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East Bay Rental Housing Association

JUNE 2013

Volume X, Number 6 June 2013 EBRHA OFFICE

360 22nd Street, Suite 240 Oakland, CA 94612 tel 510.893.9873 fax 510.893.2906

Features & Columns



Tori Blanca | | x2 EBRHA OFFICERS PRESIDENT Wayne C. Rowland 1ST VICE PRESIDENT Irina Gelfenbeyn



Maximize Revenue Through Zero Vacancies

Smoke-free Housing Laws and Landlords BY SERENA CHEN




Bill Bagnell, Link Corkery, Reggie Hairston, Carmen Madden, Fred Morse, Rick Philips, Judy Shaw, Menna Tesfatsion, Mila Zelkha PUBLISHED BY

Wayne C. Rowland PRODUCED BY

EBRHA Communications Committee Tina Bocheff, Esteban Cortez, Irina Gelfenbeyn, Wayne C. Rowland EDITOR Tina Bocheff ART DIRECTOR PRODUCTION Esteban Cortez

Slight Drop, Strong Sales Start Year Off


Tina Bocheff | 510.318.8303


More 8



New Allowable Annual Rent Increase for Oakland


ESQ. & A

A Hefty Bill Rental Housing is published monthly for $36 per year by BY VARIOUS AUTHORS


Legislative Day Recap

Events & Directory


Your Properties, Managed







Protect Yourself BY DAN FIRESTONE


| JUNE 2013 |

Rental Housing (ISSN 1930-2002-Periodicals Postage Paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RENTAL HOUSING, 360 22nd Street, Suite 240, Oakland, CA 94612. the East Bay Rental Housing Association (EBRHA), 360 22nd Street, Suite 240, Oakland, CA 94612.

Rental Housing is not responsible for the return or loss of submissions or artwork. The magazine does not consider unsolicited articles. The opinions expressed in any signed article in Rental Housing are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of EBRHA or Rental Housing. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If legal service or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought. Acceptance of an advertisement by this magazine does not necessarily constitute any endorsement or recommendation by EBRHA, express or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered. Published monthly, Rental Housing is distributed to the entire membership of EBRHA. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced without permission. Publisher disclaims any liability for published articles. Printed by Jostens Printing Co. Copyright © 2013 by EBRHA. All rights reserved.









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SAM SOROKIN Sam Sorokin is the founder and managing partner of Premium Properties, a local real estate property management, leasing and investment company founded in 2002. The firm’s management and investment portfolio includes over 600 units, all in Berkeley and Oakland. Prior to Premium Properties, Sam was the founder and president of Rental Solutions, a local brokerage that located apartments for busy tenants. In 1992, Sam Sorokin was elected to the Berkeley Rent Board and served four years.

SERENA CHEN Serena Chen is the Regional Director of Advocacy of the American Lung Association in California. She has been working with residential property owners and managers since 2005 to assist in the adoption of voluntary smoke-free policies for complexes. She directs the Bay Area Smoke-free Housing Project, which provides resources to property managers to implement smoke-free policies in their buildings.

DAN FIRESTONE Dan Firestone is the Vice President of Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC), a nationwide resident screening service provider. His specialties include helping property managers understand the importance of tenant screening and conducting seminars that cover Fair Housing, discrimination issues, rental criteria, and more.

MATT DONNELLY Matt Donnelly is the Interactive Copywriter/ Content Strategist for Buildium, a property management software company based in Boston. He has extensive experience as a writer, editor and marketer. He may or may not have written a biography of Theodore Roosevelt.

ONLINE TENANT SCREENING Call Today (510) 893-9873 EBRHA provides members with low-cost online resident screening. Partnered with Contemporary Information Corp. (CIC), resident screening has one objective: to make sure your leasing decisions make the greatest possible contribution to your bottom line. As of May 2009, landlords can collect a maximum of $44.51 for an application fee. MEMBER PRICING Basic Report . . . . . . . . . . . . $13 Telecheck. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6 Criminal and DMV checks are available, as well as social security traces.

Verbal and Fax Reports . . . . . . . . . Add $22

GRANT CHAPPELL Grant Chappell is the vice president of NAI Northern California. Since 2005, Grant has focused on East Bay apartment opportunities for his clients. Grant also serves on the Board of CEI, the Center for Elders’ Independence, a local nonprofit providing PACE Care to seniors in Alameda County. In his free time, Grant enjoys skiing, golf, biking and traveling.


| JUNE 2013 |

East Bay Rental Housing Association 510.893.9873 | FAX 510.893.2906 TEL

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news submit a written protest to the proposed rate increases. Written protest may be submitted by mail to EBMUD, MS 218, PO Box 24055, Oakland, CA 94623-1055. Immediately following the public hearing, the Board is expected to consider adoption of the proposed budget and rates. Most of the rates and charges would be effective July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. For more information, visit

Smoke-free Subsidized Housing Would Save $521 Million a Year

New Allowable Annual Rent Increase for Oakland THE ANNUAL CPI INCREASE RATE effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 is 2.1% and can not be implemented earlier than July 1, 2013. Tenants may only be given one increase in any 12-month period, and the rent increase cannot take effect earlier than the tenant’s anniversary date. In addition, California law requires that tenants be provided with either 30 days (for increases 10% or less) or 60 days (for increases greater than 10%) written advance notice of a rent increase. Covered units may not receive a CPI increase of more than three times the current year CPI. For more information, see page 41 or visit

EBMUD Proposes Rate Increases to Water and Wastewater Fees The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board of Direc-

tors directed staff to establish a biennial budget based on rates in response to the challenges of repeated budget cuts, declining water sales and a difficult economic climate. The Board directed staff to work with rate increases on the water side of 9.75% for FY2014 and 9.5% for FY2015, and wastewater rate increases of 9% for FY2014 and 8.5% for FY2015. Proposition 218 requires that a notice about changes to proposed rates, charges 8 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

and other fees be mailed to ratepayers 45 days before the public hearing on rates and charges is held by the Board. The notice explains that proposed increases will fund “infrastructure reinvestment and equipment upgrades to meet or surpass environmental and public health regulations, with a portion for cost increases related to daily water and wastewater maintenance, operations, and repairs and replacements.” The notice is available at On June 11, the Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rates and charges at 1:15 p.m. in the EBMUD Board Room, 375 11th Street, Oakland, CA. Any property owner or any tenant directly responsible for the payment of water or wastewater fees may

The estimated annual cost savings

from eliminating smoking in all U.S. subsidized housing would be $521 million, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the first study to estimate the costs that could be saved by prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing, including public housing and other rental assistance programs. The bulk of those annual savings — $341 million — would come from reduced health care expenditures related to secondhand smoke. The study also estimates savings of $108 million in annual renovation expenses and $72 million in annual smoking-related fire losses. “Many of the more than 7 million Americans living in subsidized housing in the United States are children, the elderly or disabled” said Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at CDC. “These are people who are most sensitive to being exposed to secondhand smoke. This report shows that there are substantial financial benefits to implementing smoke-free policies, in addition to the health benefits those policies bring.” The study also estimated the cost savings associated with prohibiting smoking in all U.S. public housing, which is a portion of subsidized housing managed by public housing authorities. The total annual savings for public housing would be about $154 million a year, including $101 million from health care costs related to secondhand smoke exposure, $32 million from renovation expenses, and $21 million from smokingattributable fire losses. Studies have shown that people who live in multi-unit housing can be particularly affected by unwanted secondhand smoke exposure.


Oakland and San Francisco skylines from Joaquin Miller Park

Other studies have shown that most people who live in subsidized housing favor smoke-free policies. “Secondhand smoke enters nearby apartments from common areas and apartments where smoking is occurring” said Brian King Ph.D., an epidemiologist with CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and lead author of the report. “Opening windows and installing ventilation systems will not fully eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Implementing smoke-free policies in all areas is the most effective way to fully protect all residents, visitors, and employees from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.” Secondhand smoke is responsible for about 50,000 deaths a year in the United States. The 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, concluded that secondhand smoke is also known to cause numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. In the same report, the Surgeon General concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that only 100% smoke-free indoor policies can fully protect people from secondhand smoke dangers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has encouraged public housing authorities, as well as owners and managers of multi-family housing rental assistance programs such as Section 8, to adopt smoke-free policies in their properties. As of January 2012, more than 250 public housing authorities have gone smoke-free, but only a small percentage of public housing authorities have implemented smoke-free policies. Educating housing operators and residents about the health and economic benefits of prohibiting smoking and providing resources and information on quitting smoking could help increase the number of subsidized housing residents protected by smoke-free policies. “This new study reinforces the importance of the Housing and Urban Development initiative to promote the adoption of smoke-free housing policies in public housing and other federally-assisted multifamily housing” said Sandra Henriquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. RH

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JUNE 2013




the executive director’s message money is located. Minor clerical mistakes will be an automatic penalty on landlords amounting to three times the interest or two times the amount of security deposit, depending on the mistake.

Legislative Day Recap A record number of EBRHA members spoke out to protect landlord rights. BY JILL BROADHURST


n April 17, more than a dozen EBRHA members — along with other National Apartment Association (NAA) affiliates from California — convened in Sacramento to participate in Legislative Day, our annual opportunity to be seen and heard at the Capitol. In addition to EBRHA Board members, we were fortunate enough to have six engaged and enthusiastic EBRHA members who devoted the entire day to studying bills and participating in our meetings with representatives. Our state lobbying team, led by Ron Kingston of the California Political Action Consulting Group, guided us through the process. We shared our concerns about the most pressing issues facing landlords in our cities and met with the legislators who draft, amend and make decisions on many of the bills that impact the way we do business as property owners. As Executive Director, I use this as an opportunity to build relationships with our elected officials. I make sure they know who I represent, that I appreciate 10 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

their time, and that EBRHA wants a seat at the table on any issue related to residential income housing. Access to Legislative Day is an important benefit of EBRHA membership — a direct pipeline of voices speaking on behalf of all income property owners in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. We are in Sacramento as a group but once a year. Somehow, meeting on their turf, where the magic happens, seems to have a more profound impact. We opposed four bills and presented these to legislators:

SB 750 SB 750 would prohibit landlords from charging for water usage unless a submeter measuring each unit’s water use is installed. Landlords will be prohibited from charging administrative costs associated with submetering, including billing, disputes, repairs, maintenance, replacement, record keeping, meter reading and testing. Landlords would be required to fix every water system problem within 7 days or pay three times the amount of actual damages, a civil penalty equal to one month’s rent, reasonable attorney fees and court costs. AB 969 This bill would drastically change the unlawful detainer procedure as we know it today. It would allow a jury to determine the habitability issue, opening the door for extreme abuses of the system. There is no compelling need for this substantive and drastic change in law. The Code of Civil Procedure Section 1174.2 (CCP § 1174.2) states that in an unlawful detainer action involving the failure to pay rent in which the defendant raises a warranty of habitability defense, “the court shall determine whether a substantial breach of these obligations has occurred.”

