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Rental Housing Journal Metro

December 2013

2 MULTIFAMILY NW President's Letter


3 D&Z THINK This Holiday Season

15 BLUESTONE & HOCKEY Changes in the Apartment Housing Market

6 DEAR MAINTENANCE MEN 8 SHOPTALK Creating a Sense of Urgency

16 RHA OF GREATER PORTLAD President's Message

10 IREM Breakfast Through the Eyes of a First Time Attendee

19 Are You Prepared For Winter?

11 POWER HOUR Property Management Mind Mapping…And Loving It!


Professional Publishing, Inc


Published in association with: METRO Multifamily Housing Association; Rental Housing Association of Oregon; IREM & Clark County Rental Association

Be A Giving Lessons from CT Fair Housing Case Landlord


n May 2013, Connecticut complainants were awarded over $76K (before attorneys’ fees) by the courts in The U.S.A v. Hylton. This is a rental case but the ruling holds several important legal lessons for any housing provider. The complaint alleged that the Hyltons, a Black married couple, violated the Fair Housing Act1 (FHA) by refusing to allow a mixed-race couple, the Bilbos, to sublet their unit to a Black woman with children because they did not want "too many Blacks" at the property.

The decision awarded the following damages: • $31,750 to Mr. And Mrs. Bilbo because their landlord made discriminatory statements to them about being a mixed-race couple, and about the race of their prospective subtenant refusing to allow them to sublet the home to an African American woman and her children because of race. • $10K of this sum was awarded for emotional distress. • Because Ms. Wilson, the prospective subtenant, was denied the home she sought and was qualified for, she continued to live in a racially concentrated area of poverty. Her damages were awarded at $44,431.05

• As part her damages, the court awarded Ms. Wilson $20K for compensation for the lost opportunity to live in a neighborhood of lower crime, higher educational opportunities, and greater upward mobility. • Nearly half of the judgment, before attorneys’ fees, was for punitive damages. • An additional $37,422 in attorneys’ fees brings the total judgment against the defendants to over $113K.

Details of the case can be found online. • A summary of the case is available on the HUD site: http:// HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/ HUDNo.11-198. • A summary of the ruling is posted on the DOJ’s site: http:// Press2013/20130812.html (DOJ). • The court’s decision can be read at federal/district-courts/connecticut/ ctdce/3:2011cv01543/94677/23 The Hyltons were independent rental owners managing their own property. They initially rented to the Bilbos; however, the Bilbos found that their personal circumstances required them to move and to break the lease agreement. The Bilbos agreed to find a suitable renter to sublease to. When they did the defendant asked if the person is white. When told she was Black, Hylton stated that he “did not want

too many Blacks at the property” and that “the neighbors would not want to see too many Blacks there.” The defendant also told the Bilbos the only reason they were rented the house was because his wife is white and it was “a good mix.” There are several salient points in this case, none of them new but none-the-less noteworthy.

MRS. MURPHY’S EXEMPTION First, the housing providers in this case were ‘mom and pop’ landlords representing themselves. Their blatant disregard for the law and others’ civil rights is clear from the case but the harm they caused – to the complainants and to their own pocketbook – may have been avoided with fair housing education and / or by hiring a professional manager who’s practice it was to know and abide by all federal, state, and local laws. As their defense, the defendants argued they were not subject to the Fair Housing Act given what is commonly referred to as the ‘Mrs. Murphy’s Exemption’ which states: Any single-family house sold or rented by an owner provided that such private individual does not own more than three such singlefamily homes at anyone time… if such house is sold or rented (A) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings… and (B) without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice of any advertisement or written notice in violation of [the FHA]. continued on page 7

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he holidays are a time of giving and also a time of thanks. To give to those, through gestures large and small, and thank others for their friendship, hard work, and good service. This holiday season I have decided to gift my tenants for their continued support and service. Many landlords may consider this notion an absurd waste of money., and that is certainly their prerogative. But, I look at gifting the residents differently. I see this gesture as similar to a tip or a bonus. You tip for good service even though you’ve already paid for the meal. Most of us appreciate bonuses this time of year in our paycheck even though we have already performed the job that is expected of us. So, in addition to providing a nice place to live, why not give them a “thank you” for helping pay your mortgage, insurance, and property taxes? I’m not talking about going in the red here. I have in mind a very corporate-like holiday card with a nice handwritten note inside. Included in these generic cards will be a gift card of no more than $10-$20 each for a local restaurant, coffee shop, or grocery store for which I will hand deliver. Hand delivered I said! Here is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the outside of your property unannounced. Just because you’re doing something nice for the tenants does not mean you quit being a landlord. Now because I manage a small operation, this level of spending on continued on page 4

Advertise in Rental Housing Journal Metro Circulated to over 6,000 Apartment owners, On-site, and Maintenance personnel monthly.

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President • Paul Hoevet Past President • Jeff Denson Vice President • Pam McKenna Secretary • Kirsten Bailey Treasurer • Chris

Paul Hoevet

President’s Letter

Multifamily NW President


ello Everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends. It is definitely one of my favorite holidays. It is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and start to prepare for the next. I took some time this past weekend to think about how appreciative I am to have served as the President of Multifamily NW this year. I thought back to the gentleman who hired me into this industry eleven years ago. I remember him suggesting that I go and get involved with the local apartment association. He said I would be thankful that I did, and I am. I have met many quality people in the multifamily industry through my involvement with Multifamily NW. From presidents of companies

to porters, they all contribute to making this one of the most rewarding industries to be involved in. I admire those that volunteer in an effort to make the rental housing industry stronger, more vibrant, and more exciting. I commend the committee chairs, the committee members, the task force members, and the members of the board of directors; all of them donating their time and expertise to further our industry. I am thankful for them and I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity to represent them as President this past year. The volunteers and staff at Multifamily NW did an outstanding job this year. The association completed its rebranding. Councils were solidified in the Mid-Willamette Valley and Central Oregon.

New Consistency Guest Card The Multifamily NW Fair Housing and Forms committees created the new Consistency Guest Card. It’s designed to provide a written record of applicant interactions. This form is an easy and

convenient way for property managers and landlords to demonstrate their fair housing compliance during the application process.

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Membership continued to grow. Multifamily NW rejoined the National Apartment Association. We had the largest and best events ever. From the sold out Golf tournament, to ACE, to the largest Spectrum Conference, they were all outstanding. We had a successful Tenant/ Landlord Coalition, and once again increased our influence with local municipalities and our lawmakers in Salem.

