Aug 31

The LA Times has an interesting discussion on an issue that concerned landlords get wrong.

Let’s say you have an applicant with a noticeable walking disability.  Being a caring person you try to steer  the prospective tenant to a first floor unit without steps as you feel that would be more convenient for them than the second floor walk up they are interested in. They insist they want the upper, you feeling they will not be comfortable with the upper insist they take the lower instead.

Pointing out you also have lowers available is good business and a service to the applicant, refusing or actively discouraging renting an upper is a fair housing violation.

This seems counter intuitive when all you were trying to do was what you felt was best for the applicant, but, maybe they like many others feel safer from crime on a higher floor and are willing to make the trade off of the inconvenience of steps for the added feeling of security.  As a landlord this is not your decision to make and what may be your personal preference in a similar situation may not be your tenant’s.

Same thing with the family with kids that wants to apply for an upper.  You offer them a lower because you fear the kids running around will create problems for lower tenants and may result in you having to evict them.; or you have a complex with kid buildings and no kid buildings; or prohibiting families with children from living in units nearer to the pools.  These too are fair housing violations.

In these cases it is up to the parent to insure their kids are safe and follow the rules. You have the ability to check their rental history and reject them if they or their family were disruptive at prior residences.  But it is the disruption and not the kids that must be your deciding factor. Really what does it matter to you if it is kids running around making noise or the old man coming home drunk and loud every night – disruptive behavior is disruptive behavior.

 

 

Mar 05

With apologies to the Steve Miller Band for the title …

This past week we received a notice of  a $52.05 “fee” being assessed for “improper care of a discarded electronic device” at one of our properties.  Wow! They revert to five dollar words to say you put a radio in the garbage can.

Upon review it seems  our tenant put a radio/CD player in the green garbage cart.   Either a scavenger or DPW took it out of the cart and left it in the alley.

City of Milwaukee fee for electronics disposal.

As I drove around the Southside this weekend I noticed a bunch of small electronics laying next to garbage carts with little orange stickers. So despite the bill saying the property was posted, it appears the only posting were these stickers that mostly face away from the house.  To make it worse the property owner does not get notice by mail until the fee is assessed.

This must be one helluva profit center for the city.

I really wish city officials were there to hear the tenant’s reaction to having this charge passed on to them.

Milwaukee Code:

79-2-13-b. No person may place an electronic device in mixed municipal solid waste or discard or otherwise dispose of an electronic device except by delivery to an electronic device collection or recycling facility.

State law that defines what an electronic device that is prohibited from being placed in the garbage:

1. A peripheral, as defined in s. 287.17 (1) (j).
3. A facsimile machine.
4. A digital video disc player.
5. A digital video player that does not use a disc and that is not a camera, as defined in s. 287.17 (1) (a).
6. A video cassette recorder.
7. A video recorder that does not use a cassette and that is not a camera, as defined in s. 287.17 (1) (a).
8. A covered electronic device, as defined in s. 287.17 (1) (f).
9. A telephone with a video display.
10. Another kind of electronic device identified by the department under s. 287.17 (10) (i).
Feb 23

On May 23, 1986 the City of Milwaukee removed tenant responsibility from the code.  The removed section was based on Wisconsin §704.07(3)(a)

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Aug 09

Fellow landlords

What services, tools, resource, supplies, innovations, changes in laws, grants, education, support from fellow owners etc. do you find lacking, unavailable, too expensive, too difficult to obtain, change etc.?

You get the idea…what do you see as the three, four or twenty things that would make your business more successful? Skies the limit. If it has to do with landlording or real estate investing throw it on the list.

Don’t worry if you think it is “doable” or not, Wild Ideas welcome and encouraged. But also don’t put off posting the more pedestrian needs and wants either.

You can leave comments, here or via private email to me at Tim [at] JustAlandord.com (makes sending the truly wild and innovative stuff easier for shy folks like me.)  I’ll compile the list for all to see.

Some will have readily available solutions that will be posted and shared, I’m sure.  Others are things our industry should be working on finding, changing, designing etc.

Some rather thought provocative comments below. Many of these were sent via email or posted on one of the list serves and reposted here as a central collection place. Please throw yours into the mix — Thanks Tim

Jan 09

Attorney Tristan Pettit is presenting the Landlord Boot Camp again this February.  Prior Boot Camps were very well received, with positive feed back from all that attended

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