headlines this week, the San Diego County Apartment Association's Spring 2014
Vacancy and Rental Rate survey has been featured in local and national news
about the region's rental housing market. Commentators noted the recent data
indicating that the San Diego region is at near-record levels for low apartment
vacancies and consumers agree with many complaining it has rarely seemed more
difficult to find a rental unit. The survey joins a local debate about what
policymakers can do to avoid a rental housing crisis in San Diego and encourage
development of new rental housing stock.
The Vacancy and Rental Rate survey is
made available to SDCAA members in the RentalOwner magazine.Rent Sense: FBS
& BBB Warn Against Rise of Rental Scams During Shortage
popular survey was featured in national and local outlets. Check out a few from
the collection below.
Click here to read the Trulia Property
Agent's blog on the state of the tight San Diego rental market.
Click here to see George Chamberlin's
take in "Money in the Morning."
Click here to read analysis from the
San Diego Daily Transcript's real estate reporters.
Click here to read UT San Diego's
Jonathan Horn on the difficulties of finding a rental in San Diego today.
View the Times of San Diego piece on our survey by clicking here.
10 News San
Diego featured the vacancy rate drop as a lead story in this week's newscast.
To be a successful property management company in the
modern economy you must become a respected rental housing provider in your
market. Experience is imperative and solid reputation within the industry is
important but beyond this you must engage the consumer audiences within your
We maintain ourselves accessible as rental housing experts throughout the 69
zip codes in which we operate rental properties. We do this by writing an
informative column for local newspapers, service several large blog audiences
and participate in the Better Business Bureau to raise integrity standards.
We also provide leadership to the San Diego Apartment
As a partner of the BBB, we value their continued support and education. The
BBB is a trustworthy source to consumers. Read below a recent BBB article!http://sandiego.bbb.org/article/hand-over-the-keys-avoiding-apartment-rental-scams-43448
have built a healthy San Diego business out of advising independent real estate
investors, acquiring and managing rental properties for clients while providing
superior housing alternatives for qualified renters. We've accomplished daily
for longer than four decades. Our rental vacancies change daily. Take a peek
Rent Sense: When is a pet something else?
By Neil Fjellestad & Chris De Marco
FBS Property Management
Letâ€™s examine for a moment when an animal is not a pet. Many renters want and/or require the assistance and/or support of an animal in order to function and/or to enjoy a better quality of life.
Here is a short list for your consideration when a pet is something else-
â€¢ Fair Housing laws indicate that rental owners, operators and managers must provide â€œreasonable accommodationsâ€ for disabled persons.
â€¢ Allowing an assistive animal is a common accommodation.
â€¢ There are numerous labels for animals that assist, serve, and perform specific tasks, offer companionship, support and comfort. Some of these animals are trained; others may not be. What these animals are not â€“ PETS.
â€¢ Therefore animals can be allowed when the rental property is not pet-friendly. They are the â€œeyes, ears, legs or emotional supportâ€ of the disabled person(s). This can include residents and/or their guests.
â€¢ You must consider and determine whether accepting this animal is unreasonable for you. If you believe that the personâ€™s request whether verbal or written is unreasonable, be prepared to defend your position. Donâ€™t stall with your response hoping that the problem will go away. No response in a timely fashion can be construed to be an unreasonable denial. It would be wise to consult a fair housing attorney before you answer.
â€¢ Do not try to apply pet deposits, pet policies, extra rent or security deposit.
â€¢ You can request verification regarding the need for the animal if the disability and/or need is not obvious but be flexible about who the verifier is; it might be the resident himself/herself, a relative or friend that is aware of the circumstances and is willing to attest to these in writing.
â€¢ Establish and maintain reasonable policies of conduct. Since the animal(s) is/are an extension of the resident(s) well-being these policies will help to hold the resident accountable for problems and damages that can arise as a result of this accommodation.
â€¢ The disabled renter is not exempt from being a good tenant.