Thank you to all. Thank you for the honor of being your President. I can’t wait to watch what Multifamily NW does next year

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December 18, 2013 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Multifamily NW Holiday Social January 14, 2014 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM CAM: Legal Responsibilities Class January 22, 2014 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM CAM: Fair Housing Class February 2, 2014 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Oregon Landlord/Tenant Law Part I February 17, 2014 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Oregon Landlord/Tenant Law Part II

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Patrick Ormiston Multi Family Specialist 503-953-0672 OR#200901167 WA#0104496 Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


THINK This Holiday Season


ello Property Management Industry! So, as 2013 comes to a close and we prepare for a prosperous 2014, the goal should be to minimize those “What Were You Thinking Moments”. Budgets are complete, the cold weather and holidays are coming. The office will be filled with deliveries of residents boxes with bows, complaints of appliances not working to prepare the holiday feast, slippery stairways, walkways and residents trying to heat their apartments with space heaters. Then you have New Years Eve and the day after, with remnants of sparklers (Fire Hazard) and recycling, guests sleeping it off at the pool, you know the drill. This is a “What Were You Thinking Moment” waiting to happen! Dana and Zach, through years of experience navigating the end of the year blues while preparing to start the new year off with great success, have prepared a special holiday property wish list of things you hope will not happen; complete with helpful suggestions. This is a great way to provide your residents with helpful and needed information to have a wonderful holiday season! Dana’s list Remove the headache of the season for you and your residents by reminding them of best practices on the following: 1. All property staff should know all of this information as well as emergency shut off locations. 2. Office Hours – including holiday hours, when the resident can pick up packages and what they will need for verification 3. Rubbish & Recycling information – Remind residents of trash & recycling pick up days and if there will be additional pick-ups for trees and extra holiday recycling

D&Z – What Were You Thinking Moments certain they have working flashlights and batteries

5. Hazards to Report for safety • Slippery walkways • Property lighting outages • Standing water that could freeze 6. Ventilation and moisture prevention suggestions due to cold outside weather & heated apartments • Fans in bathrooms • Wipe down window condensation

service. If your car battery dies or you find yourself on the side of a road, you will have someone to call for help to get you and your car home safely. If you this is not an option for you, a pair jumper cables and a tow rope should be

stored in your truck so that if a Good Samaritan is around to give assistance, you will have the right items. Don’t forget water, flashlights, batteries and a blanket, hopefully you won’t need any of these items, but just in case. ... continued on page 4

7. Holidays – Each holiday presents its own harmful potential, we live with many on our properties and it is important to remind them of the following for a safe holiday season. • Keep holiday trees watered, a dry tree is a fire hazard • New Years Eve present noise, sparklers (Fire hazard) remind residents to remember the quiet enjoyment for all residents • Parking is usually a headache over the holidays with visiting family and friends. Remind your residents the parking rules and guest parking Zach’s List 8. Security- remember that even though you may feel safe and trust your neighbors always be diligent and smart. When unloading packages or groceries close and lock your car even if it’s a quick trip in and out. 9. Unplug your Christmas lights at night, these little bulbs can get very hot and have a tendency to be in contact with flammable materials such as paper, needles, wood, and carpet. 10. I am a big believer in AAA road

4. Prepare Residents for Emergency – What to do in an emergency during business and after hours. Incidents that can occur during the cold or inclement weather Emergency procedures and phone numbers, even if you think the resident has them, include: • Fire & Rescue for non-life threatening • Office and after hour contact Instructions if no response in predetermined time • Home office contact • In case of a weather related power outage, have your electrical provider’s phone number available and remind residents not to use their stoves, or space heaters that do not automatically shut off if tipped over. Avoid candles and make Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

Call Gary at 503-490-1993 for more information. 3

Be a Giving Lanlord ...continued from front page my residents is feasible. For those of in others who help us throughout the you who may be managing hun- year? A nice card and a little somedreds of units, a charitable donation thing to brighten their season is a in the name of your tenants, or a small price to pay. I think that there generous coupon towards a holiday is still something very important ham may make greater sense for about interpersonal relationships, your business. As long as you’re especially around the holidays. gifting to others from a place of general goodwill, then the actual gift is secondary. And, who knows, the gesture may just be reciprocated Katie Poole – Hussa is a Licensed whether it’s through a thank you Property Manager, Continuing note, a small gift, or the continued Education Provider and Principal at care of your rental property. Some Smart Property Management in small gifts may be tax deductible, so Portland, OR. She can be reached with check with your accountant questions or comments at Katie@ Giving to others without tions can make us feel good. We’ve R elia ble a nd pro a c tiv e all heard of ‘paying it forward’. So, qua lity la nds c a pe why not make a small “investment”


THINK This Season ...continued from page 3 11. Stay alert to those who take advantage of folks this of time of year when most of us are in a giving mood. Take your time and do some research to be sure that those who claim to be helping others and not just themselves.

Dana Brown and Zach Howell have been working and training Managers and Maintenance staff in the property management industry for 20 + years. They are excited to give back and share the crazy stories that can only happen in our industry. We would love it if you would share your stories and “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” moments with us as well as questions that you need answers to. Dana can be reached at: Zach can be reached at:

12. Charge your cell phone and keep a mobile charger with you that you can use in your car or other power source. We are so connected to our phones, but all the browsing, GPS directions, downloading coupons, and seasonal event pictures can suck the life out of your battery, leaving you in lurch late at night when you – amay need to make a real emergency call.

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the mass of people moving at difShopping Centers-Industrial.

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Publisher Will Johnson •

ferent speeds throughout the city can cause us to be real Grinch’s. Also, keep in mind that not everyone celebrates the season or have “ W estm e ’re inv este d in your the same religious beliefs, so, just inv e nt.” Emphasis on swale, vegetative corridor maintenance Shopping Centers-Industrial. enjoy your family’s tradition management. inv estm e nt.” y our pro p erty. and management. whatever that maybe and be kind and courteous to others. Emphasis on swale Stevenson & Associates, Inc. Ste v e nson &v eAsso c iaAsso tes,cInc . Inc . Stevenson Inc. nson&&Associates, ia tes, vegetative corridor Have a safe and wonderful “ WPand eSte ’re inv este d in your Portland Metro Region Portland Metro Region e gion ortla nd M etro R P ortla nd M etro R e gion Holiday season and a prosperous maintenance and phone: 503 692 6636 “ Wphone: e ’re inv este d in your Phone: 503 503 692 6636 Phone: 503 692-6636 inv estm e692-6636 nt.” New Year! email: management. E- ensn@ m ail: stev ensn@ asystre E- m ail: email: stev e inv asystre estm e nt.”et.n et Happy Holidays see you next LCB 5056 L C B 5056 L CLCB B 5056 5056 year! Dana & Zach

Designer Steve Olsen • Advertising Sales Will Johnson • Terry Hokenson • The statements and representations made in advertising and news articles contained in this publication are those of the advertiser and authors and as such do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Professional Publishing, Inc. The inclusion of advertising in this publications does not, in any way, comport an endorsement of or support for the products or services offered. Metro Apartment Manager is produced monthly and is published by Professional Publishing Inc. PO Box 6244 Beaverton, OR 97007. (503) 221-1260 (800) 398-6751 © 2013 All rights reserved.

