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  Let's face it...you are tired of seeing them. Yes, I am talking about those ugly roof stains. Are the roofs in your complex covered with black streaks & stains? If so, then you may be surprised by what the staining you see actually is. It is a form of algae called "Gloeocapsa Magma" which feeds on crushed limestone used in common asphalt shingles. The good news is it can be removed using the right roof cleaners and cleaning technique. Many people don't realize what causes the stains on your roof. We have heard almost everything...from residue of jet fuel to the shingles rotting from the insideout.                                                                               The truth is shingle roofs are manufactured with different degrees of quality. Most roofs applied by builders and roofing contractors are in the low quality to at most mid quality range with few, if any, fungus fighting elements like zinc or copper.                                                                                                                   Contributing Factors: - Black fungus requires three things to grow: heat, moisture, and a nutrient. Nutrients can be found within the shingle themselves while other variables contribute to and hasten fungus growth. The algae develops an actual root system and lifts granules off the shingles. The north side of the roof is usually the first to exhibit staining because the moisture remains there longer. Add to that, the type, grade and manufacturer of the shingle, the age of the roof, the close proximity of trees, pools, or lakes, how hot and humid the weather is and if there are leaves accumulating on......
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Have You Considered Specialization?

City ApartmentParticularly if you own a property in an urban area or near a university or center of business, many specialized tenant markets are just waiting to be captured. Specialized property management may be just the solution you’ve been looking for to decrease vacancies and guarantee steady rental income. When considering just a few of your options below, be sure that you take your property, location, property management style, and goals into consideration. Section 8 and low-income housingEssentially, the Section 8 program provides low-income individuals with government-assisted rent. Generally, tenants pay approximately 30 percent of a unit’s rent and the government pays the remaining balance directly to the tenant’s landlord. In such a scenario, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) will determine the unit’s fair market rate (FMR) and the landlord is not allowed to charge the tenant anything over this amount.  While it is up to you to choose whether or not to participate in Section 8, keep the following points in mind: You will be subject to property inspection to ensure you meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.You will not be able to charge a Section 8 tenant more than FMR.Regardless of your state’s laws, you cannot evict a Section 8 tenant without judicial action for eviction. While there may be some similarities, low-income housing is not the same as Section 8. Rather than receiving rental income from the government, property owners who run low-income properties are eligible for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). But it’s important to......
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Lose the Amenity: Tanning Beds Need to Go

A compelling story that may have been lost this week in the furor over the Horizon Realty mess was the WHO's study on the dangers of tanning beds. As an industry, we need to be aware of this and address it at our apartment buildings and communities.

The dangers of tanning have been known for several years. Sadly, my generation not only tanned religiously, we even added iodine to baby oil to 'darken' ourselves even more! (Yes, we really did that.) But finally, even more information on how dangerous it is to 'fake bake' has been made public.

The World Health Organization's analysis found that the use of tanning beds can raise the risk of skin cancer by up to 75%. This new classification makes tanning beds as dangerous as arsenic and mustard gas.

Get rid of the tanning beds. Do something healthy for your residents. Make a statement. Or not. The choice is up to you.

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Dealing with Tenant Complaints

Angry TenantWhether you’re dealing with a tenant who files complaints rarely or frequently, due diligence is always essential. Tracking and addressing tenant complaints in a timely manner is important not only for keeping your tenants safe and happy, but also for protecting yourself and your property in the long run. 1.    Encourage tenants to come to you. As with maintenance, tenants should be encouraged to come to you with any complaints they may have as quickly as possible. Sure, there might be some tenants that overuse this privilege, but the vast majority will not. Provide a number they can call at all hours—and be sure the number’s voicemail includes an emergency number callers can utilize during off-hours. 2.    Create (and use) an official tenant complaint form. Although it may seem unnecessary at times, tracking each and every tenant complaint is important. These forms will provide a record of the situation and what you did to mend it and also, in some cases, provide yet another way for you to record repairs and upgrades that have been completed in each unit. On this form you’ll want to include the date of the complaint, the tenant’s name and unit, and the nature of the complaint. You’ll also want to record resolution action items, the date the issue was resolved, and how it was resolved. Since we just talked about eviction last week, this seems like a good time to point out that, in some states, tenants may be justified in non-payment of rent if......
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Which is more important? Price? Quality? or Service?

What is more important to you as an apartment investor, owner, or contractor doing a remodel in a rental property?

Is everyone only looking at price now because of our economy? Or do some people still give credence and importance to quality of materials, loyalty to the vendor they are getting a bid from, timeliness of receiving the bid, the delivery, and installation?

 I would really like to know what is more of the  driving force in the market. We have seen a large upswing in people wanting a bid, but putting more emphasis on Price than anything else. What does that say about the relationships you have built with your vendors? About our society as a whole?


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Denver Apartment Trade Show-May 20, 2009

How many of you apartment managers, apartment personnel, investors, contractors are going to the Denver Apartment Association Trade Show at the Merchandise Mart on May 20, 2009? Not many? A Few? None?With today's economy, it's more important than ever to get the best value for your money? Am I right? So IF you are going to the Trade Show; and IF you want a Reputable Vendor who can assist you with your cabinet, countertop, or custom casework needs, then you need to stop by our booth #414-Front Range Cabinets and visit us. At Front Range Cabinets, we offer over 8 Different cabinet lines, everything from Truckloads for Multi Family Projects to single kitchens. From Contractor cabinets to Semi Custom as well as Frameless cabinets. Are you looking for Countertops for a project? We do laminate in house and have access to Granite, Quartz, and Solid Surface materials as well.Custom Casework needed? We do that too. We build in house our own Frameless cabinets and have done MANY Teller lines for Banks, Custom desks, and cabinetry. Do you need cabinets, countertops, or casework delivered or installed? We can help you with that as well.Give us an opportunity to give you a competitive quote on your next project. Front Range Cabinets wants to work with you and will offer you not only competitive pricing, but exceptional service, delivery, and installation.Look us up and lets talk about how we can help you upgrade your property to get higher rents, remodel to sell a property, or just......
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Student Housing and Resident Retention

Earlier today I took part in the monthly Grace Hill chat, this one focusing on student housing. Unfortunately, I was busy with other projects so I wasn't able to devote a lot of attention to it, but I did notice something odd about the chat. Normally, the Grace Hill chats, although very informative, usually end up focusing 90% on apartment marketing and only 10% on resident retention topics. I understand that the questions are user driven, but it always bugs me that we spend so much time on the less profitable of the two. But today, from what I saw, it was quite different. In fact, it seemed that it was highly focused on resident retention items such as parties, group games, such as the Wii or Guitar Hero, and surprisingly, service! Now I'm all for positive resident retention ideas, but it was just odd to see that much discussion on the topic when before it played such a second-place role. Spending so much time on student housing retention is even more interesting considering the large obstacles it faces. The lifecycle of any student resident is almost required to be short as they will graduate (hopefully) or move home for the summer. Also, students often initially stay at the dorms, which means a lot of renters are already upper classman, meaning closer to graduation. In addition, college renters often have roommates - if that roommate happens to be a year ahead, then he/she will graduate before the younger resident, forcing that resident......
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