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…

FBS wishes you a Happy Summer!

Posted: 19th August 2015 by Melissa in Video
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KTS Legal Questions August 2015

Posted: 7th August 2015 by Melissa in Legal Questions
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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: Can we use a recent Section 8 inspection report as a standard of habitability in an eviction case?

Answer: The court will allow any relevant evidence that tends to prove the condition the premises during the time in question. Since the purpose of the inspection is to qualify the unit as habitable and in compliance with HUD regulations, the report may be considered as evidence of the condition of the premises at the time of the inspection, but the custodian of records may have to testify as to the accuracy of the report.

2.Question: One of our tenants recently requested that we paint the inside of her apartment. She has threatened to do it herself and deduct the cost of the paint from the rent if we do not have it painted within the next two weeks. Is she legally able to carry out her threat?

Answer: Unless the condition of the walls rendered the premises uninhabitable, the owner is under no obligation to paint the unit at the request of the tenant.

3.Question: Several of our tenants have complained to us about the neighboring property. The people who live there work on their cars in the driveway at all hours, and have loud and wild parties almost each weekend until dawn. What are my legal responsibilities?

Answer: You have a right to inform the owner of the neighboring property and request their assistance, in resolving the problem. Recommend that your residents contact the police during the time of the disturbances.

4.Question: What is the most useful information on the tenant’s application for collection purposes?

Answer: The most useful for locating former residents, are the social security, driver’s license and license plate numbers. For collection on judgments, current employment and bank account records are the most valuable.

5.Question: I rent out a condo that I own. Are the rules and regulation of the homeowner’s association automatically applicable to my tenant?

Answer: Not automatically; your residential lease should incorporate by reference the CC & R’s of the homeowner’s association and all rules and regulations. That way if there is a breach of the association rules, you can serve an appropriate notice to perform or terminate the lease.

6.Question: What is an estoppel certificate? The owner of the property I manage requested that each of the tenants sign an estoppel certificate. I did not want to appear unknowledgeable.

Answer: An estoppel certificate is a document signed by the tenant certifying that the major terms of the lease are true and correct. Estoppel certificates are sometimes required during the sale of rental property so the buyer knows that the tenant understands and agrees to the major terms of the lease.

7.Question: Can we legally restrict the number of automobiles our tenants can park on the property? There is open parking but some of our tenants have four or five cars.

Answer: You have the right to control the number of automobiles that the tenant may park on the property. Clear guidelines should be given in writing and equally enforced.

8.Question: After serving a tenant with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit, what is my next step if the tenant does not comply? Serving a thirty-day notice?

Answer: Your next step would be to file the unlawful detainer (tenant eviction) in the proper court. Each court has geographical boundaries, so you should make sure you are filing the action in the court of proper venue.

9.Question: We allow pets on our property but only in certain units. Sometimes there are no pet units available. Is this policy legal?

Answer: It is in the landlord’s discretion to allow or not allow pets or to allow them only in certain units. Just make sure your policy does not apply to assistive animals which are not considered pets.

10.Question: A tenant’s child broke a glass shower door. Can I charge the tenant for the repair of the door?

Answer: The tenant is liable for any damage done by its invitees, guests or other occupants of the premises. The tenant should have to pay for the repair of the door.

11.Question: After a tenant moves out and gives their change of address to the post office, how long are the landlords responsible for any correspondence that may still arrive at their former address?

Answer: You should let the post office do their job and if the forwarding address has expired, give it back to the post office and indicate that the person no longer resides at the mailing address. We do not recommend you help accommodate your former tenant by playing “post office.”

12.Question: I need to know the depreciation schedule of new carpeting in a home where the tenant lived for one year. The tenant put 5 cigarette burn holes in the carpet and spilled wax on the corner of this brand new carpet.

Answer: California’s security deposit law found in Civil Code Section 1950.5 states that the resident is responsible for damage above normal wear and tear. If the carpet needs to be replaced after one year and it should have lasted for five years, most judges will allow you to charge the resident 4/5 of the total replacement costs.

13.Question: I have a tenant who smokes outside his apartment. Can I request he not do that? There have been issues with cigarette butts on walkways and it also affect the tenant’s next door to him as they always close the kitchen window when he smokes.

Answer: You can create a non-smoking policy for all or part of the premises, so long as you are consistent in its enforcement.

14.Question: I have a roommate situation. One roommate has moved out. Am I required by law to give back half of the security deposit to the one who has moved out?

