landlord, property management, Uncategorized

Lead Paint Regulation

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/landlords-criticize-expense-of-city-lead-hazard-testing-proposal/article_57a15a6e-f335-11e6-a3f9-87418577e871.html

Landlords criticize expense of city lead-hazard testing proposal.

Lancaster landlords and real estate professionals gave City Council an earful about a proposed lead hazard ordinance Tuesday evening, agreeing that lead is a problem but calling the measure an overly expensive and cumbersome way to solve it.

“This is going to be a cost,” said Gary Neff, owner of City Limits Realty, one of half a dozen business people who spoke.

 Because landlords’ expenses are ultimately borne by tenants, the program should be made as cost-effective as possible, he said.

The ordinance would, among other things, require rental-property owners to certify once every four years that their properties are lead safe or lead free.

Lead-safe properties can have lead paint on the premises, as long as it’s fully encapsulated. Safety would be determined by a swab test, done by the city for $250 or by a qualified private company, which also would cost around $225 to $250.

Rather than vote at the next meeting, Feb. 28, council plans to postpone action until March 14.

That will give officials more time to have discussions with the people who will be affected, said Randy Patterson, director of economic development and neighborhood revitalization.

An email with information on the ordinance will go out shortly to all of the city’s registered landlords, he said.

The city’s motive, he stressed, is public health, namely “the impact of lead paint on children.”

Even small amounts of lead can permanently harm a child’s brain development. Lead paint was banned in 1978. Houses built before that — the majority of the city’s stock — potentially contain lead hazards.

“I am 100 percent for this,” said Noah Miller, a neighborhood activist, landlord and City Council candidate.

However, he warned the council about potential unintended consequences: houses that can’t be sold because of abatement costs, eviction of tenants during abatement, and, of course, the cost.

Neff said it’s easier and safer for landlords to remediate properties when they’re vacant and suggested making implementation of the measure flexible enough to facilitate that.

The city’s existing inspection protocol already checks for peeling paint, landlord Sheldon Weaver said. Instead of more testing, it might be more cost-effective “to just go directly to lead control” when deteriorated paint is found, he said.

Landlord Robert Seuffert said it doesn’t make sense to keep charging property owners every four years if there’s no evidence of a problem.

There are about 10,000 rental units in the city, so at $225 per clearance test, the ordinance imposes a minimum added cost of $2.25 million every four years, he said.

He asked if the city plans to impose a similar mandate on owner-occupied properties next: “Where is the end going to be?”

Councilman James Reichenbach told the landlords that council members recognize that concerns over cost are valid. That’s why City Council is pushing state legislators and the Department of Health for a comprehensive state program.

“This problem is being chronically underfunded,” he said.

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Move-in Day – Welcome them with Toilet Paper

Some good points . . .

truemelbourne.com.au

Move-in Day - Welcome them with Toilet PaperMost landlords don’t facilitate moving in or out of their tenants. But I can tell you, the smallest gestures can have a big impact.  We all know what it’s like to move into a new place: you’re exhausted, you’re trying to corral the help (paid and unpaid) and you’re just looking forward to a cold drink and take aways at the end of it all.

The last thing tenants want to be looking for in the chaos, is the toilet paper!

Here is a simple and (cheap) list for a Welcome Gift that will put you on the right foot with your tenants:

1 – Toilet paper – either a single roll or a 2-pack you don’t have to break the bank.

2 – Soap –  either a single bar or liquid.

3 – Paper Towels – a single roll is fine.

4 – If you have a shower over the bath that…

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More people moving to rentals

 
 
 

More make the move to rentals

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More make the move to rentals

 

Country Manor, a new luxury apartment community in Millersville, is one of the latest projects to meet the demand for rentals here. (Jeff Ruppenthal/Sunday News)

 

 
 

More make the move to rentals 
Rental percentages by municipality (PDF)

 
 

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 12:15 am |Updated: 11:46 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

PAULA WOLF Staff Writer

A decade ago, when Gary Chaney moved to Lancaster County from Wisconsin, he leased a townhouse in Millcreek Manor.

He’s been in the Lancaster Township rental community ever since.

Chaney works in mergers and acquisitions for New Holland Co., and because he travels a lot, doesn’t want to worry about maintaining a property.

“There’s no snow-shoveling or lawn-mowing,” he said.

A former homeowner, Chaney said his rental unit is plenty big enough, with three bedrooms, a basement and a deck.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/more-make-the-move-to-rentals/article_51e90415-2200-5f9f-8726-28cdb38880af.html

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Rental licenses in small town America

Crowd attends rental hearing

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 5:43 pm

 

GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent

Staff Writer

 

It was standing room only in Lititz Borough Council chambers Tuesday evening for the hearing on a new rental inspection ordinance.

Council is considering the borough’s first ordinance of this kind which, if enacted, would require landlords to license each residential rental once a year and inspect every third year. A hearing is required by law before council can vote to approve such an ordinance.

