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The official publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association


GROWING TALENT, GROWING CAREERS Job opportunities in the multihousing industry

President Obama pays visit to CPLC’s housing development

“I moved into leasing, then became an assistant manager, a corporate suite facilitator, apartment manager, asset manager to where I am today as a principal and the president of MC Residential.” - Lesley Brice


“Without several mentors that have helped and guided me through the years, I would have been afraid of making mistakes and not having the knowledge on how to turn those mistakes into opportunities.” - Adam Greco

AMA brings full agenda to legislature BEST PRACTICES Q&A WITH JUSTIN SKIPTON

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New year brings new opportunities Our ‘Super’ season


ring on the Tributes! Our teams of volunteers and staff are engaging in hundreds of interviews of nominees of your very best employees. One of our favorite times of year, we have the opportunity to hear inspiring stories of commitment and service above and beyond to your companies. A combination of heart and talent, we can see how your nominees help to build great companies. It’s a reminder of the National Apartment Careers Month in February. The NAA is also starting the use of the term Residential Property Management to educate future employees in our sector. If you have considered mentoring someone in your organization or supporting the development of one you see has strong leadership potential, I encourage you to use this milestone to start. Your investment of time will reward you, your mentee and your organization. The Legislative session has our team busy pushing three proactive bills. In addition, Capitol Consulting does so much education on the front end, to avoid being surprised by bills with unnecessary or onerous regulations on our industry. This spring will be a unique one for Arizona as the eyes of the nation and the world are on our communities as we host the Super Bowl, Barrett Jackson, the Phoenix Open and Spring Training. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase what makes Arizona such a vibrant place to live and work, and I wish you and your teams the best in this busy season. — Tom Simplot, AMA President

Reflection and resolution at the start of each year provides reoccurring opportunity to improve individual commitment and support. The Arizona Multihousing Association looks forward to 2015 and a continued commitment to our industry.

Supporting your industry A key role of your AMA is the preemptive lobbying efforts to preserve and promote our industry. Opportunities to support these efforts and have your voice heard include participation at the monthly government affairs committee meeting. This committee is open to anyone within your organization and meets monthly at the AMA offices. Equally important are the donations that support our lobbyists. AMAPAC, our political action committee, raises money from personal donations that are gathered annually during our PAC fund drive. Our Legal Initiative Mobilization Fund (LIMF) leverages corporate donations gathered throughout the year to support our advocacy efforts. This year you have the opportunity to do your part by checking the box on your membership renewal to include a donation to this fund.

Commitment to the future In December, the first class graduated from the Arizona Multihousing Association Lyceum Leadership program. These deserving individuals ensure our commitment as an industry to groom our future leaders and welcome the next generation. Registration for 2015 Lyceum is now open for classes.

In your honor Judging is underway to interview more than 450 nominees of the best in our industry to select the finalists and ultimate winners we will honor at the Tributes Awards on May 14 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Thank you to the judges that have volunteered hours of their time to form the panels in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff to select our best and brightest. Join us in honoring your successes at Tributes this summer. This year poses many opportunities to come together as an industry and to strengthen the position and voice of the Arizona Multihousing Association. — Christine E. Shipley, AMA Board Chair, Dunlap & Magee


Apartment News > February/March 2015

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16 Growing talent, growing careers  Job opportunities in the

multihousing industry

8 News & Happenings 10 Legislative Update 12 Legally Speaking 20 Events & Education 22 Best Practices 26 On the Scene 28 Focus on Tucson 30  Thank You Patron Members

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Alliance Residential’s Bruce Ward honored as ‘Executive of the Year’ by Multifamily Executive Multifamily Executive, one of the industry’s leading publications, recently honored Bruce Ward, CEO and chairman of Alliance Residential Company as the 2014 Executive of the Year. One of the most prestigious honors in the multifamily industry, the award recognizes the accomplishments of a leader dedicated to providing exceptional housing, solid management, and strong financial performance. This year, Alliance plans to start on an additional 7,000 units across its 29 metro markets. They are one of the largest private multifamily companies in the country with investments in excess of $3 billion in real estate. In addition, the company manages a $9 billion portfolio of real estate assets.

HSL Properties acquires El Conquistador in Tucson


Apartment News > February/March 2015

President Obama Visits CPLC’s Nueva Villas Housing Development Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), one of Arizona’s leading nonprofits and a provider of low to moderate income homes and apartments, welcomed President Barack Obama and Housing Secretary Julián Castro in January during his visit to Arizona. David Adame, Chief Economic Development Officer for CPLC and AMA board member, and Edmundo Hidalgo, CPLC President and CEO, toured the President and the Secretary through their Nueva Villas neighborhood. With the assistance of HUD programs, CPLC was able to purchase

the homes, rehabilitate them and help working families into affordable housing. Their investment in these homes has helped to stabilize the neighborhood. President Obama was in Arizona to announce that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is lowering mortgage insurance premium rates by 0.5 percentage points. CPLC owns and operates a number of multifamily communities throughout the state of Arizona and helps low to moderate income families and individuals get affordable, stable housing. Their subsidiary Tiempo, Inc. oversees the properties.

