Rent Control: Why it’s Not the Answer to Colorado’s Housing Crisis

Rent Control: Why it’s Not the Answer to Colorado’s Housing Crisis

Why We Say NO to Rent Control

The recent introduction of bill HB23-1115 in the Colorado State House has sparked discussions about rent control and its potential impact on communities in the state. While some may see such action as a viable solution to the affordable housing crisis, it’s important to understand why it’s not the answer.

Drew Hamrick, general counsel and senior VP of government affairs of the Colorado Apartment Association, has expressed concerns about the potential negative effects of controlling rent in the state. He believes that while it may be well-intentioned, it will only make housing more expensive and less available, compounding the problem instead of solving it. This is because rent control removes the financial incentive to create new housing units and improve existing ones, and it restricts resident mobility.

One of the primary issues with rent control is that it can actually decrease the supply of available housing, driving up costs and exacerbating the affordability crisis. When property owners are limited in their ability to set rents at market rates, they may be less likely to invest in maintaining and upgrading their properties, leading to a decline in the quality of housing stock. In addition, the lack of financial incentives to build new units can reduce the supply of available housing, making it more difficult for renters to find a place to live.

Another issue with rent control is that it can negatively impact neighboring communities. If one city enacts rent control, builders may be less likely to construct new housing units in that area, driving up the cost of housing in surrounding municipalities. This can create a domino effect where renters in neighboring communities end up paying more for housing because their neighbors artificially reduced supply with the rent control ordinance.

For more than 40 years, Colorado has prohibited local governments from enacting rent control ordinances, recognizing the damage rent control can do to available housing and understanding that one local government’s housing policy can negatively impact neighboring communities. Instead of focusing on controlling rent, the state needs to implement policies that encourage the creation of more housing units.

One promising solution is to encourage the construction of multifamily units. These types of units are more energy-efficient, require less land, and are less expensive to build, making them a viable solution to the state’s housing crisis. Multifamily units also allow people to live closer to where they want to live, reducing the need to drive and improving quality of life.

In conclusion, while the affordable housing crisis is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed, rent control is not the answer. It can decrease the supply of available housing, drive up costs, and negatively impact neighboring communities. Instead, Colorado should focus on policies that encourage the creation of more housing units, particularly multifamily units, to help address the state’s housing shortage.

If you have any questions about our stance on HB23-1115, please feel free to contact us here. If you would like to voice your opposition to this bill, please follow this link.

Rental Property Emergencies – Who Do You Call?

Rental Property Emergencies – Who Do You Call?

The featured image of this house on fire hits close to home - because it is MY HOME. And it motivated this article to ask this: When you experience rental property emergencies - who do you call?

You have been trained that when emergencies like fire or flooding happen to our properties, your first call is to first responders, and the second call is to your insurance company. But who else needs to be called? In a recent survey, most people became somewhat paralyzed after those two calls. And because of that, we strongly believe the following:

Landlords Need Property Managers

Property managers are well equipped with the knowledge and relationships necessary to act quickly on your behalf when rental property emergencies happen. They have first responders and your insurance company on speed dial - that’s a given. But they also know who to call to arrange alternate housing for your tenants in the event that your property is unlivable.

A good property manager knows the reputable restoration companies in the area. And don’t be fooled - everyone who shows up after an emergency, knocking on your door is NOT NECESSARILY reputable.

When a flood happens - a good property manager has quick access to a quality plumber who will make quick work stopping the problem. And if (God forbid) a tree should come crashing in through your roof, your property manager will know exactly who to call - not only to remove the tree, but to repair/replace the roof.

When rental property emergencies happen - and they do - having a good property manager is your best asset to getting your property back in livable shape, and taking care of your tenants.

If you’d like to speak to us about becoming your property manager of record, please feel free to contact us here, or call us directly. It’s an honor to serve our landlord community.

Home Security Systems – Why Landlords Need Them

Home Security Systems – Why Landlords Need Them

Home security systems are typically a no-brainer. You probably have one installed in your own residence.  But what about your investment properties? There’s obviously an expense involved with having your rental properties monitored, and many landlords decide to forego that expense to maximize their profits.

We encourage landlords to consider installing home security systems in all of their rental properties for a number of reasons.  First, many insurance plans offer a discount for properties that are covered by a monitoring plan. Those discounts add up, and can offset the expense of equipment, installation and monitoring.

It may seem like it would be better to allow your tenants to install equipment if they wish to add a layer of security beyond the functioning door locks. However, few tenants tend to add home security systems because of the expense, and the end result can be a vulnerable asset and unnecessary risk to the occupants of your property.

Speaking of your tenants, having home security systems preinstalled makes your property much more attractive to prospective tenants. Don’t underestimate the value of making prospective tenants feel that safety and security are your priorities as a landlord. Remember, you and your tenants are essentially opting into a relationship - and anything you can do to build trust and respect is a good thing.

And finally, new technologies have made it much less expensive to install viable home security systems. Some systems will even offer the equipment for free or at an incredible discount provided you sign up for their monitoring plan.  And monitoring isn’t a back breaker, either.  Many plans come in under $20/month… and since we’re talking about your investment property… we feel like that’s a great investment.

If you’d like to discuss home security systems with us, we’d be happy to offer our thoughts on the best system for your specific needs.  Contact us here.