SB 603 This bill creates an unnecessary and punitive administrative nightmare for landlords and the courts. To comply with this law, landlords will have to perform these new burdensome administrative tasks or risk severe penalties: 1) track the average annual interest rate of the Federal Reserve Board for AB 1229 a six-month certificate of deposit; 2) Introduced by Assembly Member Atkins, apply new interest rates to each security AB 1229 would assure that every local deposit when the interest rate changes government could enact and enforce each year during the tenancy. The nomiresidential inclusionary housing mannal amount earned, if lawfully permitdates (commonly known as rent control ted, will be extremely small compared on newly constructed to the costs of accountunits) and impose price ing; 3) track each tenant’s “Access to Legislative Day is an controls on the sale of interest rate based on important benefit of owner-occupied homes. each day that a tenant The measure would also rents; 4) provide notice to EBRHA membership — a direct pipeline of overturn a needed and all existing tenants about voices speaking on important provision of the new interest rate behalf of all income the long-standing Costa procedures; 5) provide property owners in Hawkins Act, which written notice to each Alameda and Contra exempts newly contenant with name and Costa Counties.” structed rental units, by location of bank where



Date: Thursday, June 27, 12 - 1:30 p.m. Presenters: Tina Bocheff and Pam May Discover the many EBRHA vendor membership benefits you are paying for, but aren’t taking advantage of. From face-to-face networking opportunities, to sharing your expertise in print and on the web, there are many ways to drive more business your way — without spending another dime. The purpose and benefits of consistent branding as it relates to marketing will also be covered. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Date: Thursday, July 18, 12 - 1:30 p.m. Presenter: Pam May Do you know about the latest research and tips on social media marketing — the most popular and powerful marketing tool today? It’s not as simple as having a Facebook or LinkedIn presence — learn how to leverage these platforms for the greatest return. EMAIL MARKETING

Date/Time: Thursday, August 29, 12 - 1:30 p.m. Presenter: Pam May Do you know how to use Social Media to amp-up Word of Mouth in getting new business? It’s not as simple as posting to Facebook or LinkedIn. Learn best practice techniques in leveraging social media for the greatest return on you marketing investment.


Date: September 2013

This series of complimentary workshops is designed for EBRHA vendor members, offering the latest tips to quickly boost your brand and accelerate your business. Space is limited, advance registration required. Lunch is included. For more information, contact Tina Bocheff at or 510-318-8303. Register at


Principal, TechScribe Communications and Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Accredited Solution Provider Content Developer Pam May has over 15 years of experience in developing content and communication strategies for businesses, nonprofits and public agencies. She advises on how to use digital and offline communication to build rapport, attract prospects and grow business. TINA BOCHEFF

Director of Advertising and Editor, EBRHA Tina Bocheff has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, sales, and marketing communications. She is responsible for industry partner recruitment and development, advertising, exhibit sales, marketing and events. Tina is also the editor of Rental Housing, EBRHA’s monthly magazine.


Date: October 2013



TUESDAY, JUNE 4; 1:00 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.

Cathy Hayden, EBRHA Members: Free; Non-members: $69 • 2013 Laws, Tenant Screening, Evictions, Application Process, Fair Housing and more


Keep Your Building in Shape and Your Tenants Happy D ATE & TIME SPEAKER PRICE TOPICS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12; 1:30 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Susan Spott, SpottCheck Consulting Members: $39; Non-members: $69 • Building Envelope and Building Systems, Roofing, Site and Grading, Hiring Your Contractor and more


Insights on Mold and Mildew in Rental Properties D ATE & TIME TUESDAY, JUNE 18; 2:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. SPEAKER Clinton Killian, Fried & Williams LLP PRICE Members: $39; Non-members: $69


Vendor Education Series: Benefits and Branding D ATE & TIME SPEAKER PRICE TOPICS

THURSDAY, JUNE 27; 12:00 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.

Tina Bocheff, EBRHA and Pam May, TechScribe Free to EBRHA vendor members • Taking Advantage of Vendor Benefits, Increasing Your Company’s Visibility, Branding Your Business and more

New Online Registration at Sign up, pay registration fees and receive reminders online.


| JUNE 2013 |

All classes and workshops are held at the EBRHA Education Center 360 22nd St., Suite 240, Oakland

abrogating the Palmer/Sixth Street Properties v. City of Los Angeles decision. More Property Taxes? In the headlines daily are the government unfunded pension liabilities, and discussions to amend Prop 13. Locally, the reduction of services continues, and the talk of parcel taxes for services (which property tax payments are supposed to cover) is threatened with a “Vote yes or else.” Private and public utilities continue with rate increases, and unless your property is separately metered, your investment’s return is threatened as well. EBRHA has ongoing discussions on these topics, making your membership and contributions to our political action fund natural and habit forming. What I read in the tea leaves is that in November, and next year, we will have a slew of property taxes thrown our way. Some of these may directly hit property owners, and offer a specific rate for multi-units. Count on EBRHA to communicate what is on the agenda and what we need from you. Exciting Changes Back at headquarters, we are busy improving the way we serve you using technology. Did you know that you can now register for our workshops online? This new system allows you to add the event to your calendar, sends you email reminders and ensures that we have enough handouts and space for attendees. Just go to to register. Further pushing the technology boundaries, we will soon introduce a new way to analyze rent data so you can quickly determine accurate and timely market rents for your units. This new online tool will allow you to plug in a location and get rent comparables based on zip code, street, size and amenities. We call this our Extreme Market Survey — always current, updated daily and instantly available. Look for the roll out in June. RH Jill Broadhurst is the Executive Director of EBRHA. She also works with the public affairs committee, the EBRHA-PAC and the EBRHA state lobbyist to ensure that the association’s interests are clearly heard and seriously considered locally and in Sacramento. She can be reached at (510) 893-9873 or jbroadhurst@


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East Bay Rental Housing Association 360 22nd Street, Suite 240 Oakland, CA 94612 510.893.9873 | FAX 510.893.2906 TEL


JUNE 2013




health and safety

areas, parks and waiting lines. Given the level of public support for smoke-free laws, it should be no surprise that residents have begun to push for protections where they live. Californians spend more than two-thirds of their time at home and yet their own homes are where they are least protected from unwanted secondhand smoke exposure. The first city to address smoking inside living units was Belmont in 2007, when residents successfully convinced the Adopting a non-smoking housing plan can help you council to adopt a law prohibiting smoking in all apartments and condominiums attract more prospective tenants. BY SERENA CHEN with shared floors/ceilings. Twenty-eight have been harmed by seepadditional cities and counties since have ing smoke have turned to the adopted laws restricting smoking within courts to find relief. Their units,19 of which are in the Bay Area. cases are backed up by the In the East Bay, the cities of RichU.S. Surgeon General’s reports mond, Alameda and Union City proand California Environmental hibit smoking in all existing apartment Protection Agency findings structures of two units or more, while which state that secondhand Dublin sets the minimum at 75% nontobacco smoke can cause cansmoking units for apartment complexes. cer and heart disease as well These four cities join nine additional as worsen pre-existing condiEastbay cities in prohibiting smoking in tions. Even small amounts of all common indoor and outdoor areas. secondhand tobacco smoke Landlords in eight cities are required to can trigger asthma attacks disclose the smoking areas and rules to and heart attacks. prospective tenants including Oakland, Children living in multiMartinez, and most recently Fremont. ost landlords tell us they want unit housing are more likely Six cities (Dublin, Fremont, San Leandro, their properties to be smoketo show measurable levels of nicotine Union City, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill) free. For those who have exposure even if their parents do not have declared secondhand tobacco smoke converted, the benefits are well docusmoke. According to a 2010 study to be a nuisance. (See chart on page 16.) mented: lower turnover, fewer repair of 5,000 children of non-smokers, Legislation also has been moving and maintenance costs, less time needed researchers found a 45% increase in at the state level. In 2011, the Goverto restore units, fewer complaints about tobacco toxin by-products in the bloodnor signed into law SB 332, a bill that smoking, lowered fire risk and insurance streams of those who lived in apartestablishes procedures for landlords to rates, and healthier residents. ments and condos as opposed to those follow should they decide to convert their According to a 2008 - 2009 UCLA living in single-family homes. buildings to non-smoking. That bill was survey of over 340 California landlords Some landlords who have failed to strongly supported by apartment owners owning buildings of 16 units or fewer, address drifting smoke complaints have who wanted legislative backing to desit costs at least twice as much to clean found themselves sued for allowing ignate their buildings smoke-free. Most units in buildings where smoking is nuisance, trespass, battery, a reduction recently, a great deal of media, tenant, allowed than to clean units in nonin services and constructive eviction. and condo owner interest was genersmoking buildings. In fact, the researchWhile state law prohibits smokated by a bill that would have prohibited ers estimated that if landlords adopted ing in most enclosed smoking in apartments 100% smoke-free rules throughout their workplaces, Bay Area “If your property is and condominiums properties, they could save up to $18 cities have gone much in a city that has not statewide. million a year statewide on the turnover further to protect resipassed a smoke-free Other states also costs associated with cleaning smokeddents from secondhand multi-unit housing have begun to address in units. In addition to the financial smoke. Nearly every city law, then adopting this issue, with Oregon costs associated with allowing smoking in Alameda County and a voluntary policy and Maine adopting in buildings, there are legal ramificamany in Contra Costa should be part of laws requiring landlord tions as well. restrict outdoor smoking a forward-looking disclosure of smokSome residents who feel that they around doorways, dining business plan.� ing, and Massachusetts

Going Smoke-Free


| JUNE 2013 |



Don’t Let Your Investment Go Up In

Fact: Over 94% of Alameda County renters prefer smokefree units The American Lung Association In California’s Bay Area Smokefree Housing Project can provide tools to help landlords and managers go smoke free.

