Jul 03

Milwaukee Journal has an article about Milwaukee’s new ordinance that requires deconstruction, as opposed to bulldozing, pre 1929 single families and duplexes.

A Milwaukee ordinance went into effect in January requiring single-family homes and duplexes built in 1929 or before to be deconstructed.


The extended timeline and need for more workers causes deconstruction to often cost nearly twice as much as demolition.

Bloomberg just had a piece on how recycling in general is failing.

Similarly a decade ago or so one of the Milwaukee TV stations followed a couple of DPW trucks full of recycling bin plastics to a landfill. The response was they were ‘just storing them underground’ until they could reuse the plastic.

None of these well-meaning things work as government mandates, but often take off when they are profit motivated.

Look at the electric car. Great for the environment but little interest among the general population. Then along came Musk with his Tesla Roadster. Not a utilitarian, save the planet vehicle, but a quick, sharp looking sports car that enthusiast liked, oh and it also happened to be electric. That changed the topic. His later vehicles are like little high tech spaceships from the Jetsons. Today, there is even Formula E racing, similar to F-1. The buying public, including gearheads, is now getting excited about electric cars and all the major manufactures are racing to beat Tesla. Soon gas may be a thing of the past.

Deconstruction will only work well when there is similar economic motivation to do so, such as a marketplace for used lumber and consumer desire for the materials.

But deconstruction of older properties has the additional problem that many of the materials cannot be reused due to containing lead, asbestos and who knows what other chemicals that will prevent its direct reuse.

 

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.

Apr 28

This is regarding possible expansion of the lead paint renovator rules to public and commercial buildings.

From the EPA press release (link)

EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small businesses, small governments and small organizations that may be subject to the rule requirements to facilitate the selection of SERs. An entity is eligible to be a SER if it will be directly subject to the particular proposed regulation under development and meets one of the SBA’s definitions http://www.sba.gov/content/table-small-business-size-standards

to qualify as a small entity.

EPA encourages the actual owners or operators of small businesses, community officials, and representatives of non-profit organizations to participate in this process. However, a person from a trade association that exclusively or primarily represents potentially regulated small entities may also serve as a SER.

Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by May 9, 2014.

To nominate yourself, visit: How can I get Involved: http://www.epa.gov/rfa/lead-pncb.html

Jun 28

I was preparing to write an in depth article about additional risk the training requirement delay presents for unwary contractors and property owners. Then I came across an article by Craig Webb at ProSales that covers the subject matter well.  I will simply  add:

While many are applauding the delayed implementation of the training rule as a win, it is not.  In fact it exposes those who are not trained to greater risks.  You still must comply with all other portions of the rule, but without benefit of learning what is required of you.

I have this vision of drunk football fans high fiving each as their team scores. Yet, their team is still down by 21 with two minutes and ten seconds remaining in the fourth.  Likewise, as some are claiming a victory with the delayed training, they may not want to face the cold hard fact that instead of better, the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule may just become a whole lot worse due to the pending dust clearance rule.

Also note that the delayed enforcement of the training rules does not affect WI as our program is not run by the EPA.  Same applies to IA, KS, MS, NC, OR, RI, UT.

So instead of celebrating – go get trained.

Jun 26

A valid question asked in response to the AASEW’s EPA comments:

Thanks for these comments. You devote a lot of energy to criticizing the rule. Given the health problems caused by lead-based paint, what kind of rule should the EPA write? Let me know, and thanks.

My reply (edited to remove at least a few of my many typos):

The very short version

Everyone who works on older housing should receive lead safe training.  Such training could be accomplished in four hours and should be provided at no or low cost to anyone desiring it.

Our association provided this type of training to our members until our state health department required that only lead training course certified by them could be provided in WI.

A more detail explanation with support documents:

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