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
23
Jan
The Editors's picture

Have You Reviewed Your Criminal Background Checks Policy Lately?

Have You Reviewed Your Criminal Background Checks Policy Lately?

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on your criminal background checks policy and whether you are using it correctly.

By Ellen Clark

A federal lawsuit in New York is challenging a landlord’s blanket ban on leasing to people with criminal backgrounds. The federal government has advised landlords against such bans, saying they could violate fair housing laws, but the practice persists.

Tue
16
Jan
The Editors's picture

Do You Know How To Respond To a Sexual Harassment Complaint?

Do You Know How To Respond To a Sexual Harassment Complaint?

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on The Fair Housing Act and how to respond to a sexual harassment complaint.

By Ellen Clark

HUD aggressively pursues violations of The Fair Housing Act (FHA) involving harassment in housing and complaints often name property managers directly, so do you know how to respond and stay on top of the situation?

 

Photo credit Microgen via istockphoto.com

Remember courts have consistently recognized sexual harassment as a form of discrimination that violates the FHA.

In addition to individual property managers directly, the complaint may name the corporate entity or owner associated with the complainant’s housing.

Fri
12
Jan
John Triplett's picture

Can I Say "No Pot In My Apartments" When It’s Legal In My State?

Can I say no pot in my apartments when it is legal in my state?

California just became the world's largest legal marijuana market. When pot is legal in a state, what issues does this present to property managers and landlords of rental properties? This was Rental Housing Journal readers' top story in 2017

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

Property managers are often confused and seeking to better understand how to handle the issues of legal marijuana and medical marijuana when it comes to tenants and rental housing in their states.

Laws are changing all the time in many states, just as California did on January 1, 2018,  as voters approve different levels of permission when it comes to marijuana. This leaves property managers trying to figure out what should be in their leases around the issue.

Tue
09
Jan
The Editors's picture

Liberty Rent Guarantee Partners With GreenPath Financial Wellness

rent guarantee

Sponsored Blog

Liberty Rent Guarantee, a cosigner for potential residents of multifamily properties who have less-than-perfect credit, is proud to announce that it is partnering with GreenPath, Inc., a non-profit, financial wellness organization that has been empowering people to lead financially healthy lives since 1961.

“I’m very proud, in this season of giving, that Liberty Rent Guarantee was able to launch its latest initiative for tenants with less-than-perfect credit,” said Liberty Rent Guarantee CEO Bubba Grimsley.

 “It has always been part of our mission to reduce the risk in the multifamily rental space. Now, we take it a step further by partnering with GreenPath. Our strategic alliance with GreenPath will allow all of our residents the availability of live, online, and web-based assistance in all of their financial endeavors.”  

Tue
02
Jan
The Editors's picture

How Apartment Rules To Protect Children Could Be Discrimination

How Apartment Rules To Protect Children Could Be Discrimination

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on how rules you think could protect children, could actually open up landlords and property managers to charges of discrimination.

By Ellen Clark

Normally, when you think of familial status discrimination, you likely think of things like refusing to rent to families with children, charging families with young children higher deposits, or steering them to certain buildings.

But what about rules or policies that are intended to protect children?

Could these be discriminatory?

 A story from a condominium complex in Fremont, California brings to light the issue around policies or rules that are intended to protect children, but actually could subject the property management to discrimination charges.

Tue
19
Dec
The Editors's picture

Language Proficiency Is Issue HUD Is Watching Closely

language proficiency is issue HUD is watching closely

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on limited English language proficiency and a recent discrimination complaint regarding preferential treatment of English-speaking, white housing applicants compared to Spanish-speaking Latino applicants.

By Ellen Clark

It is important to make sure all employees understand the connection between language proficiency and federally protected classes, because the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is watching this area.

Recently, the Greenfield Housing Authority settled a discrimination complaint with HUD regarding preferential treatment of English-speaking, white housing applicants compared to Spanish-speaking Latino applicants.

Tue
05
Dec
The Editors's picture

Free Online Sexual Harassment Training For Property Managers

Free Online Sexual Harassment Training For Property Managers

With a new initiative from the U.S. Department of Justice to combat sexual harassment in housing, it is more important than ever that landlords and property managers know the Fair Housing Act and state laws on the issue.

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

The online training leader in the multifamily industry, Grace Hill, is offering free sexual harassment training for the property management industry to help with the new U.S. Justice Department initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing.

Tue
28
Nov
The Editors's picture

Portland Landlord Facing Re-election And Tenant Uprising

Portland Landlord Facing Reelection And Tenant Uprising

Long-time Portland state Senator Rod Monroe is both a politician and a landlord, and lately those two jobs have found him in the middle of conflict.

First, Monroe (D-East Portland) has drawn a Democratic Party challenger from the left over his position on the rent control bill, HB 2004. Former state representative Shemia Fagan said Monroe’s refusal to back the bill shows he has been "incredibly tone-deaf" on housing issues and said the district needs a "more responsive" senator, according to a story in Oregonlive.com.

HB 2004 passed the house, but failed in the Senate. It would have lifted Oregon's statewide ban on rent control and restricted landlords who wish to evict tenants without cause.

Tue
28
Nov
The Editors's picture

Do You Give Feedback People Can Actually Learn From?

Do You Give Feedback People Can Actually Learn From?

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on providing feedback that is useful to your tenants, leasing agents and property managers.

By Ellen Clark

Did you ever have a teacher who marked up your essays with feedback like, “unclear”, “poor word choice” or “watch your sentence structure”?

If so, you might remember feeling a bit helpless, wondering what the comments meant and what to do with them.

Comments like these may have given you some information about your performance, but did they really help you become a better writer?

 When we are learning new things, it is important to get timely information about what we are doing right or wrong and why, along with information about how to improve. This is called feedback, and it is a critical component of improving learner performance.

Tue
21
Nov
The Editors's picture

How Do You Practice Compliance In Apartment Leasing And Management?

How do you practice compliance training in apartment leasing and management

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on practicing compliance training. Compliance training is important for landlords and property managers to keep up with ever-changing rental housing laws at federal, state and local levels.

By Ellen Clark

Can you imagine how delighted you’d be if all of your employees were compliance experts?

Studies of top performers in music, chess, and sports point to the importance of practice in the development of expertise.

With most skills in life, if you want to be great, you have to practice.

But how does one practice compliance?

 As trainers, we sometimes fall into the “check the box” mindset.

We are happy when all employees take their fair housing or harassment training once a year.

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