Tucson-based apartment and hotel developer HSL Properties, a Tucson based apartment and hotel developer, has purchased the landmark Hilton El Conquistador, a hotel and convention center. This AAA Four Diamond property has been for sale for some time and HSL paid a reported $15 million for two parcels that total 383 acres. The deal includes 18 acres of developable land on Oracle Road, in addition to the hotel, golf, tennis, and convention center spaces. Omar Mireles, Executive Vice

President for HSL and AMA board member, reported that the company plans to invest about $16 million to update the hotel and the work should be completed in approximately 12 to 18 months. The Oro Valley Town Council has already approved the purchase of the golf and recreation amenities from HSL, giving the city a turn-key community center. The seller, MetLife, was represented by CBRE Hotels’ Jerry Hawkins, Douglas Henkel, Lewis C. Miller, Andy Wimsatt and Jeff Woolson.



AMA enters this year’s session with a full agenda By Courtney LeVinus & Jake Hinman


ere we go! The 52nd Legislature, 1st Regular Session officially commenced Jan. 12. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the state’s 23rd governor, delivered his first State-of -the-State address in January and called on the Legislature to resolve the state’s looming budget deficit. The governor also outlined some of his policy priorities for the year including bringing more money into classrooms and setting income tax brackets to be automatically adjusted for inflation rather than a set rate. Arizona lawmakers certainly have their work cut out for them as the state faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall, including $500 million for the current fiscal year. Gov. Ducey has proposed closing the deficit by dipping into the state’s “rainy-day fund,” sweeping $300 million from certain agencies and cutting state programs Courtney LeVinus by nearly $384 million. Whatever the budget solutions are, they will likely grab the headlines for the remainder of the session. The AMA entered the legislative session with a heavy agenda as well, introducing three substantial pieces of legislation. Here is a closer look at our three proactive bills.

HB2254, ‘Municipal tax exemption; residential lease’ Representative Darin Mitchell (R-Litchfield Park) has introduced legislation at the request of the AMA


Apartment News > February/March 2015

Arizona lawmakers go back to work to eliminate residential renter’s tax once and for all. HB2254 has the effect of prohibiting all cities and towns in Arizona from collecting this regressive tax. The bill is facing unprecedented opposition from cities and towns in Arizona since the bill eliminates one of many revenue sources for local municipalities. The AMA has a well documented history of opposing renters’ tax. Prior to 1977, the State of Arizona (not municipalities) taxed residential rental property. Thanks to a small group of apartment owners and operators, the legislature repealed the tax in 1977 (this group of owners and operators founded what is now known as the Arizona Multihousing Association). Soon after the state repealed the tax, municipalities began implementing their own renters’ tax. In 2011, the AMA once again looked

to the legislature to enact a requirement that cities seek voter approval in order to increase their rent tax rate. Since the bill’s passage, the cities of Buckeye, Glendale, Paradise Valley and Tucson have all been prohibited from creating and increasing their rental tax rates. Now the time has come for the legislature to end the practice of taxing families simply because they choose to rent their home. HB2254 hopefully represents the final chapter of this regressive tax. For more information on renters tax, visit

SB1079, ‘Solid waste collection; multifamily housing’ The AMA’s second proactive bill, introduced by Senator Gail Griffin (R-14), will allow apartment owners to choose a solid waste service provider from the private sector rather than being forced to use costly city services.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Currently several cities across the state, including Flagstaff, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria and Tempe, prohibit private solid waste service providers from offering services to apartments. This has the effect of allowing cities to charge and increase their solid waste rates at their own discretion and remain free of the checks and balances that free market competition provides.

SB1072, ‘Local planning; residential housing; prohibitions’ The AMA’s third and final proactive bill, SB1072, will prohibit cities from adopting “inclusionary zoning” ordinances. Inclusionary zoning ordinances adopted by municipalities require land owners and developers to set aside a certain percentage of housing units in new or rehabilitated projects for low- and moderate-income residents.