Answer: California law does not require landlords to return the security deposit to one tenant if they move out before the remaining tenant(s). Landlords are not required to account for the use of the security deposit until after they have recovered possession of the property unless otherwise agreed at the inception of the lease.

15.Question: At my property, we are currently doing renovations, and have notified all the residents that there will be noise and water shut offs. One resident said they are entitled to rent discounts because of the situation, is it true?

Answer: There is no “automatic” reduction in rent allowed for temporary shut off of water, and/or noise created by renovation or routine maintenance.

 

Carol Levey, NALP,CAM, CAPS, AAMD Hall of Fame

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The Apartment Association of Metro Denver (AAMD) has produced exceptional leaders in the multifamily industry serving at the local, regional and national level. At all levels these contributions in governmental affairs, education standards and membership benefits have left an enduring legacy. So it is understandable that AAMD Hall of Fame is established in 2015. With the induction of 20 individuals who embody some of the best of AAMD’s past and are still leading AAMD into the future a new tradition is established. There will be 50 individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame by 2018, when AAMD celebrates 50 years.

We would like to congratulate one of our own, business partner Carol Levey, as one of these original inductees. Her column Miss Management: Q and A has been a monthly highlight to the local Trends Magazine readership of over 5000 for years. She appears as a guest blogger on Rent Sense and 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.

This constant access to the daily operations of frontline service providers has kept her consulting and coaching grounded in reality. With this unique approach Carol tailored training coursework to onsite personnel and consulting services to property management professionals across the country. As a founding partner in I.T. Partners she produced “Let’s Lease” – the first industry CBT (computer-based training). From this product introduction in 1994 came dozens of specialized coursework titles designed and delivered to educate and elevate leasing, maintenance and management clientele in over 60 major metro markets throughout 29 states. Not showing any signs of slowing down Carol has recently enjoyed interaction with packed audiences in Houston, Salt Lake as well as back home in Denver.

Thank you Thomas for the kind words!

Posted: 29th July 2015 by Melissa in Uncategorized
 

We love hearing from our fellow industry leaders! This is a preferred agent of FBS, he works closely with our New Account Specialists to facilitate smooth transitions between sales and rentals. We choose to work with Agents like this, who respect our rental customers and owner clients. We thank Thomas for the great care he gives our clients everyday! Check out this video message!

Thank you Thomas!
TJ Nelson
TJN@ThomasJNelsonrealtor.com
mobile: 858-232-8722
ThomasJNelsonRealtor.com

Rent Sense in Apartments Magazine

Posted: 29th July 2015 by Melissa in Rent Sense
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In addition to their following in southern California Neil Fjellestad and Chris DeMarco have a strong presence in northern California as well. Rent Sense, their syndicated industry column has been picked up by Landlord Property Management Magazines. Their monthly publications are mailed directly to 43,000 apartment owners, managers, property management companies, and leasing offices – reaching over 1,000,000 units throughout Northern California. For over 50 years, Landlord publications have been dedicated to helping and providing information to the owners and managers of multi-housing units, income properties, residential rentals, and commercial properties throughout California. Currently, Landlord offers four distinct magazines throughout Northern California: San Francisco, Silicon Valley, East Bay, and Greater Sacramento. They have chosen to include Rent Sense in each.

 

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Rent Sense in Landlord Magazine

Posted: 24th July 2015 by Melissa in Rent Sense
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In addition to their following in southern California Neil Fjellestad and Chris DeMarco have a strong presence in northern California as well. Rent Sense, their syndicated industry column has been picked up by Landlord Property Management Magazines. Their monthly publications are mailed directly to 43,000 apartment owners, managers, property management companies, and leasing offices – reaching over 1,000,000 units throughout Northern California. For over 50 years, Landlord publications have been dedicated to helping and providing information to the owners and managers of multi-housing units, income properties, residential rentals, and commercial properties throughout California. Currently, Landlord offers four distinct magazines throughout Northern California: San Francisco, Silicon Valley, East Bay, and Greater Sacramento. They have chosen to include Rent Sense in each.

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Legal Questions July 2015

Posted: 9th July 2015 by Melissa in Legal Questions
 

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: My tenant has some damage to the outside window to the house I rent to them. The tenant claims the damage was done by a burglary attempt but I suspect they locked themselves out and damaged the window when trying to get back in. Who is responsible for the repair?
Answer: Unless proved otherwise, damage caused by unknown third parties, acts of nature, or unexplainable are the responsibility of the landlord.

