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December 2013 - Vol. 7 Issue 12

Rental Housing Journal Valley

Page 2 MULTIFAMILY NW President's Letter

Page 6 Are You Prepared for Winter? Page 7 DEAR MAINTENANCE MEN

Page 3 D&Z THINK This Holiday Season Page 6 SHOPTALK Creating a Sense of Urgency

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Lessons from CT Fair Housing Case

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.

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.

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

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• A summary of the case is available on the HUD site: http:// portal.hud.gov/hudportal/ HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/ HUDNo.11-198. • A summary of the ruling is posted on the DOJ’s site: http:// www.justice.gov/usao/ct/ Press2013/20130812.html (DOJ). • The court’s decision can be read at http://law.justia.com/cases/ 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

Current Resident or

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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 broContinued on page 4

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EUGENE • SALEM • A

Be A Giving Landlord

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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 my residents is feasible. For those of Continued on page 5

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

Call 503-221-1260 for more info. Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013


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

Paul Hoevet

Multifamily NW President

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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

President’s Letter 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

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

16083 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Suite 105, Tigard, OR 97224 503-213-1281, 503-213-1288 Fax www.multifamilynw.org

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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Multifamily NW EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES December 6, 2013 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2014 Maintenance Fair Early Registration December 10, 2013 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM New OSHA Requirements Brown Bag Certification Class 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM ELEVATE: Fair Housing Class Eugene, OR December 13, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM It's the Law Lunchtime Series: A Preview of the 2013 ORLTA: What to Expect in the Coming Year

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

Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013


RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL VALLEY

THINK This Holiday Season

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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 sea-

Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013

D&Z – What Were You Thinking Moments

son 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

trical 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 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 preven-

tion suggestions due to cold outside weather & heated apartments • Fans in bathrooms • Wipe down window condensation 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 Continued on page 5

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 elec-

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RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL VALLEY

Lessons from Housing Case ...continued from front page ker, 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]. 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.

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. 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 trau-

ma 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 disparate 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, www.FHCO.org) and by following us on FaceBook or Twitter (www.facebook.com/ FairHousingCouncilOregon and @ FairHousingOR, respectively). We also invite and encourage you to check out the range of courses we offer at www.FHCO.org/pdfs/ 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 jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

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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 www.FHCO.org.

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 4

Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013


Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov, RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL VALLEY

THINK this Season ...continued from page 3 • 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.

The Industry Leader in Quality

others and not just themselves. 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 a lurch late at night when you may need to make a real emergency call. 13. Lastly be respectful of others. We tend to get going crazy and add stress to our days and many times the mass of people moving at different speeds throughout the city can cause us to be real Grinch’s. Also, keep in mind that not everyone celebrates the season or have the same religious beliefs, so, just enjoy your family’s tradition whatever that maybe and be kind and courteous to others.

10. I am a big believer in AAA road 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.

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday season and a prosperous New Year! Happy Holidays see you next year! Dana & Zach

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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: danabrown3321@gmail.

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

Giving Landlord ...continued from front page you who may be managing hundreds of units, a charitable donation in the name of your tenants, or a generous coupon towards a holiday ham may make greater sense for your business. As long as you’re gifting to others from a place of general goodwill, then the actual gift is secondary. And, who knows, the gesture may just be reciprocated whether it’s through a thank you note, a small gift, or the continued care of your rental property. Some small gifts may be tax deductible, so check with your accountant Giving to others without expectations can make us feel good. We’ve all heard of ‘paying it forward’. So,

PROPERTY NAME

why not make a small “investment” in others who help us throughout the year? A nice card and a little something to brighten their season is a small price to pay. I think that there is still something very important about interpersonal relationships, especially around the holidays.

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Katie Poole – Hussa is a Licensed Property Manager, Continuing Education Provider and Principal at Smart Property Management in Portland, OR. She can be reached with questions or comments at Katie@ SmartPM.co.

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A

Creating a Sense of Urgency

vailable 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 apartments 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 immedi-

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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 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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SECRET SHOPPER Provided by: SHOPTALK SERVICE EVALUATIONS Phone: 425-424-8870 E-mail: Joyce@shoptalkservice.com Website: www.shoptalkservice.com

Are You Prepared for Winter?

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

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ately. 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

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 electricity. 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!

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Article submitted by Portland Chimney & Masonry Inc. Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013


RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL VALLEY

Dear Maintenance Men: 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 installation. 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.

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 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.

Dear Maintenance Men: We are preparing to gussy up our rental property by adding crown molding in each room. The quote I got from the 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

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.

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.

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 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.

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

Dear Maintenance men: I am aware of having a disaster preparedness kit for my family, however, what do I do for my apartment building?

Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013

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.)

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.

VALLEY

EUGENE • SALEM • ALBANY • CORVALLIS

QUESTIONS? QUESTIONS? QUESTIONS? We need more Maintenance Questions!!! To see your maintenance question in the “Dear Maintenance Men:” column, please send submission to: Questions@BuffaloMaintenance com Please “Like” us on Facebook.com/ BuffaloMaintenance Bio: Please call: Buffalo Maintenance, Inc for maintenance work or consultation. JLE Property Management, Inc for management service or consultation Frankie Alvarez at 714 956-8371 Jerry L’Ecuyer at 714 778-0480 CA contractor lic: #797645, EPA Real Estate lic. #: 01460075 Certified Renovation Company Websites: www.BuffaloMaintenance. com & www.ContactJLE.com www.Facebook.com BuffaloMaintenance

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

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Rental Housing Journal Valley • December 2013

Rental Housing Journal - Valley - Novemeber 2013  

RHJ is the business journal for the Willamette Valley multifamily and apartment rental industry.

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