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…

KTS Legal Questions May 2016 Part 2

Posted: 25th May 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 -

11.    Question:
We have added a number of clauses to our Rules & Regulations Addendum and wish to have our tenants sign the new form, as well as signing the CAA addendum about mold.
Answer:
If you are on a month-to-month tenancy, you can unilaterally require they abide by the new terms by properly serving a 30-Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy and attaching the mold addendum to it.  If they are on a fixed term lease, you must wait until the lease expires for them to renew and sign a new lease with the mold language contained therein.

12.    Question:
We are terminating a month-to-month tenant who has rented the property for over fifteen years. We gave the tenant a 60-day notice and the tenant acknowledged this and initially thanked us for giving them more than thirty days notice.  Now the tenant is demanding an additional thirty days due to their new residence not being ready in time. We have already made other commitments for the property. We stated we cannot extend more time. The tenant states that they are entitled to the extension because they have rented the property for over ten years.
Where do we stand?
Answer:
They are wrong, you are right.  If the notice was properly filled out and served, you can commence eviction procedures immediately upon termination of the sixty-day notice.  Do not accept rent beyond that date.

13.    Question:
How must a notice be posted on the door? I have had three different methods used by three different management companies in a sealed envelope adhered to the door, folded and stapled and adhered to the door, and open-faced adhered to the door by taping on all four corners.  Can all methods be used legally?
Answer:
The law requires the notice be posted in a conspicuous place. We therefore recommend you post all four corners with thumbtacks or tape, so long as it is secure, and mail the other copy the same day by normal mail. We also advise to turn the notice to face the door for privacy concerns.

14.    Question:
We normally keep original rental agreements, however, when would a copy not suffice?
Answer:
The court requires the original unless it is lost; so you have to either produce it or testify under penalty of perjury that the original was lost without fraudulent intent.  Court action is the main reason why you should keep originals.

15.    Question:
One of our tenants had a problem with the garage gate at a complex we manage.  Apparently the gate closed on his car without notice. We suspect that what he is telling us is true because we have experienced a similar problem ourselves.  Is the property owner liable to pay to have his car repaired?
Answer:
If the gate malfunctioned, the owner of the property is liable for the damages. The tenant would be required to prove that it was the malfunction of the gate and not his/her own negligence in order to prevail in court.

16.    Question:
We have been asked if the applicants have three days to change their mind after signing a lease without being penalized, but we do not know the law on this matter.
Answer:
There is no grace period in California for residential tenants to change their mind. Once the lease is signed, they are bound.

17.    Question:
An applicant listed on his application that he had been convicted of transporting illegal drugs. Can I reject the applicant on the basis of this disclosure?
Answer:
Yes, landlord/tenant law allows you to turn down an applicant with a past conviction for manufacture or distribution of illegal controlled substances.

18.    Question:
A resident is suspected of violating their lease agreement by having an unauthorized occupant and does not want to add that person to the lease. What is the best method of verifying the unauthorized person’s residency?
Answer:
You should require that they fill out an application and apply for the unit.  If they are approved then they should sign the lease.  If they refuse, a 3-Day Notice to Perform Conditions/Covenants or Quit should be served and if they still fail to comply, commence the eviction process.

19.    Question:
We have problems with tenants requesting repairs on the appliances. We inspect the appliances before the tenants move in and they are in working condition.
Answer:
Part of the responsibility of providing a habitable residential unit is to provide for working appliances.  However, they are required to maintain the property in good repair and order.  If the resident is to blame for a non-working appliance, they are required to pay for the cost of repair  or replacement.

20.    Question:
What if the first of the month falls on a weekend?
Answer:
Under California law, Sunday is automatically considered a holiday. So if the first is a Sunday, a notice to pay rent or quit can normally be served on the following Tuesday (unless Monday is also a holiday in which case you have to wait until Wednesday).  However, Saturday is not automatically treated as a holiday.  It is only treated as a holiday if the tenant needs to access their bank in order to pay their rent and their bank is closed on Saturdays. Unless the landlord knows the tenant’s bank is open on Saturdays, the safe approach is to treat Saturdays like a holiday and give the tenant through Monday to pay (unless Monday is a holiday).