Stevenson Inc. Ste v e nson & Asso&cAssociates, ia tes, Inc . Ste v e nson & Asso c ia tes, Inc .

Metro gionR e gion P ortlaPortland nd PM etro ortla ndRMeRegion etro Phone: 503 692-6636 phone: 503 692 6636 Phone: 503 692-6636 E- ensn@ m ail: stev ensn@ e asystre E- m ail: email: stev e asystre L C B 5056 L CLCB B 5056 5056

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Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL MERTO Property Management Mind Mapping…And Loving It! © by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach {Article #213…since 1995} The property management profession continues to be more complex and rapid planning seems to be a daily requirement. When faced with a large project, when pressured to reach tall goals or even when you are trying to fix a reoccurring problem… Mind Mapping is the perfect tool. In this article, you will learn the three steps for creating a clear and wellorganized front-end approach to resolving your most challenging problems or developing your most inspiring dreams! Mind Mapping will also allow you to discover new patterns, see untapped potential and link unforeseen ideas—an important concept we share in our book, SmartMatch Alliances. Getting started: Begin by scheduling 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time with no distractions such as ringing telephones, loud noises or knocks at your office door. Start with a blank sheet of paper and draw a large circle in the center of the page. Next, place the name of your project, goal, dream or problem in the center of this circle. Next, draw 10 or 15 lines around the circle, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Lastly, on each spoke, list one idea or concept relating to the words inside the circle. Do not

edit or judge the words you are placing on each spoke while you are brainstorming because you want to generate as many ideas as possible. Each spoke on your Mind Map will address: who, what, where, when, why and/or how. Tip From The Coach: If you are an auditory learner rather than a visual learner you may want to use a tape recorder to build your Mind Map, then transfer your words to paper as the second step. If you find your ideas are not flowing, then take a break to refresh your mind or share your progress with your manager, a peer or a close friend. Sometimes having another person’s perspective is just enough to get your creative juices flowing. Developing your action words: With your initial Mind Map now complete, take a second sheet of paper and list the first “spoke” topic in the center of a new large circle and draw another five or seven lines around this circle. These lines are now the action words for completing your project, fixing a problem or realizing your dreams. When building these action words, do not make any quick assumptions but remain open to unusual ideas or solutions. Try to look at this project or task from a different level by asking yourself, “How will this impact my resi-

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Ultimate Cleaning Solutions can make a vacant apartment, or office “move-in” ready by cleaning everything from top to bottom. You can feel confident that we are busy returning your rental to showcase condition. We are ready to help you! Our services include move in/move out cleaning services to apartment community managers and individuals owning rental property. We are your one-call apartment turnover solution.

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Dear Maintenance Men: By Jerry L'Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez contractor was astronomical! I want to teach my maintenance tech how to install crown molding, however after looking at molding how-to books and the internet, I am about to give up on the idea. It looks very complicated. Can you help? Ron

Dear Maintenance Men: Do you have a recommendation for exterior lighting that will make the property stand out from its neighbors? Jorden Dear Jorden: We did a recent job involving half inch 120 volt LED rope light. The rope light was installed under the eaves and out of the way. From the ground the light appeared to emanate out from the eaves and down the walls. The light is indirect and made for a very interesting look. The side benefit of the rope light was not only did it look great; it shed light in all the dark corners around the building. LED rope light is more expensive than the incandescent rope light, however, it is economical in the long run, it has a long service life and the rope does not get hot or even warm to the touch. (We DO NOT recommend incandescent rope light.) LED Rope light comes in 150 foot rolls and with the proper rectifier in place, up to 1200 feet can be used from one electrical source. The light comes in cool white, natural white and warm white along with a variety of colors. The rope light can be installed onto a plastic track to help keep it straight and to eliminate any drooping of the rope. Remember to pre-drill the track before installa-


tion. LED rope light is perfect for under stairs, balconies and anywhere you need soft indirect light. Keep in mind, it does not throw light very far and will not light up a courtyard, it is mainly for aesthetics. Dear Maintenance Men: We are preparing to gussy up our rental property by adding crown molding inAM PGE_SpectrumAd_BW_5.pdf 1 8/30/2013 9:46:48 each room. The quote I got from the

Dear Ron: We know what you mean; anyone who has installed crown molding for the first time knows the frustration. But it need not be! Crown molding truly is easy to install and yes, we said easy. Throw the book away; it only serves to show how smart the author is, but not very practical. We are going to describe a method that we learned long ago that absolutely simplified crown molding installation. The key is to cut the molding in the same position that it will be

install on the ceiling and to make visual samples. It is important to make a set of sample pieces for reference. 1A: Inside corner: cut two 12-inch pieces of molding to use as a sample. Place that sample up on the wall and ceiling for a visual. Now bring that sample to your saw and lay it to the left of the blade, against the vertical fence or backstop. Position the sample exactly in the same orientation or position as it was on the wall/ ceiling. (The sample piece will not be flat against the fence; it will stick out just like it does on the wall.) Now position your saw blade in the 45-degree position and left of the center mark. Cut the right side of your sample piece and label it Right Hand continued on page 13

Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


Lessons Fair Housing Case ...continued from front page Put plainly, small, independent landlords can discriminate based on protected class only if they do not hire a professional (thereby enjoining someone else in the act of discrimination) and if they do not ‘advertise’ a discriminatory preference. Here, ‘advertising’ means, essentially, any outward expression ranging from verbal or written statements (ads whether printed or online, flyers, etc.). Interestingly, in this case the property in question was held by Hylton Real Estate Management, which only Mrs. Hylton had an ownership interest in. Because her husband, Mr. Hylton did not have an ownership interest in the company that owned the property only she, not he, qualified for this exemption. Mrs. Hylton argued that the Mr. acted as her husband and not as ‘someone in the business of renting dwellings’ in dealing with the Bilbos. However, Mr. Hylton himself stipulated that he was in the business of renting dwellings and detailed the tasks he performs in such capacity and, indeed, his behavior substantiated this. All of that aside, his outward expression, or ‘publication’ of a discriminatory intent trumped the Mrs. Murphy’s Exemption binding him to the full responsibilities of the FHA, even if he had had an ownership interest in the property. It should be clearly noted here that Oregon state law provides greater protection than federal and does not allow for the Mrs. Murphy’s Exemption. Essentially, all housing providers must comply with federal, state, and local fair housing laws in Oregon. VICARIOUS LIABILITY Secondly, this case reaffirms what preexisting case law has already established in terms of vicarious liability. As stated in the court’s decision, “Although Mr. Hylton is the individual who directly discriminated against Ms. Wilson and the Bilbos, both Mrs. Hylton and [the company] may be held vicariously liable for this discriminatory actions.” …‘It is clear under the FHA, owners of real estate may be held vicariously liable for discriminatory acts by their agents and employees.’ Glover v. Jones Therefore, if Mr. Hylton was acting as Mrs. Hylton’s agent, Mrs. Hylton, as sole owner of [the property] is also liable for his discriminatory actions. See Cabrera v. Jakabovitz” DAMAGES FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS Here, the court said it best in its decision: “Third, as to the request for damages for emotional distress, ‘it is axiomatic that civil rights plaintiffs may recover compensatory damages for emotional distress.’ Ragin It is not necessary for a plaintiff to provide evidence of treatment by a healthcare professional or use of medication to be entitled to damages for emotional distress. See Parris v. Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

