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…

Ask Ms. Management

Posted: 26th August 2014 by Melissa in Ms. Management
Tags: ,
 

Q- I’ve been with the same company for five years. I started here as an assistant manager, moved to community property manager within the first year and for the last two years I have also supervised a sister community. I like my company but I want a regional manager assignment. After some months of making my desire known and continuing my industry education to further my preparation for such consideration I became aware of a regional manager opportunity at another good management company. Long story short: I went on an interview which went very well and I have an offer letter which I have accepted.

Now here’s my dilemma. I gave notice to my existing company but I was unprepared for their response. I was told that unknown to me a regional manager position was opening up and I was offered this job if I would choose to stay. I don’t know what to do. Should I stay or should I go?

A – I’m glad you have a dilemma. You have not mentioned once which company offered you more money and/or better benefits. Good for you. It’s obvious that you work hard and want the opportunity to work harder; which is what you can expect with the Regional Manager assignment. This assignment is different than what you expect. Regardless of your job decision, please continue your industry education toward the CAPS designation.

Now to the specifics of your dilemma. You took an important step when you interviewed and represented yourself as someone ready, willing and able to be hired as a Regional Manager. Even more important, a new company listened to you and agreed. As an employer myself may I give you a perspective that might not be clear to you. I take the hiring process very seriously and when we put our offer in writing to clarify the particulars of expectations and understanding on both sides it’s a big deal. This formal process prepares all parties for clear communication going forward. Let me ask. Were you excited about the prospects of this new assignment? Was your mind filled with thoughts about this opportunity?

Now, let me ask you. When your existing company came to you with the information and proposal they did what did you think and how did you feel? Were you excited with their counter offer or just validated that your existing employer finally took your goal seriously? If it is the latter, then they have given you a great going-away gift because we should be able to make such important decisions out of excitement; not guilt.

 

While the forecast for the economy is positive, the outlook for the housing market has deteriorated as housing activity lost momentum and near-term indicators only suggest minor improvement, Fannie Mae said in its latest economic outlook report.

“The August outlook supports our expectation that the economy will grow in the second half of the year at slightly above trend and push full-year growth into positive territory, albeit still weak by historical standards,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan.

But when it comes to housing’s contribution to the economy, Duncan said, “We have downgraded our outlook following the disappointing housing activity seen during the first half of the year.”

“In the first six months of the year, total sales have run below last year’s pace,” Duncan said. “Additionally, on the demand side, there appears to be a conservatism among consumers and their willingness to take on big-ticket purchases, such as homes.”

And next year does not look to be too much better. “We currently estimate that 2014 will finish lower in total sales figures than 2013 – and that 2015, while stronger than 2013 and 2014, will not be the breakout year some are expecting,” Duncan continued.

Despite housing’s lack of contribution to the overall economy, improvements in consumer spending, inventories and employment helped support an upward revision in growth expectations to approximately 3% for the second half of 2014, raising the forecast for all of 2014 by four-tenths to 1.9%.

Rent Sense in Apartment Magazine

Posted: 19th August 2014 by Melissa in Uncategorized
 

Rent Sense: Where Your Home Matters is the August message to thousands of existing Rental Owners and R.E. Investors all over California. Don’t miss the straight forward advice and the stories that illustrate this advice coming from the unique insight of Neil Fjellestad and Chris DeMarco.

aptmag1

 

 

 

 

Long-term profit vs. short-term profit

Brena Swanson

August 15, 2014

Homeowners are faced with two options when choosing to move up the property ladder: sell the old home or rent it out. According to a new report from Zillow, homeowners might want to think twice before selling if they live in these 10 cities

“When deciding if they should sell their home or rent it out, most mom-and-pop landlords are primarily concerned with whether or not they can cover their mortgage payment each month – they simply can’t absorb monthly losses like professional investors,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“However, the greatest returns are actually in markets like San Jose and San Francisco where there are short-term monthly losses, but the long-term earned equity makes them the best markets to invest in,” Humphries added.

Nationally, the Zillow Rent Index has increased 2.5% since June 2013 and 9.1% since June 2011.