Legal Questions May 2016 Part 1

Posted: 18th May 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 -

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers
Ted Kimball, Esq. May, 2016

1.    Question:
How long do I have to mail the tenant the itemized security deposit?
Answer:
You need to send an accounting for the use of the security deposit within 21 days from the date you took back possession. If you do not have all of the amounts or receipts in time, you should give the tenant an estimate and then send the final amount within 14 days after you receive the final amounts and/or receipts.

2.    Question:
I have a lease with a tenant that terminates next month, and he has been given notice that the lease is not being renewed.  If he does not vacate, do I serve a 3-Day Notice to Quit for Breach of Covenant?
Answer:
You do not have to serve any notice to quit for a tenant who holds over on a fixed term lease unless you have an automatic renewal clause in your lease.

3.    Question:
Is there a state law that requires a landlord to professionally clean a carpet prior to reoccupancy?
Answer:
No, however the tenant is obligated to leave the premises in the same state of cleanliness that the carpet was in when she moved in.

4.    Question:
Can I give a rent increase anytime during the month or just on the first day of the month?
Answer:
If you have a month-to-month tenancy with the tenant, you can serve a written 30-day notice (or 60-day notice if you are increasing the rent more than 10% within the last 12 months) to increase the rent at any time of the month.

5.    Question
We are planning on selling a rental house. The tenants said they do not want a lock box put on the front door.  Can we do it anyway?  Do we still have to give them notice that someone is coming by to see the house?
Answer
We do not advise our clients to allow lock boxes because of potential liability.  Moreover, California law requires a reasonable written notice be given to the tenants before entering. Twenty four hours is presumed to be a reasonable time.  Oral notice is also available if it is given within120 days from the time the tenant was first notified of the property being for sale including a statement that the landlord may be giving oral notice to enter the premises.

6.    Question
If someone says we cannot enter his unit unless he is present, what would happen if we entered anyway?  Could he sue us?
Answer
A court may consider this a violation of the right of the tenant’s privacy and allow for statutory and actual damages as well as a restraining order. The tenant may also claim broken or missing items.

7.    Question:
I have a tenant who caused a fire in an apartment which resulted in a substantial amount of damage. The fire department concluded the tenant was at fault.  Can he be liable for my deductible?  And, can I take it out of his deposit?
Answer:
Yes, in fact he is responsible for all losses suffered (your insurance company may want to pursue him).

8.    Question:
I have renters who recently informed me that they are moving. The lease does not end for another six months. Now what happens?
Answer:
The tenants are liable for the rent up to the date the lease expires or the date the premises are relet, whichever occurs first.  You are under an obligation to attempt to relet the premises, in order to hold the former tenants liable.

9.    Question:
What is the first step to take if I want to evict a renter for non-payment of rent?
Answer:
You should serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit for the rent.  If they fail to comply, you can start an unlawful detainer action, but make sure not to accept rent after the action is commenced.

10.    Question:
What are we allowed, by law, to charge a tenant as a security deposit?
Answer:
You are allowed to charge up to twice the amount of the monthly rent as a security deposit so if the rent is $1000, you can charge up to $2000 for your deposit. If the property is furnished, you can charge three times the amount of the rent.

 

 

 

Rent Sense: California Rental Housing Works
By Neil Fjellestad & Chris DeMarco
FBS Property Management
Renters throughout California choose to rent for a myriad of financial and lifestyle preferences. Thinking through their alternatives from their perspective, few would argue their prerogative to rent for the foreseeable future. If they buy now – what they can afford requires draining their bank accounts; mortgaging themselves to the max; compromising many of their pre-conceived measurements of financial success. More importantly, many fear being shackled to local property ownership with its unexpected expenditures while the expanding economy and/or employment opportunities bid them to quickly pick up and relocate.

