain your intentions while being candid about your disappointments.  While you accept responsibility for this first activity and apologize for unforeseen mishaps you’ll do better. Ask for their help. After clarifying what behaviors were undesirable and your expectations going forward ask for their participation to realize your intention.  How did they interpret the activity? How would they have gone about your intention differently? Solicit what they want from you as team leader. Take some notes so you can incorporate into a meeting follow-up memo that outlines the best of what came out the meeting thanking them for their participation and several shared team expectations going forward. Be positive about what the team can accomplish working together this way.

Legal Questions Sept 2016

Posted: 22nd September 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , ,
 

FBS Apartments, Condos and Homes For Rent in 69 zip codes throughout the S.D. Region

FBS operates Rental Properties for Independent Owners utilizing Industry Best Practices which creates direct benefits to our Rental Customers. We have provided Superior Housing Alternatives now in our 5th Decade. Our available rental inventory changes daily. www.fbs-pm.com

As professional managers we must stay on top of local, state and federal laws, regulations and housing codes that are imperative to our clients and rental customers. We review and update our contracts, policies, forms and routines with the help of KTS (Kimball, Tirey and St. John)

1. Question: If we serve a three-day notice and the tenant decides to move out, is the tenant responsible to pay the monthly rent until the apartment is leased?
Answer: The tenant is still liable for the rent until the lease expires or the apartment is relet, whichever occurs first even if he vacates pursuant to a three-day notice to perform or quit.

2. Question: I have a tenant who decided not to move in after signing a six-month lease and leaving a deposit. Can I hold her to the lease agreement that she signed?
Answer: Once the tenant has signed the lease, he/she is bound by its terms and must pay rent until it expires or the premises are relet, whichever occurs first.

3. Question: If you give residents a sixty-day notice of termination of tenancy and they do not pay their rent for that month, is it okay to give them a three-day notice to pay or quit? The three- day notice does not void the sixty-day notice, does it?
Answer: You can serve them with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit, and if they fail to comply, start the unlawful detainer action. Just make sure you do not ask for rent that goes beyond the sixty-day notice period.

4. Question: I would be interested in knowing what to do when a resident is demanding a repair be made inside of their apartment, but at the same time is demanding that none of the on- site maintenance staff complete the repair. Do we hire an outside vendor or must the resident allow the staff that is available to complete the repair?
Answer: You should find out the reason the resident does not want on-site staff to do the repair. You have the right to choose who should do the repairs for your apartment units.

5. Question: One of my tenant’s sons just turned 18 years old. Should I obtain an application from the son, and add him to the rental agreement?
Answer: You should have everyone 18 years of age or older fill out an application and sign the rental agreement.

6. Question: Upon reading a “Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit”, I noted the statement, “…plus Owner/Agent may seek to recover an additional punitive award of $600.00 (six hundred dollars) in accordance with California law.” I would like to know the Civil Code Section allowing for this punitive damage.
Answer: The code section is California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1174(b). The section allows for up to $600.00 if you can prove malice.

7. Question: I had a tenant move out several months ago. I returned $600.00 of his $1000.00 deposit. He disputes all but $50.00 of the deductions and has threatened to sue me. He also has not cashed the refund check. How long does he have to sue me?
Answer: In California, the statute of limitations determines the time that you must bring suit to legally enforce a claim. For written agreements, it is four years from the time of the breach. For oral agreements, the statute of limitations is two years from the time of the breach.

8. Question: I rented to a married couple two years ago and now the wife has moved out and filed for divorce. The husband is still living in the unit. The wife is demanding her portion of the security deposit back since she no longer lives there. What should I do?
Answer: California law does not require that the owner or manager account for the use of the security deposit until the rental unit is vacant and the manager retakes possession. At that time, the manager has 21 days to account for the use of the deposit to any named tenants.

9. Question: I have returned the balance of the security deposit to a former tenant after deducting cleaning charges and insufficient check bank charges. The former tenant claims that I cannot legally deduct the bank charges from the security deposit because that deduction was not specifically stated in the lease. What are my rights?
Answer: California law allows for the use of the security deposit to include other charges than just cleaning, damage and unpaid rent. There is no legal requirement that they must be specified in the rental agreement in order to be enforced by a court.

