RHJ Blog

The Rental Housing Journal blog features thought provoking information and opinions on the multifamily property management and real estate investing industries. RHJ staff editorial, multifamily executives, top real estate investors, and real world industry subject matter experts share best practices, trends and news about investing in real estate, managing apartments, being a Do-It-Yourself landlord, multifamily technology, apartment marketing, Fair Housing and landlord - tenant law, flipping houses, advancing your career in property management, how to market and sell to property managers and real estate investors, new products and services for property managers, financing investment properties, where to find good tenants, how to hire great property management employees, how to choose vendors, best practices in property maintenance and much more.

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Tue
14
Aug
The Editors's picture

Red Flags In Evaluating Documentation For Assistance Animals

assistance animals

Evaluating documentation for assistance animals can be a challenge for multifamily housing providers so this week the the Grace Hill training tip takes a look at a couple of the red flags to watch for in documentation.

By Ellen Clark

Currently, no organization is legally recognized for registering service or assistance animals. Any organization making that claim is misleading its audience.

One of the most common accommodation requests multifamily housing providers get is for a resident to have an animal that would otherwise be restricted by a community’s rules.

Wed
08
Aug
John Triplett's picture

Portland Rental Property Owners Plan To Fight City Hall And State

Portland Rental Property Owners Plan To Fight City Hall And State

Portland rental property owners, managers, builders and building suppliers feel they are under attack from Portland City Hall and the Oregon Legislature and have mounted a campaign against proposed regulations.

The group has launched a website called More Housing Now! in support of more housing for all income levels and to “provide a voice of reason” on the issues.

Wed
01
Aug
John Triplett's picture

Apartment Water Conservation Focuses On Toilets For These Brothers

Apartment Water Conservation Focuses On Toilets For These Brothers

Apartment water conservation – which provides a quick return on investment for apartment owners and property managers – is the passion of two brothers who have become the toilet “property brothers” of the multifamily industry.

By John Triplett

The story of two brothers’ latest project, at the Silverbrook Apartments in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a winner.

It will save the property 36 million gallons of water and more than $365,000 annually, representing a 65% savings in water usage and cost, and an eight-month return on their investment.

Lawrence Lamondin, left in blue shirt, and brother Richard.

And It will save the tenants money on their bills, too.

Thu
26
Jul
The Editors's picture

Multifamily Smoke-Free Policy Deadline For Public Housing

Multifamily Smoke-Free Policy Deadline For Public Housing

 Implementing a multifamily smoke-free policy is recommended by HUD so the Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on helpful ways to do this in your property.

By Ellen Clark

All public housing agencies must have a multifamily smoke-free policy in place by July 31, 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule based on a rule passed in late 2016.

HUD had allowed time for implementation of the smoke-free policy and this rule now applies to all public housing except dwelling units in mixed-finance buildings.

While the rule applies to public housing agencies, HUD strongly encourages all multifamily housing owners and agents to implement smoke-free policies in all their properties.  

Wed
25
Jul
The Editors's picture

Seattle Landlords Feel Vilified By Overly Punitive City Ordinances

Seattle Landlords Feel Vilified By Overly Punitive City Ordinances

A new Seattle rental housing study says Seattle landlords feel vilified by overly punitive city ordinances which they believe are actually inadvertently reducing rental housing access.

The study from University of Washington Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology says a large majority of “landlords who responded to the survey reported feeling left out of debates about the development of the City’s housing ordinances and only 10% supported any of the central goals the City has adopted in developing new housing policies.

“Large majorities of landlords believe that ordinances to limit move-in fees, the First-in-Time ordinance, and the ordinance to limit criminal background checks are likely to be ineffective,” the study said.

Wed
18
Jul
The Editors's picture

 What Do You Do When Assistance Animals Break The Rules?

What Do You Do When Assistance Animals Break The Rules?

 “I didn’t know” is not an acceptable defense if you face a discrimination charge, so the Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on assistance animals and rules for them in your apartments.

By Ellen Clark

An accommodation for an assistance animal that would otherwise be prohibited in an apartment complex is a common request property managers and landlords get.

Remember, while assistance animals are not pets, this does not mean they can run loose in your community.

Rules for assistance animals must apply to all animals on your property

Here are some rules and policies you can use for assistance animals.

Fri
06
Jul
The Editors's picture

Assistance Animals Are Not Pets–Repeat–Assistance Animals Are Not Pets

Assistance animals are not pets-repeat-assistance animals are not pets

“I didn’t know” is not an acceptable defense if you face a discrimination charge, so the Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on repeating advice that assistance animals are not pets when it comes to leasing your rentals.

By Ellen Clark

The typical story goes like this, where a prospective renter provides documentation from her doctor showing she needs an assistance animal because of her disability and she is told by a leasing agent that the owner does not allow pets.

One of the most common accommodation requests is to have an animal that would otherwise be restricted by a community’s rules.

Mon
02
Jul
The Editors's picture

Dealing With Opioid Addiction In The Workplace

Dealing With Opioid Addiction In The Workplace

Opioid addiction in the workplace is the Grace Hill training tip of the week.

By Ellen Clark

Around 70 percent of employers, including those in multifamily, have seen some impact of prescription drug use on their workforce according to the National Safety Council.

It’s an alarming trend that has touched just about every aspect of life.

From impaired job performance, work injuries, absenteeism, a decrease in productivity, medical expenses, and arrests, there are many negative side effects of opioid abuse that impact employers and employees.

Remember, if you suspect an employee or coworker has an opioid problem, don’t jump to conclusions.

Mon
25
Jun
The Editors's picture

3 Criteria That Must Be Met In Regards To Assistance Animals

3 Criteria That Must Be Met In Regards To Assistance Animals

People with disabilities are involved in the majority of housing discrimination complaints, so the Grace Hill training tip of the week goes back to some basics on assistance animals.

By Ellen Clark

As a landlord or property manager, it is important to handle assistance animal accommodation requests properly 

According to The Case for Fair Housing: 2017 Fair Housing Trends Report by the National Fair Housing Alliance, nearly 55% of all reported housing discrimination complaints in 2016 involved discrimination against people with disabilities.

 This statistic is a reminder of how important it is to handle accommodation requests properly. Let’s review some of the basics.

Tue
19
Jun
The Editors's picture

4 Ways To Avoid Screening Pitfalls With Applicants 

4 Ways To Avoid Screening Pitfalls With Applicants 

“I didn’t know” is not an acceptable defense if you face a discrimination charge, so the Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on some of the screening pitfalls to avoid with applicants for your rentals.

By Ellen Clark

Here are some tips for conducting applicant screening in a way that complies with fair housing law, and makes all people feel welcome in your community and helps you avoid the screening pitfalls.

 

No. 1 - Think before you speak

It is natural to make friendly conversation with prospects during the application process. This is fine but think carefully about questions you ask or comments you make.

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