Pappas… (distinguishing “significant” and “egregious” claims for emotional distress from “garden variety” claims…). In the context of Fair Housing Act violations, courts have ‘recognized the severe mental trauma associated with unlawful discrimination and have upheld large compensatory awards for the victims in such cases.’ Broome v. Biondi ‘The key factors in determining emotional distress damages are the complainant’s reaction to the discriminatory conduct and the egregiousness of the respondent’s behavior.’ HUD v. Walker When claims have been categorized as “garden variety” – meaning the claim for distress is devoid of evidence of medical treatment or physical manifestation – the amount of damages authorized ranges from $5,000 to $125,000. Parris” PUNITIVE DAMAGES As stated above, the judge found in this case that the defendant acted with evil motive and showed no remorse justifying an award of punitive damages amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. LOST HOUSING OPPORTUNITY DAMAGES Finally, the issue of lost housing opportunity damages is also interesting. Here the court found that Ms. Wilson suffered based on key testimony from an expert in the field of “neighborhood effects.” The court concluded that there were “vast differences between the neighborhoods” in which she sought to leave and that which the subject property was located in amounting to “fewer ‘life chances’.” It’s clearly not only important to be familiar with the federal FHA, but to know applicable state, local, and case law, as well. Issues such as vicarious liability, and what kinds of damages may be awarded, as well as other legal precedents such as dispa-

rate impact, what constitutes illegally discriminatory advertising, etc., should all be relevant to housing providers both at the company or organizational level and at the individual level. As this case illustrates, the owner was personally liable for her agent’s actions, even though she did not directly violate the law. This is true for ‘rank and file’ staff / employees / contractors as well, not just owners – that is, if a maintenance tech. or leasing agent violates the law, not only is the company and property owner liable, that individual may personally be sued as well. It is important to follow fair housing case law and to commit to a regular educational routine for yourself and all who work with you. Start today by signing up for our free, electronic, periodic newsletter (this you can do at the bottom of any page of our website, and by following us on FaceBook or Twitter ( FairHousingCouncilOregon and @ FairHousingOR, respectively). We also invite and encourage you to check out the range of courses we offer at classlist.pdf. Our classes include, of

course, Fair Housing Basics, as well as Fair Housing BINGO, Fair Housing Jeopardy The Game and Fair Housing and Advertising. In addition, we have developed advanced classes for repeat trainees such as 50 Shades of Fair Housing and the RA/RM Intensive. This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a nonprofit serving the state of Oregon and SW Washington. All rights reserved © 2013. Write to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

By Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist, Fair Housing Council Serving Oregon and SW Washington To learn more… Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at Qs about this article? ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association? Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@ or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150 Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions? Visit


Creating a Sense of Urgency Available for a limited time! Only one of its kind! Offer expires at midnight! These and similar

phrases are used to make people “spring boldly into action.” They conjure up images of people rushing into department stores and retail outlets to take advantage of incredible offers on quality merchandise, especially during the holiday season. The advertisers and merchandisers are trying to create a sense of urgency in the minds of their customers; which will motivate them to take immediate action. They are in the “sales” business and want the customer to immediately purchase a product and part with some of their money! You may not have to meet monthly or quarterly sales “quotas,” but undoubtedly you have specific occupancy standards which must be met and maintained. Therefore, you need to rent a certain number of apart-

ments each day, week or month to achieve the goals set for your community. It’s no secret that in the Pacific Northwest, many prospective renters decide to hibernate for the winter and dig in their heels until after the holidays. The phone isn’t ringing off the hook like it was in July, and the few people who are moving, may or may not make it to your community before they decide to rent somewhere else first. A vacant apartment TODAY, could be “ringing in the New Year” with you on January 1st. The SECRET SHOPPER phoned three communities, looking for immediate availability. I told each consultant that I was new to the area and needed a place to live right away. Each leasing person seemed interested in helping me, but only one motivated me to visit immediately. My first call was answered promptly by a friendly voice. I stated that I was new to the area and needed to find a place right away. The

consultant asked where I was moving from and what was bringing me to the area. She then asked for my name and began to inquire about the specific needs and requirements that I had. It was a pleasant exchange that went on for several minutes. Once the consultant learned what was important to me, she began to talk about various openings. She said that I had called at a good time because there were a couple of great apartments to choose from. The consultant invited me to visit and told me the office hours. She said, “If I’m not here, anyone in the office can help you.” She gave me directions and closed with, “I hope to see you soon.” The next call I made was answered with a great deal of enthusiasm. The consultant asked for my name right away, and I could hear the smile in her voice as she spoke and offered her assistance. I explained that I was new to the area and needed to find a place to live right away. The consultant asked questions to determine

my needs and find out what was important to me. She told me there were only two apartments available, and briefly described the positive attributes of each one. She asked when I would like to come by, and we discussed the driving distance and the fact that it was raining. The consultant said, “It’s been kind of slow today because of the weather. If you want to wait and come by tomorrow, I’m sure the apartments will still be available.” I said, “I think I’ll do that.” The consultant said, “Great! I’ll see you tomorrow!” My final call was met with an energetic greeting and an immediate offer of help. When the consultant learned that I needed an apartment immediately, she said, “Well, you better get right over here because I only have one left!” I laughed and asked if she could tell me a little bit about it first. The consultant described the apartment interior, as well as the view. She explained that the “view apartments” don’t open continued on page 12

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Metro Apartment Manager • October 2008 Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


INSTITUTE OF REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT President - Cammie Allie, CPM • President Elect - David Genrich, CPM • Treasurer - Stephanie MacPherson • Additional Officers - Julie Muiri, CPM, Traci McCanley, CPM, Kathi Pearce, CPM, Tammy Mills, ARM, Kathi Pearce, CPM, Jeanna Rae Petty, CPM, Jennifer Gerrite, CPM, Chris Pasteur, ARM • CPM Admissions Contact - Traci McConley, CPM • ARM/ACoM Admissions Contact - Tammy Mills, ARM • AMO Admissions Contact - Cliff Hockley, CPM • Education Contact - Kathi Pierce, CPM • Income/Expense Contact - Cary Morris, CPM IREM Chapter #29 11575 SW Pacific Hwy Suite 210 Tigard, OR 97223 (503) 228-0002 (503) 406-2003 fax


