California Property owners need to know about Senate Bill 7, as the deadline for compliance is closing quickly. The bill would require a landlord to make certain disclosures to the tenant prior to the execution of the rental agreement, if the landlord intends to charge a tenant separately from rent for water service in a property with submeters.Read More
A little over 70% of the rental market now comes with dogs in tow. This trend is not letting up anytime soon. If you want to be competitive in the marketplace, you might consider making adjustments to your properties’ common areas. It might also, be a smart move to update some of your units ammenties. Open yourself up to opportunities by installing and/or offering dog friendly units. It’ll offer you a competitive edge in attracting new renters, instead of limiting your potential lessees. Here are some ideas to help you become a dog friendly rental location.
1) If your property has a laundry room, you can consider putting in a washbasin on the floor where your residents can wash their dogs. There are companies out there now which make specific pet-friendly wash basins which are easy to maintain. They are designed to capture any loose pet hair before it goes in down the drain.
2) When you are turning your units, consider flooring which would be most suitable for a dog. Hard surface flooring is especially favorable.
3) Think about your open areas, and converting them into dog runs. You could fence in the area, and create a nice place for dogs to play and exercise. Manufactures have developed artificial grass specifically for this purpose. Be sure to have water always available for tired pooches on hand afterwards.
4) Consider creating a partnership with a Dog Daycare facility. This could include, but not limited to drop off and pick up at residents' apartments and home training sessions to name a few.
5) Hire an in house dog walker. It’s a great amenity to offer your residents. Or create partnerships with local dog walkers, who may offer a discount to your residents.
6) Work with a local veterinarian willing to make house calls
7) Create a Facebook page for the dog owners in your property to meet, and book playdates for their fur babies.
8) Hold the occasional meet and greet for all the dog owners in the building. It’s great way to get together, and also introduce their dogs to one another.
9) Include some dog friendly items (treats, toys, shampoo, etc…) in the welcome gift basket to a new tenant.
These are just a few things you can do to make your property attractive to this ever growing group of renters and their canine family. We do recommend that you require pet insurance of some kind. We all have bad days, where we are a bit grumpy and may lash out. Be sure you, as the property owner, are covered.
We occasionally run into situations where we take over the management of a property and we find that the owner is frustrated with self-managing and the residents are frustrated with the ownership and in turn they are no longer happy with their living situation and their relationship has become quite toxic. When property managers end up in the middle it can be challenging at first but we eventually are able to quiet the situation and find out what the core issues are. Many times the landlord is just tired of the constant calls and feels harassed, while the residents feel the landlord doesn’t care about them or the property. The residents need to know that the ownership cares and values them at some level. Showing them that you care by keeping the property clean and well maintained is a great start.
The simple things like keeping the bushes trimmed so no one can hide behind them or keeping the lighting operating properly is a good start, but you really need to have a focus on all aspects of the common areas. We recommend doing a walkthrough inspection of the units every 6 months or so, check for dripping water, peeling paint, mold and all health and safety issues and making notes on each and every item as well as how it happened and when it will be repaired. The maintenance team needs to document when they did the repair and when it was completed and, if possible, snap a photo of the completed work that is time/date stamped.
Keeping ahead of maintenance issues can be daunting if you don’t have the right maintenance members, be sure to pick and choose your time wisely and you will save thousands of dollars in the long run.
The residents need to know how to put in a written work order that is available online, in the office or by email and be sure they know how long it will take you to process the order, do the inspection and address the issue so that everyone is happy. The better the communication you can provide the more likely it is that residents will help you take care of the place they live and your investment.
The Westside of Los Angeles will be one of the areas hardest hit with the new law requiring the retrofitting of wood-frame apartment buildings to better withstand a major earthquake. Buildings with soft stories that often serve as tuck under parking spaces have been proven shaky and vulnerable during an earthquake. These soft story buildings are typically older properties and in need of retrofitting not just for safety reasons but also due to the fact that many of these properties make up a good portion of L.A.'s affordable housing inventory, and a good earthquake could wipe out much of our affordable housing.
The retrofitting will most likely be quite expensive for the owner, so the city Lawmakers are also looking into ways they can help the owners pay for the work. They are considering possible tax breaks or repaying a government subsidized loan through property taxes. Of concern is that a good percentage of these owners are elderly and have purchased these properties for their retirement and live in one of the units while renting the rest of the units to pay for their living expenses, so the Lawmakers are working diligently to make this a viable project.
See if your property is included: http://graphics.latimes.com/soft-story-apartments-needing-retrofit/
Managing an investment property involves knowing when to send out notices in order to communicate with tenants and protect yourself legally. Whether you have a tenant who has failed to pay rent or need to let a tenant know about upcoming renovations, it’s important to know the required notices property managers and landlords send out.
Notice of Rent Increase:
This type of notice announces an upcoming rent increase that will take effect on a certain date. These notices must be sent to tenants between 30 and 60 days before the new rent takes effect, depending on state laws.
Offer of Renewal:
This notice lets tenants know that their lease will expire on a certain date and provides them with a renewal offer.
Notice of Intent to Dispose of Abandoned Personal Property:
This notice announces that tenants must pick up their personal property or it will be disposed of. Some states require advance notice, such as 30 days, while others do not.
Notice to Pay or Quit:
This type of notice gives tenants a certain number of days to pay rent that is overdue or risk having their lease terminated. The amount of time you give tenants to pay up varies by state.
Notice of Returned Payment:
This notice informs tenants that their rent payment was returned due to insufficient funds. It also typically includes a returned check fee that the tenant is responsible for paying.