And on a local level, the Zillow Rent Index has gone up as much as two to three times that amount over the past year in rental hotspots such as metro Chicago (6.3%) and San Francisco (11%).

 

Top ten markets for long-term financial gain (long-term monthly profit: This includes home equity gains, tax benefits and the difference between monthly rental income and mortgage payments after holding onto the property for six years on the median home. This is only realized after selling)

10. Honolulu: $2,512

9. Sacramento, California: $2, 694

8. Seattle: $2,861

7. Boston: $3,009

6. New York: $3,179

5. Riverside, California: $3,659

4. San Diego, California: $4,165

3. Los Angeles: $4,328

2. San Francisco: $6,078

1. San Jose, California: $8,927

Legal Questions August 2014

Posted: 13th August 2014 by Melissa in Legal Questions
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Kimball,Tirey&St.JohnLLP

 

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq. August, 2014

 

Question: My tenant claims that since she moved out on day three of the 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, she is not responsible for any rent. Is that true?

That is false.  Your tenant cannot “benefit from her breach.”  She is still responsible for the remainder of her lease term or until you re-rent the property, whichever occurs first.

 

Question: I have three roommates on a lease. One of them moved out.  Do I have to refund his portion of the security deposit?

No.  The security deposit remains with the apartment.  You do not need to provide the security deposit accounting until everyone vacates.  You then have 21 days to do so.

 

Question: One of my resident passed away over the weekend. What happens to the lease now?

If the resident was on a lease, his estate is still liable for the rent until that lease expires or until relet, whichever occurs first. If it was a month-to-month tenancy, then the lease is terminated as of the end of the period last paid for by the tenant.

 

Question: The guest of one of my residents broke the window of the unit. Our lease states that residents are responsible for damages caused by them and/or their guests. The resident is refusing to pay and said she is not responsible as the damage was caused by her friend. The resident is adamant that I must first attempt to sue/collect against the friend (who I do not have any contact information for) before I can try to come after the resident directly.  Is that correct?

The resident is responsible for the conduct of their guests. There is no legal requirement to try to locate or sue the “friend” first.

 

Question: I rented a unit and forgot to have the resident sign a lease. The resident moved in a pet cat without my consent.  I never explicitly told the resident “no pets” but I do not want any pets in the building. What can I do?

Without a written lease which included a “no pet” provision, you cannot immediately require the pet’s removal.  However, if the oral tenancy is month-to-month, you can serve a 30-Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy to institute a “no pet” provision. (Note: Many local rent control or other ordinances may prohibit unilateral changes to the tenancy and may restrict a landlord’s ability to pursue this option.)

 

Question: Can I post a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit on the door of the apartment without knocking first? I would rather avoid seeing the tenant face-to-face?

California Code of Civil Procedure §1162 requires an attempt of personal service at the residence (or place of business, if known) before resorting to alternate methods of service.  You should therefore, always knock on the main entry door at the unit before posting and mailing a copy.

 

Question: If I miss sending a security deposit disposition with 21 days as required by law, must I return the entire deposit rather than deduct amounts owed such as outstanding rent?

The law is silent on this point.  As a result, some judges do and some judges do not allow the landlord to make a deduction from the deposit if not property accounted for in accordance with California law.  However, this does not mean that the damages to the unit, necessary cleaning and unpaid rent are not owed.  In any event, the landlord can pursue any monetary claims they have against the former tenant in small claims court notwithstanding they failed to properly account for the use of the deposit.

 

Question: I served a 60-Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy last month, now the tenant has not paid rent for this month.  Can I serve a 3-Day Pay Rent or Quit without invalidating my 60-Day?

Yes, so long as you do not ask for rent that goes beyond the 60-day notice period.

 

Question: The resident claims there’s mold in his apartment but now won’t let my maintenance person in to inspect for or make repairs. What can I do?

You can serve the resident with a Notice to Perform Conditions and/or Quit requiring them to provide reasonable dates and times for the entry.  If they fail to comply, you can commence an action for unlawful detainer (eviction) and apply for a court order allowing you access to the unit to make necessary repairs before possession of the unit is returned.