10. Question: Our tenant gave us a thirty-day written notice to terminate her tenancy. She moved out 10 days after serving the notice and claims she only owes rent up to the day she left. Answer: She is liable up the date the thirty-day notice expires or you relet the premises, whichever occurs first. You are required to attempt to find a new resident to hold the tenant liable.

KTS offers downloadable Legal Briefs – short podcasts on various topics such as Selecting, Preparing and Serving Notices, Security Deposits, Tips for Increasing Your Collections and Qualifying for a Disability. Tune in to our attorneys as they discuss the legal issues surrounding these landlord/tenant interactions. Please follow this link for more information http://www.kts- law.com/store/.

SDCAA Legislative Update

Posted: 19th September 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
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As you know our involvement with SDCAA has many benefits for our clients. The most important being the representation we receive legislatively. Please see the most recent Legislative Update below! You can review what bills we opposed and fought hard to make sure they did not become a law and those that unfortunately will affect our industry!

Update 9-14-16

Rent Sense; 1031 right for you?

Posted: 14th September 2016 by Melissa in Property Feature
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FBS Property, AMO is not only your property management company but RE investment advisory as well. Earlier this year we conducted several FBS Open House Educational Presentations on the what, where, why and how of 1031 exchanges to “right-size” your rental property holdings. As with all our advice and management, this is founded on the FBS philosophy for individuals and families to grow your long-term wealth and retirement income. We introduced you to 1031- professionals like Randy Goodsell, CPA and Terry Moore, Certified Commercial & Investment Realtor. With this education and these key players in mind we will bring you from time-to-time some potential 1031 up-leg possibilities as concrete examples for consideration. Should you want to contact Terry directly you can. Should you have questions and concerns that you want to share with someone you already know from FBS please free to do so.” Please consider this your Rent Sense Message from Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco

Click the image below to view this listing!

terry moore

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FBS Provides Investment Value- Watch to find out why!

Posted: 13th September 2016 by Melissa in Video
Tags: , ,
 

investment

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KTS Legal Questions- Part 2- Aug 2016

Posted: 22nd August 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , ,
 

FBS Apartments, Condos and Homes For Rent in 69 zip codes throughout the S.D. Region

FBS operates Rental Properties for Independent Owners utilizing Industry Best Practices which creates direct benefits to our Rental Customers. We have provided Superior Housing Alternatives now in our 5th Decade. Our available rental inventory changes daily. www.fbs-pm.com

As professional managers we must stay on top of local, state and federal laws, regulations and housing codes that are imperative to our clients and rental customers. We review and update our contracts, policies, forms and routines with the help of KTS (Kimball, Tirey and St. John)

 

11.    Question:  I purchased a building in which two of the three tenants do not have a deposit on file.  Can I require a deposit for continuing tenancy?
Answer: If their lease agreement is month-to-month as opposed to a fixed term lease, you can serve a thirty-day notice changing the terms of the tenancy to require a deposit.  If it is residential, your limit is twice the amount of the monthly rent if the unit is unfurnished.

12.    Question:  New tenants signed our lease and paid the first month’s rent.  Now they want to get out of the lease. They did not take possession.
Answer: When the tenant signs a lease, they are bound by the terms whether or not they change their mind later.

13.    Question: Our renters signed a one-year lease, but were evicted after two months. They moved out before they were locked out.  Are we able to charge rent until the unit is rerented? Answer:  An eviction doesn’t end the tenant’s responsibilities. You can charge them up to the time the lease expires or the time the premises are relet, whichever occurs first. However, you do have an obligation to mitigate the losses by attempting to relet the premises.

14.    Question:  I am renting a single family dwelling to three individuals, each of whom submitted a separate application but want to all be listed on the rental agreement. How do I fill out a month-to-month agreement?
Answer:  Have them all sign the same agreement. That way, they would be jointly and severally liable under the lease.

15.    Question:  Several weeks ago, during a wind storm, a large tree fell on my tenant’s car. The tenant thinks I am responsible for the damages, but my insurance company says I am not. Answer:  Unless you were negligent in the way you maintained the tree, you are not liable.

