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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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.

Thu
14
Jun
The Editors's picture

Portland Commissioners Overreach In Draft Landlord Regulations

Portland Commissioners Overreach In Draft Landlord Regulations

Portland City Commissioners overreach on landlord regulations is the focus of this blog post by Clifford A. Hockley

By Clifford A. Hockley

President Bluestone and Hockley

In early May 2018 the City of Portland introduced a rent control concept to limit annual rent increases for tenants to 5 percent.po

 In addition, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and the Rental Services Commission are testing out new approaches in application screening.  Both

Wed
06
Jun
The Editors's picture

Can You Legally Maintain A Marijuana-Free Workplace Around Your Rentals?

Can You Legally Maintain A Marijuana-Free Workplace Around Your Rentals?

If marijuana is legal in your state, can you maintain a marijuana-free workplace around your rental properties? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on some of the confusing issues around marijuana and rental properties.

By Ellen Clark

 Landlords and property managers face confusing legal issues when it comes to marijuana use and their rental properties, especially in states where marijuana is legal.

Tenants using marijuana in your rental properties is one issue.

What about the employees and people you hire to work on and around your rentals when marijuana may be legal in your state?

It is important to know that no state law requires employers, including landlords and property managers, to tolerate on-the-job marijuana use.

Tue
29
May
The Editors's picture

7 Ways To Stay Out Of Trouble When Checking Criminal History

7 Ways To Stay Out Of Trouble When Checking Criminal History

When you are reviewing your screening policies to avoid any discriminatory effects, especially criminal history, be sure to avoid your gut feelings. The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on tenant screening and the right way to do it especially when checking criminal history.

By Ellen Clark

The National Fair Housing Alliance’s recent publication, Making Every Neighborhood a Place of Opportunity: 2018 Fair Housing Trends Report  is full of useful information about the state of fair housing in our nation, 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act.

Remember to review your screening policies to avoid any appearance of discrimination.

Tue
22
May
The Editors's picture

Stick To The Facts In Documentation At Your Property

Stick To The Facts In Documentation At Your Property

When dealing with accusations of discrimination, documentation at your property is key. The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on documentation and what you need to know.

Tue
15
May
The Editors's picture

Reasonable Accommodation vs. Modification And Who Pays?

accommodation vs modification in rental housing

When a potential tenant asks for a reasonable accommodation or a modification for your apartments, do you know the difference? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on reasonable accommodation vs modification and what you need to know.

By Ellen Clark

Knowing the difference between an accommodation and a modification when you get a request from a tenant is important.

Tue
08
May
The Editors's picture

5 Ways To Protect Applicants, Residents And Employees From Sexual Harassment

5 Ways To Protect Applicants, Residents And Employees From Sexual Harassment

Do you know best practices when it comes to avoiding sexual harassment complaints? The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on 5 ways to protect your applicants, residents and employees from sexual harassment.

By Ellen Clark

Recent high-profile sexual harassment allegations have highlighted the need for increased sexual harassment training, education, and awareness.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects individuals against discrimination because of sex. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a final rule, formalizing legal standards under the FHA for sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in housing

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