â€¢ Remember that breed restrictions, bans on exotic animals and farm animals were all developed as pet policies. New studies substantiate the assistive value of monkeys, parrots, miniature horses, pigs, goats, etc. Therefore, categorical denial can be challenged.
Rent Sense: Preventative Legal is an Ongoing Requirement (part 12)
I have asked Ted Kimball to regularly share some of his legal insights on important issues that arise in the ongoing operation of rental properties (single homes, individual condos and apartments). These responses should not be construed as legal advice until your specific circumstances are considered. Our Property Management firm has effectively utilized the legal counsel of KTS for years to keep ourselves and our rental owner clients out of trouble. We operate rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region. Neil
Question: Can you tell me if someone needs any kind of certification or license to manage
property in California? I want to hire someone to manage some of my smaller (less than 10
units) buildings. This person will accept rent, give out notices, handle complaints, and supervise
Answer: They are required to be a licensed real estate broker in order to manage property in
California for a third party. An exception is for a manager who lives on-site.
Question: We have a single family home that we believe has been damaged and neglected
inside by the tenants. Do we have the right to request access to inspect the property, with or
without the tenants permission?
Answer: You have a right to enter to provide necessary or agreed upon repairs provided you
give a reasonable written notice (24 hours is presumed to be reasonable).
Question: Am I within my legal rights to ignore oral notices and demand written 30-day
notice for a month-to-month lease termination?
Answer: Yes , California law requires termination notices to be in writing.
Question: We do not have any HUD housing. When a Section 8 applicant asks us if we
accept HUD housing, what is the best answer?
Answer: Indicate to the applicant that the property does not participate in any governmental
assistance program at this time, but they are welcome to apply if they are willing to forego
Question: One of our tenants paid us $50.00 per month rent less than what his lease
required. We did not catch the mistake until after his third month. He says he does not owe it
because we waived our right to collect it when he paid his rent. Is he right?
Answer: Probably not. If your lease contained a non-waiver provision, it will be upheld in
court. Even if your lease were silent on this issue, he would have to prove that you
knowingly waived your right to receive full payment by accepting a lesser amount.
Rent Sense: Improve To Add Value
By Neil Fjellestad & Chris De Marco
FBS Property Management
Now could be a good time to improve your property in order to preserve its condition overall, enhance its rental value and/or upgrade the appraisal for generating better mortgage terms. Higher demands are being generated by renters that rightfully want to feel value for their largest household expenditure. Rental increases go down easier when improvements are apparent. Preferred renters stay longer when improvements are consistent. Items such as landscaping, exterior paint, new roofing, plumbing and electrical upgrades tend to benefit investors more than trendy renovations. Floor plan design items that delight residents and most often add value are kitchen or bathroom renovations and wall changes that create usable space and natural light.
More rental owners are taking advantage of low interest rates and better loan terms to borrow against their property equity in order to make improvements. Of course, the interest and cost of improvements are additional tax benefits as well.
Real estate investors need to remember that upgrades to property donâ€™t automatically yield an immediate increase in property value that is equal or greater to the costs of the project. Often, the benefits to your property are long-term. Savvy property owners always keep an objective eye toward the surrounding neighborhood and changing home ownership trends so they donâ€™t â€œover-improveâ€ their real estate and/or pick the wrong improvements. Property improvements should keep a homeâ€™s overall appearance and amenities equal to the other homes in the community in order to get the best return on investment over time.
Finally, do not create unnecessary debt in the process of improving the physical condition of the property. Our recommendation to rental owners is to maintain a 30 percent equity position at all times.
Property improvement responds well to the old adage â€œmeasure twice; cut once.â€
FBS operates rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region and has continuously provided comprehensive advisory and management services to independent rental owners for more than four decades. During this same period FBS has provided quality housing to thousands of renters that are treated as preferred customers. As industry leaders we are pleased to pay tribute to local, state and national associations that enhance and protect Rental Ownership as essential to the economic and social fabric of our neighborhoods. Please take a moment to regularly review what we have to say and what's happening at Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS). Neil