16.    Question: An attorney representing a former tenant states, “The Department of Consumer Affairs suggests that a landlord should not charge tenants for painting after a two-year tenancy.” Is there any standard on this?
Answer: This is merely an opinion and holds no legal weight.  If you can show that the premises were in need of painting due to extraordinary wear and tear, you can charge the tenant.

17.    Question:  Could you please tell me the law on roommates and the return of security deposits when only one vacates the unit.
Answer:  Unless you provide otherwise in your lease, you do not release the deposit until after you regain possession of the unit. It is up to the roommates to figure out who gets what as they are “jointly and severally” liable for the performance of the lease.

18.    Question:  I have several tenants who have damaged their units. What can I charge? Answer:  You can charge for the actual out-of-pocket costs, as well as labor. If you do it yourself, you should charge what the market would charge if you hired someone to do the work. In other words, it must be a reasonable charge.

19.    Question:  Can I refuse to show the premises to a prospective resident because they are obviously intoxicated?
Answer:  Yes, if you are concerned about your safety or just wasting your time, you can refuse to show the premises to an intoxicated applicant. However, make sure the person is really intoxicated and not just under a physical or mental disability.  In order to enter in a binding agreement, the parties must not be temporarily incapacitated by intoxication.

20.    Question: One of our residents brought in a roommate without my permission or consent. We have a clause in our lease prohibiting assignments or sublets of the lease. How do I prove the tenant is in violation of the lease?
Answer: In many cases it is difficult to prove because many times the claim is that they are just overnight guests.  However, if there is enough circumstantial evidence, such as receiving mail at the premises, traveling to and from work, using the laundry and other facilities regularly, you will have enough proof to satisfy most judges.

 

KTS Legal Questions Part 1- Aug 2016

Posted: 15th August 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , , ,
 

FBS Apartments, Condos and Homes For Rent in 69 zip codes throughout the S.D. Region

FBS operates Rental Properties for Independent Owners utilizing Industry Best Practices which creates direct benefits to our Rental Customers. We have provided Superior Housing Alternatives now in our 5th Decade. Our available rental inventory changes daily. www.fbs-pm.com

As professional managers we must stay on top of local, state and federal laws, regulations and housing codes that are imperative to our clients and rental customers. We review and update our contracts, policies, forms and routines with the help of KTS (Kimball, Tirey and St. John)

 

1.    Question:  If a tenant is evicted, does he forfeit his security deposit?
Answer:  Even though a tenant is evicted, he still has a right to an accounting of the use of his security deposit. The deposit can be used for cleaning, repairs and delinquent rent.

2.    Question:  Does a resident have to stay in his apartment for a certain number of days per month in order for his lease to remain in effect?
Answer:  Not unless the lease requires actual possession.

3.    Question: Our new residents, who are college kids, are driving the neighbors crazy with their partying, and they are only one month into their one-year lease. What kind of notice do I need to serve?
Answer: If the disturbances are major and continuous, or if the police have to be called, you may be able to serve a three-day notice based upon nuisance and commence the unlawful detainer action if they fail to vacate pursuant to the notice.

4.    Question:  Can I have the resident pay more security deposit to make up the difference from rent increases?
Answer:  You can unilaterally change the terms of a month-to-month agreement by properly serving a thirty-day notice of change of terms of tenancy.  This cannot be done with a fixed term lease.  You would have to wait until the lease expires and then upon renewal ask for a higher or additional deposit.

5.    Question:  I rent a house to a married couple.  I have found that they now have a third person living with them. Can I raise the rent, tell them they have to sign a new lease if they want an additional person, or can I say they cannot have additional people in the house since only two people signed the lease?
Answer: If your lease restricts the number of occupants and the tenants have exceeded the limit, it is considered a breach of the lease and can be remedied by serving a three-day notice to perform conditions and/or covenants or quit.  As an alternative, you can invite the third party to fill out an application, if qualified, and add his/her name to the lease.

6.    Question:  Do we have to take pictures of the apartment before a resident moves in? Answer:  Although there is no legal requirement that you take pictures before a tenant moves in, it is a very smart thing to do, especially when you compare your pictures of what the premises looked like to when the tenant moved out. It makes it easy for a judge to see the damage.  Just make sure your pictures are dated, including time of day, and are of good quality.

