landlord: Are You a Skilled Property Manager or an Accidental Slumlord? - 07/25/13 11:39 AM
Are You a Skilled Property Manager or an Accidental Slumlord? By Matt Donnelly, Buildium, Boston, MA
The title is provocative on purpose. My intent is to get you to look at your property management activities through the eyes of the tenants who live in the properties you manage. Do you have blind spots in how you manage those properties? Are you being perceived in a somewhat negative light by your tenants? When is the last time you talked to your tenants — I mean, really talked to them?
One clue to how well you’re doing is your churn or turnover rate. … (2 comments)

landlord: Baby, It's Cold Outside - 01/03/13 07:31 AM
By Steve Boudreault, Buildium, Boston, MA
Here in Boston, one doesn't even need to set foot outside to know that the first Arctic blast of the season is upon us. Twitter hashtags like #brrrr and #cantfeelmytoes tell a frigid story. Facebook posts like "It's colder than a tin toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg!" really paint a picture. It's cold.
Well, like it or not, winter is well and truly here, and for property managers and landlords that means winterizing the property to avoid the headaches and expenses that this harsh season can bring with it. Here are … (2 comments)

landlord: Let's All Build Fences - 01/02/13 07:27 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
I recently had a neighbor suggest to me that we jointly fund a new fence along my side of the property that adjoined his. The fence was dilapidated here, but nowhere else. I was open to the idea, but wondered why I should share in the cost if this was the only place my fence was having problems. On all of the other adjoining property lines the fence is fine. Why this one? Maybe because his property was six inches higher than mine on his side of the fence and was … (2 comments)

landlord: Full Employment Act - 12/19/12 08:53 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
There's been an awful lot of discussion around this blog regarding a landlord's liability for personal injuries and property damage occasioned to tenants and third parties. It would seem like the landlord is exposed in all manner of fronts for all manner of different circumstances. Appearances notwithstanding, the blog readers will know that the issue of notice, control, and an opportunity to remedy are all important in California in determining whether a landlord owes a duty to protect someone from injury. If they do, more forward-planning readers might be thinking: "Well … (2 comments)

landlord: From Dogs to Drunks - 12/06/12 07:31 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
Well my last post was so good I did not have the courage to write another. About six months ago we were discussing various scenarios by which a landlord could be held liable in California for injuries or property damage occasioned by her tenants. We discussed how, if she knows about a tenant's animals' dangerous propensities, she might have a duty to prevent injuries of property damage to others arising from such dangerous propensities. Citation to the holy hand grenade scene must have subconsciously made me think I had reached my … (4 comments)

landlord: Election Protection - 09/13/12 08:20 AM
By Salvatore J. Friscia, San Diego Premier Property Management, San Diego, CA
During an election year, it's not uncommon to drive through local neighborhoods and find political signs of every shape, size, and party firmly planted in some of the nicest landscaped yards in town. In some areas, the saturation of signs can become quite unsightly as they are stapled to telephone posts, hanging from balconies, and grouped together on street corners like overgrown weeds. Here in the state of California, a new law (California Civil Code §1940.4) was passed January 1, 2012, that protects the rights of tenants to display … (3 comments)

landlord: If It Ain't Broke... - 03/30/12 09:13 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
Well, hello there and happy 2012 to you all. It has been a little bit of time since we have had a chance to chat. I will beg your forgiveness for being pre-occupied with year end duties, and a jury trial in Visalia, California that preoccupied my time and has prevented me from indulging in the blogging world. Now that I am able to focus, I want to talk to you about every one's favorite topic – repairs – from everyone's favorite perspective – a lawyer.
But before I do, I'll … (0 comments)

landlord: A Resident's Expectations - 01/23/12 04:49 PM
By Steven Van Zile, Total Management, New York, NY
Within the past 24 hours, here are the maintenance issues I’ve experienced at the property where I reside: the maintenance person, loyal to this building for 33 years, responds to aclogged toilet by advising us to pour bleach down the toilet. Concurrently, the intercom buzzer is stuck and won’t shut off. And, of course, the elevator renovation that started out as a one week project actually turned into a three week project, providing 6th floor tenants the opportunity to save money by cancelling their gym memberships.
It’s always seemed simple to me; … (2 comments)

landlord: The Comeback of the Transferee Tenant - 12/05/11 10:23 AM
By Ben Holubecki, STML Realty Group, Glen Ellyn, IL
One area that really took a hit during the economic downturn over the past few years was the ability to lease property to employees being hired and transferred. Nobody was hiring, and it seemed that very few companies were taking on the expense of transferring their employees to other markets. Although the job market continues to stagnate, overall it does appear that in many markets companies are beginning to add staff, and once again we are seeing an influx of transferring employees and executives.
Renting a property to an incoming transferee presents a few … (1 comments)

landlord: Five Things New Landlords Don't Know - 11/07/11 10:22 AM
A guest post by Dusty Henry, All Property Management, Seattle, WA
Renting out your property might sound like a great idea, and it is. Inviting tenants to live in your home, especially if you are not using it, can be a great way to make some extra money and let someone else pay your mortgage.
The idea of enlisting and paying a property manager may at first seem contradictory to your idea of making money. If you only have one property and minimal outside commitments, then you might not have a problem managing your own property. However, there are some things … (6 comments)

landlord: Your Landlord's Duty to Prevent Criminal Acts - 10/24/11 11:42 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
Over the last few posts, we’ve discussed premises liability, landlord duties, and obvious dangers, among other things. Today we’ll discuss an issue in California that gets people excited - a landlord’s duty to prevent criminal acts.
Nothing gets people more excited than the idea that a landlord might have an affirmative duty to prevent or intervene in the actions of a third party to prevent a person on his or her property from becoming the victim of a crime. On the face of it, this duty feels like it falls outside the scope … (0 comments)

