Mar 29

A reader of the ApartmentAssoc Yahoo Group asks:

Am I correct when I say a 2 story 4 unit building w/ a basement would need 7 co detectors installed.  Can they be combo smoke/co detectors or do we need separate detectors for each function?  Any help would be appreciated…..Thanks

My reply cleaned up a bit from the original is below As of April 1st, 2010 Wisconsin began requiring CO detectors in all multifamily buildings. As of February 1st, 2011 the requirement expanded to all residential buildings including owner occupied single families.  There are a few exceptions such as units that have electric heat AND do not have attached garages AND do not have gas stoves; as well as those with sealed combustion furnaces and water heaters that are inspected regularly.But most WI residential buildings now must have carbon monoxide detectors.

Where to install and how many carbon monoxide detectors are required depends on a number of factors. Continue reading »

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Mar 25

With the Court of Appeals upholding Milwaukee’s paid sick leave ordinance yesterday many of us who have employees will be impacted to some degree, at least until the state legislature enacts a bill to prevent such ordinances.

How will this affect us and what can we do to minimize the impact at a time when many owners are struggling just to survive?

We knew this referendum would pass at the ballot box. Why wouldn’t it pass? The referendum was presented in a way that made is sound like you were voting for free beer or free rent.

On the surface it would appear that it could cost my company $35-45k in direct wages and probably $2-3k in compliance cost such as developing an effective method of tracking the hours earned.

A couple of years ago I was discussing this with another business owner. His reaction was similar to mine; move as much of the company as possible outside the city limits.

But once you read the ordinance it seems the impact can be much less.  We ultimately decided we could integrate the mandate into our business at minimal cost to us.  Two and a half years ago, the day after the referendum passed, we implemented a paid time off policy that complies with the ordinance without negatively impacting our costs nor negatively impacting our employees. Continue reading »

Mar 21

Long time Apartment Association member and founder of J & J Rentals and Construction, LLC John Chitko passed away Sunday morning.

In everyone’s life there are just a handful of people who make the greatest impact.  John was one of those people in my life.

The son of Polish immigrants, he quit school at a very young age to help run his family’s farm in northern WI after his father passed away.  Despite a start in life that would have held many back, John became one the largest Southside landlords.  Yet he remained humble and frugal.  I do not believe that he ever owned a new car.

Continue reading »

Mar 18

On one of the landlording email list I participate in the following question was asked:

Am I obligated by law to rent to someone who does not speak English? I don’t have a problem with their ethnicity, but I see ALL kinds of problems ahead if they don’t speak or read English.

I think this is an important enough issue to share it here  – cleaned up from my original post :

While language is neither a Federal nor a Wisconsin protected class,  you need to be careful that the rejection is is not perceived to be discrimination against national origin, which is a protected class.

Continue reading »

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