510.982.3191 | |

/ALACalifornia |


This material was made possible by funds received from the California Dept. of Public Health Tabacco Control Program under contract #10-10193

and Hawaii are considering bills in their legislatures. What does this mean for Bay Area landlords? If your property is in a city that has not passed a smoke-free multi-unit housing law, then adopting a voluntary policy should be part of a forward-looking business plan. Doing so would put you in a position to attract more prospective tenants. Consider these statistics from UCLA researchers: over

90% of Alameda and Contra Costa County adults do not smoke, and over 90% of apartment dwellers do not smoke inside. It is pretty clear that nearly all Bay Area renters accept smoke-free living spaces as the standard. In fact, when smoking is unrestricted in buildings, turnover is higher, with non-smoking tenants moving out when they find smoke-free housing. After Oakland’s landlord disclosure

Cities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties with Smokefree Housing Provisions Nonsmoking Existing Units: Dublin (75% of apartments), Union City (100% of apartments), Alameda (100% of apts and condos), Richmond (100% of apartments and condos), Pleasant Hill (50% of existing 4-unit apartments after April 2015), Non-smoking New Units Built After Ordinance Adoption: Contra Costa County unincorporated areas (100% of all 4-unit apartments and condos – Jan. 2011), Pinole (100% of apartments built after May 2010), Pleasant Hill (100% of apartments built after Jan. 2011) Non-smoking Common Areas (Indoor and Outdoor): Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Oakland, Union City, Contra Costa County unincorporated, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, Martinez Disclosure of Smoking Areas and Rules: Albany, Dublin (apartments only), Fremont, Oakland, Contra Costa County unincorporated, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, Martinez Nuisance Designation for Secondhand Tobacco Smoke: Dublin, Fremont, San Leandro, Union City, Martinez, Pleasant Hill Non-smoking Common Areas (Indoor Only): Livermore, Newark, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Alameda County unincorporated, San Ramon Housing Authorities with 100% Non-smoking Units Policies: Alameda, Pleasanton No Smoking on All Private Balconies, Decks Only: Martinez (4+ unit apartments and condos) 16 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

law passed in 2008, many landlords surveyed their tenants to determine how many of the residents were smoking inside. In a number of cases, they found far fewer inside smokers than they had expected and, as a result, they began to convert units as they turned over. These landlords also notified all residents about smoke-free common area laws and sent reminders when violations occurred. Some Oakland landlords asked tenants if they were willing to voluntarily sign smoke-free lease addendums, and as a result, entire apartment buildings were able to convert to becoming completely smoke-free as soon as natural turnovers freed up the few remaining smoked-in units. The properties that are already smokefree when a smoke-free multi-unit housing law is adopted find that compliance is fairly easy and seamless. All tenants are issued new smoke-free lease addendums in accordance with the law and all are reminded of the smoke-free requirements. Conversely, properties that have not implemented smoking restrictions may face a more difficult transitional period to come into compliance when a new local or state smoke-free housing law is passed. The American Lung Association in California assists property owners and managers in adopting smoke-free policies with a toolkit that includes steps to take, sample letters and “No Smoking” signs. Contact (510) 982-3191 or serena.chen@ for more information. RH Serena Chen is the Regional Director of Advocacy of the American Lung Association in California. She can be reached at (510) 982-3191.

“How much rent should I charge?�

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all things property management agement software can ease your pain in each area.

Property management software isn’t just for the big guys. It’s for landlords who want less stress and a growing business. BY MATT DONNELLY

records and run reports, which are always helpful at tax time! Most property management software runs in the cloud, which is just a fancy way of saying you don’t have to install anything — ­ just go online and log in to access your information at any time and in any place. Think of property management software as a personal assistant that’s, well, not a person.


don’t have to tell you that landlords and property managers have a lot on their plates. From late-paying tenants to vacancies to compliance with local, state and federal laws, it seems that the merry-go-round of property management never stops. The good news is that there’s a new breed of software to help you manage your properties. More than just managing your properties, property management software is designed to make your life easier. It’s designed to help you easily perform those routine tasks like collecting rent payments and handling maintenance requests. It also lets you maintain 18 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

Payments Imagine the tenant in 3C claims he gave you his rent check, but you have no record of it. It takes precious time to deal with the resulting hassle. But with property management software, you can allow tenants and association owners to make payments online, via EFT or credit card. And you can pay your bills online too. Trips to the bank will be a thing of the past. Maintenance Requests If the tenant’s dog chews through the fence, you don’t need to get called at one o’clock in the morning. With property management software, you can accept and respond to maintenance requests online 24/7. You get instant notification of the request, an easy way to assign tasks to your maintenance staff, status updates and a clear paper trail in case your tenant with a peckish pet gets litigious.

Work Less and Enjoy Your Life I know what you might be thinking: I’ve managed my properties on paper or in Excel for years, so why should I use Access to Your Information property management software? Property management software is going It’s a good question. This takes us mobile, so all the features are available into a discussion of the benefits of propto you and your tenants 24/7 on PCs, erty management software. phones and tablets. No longer do you Only half joking, one landlord once have to drag around your laptop and quipped, “Without property managefind a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to check on ment software, I would actually have maintenance requests, rental applications to work.” While property management or rental payments. Spend more of your software can’t automate every aspect time meeting with tenants and growing of property management, it can be an your business. affordable and simple solution where property managers and landlords can Advertise and Screen for New manage properties, accounting and Tenants marketing all in one place Many property — anywhere, anytime and “By using property management management software on any device. software, you can options will allow you Let’s look at some of become loads more to largely automate the those property manageefficient, and you’ll process of advertising ment tasks you might be also make life easier vacancies to sites like having trouble with and for your tenants.” Craigslist or Zillow, see how property man-


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10 Signs You Need Property Management Software 1. You need access to your information anytime, anywhere. If you have multiple offices or are frequently on the go, online property management software gives you access to your information no matter where you are. 2. You are tired of driving to the bank. As your business has grown, so has the number of rent checks you need to deposit each month. Online rent payments save you trips to the bank. 3. You are struggling to keep up with maintenance requests. Playing phone tag with residents is getting old and your customer service is slipping. Online maintenance requests and work orders streamline this process and provide a clear paper trail. 4. You are spending too much time posting listings online. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could write your rental listings once, then distribute them to rental listing sites across the internet? 5. You are finding it increasingly difficult to track income and expenses. Co-mingling funds is only one concern — keeping track of income and expenses for the properties you manage is becoming a burden. 6. You aren’t offering high-end services that larger competitors offer. It’s time to keep up with the Joneses. A sharp company website, online access for owners and tenants, and branded reports? Talk about looking professional! 7. You spend too much time searching for stuff. You’ve got the lease for 851 Elm Street in hand, but you can’t find the lease for 849 Elm. Property management software allows you to store documents associated with each of your properties electronically. 8. You have needy property owners. Your owners want financial reports at the end of each month, but are constantly calling you to request information. Give them online access to their property information 24/7. 9. Your phone is ringing off the hook. With online maintenance requests and instant access to records online, all of a sudden the phone has gone silent. 10. You are spending too much time on repetitive tasks. Whether it’s stuffing envelopes or paying vendors, property management software streamlines repetitive tasks giving you more time to focus on the important stuff like growing your business. 20 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

handle rental applications and even facilitate background checks. Then, once the applicant becomes a tenant, the property management software will let you manage that relationship so it benefits both you and your tenants. You can also save your ads to use whenever you have more vacancies. All of this saves your valuable time. Depending on the property management software you use, you might have access to other time-saving features, including the ability to run credit and background checks, file tax forms and even outsource mailings. It’s also easier than you think. Property management software companies spend a lot of time listening to their customers (people like you). They know you have an extremely busy job with no time to dedicate to learning a product. That’s why most of the software is designed so you don’t even need a product manual. Support is always there to help you out along the way and make sure that you are being as efficient as you can possibly be. Happy Tenants, Happier Landlords Still not convinced of the value of property management software? Let me appeal to your enlightened self-interest: by using property management software, you can become loads more efficient, and you’ll also make life easier for your tenants. By streamlining repetitive tasks, you can focus on what’s really important: interacting with your tenants and growing your relationship with them. You can invest more in your current tenants, rather than taking the time and trouble to find new ones You’re making your tenants’ lives easier and showing them you’re paying attention to their needs. They simply log in to the tenant portal (website) to pay their rent, manage maintenance requests and communicate with you. In short, property management software gives tenants easy access to their account information whenever they need it. Become More Efficient and Grow Your Business The “hidden” value of property management software is that it can help you grow your rental business. Think about it. If you can spend less time on paperwork and handling other routine tasks, you can have more time to take on new buildings and add new tenants. “In October 2010, I started working for a small property management company that for years hovered around 100 properties,” says Janessa West, a property manager in Los Angeles. “By October 2011, we were at 260+ and adding an average of 10 per month! I use project management software daily for everything to run our company smoothly. If it weren’t for an easy-to-use software program, I think we’d still be stuck at 100 properties and using paper files as our main go-to.” RH

Matt Donnelly is the Interactive Copywriter/Content Strategist for Buildium (, a property management software company based in Boston. He has extensive experience as a writer, editor and marketer. He may or may not have written a biography of Theodore Roosevelt. He can be reached at

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Maximize Revenue Through Zero Vacancies A successful real estate investor shares strategies to increase your bottom line and keep residents happy. BY SAM SOROKIN


| JUNE 2013 |


eing a successful real estate investor is no easy task. There is no doubt that most owners spend a great deal of time and money on managing their properties. While cutting costs and managing expenses is important, it is very often given a higher priority than increasing rents and maintaining occupancy. I would argue that owners really have more control over revenue then expenses, but seem to put more emphasis on saving money than making money. Over the years we have developed a system that keeps your apartments full yearround, and assures that you will receive the highest possible rent at turnover. With many EBRHA members having properties in rent control jurisdictions, the initial rent becomes that much more important. Your goal should be to make sure that your property doesn’t create many long-term, below market rent units that, ultimately, reduce revenue and decrease property value. But even without rent control, it is always a good idea to charge market rent as most owners won’t — if given the opportunity — raise rent much more than a few percent, even if the market justifies it.

