Oct 19

YahooGroups is shutting down.   There will be limited email access allowed after 10/28/2019.  It appears on 12/14/19 everything gets deleted.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/10/16/yahoo-groups-to-shut-down/

https://mjtsai.com/blog/2019/10/16/yahoo-groups-shutting-down/

I run the ApartmentAssoc@YahooGroups and WiRentalCoalition as well as a group for our board of directors AASEWAdvisors.

Our lists are valuable enough that I did not want to let them die.  I wanted to share with you my findings as I feel the same about your list.

Replacement choices are Google Groups,  a FaceBook Group or Groups.io.  Smart people recommended the latter.  My subscribers all hated the FB idea. After much reading and research, Groups.io was my choice as well. 

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-save-and-migrate-your-yahoo-groups-data-before-i-1839172243

Group.io costs $110 for an annual premium subscription.  You need the premium annual subscription to import your Yahoo archives. Attachments are not imported. If you just want to manually import users you can do a one month premium for $10.  

Info on Group.io import (no attachments):
https://groups.io/static/transfer

To download the full data via Yahoo – At least that is the thought.  I started this two days ago and am still waiting they say it can take a month.

https://help.yahoo.com/kb/download-data-privacy-dashboard-sln28671.html

Third party tools:
http://www.personalgroupware.com  (I use a Mac, so this is unavailable for me to try, but highly recommended)

http://yahoogroupedia.pbworks.com/w/page/93006447/Chrome%20Application%20To%20Download%20Messages A Chrome Extension, but the result file is not 100% what I expected.  No attachments

https://www.jefftk.com/p/archiving-yahoo-groups a Python script

A lot of work, but the ApartmentAssoc list has been a passion of mine since it was 20 people on AOL in 1995.

Tim Ballering
Tim@ApartmentsMilwaukee.com

UPDATE: The Python script produces much better results than the Chrome extension once you get the dependencies correct. The output is one JSON file per email. These can fairly easily be parsed into any format you need.

Oct 19

Due to the impending shut down of YahooGroups we have moved to Groups.io.  Groups.io is highly rated by others and in my experimenting seems  much better than Yahoo in many aspects. 

I invite you come along with us to our new home so that you can continue to get the benefit of the knowledge shared here.

Groups.io Email Addresses

Update 11/4/2019:

All prior YahooGroups messages have been successfully transferred to our new Groups.io account.  You can now search old messages that were originally posted to this list when it was on YahooGroups or even eGroups.  

There is a treasure trove of landlording information here, going back to the year 2000.  Spend the time reading these post and you’ll have an MBA in rental real estate. 😉

Tim Ballering
Tim@ApartmentsMilwaukee.com

Sep 21

If they are being honest, every landlord will tell you they have had days of despair.

However, if you run it like a business you can do well.

If you don’t run it as a business; don’t enforce your rules; don’t know the laws; let problems affect you personally instead of approaching them logically; or don’t calculate for expected costs, you will fail.

The best way to find the path to success is to actively participate in local landlord groups.

Aug 18

The Fall 2019 Apartment Association Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp is October 26, 2019

Even though I know the law well, we’ve sent our staff. It is good for them to hear the rules from someone else. Plus if they learn one new thing, it more than pays the modest cost.

Wisconsin landlord tenant law has changed dramatically in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 to Wisconsin’s Landlord Tenant Law with Act 143, Act 76, Act 176 and Act 317.

Tristan obviously knows the latest law, but that’s the easy part. He also is one of the most prolific landlord tenant attorneys in Southeastern WI. That gives him great insights into how the courts are ruling today and what the most recent “Gotcha’s” are.

At $189 for members, it is far cheaper than learning from your mistakes. Not only does it help prevent costly errors, you also will learn how to legally screen better, thereby reducing evictions, and other things that will result in profitability.

AASEW Landlord Boot Camp 2019
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, 2019
WHERE: Four Points Sheraton 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207 (Across from the airport)

Registration opens at 7:10 AM

The seminar runs from 8:30 to 5 PM with a 30 minute break for a complimentary lunch. There will be a one hour question and answer session afterwards, ending promptly at 6 pm. Many will find the Q&A invaluable, therefore you may wish to arrangements to stay until 6 pm.

Updated to include the latest law changes and court rulings!

INCLUDED: 100 plus page manual to help you put what you learn into practice.

More info and sign up at http://LandlordBootCamp2019.com

Jan 13

The Spring 2019 Apartment Association Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp is February 9th, 2019. (Less than a month away.)

Even though I know the law well, we’ve sent our staff.  It is good for them to hear the rules from someone else.  Plus if they learn one new thing, it more than pays the modest cost.