7.    Question: We have posted no smoking signs on our poolside bathrooms and laundry rooms.  Is this legal? We have been challenged by several residents.
Answer:  Yes, you may provide for no smoking in the common areas of your apartment community since it is a fire and health hazard.

8.    Question: We have an excellent single resident in one of our units.  She has requested to move a troubled friend with relationship problems in with her for a couple of months. What legalities do I need to consider and what additional and/or new forms do I need to have filled out and signed?
Answer:  You could have the additional occupant qualify as a resident and sign the current lease as a tenant. This would protect you in the event the occupant remains and the resident moves out.

9.    Question:  Can a three-day notice be served for the cost of damage to the unit caused by a resident? A five-year-old flooded an upstairs carpeted room, resulting in carpet repair and drywall repair of the ceiling downstairs. The standard lease form in effect clearly provides for the tenant to pay in this circumstance.
Answer:  So long as your lease does not provide otherwise, you can serve a three-day notice to perform conditions or covenants in writing demanding the resident pay for the repair.

10.    Question: Who is responsible for keeping the carpet clean? The tenant or the owner? Answer: The tenant is responsible for leaving the premises, including the carpet, in the same state of cleanliness that existed at the time they first moved in.

KTS Legal Questions July 2016

Posted: 11th July 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , , ,
 

FBS Apartments, Condos and Homes For Rent in 69 zip codes throughout the S.D. Region

FBS operates Rental Properties for Independent Owners utilizing Industry Best Practices which creates direct benefits to our Rental Customers. We have provided Superior Housing Alternatives now in our 5th Decade. Our available rental inventory changes daily. www.fbs-pm.com

As professional managers we must stay on top of local, state and federal laws, regulations and housing codes that are imperative to our clients and rental customers. We review and update our contracts, policies, forms and routines with the help of KTS (Kimball, Tirey and St. John)

Here are some situations we have asked Ted Kimball to weigh in on -
1.    Question:  I have a month-to-month rental agreement with a tenant and have given a 60-day notice to vacate.  Since the service of the notice, the tenant has not paid the rent so I served  him with a 3-day pay rent or quit notice.  Did that void the 60-day notice?
Answer: The 3-day notice would not invalidate the 60-day notice unless you asked for rent that went beyond the 60-day period.

2.    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.

3.    Question: We rent our detached in-laws quarters in the back yard of our property.  Can we specify in the “house rules” that no visitors are allowed on the property?  Also, can we specify “no smoking” in or around the unit?
Answer:  You could prohibit smoking, since it is a health and fire hazard. Restricting visitors would most likely violate the tenant’s constitutional rights of freedom of association.

4.    Question: We have a tenant who gave us verbal notice to vacate the premises. How do we calculate the rent owed?
Answer:  A verbal notice is of no legal effect. The time begins to run when the written notice was served.

5.    Question:  Can you require that a guarantor for a rental applicant own property or be on the title to real property?
Answer:  Since you do not have to accept a guarantor, you can subject the guarantee to conditions such as requiring the guarantor to own property in California, and/or live in the city where the rental is located.

6.    Question:  I have tenants whose lease ends at the end of this month. Can I begin to show prospective tenants the unit while my current tenants are still under a lease?
Answer:  You can show the property to prospective tenants at any time during the lease, upon giving reasonable written notice of intent to enter (24 hours is presumed reasonable under the law) and the entry is done during normal business hours.

7.    Question:  If one tenant moves from one unit to the other unit within one building, can I deduct the security deposit to cover the damages and fix up for the old unit, then ask them to redeposit the amount of money to make up the security deposit for the new unit?
Answer:  Yes, and hopefully your lease clarifies this right.  If the tenant fails to pay, you can serve a 3-day notice to perform conditions and covenants or quit.

8.    Question:  I have recently purchased a 20-unit apartment building.  Must I have an apartment manager on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Answer:  California law requires that you have a manager, janitor, housekeeper or other responsible person reside on the premises representing the ownership when there are 16 units or more. They do not have to be working 24/7.