Renting Is a Choice
Their financial requirement under a long term rental lease is straightforward; to make payment on time. We provide technologies to accomplish even if they are on the other side of the world when the first of the month rolls around.  Even an exception can be anticipated, confronted and handled. The “millennial generation” is our largest, most educated and mobile. As a renter the only other requirement is to report a condition that needs to be resolved, repaired or noted. It is someone else’s responsibility to follow through and/or take action. A growing number of “boomers” that were owners before the great recession are returning as “renters by choice” and they love this part.

Residents are Savvy Customers
Renters rightfully believe that the amount they are charged for rent should be the market rent. They can readily research rental rates and they will. We can be challenged in this regard by our rental customer. We should be charging a reasonable rent and need to prove it up if we want to retain good customers. Millennials are indeed the savviest consumers. Some owners are tempted to underprice their rentals to avoid any confrontation or to be perceived as good to their tenants. However, charging a sub-standard rent is not a good idea as it doesn’t translate into a better renter. This is a historic notion that is not relevant in an economic super power like California.
In today’s economy it often creates an environment of unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement. Often this condition includes a lack of clear communication (transparent and direct) by both the rental customer and rental business operator.  When a customer doesn’t pay a competitive rent they often also don’t pay on time. Nor do they feel obligated to pay late fees. Expect to encounter violations to their lease like extra guests and pets. Since they have been excused from paying the market rent they feel entitled to ignore other contractual requirements as well.

Rental Property Ownership is a Business
Similarly, requests for repairs are neither reported nor responded to in a business-like fashion. Whether due to lack of awareness or motivation the property appearance goes unattended and/or the underlying financial risk liability grows.
The method of operation often becomes “survival practices” and market rent value becomes compromised.  The cycle is now predictive:  rents are stagnant, property improvement is non-existent. This parcel of real estate finds property value from external factors only.  Independent rental owners begin to believe that instead of holding a long term business investment they need to sell.
If the rental business operator has lost their awareness, perspective, motivation or resources to resolve outstanding issues they might jump at the chance to sell while they can. The rental property is usually NOT sold for its current operation or condition. Rather it is sold for its “potential” to another investor with fresh capital.
It must be recognized that a sub-par rental property normally can be turned around with professional management. Fresh capital is often optional but regardless should be provided by the existing owner.
It is imperative to employ “best practices” management planning to the operation and value improvement of any business. Local neighborhood rental property is an essential business.  Real estate enjoys underlying value but requires a business approach to accomplish investment potential. Rental property ownership demands motivated capital and management expertise because it remains subject to the risk of a free market system.

Market Rentals are Essential to Infrastructure
Competitive market rentals are essential to each region’s socio-economic infrastructure. Transportation, utilities and public safety will continue to painfully stretch public budgets.  Government can neither afford nor is the public willing to provide rental housing. Therefore, public officials must be careful “first to do no harm” that will thwart private long term rental property business ownership. Instead they must encourage these businesses that solve essential infrastructure problems. It certainly is in the public interest to partner with these housing providers: better tax incentives, zoning density flexibility, more attention to the cost and time delays being piled on top of local rental housing.
Like in any business endeavor some rental owners will employ best management to their business while others will stumble. The long term wealth creation and retirement income will follow investors that improve and retain their independent rental ownership.

To summarize, local small individual rental ownerships provide the vast majority of rental housing throughout the state. This alternative satisfies the financial and lifestyle requirements of residents while providing themselves and their families with investment equity and retirement earnings that will stay local as well. While not perfect, this system comes close.

FBS in Rental Owner Magazine

Posted: 9th May 2016 by Melissa in Rent Sense
Tags: , , , ,
 

rentalowner

 

Click on the Image to read the whole magazine!

 

Coverage of our trip to Sacramento and the 2016 Education Expo!

 

Why Managing Your Own Properties is (Almost) Always a Huge Mistake 

By Sterling White on April 11, 2016 Landlording and Rental Properties

 

Being a landlord seems to be the go-to for many real estate investors new to the game. However, I can’t stress enough that from my personal experience, this has been the worst decision that I ever made as a real estate investing newbie. This is simply because now that I have been able to witness it firsthand, I can finally understand exactly how much work, effort, and sweat goes into managing your own property. Therefore, trust me when I say that I am totally convinced that this so-called “passive source of income” is far more active than it seems.