There are a number of other bills that the AMA is currently monitoring. If you have any questions regarding any legislative proposals making their way through the process or if you have any questions regarding any of the AMA’s government affairs programs, please feel free to contact us. Since cities in Arizona are already prohibited from adopting “rent control” ordinances, SB1072 is a clean-up bill to strengthen existing statutes.

valuation of the property determined by the income approach to value. HB2279, ‘Housing trust fund; unclaimed property.’ The proposed bill changes the amount of proceeds from the sale of abandoned property that are deposited in the Housing Trust Fund each fiscal year from $2.5 million to 55 percent of the proceeds. There are a number of other bills that the AMA is currently monitoring. If you have any questions regarding any legislative proposals making their way through the process or if you have any questions regarding any of the AMA’s government affairs programs, please feel free to contact either of us.

Other bills of interest HB2382, ‘Low-income housing; property tax.’ The proposed bill allows the owner of low-income multifamily residential rental property to elect to have the

Courtney LeVinus is a principal with Capitol Consulting and Jake Hinman leads city and county relations for the firm. They can be reached at 602-712-1121

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Fair housing concerns A closer look at HUD enforcement reports By Judy Drickey-Prohow, Esq., Law Offices of Scott M. Clark


f there is anyone in residential property management who thinks that the federal government has more things on its mind these days than fair housing, they haven’t been paying attention. Over the last couple months the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been touting its successes in prosecuting and settling fair housing complaints on Facebook, twitter and in the news media — Judy Drickey-Prohow and it is not simply the banks and lending institutions that are the subject of their settlements.

Consider these: HUD issued an administrative charge against a Maryland apartment complex, contending that it violated

the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when it non-renewed the lease of a tenant who was a victim of domestic violence. The facts showed that police were called after the tenant’s boyfriend came to the apartment and stabbed her, following a short argument. The tenant’s 18-year old son was also stabbed after he came to his mother’s defense. The landlord asserted that the crime free lease provision was violated when there was a fight in the unit involving the use of weapons. HUD’s administrative charge states that terminating the lease of a person who is a victim of domestic violence has the effect of disproportionately excluding women and thus constitutes sex discrimination. HUD entered into a settlement with a homeowner’s association in North Carolina after a married couple filed a complaint alleging that the HOA had unreasonably delayed and therefore constructively denied their approval for disability-related modifications needed for their home because the husband

uses a wheelchair. HUD considers a request for an accommodation or modification a “constructive denial” when the property fails to promptly respond to the request. Under the settlement, the HOA agreed to pay the couple $42,290 and must develop reasonable accommodation/ modification policies and procedures that are consistent with the FHA. In California, HUD charged the owners of an apartment complex with disability discrimination for initially refusing to allow a tenant with disabilities to keep an emotional support animal, even after the tenant presented the owners with medical documentation attesting to her need for the animal. Although the property later granted the resident the right to keep the animal, the woman alleged that she suffered psychological duress because she was without the animal for approximately five months. In New Hampshire, HUD charged a condominium association with disability discrimination after it denied a disabled resident the right to use the visitor parking space in front of his unit as a reasonable accommodation for his disabilities. The resident’s designated parking pace was behind his building and could only be accessed via a staircase with nine steps and the resident showed that he has difficulty climbing stairs. In Illinois, HUD settled a case with the owner and operator of a HUD-subsidized apartment complex for $255,000. In its complaint, HUD alleged that the property had discriminated against persons with disabilities when it assigned a mobilityimpaired resident to a third floor unit in a building with no elevator, and had threatened her with eviction for having

The views expressed here are generalized advice or information. Fact-specific questions should always be referred to legal counsel. Statements and opinions expressed in these legal columns are solely those of the author or authors. This advice does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Arizona Multihousing Association.


Apartment News > February/March 2015


her adult daughter — who was serving as her caregiver — in the unit. The resident had provided the property with documentation verifying her disability and the need for the accommodation. Properties are reminded that while anyone can have a fair housing complaint filed against them, most of the cases identified above could have been avoided if properties had received fair housing training and complied with basic fair housing obligations. Anyone who needs training for their staff or who has questions about their obligations under the FHA should contact legal counsel. In addition to these individual cases, HUD announced that it is providing $38 million dollars to non-profit agencies throughout the United States in an effort to fight housing discrimination. While

these agencies do not have the ability to formally investigate or resolve housing discrimination complaints on behalf of HUD, their missions include activities such as fair housing education, testing and referral of potential cases to HUD and its local enforcement agencies.

minorities, immigrants, and persons with disabilities. HUD awarded $311,245 to the Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC). That agency will use its grant to provide statewide fair housing enforcement including testing, investigation and resolution of fair housing complaints with an emphasis on the refugee communities in partnership with the International Refugee Committee in Tucson. Finally HUD awarded an additional $123,555 to the SWFHC to provide services in the metropolitan Phoenix area consisting of training and referral of mortgage and lending cases.

