RENTAL RATES – UP OR DOWN?

The increase in new construction apartments has resulted in higher vacancy rates and lower rents.  In Seattle, new apartments are offering up to two months free rent.  According to CoreLogic, vacancy rates in apartments range from 3.9% in Des Moines to 25% in downtown Seattle.  This has impacted the single-family rental market as well, which had the slowest increase in rents since the recession this year.

In 2017, Seattle’s rent growth was the highest in the country with a 5.2% increase year-over-year.  In 2018, Seattle’s rent growth dropped to 22nd in the nation, according to ApartmentList.com.  Rent growth also slowed in Portland.  Nationally, rent grown has slowed from 3.6% in 2015 to 1.5% year over year in 2018.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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RENTERS INSURANCE

The content found above was created by Amica Insurance Company. Coldwell Banker Bain is not affiliated in any way with Amica insurance and this video was posted for informational purposes only. You are advised to obtain multiple quotes from different insurance carriers.
Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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FAIR HOUSING – BETWEEN THE LINES

You know that fair housing laws require you to treat everyone the same, but that that means you must treat all rental applicants and tenants the same in even the subtle aspect of the rental process.  Examples include:

–          If one tenant moves in mid-month and you allow him/her to pay pro-rated rent rather than a full month’s rent, then you must do the same for everyone.

–          If you require photo I.D. from one applicant, you must do so from all applicants.

–          If you ask one applicant if s/he is a legal resident, you must ask all applicants if they are legal residents.  (There is no requirement to verify proof of legal residency when providing housing in Washington State.)

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

 

 

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NOTICE TO ENTER A RENTAL PROPERTY

In Washington State, the amount of notice required before a landlord can enter the rental property varies depending on the reason.  The Landlord Tenant Act requires a landlord to give a 48-hour notice if the owner wants to enter for maintenance or an inspection.  A 24-hour notice is required if the landlord wants to show the property to a prospective tenant or buyer.  The owner can enter without notice only in the case of an emergency.  The tenant has the “reasonable” right to say no to a proposed time of entry.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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DISABILITY UPGRADES – RENTALS

Fair housing laws require that landlords permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of the rental property if necessary for the tenant’s full enjoyment of the premises. The landlord can require that the tenant restore the property to its original condition when the tenant vacates IF the modification will interfere with the next tenant’s use and enjoyment of the rental.  The addition of a wheelchair ramp, adding grab bars in the bathroom or modifying plumbing to accommodate dialysis equipment could all be considered reasonable modifications.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

 Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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FAIR HOUSING AND THE ADA

fair housingThe Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) define service animals differently.  The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in public areas, such as employment, transportation, public accommodations and access to state and local government programs and services. The FHA protects a person with a disability in housing.

While the ADA has a very specific definition of a service animal, the FHA does not.  Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as an animal, almost always a dog, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.

On the other hand, both service animals and emotional support animals are allowed in housing.  These animals do not need to be trained and the person with a disability need only provide a letter from a health care provider stating that the person has a disability and that the animal provides assistance and/or necessary services related to the disability.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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10 DAY NOTICE – Washington State

If a tenant is not complying with a term of the lease, the tenant can be served with a Ten-Day Notice to Comply.  This notice is given to a tenant who is violating a term of the lease, for example, to a tenant who has an unauthorized pet on the property. A specific clause of the lease must be referenced in the notice.  However, it is often difficult to prove a Ten-Day violation.  Whether or not rent has been received is (typically) easily documented; whether or not the tenant is maintaining the yard is a matter of opinion.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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REAL ESTATE MARKET REALITY

One of the more difficult scenarios for property managers occurs after the property has been leased for a few years and the owner decides to sell the property.  Somehow, over the time the tenant was in place, the owner’s recollection of the condition of the property at move in becomes rosier and more perfect.  It is not unusual for owners to think that tenants should pay for work that a professional property manager considers a condition caused by normal wear and tear.  However, this perception is often magnified when the owner decides to list the investment property for sale.

The landlord needs to remember that even if the rent didn’t cover the owner’s mortgage, the rent did offset expenses.  There was someone in the home, using the appliances and systems, which is better for the home.  The tenant may have paid utility bills and been responsible for part of landscaping responsibilities.  Also, many insurance companies won’t insure a home if it is vacant or if they do so, the price may be much higher.

In the current market, most owners have gained significant appreciation in the last several years.  Having a tenant in place made it much easier financially to hang onto the property until the market improved.  The downside is that someone lived in the home and wear and tear occurred.  It is normal for an owner to have expenses associated with preparing a property for sale, whether owner occupied or tenant occupied prior to listing it.

Prior to putting a property in the rental pool, a prospective landlord needs to understand that there will be costs associated with owning an investment property, including at the end of the lease when the home is going to be listed for sale.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

 Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

 

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TENANT DEPOSITS

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The Washington State Residential Landlord Tenant Act requires a written move in inspection report, signed by both parties, if a deposit is collected.  If there’s no written inspection report, the landlord can’t withhold any portion of the deposit, even if the tenant significantly damages the property or owes rent. Without a written report, documenting the condition of the property at move in, it is impossible to prove that any damage didn’t pre-date the tenant’s occupancy.  The law specifies a written report; photos alone won’t suffice.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

 Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.
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Landscaping. Who takes care of it?

A common issue in rentals is who is going to maintain the yard.  Because maintaining the yard helps maintain the value of the property, it often makes financial sense to include some level of yard service in the lease.  Landlords need to consider not only the appearance of the yard during the current tenant’s lease but also what the condition will be when the landlord is marketing for a new tenant.  For large yards and those with a lot of money invested in the yard, it may be a good idea to include full yard service in the lease.  For other properties, doing a spring and fall clean up may be sufficient.watering can cutout

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

 

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