2.    Question: In a co-signer situation what forms do you recommend that the co-signer sign along with the tenant?
Answer:  They  should  sign  a  separate  guarantee  agreement  that  has  been  reviewed  by competent counsel.

3.    Question: As resident managers, we are dealing with several tenants in violation of pet rules. In retaliation, they have made false accusations of us entering their apartments without notice. They are now disturbing other tenants with this untruth and questioning our integrity. How can we protect or defend ourselves?
Answer: You can serve a three-day-notice to perform conditions and/or covenants or quit to permanently remove the unauthorized pets. If you can prove the pets are still there after the notice expires, you can file for unlawful detainer.

4.    Question: In assessing a late charge in a lease, is there a law stating how many days after the due date must expire before a late charge can be imposed?
Answer: California law does not prohibit a landlord from charging the tenant a bona fide late charge after the rent is delinquent. The rent is not delinquent unless one business day has passed at the time the rent became due. If the rent is due on the first and the first is on a weekend, a late charge could not be imposed until after the first business day expires.

5.    Question: What happens when the lease expires? Is it assumed that the agreement goes month-to-month? Or should a new agreement be signed?
Answer: If the lease does not speak to renewal or reversion to month-to-month and the tenant remains in the premises with the landlord’s consent, the law will presume a month-to-month agreement if the rent is paid and accepted by the landlord.  It then can be terminated by either side serving the other with a written thirty-day or sixty-day notice to quit.

6.    Question: I have a lease with two male tenants. The lease specifies two occupants only. One of the tenants has a girlfriend who spends the night every day of the week for the last month.  How do you determine when a guest is an occupant?
Answer: Unless the tenant admits to having another person move into the rental unit, you need to prove that they are occupying the unit through circumstantial evidence.  Proof of facts such as receiving mail at the premises, coming to and from work on a daily basis, present on weekends, or making requests from management all could lead a trier of fact to conclude that the person is an occupant of the premises.

7.    Question: Is there a law for returning the security deposit within a certain time frame? If I missed the due date is there an automatic penalty? I overlooked accounting for a deposit and it has been 25 days.
Answer: California law allows residential tenants and landlords to contract for up to 21 days for the accounting and, if applicable, return of all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit. There is no automatic penalty for being late.

8.    Question: When we have called attention to a violation of the lease or community rules, tenants frequently will say we are “picking” on them.  How can we protect ourselves? Answer: First, make sure you are enforcing the lease and community rules equally to all violators. The best way to avoid or minimize legal challenges is by documenting all incidents and responding in a consistent manner.

9.    Question: When typing up a new lease, should we use the spelling of the tenant’s names as it appears on the application or on their driver’s license?
Answer: It is important to be consistent on how you spell their name in the event legal action is necessary. It is best to use the name exactly as it appears on their driver’s license and request that they fill out the application in a manner consistent with this request.

10.    Question: If a one-year residential lease is broken, what becomes of the security deposit? Answer: Once the tenants have vacated the premises and the landlord has taken over possession, the time to account for the use of the security deposit (normally 21 days) begins. The deposit can be used for any monies owed the landlord including delinquent rent.

11.    Question: I have single family homes that I have for lease. They have large, well- maintained gardens.  How do I best insure that they are kept up?
Answer: Your best bet is to hire a gardener yourself, build the cost into the rent and have the lease read that the gardener has permission to enter the property for gardening/landscaping/mowing etc. That way you have more control.

12.    Question: How long should I retain an application that was denied? How long should the application and the rental agreement be saved after a tenant moves?
Answer: The statute of limitations for fair housing cases ranges from six months to five years; the statute of limitations for a written rental agreement is four years. The statute of limitations is the time someone has to file a lawsuit. Therefore, you should keep your application documents a minimum of five years.

This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. Ted Kimball is a partner with Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP. Our primary practice areas are landlord/tenant, collections, fair housing and business and real estate, with offices throughout California. Property owner’s and manager’s with questions regarding the contents of this article, please call 800.338.6039.

© 2015 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP

 

FBS hosts 2nd Open House!

Posted: 1st July 2015 by Melissa in Education
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2015-06-30 17.55.20

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How to unclog a shower drain

Posted: 30th June 2015 by Melissa in Video