IREM Breakfast Through the Eyes of a First Time Attendee

n December 5th, 2013 the IREM Oregon Colubmia River Chapter No. 29 held their 26th annual forecast breakfast. With over 600 attendees, this is considered the biggest in the country. I was lucky enough to be invited by President Cammie Allie and sat front and center with the great folks at Fortress Property Management. This was my first IREM breakfast in my 7 years working in the industry, and I have to say I was impressed with the event. The setting felt more like a friendly fireside chat than a business-forecasting breakfast. Debra Gil, of Good Day Oregon, asked each presenter audience submitted questions in random order. This was an engaging and easy to follow format. All of the presenters did an excellent job communicating their message and answering questions in a well thought and fun manner. I am going to focus on Bernard Gehret, of Joseph Bernard, LLC., who covered the Multi Family Industry. According the Gehret, in 2013 “Portland re-emerged as a primary, top-tier national market.” He went

on to talk about how the values were strong for the large transactions, which occurred with a large amount of national buyers. Out of the 17 transactions of 100 units or more, Gehret reported that 12 of the 17 were from states other than Oregon and Washington. The average price per square foot went up to $117.00 from $112.00 in 2012. Another strong statistic was that Median Cap Rate rose to 5.90% from 5.76%, while the overall sales volume stayed the same at 70% of the market. What I found most interesting was when Gehret talked about the 5-100 unit sector of the market. In this sector 87% of these buyers were from Oregon and Washington, 12% from California and only 1% from New York. This shows a stark difference from the 100 or more units sector which had 71% of its buyers coming from outside of the Northwest. He broke this sector down into two subsectors, 5-50 and 51-100 units. The average price per unit in the 5-50 was down this year at $73,554.00 from $78,884.00 in 2012. In addition, the Average Price per Square Foot decreases from $92.00 in 2012 to

$82.00 in 2013, an 11% decrease. The Median Cap Rate decreased slightly to 6.72% from 6.78% in 2012. According to Gehret, “It appears buyers wanted more value, as 25% of the transactions required some level of deferred maintenance. Buyers may be requiring the value to be on the purchase price if they are going to have to upgrade the property themselves in order to increase the value”. This trend did not show in the other sub-sector. When looking at 51-100 units, the statistics presented an increase in the Average Price per Unit to $87,094.00 from $73, 214.00. The Average Price per Square Foot rose to $103.00 from $90.00 in 2012, while the Median Cap Rate fell .02% to 6.61%. According to Gehret’s presentation, the challenges we are going to see in 2014 are, “Rising interest rates, rising expenses, potentially tighter financing, particularly construction and a large number of units coming online”. To meet those challenges, he suggested that owners should, “Get you relationships dialed in, get your property dialed in, continue to look for opportunities”. He suggests

doing so by, “managing costs and expenses, and increasing the quality of those expenses, raising rents, or selling your existing property and buying another one with more potential”. He presented that another opportunity could be, “high end construction coming online may very well pull up the existing ‘work force’ properties, and allow some owners to increase rents. The general sentiment appeared to be that upgrading your properties could be an opportunity for owners in this market. Overall, the breakfast was very interesting and definitely an event that I will be attending next year. I can see why it is such a big deal and want to thank Cammie Allie and Fortress Property management for inviting me to attend. Sam Johnson is President of Landlord Solutions, Oregon’s leading eviction services provider. www.

Oregon-Columbia River Chapter No. 29 2013 Education Schedule Registration at

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November 15, 2013 December 5, 2013 In warm appreciation of our association, Jupiter Hotel Oregon Convention Center Come and help us celebrate the 2014 Forecast - all new we extend our Wishes for a event of accomplishments of 2013 and theBest format!! The not-to-miss inauguration of our incoming 2014 the year! happy Holiday Season and a New Year Board, along with 2014 President, 7:00am - 9:30am Cammie Allie, CPM®with Bring a filled Peace, Joy and Success guest and your dancing shoes! 6:00pm-11 pm

SUGGEST AN EVENT Chapter Office: 901 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 979232 phone: 503-228-0002 fax: 503-228-3196


Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


Property Management Mind Mapping…And Loving It! by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach {Article #213…since 1995}


he property management profession continues to be more complex and rapid planning seems to be a daily requirement. When faced with a large project, when pressured to reach tall goals or even when you are trying to fix a reoccurring problem…Mind Mapping is the perfect tool. In this article, you will learn the three steps for creating a clear and well-organized front-end approach to resolving your most challenging problems or developing your most inspiring dreams! Mind Mapping will also allow you to discover new patterns, see untapped potential and link unforeseen ideas—an important concept we share in our book, SmartMatch Alliances. Getting started: Begin by scheduling 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time with no distractions such as ringing telephones, loud noises or knocks at your office door. Start with a blank sheet of paper and draw a large circle in the center of the page. Next, place the name of your project, goal, dream or problem in the center of this circle. Next, draw 10 or 15 lines around the circle, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Lastly, on each spoke, list one idea or concept relating to the words inside the circle. Do not edit or judge the

words you are placing on each spoke while you are brainstorming because you want to generate as many ideas as possible. Each spoke on your Mind Map will address: who, what, where, when, why and/or how. Tip From The Coach: If you are an

auditory learner rather than a visual learner you may want to use a tape recorder to build your Mind Map, then transfer your words to paper as the second step. If you find your ideas are not flowing, then take a break to refresh your mind or share

your progress with your manager, a peer or a close friend. Sometimes having another person’s perspective is just enough to get your creative juices flowing. Developing your action words: With your initial Mind Map now ... continued on page 13

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Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

11/27/2013 10:21:28 AM11


Creating Urgency ...continued from page 8 up very often, and said this one was especially nice because of its southwestern exposure. The consultant said she had a model to show, and she could take me by the location of the apartment for rent. She told me they were still getting it ready, but that I could move into it by the week-end. The consultant asked if I had time to come over right now. She said she had another appointment in an hour and if I waited, the upcoming apartment would probably be gone. I agreed to come over within the next twenty minutes. The consultant then gave directions carefully, since I had stated I was new to the area. She suggested I bring along her phone number, in case I get lost so I could call from the road. Before we hung up, she asked for my number to be able to check back with me if I didn’t make it by. The consultant thanked me for calling and ended with, “I look forward to meeting you. I’ll see you when you get here.” What are you doing to create URGENCY when the telephone rings at your community? How do you convince the caller that what you have to offer is worth their time and consideration? Your community may be just one of a dozen competing for their attention. Why should they visit YOUR place, and why should they DO IT NOW? Is there something about your apartments or


community that stands out from all the rest? Could it be a unique floor plan or desirable location? What about the easy access to area conveniences or your sensational staff? Whatever it is, use it to create urgency to get your callers to visit TODAY! Tomorrow is TOO LATE! By then, they will have already rented from the leasing consultant who invited them to visit YESTERDAY!

