Management & Maintenance

This department of Rental Housing Journal is your source for property management and maintenance information. Whether you're an independent landlord, portfolio manager, on-site community manager, leasing agent or apartment maintenance professional, the site is dedicated to bringing tips, best practices and information to help make your job easier and keep you up to date and educated.

property management apartment maintenance
Fri
06
Sep
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Smoke-Free Units = Safer, Healthier, Cheaper, Less Stress

Ask a colleague in the building management profession about the worse case scenario and you will likely hear some scenario of staggering loss to property.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, home and apartment fires started by smoking caused an estimated $535 million in direct property damage in 2010 and killed more people than any other type of fire.

Rental apartment owners and managers must accept that general wear-and-tear on the unit will occur but if you could lower costs, protect your investment and eliminate potential fire risk by implementing a smoke-free environment, would you?

Why go smoke-free?

1) Attract new residents with this marketing advantage

According to a 2011 study by the Oregon Health Authority, nearly 91 percent of Oregonians, including 69 percent of smokers, say no one is allowed to smoke inside their home.

Fri
06
Sep
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THE LANDIS BOMB Part 2 of 2

Last month I brought the bad news in what I hope, is a worst case scenario that we never realize. I am not optimistic. I have no doubt that a host of diligent attorneys will be working hard to limit the scope of the Landis decision by arguing that it can only be read to allow a tenant to back out of a contract initially or other similar limitations. The problem is that I have already seen attorneys for the tenants arguing exactly what I posited in the first part of this article.

Fri
06
Sep
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LandLady Katie: Don’t Tell The Truth. Obey The Law.

How do you, as a property manager, respond when a potential applicant asks you for information about the racial, ethnic, religious or family composition of an available unit, neighborhood or complex? Think of your response carefully.

Such questions don’t necessarily mean that the questioner has the intent to discriminate, so we need to think seriously about how to handle these situations. Some landlords take the stance that such questions should be answered by “telling the truth”. That approach has downsides.

Sun
01
Sep
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Washington State: The Landis Bomb.

THE LANDIS BOMB

Part 1 of 2

In October of 2012 Washington State landlords were, in this attorney’s humble opinion, kicked in the teeth by the Division 1 Washington Court of Appeals. This very unwelcome dental work came in the form of the Landis case. For those interested, that is Landis & Landis Construction, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company vs Nicola Nation d/b/a Nation Management, 286 P.3d 979 (Wash.App Div. 1 2012).

Tue
27
Aug
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Shoptalk August 2013

In strong rental markets, many leasing employees are faced with the wonderful challenge of being 100% leased. Some apartments are being rented “sight unseen,” and perhaps there are only a few days in any given month where vacant apartments are available to look at before the new residents move in. For communities that have rented and done away with their model apartments, many leasing consultants are now in situations where they have nothing to show, even if they have unrented notices. The following question expresses this dilemma and the leasing consultant’s frustration:

Tue
27
Aug
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LandLady Katie: Sweat The Small Stuff

You’ve entered into the rental agreement, the residents signed all fifty-seven addendums, and it appears that everyone understands the expectations. Yet, as time goes on, your tenants aren’t quite meeting their obligations. Month after month you turn a blind eye to what’s eating away at you and their behaviors, or lack thereof, have begun to cause you an eye twitch, tightening of the jaw, and possibly a pain in your side. I’m not talking about any of the obvious major breaches, but mainly the “micro” breaches that we question if they’re worth making a stink about or not. I believe you owe it to yourself and your business to question: “Why am I not addressing what’s bothering me with my tenants?” Is the answer laziness, fear, or simply because you don’t have the information needed to feel confident in order to do so? I am personally guilty of all charges.

Mon
26
Aug
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Property Management Success, While Maintaining Your Sanity!

Picture this…Captain Craig has invited you to spend a month sailing the Caribbean with all the lobster you can eat! Your captain has only one rule—“no telephone calls, no E-mail, no texts”. Will your properties run smoothly while you’re gone? Will your residents be well served in your absence? The information in this article, when put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business success, and give you the freedom (and vacation!) you so richly deserve. Building a winning team: Trust each employee to do their job and be sure each team member feels they are a valuable part of your property management team. Set the example for positive interaction between members of your team at all times, even when ideas or performance must be corrected. Conversely, if you have current employees who are not performing well, consider whether they are a wise investment as your property management company is only as good as each individual’s contribution.

Fri
09
Aug
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2013 Legislative Update

The 2013 Oregon Legislative Session came to a close on July 8th, and several successful bills may directly affect your rentals. Look for ORHA sponsored educational workshops in the coming year that will maximize your understanding of how these bills will directly impact you. In the meantime, here are summaries of the major bills affecting landlords in Oregon. To read the full text of each bill or for more information, be sure to visit the Oregon Legislature’s bill website at http://www.leg.state.or.us/bills_laws/. As always, contact your local ORHA chapter with comments or questions.

Fri
09
Aug
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Top Seven Reasons to Use Rental Payment History Data

Experian® RentBureau®, the leading provider of rental payment history data to the multifamily industry, recently released the findings of an analysis examining the financial risk posed by residents and the most effective screening metrics to employ to avoid lost revenue from risky residents. The analysis, Risk versus reward: identifying the highest-quality resident using rental payment history, provides unique, industry-specific insights regarding the use of rental payment data in conjunction with credit scores in screening to produce a superior prediction of a resident’s propensity to default. The analysis also includes first-of-its-kind data regarding late payments, nonsufficient funds (NSF), write-offs and rental collections. Here’s a look at the top seven takeaways from the analysis that offer multifamily owners and property managers a look into the best applications of resident payment history data:

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