It Isn’t Reasonable to Have a Vacancy

Many landlords, upon receiving notice of a resident moving out, will refer to the event as having an upcoming “vacancy.” The term vacancy means that someone is not living there. What you really have is an available apartment. If you work hard, you can avoid a vacancy by renting the unit before it goes vacant. Thus, there is no lost revenue. Based on my 15+ years of experience as an investor and property manager in the East Bay, I have found that there really is no true vacancy factor in the Bay Area. Most of our neighborhoods are extremely desirable, and if your units are priced appropriately, you will have many well-qualified applicants vying for your rentals. Landlords and property managers who have a difficult time renting their units quite often have listed them at the wrong price. For example, if I charge $3,000 for an apartment that is really worth $2,500, no one will rent it. It’s not a vacancy. It’s mispriced. Right now, the rental market seems to be going up, but in 2007 and 2008, the rental market went down. Just because you got one rent PHOTO: COLIN AND SARAH NORTHWAY

last year doesn’t mean that the rent will be the same this year. The key is knowing what to charge. Ultimately, if you charge the right price for your product somebody will want to rent it.

How Do You Get the Highest Rent? Over the years we have discovered a basic truth: you can rent your units for more money in the summer than in the winter. In fact, there is as much as a 25% difference in rent between the best month in the summer and the worst month in the winter. Why? The weather is better, there is more daylight, school lets out, and who wants to move during the holidays? So, in an ideal world, you would like to have your units come available during the summer. To assure that our units will come available at the optimal time, we never allow for month-to-month leases, as we have found that they lead to loss of control over your apartments. In most communities without rent control or Eviction for Good Cause, a month-to-month lease provides benefits to both the landlord and tenant. The tenants can move out with a simple 30 day notice and the landlord can raise the rent or ask a tenant to move. But, in areas like Oakland and Berkeley, owners do not receive any of the benefits of a month-to-month lease. So, why offer it? By signing fixed term leases with residents that terminate and never revert to a monthto-month lease, you can control when you will ultimately have a vacancy. Just because you rent an apartment in February doesn’t mean you have to sign a one-year lease to expire the following February. Instead, sign a lease that expires in June. Then, prior to the lease expiring, you should renew the lease for another year, always maintaining the summer possible turnover date. Certainly, you want your resident to stay, but if they have to move, you want them to move at the right time of year.

Increase Your Notice Requirements

If you are no longer offering month-to-month leases and they terminate upon expiration, it is important to actively renew your leases prior to them expiring. Traditionally, that would occur around 30 days prior. But our company stipulates in the rental


JUNE 2013



Though most landlords post photos of vacant units, publishing “staged” property photos gives an applicant a more realistic perspective on size and potential. These photos allow prospective residents to imagine themselves living in the apartment and picture it as their home. Don’t forget to post photos of the building’s exterior and curb appeal. Make sure all trash is picked up, take photos in the best possible light and include photos of wellmaintained landscaping. You should also sell the neighborhood. For example, when we advertise a property in the Lake Merritt neighborhood, we might include a photo of the iconic Grand Lake Theater or the weekend farmers market near Lakeshore Avenue. Location is everything, and both property values and rents go up if your building is close to conveniences and attractions like public transportation, retail, restaurants, parks, and movie theaters.

“THERE REALLY IS NO TRUE VACANCY FACTOR IN THE BAY AREA. MOST OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ARE EXTREMELY DESIRABLE, AND IF YOUR UNITS ARE PRICED APPROPRIATELY, YOU WILL HAVE MANY WELL-QUALIFIED APPLICANTS VYING FOR YOUR RENTALS.” ment that the resident has to renew the lease 60 or 90 days — depending on the location — before the lease expires. Keep in mind a 30-Day Notice realistically only gives an owner a few weeks to lease an apartment, which often is not enough time. As an owner, you have a right — even in rent control jurisdictions — to require residents to renew a substantially similar lease. In fact, it is a considered a good cause for eviction in both Oakland and Berkeley, should the tenant refuse to sign a lease. But it is important that you offer the renewal to the resident in writing. We mail our renewal packets approximately 30 days before the deadline to renew, which is typically 90 days before the lease expires. For example, if a lease expires on May 31, and the resident is required to renew 90 days before, then they are sent their renewal in early February and must sign the renewal by March 1. If they renew, great! But, if they decide to move, then you now have 90 days to rent the unit. This is a huge advantage and gives you lots of time to market your apartment.

Know Your Competition and Price Point

So, once you receive your notice, what do you do next? Many landlords often forget to examine the competition and neighboring units for useful information. How does my property compare? What improvements can I do that will make my properties stand out? We continuously seek advice from our tenants to prioritize improvements within our units and in the common areas. What types of amenities do they want? What do they enjoy most and least about living in our units? In addition, there are many other great resources available that can help you manage your properties effectively. EBRHA members receive Rental Housing magazine every month, which publishes educational articles about rent increases, property maintenance, legal issues and more. Reading industry trade magazines, browsing websites, attending events and talking to other industry professionals is a great way to stay informed.

Marketing Your Units

Digital photos are a must for our properties, and throughout the years we’ve built a bank of photos that allows us to show high-quality images to our prospective residents. If you have a resident with great furniture and decor, ask if they will allow you to take photos of their apartment. Most of the time, our residents are happy to cooperate. 24 RENTAL HOUSING

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Showing Units

Because we strive for zero vacancies, we almost always show units while they are occupied. The only exception is when the unit is going to undergo a major remodel. But in most cases, our units are kept in great condition and show well. Keep in mind that although you have the right to show an occupied unit with a 24-Hour Notice, this outgoing resident is still your customer. So, upon getting the notice to vacate, you should communicate with the resident and discuss convenient showing times. Also, as most residents work full-time jobs or go to school, they may not see a posted 24-Hour Notice at their door until they come home in the evening, which means they are not getting a full “24-hour notice.” We get better results when we give them a call or stop by and hand them the notice a few days in advance. If the proposed time doesn’t work, we ask what day and time will work with their schedule. We do whatever we can to accommodate. Always preview an apartment before showing it to your prospective residents. Be sure to check for messes or strange odors. In reality, if a one bedroom in your area ranges from $1,100 to $1,400 per month, the factor that can most affect price is often times how well it shows. Of course, how the apartment is kept by the resident will impact it the most. If it shows well, it can be a $100 to $200 bump in rent. If we have a resident whose unit is messy and has not been cleaned for some time, we hire a cleaning service before the showing, which typically makes them very happy and more receptive to the showing. The $150 on a cleaning service is well worth it in this case. When it is time to show the unit, be there early. There is a high-chance that applicants have other apartment showings to attend, so they might not have the time or patience to wait a few minutes for your late arrival. Make sure that all lights are on, and open windows and blinds if it is a nice, sunny day. It is important to be excited about your property during the showing. Talk about the benefits including amenities, management, and location, if applicable. Answer all questions during


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the walk-through and listen to feedback, whether it is positive or negative. Your customer may have great tips you can incorporate on other units or at a later showing. It might also benefit you to have your current residents present, if possible, because they may be huge advocates. If you know your residents are happy and you have a good relationship, introduce them to your applicants so they can share their positive experiences. A happy resident can be your best salesperson. Though we strive to show units while occupied, we occasionally show units that are vacant. The key to showing vacant units is that they must sparkle. Do your best to ensure that flaws are gone because the prospective resident will see everything wrong with the unit when it is vacant.

Applications and Screening

Be prepared to accept applications and holding deposits at your showing, and ensure that your tenant screening policy is up to date. Every owner should have a written screening policy, but most don’t, which is a very common error in the industry. Our screening policy is four pages long and features a lot of “if-then” scenarios. We screen every applicant by checking their income, credit, evictions (if any), references, income sources, etc. A big mistake that many owners make is looking at credit score only. For example, someone may have a bankruptcy on file, but it doesn’t


| JUNE 2013 |

mean they can’t pay their rent. We always give priority to tenancy history first, income second and credit history third. Visit to view our screening policy. One important statistic to remember is that 100% of people who were recently evicted are looking for an apartment, and somebody is going to take them. If you have a poor screening policy, you may inherit a tenant with a negative rental history, which could spell trouble. Once you create a policy, make sure you adhere to it and ensure that you are following all Fair Housing laws. This is very important, as breaking these laws can result in fines and lawsuits, and it is frankly wrong to discriminate. If you aren’t familiar with Fair Housing laws, there are many resources available — including EBRHA — that provide education on this ever-changing topic.

The Bottom Line

This leasing season, we had 183 apartments coming available for rent on June 1. As of May 14, we had exactly four apartments left to rent. If we did not use our system, and utilized the typical model of renting the units when they are vacant, we would likely have one month of lost rent on each turnover. If the average rent on our units is $2,000 per month, that would equal $366,000 in lost rent. This would be an enormous hit to our bottom line. Our system requires a lot of work, but it truly pays off.

Higher Levels of Service

Enacting these strategies has allowed us to ensure zero vacancies and charge higher rents, which improves property values and performance. In turn, we are committed to providing exceptional service. Some owners don’t feel comfortable charging maximum rent, but in our experience, higher revenue means you can deliver higher levels of service and amenities. This leads to happier tenants and more money for improvements, new investments, or perhaps that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. RH Note: Sam Sorokin will be presenting a workshop on this topic on July 25 at the EBRHA Education center. For more details, see page 40 or register at Sam Sorokin is the founder and managing partner of Premium Properties (www.premiumpd. com), a local real estate property management, leasing and investment company founded in 2002. The firm’s management and investment portfolio includes over 600 units, all in Berkeley and Oakland. Sam can be reached at sam@ or 510-594-0794.