landlord: Control Is the Key – When Unsafe Property Conditions Result in Injury - 10/18/11 03:45 PM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
Let’s continue with figuring out the basis for how a tenant can recover against someone for an injury due to an unsafe condition on the property.
I say “someone” because as we have seen previously, it does not need to be the landlord who gets sued.  It can be the lessor, the “occupier,” or anyone who “controls” the property.  The last one may seem a bit redundant, but it is not.  Certainly the person occupying the premises exerts control over it.  Same for the owner.  Even if he is renting out the property, … (4 comments)

landlord: Bonuses and Incentives in the Real Estate Industry – Understanding Win/Win/Win Formulas - 10/17/11 10:53 AM
By Jo-Anne Oliveri, ireviloution intelligence, Brisbane, Australia
Salary incentive and bonus plans have to work for both parties. But, even more importantly, real estate agency principals need to understand what they are aiming to achieve in offering incentives to the team.
The vast majority of bonus and incentive plans don’t achieve their aim of increasing business profits. Why? Because they focus solely on management numbers. However, increased management numbers don’t equate to increased income and profits. On the contrary, they result in increased overheads, overall net losses in management, and low team morale. Clearly, the focus is all wrong! The good news … (1 comments)

landlord: Five Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Investment Property - 10/11/11 11:06 AM
By Munveer Garcha, Policy Expert, London, UK
If you’re considering purchasing a buy-to-rent investment and becoming a first-time landlord, there are a few things you should consider. Here are our top five pointers to think about before taking the plunge.
1. Location, location, location.It’s vital that you carefully consider the location of your rental property before investing. The location will influence the desirability of your property, and that in turn will impact the amount of rent you can charge. Consider your target market – is the area mainly home to young families? If so, consider the proximity of the rental property to … (3 comments)

landlord: Obviously, You Don't Need to Warn About That - 10/03/11 10:24 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA
Have you ever seen that warning sign about alligators?  The one that says, “Warning: feeding, enticing or molesting alligators is prohibited.”  You probably had the same thought as me.  Really?  Is that warning necessary?  Don’t we all learn before kindergarten that provoking man-eating animals is hazardous to our health?  That it creates “an unreasonable risk of harm?”  What about the sign warning you that your hotel balcony on the 17th floor “is not on ground level” and you should not jump off of it?  Seems pretty obvious, right? An owner/lessor/occupier/person who controls … (7 comments)

landlord: Establishing Transfer Policies for Multi-Unit Properties - 08/15/11 11:10 AM
By Ben Holubecki, STML Realty Group, Glen Ellyn, IL
Transfer policies are often a detail overlooked by landlords and property owners who own/manage multi-unit properties. A tenant requesting a move from one unit to another presents challenges and can add unnecessary and unexpected costs for property owners. Ignoring these requests or not addressing them properly can open landlords up to potential resentment from tenants and even legal liabilities if not properly documented. There are a lot of reasons why a tenant might request a transfer to another unit within the same property and there are positive and negative impacts resulting from … (1 comments)

landlord: 10 Tips to Effectively Communicate with Your Landlord - 08/03/11 02:03 PM
By Ben Holubecki, STML Realty, Glen Ellyn, IL
As a property manager, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about how I communicate with the residents of the properties that I manage. Unfortunately, most residents give little thought to how they communicate with their property manager or landlord. Considering that nearly 35% of Americans currently reside in approximately 40 million rental units throughout the country it is surprising that so few of us really understand how to communicate effectively with our landlords. Almost every one of these landlord/tenant relationships last a minimum of one year and some last many years, … (5 comments)

landlord: Not Everyone's a Property Manager! - 07/19/11 11:53 AM
By Salvatore Friscia, San Diego Premier Property Management, San Diego, CA
I made a quick trade, put an offer in on a property in Arizona and then closed my laptop and headed with the kids for lunch in La Jolla. It was after lunch that I had an all too familiar experience. We were playing tourist for the day and on the walk back to our vehicle we stopped into a small boutique store near the cove to allow each kid to choose an item of there choice as a fun reward for good behavior throughout the day. I noticed the … (4 comments)

landlord: Move In - Move Out Checklist (Part 2) - 07/11/11 10:57 AM
By Salvatore J. Friscia, San Diego Premier Property Management, San Diego, CA
The “move out” stage of a tenancy can be voluntary or involuntary. The voluntary move out process begins when a landlord receives notice from a tenant that they have intentions of no longer occupying a rental property. The preferred method of notice as in accordance with most rental lease agreements is typically a 30-day written notice to vacate. If the tenant is currently on a lease agreement the notice should be received at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the lease agreement and if the tenant is … (1 comments)

landlord: The Security Deposit - How Much is Enough? - 06/20/11 11:57 AM
By Salvatore J. Friscia, San Diego Premier Property Management, San Diego, CA
Every property owner should require tenants to issue a refundable security deposit which is held on file to insure against non-performance of the lease agreement. Non-performance may be, but is not limited to, anything from damages occurring during occupancy to expenses accrued due to the tenants conduct or failure to pay rent.
The confusion begins with the property owner not knowing how much to require the tenant to issue for the security deposit. It is important to understand that security deposits for residential properties are controlled by statute and call for … (3 comments)

 
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All things property management is a one stop destination for folks interested in learning more about managing real estate. Broken down into a variety of targeted columns, the information that you are looking for is easily accessible — from investing tips and best practices in The Intelligent Investor to the real-life dilemmas of property managers in Stories from the Front Lines. We’ve brought on contributing writers from across the country to share their respective expertise with you, whether you’re a landlord, a professional property manager, or an association board member. Your feedback, participation, and comments will help us deliver the information you need most. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in contributing.


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