President's Message

Things are heating up...

Print
PDF

With the weather heating up this time of year also comes the heating up of tensions amid the flurry of housing bills introduced at the state level alone, not counting the outbreak in the local municipalities and ballot initiatives for each. It seems like every time we try to move on and progress within our industry, there are others who cannot help themselves into moving backwards— and extremely so. In the case of the manufactured housing crisis, that can only continue to erupt in a negative way when we allow constant intervention in the housing market to punish that market for something far out of the control of those invested in it. It’s that old definition of insanity—doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Madness, indeed.

The people behind these draconian rent control initiatives seem to be preying on the emotions of the people, city after city, by instilling a false hope on the farce of lower rents by regulation (that actually does not happen)—and it’s because they know that most voters are busy being experts at what they do instead of being experts on rent control initiatives and what they do to housing communities and their economies (just recently we discussed how rent control in San Francisco cost the people of the city over $5.9 billion!). There seems to be an issue getting it through to these groups that all prices are rising—we, as neighbors who live in the same cities and state, are not in any way in control of that, nor are we in charge of the money supply or inflation, and we are especially not in control of the ease (or difficulties, rather) of getting new housing timely built.

Taking unilateral action against one area of our vast markets fixes nothing. It does, however, worsen the housing issues that hurts all of us in some way.

When you pay attention to the housing crisis, look no further than the cities across the country that have rent control and there you will typically find the highest rents and the highest homeless populations—doing the exact opposite of what proponents are claiming. Like many acts and ordinances, they are just cleverly named.

Some of the other bills/ballot initiatives being introduced, like “just cause evictions” (which also come with all rent control ordinances), actually protect bad tenants like partiers, drug dealers, and other criminals. The means of getting a bad neighbor out will be nearly impossible, causing even further problems with many good and responsible renters. Nobody wants to live next-door to violent or sick criminals, but these laws will make it so that housing providers are stuck with them causing good people to leave the properties and sometimes with little choice of where to go because the same problems will exist elsewhere and without remedy.

But these so-called “tenant’s rights” activists refuse to face the facts and don’t seem to care much about any of that. Immediately, your right as a tenant to live in a safer/better environment is diminished.

Each time we are faced with these new ordinances, we need to ask ourselves—who does this really protect? Does it protect all tenants or just a select group? Does it punish anyone?

We can change all of this and bring awareness to our communities. Nobody likes rising prices of any kind—just because prices go up certainly does not mean that profits go up. The price of taxes, insurance, utilities, contractors, and maintenance sup plies are continually climbing right along with the price of cars, homes and rents. Together, we can join forces to bring some common sense and pragmatism into our legislation and fight alongside each other without bickering over trivial things that do not really help the matter or our individual causes.

Here are some ways everyone can help: Talk to friends, neighbors and tenants about the unintended consequences of many of these ordinances if voted or signed into law. Donate to our PAC. We know that most people need to be at work all day and cannot take time off for some of these things they wish to fight—but other people do it full time, so we support them while they fight for simplicity and common sense.

Finally, when we issue Red Alerts, everyone can make a huge impact by calling our legislators and sending kind, simple emails to their staff and offices. Thank you for all your help!

Memorial Day

Print
PDF

As the month of April wound down and we put another Golf Tournament and Sacramento Legislative Day behind us, the month of May is a great follow-up that puts politics aside and offers a time of celebration.

May is the last full month of classes for grade school and most college students, prompting eagerness and excitement for their upcoming summer freedom. It also is a time for families to honor the person who literally brought them into this world as we celebrate Mother’s Day.

On another note, because of Memorial Day, May is a month that can bring feelings of heartbreak and sadness for some. But it also shows our unbridled patriotism by honoring the source of the liberties and freedoms we are entitled to just for being Americans — our countrymen and women who have laid down their lives and paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Even though my father made it back from Vietnam, many of his friends did not, so in that way, May is a month I get to honor both my mother and father each year (as we probably should each day), and I dedicate this month’s article to my father, introduced below by a journalist from a West Michigan newspaper article from 1969, and those who served alongside him who did not make it back home:

“Marine L. Cpl. Larry W. Pollack [Sr.], serving with the First Marine Aircraft Wing in Vietnam. In addition to attacking enemy personnel and installations, wing aircraft airlift troops to battle zones, evacuate wounded, fly resupply missions, and provide close air support for U.S. Marines and allied ground forces engaged in combat operations.”