 

San Diego Property Management 91950 – National City, CA

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) is the San Diego property management company of choice for residential properties, rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent in National City and Paradise Valley Communities; 91950. FBS fills more residential vacancies, collects more rent and supervises more property maintenance in 91950 than other San Diego property management companies.
Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) established its complete property management and advisory services in 1972 and has been operating rental properties throughout San Diego for independent rental owners in an exemplary manner that recognizes renters as their preferred customers as well.

The San Diego Better Business Bureau recognizes Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) as an accredited local business and has awarded FBS an A+ rating. Read a BBB reliability report on Fjellestad. Whether you are an independent rental owner needing property management in National City, CA, a renter looking for the best rental housing alternatives within National City and/or Paradise Valley Communities; there is one property manager that stands out – Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS).

This ZIP code is defined primarily by the incorporated municipality of National City although it also includes Lincoln Acres which is a small unincorporated community of San Diego. National City is bounded on the north and northeast by San Diego, Bonita to the southeast, Chula Vista to the south with the San Diego Bay to the immediate west. National City includes 3 miles of port area that is part of the largest US Naval Base on the west coast. N.C. is 15 minutes away from the US/Mexico border. This centrality for residents that are serving or attached to the military and/or require easy access to the international border are important factors when considering housing options. Included in this zip code are the neighborhoods of Paradise Valley which are convenient to the health services employment center surrounding Paradise Valley Hospital. It is interesting to note that half of area commuters require less than 20 minutes to arrive at their workplace. This might explain the supporting detail that shows 16% carpool to and from work; 6% utilize bus or trolley; and 11% walk. This city has a history of providing access to public transportation to its residents. The National City Depot built in 1882 served as the first Pacific Coast terminus station of the Sante Fe Transcontinental Railroad.

Today National City is a densely populated urban center that is racially diverse, young (median age under 27 years), and evenly divided between single and married households with 55% males and 45% females. There are 15,700 houses and condos along with 9900 renter-occupied apartments. Currently 91950 has a population of 63,300 (64% renters). These are affordable neighborhoods that provide its residents with plenty of shopping and entertainment options. Westfield Plaza Bonita is one of the only completely enclosed malls in the county and serves the entire South Bay region.

Rental options abound in this zip code. These include older rental properties, mid-size and large apartment communities (affordable – luxury; and studio – 3 BR), and an increasing number of individual condos and single homes to rent.

KTS Legal Questions July 2014 Part 2

Posted: 29th July 2014 by Melissa in Rent Sense
Tags: , , , ,
 

 

Question:  Can I post a 24 hour notice to check to see if a tenant complied with a notice that was served (unauthorized occupant, unauthorized dog, etc…)?

No, California law limits the reasons in which a landlord can enter a unit. Under California Civil Code Section 1954, a landlord can enter a dwelling for the following reasons: (1) in case of emergency; (2) to make necessary or agreed upon repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors, or to make an inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of 1950.5; (4) pursuant to court order.

 

Question: I served my resident a 30-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy on the 15th of the month.  My resident says I have to wait until the end of the month to serve the notice, is that correct?

No.  Under California law, either party can serve an appropriate 30-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy any day of the month.  Your notice will expire 30 days from the date you served the notice, so make sure you do not accept rent beyond that point.

 

Question:  My lease states that the rent is due on the first of the month. If the first of  the month falls on a weekend, can I require my tenants to pay rent on the weekend if my rental office is open on the weekend.

No.  If the rent is due on the first, and the first of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, pursuant to California law, the tenant has until the next business day to pay the rent. For example:  If the first falls on a Saturday, the resident has all day Monday to pay the rent (assuming Monday is not a holiday), and you cannot serve a 3-day notice until Tuesday at the earliest.

 

Question:  I served a 60-day notice that expires on the 15th of the month.  How much rent should I accept for the month in which the notice expires?

You can only accept 15 days of rent for that particular month.  You calculate the pro-rated daily value as follows: (1) divide the monthly rent by 30 (days), (2) do not round up or down (in other words, clear the calculator screen), and (3) multiply the daily value by the number of days.  For example, you calculate 15 days of rent for the monthly rent of $1000.00 as follows: $1000.00 divided by 30 is $33.33; then multiply $33.33 by 15 days; and your pro- rated rent for the 15 days would be $499.95.

