Although few outside the profession may understand what we do and how we do it, the basic facts remain unchanged: Property Managers play a critical role in a landlord’s success. As the rental market grows increasingly tumultuous, property managers toil quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to come up with solutions to problems that the average landlord doesn’t understand or even know he has.
Hello tenants, we have a new contest for you to get excited about! The Bev Roberts Rentals family is bringing to you a chance to embrace your creativity with the Festive Decorating Contest!
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of fall? Is it spooky spiders for Halloween, is it pumpkins and falling leaves for Autumn, or is team spirit for football season? Whatever that is, send us your photo portraying your festive indoor or outdoor decorating! The winning resident receives a $50 Visa Gift Card! Please read the above flyer for more details.
The contest officially starts October 1, 2016. Winner will be chosen on November 30, 2016!
Q: Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenants lease will expired the end of May. I do not wish to renew the lease, planning on remodeling. What would you recommend. I anticipate that the tenant may be difficult.
A: I would notify them as soon as possible, that their lease will not be renewed. Also, review your lease carefully about what notice, if any, is required and how to give it. But even if no notice is required, I strongly recommend it.
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.
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Few things in life are more irritating than a bad landlord. Typically tenants are trapped by their lease, so they are powerless to combat landlord deficiencies until the lease expires. Frustrated tenants must find it quite satisfying to stick it to their landlord in a scathing online review. But giving into that temptation too much can lead to a nasty hangover, as one loquacious tenant discovered in a recent court ruling involving a Yelp review.
Sadly, the Building is (newly) owned and occupied by a sociopathic narcissist—who celebrates making the lives of tenants hell. Of the 16 mostly-long-term tenants who lived in the Building when the new owners moved in, the new owners’ noise, intrusions, and other abhorrent behaviors (likely) contributed to the death of three tenants (Pat, Mary, & John), and the departure of eight more (units 1001, 902, 802, 801, 702, 701, 602, 502) in very short order. Notice how they cleared-out all the upper-floor units, so they could charge higher rents?
They have sought evictions of 6 of those long-term tenants, even though rent was paid-in-full, and those tenants bothered nobody. And what they did to evict the occupants of unit #902, who put many of tens of thousands of dollars into their unit, was horrific and shameful.
This is my own first-hand experience with this building, and its owners. I know this situation well, as I had the misfortune of being in a relationship with one of the Building’s residents at the time, have spent many days and nights over many years in the Building, and have personally witnessed the abhorrent behavior of the owners of the Building.
There is NO RENT that is low enough to make residency here worthwhile.
Unhappy about this review, the landlord sued the tenant for defamation. The tenant moved to end the lawsuit early, characterizing it as a lawsuit trying to suppress socially beneficial speech (a “SLAPP”). The appellate court held that the landlord showed enough merit to proceed with the case.
Writing a legally defensible online rant is unexpectedly tricky. You’re free to vent, but you’re not free to make false statements of fact, and the distinction between venting and defamation isn’t always clear. In this case, the tenant doesn’t have to show that the landlord was actually a sociopath, but the court identifies several claims that may require validation: that the landlord sought to evict 6 tenants, including one who had made substantial improvements to the apartment; and that the landlord likely contributed to the deaths of 3 tenants and the departures of 8 others. The court summarizes:
While Papaliolios’s review does contain epithets not meant to be taken as serious assertions of fact, it also contains statements that could reasonably be understood as conveying facts–each provable, and each meant to be used by prospective tenants to evaluate the Jones Building as a future residential choice.
Having determined that some of Papaliolios’ statements were probably factual and thus falsifiable, the court says the landlord provided sufficient evidence indicating their possible falsity. For example, of the 3 claimed deaths, two of the people were still alive.
The court’s overall assessment of the case:
While many Internet critiques are nothing more than ranting opinions that cannot be taken seriously, Internet commentary does not ipso facto get a free pass under defamation law.
I previously wrote about another landlord lawsuit against a tenant for an allegedly defamatory Yelp review. Combined with this lawsuit, there’s good reason to believe that landlords aren’t afraid of going to court if tenants write sharp reviews.
Recently, Lawyers.com issued survey findings that most social media users don’t realize they can be sued for their online content. Percentage-wise, few online postings lead to court proceedings, but unlucky authors who are sued are often dumbfounded by their potential legal exposure for what seems like mere online chatter. One of my guiding principles about blogging is that every time I make a blog post, I bet my house. In the case of tenants reviewing their landlords, they may not have a house to bet, but they are making a sizable legal bet nonetheless.
Case citation: Bently Reserve L.P. v. Papaliolios, 2013 WL 3949029 (Cal. App. Ct. July 30, 2013)
Any competent real estate investment advisor will tell you it’s easy to make your fortune with a real estate career – as long as you know what you are doing. The first advice your real estate investment advisor should give you is to not jump in with both feet right away.
Before making your first investment, you need to do some studying. First of all, do you want to invest in residential or commercial real estate? Which one you chose affects the real estate investment advisor you work with and what you need to be studying.
Your Real Estate Investment Advisor Shortens Your Learning Curve
Once you have a real estate investment advisor, he or she will help you decide what books and articles you need to learn from. If you go into commercial real estate, you will have a ton of options to choose among. Your advisor will give you the pros and cons on subjects like industrial properties, apartment buildings, retail space, office space, etc. It will greatly increase how fast you conquer the learning curve.
With your new knowledge from a general overview, you’re advisor will help you narrow down a more detailed reading list. Now is also the time to start talking to everyone in your chosen market segment that will give you a few minutes of his or her time. You want to advance your career with knowledge gained from other investors, attorneys, brokers, appraisers, mortgage brokers etc. Your real estate investment advisor will have contacts he or she puts you in touch with.
Next, you want to select a geographic market and learn everything you can about it. If you decide to get into retail space, pick the brain of your real estate investment advisor to learn everything you can about the current market conditions and for tips selecting a geographic subsection of your local market. Then talk to existing tenants in the market to learn what is going well and not so well for them.
Your Advisor Teaches You Creative Financing
Having cut your learning curve substantially with the help of your advisor, you will now be ready to make your first investment wisely. In all likeliness, you’ll have come across several potentially highly profitable investment opportunities during your studies.
This is where your real estate investment advisor brings invaluable knowledge to your first real estate investment. It’s all about the money. You’ll gain great help performing your first due diligence. When the numbers make sense, you’re advisor will show the ins and out of creative financing. You’ll learn about low cost and no cost techniques such as sandwich lease purchases and seller financing. There are also many sources of private funding available.