In Arizona, HUD provided the following grants: HUD awarded $320,430 to the Arizona Fair Housing Center, which will engage in fair housing testing, intake and processing of complaints with referrals to HUD and the Arizona Attorney General Civil Rights Division, as well as mediation and referral services. Educational efforts will specifically address the low- to moderate-income and underserved populations including non-English speaking individuals,


Judy Drickey-Prohow is an attorney with the Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, P.C. She can be reached at 520-241-1847.

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Q &A Your questions answered

By Andy M. Hull, Esq. Hull, Holliday and Holliday

Q: The property had a waterline that broke and management entered as an emergency to inspect the premises. Once inside, they found that the tenant was a hoarder. What recourses does the landlord have regarding what was found? A: Depending on how severe the problem is, the landlord can either give an immediate notice if there is extreme damage being cause by the hoarder or a five-day health and safety noncompliance to correct the problem.

Q: The landlord had given a 10-day letter of non-compliance notice for violations under the lease. Several months later the tenant engaged in other violations, but not the same or similar. Management needed to know if they could serve the second 10-day notice for same or similar conduct, or if they would have to serve another regular 10 day notice to comply because the conduct

is not the same or similar. A: Management would have to send the first non-compliance notice for the different violations.

Q: A tenant signed a lease and paid the deposits, but never picked up keys or moved in. The landlord did not know how to handle this situation. The tenant has a binding contract because the lease was

signed and the monies were paid. Was the tenant liable for the lease in this instance? A: Yes, the landlord can hold the tenant to the balance of the lease or until it is re-rented or whichever occurs first. Because rent was paid, the landlord cannot do anything until the end of the first month that was paid, and then when monies are not paid the subsequent months either serve a five day notice of non-payment of rent eviction or an abandonment notice.

Q: The tenant was locked out by the constable. The tenant did move all of their property to the outside of the rental property and then left. What, if any obligations did the owner have to the tenant’s property?

The views expressed here are generalized advice or information. Fact-specific questions should always be referred to legal counsel. Statements and opinions expressed in these legal columns are solely those of the author or authors. This advice does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Arizona Multihousing Association.


Apartment News > February/March 2015


A: The landlord’s only obligation is to reasonably secure the interior of the premises if the tenant’s property is left inside. If the tenant moves the property outside, they are doing it at their own risk. Should there be theft or damage; the landlord should not be held liable for this.

repairs, joining a tenant’s union or complaining to a governmental entity about the premises.

Q: The landlord served a nonrenewal on the tenant and the tenant demanded a written explanation of why the landlord chose not to renew. Is the landlord obligated to provide an explanation for non-renewal?

A: This should be an immediate eviction notice because even though it was negligence on the tenant, it endangered the surrounding tenants had the bullet gone through the wall and into the next apartment.

A: Generally, the landlord does not have to provide a reason for the nonrenewal. This rule also applies to the

Q: A tenant was cleaning his handgun and accidently shot his washing machine. What kind of notice should be served on the tenant?

tenant; they would not have to provide a reason for moving out of the rental premises. The only exception for a landlord to provide a reason would be if the tenant is claiming retaliation by the landlord, such as failure to make

Andy M. Hull is the principal of Hull, Holliday and Holliday, PLC. He can be reached at 602-230-0088.

GROWING TALENT, GROWING CAREERS Job opportunities in the multifamily industry


very new apartment community creates an economic impact for the local city and the state. The direct and indirect economic impact positively grows Arizona’s economy. Educating job seekers about the lifetime of opportunities in the multifamily industry can be challenging in a competitive job market. Arizona’s unemployment rates continue to decrease and most of those who are looking don’t know about this growing career. Hundreds work to develop and build a multifamily project. Construction workers, designers, tradesmen, bring the project to fruition and then another team of professionals will work on site to lease and manage the community. With the rise in multifamily development, management companies and owners work to employ and train new staff members.


Apartment News > February/March 2015

A lifetime of opportunities


hese new developments and the associated job growth highlight the need for the additional talent at all levels of operations. The training and development of talent continues to be a major focus of the National Apartment Association who provides a number of resources and training programs linked with prestigious leadership development companies. Locally, the AMA offers a variety of training and educational opportunities that employees can take advantage of to improve their skills and earn designations including Certified CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 >

you to boost the success of your organization. Here are some tips to get a better understanding of your options. Do you have a team of people that are very friendly? It may pay to hire someone that is very different from this. This person can help you to keep everyone accountable. Perhaps you have an employee that’s hard working and does an excellent job. Yet, this person has trouble with following through on staff. You may find that this is one of your areas of weakness as a property manager. Hiring someone that is very thorough and able to interact with in conflict situations is the ideal candidate for this type of position. Do you need staff that’s more experienced? Perhaps you need someone from a different industry that can give you a different view on the way you can handle things like preventative maintenance, employee turnover, or property value.


HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE: FILL IN YOUR GAPS By Elaine Simpson President, Occupancy Solutions When it is time to bring in new people to work with or for you, it is up to you to hire people that fit well into your team. Often times, it is easy to hire people who “fit in” and “mesh well” with the current staff. After all, you want your staff to get along. However, it is also important to consider what your staff does not have and what it needs. What traits, qualities, and experiences can

someone else bring in to your organization that could help you to improve it? Even the most experienced, well-rounded manager cannot have all of the skills necessary to do the job perfectly. What is lacking at your location that a new hire can help you with?

HIRE PEOPLE THAT BENEFIT THE TEAM How can you fill the gaps? Hire people that are different from those you have right now. Having a team that’s diverse in their skill, experience, and even work ethics can help

Look at your staff today. What do you wish you had? Why do you need more people? Often times, it helps to pinpoint the exact type of person that is right for your business by looking at what other employees may be lacking. Does your maintenance staff do a thorough job but takes a long time? Would it be nice to have someone that was full of energy and able to finish faster? Do you have employees that do a great job providing phone answering services, but you need someone that is better capable of handling resident retention? Does your crew need someone that will hold them more accountable for their responsibilities? It takes just a few minutes of thinking about your current crew to find out what’s lacking. Do not just consider what types of positions you have open, but what types of skills and work ethics you have openings for. Who will compliment your team? Who can provide you with the tools and resources you need to take your good team to the next level?

Apartment News > February/March 2015



Apartment Manager (CAM), National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP), and Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS). Lesley Brice, partner and president of MC Residential Companies, started her career early with an entry-level position at a property in Phoenix. “While waiting to start college, during the summer after high school, I was referred by a friend to a job at a large apartment property in Phoenix. My job was in the business center of a 1,222 unit property taking work orders and collecting rent. After starting a family, I saw that what I thought was just a job could be a credible career path,” she said.

Lesley Brice

To educate job seekers and promote these careers, the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) has launched a national campaign about residential property management. One of the strengths about this career path is the opportunity for corporate training and promotion within the industry. Learning the business starting in leasing, can lead to opportunities in management. Historically, management companies hire from within their companies and invest


Apartment News > February/March 2015

in continuing education. Brice shared her experience, “I moved into leasing, then became an assistant manager, a corporate suite facilitator, apartment manager, asset manager to where I am today as a principal and the president of MC Residential.” Adam Greco, director of commercial sales for Burns Pest Elimination, began his career in the multifamily industry with JPI Management. He developed business skills that not only allowed him to grow at JPI, he continues to use the skills today in his role in sales. He advises learning the budgeting side of

the business, “First and foremost, I tell people to learn how to read, analyze and develop a budget. Learn how each and every dollar is accounted for, not just for profitability, but also the health of the company and the employees.”


Training- and skills-based education makes a difference orking with management companies he learned valuable skills about

“I have been lucky that my career path has been peppered with amazing mentors who were willing to teach me every aspect of property management. Teaching your team everything you know and allowing them to shine not only breeds loyalty, but a great sense of pride. I also learned that our success is directly linked to the strength and unity of our team.” — LESLEY BRICE, MC RESIDENTIAL COMPANIES

allowed me to open my eyes and realize that I was not the only employee or person facing similar struggles in my career and personal growth,” he said.


Mentoring pays off

serving residential communities. He described this experience, “It allowed me to not only understand the daily operations at the site level, but also the inner workings in the corporate structure. Seeing both sides aided me in being a better partner to our customers. Example, when to show up and not show up at properties at certain times of the month and year.” During that time, Greco took advantage of internal training programs and AMA professional development class including CAS and the education trade shows. “Each class

he NAA promotes mentoring as a strategy for continuing the development of high potential employees. “I have been lucky that my career path has been peppered with amazing mentors who were willing to teach me every aspect of property management. Teaching your team everything you know and allowing them to shine not only breeds loyalty, but a great sense of pride. I also learned that our success is directly linked to the strength and unity of our team,” said Brice. One of Greco’s mentors tapped him to transition into the service provider side of the industry. Recognizing his talents and staying in touch with him as his career developed, they brought him opportunities. “Without several mentors that have helped and guided me through the years, I would have been afraid of making mistakes and not having the knowledge on how to turn those mistakes into opportunities,” he said. Those who will be successful in this industry need not have prior training and many companies make training investments to develop their employees.

Adam Greco

Brice described what she looks for in hiring employees, “Recruiting team players with great attitudes and creativity and teaching them all aspects of our business has propelled our profitability — so it’s my focus nearly 100 percent of the time. I learned long ago that having all the skills necessary for the job is overrated — you just cannot train someone to have positive outlook.”