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13-02-28 3:41 PM RENTAL HOUSING 27


SLIGHT DROP, STRONG SALES START YEAR OFF Despite all the challenges this market has endured, it has proven resilient. BY GRANT CHAPPELL


hat a year and strong first quarter finish. For all the talk over the last five years — since the subprime mortgage meltdown and financial crisis — that we would experience a slow recovery in the real estate market, the data over the last 12 months paints a different picture. Nationally, many markets have seen double digit gains in price appreciation similar to what we see in the Bay Area. However, few, if any, markets have experienced the type of increase in rents on apartments. With little housing supply coming to market in the form of new construction to meet demand, we could be right in the middle of a boom for apartment sales. In reading about other markets around the state and country, these investor-dominated markets lead me to believe that price appreciation and activity may slow a bit. This could be good for buyers who have waited too long to get into the market, as investors will eventually unload an asset if it does not cash flow. As EBRHA President Wayne Rowland alluded to in his article last month, a large spike in notice of defaults started in 2005 and the rest was history. On a side note, the office market in San Francisco continues to make headlines with record breaking sales. SOMA is one of the hottest markets for office space in the U.S., bringing in well-paying jobs, renters and home buyers to the area. Historically, an increase in office vacancy is followed by an increase in apartment vacancy and declining rents. We are nowhere near that point as office vacancy is low, and a number of projects are under construction to bring more office square footage to the market. From the brokers I talk to on that side of the bay, the prices for land are astonishing as well as “anemic” cap rates on recent sales. It is a humbling comparison when I look at the sales data in the East Bay. Low Rates Continue In the financial and political world, the Fed has maintained 28 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

that it will keep rates low until employment improves, as they see very little inflation risk short term. Recently, the Dow broke 15,000 for the first time and the S+P also hit record highs. Notice of defaults in Alameda County are down 62% over last year according to ForeclosureRadar, yet up approximately 33% since the beginning of the year. Clearly the market is healing, and my previous worries of a “shadow inventory” of foreclosed properties (that banks hold prior to releasing to market) does not weigh as heavily. Underwriting and qualifying for 1 - 4 unit loans is not as easy as it was before the crash. Tax Increases Drive Sales Monetary policy aside, we transitioned through one of the largest tax increases in U.S. History. With the expiration of Bush’s tax cuts and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the end of last year, the tax consequence of selling after December 31, 2012 cannot be ignored in interpreting the sales data. How the market and individuals adapt to new tax policy remains to be seen. With dramatically improved prices over last year, you might net more dollars from a sale now than you would have a year or two ago, in an effort to pay less capital gains. In December, I was chatting with brokers Link Corkery and Al Stephens at a showing, and Al talked about how many deals he was rushing to close in 1986 — when a major change in tax policy was coming — and the similarities to what he saw in 2012. Similar to tax policy, two loan brokers I work with are now refinancing loans with pre-payment penalties. The lower payment on the new rate makes sense over time, even after absorbing pre-pay penalty and loan origination costs. Looking at the 5+ unit segment that is tied to the 2 - 4 unit market, I compared the two on many of the same metrics. I used CoStar and MLS as much as possible for market information (even though a number of deals sell under the

radar). In past analyses of the 2 - 4 unit market, the data was solely taken from the MLS as a means of consistency in reporting. This seemed to work well in interpreting data, even though it is daunting to track trustee sales. This article, however, compares the two segments based on objective parameters, rather than trends in GRM and CAP on the 5+ segment. In analyzing the 5+ market, I will cover the three cities I have covered in the 2 - 4 unit market: Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda. However, I will only cover the first and fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 for the 5+ unit segment to provide a quarter-to-quarter and year over year comparison. Consequently, graphs will not go back as far for this segment as they do for the 2 - 4 unit segment. But the differences in drop in volume and trends are striking. 2 - 4 Unit Segment In Oakland, the number of deals decreased by approximately 18% from the previous quarter and 20% from a year ago. Despite the drop in sales, the average price is still up 41% from a year ago and only down 7% since last quarter. Oakland has slowly, yet steadily, declined in number of deals over the last year from the 130 170 deals per quarter we had seen since early 2009. However, the large uptick in price and decrease in supply of available properties brought the city back to an equilibrium. Keep in mind, we are still down from 2003 levels on average price, based on the data. In Berkeley, we saw a 66% increase in sales compared to the first quarter of 2012, and only a 5% drop from the previous quarter. The average price remained healthy, posting a 22% gain compared to a year ago, and only a 7% drop from last quarter. The increase in sales bodes well over all, but the city has seen a slow decline in number of sales over the year, although not as steady as Oakland. In Alameda, we saw no change in activity compared to a year ago and experienced a 50% drop in the number of sales from 14 to 7. The average price took the most significant hit, down 35% compared to a year ago, and down 25% from the previous quarter. While this sounds severe, keep in mind with a sample size of just seven transactions, the numbers are prone to more dramatic swings than Oakland or Berkeley.

tripled from the first quarter in 2012, and essentially remained that high for the rest of the year. The average price per foot rose by about 36% year over year, and the price per unit also rose by about 28% over the same period. Note that I excluded two sales from the first quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2012. There was a 250-unit property located at 215 W. MacArthur Blvd. that sold in Q1 of 2012 for approximately $22,425,000, bringing the volume up to over $38 million that quarter. Additionally, in Q4 of 2012, a 178-unit property located at 1130 E. 3rd Ave. sold for $31,00,000, which would have brought the volume to over $77 million that quarter. I excluded these transactions, as they are rare and would skew the data. In Berkeley, the sales market took the biggest drop in volume, down 80% compared to a year ago, and down 75% from last quarter. While the price per foot is up 12% over the year, it declined steadily from its peak of $249/ft in the third quarter. Furthermore, the average price per unit at $92,000 is the second lowest of all three cities. Of the four transactions, two were rooming houses, putting downward pressure on this metric.

transactions (2-4 units)

average sales price (2-4 units)

5+ Unit Segment In Oakland, we saw a 30% drop in volume over the previous quarter, yet we are still up just over 100% from a year ago. In fact, Oakland’s volume more than

Source: NAI Northern California


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average sales price (5+ units)

price per sq. foot (5+ units)

Note: No transactions in Q3 of 2012 for Alameda.

price per unit (5+ units)

Note: No transactions in Q3 of 2012 for Alameda. Source: NAI Northern California 30 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

While rooming houses are a “hybrid” apartment model, Berkeley still charges their standard rent board fees per room and business tax applies, so they must be included as if they are apartment buildings. In Alameda, total volume increased by 38% year over year and dropped by about 47% from the last quarter. Similar to Oakland and Berkeley, it experienced a significant increase in volume throughout the year, only to see sales drop off in the first quarter. Oddly enough, I was unable to find any actual sales in the third quarter for 5+ unit properties. Twelve sales for an average of $603,000 took place in the 2 - 4 unit segment, but no sales on the larger deals. My guess lies more in lack of supply or overpriced deals, but it still does not fully explain how the following quarter, six transactions — for a total of $6.9 million — took place. In summary, we should all be happy with the current state of the market and optimistic about the future. The overheated market in San Francisco is bringing more investors, home buyers and renters to the East Bay. I suspect this trend will continue and our rents will stay strong until the market gets soft in San Francisco. Despite all the challenges this market has endured, it has proven resilient. Even if we see a plateau or slight decline in rents in the next few years — whether due to macro factors or increase in supply of newly constructed product — there are many opportunities to sell at a great price or buy a deal with long-term potential and minimal downside. I know I am excited to see how the rest of the year plays out. Next quarter that may change, and I encourage the readership to let me know what they’d like to see in future columns. I’ve always been fascinated with the 2 - 4 unit market. Watching the market drop, heal and recover upward so dramatically, especially in Oakland these last two quarters (and in general since 2008) has been intriguing. Based on calls and emails from the readership, I know many enjoyed it as well. RH

Grant Chappell is the Vice President of NAI Northern California. He can be reached at or 510-594-0794.

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fair housing

Protect Yourself

Is your resident screening process keeping up with changing times? BY DAN FIRESTONE


s professionals in the multifamily housing industry, most readers of this article will say that they have been screening tenants for years. However, in the case of tenant screening, experience may be a negative attribute rather than a positive. In the current winds of regulatory enforcement and legislative change, screening tenants as it had been done 20 years ago could yield some serious fines levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Proper wording of the authorization on an application, the collection of fees, running the proper type of report, deciphering the results, and then the disclosures after the screening — all of these steps have changed within the past couple of decades. Have you kept up? Prior to January 2013, the primary governing body overseeing the multifamily housing industry was the Federal Trade Commission. Consumer questions and complaints were filed on the FTC website or to their offices. Since January, the CFPB has taken over as the primary regulating entity as allowed by the Dodd-Frank Act. Though the FTC is still involved, regulatory enforcement by means of audits and fines is now handled by the CFPB. The CFPB website outlines the department’s mission to “make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans.” They intend to educate consumers, supervise financial companies, enforce consumer 32 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |

financial laws and study consumers, financial service providers, consumer financial markets and industries.

access to consumer reports be granted onto those who can demonstrate a “permissible purpose” which must be identified each and every time a report is run. The CFPB can, does and will continue to verify that the entity checking the report has a permissible purpose, that the consumer understands what he is applying for and has given his informed consent to process the report. For the consumer of 20 years ago, which home or apartment to apply for may have been partially based on the cost of the screening. In some neighborhoods, the application fees could have been triple what they were in other neighborhoods — the more thorough the report, the higher the cost. Men and women often applied as married couples because their credit was run simultaneously and they were charged as one rather than two separate reports.

