MAY 2021

“In addition to building stronger relationships with our tenants, we must reach out to our elected officials because many of them do not really understand our industry…”

Greetings as always, to our members, friends and supporters of the May edition of the Official California Apartment Journal. We hope that you will find the information contained in the publication not only interesting, but useful in the operation of your rental property. We have all been listening closely as we hear news that the economy is improving and more people are going back to work. The question is what affect will this have on our ability to collect rent as we move forward? We are all concerned about the rent and in some cases we have not collected rent for more than a year, which has made it very difficult to maintain our properties in the manner that we have always kept our properties in the past.

It is imperative that we make every effort to work with the programs that are designed to help us secure as much of the needed past due rent amount and interact with our tenants who have past due rent by working together with them. It is important that we get our tenants to understand how this benefits them as well as their property owners. It is also important that our tenants understand the sacrifices that we have made as housing providers to keep them sheltered during what has been a dramatic time for all of us and still provide the same level of service.

In addition to building stronger relationships with our tenants, we must reach out to our elected officials because many of them do not really understand our industry and the important role we play in the overall economy. We must do a better job of telling our story and improving our messaging. As a part of our story, it needs to be clear that in addition to property taxes and other related fees we pay, how about all the other industries that we support? How about all the vendors we support such as roofers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons, and handymen and so much more.

There is documentation that shows the effect the Pandemic has had on supply companies such as Home Depot, Lowes, and other large and small retailers who have suffered as a result of our inability to make repairs that were not health and safety related during this time with such limited income. As housing providers, we clearly understand the hardship that many of our good tenants have suffered during the Pandemic; however, we do not believe that the lion’s share of the lost revenue should be placed on us. It needs to be understood that many rental property owners rely on their rental income to pay their living expenses where many do not have retirement income or Social Security. Many purchased rental properties for this very reason, and now that has been taken away or greatly reduced, and in many cases for more than a year.

We will always have to deal with those organi zations who continue with efforts to diminish our rights to operate our properties as any other business owner to protect our investments. This past year has taught us that the system forces us to provide housing for persons without regard to the fact they are paying rent.

Our question is where is the equality in this?

We’re not aware of any other businesses where owners are required to provide goods or services without com pensation. When you fail to make payments on your credit cards, you are immediately cut off and future credit is not extended. We are also not aware of anyone who is able to buy groceries at a supermarket without making payment. It appears that we are singled out as housing providers. We can be forced in some cases to go a year with little or no rental payments while still providing services.

We must work together to secure positive changes that provide protection for those of us who provide housing. As your local apartment association, we will continue to make every effort to level the playing field for our industry. We are here to serve you, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us.