Ready for the next step?

The AMA offers Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) certification classes. Learn more about our CAM classes on page 21.

Apartment News > February/March 2015







Classes held at the AMA Tucson Office, 660 S. Country Club Road, Tucson 85716

March 7; 8 a.m. Reid Park in Tucson The first 2015 AMCF Tucson fund raising event is the 3rd Annual 5K Family Fun RunWalk which will be held on Saturday, March 7, at Reid Park in Tucson.

TUCSON GOLF TOURNAMENT April 10 El Conquistador Country Club 10555 N. LaCanada, Tucson The Tucson Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015 again at the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club in northwest Tucson. Watch the AMA website and e-communications for details.

FAIR HOUSING Feb. 24; 9 a.m.-Noon $20 members, $40 nonmembers. For rental property owners and managers, understanding and complying with fair housing laws and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is more important than ever. This interactive course will provide an overview of fair housing and ADA law and investigative procedures. This course is taught by AMA attorney Judy DrickeyProhow from The Law offices of Scott M. Clark P.C. Continuing Education Credits: Fair Housing

April 10


Tucson Golf Tournament at El Conquistador Country Club


Apartment News > February/March 2015

Phoenix EDUCATION Classes held at the AMA Gallery Space 818 N. 1st St., Phoenix 85004

CPR & FIRST-AID CERTIFICATION Feb. 11; 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. $69 members, $99 non-members. With pool season right around the corner, it is important for your on-site staff to know how to recognize and handle an emergency situation until paramedics arrive. Those who successfully complete this course will earn a two year CPR & First-Aid completion card and Arizona state certification. A breakfast and light lunch will be provided. This class will be instructed by Horizon Safety Training. This class has an attendance maximum of 20.

MAINTENANCE WORKSHOP March 24; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $45 members, $75 nonmembers. Course covers basic electrical, basic plumbing and basic HVAC. This will be an all day workshop taught by Ed Kiper, with “Above and Beyond Resources and Training.” Continuing Education Credits: Maintenance Training


FAIR HOUSING Feb. 17; 9 a.m.-Noon $20 members, $40 non-members. For rental property owners and managers, understanding and complying with fair housing laws and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is more important than ever. This interactive course will provide an overview of fair housing and ADA law and investigative procedures. This course is taught by an AMA attorney. Continuing Education Credits: Fair Housing

money, and minimize legal difficulties. This is a must for any property owner, community manager and leasing consultant. You’ll review the revised law, which outlines the rights and responsibilities for both landlords and renters. Time will be allocated for audience questions and answers. This class will be instructed by an AMA attorney. Continuing Education Credits: Legal Issues

AZ LANDLORD TENANT March 17; 9 a.m.-Noon $20 members, $40 non-members. Knowing how to use and comply with state law that governs all rental housing operations can save time, make you

CERTIFIED APARTMENT MANAGER March 24-26 and April 21-23; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $875 members, $1,125 non-members. The on-site manager is a vital link

between apartment residents and the community owners and investors. This designation program, recognized by the National Apartment Association (NAA), includes: Management of Residential Issues, Legal Responsibilities, Human Resource Management, Fair Housing, Property Maintenance for Managers, Risk Management, Financial Management, and the Research, Analysis and Evaluation module. The final exam is taken at a testing center and all graduates are listed in the NAA’s Units magazine. This program is a total of six (6) days, three in March and three in April and attendance for all classes is mandatory.


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An interview with claims specialist Justin Skipton


Apartment News > February/March 2015

Justin Skipton is the Chief Operating Officer for Skipton & Associates, Inc., AMA’s partner for public claims management.

Q: What was the best business advice you’ve received and who gave you this advice? The best business advice I ever received was from my father. He told me in business to put people first and not worry about the money. When you put people first the money will take care of itself.

Q: How did you get started in the multifamily industry? Skipton & Associates’ start in the multifamily industry began long before me. My father and his business partner started in the multifamily industry while working for the insurance carrier. During their time working for the insurance companies, they found that many of the insurance companies’ adjusters did not prepare thorough estimates of repair. They became the adjusting team that handled the problem claims and dealt with frustrated building owners on their problem claims.

After Hurricane Andrew in the early ’90s Skipton refocused their efforts to assist the multifamily industry as consumer advocates. We signed our first multifamily ownership group during this time, and this company is still one of our clients. We are proud to say that we are the only claims management company who specializes in representing the multifamily industry.