Time is Scarcer Than Gold

Managing a property all by yourself without the help of a property management company will occupy so much of your time, and the thing is, the amount of time that you put into chasing after rent, screening for potential tenants, and fixing the broken sink, you could easily have used to either educate yourself, perform research, or invest in new properties. So while you might be able to save money managing the property firsthand, you will be losing time, which is your most precious asset. Sadly, time is often placed on a lower pedestal to wealth. However, it is important to keep in mind that while you can always generate income, you can never make more time.

Living Life Like a Medical Resident

If you want to take on life as a landlord, you will have to brace yourself for some tough times ahead. You have surely heard stories about terrible tenants who completely destroy your home or run off without paying, getting evicted and so forth, but the truth of the matter is, even good tenants can be a real handful!

If you are the landlord, if the sink decides to play up during dinner time, who will the tenants call? You. If you are the landlord, if the electricity suddenly goes out in the middle of the night, who is in charge of fixing it? You. Every little problem with the property is always the landlord’s responsibility. So essentially, being a landlord means that you will always be on call — day in and day out. There is no holiday or designated “break time” for you, as you never know when a problem will suddenly occur.

Still don’t want a property manager/management company to handle all the ups and downs for you? Well, be prepared to embrace being the first one who gets a phone call, even if it means interrupting your much-needed beauty sleep at two o’clock in the morning.

The Nice Guy Syndrome

The truth of the matter is, being a landlord requires guts. You have to be strong, persistent, and (almost) mentally unbreakable. However, the vast majority of us probably relate more to the everyday “nice guy” — as in, you’ll far prefer being an understanding landlord than one who enforces rules with a mighty fist if they ever come head to head with a difficult situation.

For example, imagine having a tenant whose lived in your rental for the past three months who suddenly loses their job — and their mother just passed away. They ask you to let them stay and promise to pay you back once they find a new job. However, four weeks pass, and they haven’t found a job yet. Tell me, what do you do? Sure, it might feel good to play the nice guy, and you might not have the heart to insist that they move out, but being a landlord involves making tough choices — even ones that you don’t like.

Remember, this is a business so you have to treat it that way. If you don’t have the heart to play the “bad cop,” then let the property manager/management company handle it. It will take a huge load off your mind (literally).

All in all, being a landlord isn’t a bad thing per se, but it isn’t something that you should leap into without some prior education. It is mentally tough, time consuming, and requires a whole lot of DIY. So if that doesn’t sound like something you’re into, then don’t jump on the landlord bandwagon, and instead, try looking into some other options that are available out there!

Ms. Management May 2016

Posted: 3rd May 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 am a community manager with a team of seven. I enjoy my assignment which I’ve had for about a year but I’m finding that my maintenance guys don’t feel part of the team. They do a good job but I’ve been at properties where everyone works together and this is what I want here. Do you have any suggestions for going from good individual work to great teamwork involving the whole team?

A. It is true that you are managing people more than property. Team members with can both compliment and complicate our ability to build and lead a community team. The first thing that comes to mind is a return to the basics. You are managing to achieve performance standards that cross traditional work assignment boundaries. Often individual assignment differences are dramatized or used as an excuse for not participating as a team.

So the first concern is communicating that team performance is what matters. Performance standards must be established, communicated and rewarded. While individual performance gets through the daily routines there are standards being ignored or avoided. If this is allowed then team productivity and morale will suffer.

Often when these conditions exist team meetings become sporadic and minimally productive which begs the question “why do we have meetings?” You might need to address this initially in your meetings but take leadership responsibility for allowing these issues to exist by not confronting them with your concerns. Indicate that going forward you will also take responsibility to get the full team to participate with community standards and goals. Spell out expectations in writing. Indicate a 30-day plan to sit down with individuals for everyone’s input. Throughout this initial 30 days be transparent and direct about your thoughts and intentions. Document and coordinate your actions with your regional manager. By the end of the 30 days you should be able to put forward a 90-day written community plan that involves the entire team. As the leader going forward, get buy-in from everyone, confront issues in real time and keep the team focused on performance results. Catch everyone doing something good and don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Individuals will prefer a team led approach just like you do and will work to keep it going once you have initiated it as their leader.

