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What You Need To Know About The Rent Control Measure.

The Affordable Housing Act which was presented by Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and David Chiu as AB 1506, died in the Assembly’s housing committee earlier in the month. Now a new proposed ballot measure plans to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Costa-Hawkins Act, the state law which more directly effects 5 of the 15 California cities with rent control, applies to large housing developments built prior to 1995 and does not include single-family homes, condos, and duplexes. Currently, in these markets, the landlord has the right to raise rents upon a tenant moving out and second, prevents the capping of rent on units constructed after February 1995. In Los Angeles City, rent control is applied to units constructed prior to October 1979, under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and yearly increases are capped at 3 to 8 percent (as set by the Rent Control Board) for the controlled units.   As a self-described union for renters, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), filed the paperwork along with Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Citing that California is facing a growing demand for affordable housing, a rise in homelessness and the historic housing crisis is pushing out low- and middle-income renters out, at times even in cities with some rent control. Supporters like the ACCE, say they have been gathering signatures easily, as people are expressing enthusiasm for the proposed November ballot. They have already collected 100,000 signatures, of the total 365,880 signatures needed by June to qualify for the ballot.   Critics like the California A......
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The Effects Of The Blockchain On Real Estate

  Blockchain is an emerging technology which will transform the way we buy, sell and lease real estate. “A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order.  It allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically. Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what’s known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record which cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.” (1) Real estate will not be passed over when it comes to the blockchain disruption either. There will be a need for education in order to transition from the current standard analog norms into the digital space for high value assets such as real estate. Blockchain technology introduces smart contracts on its platform. This allows assets like real estate to be tokenized, and be traded in the same vain as cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and others. You will be able track all information on real estate,......
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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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Not All Tenant Screening is Created Equally

You can’t always predict who will be a good tenant, but past behavior often indicates future behavior. Whether you’re a landlord, a property manager, or a real estate agent, you should be doing everything in your power to protect yourself from the hassle of dealing with bad tenants and bringing unwanted tenants into your community as they can be can be both time-consuming and financially destructive. Tenant screening can be handled in a few different ways, and one screening process is not always as successful as another. Making your decision solely on price can be a mistake, as many companies bypass certain steps in order to keep prices low. Here are some things you should know before deciding how to handle screening in the future.   Many companies advertise no on-site inspection for their tenant screening; however, you should know that these inspections are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. While these companies can offer some valuable information about your tenant’s past, they are not providing full credit reports. Instead, these companies access public data to compile an independent score that only partially represents your tenant’s history. These companies tend to offer the cheapest prices, but at the expense of legality and comprehensive information. Many companies require the tenant to initiate the transaction. While this practice isn’t inherently problematic, it can cause certain problems. For one, because it requires tenant initiation, time can become an issue. In this scenario, the property manager loses some of the control. In some instances it also prevents ......
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LEASING TIPS AND DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP!

LEASING TIPS AND DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP!
  Leasing Tips & How To Follow Up’s: With so many online, social media, and other software’s out there now, how do you keep up with it all? Start out by keeping an inbox folder on your email identified as Online Leads. You will have all ILS and email leads centralized for reference if needed. One of the largest parts of your online presence will be how and where your community is presented. The largest part of your leasing tool kit is your People, Product, and Perception. Even down to the vendor who hosted a resident or staff party or luncheon.  You get your leads via email, or by looking on your ILS sites. First things first, enter them into your system. Don't wait!!! Again, I repeat DON'T WAIT! Enter them as a prospect by their online or email requests you will potentially know what their name is, their email, phone number, what size apartment they are looking for in addition to their price range. If their phone number is listed, guess what… they want you to call them! Call them from your office phone and not your cell. It takes out the confusion and prevents liabilities.    Smile when You Dial!  Smiling when you are dialing a phone number or answering a call, puts you in the mood to consult! Smile when you dial that phone number. At this point your greatest priority is to schedule a time for the prospective resident to see your community! Remember you are in control of th......
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Tiny housing making big impact on combating homelessness in America

The fight to end homelessness in this country is a massive undertaking. About 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Alleviating this problem in a meaningful way will surely require a multi-faceted effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Here's one possible component of the solution to this giant issue: tiny homes. Across the U.S., organizations are using tiny houses and apartment homes, which typically range from 100 square feet to 500 square feet, to provide shelter for the homeless. For instance, the nonprofit American Family Housing recently opened Potter's Lane, a 16-unit community in Midway City, Calif., to house homeless vets. The property features 480-square-foot apartment homes made from energy-efficient shipping containers. Across the country, in Newfield, N.Y., the nonprofit Second Wind Cottages, relying heavily on donated materials and volunteer labor, built a community of 12 tiny homes that house homeless men. Residents pay rent as they are able to help defray the community's operating expenses. Other examples of similar communities include the Tiny House Village in Seattle and the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Advocates of these developments note that they are comparatively cheap to build, and constructions costs often are further mitigated through the use of materials and labor supplied for free by area businesses and residents. Can the multifamily industry incorporate tiny apartment homes for the homeless into their communities? It's certainly something to think about. With its ample resources and......
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Fair housing future? Colorado court hints at direction of fair housing laws in Trump era

