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…

FBS wins BBB Torch Award for Ethics!

Posted: 1st December 2016 by Melissa in Education
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2016-11-29 11.19.09

2016-11-29 12.11.53

2016-11-29 13.49.25

The Torch Awards for Ethics (Torch Award) honors companies whose leaders demonstrate a high level of personal character and ensure that the organization’s practices meet the highest standards of ethics, and consequently generate trust. These companies generate a high level of trust among their employees, their customers and their communities. The award embodies the Better Business Bureau® mission of advancing marketplace trust.


FBS wins at Mark of Excellence Awards!

Posted: 30th November 2016 by Melissa in Education
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We are so proud of our winners!

1st Place- Rental Community of the Year 1-15- Antelope Station- the first house to win!

2nd Place- Property of the Year 30+ Years Old- Fletcher Hills Apartments

2nd Place- Property Manager of the Year- 16-100 Units- Miranda for Fletcher Hills Apartments

3rd Place- Good Neighbor of the Year- For all our volunteer efforts

2nd Place- Rental Community of the Year 1-15- Pharoah Court


KTS Legal Questions Nov 2016

Posted: 15th November 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions
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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:  Are e-mail communications between tenant and landlord admissible in court?

Answer:  Yes, e-mails can be allowed into evidence, but cannot be used to serve notices.

2.    Question:  I want to serve a three-day notice to pay rent or quit to a tenant who is very late on his rent. The rental amount listed on the lease is $875.00 plus an additional $25.00 for parking. The tenant has paid the $900.00 for the past 24 months. Which amount should be placed on the notice?

Answer: It is safer to serve a separate three-day notice to pay rent or quit, as well as a three- day to perform conditions and covenants or quit for the parking charge at the same time. If they do not pay either one, or both, you can proceed with the eviction process.

3.    Question: When a month-to-month resident decides to vacate after being served a three- day notice to pay or quit, do the owners have the right to charge for thirty days after the move- out to comply with their month-to-month agreement?

Answer:  Yes, you can charge up to the time the premises are relet or thirty days from the date of their departure, whichever occurs first, so long as you make diligent attempts to relet the property.

4.    Question: Our tenant gave a thirty-day notice of termination, intending to move out on the 10th of the next month.  Since the rent was due on the first of the month, can we require the tenant to have given thirty-days’ notice on the first of the month?

Answer: Once you are on a month-to-month tenancy, either party can terminate it by serving a thirty-day notice at any time. They are, however, responsible for the rent up to the date the thirty-day notice expires, so they would owe pro rata rent for the following month.

5.    Question: We have a tenant who has been provoking other tenants so we gave her a thirty- day notice.  She is now very angry and has flooded her apartment and the three apartments below her by inserting a roll (still on the spool) of toilet paper into her toilet and then flushing the toilet over and over. What can we do?

Answer: You can serve a three-day notice to quit based upon this activity.  If she fails to vacate in three days, the court eviction can commence and you would not have to wait for the thirty-day notice to expire.  You can also call the police for vandalism.

6.    Question:  I served a tenant a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. The tenant wrote a personal check that bounced.  Do I have to give another three-day notice?

Answer:  No, you do not have to serve a new three-day notice. You can proceed directly to the next step by filing an unlawful detainer action.

7.    Question: I had to go through an eviction to regain possession of one of my rentals.  I also received a judgment for the rent, court costs and my attorneys’ fees.  How can I collect this judgment? Do I have to go back to court?

Answer: The law provides for a variety of ways to collect the judgment. Wage garnishments, bank levys, attachment of personal property and judgment debtor examinations are formal ways to collect monetary judgments. Of those listed, a bank levy is the most effective way to collect a judgment. Receiving accurate information on the rental application allows optimal opportunity to collect.

8.    Question: One of my tenants vacated the property and left his roommate behind. Both signed the rental agreement and now the tenant who vacated is demanding his share of the security deposit be returned to him. Is he right? What should I do?

Answer: You are not required to return or account for the use of the security deposit until you regain possession of the property after the tenants have vacated.  California requires the deposit be accounted for in writing and sent to the last known address of the tenants no later than 21 days following the return of possession unless the lease requires an earlier time frame. The tenant who vacated early should work out an arrangement with his former roommate.  You are under no obligation to account for the deposit at this time.

9.    Question: I own and manage a 10-unit apartment building. One of my tenants gave me 10 days’ notice of her intention to vacate.  She wrote that she would not be responsible for rent after that since I have a security deposit and she is on a month-to-month agreement. Is she right?
Answer: Unless you have agreed to a shorter amount of time in which to terminate your month-to-month rental agreement, the law requires a thirty-day notice be served by either the
owner or the tenant in order to terminate the tenancy.  If less than thirty days is given, the tenant is still liable for the full thirty days unless you were able to re-let the premises before the thirty days ran out.

KTS has a booklet “Establishing Your Rental Criteria” available for purchase ($37.95) through our website  www.kts-law.com. Some of the key subject areas include occupancy standards, verification of financial resources, application requirements, identification criteria, co-signers and credit history.

What does FBS stand for?

Posted: 3rd November 2016 by Melissa in Video
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Click above to find out!

Legal Questions October 2016

Posted: 26th October 2016 by Melissa in Legal Questions

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: I have a maintenance worker who was terminated and was given seven days to vacate his apartment. He has not left, and I would like to know if I need to send him through the eviction process or if there is anything else I can do to get him out.
Answer: You need to send him through the eviction process. If he was purely an employee, and not paying rent, you can immediately file the unlawful detainer action.