Q: Most companies carry insurance, how does your work protect clients beyond the coverage they have? Insurance policies can be very confusing, with hundreds of pages of provisions that grant coverage under one sentence and then take them away under another. It is important to have someone that works in claims adjusting on a daily basis interpret the policy language and how it specifically applies to your loss. For example, I had an adjuster advise on a claim that the roofs were excluded when the policy was written due to the roof’s bad condition. Upon reading through this policy, he was correct that they were excluded as a source of the loss, i.e. wind or water damage, but that they were covered for fire which is what had caused the assured (insured) to file a claim. Therefore, while they are excluded, under this situation they are actually covered.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception in your industry? We find that the biggest misconceptions policyholders have is that an independent adjusting (public adjusting) company is only hired when there is a problem/dispute on a claim. Over our more than 20 years of representing consumers, we have found that hiring an adjuster early on in the claims process results in quicker and larger payouts on claims. We are hired to manage the adjusting process and to double check that the insurance company is properly addressing all of the damages. It is easier to point out potential issues early in the adjusting process and get them corrected.

Q: Skipton is a new affiliate partner, how can AMA members benefit from your association partnership? Can this help them save money? One of the greatest features of our partnership with the AMA is the free claim consultation and removal of our claim size minimum. This opens up the ability of all AMA member management companies to utilize our claims consultants to determine the up and down side of filing an insurance claim. Is it a small loss or are there hidden damages or liability exposure? How will this claim affect my premium? These are some of the questions our free service answers for you so that you are in a position to make a good business decision.

Skipton works with clients to ensure that insurance settlements are fair and complete. Skipton is an affiliate partner with the AMA.


MAXIMIZING MOVE-INS Converting residents in a competitive market

By Ellen Calmas , Neighborhood Pay Services / NPS Rent Assurance t’s here: the annual slow winter leasing season, when rental prospects come at a premium, and getting signed leases can be incredibly tough. With the competitive nature of the market, winter is also often the time of year when property managers take stock of lease offers and screening criteria, looking for incentives to get keys into the hands of more residents that don’t end up costing the community in the long run. For most community and portfolio managers, some of the best opportunities to boost business-critical move-ins during the winter months involve strategic management of



Apartment News > February/March 2015

lease offers to conditionally approved prospects. Comprising 35 percent or more of application volume at B grade rental communities, these are renters with solid jobs who nonetheless have less than perfect credit for any of hundreds of reasons we all face in balancing our finances. Paradoxically, the traditional method to qualify these budget-conscious renters has been to saddle them with an additional security deposit, which does little to guarantee on-time rent payments after move-in and can stress personal finances further. That’s why many multifamily owners and operators are turning to alternative solutions to improve conversions by providing new cost-saving options to prospects. Some options can even Ellen Calmas essentially remove residents from the rent payment process, which in turn provides greater payment assurance to the community. Rent from payroll, in particular, has seen fast adoption as a way to move in more conditional approvals and provide residents with a budget management tool that alleviates the property manager’s burden of chasing and collecting rent


“Using rent from payroll as an alternative offer to higher security deposits has had a consistently positive impact on conversion rates, move-ins and incremental income across our portfolio,” says Steven P. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Northland Investment Corporation payments. As a condition of the lease, residents enroll in a rent from payroll program by instructing their employer to direct deposit funds into a rent savings account each pay period prior to residents getting paid. Rent is then automatically forwarded to each community when due. “Using rent from payroll as an alternative offer to higher security deposits has had a consistently positive impact on conversion rates, move-ins and incremental income across our portfolio,” says Steven P. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Northland Investment Corporation, which owns and operates several apartment communities in Tucson. “Particularly at communities that see higher volumes of conditionally approved residents, rent from payroll makes it easier for applicants to accept lease terms, and provides the peace of mind that funds for rent will be the first to come out of a resident’s payroll before covering any other expenses.” According to a recent analysis of nearly 15,000 rental units conducted by NPS Rent Assurance, move-ins among conditional approvals increased by 57 percent when a rent from payroll option was included in offers as an alternative to higher cash security deposit requirements. What’s more, skips and evictions due to non-payment of rent were reduced by 77 percent for the residents in the study who opted for rent from payroll. Large Arizona employers like Southwest Airlines, Banner Health, The Home Depot and Wells Fargo are all typical of the type of companies that can easily facilitate rent from payroll, though smaller employers easily partner with the service as well since businesses of all sizes utilize some form of payroll processing these days. For property managers looking to increase move-ins and maximize profits, rent from payroll is one example of the creative alternatives available to leasing offices year-round when traditional offers aren’t converting, or worse, are pushing prospects away. Let’s face it: more move-ins and less move-outs due to poor payment is the name of the game. Tis’ the season to arm your leasing teams with the tools to get it done. Ellen Calmas is the Executive Vice President, Neighborhood Pay Services / NPS Rent Assurance Editor’s Note: Download a copy of the entire rent from payroll analysis at



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ANNUAL AMA HOLIDAY PARTY AMA’s annual holiday party gathers together regular and associate members, and the board of directors to celebrate another successful year. Thanks to all of the sponsors and silent auction donors who helped to make this event one of the best nights of the year!