Tristan knows the latest law, but that’s the easy part.  He also is one of the most prolific landlord tenant attorneys in Southeastern WI.  That gives him great insights into how the courts are ruling today and what the most recent “Gotcha’s” are.

At $179 for members, it is far cheaper than learning from your mistakes.  Not only does it help prevent costly errors, you also will learn how to screen better and other things that will result in profitability.

AASEW Landlord Boot Camp 2019

WHEN: Saturday, February 9, 2019

WHERE: Four Points Sheraton 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207 (Across from the airport)

Registration opens at 7:10 AM

The seminar runs from 8:30 to 5 PM with a 30 minute break for a complimentary lunch. There will be a one hour question and answer session afterwards, ending promptly at 6 pm. Many will find the Q&A invaluable, therefore you may wish to arrangements to stay until 6 pm.

Updated to include information from Wisconsin ACT 317!

INCLUDED: 100 plus page manual to help you put what you learn into practice.

 

More info and sign up at LandlordBootCamp2019.com

Dec 23

Joe and I have stayed in touch occasionally in the couple of years since he left the AASEW for Princeton. In fact he gave me a really cool Princeton tee shirt for encouraging him to take the leap from Milwaukee landlord to attending one of the top academic schools in the world.  Wearing it is the closest I’ll ever get to an Ivy League School. 😉

 
I was talking to Joe yesterday.  He was describing his new position as Director of Lafayette univerisity’s IDEAL Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  What a great opportunity for him to be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship at a nearly 200 year old college.
 
I asked if he was still in a hurry to rejoin the ranks of Milwaukee rental housing providers.  The answer was ’No’ of course…
 
Then Joe went on to mention that he gave a TED Talk, while at Princeton.  So if you want to learn Joe’s story… It is inspirational.
 
 
Sep 27

Attorney Tristan Pettit, you know, the guy that writes the standard legal forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank, is doing his landlord-tenant Boot Camp again on Saturday, October 7th. There are still a few seats left.

You get a full day of landlord-tenant law training for the price you’ll spend for 30 minutes of attorney time after you make a mistake in this complex area of law,

All the details are at:
http://www.landlordbootcamp2017.com

But the proof of value is I send my staff to Tristan’s Boot Camps.  Even though I know the laws, it is of great value to have staff learn what they need to be concerned about in a different setting than the office.

Feb 09

For the past couple of years, we have sold out both the spring and fall sessions of Attorney Tristan Pettit’s AASEW Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp.

It looks like we are on track to do the same for the upcoming February 18th, 2017 Boot Camp.

Last fall I waited too long to sign up my new staff members and could not get them in. I signed up three staff people very early for this one. 😉

You may ask ‘Why would Tim pay $537 plus wages to send three people to Boot Camp when he knows the laws so well?’

The answer is easy: One small mistake or missed opportunity will cost us far more than this. It is important that my folks know the law as WI landlord Tenant Law is not always what a reasonable person would assume it to be. And this is ever evolving, with both new laws, new interpretations by courts and new tricks by tenant advocates*. This is not the first time we’ve sent staff either.

This course is presented by Attorney Tristan Pettit. Tristan’s law practice focuses on landlord-tenant law, he is a current board member of the Apartment Association as well as former president, and drumroll please, he writes all the standard landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank.

If you want to go, now that my seats are secure ;-), you can sign up online or call Joy at the Association 414-276-7378 and reserve a spot.

http://www.landlordbootcamp2017.com

* Most “tenant advocates” only advocate for tenants that break the rules. This ultimately costs the rest of the good tenants more in increased rents and decreased service or more noise and disruption… but this is another story for another day.

Jan 07

Recently the Milwaukee Journal ran a series “Landlord Games” that inaccurately portrayed LLCs as being used simply to avoiding paying property taxes and fines.  The result is the Milwaukee Common Council is creating a committee to study LLCs and rental housing. Text of proposal. The rental industry is again, noticeably absent from those invited to the table.

View as formatted pdf with footnotes

Let’s agree that all property owners pay a cost when someone fails to pay their taxes or their property is foreclosed and abandoned.

The Apartment Association does not support bad actors. None of those owners featured in the Journal article are members of the Association.

Rather we see the importance of the city, and private investors working together to make rental housing, and therefore neighborhoods, succeed for the mutual good of both.

Rental housing is an important and integral element of Milwaukee. About 58% of the residents of Milwaukee are tenants. In some neighborhoods, such as 53233 the number of renters exceeds 97%. The success or failure of neighborhoods and rental housing are closely tied.

Rental Housing is the largest small business in Milwaukee with over $7 billion invested in Milwaukee. (MPROP assessor records October 2015) Rental properties account for well over a half billion dollars a year of economic impact, starting with $190 million in property taxes, sewer and water charges, maintenance, insurance and everything else that goes into running rental housing. The Census Bureau found the yearly median operating costs per unit for multifamily rental properties vary between $3,600 per unit for small properties and $5,170 per unit for large properties, adjusted to 2016 dollars. These numbers exclude interest and mortgage servicing.