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Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


Dear Maintenance Men ...continued from page 6 Corner Inside. 1B: Take the second piece of sample molding you cut and position it exactly like the first piece, but to right side of the blade. Put your blade in the 45-degree position, but this time it will be to the right of the center mark. Cut and label this piece Left Hand Corner Inside. Test your samples in an inside corner where the wall meets the ceiling. The two pieces should form a 90-degree corner. 2A: Outside corners: cut two 12-inch pieces of molding to use as a sample. Place that sample up on the wall and ceiling for a visual. Now bring that sample to your saw and lay it to the left of the blade, against the vertical fence or backstop. Position the sample exactly in the same orientation or position as it was on the wall/

ceiling. Set the blade at the 45-degree position and right of the center mark. Position the sample to the left of the blade. Cut and label Right Hand Outside Corner. 2B: For an outside left-hand corner, set the blade at the 45-degree position and left of the center mark. Position the sample to the right of the blade. After the cut, label the sample Left Hand Outside Corner. Test your samples in an outside corner where the wall meets the ceiling. The two pieces should form a 90-degree corner. The hard part is done; you now have sample cuts to refer to. After measuring the wall, place your measurements on the backside of the molding, the mark will be easier to ... continued on page 19

Mind Mapping ...continued from page 11 complete, take a second sheet of paper and list the first “spoke” topic in the center of a new large circle and draw another five or seven lines around this circle. These lines are now the action words for completing your project, fixing a problem or realizing your dreams. When building these action words, do not make any quick assumptions but remain open to unusual ideas or solutions. Try to look at this project or task from a different level by asking yourself, “How will this impact my residents, my property owner, the properties I manage or my leasing team?” Tip From The Coach: Some of the best Mind Mapping is done when we look to other industries, other professions or other successful individuals and see how they have addressed a similar problem or opportunity. Many great ideas are just inches from where you are standing this very minute but you have to look closely and have your antenna up, to see and hear them. As a small step, try reading trade or business magazines unrelated to the property management industry and you will find that re-inventing the wheel is seldom necessary. Plus, exposure to new ideas in other industries will help you become a “Futurist” on your own behalf…a special trait! Taking words to action: Now comes the fun part! Take each of your Mind Maps and put them in outline form. Next to each action word, place an action step and specify the exact date for completing each task or step. Also, if you are going to delegate portions of this project, include the name of each person who will be responsible for a specific step and be certain they receive a copy of your Mind Map so they can be clear on the purpose of your request. Lastly, take the action steps you are going to personally complete and place them directly in your appointment book. By sched-

Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

uling time for each step on your Mind Map you are bringing this project/dream/goal/problem to life. Tip From The Coach: Once you have completed your first Mind Map, pause and reflect joyfully on what you have accomplished. This process is specifically designed to support your thinking process and will get easier and easier, with practice. Remember, Mind Mapping is meant to be fun and can be done in large groups, at your next big meeting or any time you need to visualize ideas quickly! Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions about Mind Mapping? Send an E-mail to ernest@ and The Coach will E-mail back to you a free invitation to be a participant on a PowerHour conference call. Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach since 1995 [31,120 hours], a property management industry professional since 1988--the author of SmartMatch Alliances--and the founder of PowerHour...[ and www.powerhourleadershipacademy. com and and ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national utility bill auditing [ ] national real estate and apartment building insurance [ ], SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions [ ], powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams, employee policy manuals [ ] and social media strategic solutions [ socialmedialeadership.html ]. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 7000 times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 200+ articles for the property management industry and created 350+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: PowerHour® is based in Olympic-town…Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail ernest@ or visit their website:

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CLARK COUNTY RENTAL ASSOCIATION President • Lyn Ayers Vice President • Blain Cowley Secretary • Patty Silver Treasurer • Janine Ayers Membership Committee • Roger Silver Contact • Lyn Ayers • Phone (360) 693-0025 • 5620 Gher Rd., Suite H Vancouver, WA 98662-6166 (360) 693-CCRA


owever you look at it, this is an exciting time to be alive and especially involved in the rental industry. There are challenges on all sides, both good challenges and those not so good. Rents in general seem to be slowly improving, since our maintenance and repair costs appreciate just as fast. It is important that we play at the top of our game because more folks are trying to take advantage of our ignorance and/or kindness. We must stay apprised of any legislative changes and make sure our forms are adequate and legal and that we

President's Message use them properly. If we cut corners or treat this business as a hobby, we are sure to lose out. Avail yourselves of our services. Renew your CCRA membership. If you have questions, call your mentor. If you really want to learn, volunteer to be a mentor. Attend our board meetings and learn first-hand about issues in Olympia and around the state. Join our educational dinner meetings. If you don’t care to eat you don’t have to. Attend training sessions from other agencies—we don’t have a monopoly on information. As stated above, let’s make sure we are

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fully educated. I am proud to announce that our webmaster Jeff Gough has completed the first stage in the development of our Members-Only section of the CCRA website. Members are now able to access current and previous issues of the newsletter on-line. Members will be able to log in using a simple password. Here’s how to do it: 1. Go to the CCRA website www. 2. Click on the newsletter button at the top of the home page. 3. At the bottom of the next page that opens, you will see MEMBERS LOGIN AREA. Click on the “View this month’s….” A small window will open asking for the password. 4. Type it as follows: “ccra2013” without the quotes, click on the enter button and a new window will open showing a list of newsletters by date. 5. Click on the issue you want, wait while it downloads, and you can page through it or search for topics of special interest to you.

We presently plan to change to a new password every year. If you let your membership lapse, you will not receive the password for 2014 and lose access to the Members-Only section. (Renewal notices were mailed out on December 1st. Be sure you renew …) We held our annual elections at this past November’s dinner meeting. Let me introduce our two new officers who are actually not so new. Patty Silver and I were both returned to office. It must be because of name familiarity. It is kind of humbling that you have such faith in us. As I write this our dues renewal notices are in the mail. You should have received your copy by the time you receive this newsletter. It’s not difficult to save more than the dues cost, even if you only have a unit or two. Avoiding a screw-up can easily save $100 or $200 or thousands. Choose to renew. It’s money in your bank account and not someone else’s. Since we have been talking about next year, have a Merry Christmas this year!



Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

Changes in the Apartment Housing Market


any different variables drive the demand for apt. housing. Tenants consider location, tax policy, employment, tenant age, location of family members, availability of healthcare and education when making housing decisions. Most importantly tenants look at affordability (of apartment housing). In other words, can a tenant live in a city with great transportation infrastructure and not own a car, and maybe bike or motor scooter to work? If so, tenants can fold this savings (lack of car payment, insurance, fuel expense) into a higher rental budget. For an older tenant the location of age specific infrastructure is more important. If you are older than 55 you may want to choose a community that is modern and handicap accessible, in a warmer climate close to shopping, medical services, and age specific activities. Migration of tenants to the south and coastal communities reflects the shifting landscape of housing demand. Cities, multifamily landlords and developers are being challenged to keep housing habitable, modern, affordable and suitable to the appropriate age groups. The need for habitable, modern, affordable and age-specific housing continues to challenge cities, developers, and multi-family landlords. In this article we organize future housing demands into seven sections. • Over 65 age group • Generation Y • Sunbelt population increase • Soaring construction costs • Rising Cost of Health Care • Housing Affordability • Taxation Climate Over 65 – Baby Boomers • The 65+ demographic will increase from a current 13% of total U.S. population to 19% by 2030. • As aging populations increase senior citizens will continue to make difficult choices between rent, food, housing and medical care. Especially hard hit are the very low income senior citizens. • As a result the demand for government subsidized low income housing will increase • A 2013 Gallup poll found that 38% of non-retirees, a new low (down from 42% in 2012) say they will have enough money in retirement. When Gallup first asked the question in 2002, 59% thought they would have enough savings for retirement. The percentage dipped below 50% during the 2008 recession and has remained below since (keep in mind; this will inch up as the stock market regains some of its recession induced losses). • The growing over-65 demographic will want to move to warm climates, into age-appropriate communities that feature lower fuel and heating expenses (higher air conditioning and water expenses), Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

great medical care, modern infrastructure and safe housing, and communities for those that are over 55. • The nation’s 77 million baby boomers are reconsidering their housing needs. • US Department of Housing and Urban development 52% of seniors between 65 and 80 who recently moved, became renters after moving, compared to 36%that rented before they moved. • Based on this trend, apartment firms are targeting this population segment. In 2011, 12% of completed apartment units were age restricted, meaning that residents had to meet a minimum age threshold, most often 55 years of age, to qualify. This is an increase from 8% in 2010. • Although Medicare will cover the majority of health care costs for this demographic, which may give them more financial flexibility to pay higher rent from funds set aside to pay for retirement, very low income seniors will be seeking tax credits developed for low income housing (like section 42). The 20 to 35 year old workforce – Generation Y • Studies indicate home ownership ties employees to a market place and makes it difficult for them to move. In contrast younger Americans want to live in apartments to protect their economic freedom, as they find their niche in life while moving frequently in search of the “perfect” job. • Looking at homeownership in 2010, The US Census found that less than 40% of Americans under the age of 35 own their own homes. • Men and women graduating college on average have 1 child, compared to their high school educated, or GED recipient, peers who have at least 2 children. • Young workers are staying single longer than ever, extending their time as renters into their late 20s. Only 51% of adults over the age of 18 are married, so for many building a family is not a priority in their 20s. Population increases in Sunbelt urban areas will drive more apartment and home construction • Lower income (less than $55,000/ year) Americans are more likely to be renters than upper income Americans. • Demand for apartments remains highly concentrated in urban areas close to employment centers, public. transportation and cultural outlets. • In 2013 71.4% of all apartment permits issued were in the 50 largest US markets. • Builders and bankers have been hesitant to build or approve loans in second or third tier marketplac-

es, if job opportunities do not exist. Construction costs soar • As the economy rebounds the cost of construction has increased due to shortages from 2012 to 2013: • Softwood lumber costs up 30% • Drywall up 17.9% • Tar roofing up 8.6 • Insulation up 5.3% • Concrete up 2.2% • Labor shortages (for those with construction skills), are increasing as permits increase and construction volume grows. Finding experienced contractors and sub-contractors will become more challenging, driving up the price of construction, and therefore rents. • Building-material manufacturers “are raising prices dramatically, and once they’re convinced that these prices are going to stick, they’ll start reinvesting in those plants,” helping ease supply constraints, said John Burns, chairman of Irvine, California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Health Care Affordability • Rising cost of health care is affecting the ability to pay rent. The promise of potential cost savings with Obamacare looks like a boon for apartment tenants. • Current renters are struggling with paying for the rising cost of health care necessities.Those with health

care coverage experienced a 7.2% increase in costs between 2011 and 2012. • Health care costs for American families in 2012 exceeded $20,000/ year for the first time ever. Housing Affordability: • Currently the average wage amongst renters nationally is $14.32/hr. In 2013; however the housing wage, the amount a full time worker must earn per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment in a given area, is $18.79/hr. • In 2011 for every 100 ELI (extremely low income) earners there were only 55 units they could live in without spending more than 30% of their income on housing and utility cost. • Approximately 11.2 million renters have a severe housing cost burden. • Western state, like Nevada, California, Arizona and Colorado are seeing an absolute shortage of affordable units. • The most expensive states for Housing Wage for Two-Bedroom at fair market rents are in the north eastern part of the country. • #3 New York - $25.25 • #4 New Jersey -$24.84 • #5 Maryland - $24-47 • #6 Massachusetts - $24.05 continued on page 17


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RENTAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION OF GREATER PORTLAND President • Elizabeth Carpenter Treasurer • Jon Moon Office Manager • Cari Pierce Member Services • Teresa Carlson Bookkeeper • Pam Van Loon 10520 NE Weidler Portland, OR 97220 (503) 254-4723 • fax (503) 254-4821


ell I just don’t know where this year has gone. At the Rental Housing Association, we have worked on many changes for the association. I have heard from several people that we are the best kept secret. This last year we have been laying the ground work to become the best known landlord association in Oregon. My passion has always been to give the keys to success to landlords and property managers through education and assistance. I remember the day I walked into court not understanding all the laws. I lost the case due to a very small detail. We at the RHA want to educate and assist every landlord and property manager to understand the landlord/

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President's Message

tenant Act of Oregon. I always think of December as the month of giving! There are so many worthy organizations to give to each year. The RHAGP would like to remind you of our Annual Toy Drive. We are asking for toys, gift cards and gift items for kids. These toys and gifts will be given to families of the National Guard and Reserve personnel serving overseas! You will see some changes in the office this next year, if you have not already Noticed Alita Dougherty, our office manager for the past eight years has retired from the Office Management position. Alita will not go far, lucky for us, she will be joining the board and is acting as board consultant. She has been working towards retirement for

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the last couple of years. We were able to hold her off for the last couple of years, but no longer. Alita has been, and will continue to be, an asset to our organization. We are looking forward to her joining the board in 2014! Cari Pierce has moved from Member Services Representative to the position of Office manager. Cari has worked in the property management industry since 2007 during which she worked for a Portland property management company as the office coordinator before her boss (a Rental Housing Association of Greater Portland member) decided to sell her property management company and retire. Cari is currently a RHA member and assists in the management of 14 family owned units in the Portland area. The office has worked really hard this year. Our new office staff are learning quickly and doing a great job. Be assured, if they don’t know the answer to your question, they can direct you to someone who does. We have several Mentors that are willing and able to help. The RHA office is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Special, thank you to Cindy Robert, Rainmakers, LLC for helping

us to work with our state lawmakers. We had a solid presence at the legislature this year and look forward to continue in the future. We worked for the benefit of all landlords whether you own one rental or hundreds, we were there for you. Although we did not get everything we wanted, we did let them know our position on several bills and we were heard! My final thank you is to everyone, from board members, to association members and consultants; thank you for assisting me in the position of President for the RHA. I am looking forward to 2014 as another successful year!