Aside from a few negative comments made last year during the presidential campaign, there has been very little indication of where Secretary Ben Carson and the Trump administration will take federal fair housing policy in the future. A recent decision by the US District Court in Denver, Colorado, however, indicates that, regardless of what the Trump administration does, courts and state legislatures may step in to pick up the slack in fair housing enforcement. In Smith v. Avanti (Civil Action No. 16-cv-00091-RM-MJW), Judge Raymond Moore addressed fair housing claims asserted by a couple, one of whom is a transgender woman, seeking to rent a townhouse. The couple had two minor children. After meeting with the couple and touring the property, the owner notified them that she would not rent the townhouse to the couple, citing the couple’s “unique relationship” and possible noise caused by their children. In response, the Smiths filed a complaint, alleging that the owner violated provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) that prohibit discrimination on the basis of familial status and sex, and under Colorado’s fair housing law, which also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and familial status. In his decision, issued on April 5, 2017, Judge Moore concluded that under Tenth Circuit precedent, the FHAct’s prohibition on the basis of sex could not be read to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As a result, discrimination based solely on a person’s status as a transgender person does not constitute discrimination on the basis of se......
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At NAHRO Conference, Sec. Carson calls for less regulation; discusses more holistic community development approach

At NAHRO Conference, Sec. Carson calls for less regulation; discusses more holistic community development approach
Secretary Ben Carson spoke Monday morning, March 27, at the annual DC conference of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). He focused his remarks on the need to reduce burdensome regulation. He also discussed the idea of a more holistic approach to community development and bridging across traditional subject matter areas in order to address community needs on a comprehensive basis. Is it possible that such an approach could find broader support in the Trump Administration?Secretary Carson identified reducing regulatory burden within existing housing programs as a key area of focus. He encouraged the audience of housing professionals to consider new and innovative approaches to service delivery. He disparaged the bureaucratic approach as one more concerned about rules than about outcomes, and encouraged his audience to renew their focus on achieving outcomes through outside-the-box thinking. It will be interesting to observe how this perspective will be applied during the Secretary’s tenure, and which regulations take center stage in the Administration’s effort to reduce their impact.Secretary Carson also encouraged the NAHRO attendees to consider new ways to break down traditional barriers between subject matter areas and to address community development on a more holistic basis. “How do we develop the entire community?” he asked. “How do we ensure there are adequate schools and education?” Beyond education, he also identified the issues of health and working with the Department to Health and Human Services; workforce development and working with the Department of Labor; and the criminal justice system, particularly skills and educati......
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Reactions to the Trump administration’s proposed budget

Reactions to the Trump administration’s proposed budget

The President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), Diane Yentel, released a statement last week in response to the Trump administration’s budget proposal, specifically regarding the previously mentioned cuts to (and of) key housing assistance programs at HUD. The official position of the NLIHC is “[the budget proposal] is the wrong approach. Mr. Trump and Congress should be increasing investments in affordable homes-not dramatically cutting resources”. Yentel and the NLIHC further implored Congress to reject the proposed cuts, should they remain a part of the final budget proposal, citing them as “unacceptable”. The statement put out by Yentel and the NLIHC also highlights Secretary Carson’s previous commitment to maintain existing HUD programs, and to refrain from any drastic cuts until an alternative program is created in its place.

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Dear Gabby: Micro Apartments: An Update

Dear Gabby: Micro Apartments: An Update
Dear Gabby,  I know you have talked about the micro apartment trend before, but could you give us an update? Should they still be on my radar? I am not sure if my location will even be affected since I live in a smaller market. People here didn’t find out that Bey was pregnant until 2 days after her Instagram announcement for goodness sake! #ATrendyMultifamilyManager    ________________________   Dear #ATrendyMultifamilyManager ,  First off, where do you live for people to be that out of the loop? We had a celebratory toast at the office in honor of Bey’s pregnancy.  Second, thank you for the fabulous question! With new trends there is always the risk of it losing steam and becoming just another fad. With micro apartments, however, that’s not the case!  As I said in my last post, micro apartments mean something different to different people. Some think about their environmental footprint and opt to live in a smaller space to minimize their impact on the earth. Others choose the smaller unit because it is cheaper. They would rather sacrifice space than location, quality, safety, etc. Lastly, some people choose the space simply because it is trendy. No matter the reason, people seem to choose a micro apartment to serve a totally different purpose than a conventional one. On average, micro renters don’t stay as long, causing community to have higher turnover. That’s not to say that these communities are going to begin emptying out. More and more people (mainly young professio......
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