President's Message

City Hall

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These are interesting political times we are living in. A lot of local elections have been decided already and the National elections finish things up in November. Our new representatives will want to make a positive impact on the lives of their constituents. In order to help them understand what’s important to us and what will fairly benefit everyone, it is up to us to deliver the message as to how we feel about issues that affect us.

For AACSC members, that means sharing information related to the rental housing industry. You may not realize it yet, but there are determined groups in our community that feel that the best way to manage your property is to get local elected officials to enact layer upon layer of suffocating legislation to burden thousands of small apartment owners. They’ll package their recommendations to government in happy sounding wrappers like: Community Benefits Agreement or Renters Right to Know.

Other communities near us have heaped these types of ordinances onto our fellow housing providers with terrible results for—surprise—our tenants! I feel so bad for low income tenants in Los Angeles and Santa Monica where, for example, a myriad of local ordinances in those cities have pushed rents to sky high levels. Housing providers are forced to underprice their units. Without the money to afford normal upkeep, tenants stay living in substandard conditions. These groups can’t explain why builders aren’t building more low income housing. If they knew the value of “incentive”, they would understand.

So are you comfortable allowing your business and your tenants to be legislated into such a negative world? I hope not! The lower rents and better quality of housing that our AACSC housing providers deliver can be directly attributed to the lower level of legislation we work with, but that doesn’t happen by accident. AACSC is doing all it can to help protect your interests, but the coming wave of negative proposals that will be presented to our elected officials will need to be countered by a bigger group. That means we need your help more than ever. We need you to be at City Hall in large numbers when rental housing issues are being discussed. We need you when it’s important to make calls to our representatives. It’s never been more important and we’ve never needed each other more.

On a brighter note and one we are all excited about—Ed Begley, Jr., is going to be the guest speaker at our luncheon during the AACSC Trade Show on September 15. One of the most well known advocates of green living, Ed Begley has made it his mission to help us all live in a way that is less harmful to our environment and in a manner that future generations will applaud us for. This is a can’t-miss event and has already created so much buzz that I would strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets well in advance. See you at the Trade Show!

Important State Level Victories

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How’s your summer going so far? Summers were the best when I was growing up. There was no school, fun vacations and not a care in the world. I wish I hadn’t taken those days for granted years ago because things have changed a lot as the years have gone by!

AACSC’s staff, Board and Lobbyist have had their hands full dealing with proposed burdensome legislation this summer. Remember, AACSC puts your membership dues to work to help prevent caustic proposed legislation from getting signed into law. We’ve recently secured a couple of important victories on a State level. The first was getting a proposed bill killed that would have permitted local governments to adopt and enforce ordinances that could require price con trol mandates on new rental housing developments. One of its features would have prohibited property owners from setting rental rates for the new units. If you ran a city and wanted to make sure no developer would have incentive to build new rental housing, this would be the kind of legislation you’d come up with.

The second proposed bill that was thwarted would have forced rental property owners to participate involuntarily in the federal Section 8 Housing Voucher program. The Section 8 program is a good program even though it has some flaws and many landlords embrace it and build their businesses to accept it; but Section 8 is not right for all housing providers and in many cases could be ruinous because of the possibility of long periods of interrupted rental income. There are much better ways to make Section 8 more widely accepted including improving the program’s terms and con ditions. Unfortunately, this defeated bill was an example of a lazy approach by government to ram a sometimes flawed program down the throats of all housing providers. That’s no way to govern and there’s got to be a better way. They could start by initiating a conversation that includes housing providers, fix some of Section 8’s flaws and create incentives to build more low income housing where the vouchers could be accepted. It would take some work, but we’d have a lot better chance of a successful outcome that everyone could embrace. I can’t emphasize how important you, our members, are to these successful efforts. It really does take work from all of us. Thank you for the phone calls to your State representatives. Thank you for your financial contributions from your membership dues to your donations to the PAC. We truly have a team effort and it is much appreciated.

We sure have done some hard work so far this year so why don’t we all take a break and besides celebrating Independence Day on July 4th, join us to celebrate our accomplishments at the AACSC Summer Social!! It’s on Thursday, July 21st from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the Hotel Maya, 700 Queensway Drive in Long Beach. I also think it would be a great idea to use the opportunity to invite our friends who aren’t members yet to register and come out and meet their fellow housing providers and talk about the important work we all do. Please register as many friends as you’d like and then help us get them to join AACSC!

State Legislation Day

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On March 29th and 30th, a delegation of members of AACSC will be in Sacramento to meet with our State Legislators and share with them what we believe will be reasonable legislation to consider for the coming year. I would like to personally invite you to join us. In case you are wondering if your presence will make a difference, I can assure you that it will. If you come and would like to speak directly with an elected official regarding one of the bills that AACSC is focusing on, we are planning to make as many of those opportunities available as we can.