 

Last night we teamed up with our friends at Health Savings and spent time with the Urban Angels serving dinner to the less fortunate.

Urban Angels is a Nonprofit Organization formed to nourish and provide food for the homeless of San Diego.

From cooking to serving to cleaning, Urban Angels runs the entire kitchen at Connections Housing, a state of the art service center and residential community designed to reduce street homelessness. We provide food services to Connections residents 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Urban Angels also assists with feeding services every Wednesday at The Salvation Army.

Volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word about Urban Angels – anyone is welcome to join and contribute to the cause.

FBS committed to numerous volunteer events this year, this was our THIRD!!!! We look forward to supporting our communities throughout the year. This is what housing means to us.

Thank you Health Savings for participating with us!

‪#‎FBScares‬

2016-04-06 18.52.28

2016-04-06 18.16.23

2016-04-06 17.55.41

KTS Legal Questions April 2016

Posted: 4th April 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: Is a new owner subject to the pet policy of a previous owner with month-to-month agreements?
Answer:
Yes, but the terms of a month-to-month agreement can be changed by properly serving a 30- day notice of change of terms of tenancy on the tenant.

2.    Question: What is the best way to handle the 31-day month? When a tenant moves in mid-month, is it best to prorate the remaining days until the 31st or is it best to ignore the 31st day and consider all months to be 30 days?
Answer:
There is no specific law on point so if your lease doesn’t address this issue, most judges use a 30-day month to calculate daily rent notwithstanding the number of days in the month.

3.    Question: We have a tenant who has been incarcerated.  Her aunt is coming by to remove her personal belongings from the unit before the tenant’s 30-day notice expires.  Does the tenant still owe rent for the remainder of the days left on the notice to vacate even though the unit key has been returned to us?
Answer:
Yes, unless you are able to relet the premises before then.

4.    Question: Can I require all overnight guests to register in the office?
Answer:
Some judges may consider this an unreasonable invasion of the tenant’s right of privacy.  It is so far untested in our courts.

5.    Question: What should I do if I suspect drugs are being sold out of one of our apartments?
Answer:
Call the police and report the incident.  Ask the police for further direction. Document all of the calls and what you said, did and observed. If you can prove illegal activity, commence an unlawful detainer action.

6.    Question: If a resident dies and we discover the body, should we call the police first or a family member?
Answer:
Call the police and give them the names and addresses of the family members. Wait for further instructions from the police.

7.    Question: What happens if we rent to someone who is under 18 and is not an emancipated minor?

Answer:
The lease is voidable because the tenant did not have legal capacity to legally enter into the agreement.

8.    Question: What if the first of the month falls on a weekend?
Answer:  Under California law, Sunday is automatically considered a holiday. So if the first is a Sunday, a notice to pay rent or quit can normally be served on the following Tuesday (unless Monday is also a holiday in which case you have to wait until Wednesday).  However, Saturday is not automatically treated as a holiday. It is only treated as a holiday if the tenant needs to access their bank in order to pay their rent and their bank is closed on Saturdays.  Unless the landlord knows the tenant’s bank is open on Saturdays, the safe approach is to treat Saturdays like a holiday and give the tenant through Monday to pay (unless Monday is a holiday).

9.    Question: Where do I get the lead paint pamphlets?
Answer:
The California Apartment Association or one of its local affiliates, the office of HUD, or the Environmental Protection Services (EPA) has pamphlets available.
The Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet is available online at  www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/pyf_brochure_landscape_color_1-16-13_0.pdf. The disclosure form is available at  portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_12345.pdf. A fact sheet regarding the lead disclosure requirements is available at  portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_12351.pdf.

10.    Question: Can I serve both a 3-day notice to perform covenant and a 30-day notice at the same time?
Answer:
Yes, so long as the 3-day notice provides that the tenant can either perform the broken covenant or quit possession of the premises within the three days.