Providing rental housing in older, poorer neighborhoods is difficult, challenging and unappreciated work. Many have failed, some are opportunists or worse, but the majority were simply overwhelmed financially and mentally by the task at hand.

Owners are impacted by the financial and social problems of their tenants, the high costs of maintenance and lack of capital to address those problems. It is not the owner’s lifestyle that contributes to insect infestations or broken windows, yet it is the owner and not the occupant that is accountable both financially and recently in the media.

Not only do private owners suffer these burdens. One only needs to look at the long history of failure among Milwaukee’s nonprofit housing providers. (see excerpt below) These groups had every advantage over the small private investor. They had significant financial resources, typically through Block Grant and other government funding and grants; they had well-paid and well-educated staff; they often obtaining properties without costs, and they had access to the best tenants on Rent Assistance. Nearly all of Milwaukee’s nonprofit housing providers failed financially.

These groups had every advantage over the small private investor. They had significant financial resources, typically through Block Grant and other government funding and grants; they had well-paid and well-educated staff; they often obtaining properties without costs, and they had access to the best tenants on Rent Assistance. Nearly all of Milwaukee’s nonprofit housing providers failed financially.

Or one could look at the Milwaukee’s Housing Authority budget to see the costs they incur housing low-income Milwaukeeans. Here too is an organization that gets Rent Assistance tenants, tenants who risk losing their housing subsidy if they fail to comply with the rules or pay their rent. HACM does not rent to the populations with bad histories, leaving the segment most in need of housing to the private sector.

Milwaukee should strive to encourage a successful private rental housing market in this once great city, but since the mid-1980s’ the city adopted a culture of hatred towards private rental owners. That has not produced positive results, but instead, discourages the right people from participating.

If Milwaukee rental housing became more sustainable, where people willing to invest their time and money were to make reasonable profits, it would be harder for the few charlatans to exist because of increased competition for available properties. An added benefit is more interest in investing in Milwaukee’s rental housing will result in an increase in values and therefore an increase in the tax base.

Alderman Witkowski, who is the co-author of this proposal, created a Local Business Action Team to help small business succeed. Rental housing is the largest segment of small business within the city and one that may have the greatest impact on the well-being of the city. With our half billion dollars a year of economic impact, a similar effort should be undertaken towards making private rental housing more successful.

Let’s look at the recent Journal Sentinel series on landlords.

This investigative reporting – using easily available public records – showed that the individual owners behind LLCs could be revealed and that other properties owned by these individuals or different LLCs could also be exposed. Changes in the LLC laws are not necessary, contrary to the assertions of Aldermen Murphy and Witkowski that bad landlords are operating in secret. The City Attorney’s office has recently been successful in having a receiver appointed for the various ownership entities used by inner city landlord

Within existing laws, the city could have caused most of the featured landlords out of business, through docketing and enforcing code enforcement fines, and foreclosing f tax delinquencies. For whatever reason the city allowed these owners to continue unabated.

Perhaps most troubling is the relentless attack on James H. Herrick, who works for Baird, that went as far as the Mayor calling for the guy to be fired. He is not a member of the Association nor known to us.

The Journal reports that inspectors show up and find basement doors illegally padlocked. In the article, the owner’s manager states he did this in an attempt to keep drug dealers from entering the property.

There is no argument that inoperable fire doors are an unreasonable risk to occupants. Clearly, this was a novice mistake made by someone who did not understand fire codes.

The correct response by DNS would be for the inspector to explain the problem and demand the owner’s rep immediately remove the padlocks. If the owner did not comply, the Department of Neighborhood Services has an essential services program where the city can contract a repair and then bill the owner.

Instead, the inspection supervisor chose to placard the building and force 50 families out onto the street. Closing a 50 unit building would not have been the DNS response had the property been located on the Eastside, Bayview or the Southwest side. In these more affluent neighborhood they would have compelled a solution that kept the tenants safely in their homes.

But this building is in a poor, minority neighborhood.  The city’s response was harsh as it typically is in these neighborhoods. The DNS employees who acted out of spite towards the owners and a disregard of the tenant population, instead of attempting to protect the homes of 50 low income, primarily minority tenants, should lose their jobs.

The 50 unit building remained closed for a couple of months. It is no surprise that the building ended in foreclosure and sold at a distressed price due to this.

The owner’ use of single property LLCs, in this case, were an advantage to the city. Because the owner had his properties in separate LLCs, this allowed only this one to be foreclosed upon, instead of all 13.

