RHJ Blog

The Rental Housing Journal blog features thought provoking information and opinions on the multifamily property management and real estate investing industries. RHJ staff editorial, multifamily executives, top real estate investors, and real world industry subject matter experts share best practices, trends and news about investing in real estate, managing apartments, being a Do-It-Yourself landlord, multifamily technology, apartment marketing, Fair Housing and landlord - tenant law, flipping houses, advancing your career in property management, how to market and sell to property managers and real estate investors, new products and services for property managers, financing investment properties, where to find good tenants, how to hire great property management employees, how to choose vendors, best practices in property maintenance and much more.

real estate investing property management blog
Tue
19
Jun
The Editors's picture

4 Ways To Avoid Screening Pitfalls With Applicants 

4 Ways To Avoid Screening Pitfalls With Applicants 

“I didn’t know” is not an acceptable defense if you face a discrimination charge, so the Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on some of the screening pitfalls to avoid with applicants for your rentals.

By Ellen Clark

Here are some tips for conducting applicant screening in a way that complies with fair housing law, and makes all people feel welcome in your community and helps you avoid the screening pitfalls.

 

No. 1 - Think before you speak

It is natural to make friendly conversation with prospects during the application process. This is fine but think carefully about questions you ask or comments you make.

Thu
14
Jun
The Editors's picture

Portland Commissioners Overreach In Draft Landlord Regulations

Portland Commissioners Overreach In Draft Landlord Regulations

Portland City Commissioners overreach on landlord regulations is the focus of this blog post by Clifford A. Hockley

By Clifford A. Hockley

President Bluestone and Hockley

In early May 2018 the City of Portland introduced a rent control concept to limit annual rent increases for tenants to 5 percent.po

 In addition, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and the Rental Services Commission are testing out new approaches in application screening.  Both

Wed
06
Jun
The Editors's picture

Can You Legally Maintain A Marijuana-Free Workplace Around Your Rentals?

Can You Legally Maintain A Marijuana-Free Workplace Around Your Rentals?

If marijuana is legal in your state, can you maintain a marijuana-free workplace around your rental properties? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on some of the confusing issues around marijuana and rental properties.

By Ellen Clark

 Landlords and property managers face confusing legal issues when it comes to marijuana use and their rental properties, especially in states where marijuana is legal.

Tenants using marijuana in your rental properties is one issue.

What about the employees and people you hire to work on and around your rentals when marijuana may be legal in your state?

It is important to know that no state law requires employers, including landlords and property managers, to tolerate on-the-job marijuana use.

Tue
29
May
The Editors's picture

7 Ways To Stay Out Of Trouble When Checking Criminal History

7 Ways To Stay Out Of Trouble When Checking Criminal History

When you are reviewing your screening policies to avoid any discriminatory effects, especially criminal history, be sure to avoid your gut feelings. The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on tenant screening and the right way to do it especially when checking criminal history.

By Ellen Clark

The National Fair Housing Alliance’s recent publication, Making Every Neighborhood a Place of Opportunity: 2018 Fair Housing Trends Report  is full of useful information about the state of fair housing in our nation, 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act.

Remember to review your screening policies to avoid any appearance of discrimination.

Tue
22
May
The Editors's picture

Stick To The Facts In Documentation At Your Property

Stick To The Facts In Documentation At Your Property

When dealing with accusations of discrimination, documentation at your property is key. The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on documentation and what you need to know.

Tue
15
May
The Editors's picture

Reasonable Accommodation vs. Modification And Who Pays?

accommodation vs modification in rental housing

When a potential tenant asks for a reasonable accommodation or a modification for your apartments, do you know the difference? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on reasonable accommodation vs modification and what you need to know.

By Ellen Clark

Knowing the difference between an accommodation and a modification when you get a request from a tenant is important.

Tue
08
May
The Editors's picture

5 Ways To Protect Applicants, Residents And Employees From Sexual Harassment

5 Ways To Protect Applicants, Residents And Employees From Sexual Harassment

Do you know best practices when it comes to avoiding sexual harassment complaints? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on 5 ways to protect your applicants, residents and employees from sexual harassment.

By Ellen Clark

Recent high-profile sexual harassment allegations have highlighted the need for increased sexual harassment training, education, and awareness.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects individuals against discrimination because of sex. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a final rule, formalizing legal standards under the FHA for sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in housing

Tue
01
May
The Editors's picture

Landlord Attorney Warns Smaller Cities May Be Pushed To Follow Portland Tenant Relocation Payments Ordinance

Landlord Attorney Warns Smaller Cities May Be Pushed To Follow Portland Tenant Relocation Payments Ordinance

A Portland landlord attorney has written to other city attorneys in Oregon warning them that they could soon see a push in their city for an ordinance similar to Portland’s requiring landlords to pay for tenant relocation.

Portland attorney John DiLorenzo, who represents landlords in a lawsuit on appeal challenging the Portland tenant relocation ordinance, said he wrote the letter because “all kinds of city attorneys are interested in our case.

“We have heard there are tenant advocacy groups approaching smaller cities in Oregon,” he said and he wanted the other city attorneys to have the background on the case and the filings.

Tue
24
Apr
The Editors's picture

Do You Have A Smoke-Free Policy That Adequately Protects Residents?

Do You Have A Smoke-Free Policy That Adequately Protects Residents?

Have you thought about your smoke-free policy or no-smoking policy and whether it adequately protects residents who need a smoke-free environment? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on this issue and new HUD rules for smoke-free policies in public housing.

By Ellen Clark

More and more rental properties across the country are adopting smoke-free policies with the goal of improving air quality, reducing the fire risk, and lowering maintenance costs.

Even with no-smoking policies in place in many apartment complexes, research indicates that many of the nearly 80 million Americans who live in multiunit housing experience secondhand smoke infiltration in their living unit that originated from elsewhere in or around their building.

Mon
16
Apr
The Editors's picture

Social Media Tenant Screening Risks And Fair Housing

Social Media Tenant Screening Risks And Fair Housing

Have you thought about using social media tenant screening as a way to checkout potential tenants on social media or checking on current residents on social media? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on this issue and the Fair Housing Act.

By Ellen  Clark

Social media can be a tempting tool to find more information about tenants and prospective tenants, but the information you find can leave you vulnerable to discrimination claims.

But what about looking up applicants or residents on social media? Can that be problematic from a fair housing perspective? Let’s take a look.

First some background as the topic of social media and fair housing is back in the headlines.  

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - RHJ Blog