 

Question: I want to serve a 60-day notice. However, when I calculate the expiration of the notice, it falls at the middle of the month. Can I extend the expiration of the notice to expire at the end of the month, therefore making the notice in excess of 60 days?

Many notices will specifically state language similar to the following: …within 60 days after service upon you of this notice, or (insert date), whichever is later, your tenancy shall be terminated.  You can insert a termination date later than the 60 day expiration.  You can have the expiration date fall at the end of the month. Therefore, you can accept the full month of that particular month’s rent. If a 60-day notice expires in the middle of the month, you have to be cautious of not accepting rent beyond the expiration of the notice.

 

Question: Per the rental agreement, rent is due on the first day of each month and, if rent is not received by the 5th day, then a late charge will be incurred by the tenant. If my tenant fails to pay rent, do I have to wait until the 5th day of the month before I serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

No.  You can serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit the following day after the rent is due.  Be aware that if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, you must carry the due date to the following first business day.

 

San Diego Property Management 92011 – Carlsbad

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) is the San Diego north county property management company of choice for residential properties, rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent in Carlsbad. FBS fills more residential vacancies, collects more rent and supervises more property maintenance in 92008, 92009, 92010and 92011 than other San Diego north county property management companies.
Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) established its complete property management and advisory services in 1972 and has been operating rental properties throughout San Diego for independent rental owners in an exemplary manner that recognizes renters as their preferred customers as well. In the early 1990s, due to a growing emphasis on north county rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent a central office for the company was established in the heart of Rancho Bernardo that is operated by local staff that specializes on FBS properties north of SR-52 and that have invested their careers at Fjellestad to be leaders in this area of San Diego property management.

The San Diego Better Business Bureau recognizes Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) as an accredited local business and has awarded FBS an A+ rating. Read a BBB reliability report on Fjellestad. Whether you are an independent rental owner needing property management in Carlsbad, CA 92008, 92009, 92010 and 92011 or a renter looking for the best rental housing alternatives within Carlsbad or other San Diego north county cities there is one property manager that stands out – Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS).

These ZIP codes feature the expanding north county neighborhoods of the city of Carlsbad. It is located south of Oceanside, west of Vista and San Marcos, north of Encinitas. Its history took an interesting turn in the 1880s when an entrepreneur dug a water well that yielded a mineral water that was similar in composition to that at Karlsbad, a famous spa in Eastern Europe. The Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water was founded and the name of the town followed as part of the marketing campaign to create product awareness. Successful agriculture pursuits by European settlers attracted to the area allowed Carlsbad to survive when economic downturns threatened its existence. Incorporated in 1952, Carlsbad has enjoyed “smart growth” planning residential and commercial development in ways that provide for infrastructure and community services to keep pace. Today, this city supports a growing population of 104,700 (29% renters) inside its 40 square miles while maintaining a regional and national reputation for “quality of life.” Examples of planned communities include: Calaveras Hills, Summerhouse, The Colony, Robertson Ranch, The Summit, Bressi Ranch, Rancho Carrillo, Aviara and the neighborhoods of La Costa. The downtown area (Carlsbad Village) is undergoing redevelopment and features specialty shops and restaurants. Regular events include: a farmers market twice a week, an annual Art Street Faire and a marathon. There is a bi-annual street fair that is the largest single day activity of its kind in the U.S with over 120,000 people in attendance.

Local and regional public transportation is provided by the North County Transit, the Metrolink, the Coaster and the Sprinter (modern rail link to Escondido). Major thoroughfares give commuters access to the I-5 and SR-78. Carlsbad has become the home for many corporate headquarters including a hub of fitness and sport-related companies. Examples include: Callaway Golf, Cobra Golf, Taylor Made – Addidas Golf, K2 Sports, Upper Deck, Jenny Craig, 24 Hour Fitness and Jazzercise.

Rental options in Carlsbad include many housing alternatives from affordable to ultra-luxury. There are large to mid-size apartment communities; small rental properties; individual condos within established condominium communities as well as a growing selection of single homes for rent sprinkled throughout these neighborhoods.