Times Have Changed What Does All of This Mean? Many states have set limits on appliThis means that applicants are smarter, cation fees and on the obligations a that the government is watching and landlord has when accepting these fees. that new laws are being written to proCalifornia state law (Cal. Civil Code ss tect all of us. 1950.6) mandates that the landlord can For those who have been in the only charge for “out-of-pocket” expenses business for decades, an authorizaplus a “reasonable value of time spent”. tion to run a credit check was simply It says that the maximum amount for a completed rental application with an 2013 is $44.51 and is updated annually affidavit that the foregoing information by changes in the Consumer Price Index. was true and correct. Completed appliThe landlord must give the applicant an cations which were processed through itemized receipt and refund the difference credit (and maybe criminal) usually to the applicant if the amount charged is had the employment verified, however more than the amount spent. If the conit may or may not have gone through sumer pays a screening fee and requests a the extra time and expense to check the copy of the report which was processed spouse who sometimes did not even sign for residential rental purposes, he must the application. be given a copy of the report. These laws Now that authorization must inform vary by state. the applicant specifically what type Due to fair housing laws, the same of report will be processed, and must type of report must be run on each and actually grant permission to obtain every lease signer. Gone are the days of and verify the information, the appliprocessing spouses together (discriminacation must be signed and dated by tion based on familial status) or running each person on whom a consumer criminal reports only on people who report will be processed. Perhaps most speak a foreign language (discriminaimportantly, it must identify specifically tion based on nationality). “Disparate what the applicant is applying for. This impact” was not a term on the tip of the may sound really simple, but a rental tongues of so many application, for example, “Consistency is the government agencies as cannot be used to run an first line of defense recently as 2000, but employment check. The against discriminanow it is a hot topic Fair Credit Reporting Act tion claims.” debate and the focal (FCRA) mandates that

point of quite a bit new legislation. These are issues consumers are being educated about, henceforth screening agencies and the users of the consumer reports must also be informed. Fair Housing In years past, landlords or property managers had absolute or “red line” rules dictating when to deny an applicant. An applicant who was on state aid, who had a felony record, or had a dog may have been turned away no matter how pristine the actual credit bureau report came back. Now, these practices are not only unwise, but potentially illegal. The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to make housing decisions based on one of seven protected classes: race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap and familial status. These protections were first put into law in 1968 and then strengthened in 1988 by making families with children and those with disabilities a protected class. While the federal law sets the minimum protections, states and localities can expand the number of protected classes. Several states and localities have made source of income a protected class. This is generally defined to include any lawful source of income including government assistance, alimony, child support or other compensation or benefit. It also includes Section 8 housing subsidies. While a landlord may request proof of income, requiring paycheck stubs may not be legal. An applicant with a drug charge is automatically declined? Not so fast. A consumer caught with marijuana in Arizona may be charged with a felony while that same consumer caught with the same amount in Oregon is charged only with a misdemeanor. If the conviction was 10 years ago, many states dictate the information can’t be used at all. It is vital that landlords keep up with not only federal and state fair housing laws, but specific localities as well. “No animals” policies are another relic of years past. Service animals are not just seeing-eye dogs anymore. They are companion animals. They may be dogs, cats, fish or monkeys. What they are not is “pets.” Based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, if verified as a service animal, they must be allowed and a land-

lord may not charge a “pet deposit.” Once a landlord decides not to rent to a particular applicant, he can no longer just shake her hand and send her away. If the property manager asks for a higher security deposit, the applicant has a right to know why. These “adverse actions” have very specific definitions and requirements outlined by the FCRA and enforced by the CFPB. For example, the applicant must be told the source of the information and be informed that she has a right to dispute the information in the report. In California, the FCRA Summary of Rights must be given in English and in Spanish to each and every applicant who is given a copy of his consumer report. Protect Yourself New legislation, changing laws, more educated consumers and a government entity with a wide regulatory berth means that property owners and managers must be smarter, more vigilant and more cautious than ever before. Protect thy self: consistency is the first line of

defense against discrimination claims. Consumer reports should be uniform in report type and scope, should be processed on each and every resident, and should be kept on file for six years whether or not the applicant was rented to. When the time does come to destroy files, destroy them. Throwing a cardboard box of consumer reports and rental applications on the curbside is not destruction. Do yourself and your applicants a favor and invest in a cross cut shredder. Digital files that are deleted are not destroyed. With the introduction of the Internet, there is a plethora of information available to learn about or keep up with in the changing world of the multifamily housing industry. Remember: knowledge is power. RH The information contained in this article is general in nature. Consult the advice of an attorney or professional for any specific problem. Dan Firestone is the Vice President of Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC). He can be reached at (661) 400-8043.

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esq. & a

A Hefty Bill Is a landlord responsible for damage caused to a tenant’s property by a leaky ceiling? BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

type of loss. Of course, you would want to check the amount of any deductible on your policy. It might not be worth submitting the claim if your deductible is high. If you are submitting a claim the damage caused to your roof from the storm, you might as well add in the tenant’s claim for property damage. It should all be covered. Landlord’s should insist that their tenant’s carry renter’s insurance. That way you can request that your tenant submit property damage claims to their insurance company before you have to report a claim to your own company.


Recently, there was a heavy storm that caused a big leak in my tenant’s ceiling. I immediately called a contractor to fix the problem. A few days after the accident, I received a $2,000 bill from the tenant, insisting that I pay him back for his damaged personal property. Can he do that? Am I responsible for his personal property in this case?


In general, a landlord is responsible for a tenant’s property damage caused by the landlord’s lack of ordinary care. It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the roof so as to avoid damage to a rental unit and the contents in it. It is foreseeable that not maintaining a roof will lead to water intrusion and damage to a tenant’s property. If you were to forward the $2000 bill to your insurance company, an investigator would go out and assess the property damage and the amount of the claim. Most policies cover this 34 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |



I approved a tenant for a unit, and they moved in shortly after. Several months later, I found out that they have a terrible credit and rental history. Can I evict them? What can I do to avoid this in the future?


No, you cannot generally evict a tenant solely for that reason in the Bay Area. After the fact, you can carefully monitor the tenant’s actions. For example, you should stay on top of the timeliness of their rent payments and be prepared to serve a Three-day Notice immediately when the grace period has expired. On the front end, one of the services provided by EBRHA is tenant screening. All you have to do is log on and click “Tenant Screening.” The prices and services are on the website. There are other services available too. I also recommend using a thorough tenant

application and calling references. Do not be afraid to look up previous unlawful detainers and criminal lawsuits. In non-Just Cause jurisdictions, you have more leeway to evict a tenant. If the tenancy is month-to-month and the tenant has lived there for less than a year, or it is a tenancy at will or at sufferance or the tenant is a lodger, then a 30-Day Notice will suffice. No fault or breach of the lease is required in such instances. Otherwise, with month-to-month tenancies, you will have to give them 60-day notice. At the end of a fixed term lease (again in non-Just Cause jurisdictions), and the tenant holds over without permission, then no notice is required to initiate an eviction action (unless the landlord accepts rent after the expiration, or the lease provides otherwise like making it automatically month-to-month). Carefully consider your actions. Evictions take time and cost money even if you represent yourself, which I would not recommend. —JOHN (JR) RICHARDS


I increased my tenants rent a few months ago and gave her proper notice. A few months have passed and she is still paying the old rent amount. However, I’ve accepted all of her rent checks since then. I know that she is aware of the new amount, and I want her to start paying it immediately. What can I do in this situation?


You have a right to the underpaid amounts and possibly late fees. But you have a problem because of your lack of diligence. It is up to you how accommodating you want to be. Whatever you communicate, document it. One of the main “Tenets of Tenancy” is diligence. A good landlord will call the tenant the day after the rent is overdue and inquire when it will be paid. The tenant then needs to be invoiced with the late fee, if provided for under the lease. If the promised or actual payment is beyond any grace period, the landlord must immediately serve the tenant with a Three-day Notice. I do not recommend including late fees in the Three-day Notice. This may seem like a harsh way to act. The problem is that if you delay collec-





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Political Affairs Meeting DATE/TIME LOCATION


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• Legal Q & A: Fried & Williams LLP • Estate & Tax Planning: David White & Associates • Dealing With Late Rent Payments: Fried & Williams LLP

tions or accept rent late, you may have waived your right to declare the rent late on the same date later on in time. You need to be diligent and immediately communicate when the rent is late. In this case, I would recommend calling the tenant and asking them if they are aware they have not paid the full rent (even if you know they are). You may have to make an accommodation here because of your own lack of diligence. Possible solutions include but are not limited to: 1) agree to pay the full rent next month; 2) agree to pay the back underpayments under a certain timeline with no late fee; 3) charge late fees and the underpayment due in full on the next month. Depending on the late fee provisions in your lease, each one of these options should be available to you. Another main “Tenets of Tenancy” is “Document, document, document.” Whatever you verbally agree to do with or communicate to this tenant. Memorialize the agreement in a letter or email. “This letter is to memorialize our telephone conversation earlier today where we agreed to XXXX. If I have misstated any of the terms of this agreement, please contact me within XX days. Otherwise, I will presume we agreed to and thereafter rely on the terms above.” RH The information contained in this article is general in nature. Consult the advice of an attorney for any specific problem. John (JR) Richards is an attorney with Richards Law and can be reached at (925) 231-8104 or www. Clifford Fried is an attorney with Fried & Williams LLP and can be reached at (510) 625-0100 or


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| JUNE 2013 |

streamlined — it provides free energy analysis, free on-site verification, has no costly audit and allows you to choose your own installation contractors. To participate in the program, your building must have five (5) or more attached dwelling units and be located within the nine counties of the Bay Area: Alameda, Constra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma. RH Learn more and sign up at or by contacting or 510-891-6558.

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community calendar EVENTS & CLASSES










1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30





Political Affairs Meeting; 10:00 a.m.

Political Affairs Meeting 10:00 a.m.

Landlord 101 Members: Free; Non-Members: $69; 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.