2.    Question: Is it illegal for an owner to charge for his own labor (as long as it is the going rate for that type of work) and deduct that amount from the tenant’s security deposit?
Answer: It is not illegal to deduct for your own labor from the tenant’s security deposit. You can charge a reasonable hourly rate and must state the time and rate in your security deposit disposition statement.

3.    Question: Our tenants have just informed us via telephone that their rent check will bounce, they don’t plan to cover it, and they intend to vacate the premises by the end of this month. They want us to use the majority of their security deposit as last month’s rent. If we don’t give a 3-day notice to pay or quit and proceed with an eviction, are we leaving ourselves more vulnerable?
Answer: If you do not proceed with a 3-day notice followed up by an eviction, you could find that the tenants decide to change their minds and not move out after all, prolonging their time in possession without paying rent. The extra “motivation” is often worthwhile.  In addition, the eviction will also give you a judgment for rent owed, plus court costs and if you have an attorney fee clause in your lease, attorney fees.

4.    Question: I served a 60-day notice of termination because I am going to sell my home. Since then, one of the two residents moved out and is asking for his half of the security deposit. Am I responsible to return the security deposit before the second person moves out?
Answer: The security deposit is normally not returned until the owner recovers possession. The tenant who vacates should work that out with the tenant who remains. It is not the responsibility of the landlord to account for the deposit until he or she recovers possession.

5.    Question: Do I have to pay a tenant interest on his security deposit?
Answer: There are no state laws requiring that interest be paid on the tenant’s security deposit. However, some rent control ordinances and/or other local ordinances do require interest to be paid.

6.    Question: We served a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. What is the latest date we could start an unlawful detainer without our 3-day notice “becoming stale” and having to be re-served? Answer: It depends on the facts of any given case, but the longer you wait, the more of an argument you are giving the tenant.  I would, in general, not wait more than one week.

7.    Question: There is a very loud tenant in the apartment building across the alley from our rental. I have asked them to quiet down on numerous occasions and have even called the

police. They keep playing their music late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. What else can we do?
Answer: You should continue to contact the police when unreasonable disturbances occur and consider contacting the owner of the property to inform him or her of the situation. The owner may not be aware of the problem.

8.    Question: After a lease expires and it is month-to-month, how much notice must a tenant give me in order to legally terminate the lease? He says one week.  Is this true?
Answer: In California, 30-days written notice is required to terminate a month-to-month tenancy and can be served by either party at any time during the tenancy. If all of the occupants have been in possession for one year or longer, the landlord must serve a 60-day notice.

9.    Question: Someone told me that if a resident is committing a crime on the premises they can be evicted in 3 days. I have never heard of this law and I rent to someone I suspect is dealing in drugs.  Can you tell me more about it?
Answer: California law does allow an owner or manager of rental property to serve a 3-day notice to quit the premises based upon the commission of an illegal act on the property. The illegal conduct must, however, relate to the rented property. For instance, if you can prove your tenant was dealing with or possessed illegal drugs on the premises, you could serve the 3-day notice. If the tenant failed to quit, an unlawful detainer action could be filed in court to recover possession.

10.    .  Question: One of our tenant’s guests broke a window of the recreation room by throwing a ball through it. The host tenant claims he should not be responsible because the damage occurred outside the apartment and while they were playing catch in the common area. My tenant also refuses to give me the name or any information about his guest who caused the damage. What can I do?
Answer: In California, tenants are liable for the negligence of their guests while on the premises. The premise not only includes the actual rented unit, but the common area as well. Therefore the tenant and the tenant’s guest are jointly liable for the damage to the window.

11.    .  Question: I have a tenant who is on a long term lease. Recently, however, the tenant brought in a roommate and has been out of town for over 30 days. I am concerned that the roommate intends on staying and that my original tenant may have moved out for good. What are my legal options?
Answer: If you have a clause in your lease which prohibits the assignment or sublet of your lease agreement, you do not have to consent to the roommate. You could ask the roommate to fill out an application to rent and thereby identify who the roommate is. Once identified, you could choose to either allow the roommate to live there if he meets your qualifications, and sign the lease or start eviction procedures based upon the breach of the assignment and sublet clause of your lease.

12.    . Question: My great grandfather died last year and left me his home.  I am trying to rent the house and my Realtor told me that I am required to inform prospective tenants of the death of my great grandfather because he died in the home. Is this really true? If so, what is the purpose of this crazy law?

Answer: Because it has been deemed to be a material fact to consider when purchasing or renting a home, California requires sellers and landlords to inform prospective purchasers and tenants if a death occurred in the premises during the last 3 years and the nature of the death, unless the death was caused by an HIV related illness.

13.    .  Question: I want to rent out our condominium (we are buying a new house) and I need to know how much I can charge for a security deposit. Can I also charge a cleaning, pet and key deposit?
Answer: California law limits the amount of a residential security deposit to twice the amount of the monthly rent if unfurnished, or three times the amount of the monthly rent if the property is furnished. The legislature recognizes all deposits as a security notwithstanding how the parties are identifying it. All deposits, taken together, cannot exceed these limits.

14.    .  Question: The lease for one of my tenants expires at the end of this month. He told me to take the month’s rent out of his security deposit because he would leave the apartment clean and in good repair. He told me since it is his deposit, he has the right to deduct rent out of the deposit. What should I do?
Answer: California law requires the owner or manager to account for the use of the deposit no later than 21 days from the date the tenant vacated the unit. Since the tenant has failed to pay rent, a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit may be served. If the tenant fails to comply, an eviction may commence to produce a judgment for possession and monetary losses.

Ms. Management Oct 2016

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
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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


FBS Provides Investment Value- Watch to find out why!

Posted: 13th September 2016 by Melissa in Video
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