The National Apartment Association is holding its annual Education Conference the week of June 13th in San Francisco. I attended last year's Conference in Las Vegas and was extremely impressed with the learning sessions that I attended, the networking opportunities, the chance to talk to fellow landlords or vendors about their experiences and best practices. Registration has begun and I was one of the first to sign up. It will be a great event. One more thought - would you be willing to donate four hours of your time at the NAA Conference in exchange for a 70 percent discount on your registration fee? Register as a volunteer and you'll get that amazing deal!

Finally, is there anyone reading this who owns real estate but doesn't have their property insured because they don't think insurance is important? Kind of a silly question isn't it? So, how many of you, who do carry insurance on your apartments, also require that your tenants carry renters insurance? If you don't, don't you think that's silly? Here are some reasons why: if the upstairs tenant floods the downstairs unit, his renters insurance pays first in most cases, not yours (especially when the responsible tenant is liable for the damage). If the tenant’s dog bites someone on the property, his renters insurance pays first, not yours. If the property burns down and your tenant’s possessions are destroyed, the tenant suffers a complete loss without insurance and your policy won't help even though I'm sure you will be blamed and there will be an expectation that you will somehow make them whole. Don't fall into this trap. Do your tenants a favor and require renters insurance. Please direct your tenants to research their options through www.psiquotes.com/aacsc. If they do their shopping through this site, then you will benefit, your tenants will benefit, and AACSC will benefit.

 

 

Embracing New Technology

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This month the theme of the Apartment Journal is technology and how it’s used in the rental industry. Luckily for you, smarter people than I will be doing the explaining, but one thing’s for sure: your business will run easier if you embrace new technology rather than fight it. Technology impacts how you run credit, advertise rentals, keep records, track maintenance, manage applications, and a lot more. So when reading this month’s issue, look for at least one article that inspires you to take another step to automate and improve your business.

Have you noticed that we’ve been emailing you a few more Red Alerts than usual lately? We don’t like to send you Red Alerts unless we feel there is an issue that will be of great importance to your rental business. The latest Red Alerts were sent out to let you know that issues were placed on the Long Beach City Council calendar that affect you. The is sues included:

  • confirming the current periodic standard for city inspections of your rental housing;
  • researching the idea of implementing a Good Landlord program;
  • the possibility of a City posting of names and addresses of owners who do not comply with violations cited by the City.


What can you do to help ensure that you and your rental business are treated fairly when issues are brought before your local and State lawmakers? Do as much as you can. The job is too big for any of us to do alone. It is manageable, though, if a lot of us each do a little.

Here are some suggestions on how you can be a big help:

  • If we need landlords to show up in force a few times a year at City Council, commit to attending one or two for the year.
  • If we need you to voice your opinion to a State legislator, we’ll give you the phone numbers so that you can make three or four calls a year.


If you just did these few things, it would be a huge help for your business and would cost you nothing but a few hours of your time. You can do it!

The Long Beach City Council will meet 90 days after the May 3rd meeting to make their final decisions on the issues that were discussed. We’ll let you know the date. Can we count on a couple of hours of your time?

 

 

AACSC is Your Association

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Membership renewals have been coming in at a brisk pace. Great work everyone. Keep it up! It doesn't cost very much to be part of AACSC, and you get a lot for your money. Most small business owners don't have access to the great tools that we have. If you want to learn how to do a better job managing your property, you can enroll in the education courses we offer throughout the year. When you need to run a credit check, you call AACSC. If you want to do something about rent control or excessive inspections, and want to have the freedom to exit the rental business under your own terns down the road, you have AACSC fighting for your rights through the Political Action Committee (PAC) set up for that purpose.

Your annual membership dues do not pay for the battle, your PAC fights on your behalf. Many members contribute separately to the PAC when they renew their membership each year and that additional donation is only used to support our political positions. When you renewed your annual membership, did you include the additional $50 for the PAC? If not, we hope you will reconsider. It's not a lot of money, but when everyone contributes, it gives us a strong voice.

There are two other options on your renewal form. The first is for a $5 contribution to the National Apartment Association and the second is for a $5 contribution to CalRHA. CalRHA is relatively new and was established by a number of associations in California who recognized the need for a more united effort when lobbying in Sacramento. Why is that important? Every year 200-300 bills are introduced in Sacramento that could affect our businesses - some of them good and some of them bad. Believe me, when addressing the caustic bills that we face each year, we need a big voice!

Need a vacation?  What about joining us in San Francisco for the NAA Annual Education Conference, June 15-18, 2016. It has finally landed in California and the options for training, information, latest trends and keynote speakers is almost endless. This year Michael Strahan will be the lead keynote speaker and as we move closer to the event, more information will be sent out. One great way to get a discount on the registration is to volunteer for a four-hour shift at the show. Help direct the attendees and then after your shift, enjoy the rest of your time learning the latest in the multi-family industry.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who attended the recent Board Installation at the Virginia Country Club. It was a great evening and the Board of Directors for 2016 appreciate your support for AACSC.

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Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

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

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