Summer Social Mixer: Tribune Tavern, 401 13th St. 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Landlord 102 Members: Free; Non-Members: $69 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Landlord Basics; Free to Members & Non-Members 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12*

Keep Your Building in Shape and Your Tenants Happy Susan Spott, SpottCheck Consulting Members: $39; Non-Members: $69; Registration Required 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. SATURDAY, JUNE 15

EBRHA General Membership Meeting 10:00 a.m. - Noon Topics: • Legal Q & A: Fried & Williams LLP • Estate & Tax Planning: David White & Associates • Dealing With Late Rent Payments: Fried & Williams LLP TUESDAY, JUNE 18

Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square “Party Time: Come Have a Good Time & Network” Auxiliary Members: $20; Guests: $35; 11:45 a.m.; Contact Pat Smith for more info: (510) 653-5388 TUESDAY, JUNE 18*

Insights on Mold and Mildew in Rental Properties Clinton Killian, Fried & Williams LLP Members: $39; Non-Members: $69; Registration Required 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31



EBRHA Office Closed


Landlord Basics Free to Members & Non-Members 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. THURSDAY, JULY 18

Vendor Education Series: “Social Media Marketing” Pam May, TechScribe and Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Accredited Solution Provider Free to EBRHA vendor members; Register at 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. SATURDAY, JULY 20

EBRHA General Membership Meeting 10:00 a.m. - Noon Topics: • Legal Q & A: John Richards, Richards Law • Retrofits: Process, Time frames and Cost Implications: BK Paul, Earthquake & Structures Inc. • Funding Options for Seismic Retrofit and Other Capitol Improvement Projects THURSDAY, JULY 25*

Maximize Revenue Though Zero Vacancies Sam Sorokin, Premium Properties Members: $39; Non-Members: $69 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Vendor Education Series: “Benefits and Branding” Pam May, TechScribe and Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Accredited Solution Provider; Tina Bocheff, EBRHA Free to EBRHA vendor members; Register at 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. FRIDAY, JUNE 28

Baseball Night: Oakland A’s vs. St. Louis Cardinals Tailgate: 5:00 p.m. @ Bay Area Contract Carpets, Inc., Game: 7:05 p.m. @ Oakland Coliseum Reservations and refundable deposit required

*Members: $39; Non-members: $69. Mandatory prepayment required; 72 hour cancellation; No Refunds on no shows; Seats fill fast, register in advance! To register and pay, visit or call (510) 893-9873. Unless otherwise noted, all classes and events are held at the EBRHA Education Center, 360 22nd St., Suite 240, Oakland 40 RENTAL HOUSING

| JUNE 2013 |


A CPI increase of 3% became


A MOUN T ( %)

PERI OD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AM O U N T ( % )

effective on July 1, 2012. Tenants may

JULY 1 ‘13 - JUNE 30 ‘14 . . . . . . . . . 2.1

JULY 1 ‘02 - MAY 31 ‘03. . . . . . . . . . 0.6

only receive one increase in any

JULY 1 ‘12 - JUNE 30 ‘13 . . . . . . . . . 3.0

JAN. 1 ‘02 - JUN. 30 ‘02 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

12-month period, and the rent increase

JULY 1 ‘11 - JUNE 30 ‘12 . . . . . . . . . 2.0

JAN. 1 ‘01 - DEC. 31 ‘01 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

JULY 1 ‘10 - JUNE 30 ‘11 . . . . . . . . . 2.7

JAN. 1 ‘00 - DEC. 31 ‘00 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

California law requires that for tenancies

JULY 1 ‘09 - JUNE 30 ‘10 . . . . . . . . . 0.7

JAN. 1 ‘99 - DEC. 31 ‘99 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

receiving greater than a 10% increase,

JULY 1 ‘08 - JUNE 30 ‘09 . . . . . . . . . 3.2

JAN. 1 ‘98 - DEC. 31 ‘98 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

a 60-day notice is required; if the

JULY 1 ‘07 - JUNE 30 ‘08 . . . . . . . . . 3.3

JAN. 1 ‘97 - DEC. 31 ‘97 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

increase is 10% or less, a 30-day

MAY 1 ‘06 - JUNE 30 ‘07. . . . . . . . . . 3.3

JAN. 1 ‘96 - DEC. 31 ‘96 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

MAY 1 ‘05 - MAY 30 ‘06 . . . . . . . . . . 1.9

MAR. 1 ‘95 - DEC. 31 ‘95 . . . . . . . . . . . 3

to three times the current annual

JUNE 1 ‘04 - MAY 30 ‘05. . . . . . . . . . 0.7

JAN. 1 ‘95 - FEB. 28 ‘95. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

allowable rent increase rate.

JUNE 1 ‘03 - MAY 31 ‘04. . . . . . . . . . 3.6

JAN. 1 ‘94 - DEC. 31 ‘94 . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

cannot take effect earlier than the tenant’s anniversary date. In addition,

notice is required. Owners can only impose “banked” rent increases equal


Oakland Rent Board | 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza | Suite 5313 | Oakland, CA | 94612 510.238.3721 |





2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.7%

2001* $10

1990. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16

2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.6%

2000. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6

1989*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3%

1999. . . . . . . . . . . . 1% (NOT TO EXCEED $8)

1988. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25

1998. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8%

1987. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5%

2008. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2%

1997. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.15%

1986. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3%, + $2.50

2007. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6%

1996. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%

1985. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%

2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7%

1995. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5%

1984. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0%

2005. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9%

1994. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $18

1983*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.75%

2004. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5%, + $3

1993. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20

1981*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%

1992. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $26


2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7% 2010. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.1% 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.7%


2003. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0% 2002*. . . . . . . . . 3.5% (NOT TO EXCEED $30)

1991. . . . 4% OR $17 (WHICHEVER IS HIGHER)

Beginning in 1998, adjustments are not allowed for the year following a tenant’s initial occupancy. To obtain the maximum amount for a specific address, please use the “Rent Ceiling Database” calculator on Berkeley’s Rent Board website.


Berkeley Rent Board | 2125  Milvia Street | Berkeley, CA | 94704 510.981.7368 |


JUNE 2013



member directory




Chicago Deferred Exchange Co. Teresa Moss Fluegel 877-448-1031

Bornstein & Bornstein Daniel Bornstein 510-836-0110, x1007 Fried & Williams LLP Clifford Fried 510-625-0100 Law Offices of Leon H. Rountree III Leon H. Rountree III 510-343-6299 Law Offices of Marc L. TerBeek Susy Meyer 510-689-0140 Richards Law John Richards 925-231-8104 The Evictors Ed Nagy 510-839-2074 The Shepherd Law Group Michael Shepherd 510-531-0129

Chase Commercial Josh Milnes 510-891-4545 Chase Commercial Ted Levenson 415-945-5430 Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union Nicky Tekelidis 510-647-2131 Intervest Mortgage Marc Lipsett 510-622-8515 Luther Burbank Savings Larry Miller 925-627-2790 Torrey Pines Bank Jeff Becker 510-899-7569


P.W. Stephens Environmental Kimberly MacFarlane 510-651-9506 APPLIANCE SALES & PARTS

Appliance Parts Distributor Mike De Fazio 510-357-8200 Appliance Warehouse of America David Jepsen 510-921-1071 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Randy Casteel 888-334-0004 Sincere Home Decor Keith Chan 510-832-2838, x108 APPRAISERS

Access Appraisal: Apartment Specialists Joe Spallone 510-601-1466 Mark Watts Commercial Appraiser Mark A. Watts 415-990-0025 www.markwattscommercialappraisal. com ARCHITECTURE

Cassandra Adams Architect Cassandra Adams 510-215-5050 InsideOut Design Pennell Phillips 510-655-1198 American Asphalt & Concrete Joe McSweeney 510-723-0280, x28 ASSOCIATIONS

BOMA Oakland/East Bay Stephen Shepard 510-893-8780 Oakland Association of Realtors Patricia Bouie Hinds 510-836-3000 Oakland Builders Alliance Beverly Rivas 510-735-8849, x101 Oakland Chamber of Commerce Joseph Haraburda 510-874-4808

| JUNE 2013 |

Law Offices of John Gutierrez John Gutierrez 510-647-0600, x2 Law Offices of Ann Rankin Ann Rankin 510-653-8886 Law Offices of Marc L. TerBeek Susy Meyer 510-689-0140 Richards Law John Richards 925-231-8104 ATTORNEYS - REAL ESTATE/ CORPORATION




Burnham & Brown Jack Schwartz 510-444-6800 Law Offices of John Gutierrez John Gutierrez 510-647-0600, x2 Law Offices of Marc L. TerBeek Susy Meyer 510-689-0140 Richards Law John Richards 925-231-8104


American Bath Enterprises, Inc. Larry Arcadi 510-785-2600 Ashby Lumber Emily Brown 510-843-4832 Bathfitter Justin Starnino 510-969-3905 KMK Contracting & Property Services Kevin Knobles 925-292-8667 SGK Home Solutions Vladmir Merabian 408-264-6964 Sincere Home Decor Keith Chan 510-832-2838, x108 BUILDING MATERIALS/ HARDWARE

Ashby Lumber Emily Brown 510-843-4832 James Hardie Building Products Ellen Dowd 800-426-4051 ReStore/Habitat for Humanity Rose Stubberfield 510-777-1447



Ken Betts Towing Services Ayub Azam 510-532-5000

Cleaner Carpets Ron Russell 510-522-1344


Armstrong Development Barbara Armstrong 510-337-1998 COLLECTION AGENCIES

Rent Recovery Service Robbie Cronrod 800-845-1086 CONDO CONVERSION

Armstrong Development Barbara Armstrong 510-337-1998 CONSTRUCTION

KMK Contracting & Property Services Kevin Knobles 925-292-8667 Schafer Construction, Inc. Mike Barker 510-568-7200 SpottCheck Consulting Susan Spott 510-816-1452 Vasona Construction, Inc. Dan Scharnow 510-413-0091, x203 West Coast Premier Construction, Inc. Homy Sikaroudi 510-271-0950 CONTRACTORS/RESTORATION

ARC Water Damage Nina Lauffer 510-835-3073 Belfor Property Restoration Lisa Schwichtenberg 888-543-3473 SERVPRO of San Leandro Clayton Barry 510-352-2480 DEVELOPMENT

Armstrong Development Barbara Armstrong 510-337-1998 DOORS & GATES

Community Controls Tim Bruske 800-284-2837 R & S Overhead Garage Door Sean Boatright 510-483-9700, x14 SGK Home Solutions Vladmir Merabian 408-264-6964 ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

Randy Casteel 888-334-0004 ELECTRICIANS

City Bay Electric Reggie Stevenson 510-847-1544 Thomas Electric Co. (TEC) Thomas Hurtubise 510-814-9387 ELEVATOR REPAIRS

Paramount Elevator Corp. Mark Pipoly 510-835-0770 EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Morgan Environmental Services, Inc. Tom Morgan 510-267-0134 ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING SERVICES

Essel Environmental Consulting Nik Lahiri 925-413-5511 FINANCIAL PLANNING

David White & Associates Miguel Delgado 925-277-2635 FIRE PROTECTION

Battalion One Fire Protection Mike Herbert 510-653-8075 Bay Alarm Limor Margalit 510-639-2652 Detect All Security & Fire Amy Roither 510-835-4100 Sentry Alert David Ingham 510-549-0306 FLOOR COVERINGS

Bay Area Contract Carpets, Inc. Kerry Plain or Ken Scott 510-613-0300 Dick’s Carpet One Dan Biles 510-633-9533 GARAGE DOORS

R & S Overhead Garage Door Sean Boatright 510-483-9700, x14 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Housing Authority of the City of Alameda Mike Pucci 510-747-4325