9.    Question: We had two tenants move out and deduct their security payments as a last month’s rent. We have accrued expenses for damages and cleaning. What can we do? Answer: If you can locate the former tenants, you can sue them in small claims court to get a judgment which is valid for 10 years.  As an alternative, you can turn the matter over to a collection law firm that is experienced in collections against former tenants.

10.    Question:  How long does an unlawful detainer judgment stay on the tenant’s record? Answer:  As with all judgments, it is valid for 10 years as far as collection goes, but the credit reporting agencies keep this information for seven years. The judgment also accrues interest at 10% per annum, and can be renewed for an additional 10 years.

11.    Question: I represent an owner of several buildings who has a few tenants that are past due on their rent.  Instead of evicting them, he is offering the tenants a payment plan, if they are willing to sign a promissory note detailing the arrangement.  If the tenant defaults on the promissory note, will he have to start a new eviction proceeding with a 3-day notice?
Answer: A promissory note would not be recommended. Once the tenant signs a promissory note, the rent is deemed “paid” for unlawful detainer purposes and the owner would not be able to serve a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit and proceed with the eviction. Instead, he would have to sue on the promissory note and then try to collect.

Ms. Management July 2016

Posted: 6th July 2016 by Melissa in Ms. Management
Tags: , , ,
 

Carol Levey, writer and creator of Ms. Management also appears as a guest blogger on Rent Sense. Her insights appear in dozens of other industry publications across the country. Carol is a regular presenter at the annual AAMD Education Conference, has served as MC Host for Award Events, and consistently over 35 years of volunteerism taught & authored curriculum for AAMD Education. She has been acknowledged for her outstanding contribution as an Industry Supplier becoming the recipient of the Jack Shapiro Award Winner twice; in 1987 & 1990.

Carol Levey is perhaps more recognized at the national level as an educator in the real estate industry. She served as one of the original team that produced the National Apartment Association coursework leading to the respected NALP designation. Her company Levey Enterprises has provided temporary leasing specialists, site managers and marketing offsite personnel to major apartment community operators throughout Colorado and across the U.S. Her business was founded on decades of experience in property management and executive leadership as a third-party leasing and corporate housing provider.

Read on for this month’s Ms. Management Q and A!

Q. I’m a regional and totally looking forward to NAA Education Conference until receipt of the memo from our company regarding what classes and social events I am expected to attend. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard? Back me up on this would you?
A. You’re probably not going to like my response but I know that a lot of money goes out in order for you and others to attend a national conference. Should a company expect accountability for your attendance; should they expect a thorough coverage of the available workshops and; should they want a strong recognizable branding at some of the general assemblies and/or social events? If the answer is yes to any or all of these then organizing beforehand might be a way to accomplish. Some organizations have a game plan to meet up at the conference and there divide up the team according to specific needs and/or preferences. Others go a step farther and include a written synopsis requirement from each attendee so that the best ideas come back to the company. Finally, “best practices” usually include a group evaluation to determine what was gained at the conference combined with the value and/or cost by the support effort “back at the ranch” in order to process continuing value. The conclusions of this process should also be shared with NAA to help with future conference planning.

Q. I’m an apartment manager and have been for quite some time. I followed a regional from my last company. I think this individual has been a great mentor and initially I was so glad to be reporting to him again that I really just trusted in his choice of this new company. To my surprise he was just fired. Help!
A. We often work for people instead of companies so it’s understandable that you might be confused and concerned with this unexpected turn of events. First, I suggest that you view this as a good thing. I say that because your career is yours to manage. A supervisor that has been a mentor to you is something to be grateful for and now it’s time to explore what’s next in your career. You have an opportunity to step forward and confront your fear of the unknown. Address with your mentors supervisor how you were introduced to the industry and your new company. Express your surprise at the termination and your concern that maybe you are viewed as someone too involved with someone that has been terminated. Will it be possible to survive and thrive inside this new company because of this history? Can you be managed on the merits of your work? You have gained from your past mentor and look forward to a new chapter of growth. Be grateful while owning your career. You may be pleased to find that this confrontation clears the air and becomes your first real day at YOUR new company; best of luck.