Notice of Repairs:
This type of notice informs tenants that repairs or renovations will be made on the property on a certain day. It also lets tenants know about any outages that will occur, such as having the electricity shut off.
Notice to Enter:
With this type of notice, landlords let tenants know that they will be entering the property. Whether landlords are doing an inspection or checking on repairs, most states require this notice to be sent to tenants at least one day before visiting the property.
Notice of Lease Amendment:
This notice informs tenants that there has been a change to their lease. If the change was negotiated between the landlord and tenant beforehand, this serves as a formal document stating that the lease has been amended.
Notice of Non-Renewal:
With this type of notice, landlords let tenants know that their lease is set to expire on a certain date and will not be up for renewal. It also includes a date by which tenants must vacate the property.
Unconditional Quit Notice:
With this type of notice, landlords let tenants know that their lease is being terminated within a certain period of time for a specific reason, such as illegal activity or major property damage. Tenants do not have the opportunity to remedy the situation.
Notice to Cure or Quit:
This notice gives tenants a certain number of days to fix a violation, such as having pets that are not allowed or unapproved roommates, or risk having their lease terminated. This only applies to violations of clauses or conditions included in the lease agreement.
Guest article by Mr. Rekey Locksmith
When shopping in a store, there shouldn’t be any surprises about how much you owe when the cashier rings up your purchase. Every item is marked with its price, and while it may not be how much you think you ought to have to spend, the price isn’t going to change from the time you pick it up in the store to the time you hand it to the cashier.
You would never agree to pay four times more than the advertised price for an item, and a store could never get away with charging inconsistent prices. So why do people allow their locksmiths to do exactly the same thing?
Anyone who has seen the online ads for $10 or $15 locksmith services has probably wondered if those prices were too good to be true. The truth is they are, and they’re a scam. 95% of online locksmith ads are scams, and unreasonably low prices are often the way scammers catch people’s attention in order to score business.
No reputable locksmith could charge prices that low and remain in business because a locksmith’s fee has to cover the cost of equipment, labor, licensing, supplies, transportation, and any other operational costs. Around $100 is a reasonable price for residential lock-out assistance, not $10.
The worst part about these scammers is that they will provide you with questionable service at best and end up charging you more than their advertised price. It is not uncommon for scammers to jack up their prices by 400-500% after completing their work, and most people pay for lack of a better solution.
The Locksmith Scam Survival Guide provided by Mr. Rekey locksmith equips you with the information you need to protect yourself from scammers. Don’t wait until you’re locked out of your house to find a locksmith you trust, so you can avoid being the next scam victim.
In Los Angeles, people are spending more time on the road because they are living farther away from where they work, due to high rents. The reason for this: supply and demand, there are not enough units being built to keep up with the number of people, particularly young professionals who make a decent income and want to live in an area close to where they work. Unfortunately, incomes have not kept up with rents and with dwellers devoting upwards of 30, 40 or even 50% of their monthly income to rental payments, effective solutions need to be in place, such as making more efficient use of existing real estate in the city, building micro-units and expanding our public transportation infrastructure to service dense areas – especially as taller structures are built. The future of Los Angeles real estate is in building high-density projects, particularly multifamily and mixed-use developments.
Los Angeles County is filled with old, one or two story apartment buildings. This is an inefficient use of space especially in highly dense areas such as Westwood, West LA, Brentwood, as well as the city of Santa Monica. Many of these multifamily structures have generous setbacks, carports & ground level parking – taking up valuable space on a plot of land. These buildings met the need for housing in the 1940s, 50s and 60s when the population was a fraction of what it is now. In addition, these areas were considered suburbs of Los Angeles when these neighborhoods were conceived and planned. These buildings have long outlived their use and need to be replaced with taller multifamily buildings, possibly a mixed-use development (with underground parking) if the location is on a busy street. In an era when these areas have blossomed from sleepy bedroom communities to centers of business and commerce, the development for higher density housing is imperative.
Furthermore, there needs to be a greater variety of units in these multifamily buildings of the future. Developers need to focus on building units that are smaller than the average apartment in Los Angeles. These are called micro-units and are extremely common in the major cities of Europe and Asia (such as Paris, London, Seoul and Tokyo) where densities are through the roof. The size of the average studio in the city is 524 square feet (SF), a 1-bedroom dwelling is 729 SF, and a 2-bedroom unit is 1,043 SF. If a building were constructed with micro-units that are a fraction of these sizes, many more units could be offered in a building, while still having a comfortable space for a person or a couple to share.
Every new multifamily building should not be composed of all micro-units, since more spacious units need to built for larger families or those with larger space requirements, but for single people, couples and perhaps small families with infants/kids, mini apartments could be a more convenient and affordable solution. This is especially true if they are located within walking distance to jobs, schools and retail/restaurants, thereby lessening car trips. Micro-units would command less expensive rents, mostly due to their size. For example, Luxe@Broadway is a 5 story micro-unit property in Santa Monica. It offers studios and 1 bedrooms from 362 SF to 440 SF and has convenient access to restaurants on the ground level, Third Street Promenade and the Expo Line. Rents range from $1,519 to $1,736, affordable for many working professionals.
While a micro-unit or multifamily unit is not for everyone, many will agree that by compacting units in multi-story structures, having places to shop and eat within walking distance – and increasing heavy-rail transit in dense areas – would reduce traffic congestion for everybody on the roads. Meanwhile, those who choose to live in micro-apartments will enjoy convenience while paying rent that is in line with their income. With the population of Los Angeles County projected to be at over 16 million people in 2050, the future of real estate (in LA and in every heavily populated city of the world) is in developing multi-story properties.