Rental Listings – How to Optimize Them

Rental Listings – How to Optimize Them

So you’ve got yourself an investment property, and now it’s time to navigate the world of rental listings to tell the world about your vacancy. There are a few tips that we can offer to help you attract not just prospective tenants… but the RIGHT tenants.

The first tip we can offer for rental listings is the proper use of localized keywords.  Keywords are critical for rental listings because they are essentially “Google food”. If you want to climb the organic search results ladder, then finding the keywords that people are actually searching for is important. And when you’re doing your research, make sure that your rental listings include localized keywords to take advantage of the geo-search elements of Google.

Rental listings with high quality photos absolutely perform better than those with more of an amateur appearance.  We suggest that quality is directly related to the photographer more than the actual camera equipment. With today’s technology, it’s possible to take great photos with your cell phone… but what separates some rental listings from others is the composition of the photography. And for that, we strongly recommend that you go with a professional photographer.

And finally, rental listings that draw attention to the amenities of the property tend to perform better than those who simply assume that prospective tenants already know what’s included.  If your master bath has jets, make sure that you mention it. If your kitchen has accent lighting, tell your audience about it.  This may seem obvious, but we’re constantly surprised at how many rental listings don’t call out the property’s highlights and features.

As Denver’s preferred property managers, we’d be happy to help you develop your rental listings for maximum expected benefits. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have here.

Becoming a Landlord – What You Should Know

Becoming a Landlord – What You Should Know

Many people dream of becoming a landlord, owning several investment properties, each of which provides financial security as tenants cover the expense of the mortgage(s) and then some. However, in today’s real estate market, the promise of profit can sometimes be elusive if you don’t pay attention to some fundamentals.

In. most cases, it is advisable to work with a property management company, who can guide you in the decisions that always go along with  becoming a landlord.  We will attempt to cover several of those here.

  1. One does not simply pull a number out of thin air when determining what the rent should be on a given property. Properly assigning rent value is accomplished by determining the actual rental market value of your property. It is common to experience rents that are LESS than enough to cover a mortgage and expenses. Before becoming a landlord, you will want to make sure that it makes financial sense to do so.

2. You will need to set up (and maintain) an expense account to cover things like maintenance, management fees, and the occasional repairs that will need to be made.  The older your house, the more you should budget for your expense account. Many of these expenses can be quite expensive, and as a landlord, you cannot afford to be unable to afford them. If the heater goes out in the middle of winter, you are obligated to replace it post-haste.

3. Finding the right tenant is an art form… and best left to the professionals.  You might think that by becoming a landlord, you’ll have instant access to a ready pool of tenants (ie. family), but in fact… that rarely ever works out well. The greater the level of informality, the more likely you are to experience short or late payments, and many more tenant requests for repairs and/or upgrades. A professional property manager knows how to screen for the right candidates, especially zeroing in on those who will care for the property and pay on time, every time.

4. On the topic of payments, it becomes necessary to consider what happens if/when your tenant fails to pay, or pays late.  In some cases, eviction may be the proper course of action.  However, eviction is not as simple and straightforward as asking your tenant to leave.  There are many laws in place that must be rigidly adhered to. In the event that you have to take your tenant to court - you are responsible for all the attorney fees and court costs. This is another great time to have a professional property manager on your side.

5. Another wake up call to becoming a landlord comes when you realize that between tenants, you are not bringing in any money, but you are still required to cover all of the expenses of maintaining your home. If tenants damage your property, or you haven’t properly maintained it, you will have extra expenses to bring it back into proper condition for rental.  Every day that your home is empty, it’s an expense that must be accounted for.

These are just the tip of the iceberg for those considering becoming a landlord. It’s been stated several times that there’s genuine value in establishing a relationship with a professional property manager.  We stand ready to advise and assist you, should you desire our assistance. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your needs.

Why Renter’s Insurance is So Important

Why Renter’s Insurance is So Important

Renter’s Insurance

Many times renters feel like they don’t need or want renter’s insurance.  They view it as just another way for landlords to line their pockets with [our] good money. This article will clear up a few misconceptions about renter’s insurance, and why you really should carry it if you’re renting a home or apartment.

Most landlords make it mandatory for the renter to carry renter’s insurance. However, the fact is, they don’t see a penny of your monthly premium or any of the payout should there be a need to file a claim. So why make it mandatory? In this case, it’s really for your own good.

While it’s true that landlords carry insurance as well – that insurance covers only the structure and land. It does not cover any of the items or personal property within the home itself.

An often-quoted misconception is that renter’s insurance is an expensive consideration.  In most cases, the monthly premiums are less than $20. That’s nothing compared to the average tenant’s “stuff value” of over $20k. You see, everything under the roof has value – and you have the right to claim it for it’s replacement value. That’s your entire CD collection, books etc. Even your kitchen appliances have a value – and you know you’re going to need that spatula sooner, rather than later after an accident.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask you insurance carrier:

  1. Will my insurance cover items that I “share” with my roommate(s)?
  2. Should I video tape or take photos of my possessions?
  3. If so, which ones?
  4. What is the difference between “replacement cost” and “depreciated cost” coverage?
  5. Will I be notified of any rate increases, etc?

There are many places tenants can cut corners to save a buck or two. Renter’s insurance is not one of those places.

If you’d like help with setting up renter’s insurance, we’d be very happy to help make a referral to a quality insurance agent. Contact Us today.