Vis it us at

w w w . R e n t a l H o u s i n g j o u rn a l . c o m

OREGON RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS COME JOIN THE RHA TODAY! ³ Your voice heard: State and local legislative representation. ³ Education: We offer a wide variety of monthly training programs, members get a significant discount on classes. ³ Receive a monthly subscription to the Update: The Update, our newsletter, contains up-to-date information on landlord/tenant issues and legislative information.

³ Substantial discount on rental forms: 60% off all rental forms and books for members. ³ Fully staffed office: Our friendly office staff are here 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri happy to help you with your property management needs. ³ Savings on Tenant Screening: Report charges are automatically posted to your interest free account.


Rental Housing Association of Greater Portland 10520 NE Weidler Portland, OR 97220

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Changes ...continued from page 15 the growth in GDP for fiscal 2012. • States with Lowest Tax Burden • States with Highest Tax Burden Conclusion: The demand for apartments will coincide with the growth of young couples without children, single parents, single individuals and retiring baby boomers. Each one of these groups will be seeking a different kind of apartment and surrounding infrastructure. Older individuals will want handicapped accessible units close to shopping, medical care and entertainment and younger single tenants will be searching for the typical pool side amenities. However, the demand for single family homes both owned and as rentals and apartments, will continue to grow along with population increases for young families. Demographic growth and development is going to be most successful in cities with lower costs, typically located in the South east Sunbelt and Texas. The phenomenon is being driven by sustained economic growth, low density and affordable housing. Why would you live in the megacities that you can’t afford, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York or Chicago? The cost of housing and the affordability of Sunbelt areas like Houston, Raleigh, Miami and San Antonio combined with low population density attract both young and old. (Note also that these

• #7 Connecticut - $23.22 • #8 Delaware - $20.63 • Of the 13 states considered to make up the American south, Virginia is the most expensive state in the south for 2-bedroom housing wage average at $20.72. This is $12 cheaper than the leader, Hawaii. • The 14 states of in the American South have an average 2-bedroom housing wage of $14.79/hr. significantly less than other high population regions, such as the north east. • The South’s affordable conditions are becoming an attractive destination for tenants, both young and old. Taxation Climate • With renters looking to maximize their income potential, many are moving to states with lower individual tax burdens. • A favorable tax climate is a major part of the success story for high growth states, like Tennessee and Texas, when attracting a young and mobile workforce. • With the exception of California, (registered as a top 10 state in growth percentage), states with tax burdens above 11% of income grew no more than 1.5% of GDP, and Connecticut’s actually receded last year by 0.1%. • Of the top states with the lowest tax burdens, half of them are in the southern region of the US. Percentages to the right indicate

cities are gateway cities to international immigration, which reduces the cost of labor, for new construction and for basic unskilled labor. ) The future for apartments looks strong, as long as cities carefully manage their cost structures, such as systems development charges and local taxes, and the growth of their municipalities. Cities and states understand that they need to offer modern and safe urban environments, including inducements for May, businesses toJan, create Mar, jobs; the more likely residents will show up. This is where opportunities lie for apartment and rental housing develop-

ment. Affordability and accessible health care are crucial to the continued apartment demand growth. Lower taxes and inexpensive housing, which are becoming popular in the VALLEY, METRO, ARIZONA Sunbelt region, can’t be ignored as more young and aging citizens, as well as businesses, travel south. Snow and ice might have been last year’s excuse for a move south, but in the years to come economic and housing trends will be fully responJul, sible Sep, for moreNov, future southern migration.

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Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013


Dear Maintenance Men ...continued from page 13 see on the backside when cutting. (Hint: Mark the molding where the saw blade will first touch the work piece.) Cut a little long at first, and then trim with the saw until the molding fits. And don’t forget to repeat to yourself … “caulking is my friend!”. If the corner is not quite perfect, don’t worry, caulk the corners, and the mistakes disappear. Also caulk the top and bottom rails of the molding and it will look like an expert did the installation. Good Luck. Dear Maintenance men: I am aware of having a disaster preparedness kit for my family, however, what do I do for my apartment building? Jason Dear Jason: A quick list of what should be in your family disaster preparedness kit: Flashlight with batteries, canned goods, a Gallon of water per person, a knife, Meds and blankets at minimum. Now this works ok for a family, but may not be appropriate for an apartment building. The residents may very well shelter in place during a disaster and be fine. What may be in danger is your property! Start with a bit of preventive disaster maintenance. 1: Locate the main water shut-off valve and any minor shut-off

valves. Make sure the valves are in working order. If they are gate valves, it might be time to upgrade them to ball valves. old gate valves are notorious for breaking valve stems at the moment you need them to work.


2: Locate and clearly mark the main electrical panel. 3: Locate and mark the main sewer clean-out. Run a mainline snake or hydro jet at least once a year. (A Friday evening main back-up is a disaster.) 4: Locate and mark the main gas or fuel oil shut-off valve. 5: Write down and post this information in a public area of your apartment building, including emergency phone numbers and how to get hold of management. Alternatively; Post this information on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door in each rental unit.

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s the winter is upon us, it is prudent to ensure any wood-burning system in your multi units are clean and safe for the burning season. As wood-burning systems leave creosote build-up (creosote is the residue left caused by smoke and chemical reaction of the burning). It is recommended these are checked for safety regularly, as creosote is a fire hazard. Also a build up of creosote can cause poor flow of the smoke out of the unit or home, causing smoke or odor to come back in. Also, an upper multi-unit can get smoke from a lower unit when a fire is burning, and there are remedies for this. These are problems that can be easily handled if caught in time. A Certified Chimney Sweep can inspect and clean the units to ensure any issue is addressed. Better safe than sorry. Dryer vents are also important to keep clean, though not a seasonal issue, as dryer vents are used all year round. A clogged dryer vent can decrease a dryer's efficiency markedly, causing the dryer to use twice the time and energy to dry the clothes. This can lose you a lot of money in the long run with the wasted elec-

Rental Housing Journal Metro December 2013

tricity. Lint is also a highly flammable substance that can present quite a fire hazard to your property. Also, an inspection of the dryer’s airflow will help to discover that the dryer vent does vent outside of the building and not into the attic, for example, creating a fire hazard. In most cases, when a complex has both fireplace chimneys and dryer vents to clean, it is much more cost effective to have them all cleaned at the same time (chimneys and dryer vents). Usually there are bulk cleaning rates available that will save you a lot of money on this important maintenance item. So with this point of view, sufficient planning and effective action, you can rest assured that all your properties will be ready for winter!

Article submitted by Portland Chimney & Masonry Inc.


Rental Housing Journal - Metro - Decemeber 2013  

RHJ Metro is the business journal for the Portland Metro rental housing and apartment industry.