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Neil Fjellestad's Blog

RentSenseBlog.com

By Neil Fjellestad | Property Manager in San Diego County, CA
  • FBS Rent Sense RE Investor Alert in 92111 near USD: SD County Apartment Association Reports Lowest Vacancy in 12 yrs

    Posted Under: For Rent in Linda Vista, Rentals in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  June 27, 2014 9:33 AM  |  666 views  |  1 comment

    Making 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.

    SDCAA's 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.

    Rent Sense: FBS & BBB Warn Against Rise of Rental Scams During Shortage

    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 market.

    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 Association.

    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

    We 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 today www.fbs-pm.com/rentals
  • FBS Property Management eNewsletter for Independent Rental Owners & Serious RE Investors in 92111 neighborhoods near USD & Mesa

    Posted Under: For Rent in Linda Vista, Rentals in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  June 3, 2014 7:01 AM  |  578 views  |  No comments
    2013 Property Manager Pricing Survey

    Please shop and compare; not just price but services and expertise. We 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 all of this daily for longer than four decades and currently operate rental properties (houses, condos and apartments) in 69 zip codes throughout the region. Our rental vacancies change daily. Take a peek today www.fbs-pm.com/rentals

    If you're a qualified renter you deserve to be treated like the preferred customer you are.
    Educate yourself
    www.RentSenseBlog.com

    If you're a local rental owner now you hold a winning ticket if you want a preferred retirement. A preferred retirement includes a personal residence plus rental properties held without debt and managed by professionals. This financial condition allows you some important lifestyle choices where you live and how you live. The ONLY challenge according to Warren Buffet? Comprehensive and constant professional management of your rental business. The solution in San Diego is complete property advisory and management services by FBS.

  • FBS Rent Sense Includes Investor Tax Planning: Improve Now & Add Future Value in 92111 neighborhoods near USD & Mesa College

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Linda Vista, Rentals in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  May 24, 2014 10:42 AM  |  508 views  |  No comments

    FBS Rent Sense Includes Investor Tax Planning: Improve Now & Add Future Value

    We 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 all of this daily for longer than four decades and currently operate rental properties (houses, condos and apartments) in 69 zip codes throughout the region. Our rental vacancies change daily. Take a peek today
    www.fbs-pm.com/rentals

    If you're a qualified renter you deserve to be treated like the preferred customer you are.
    Educate yourself
    www.RentSenseBlog.com

    If you're a local rental owner now you hold a winning ticket if you want a preferred retirement. A preferred retirement includes a personal residence plus rental properties held without debt and managed by professionals. This financial condition allows you some important lifestyle choices where you live and how you live. The ONLY challenge according to Warren Buffet? Comprehensive and constant professional management of your rental business. The solution in San Diego is complete property advisory and management services by FBS.

    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. If you are looking for additional tax write-off why not re-invest in your rental property?

    Renters that rightfully want to feel value for their largest household expenditure are asking for repairs and improvements. 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 don'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 don't over-improve their real estate and/or pick the wrong improvements

  • FBS Property Management eNewsletter for Linda Vista 92111: It's Summertime & the Living is Easier with Rent Sense

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Linda Vista, For Rent in Linda Vista, Rentals in Linda Vista  |  July 27, 2013 10:59 AM  |  900 views  |  No comments

    It's Summertime & the Living is Easier with Rent Sense

    I have asked Ted Kimball to 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.Ted Kimball is a partner with Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP. The law firm specializes in landlord/tenant, collections, fair housing and business and real estate, with offices throughout California. FBS Property Management firm has effectively utilized the legal counsel of KTS for decades to keep ourselves and our rental owner clients out of trouble. We operate rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region.If you need to relocate please check us out www.fbs-pm.com/rentals (use our mobile version). Remember that availabilty changes daily.

    1. Question: What are my legal rights regarding maintaining a full deposit on a unit when one roommate moves out and another stays? My understanding is that I am entitled to maintain the full deposit while at least one of the original tenants remains in residency, and it is that remaining person’s responsibility to refund the deposit.

    Answer:Unless your lease provides otherwise, you do not have to account for the use of the deposit or do an inspection until you regain possession of the unit. The roommate who vacated is not
    entitled to a refund or inspection at this time unless your lease specifically requires it.

    2. Question: One of our tenants wants her security deposit refund in cash as the other
    roommate on the lease has moved out of state with no forwarding address. If the missing
    roommate’s name is on the refund check, the remaining tenant is concerned that she cannot
    cash the check.