Oakland Housing Authority Leased Housing 510-874-1500 HANDYMAN SERVICES

Halcyon Properties Roger Shane 510-847-7075 KMK Contracting & Property Services Kevin Knobles 925-292-8667 Start to Finish Christopher Bailey 510-727-9128 HAULING SERVICES

Junk King Paul Bains 510-982-9650 KMK Contracting & Property Services Kevin Knobles 925-292-8667 HAZMAT, CRIME SCENE, BIO CLEAN-UP

Morgan Environmental Services, Inc. Tom Morgan 510-267-0134 HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING

88HVAC Matt Jung 855-884-8228 Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating Albert Nahman 510-843-6904 Atlas Heating & Air Conditioning Lisa Tuck 510-893-1343 Black Diamond Mechanical Robert Lopez 510-522-4196 DP Heating & AC Daryl Price 510-532-2043 HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING SUPPLIES

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Randy Casteel 888-334-0004 INSPECTIONS

SpottCheck Consulting Susan Spott 510-816-1452 INSURANCE

Aon Rent Protect Bryan Kinsey 801-559-9594


JUNE 2013



Capital Insurance Group George Cushing 800-732-6770 Commercial Coverage Insurance Paul Tradelius 415-436-9800 Jain L. Williams - State Farm Insurance Jain L. Williams 510-530-3222 Ruben Leon - Farmers Insurance Group Ruben Leon 510-525-6540 NorthStar Risk Management & Insurance Services Pat Lowther 925-975-4686 PFN Insurance Services Nicholas Penland 510-483-6667 Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency Ruth Stroup 510-874-5700 Stone Creek Insurance Agency Tom Lynch 925-297-4202 SullivanCurtisMonroe Chad Lupia 949-852-5730 INTERCOMS & ACCESS CONTROLS

Community Controls Tim Bruske 800-284-2837 R & S Overhead Garage Door Sean Boatright 510-483-9700, x14 Sound Communication Systems Jerry Dean 510-595-8111



SpottCheck Consulting Susan Spott 510-816-1452

Aspire Business Consulting Natalie Koffler 510-919-0914



Golden Gate Locksmith Co Ralph Scott 510-654-2677

KMK Contracting & Property Services Kevin Knobles 925-292-8667 The Garza Company, Inc. Manuel Garza 510-763-9500


Dunn-Edwards Paints Megan Mutimer 415-755-0685 PAINTERS

JB Painting Josue Landa 510-282-1431 RDM Painting & Decorating Roberto Diaz 510-421-1908 Steve’s Painting & Renovating Steve Fagrey 510-910-6997 Universe Painting, Inc. William McKenzie 866-666-6761 PEST & VECTOR CONTROL

Alameda Co. Dept. of Environmental Health Vector Control Services Daniel Wilson 510-567-6826 Terminix Robert Sater 510-489-8689 Times Up Termite Mike Barker 510-568-7200 PLUMBING - WATER HEATERS


Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Randy Casteel 888-334-0004 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

ACRE Property Management Drew Humphrey 510-527-8700 Advent Properties, Inc. Benjamin Scott 510-250-7918 Bay Property Group Robert Goldman 510-836-0110 Beacon Properties Carlon Tanner 510-428-1864 Caldecott Property Management Services Ronald Reece 510-594-2400, x226 Canyon Pacific Management Tom Scripps 415-495-4739 Cedar Properties Jonathan Weldon 510-834-0782

A.C. Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Julie Twichell 510-567-8252

Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating Albert Nahman 510-843-6904 Ethan’s Service Plumbing Ethan Elkins 510-390-4185 Pacific Drain & Rooter Service Nasir Jalil 510-452-4606 Roto-Rooter Martin Alvarez 510-755-1262



ERI Property Management Sasha Bermudez 510-883-7017

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Randy Casteel 888-334-0004

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Randy Casteel 888-334-0004

Marquardt Property Management Karen or Judi Marquardt 510-530-2050


Martinez Real Estate Investment Jose Martinez 510-769-0436 LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT

Coinmach Greg Blednyh 510-429-0900, x54435 LEAD PREVENTION


| JUNE 2013 |

Crane Management Kit Crane 510-918-2306 East Bay Asian Local Development Co. Frances Rosario 510-287-5353 The Enterprise Company William McLetchie 510-444-0876

OMM Inc./Mason Management Janice Mason 510-522-8074

Litton/Fuller Group Luke Blacklidge 510-548-4801, x130

Premium Properties Sam Sorokin 510-594-0794

Marcus & Millichap Eli Davidson 510-379-1280

Shaw Properties Liz Hart 510-665-4350

Marcus & Millichap David Wolfe 510-379-1200

Sphinx Property Management Jon Goree 510-798-9299

NAI Northern California Grant Chappell 510-972-4941

Wellington Property Company Jillian Loh 510-338-0588 Western Management Property, Inc. Vinnie Mistry 510-451-7317 Woodminster Property Management Nicholas Drobocky 510-336-0202 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Buildium Sam Clarke 888-414-1933 x152 RAIN GUTTERS

R.C. Gutter Services Ramiro Cornejo 510-331-4425 Sunshine Gutters Tammar Hadiri 510-525-0880 REAL ESTATE BROKERS & AGENTS

Advent Properties, Inc. Benjamin Scott 510-250-7918 Caldecott Properties Andy Read 510-594-2400 Coldwell Banker – Apartment Specialist John Caronna 925-253-4648 Coldwell Banker Commercial Henry Ohlmeyer 925-831-3390 Davide Pio 510-815-2000 Edrington & Associates Steven Edrington 510-749-4880 Home & Investment Realty George Vassiliades 510-710-6826

Property Counselors Link Corkery, Inc. Link Corkery 510-886-1212 Woodminster Real Estate Co Inc. Nicholas Drobocky 510-336-0202 RECYCLING/REUSE

DR3 Mattress Recycling Robert Jaco 510-798-3734 RENT CONTROL CONSULTANTS

Alan K. Beales 510-339-9776 Edrington & Associates Steven Edrington 510-749-4880 RENTAL SERVICES

Cal Rentals Elaine Perkins 510-642-3644 Eden I & R Ollie Arnold 510-537-2710 ROOFERS

Fidelity Roof Company Steve Parry 510-547-6330 Frank Fiala Roofing Frank Fiala 510-582-6929 General Roofing Company Michael Wakerling 510-536-3356 SECURITY/ SURVEILLANCE

Bay Alarm Limor Margalit 510-639-2652 Detect All Security & Fire Amy Roither 510-835-4100 Golden Gate Locksmith Co Ralph Scott 510-654-2677

R & S Overhead Garage Door Sean Boatright 510-483-9700, x14 Sentry Alert David Ingham 510-549-0306 SEISMIC CONSTRUCTION

West Coast Premier Construction, Inc. Homy Sikaroudi 510-271-0950 SEISMIC ENGINEERING

Earthquake & Structures, Inc. B.K. Paul 510-601-1065 SIDING

James Hardie Building Products Ellen Dowd 800-426-4051 SOLAR POWER

Belenus Renewable Energy David Nolan 415-244-6383 TENANT SCREENING SERVICE

Contemporary Information Corp. (CIC) Dan Firestone 888-232-3822 TOWING SERVICE

Ken Betts Towing Services Ayub Azam 510-532-5000 TREE SERVICE

Coastal Tree Service Hans Waller 510-693-4631 WASTE & WASTE HANDLING EQUIPMENT

DR3 Mattress Recycling Robert Jaco 510-798-3734 Junk King Paul Bains 510-982-9650 Waste Management Company David Tucker 510-430-8509 WINDOWS

SGK Home Solutions Vladmir Merabian 408-264-6964 The Window Specialist Tom From 510-923-1000


JUNE 2013



ad index



Membership Application for Property Owners and Managers JOIN TODAY AND RECEIVE BENEFITS SUCH AS:


Appliance Parts Distributor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ATTORNEYS

Bornstein & Bornstein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 The Evictors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Fried & Williams LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 BATHTUB & SHOWER ENCLOSURES


American Bath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bathfitter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27




Markus Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Urban Ore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21




Bay Area Contract Carpets, Inc.. . . . . . . . . 35 CONSTRUCTION


West Coast Premier Construction. . . . . . . 39 ENGINEERS


Earthquake and Structures, Inc.. . . . . . . . . 13 West Coast Premier Construction. . . . . . . 39



DP Heating & Air. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 88 HVAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 NAME


CIG Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Jain Williams - State Farm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Ruth Stroup Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33





Alameda Co. Bar Assoc. VLSC. . . . . . . . . . 33 American Lung Association . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 ECHO Housing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 StopWaste.Org. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT

Wash Multifamily.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36



Cooperative Center FCU.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 JPMorgan Chase Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9




1-2 UNITS = $249.00

3-4 UNITS = $269.00

Golden Gate Locksmith Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 MAILBOXES

Salsbury Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

5-8 UNITS = $289.00

9-16 UNITS = $299.00

17+ UNITS = $299.00 + $5.00 PER UNIT


Team Too. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 PLUMBING





Albert Nahman Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES



Ferguson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT



ACRE Property Management . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Maisel Property Management. . . . . . . . . . . 36 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Buildium. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21



Bay Property Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Beacon Properties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


DETACH THIS FORM AND FAX OR MAIL TO THE ADDRESS BELOW East Bay Rental Housing Association 360 22nd Street, Suite 240 Oakland, CA 94612 TEL

510.893.9873 | FAX 510.893.2906


| JUNE 2013 |


Frank Fiala Roofing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 General Roofing Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 WATERPROOFING

Applied Waterproofing Systems . . . . . . . . 37 WINDOWS, DOORS & SIDING

SGK Solutions.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Acceptance of an advertisement by this magazine does not necessarily constitute any endorsement or recommendation by EBRHA, express or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered.

Non Payment of Rent Evictions Nuisance Evictions Owner Move-In Evictions Rent Board Petitions General Landlord-Tenant Litigation

With Offices in San Francisco and Oakland

CALL US: 510-836-0110

925-344-5755 877-264-6964

(Call Now For a Free Estimate)

Profile for Rental Housing

Rental Housing - June 2013  

Rental Housing - June 2013

Rental Housing - June 2013  

Rental Housing - June 2013