KTS Legal Questions July 2014

Posted: 8th July 2014 by Melissa in Rent Sense
Tags: , , , ,
 

Kimball,Tirey&St.JohnLLP

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq. July, 2014

 

Question: Can I accept rent after serving a notice for an issue other than payment.  For example: an unauthorized occupant notice.

You should always check with a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether you should accept rent or not if the notice served was for something other than payment. Often times accepting rent after serving a notice can waive the notice.

 

Question: At what point does my property require an onsite resident manager?

If your property has 16 units or more, you are required to have a person onsite who represents the owner.

 

Question: A resident at my property was taken to the hospital and passed away.  Since the lease requires a 30-day notice, what is the law as far as reimbursement of the deposit?

When a tenant passes, the month-to-month tenancy is terminated 30 days from the date of the decedent’s last rent payment. Therefore, you have 21 days from that date to account for the security deposit assuming that you have taken over possession of the unit.  If anyone else is claiming a right to possession, you would need to go through the eviction process.

 

Question: We rent garages out to our residents. One of the residents moved a bed and some furniture in the garage and we believe someone is sleeping there. What can we do to make sure we do not have any issues with the use of the garage as a bedroom?

If you have a separate month-to-month agreement for the garage, you can terminate the garage rental with a 30-Day Notice to Perform Conditions or Quit to require the removal of the bed.

 

Question: My resident is not parking in his assigned parking space on the property. Can we issue him a parking citation for parking in the wrong place?

No, you cannot issue a parking citation. Only the local traffic enforcement agency has the ability to issue parking citations.  You can either issue a Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit if the resident is violating your parking rules, or tow the resident’s car.

 

Question: I have a resident who has bed bugs in his unit. He refuses to allow access to his unit so that we can start treatment.  Can we evict him?  Can we charge for the cost of treatment?

First, you need to send a Notice to Perform Covenant of Quit for refusal to allow access.  If your resident fails to provide access prior to the expiration date of the notice, you can start the eviction process.  As for charging the resident for treatment, if you can show that the resident is responsible for the infestation, you should be able to charge. It is important to have a professional pest control vendor who specializes in bed bugs that can provide you with a detailed report regarding the source of the infestation, how long the unit has been infested, and any other information which will help show that it was the resident who caused the infestation.

 

Ms Management- Q & A

Posted: 23rd June 2014 by Melissa in Ms. Management
 

Ms. Mgmt,                                                 

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 find that I am managing personalities more than anything else. Do you have any suggestions for handling the demands of a prima in leasing, an introvert in the back room and a passive aggressive in maintenance?

A. It is true that you are managing people more than property. It’s also true that personalities 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 performance that crosses personality boundaries. Often personality tenancies are dramatized or acted out when individuals believe that it will help them gain control. So the first concern with building and leading a team is that performance is what matters. Performance standards must be established, communicated and rewarded. While personality can be incorporated to enhance performance often some standards are being ignored or avoided. If this allowed then team morale will suffer. Here’s an example- a super leasing star gets recognition and often gets away with bending the rules like punctuality, documentation detail in their files, disrespecting a team member one minute then expecting help the next. Trust me, everyone else on the team notices and responds according to their respective personalities. The introvert goes inside themselves making communication and recognizing this individual more difficult. The passive aggressive is angry but would rather wait to set a trap for the prima. Obviously, all these personalities acting out do not develop a team mentality. You need to counsel with the team as well as the individuals. Be sure to keep your regional manager in the loop.  In your meetings take leadership responsibility for not dealing with these issues sooner. Indicate that going forward you are also taking responsibility to get the team back on track with community goals; spell out expectations in writing within a 30 day plan of action. Sit down with individuals weekly to determine progress. During these meeting be transparent and direct about your thoughts and intentions. Document and coordinate your actions with you regional manager. By the end of the 30 days you should be able to determine what comes next for each team member. As the leader going forward, communicate sooner and keep everyone on a performance-based plan. Personalities will calm down with all the emphasis on the community goals.

 

Good Luck, Ms. Management