 

Tuesday evening’s hearing was open to all Lititz residents to attend and provide feedback to council. As explained by council president Karen Weibel, it was not a format for debate or back-and-forth dialogue but simply a means of council gauging public support. Homeowners, landlords and tenants were invited to attend and to speak.

“Tonight’s hearing is not a venue for long questions or answers or dialogue,” said Weibel. “Please call the borough and ask for an appointment with staff to go over this and better explain the proposed ordinance. Council will take no action on this proposal this evening.”

The proposed ordinance calls for an annual licensing fee of $40 per rental unit. Inspection of Residential Rental Units would cost $50 every other year. Under the schedule of fees, unit re-inspection would cost $35, no-show inspection fee would be $50 and the inspection appeal fee would be $500. A fine of $500 would be levied for allowing occupancy after a license has been revoked with each month considered a separate violation. A $500 fine would also be levied for failure to obtain a rental license within 30 days of a notice of violation. And a $1,000 fine could be issued for violations or any other provisions of the ordinance.

The nine-page draft ordinance lays out four basic reasons for borough consideration of the matter at this time.

“There is a greater incident of problems with the maintenance and upkeep of residential properties which are not owner-occupied as compared to those that are owner-occupied,” the draft stated. “The borough is concerned with the condition of a property when EMS responds, and for the safety of the EMS responders and general safety of the tenants. The borough is unaware of the exact number of tenant-occupied residences, with knowledge of such used for the accountability and safety of the tenants and landlords. Borough records indicate there are a greater number of disturbances at residential rental units than at owner-occupied units.”

Council member Todd Fulginiti, who had been very active in the process of drafting the new ordinance, addressed the group prior to receiving testimony.

“With nearly 40 percent of borough citizens living in rented housing, the borough believes it will be beneficial to the community to institute a rental inspection program,” stated Fulginiti. “A committee was formed to investigate this issue and was later assigned the task of drafting the ordinance we are discussing tonight. Business and industries that provide for basic human needs are often regulated by government guidelines that aim to insure the health and safety of consumers. Examples of this include the food and health care industries.”

Read More: http://lancasteronline.com/news/crowd-attends-rental-hearing/article_327f37bc-9264-5a81-884b-d571eb60eb88.html

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landlord, property management, Uncategorized

More single family houses for rent

In more homes, the roof overhead is rented

Julie Schmit and Barbara Hansen, USA TODAY7:10 p.m. EDT October 20, 2013

Many metro areas have seen significant increases in rented single-family homes since 2006, Census Bureau data shows.

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In the aftermath of a historic housing bust, rented single-family homes are on the rise in communities from coast to coast.

At least a fifth of all occupied single-family homes were rentals last year in 32 of the nation’s top metropolitan regions, according to a USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. That’s up from seven metros in 2006.

Rates: National average on 30-year mortgage falls to 4.5%

The growth reflects changes brought by the housing boom and bust and the enduring financial hardships imposed by the recession. Millions of homeowners lost homes to foreclosure and were forced to become renters, while others delayed homeownership.

Nationwide, 18% of occupied single-family homes last year were rentals, up from nearly 15% in 2006, show data based on the American Community Survey, an annual Census Bureau survey.

Prices: Home price gains slowing as market recovers

The metros with the most growth in single-family rentals are those where foreclosures were most rampant.

Among them were Las Vegas, where almost 29% were rentals, up more than 10 percentage points from 2006.

Florida’s Cape Coral area was more than 25%, another 10-point gain.

Stockton, Calif., was about 24% in 2006 — now it’s above 32%, the highest share among the 100 metro regions in USA TODAY’s study.

Metros outside the top foreclosure hot spots have also seen larger growth in single-family rentals than the national average, including Memphis, Dallas, Denver and Seattle, the data show.

Sales: Is the housing market making a major shift?

In those metros, more homeowners may be turning homes into rentals to meet strong demand, says Svenja Gudell, Zillow economist.

Single-family rents in Denver were up 5.6% in August year-over-year, vs. a 1.9% national rise, Zillow data show.

“There are a lot of folks who’ve decided to rent homes out, vs. sell,” says Kim Klapac, Colorado Springs Realtor.

City officials say they prefer rented-out homes to vacant ones, which lead to blight. In many cases, today’s single-family home renter lost a home to foreclosure.

“There’s a lot of good-quality renters out there,” says Micah Runner, interim economic development director in Stockton. “The issue can be when the homes are owned by people outside of the area and it’s harder to get them to fix stuff.”

More rentals may also lead to more classroom turnover in local schools, because renters tend to move more often than owners, says Southern California research economist John Husing.

Wealth generation will also be affected, says Michael Orr, real estate expert at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“A good slice of our owner occupants have become tenants against their will. That’s not a good thing,” Orr says.

Phoenix was one of the first cities targeted by institutional investors, who are spending billions turning single-family homes into rentals alongside mom-and-pop investors.

Since Phoenix home prices bottomed in 2011, they’re up about 40%, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller data. That makes it harder for owner-occupants to now buy in, Orr says.

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