As you head to the grill and cooler this Memorial Day, celebrating our freedom with your friends and family, you can share some less known Memorial Day facts that I have gathered from multiple sources:

  • Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. However, Veterans Day honors all United States military veterans, while Memorial Day honors the soldiers who died while serving.
  • The Grand Army of the Republic was created by the Union Army to honor their dead. After World War I the American Legion took over their duties.
  • Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day to remember and to honor those who have died serving the United States. President Clinton signed this action.
  • The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, and then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day.
  • The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day originated from John McCrae’s 1915 poem In Flanders Fields. In Canada they wear red poppies to honor their soldiers on Remembrance Day in November each year.
  • Although not as popular today, one tradition was to eat a picnic meal while sitting on the ground at a cemetery. There are still some people in the rural areas of the South that continue to practice this tradition.
  • It’s common for volunteers to place the American flag on graves in the national cemeteries, and is also a popular day for people to visit cemeteries to honor those who have died while serving.
  • It’s estimated that approximately 32 million people travel by car over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer vacation season while Labor Day marks the end.
  • In some areas of the rural South, they hold annual Decoration Days around this time for certain cemeteries, often in the mountains.
  • In 1966, President Johnson named Waterloo, New York, as the original place of Memorial Day.
  • There were more American lives lost during the Civil War than the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II.
  • There are more than 300,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 28 burials there each day.


Be safe and enjoy your Memorial Day holiday, but remember the many fallen servicemembers who gave their lives for your freedom.

Spring Cleaning

Print
PDF

Spring Cleaning, Maintenance, and Organizational Tips Ahh! The wonderful smells and sights of Spring popping up are the things I really look forward to each March—well, here in Southern California anyway where we typically get better seasons all year ’round. We all know this is the precursor to Summer being here, which is what we can’t wait for — long days, late sunsets, kickbacks and campfires, more sun, and more fun. But, of course, we cannot relax for too long otherwise the metaphorical weeds of life will certainly take over and choke out the good in life we’ve been nurturing. The same is true for your properties... and landscaping, of course.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your storage rooms and garages. My friend and CEO of Sky Properties, Kari Negri, brought to us not long ago a nicely detailed monthly “laundry list” and I am happy to revisit some of that here this month.

Hopefully you’ve already renewed business licenses and rent registrations for the City of L.A. and elsewhere as needed, and don’t forget to make sure PRHIP Registrations are up to date as well for Long Beach. Most of us are on top of the fact that this is an excellent time to make sure our lawns are reseeded and maybe a touch of some new flowers are added to our landscaping, but did we also make sure to get laundry providers or the maintenance team to get behind those dryers and clean? What about getting an approved vendor up on the roof to clear gutters and debris? Check out our 2018 Vendor Sourcebook for help with anything, and don’t get up on the roof yourself unless you are trained and qualified.

I know one of your favorite things to do is to make sure your business tax returns are filed by March 15th… or is it? Either way — that’s when they are due, so we need to hustle if we aren’t ready now. March is also a good time to get decks resealed (provided they are dry) as well as schedule annual Smoke and C/O Detector inspections. And, since we are not the only ones with Spring Cleaning to do, it would also be wise to check properties for fall/trip hazards in walkways; and to also make sure, if you still have timers on your exterior lights, that they are updated accordingly. We went to photo cells at all our properties and the benefits have been fantastic - the cost was inexpensive, nobody has to go back to or charge the property unnecessary fees to make the simple timer change, and then there are no complaints because the lights are always on and off when they should be. Win/win… and we have vendors for that, too!

Some other things to organize within your businesses are getting your Team’s vacation times in order for the summer as well as to make sure everyone is on track for any benefit open enrollments that need to happen.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone about Legislation (“Leg.”) Day in Sacramento. This is such a great experience and if you haven’t done it before, you need to add it to your bucket list. Just going through the halls of the Capitol Building with all the rich California history is one thing—and we have certainly come a long way from when the first Legislature convened in a two-story adobe hotel in San Jose—but getting to see the process, being a lobbyist for the day, and participating in real democracy within our Republic just gives you a healthy boost of pride in our State and Country. Please join the AACSC for this trip to NorCal; make your voice be heard directly by the ears of our great legislators and come and experience this impressive event on April 10th and 11th, 2018. Contact us right away for details and I cannot wait to see you there!

Rent Control

Print
PDF

Rent Control: Left and Right Economists Finally Agree on Something… and Other Major Points

Time and again we have gone to bat to raise awareness about the awful—and unintentional—effects of rent and price control as well as removing extremely important laws in place. In theory, as in many cases, enacting help in that way for the public sounds like a good thing with little downside—that is to those who have no experience or training on the economic and other side effects. And when we repeal laws meant to counteract some of the major downsides that quickly pop up, such as Costa-Hawkins which allows vacancy decontrol (allows a landlord to rent vacancies at Market Rent) and prevents cities from adding other housing types into their rent controlled ordinances, it has even more harsh downsides for the entire community—not just the landlords who have worked very hard to pay for and operate their businesses, as well as to provide necessary housing for the general public.