It is a lending industry practice in larger real estate deals to require single asset entities to separate liability from one project and others with a similar ownership interest.

It would actually be in Milwaukee’s best interest if every investment property was in a properly segregated LLC. That way a failure at one property would not have a domino effect and bring down perhaps dozens or more other properties that are under similar ownership.

Then the Journal and Mayor put pressure on Baird, Herrick’s employer, placing his job in jeopardy. What advantage does the city receive in this? If he loses his job, his remaining properties will likely fall into financial problems as well, resulting in more boarded buildings, displaced tenants, and distressed sales.

Similarly, what did the city gain by the public attack on NBA basketball star Devin Harris? While it may have been expedient in causing the payment of some fines and taxes, overall it sent a clear warning to others with capital “Do not invest in Milwaukee. If you fail, you will be ridiculed and perhaps lose your career.” Similar results could have been obtained with a private conversation with Harris, thereby not discouraging outside investment.

Journal article on non-profit failures

West End joins a list of other nonprofit housing organizations that have failed in the last 10 years, including Walker’s Point Development Corp., East Side Housing Action Coalition and Community Development, and the Westside Conservation Corp.

 

May 07

Below is this month’s President’s Column from the Apartment Association newsletter.  While Joe Dahl states his reason for stepping down modestly as “to pursue other opportunities” the truth is Joe was accepted into the Princeton PhD program where he plans to expand on what he learned as an urban landlord to study housing related issues.  It will be refreshing to see this type of study being done without the typical ‘all landlords are bad and homeownership is the only answer’ bias that so much of this work is founded upon. 

Joe’s life story so far is inspirational –  growing up on the near Southside and through pure self determination, moving beyond those roots, getting an MBA and now being accepted into a doctoral program at one of the top colleges in the nation.  I told him I want a cameo appearance when his story hits the big screen.  Joe credits his involvement with rental housing as an important part of his life and opportunities.

Joe was the most charismatic leaders of the Association in the 26 years I have been involved with the group. In that sense he will be missed.

However the Association will continue to thrive.  The incoming president, Jerry Carne, is long time landlord and a person who values action as well as understands fiscal responsibility. He will do well in this position, even if he may not look as good in a fedora as Joe. 😉

We have many other outstanding board members who continue to work hard behind the scenes.  Shari Engstrom, from Sid Grinker Restoration, has really stepped up the quality of our special events like the Trade Show, summer party and holiday parties.  Tristan Pettit remains intimately involved in the Association. Tristan and AASEW Attorney Heiner Giese work diligently to make sure laws are as favorable to our industry as possible.  Ihsan Atta is one of the sharpest and most personable people I’ve met. Carrie Maas has many connections within the industry and community.  Ralph Hibbard, from Orkin, probably has rental housing in his DNA as his family has been in real estate even before me.  Few of you probably see this, but Ralph is the real workhorse for the Association behind the scenes.  For better or for worse I tend to stick around for the AASEW, adding some continuity.   We have three newer board members who will find their stride and do well for us: Tim Dertz, Ronald Hegwood, and Brian Bartsch.  

While on a personal level I will miss Joe, from an Association’s standpoint “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” Timbuk 3

Two years ago I took the reins of the AASEW with the vision that we could grow membership and improve the industry through collective action. Supported by an outstanding board of directors I am proud of the progress we have made on both fronts. Leading the organization has been a tremendous honor and it is with a heavy heart that I must step down to pursue other opportunities. Effective June 1, 2015 board member, Jerry Carne, will become interim President.

Our organization is full of entrepreneurs, large and small, who have built businesses and improved their communities through responsible investment. As an industry with low barriers to entry it remains one of the few spaces in the economy where hard work, tenacity, and perseverance can overcome the barriers of lack of capital and connections. Ensuring this pathway to prosperity exists for others is the responsibility of all who have benefited from it.

Yet our accomplishments have not been without failure. For every landlord who responds to our call to action and joins, there are 5 who do not. Foolishly believing they can go it alone, or worse, content to free load off the structural changes we effect, this segment represents our greatest obstacle and opportunity. Their short-sightedness emboldens aggressive municipalities and inhibits are ability to resist them. Engaging them as members will be the difference between our success and failure.

Upon assuming the Presidency I promised to turn the AASEW around or run us into the ground. Maintaining the status quo was not an option and I sincerely hope our leadership carries this philosophy into the future. As an organization we must fight complacency and stagnation as aggressively as a bad laws, both are costly.

Leading the AASEW has made me a better landlord and business person and professional. It’s been integral to my success and has helped me forge a new path forward. It has been my honor to serve our members and work side by side with a group much more  talented and intelligent than myself to make Wisconsin a better place to own and manage real estate.

Thank you for the opportunity.

All the best,

Joe Dahl

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