    Answer: You can either make the check out to both tenants or have one tenant send you a notarized statement that he/she is relinquishing all rights to the deposit to the other tenant. Otherwise, you face potential liability to the one who did not receive the deposit.

    3. Question: Does the acceptance of rent from someone who is not on the lease mean I’ve
    accepted him as a tenant?


    Answer: Accepting a third party check does not by itself necessarily indicate that you have accepted this person as a tenant. It is a good idea to indicate that this is being received on behalf of the tenant and does not indicate any tenancy relationship between you and the check writer.

    4. Question: I am having a bit of a problem with a repeat visitor on my property. He is a young man who knows a lot of the children who live here. It has been brought to my attention that he has been selling marijuana on our property, but I have not personally seen this. Can I keep him off of the property based on this information?

    Answer:If he is not visiting one of your tenants, he is trespassing. If he is visiting one of your residents, they are responsible for his conduct. In any case you should call the police.

    5. Question: I have a resident who moved in this last month. I have had a lot of noise
    complaints about him from other residents. I have also issued three warning notices for noise and the cleaning of this patio. He has a one-year lease. What can I do?


    Answer: If the disturbances rise to the level of a public or private nuisance (major, continuous
    disturbances to neighbors), then you could serve a Three-Day Notice to Quit based upon the
    nuisance.

    6. Question: I have tenants who recently divorced. The husband has moved out. Can we take
    him off the rental agreement?

    Answer: It is not in your best interest to take him off the lease as he is still responsible for the lease
    payments even though he moved out. To remove him, you would need to get his permission
    and consent.

    7. Question: Is there a smoke detector ordinance that requires an owner to perform an annual smoke detector inspection in each unit? If so, what is the purpose of the smoke detector
    agreement?


    Answer: California state law does not require an annual inspection of a smoke detector inside a rented unit; however, the owner is responsible to maintain and test smoke detectors in common
    stairwells or other common property of the apartment community. Tenants are required to notify
    the owner of an inoperable smoke detector in their unit.

    8. Question: One of our employees said she believes that a tenant’s rental agreement must be signed in the owner’s or agent’s presence, or notarized, or it will be invalid.

    Answer: California rental agreements do not have to be notarized or signed in front of the owner or
    owner’s agent.

    9. Question: Can I ban alcohol in the pool area?

    Answer: You can control the common areas of the premises so you could ban the use of alcohol in the pool area.

    10. Question: Do I give a sixty-day notice on a month-to-month tenancy for a rent increase of
    10%?


    Answer: No, a thirty-day notice is all that is required unless the increase is more than 10% of what the rent was one year ago.

    This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was
    published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office.

  • Rent Sense for Linda Vista 92111: When is a pet something else?

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Linda Vista, For Rent in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  May 22, 2013 10:51 AM  |  961 views  |  No comments
    Rent Sense: When is a pet something else?
    By Neil Fjellestad & Chris De Marco
    FBS Property Management

    Let’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-
    • Fair Housing laws indicate that rental owners, operators and managers must provide “reasonable accommodations” for disabled persons.
    • Allowing an assistive animal is a common accommodation.
    • 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 – PETS.
    • Therefore animals can be allowed when the rental property is not pet-friendly. They are the “eyes, ears, legs or emotional support” of the disabled person(s). This can include residents and/or their guests.
    • You must consider and determine whether accepting this animal is unreasonable for you. If you believe that the person’s request whether verbal or written is unreasonable, be prepared to defend your position. Don’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.
    • Do not try to apply pet deposits, pet policies, extra rent or security deposit.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The disabled renter is not exempt from being a good tenant.
    • 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.
  • Condos, Houses & Apartments For Rent: FBS Property Management

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Linda Vista, For Rent in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  May 11, 2013 10:38 AM  |  863 views  |  No comments
    FBS Property Management eNewsletter
    http://email.e-mailnetworks.net/private/zHh9/hU3/QU4wqCL/browse/18593787

    Please take a quick look at what's new at FBS. Whether you are a renter by choice, an experienced independent rental owner or an interested real estate investor you will discover the value that our company's four decades of rental ownership, respected property management expertise and real estate investment advice can provide. We currently operate rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region.

    http://email.e-mailnetworks.net/private/zHh9/hU3/QU4wqCL/browse/18593787
  • Rent Sense for Linda Vista 92111 Requires: Knowledge, Expertise & Best Practices

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Linda Vista, Rentals in Linda Vista, Investment Properties in Linda Vista  |  March 15, 2013 11:06 AM  |  883 views  |  No comments

    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

    maintenance work.

    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

    their subsidy.

    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.

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