Apartment News > February/March 2015



Big Hearts makes a big difference in Tucson Patti Caldwell (Executive Director) and Chris DeGraff (Development Director) of Our Family Services-New Beginnings joined the AMA for a Tucson dinner meet and shared a brief overview of the mission and the many programs that Our Family Services provides to their clients in the Tucson area. They expressed much gratitude for the continued support through AMA’s non-profit arm, the Arizona Multihousing Charitable Foundation (AMCF) Big Hearts committee fund raising activities. AMCF Tucson Chairs, Lisa Rosenfeld of HSL Properties and Sue Campbell of Redi Carpet – Tucson presented the results of the 2014 Big Hearts committee fund raising activities. Recognition was given to more than 20 passionate committee members and various activity/event fund

raising chairs as well as more than 30 sponsors and in kind contributors of raffle prizes, etc. Top fund raisers for Big Hearts – Associate Member award winners: > 1st place: Tucson Appliance Company > 2nd place: For Rent Media Solutions > 3rd place: Redi Carpet – Tucson Honorable mentions included Sue Campbell/Hampton Garcia, Republic Services, Distinctive Carpets, National Credit Systems and Ferguson Enterprises. Property Awards were presented to: > 1st place: Stonybrook (Scotia) > 2nd place: The Carondelet (Scotia) > 3rd place: Westcourt Village Honorable mentions included La

Mirada (NFI), The Condos at Williams Center (Scotia) and The Woods (NFI). Property Management Company awards were presented to: > 1st place: HSL Properties > 2nd place: Scotia Group > 3rd place: Nicolosi & Fitch Honorable mentions included MEB Management. The commitment of the Tucson

Project S.A.F.E. kicks off in Phoenix & Big Hearts makes a big impact


hoenix’s Project S.A.F.E. is getting underway this season. Community managers have great opportunities to reach out to residents to educate and connect them to vital resources for safety, prevention and more. Last year, the AMA saw 113 community events and the committee is aiming for even greater participation this year. Those interested can reach out to Rob Schmitz at the AMA at 602-296-6204 or visit The AMA’s annual Big Hearts campaign continues to make an incredible difference in communities around the state. Members in the Phoenix region raised more than $50,000 in 2014 through a variety of AMA events and company sponsored fundraising. Thanks to everyone who contributed to these efforts. The AMA’s foundation works to support families in need of safe and stable housing.

With more than 26 years experience in the multi-family housing industry, Occupancy Solutions assists communities with proven cost-effective strategies to achieve increased occupancy, improve resident retention, minimize expenses and increase your community’s net operating income.

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FOCUS ON TUCSON Guide, Ferguson Enterprises, Coinmach/ MacGray, Koglmeier Law Group and Sexton Pest Control Services.

CONGRATS TO NEW CAMS IN TUCSON New Certified Apartment Managers (CAM) were given recognition including Nadina Dalton (Scotia Group), Robert Martin-Hart (Nicolosi & Fitch), Kailand Carpenter (Scotia Group), Jeremiah Elder (Scotia Group) and Lori Chase (Nicolosi & Fitch). All were congratulated for their accomplishments. members to provide support for Our Family Services-New Beginnings is unmatched. Overall, the campaigns from all fund raising activities and events at both the committee and property levels, raised a whopping $36,612. Tucson’s Big Hearts membership continues to grow. The committee will be broadening its scope of support in Tucson as it considers not only continuing support to its heart

and soul, Our Family Services-New Beginnings, but to also identify other programs and organizations which meet the mission of AMCF Big Hearts.

KICKING OFF 2015 AMA Tucson “Launched Into 2015” with the first dinner meeting of the year. Many thanks to all of the January meeting sponsors including Apartment


TUCSON’S GROWING S.A.F.E. PROGRAM New energy is building for the Tucson Project S.A.F.E. program. Mike Rochon (Distinctive Carpets) and other program mentors are encouraging full participation from the local management companies. The program orientation will be held in early February. Please check the AMA website for more information.

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AMA Main Office 818 N. 1st St., Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-296-6200; Fax:602-296-6178 AMA Tucson Office 660 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85716 520-323-0643; Fax: 520-323-3399

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Apartment News - Feb./March 2015  

Apartment News is the official publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association, providing the latest News and updates on communities in...

Apartment News - Feb./March 2015  

Apartment News is the official publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association, providing the latest News and updates on communities in...

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