11.    Question: What is a prejudgment claim? When should it be used?
Answer:
A prejudgment claim is a document that can be filed along with the summons and complaint for unlawful detainer. It requires that all persons who are claiming a right of possession to the subject property to file a response and they will then be added as additional parties (defendants) to the eviction lawsuit.

12.    Question: What kinds of changes to the rental agreement require the “change of terms” notice?
Answer:
Any material change to a month-to-month tenancy requires a written 30-Day Notice of Change o0f Terms of Tenancy.  It may be served personally, by post and mail, or substituted service and mail.

13.    Question: In our lease agreements we require tenant’s to pay their rent on the first of the month.  If the first falls on a holiday, such as Labor Day, do you have to give the tenant’s until midnight on the second to pay the rent before serving a notice to pay rent or quit?
Answer:
Rent is not delinquent unless one non-holiday day has expired from the date the rent is due. So if the first is a weekend or holiday, the rent is not late until after one business day has expired.

Ms. Management April 2016

Posted: 3rd April 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 newer leasing specialist at an apartment community that is currently getting a high level of leasing traffic. As a result there is a heightened urgency on the part of potential renters to have their application approved over others. One such applicant has a carpet cleaning service and offered to clean the apartment they are applying for to expedite their application. When I hesitated he indicated that he would also clean the carpet in my apartment. This episode has got me thinking that this kind of favor for favor might just be a perk of the job though it could cause other problems. Do you have any advice for me?

A. First let me compliment you for having some second thoughts. Thinking through such potential conflicts of interest will help you set good habits early in your industry career. Let me ask, what is your company’s policy on such matters? Ask your supervisor for direction. Pose the situation as you have here and use other examples as well to help you determine the difference between a perk and a conflict. Usually there are one or more characteristics surrounding a situation that could be a conflict of interest. One is that your personal benefit whether directly or indirectly, any rebate, fee, commission, discount or other benefit, monetary or otherwise could be perceived as conflicting with the interest of another not being represented at the time; customer, onsite team, employer or property owner. Timing is everything and so if your supervisor is first notified in writing of the activity or potential conflict and consents in writing (fairly simple email exchange especially if you’ve had discussion previously) you’re probably on solid ground. An additional step might include a suggestion to your supervisor that this topic be included in a team meeting.
Also, be aware that someone might offer you something with their expectation left unsaid at the time. Do not hesitate to let them know that disclosure and approval from your supervisor are necessary BEFORE you can move forward AND your supervisor is going to need you to clarify what is expected.

This is a subject that needs transparency at every turn. So, review existing company policy with your supervisor. In your discussions ask for specific examples so you can understand unspoken expectations and WRITTEN DISCLOSURE and APPROVAL BEFOREHAND.

 

On March 29th and 30th, Vice President Lucinda Lilley, and Director of Operations and Marketing Melissa De Marco represented the Rental Housing industry in Sacramento. The San Diego County Apartment association was well represented with over 20 attendees, including independent rental owners, property managers and suppliers!

We held over 15 meetings with Senators and Assembly-members. While providing our policy makers with general information about our industry goals and objectives we also went over 5 potential bills and our positions.

AB 2003- Transparency and Efficiency in Unlawful Detainer Actions. We support this bill, as it requires residents to provide notice to the landlord about any habitability issues or concerns. Allowing said owner to remedy the situation.

AB 2312- Unlawful Detainer- Payment- We support this bill because it stops abusive and frivolous litigation. This bill would have residents deposit future rent payments with their attorney until a decision can be made about habitability.

AB 2502- Land Use Zoning- Inclusionary Housing- We oppose this bill.

AB 2819- Unlawful Detainer Proceedings- This bill would allow UD’s to be hidden from a residents credit if a decision is not made within 60 days. There would be no record of the UD and other landlords would unknowingly rent to them.  We oppose this bill.

SB 1053- Housing Discrimination- This bill would force rental owners to participate in the section 8 housing program. While we support the section 8 housing program, we oppose this bill. The time and potential money loss from participating in the program is to great to require of an owner.

 

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