Published in the Econ Journal Watch, Volume 6, Number 1, dated January 2009, is a very interesting piece culminating from a study completed by several economists—from both the right and left in politics—on policies concerning rent control and its effects on the local economies. In the Journal, the economists actually agree with one another in that a “preponderance of evidence of the literature points toward the conclusion that rent control introduces inefficiencies in housing markets.” This is not just for the landlords, but also for the residents who live there. Along with that last statement, they also clarify that, “the literature on the whole does not sustain any plausible redemption in terms of redistribution. The literature on the whole may be fairly said to show that rent control is bad, yet… about 140+ jurisdictions persist in some form of the intervention.” Even more alarming, they begin their assessment saying, “Rent control is usually introduced to economics students as a price ceiling and an unambiguous (‘clear-cut’) source of inefficiency.” Whoa! When I first learned of this, that really made my ears perk up; why aren’t more people paying attention to this? That’s like the case with being allowed to put MSG in foods—scientists feed it to rats as their genuine protocol to fatten them up and speed the decline of their health to study diseases! So, in both cases, we know it’s extraordinarily the wrong thing to do, and here we continue pressing it on? It sure can leave one scratching their head in breathtaking bewilderment.

Here are some other major points included in an article published just back in January of this year about a study done in San Francisco titled, “How Rent Control Can Exacerbate Inequality.” In their introduction they pointed out that these laws are “not all they’re cracked up to be” and their study concluded the following:

• …landlords were 10 percent more likely to convert their building into condos if it became rent controlled. The rental supply in San Francisco dropped by 6 percent following the expansion of rent control.

• Rents throughout the city increased by 5.1 percent as a result—researchers calculated total cost to tenants from rent hikes to be $2.9 billion, nearly half of which was paid by residents who moved to San Francisco following the establishment of rent control.

• Given the negative repercussions of rent control policies, the researchers argued that other approaches to affordable housing that don’t inherently punish landlords might be more effective, such as creating a tax credit for rent.

Some of that is worth restating: Because these laws were put into place, they actually had an opposite effect and drove prices up. Here, in our communities, we are doing what we can to keep prices down—we are looking for the lowest priced ven dors—apartment suppliers, like stores/outlets, to specialized skilled wor kers such as plumbers/electricians—while at the same time not sacrificing the quality of work. This is not an easy task. With inflation constantly on the rise coming out of Washington, no price controls on taxes and fees, no insurance control, no paint control, no pipe control, no light fixture control, and rising utility prices—how does that justify keeping only one sector down and forcing them to pay the inflating prices of these other necessities while none of the above men tioned must keep their prices down for anyone? Where’s the equality?

A Fresh Page

Print
PDF

Wow — what a great, but fast year 2017 was! It is hard to believe all that has happened last year, and we expect even more, bigger and crazier things again for this great year we have ahead of us. Like my mentor once explained, starting the New Year (or even a new day) with a fresh page and a clean slate, people can put what we want on the pages of our futures, which gives us unique opportunities that other animals on this planet are not offered—a goose must fly south for the winter. Why? Because it’s a goose! If a tree doesn’t like where it lives, it cannot pack up and move. We, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice.


It is my hope that all of us have taken the time to reflect upon last year and then create a new and improved plan for this year—not just a wish list, but sound goals that are achievable, and at the same time will stretch and grow us. When we do this with our own lives, we can do it in our businesses, communities and beyond. A great way to learn how to better plan and execute new plans in our own lives and communities is to get involved with our AACSC Committees that are run by our all-volunteer Board of Directors. Not only is this a great way to get plugged into the community and to help others as well as to really learn how to “preserve, protect, and enhance” the rental housing industry in Southern California, but also a way to show you how a focused group of people come up with and execute great ideas! Luckily, we are not trees who are stuck somewhere in the snow year ‘round, stuck in a constant lightning storm—or even stuck as a restroom for a pack of wolves in a forest—we are all here by choice in beautiful SoCal and each of us has a responsibility to leave everything better than how we found it, and we do that by becoming part of a great team complete with leaders and mentors.

One great lesson I have learned about uniting on the same front and becoming a team, is that as neighbors — especially in this country—we always want to do what is best and what is right, but we tend to differ on how we define that or get there. I want to reassure everyone that things that will make ourselves, and our industry, businesses and region better are your ideas, your courage to stand up and respectfully say something if it doesn’t feel right, and your involvement in your community.

We need you and we need your voice, your help, and your ideas. Please reach out and let us know your interests — we have so much to choose from. From our local and state legislative committees, trade show and membership committees, to education, golf tournament fundraising, and Political Action committees—we have a little something for all interests. Pick one of interest to you and let’s partner up. Everyone here will be heard, respected, listened to, and given a chance.

As a great help to your training, remember that there is no better way to school yourself and your teams than to get into the top of the line classes that AACSC offers. The prices are right, and the info is priceless. Learn how to keep compliant of the law and still be able to care for your residents and properties.

Regularly check AACSC’s website and your email for announcements on the upcoming courses.

Before finishing up here, we want to thank all of our vendors who continue to sponsor our events and continue giving us the best workmanship in the business — we could not do it without you!

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to lead the AACSC—please, come work alongside us — we can really help each other a lot in 2018!

Cheers!

Related Articles

Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

California Southern Cities
333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it