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 Member Update
 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE MONTH
Brought to you by Lotus West Properties
Are you receiving too many resident complaints? Resident complaints are always an issue for apartment managers. Therefore, it is important you have a system in place to help track and resolve issues as soon as possible. To assist you, a central tracking system for resident complaints or input is essential. Your process for receiving complaints and their resolutions must be automated. Here are some tips you can follow:
• Deploy software tools to help you track complaints and that provides you with alerts in case any issues remain unresolved.
• Provide tenants with a telephone number to reach management 24/7 in case of emergency.
• Always have a few handymen on standby who can repair your rental units when needed.
Prompt attention to and resolution of resident complaints can help you to manage your rental units far better and, at the same time, increase your resident’s satisfaction and retention. We can help you implement auto- mated complaint tracking systems. Lotus West Properties is a property management firm based in West Los Angeles and was recently voted the “Best New Property Management Firm” by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. You can reach them at (323) 380-2783 or contact Byron at byron@lotusproperties.com.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Working Together to Preserve Rental Housing
Dear Editor:
Following the defeat of Proposition 21, tenants and landlords must now work together to preserve existing housing. Statewide ballot measure on rent control, Proposition 21, was defeated 40%-60% for a second time and it also lost in Los Angeles County like Proposition 10 before it. The overwhelming defeat shows the importance of working with stakeholders. The state Legislature, with the Governor’s leadership, and buy-in from tenants and landlords, adopted Assembly Bill 1482 as a workable balance in rental housing price controls.
In Santa Monica, due to the pandemic, rents today are being reduced for existing tenants, and on advertised vacancies, which are commonly listed for rent at 20% lower than before the pandemic. A one bedroom (in Santa Monica) was $2,650 before the pandemic and is now down to just $2,100, which is common. Today, there are very few calls are received from prospective renters for listed vacancies.
There are increasing vacancies too. As of the date of this writing, there were 3,686 vacancies listed on Apartments.com in the City of Santa Monica. Another 10%-20% of renters are not paying rent claiming COVID-19 impacts. We have 9 of 100 of our units that are vacant, while other landlords I know have 18 of 100 units vacant, another has 3 of 5 units vacant and one has 2 of 3 units vacant in the City of Santa Monica. With 27,000 controlled rental units in Santa Monica, the vacancy rate could be 13.65%. Since not all vacancies are in rent controlled units (post 1995 construction), an adjusted guess would be a 10% overall vacancy rate.
The City’s Rent Control Charter states that if the vacancy rate is 5% or more, the Rent Control Board may suspend the City’s rent control. Recently enacted with owner and tenant support, Assembly Bill 1482 sets a limit on increases equal to 5% plus the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 2.9%, to rent increases are limited to 7.9% overall per year. Under Assembly Bill 1482, total rent increases may not exceed 10%.
We Santa Monica landlords need to find “win-win” solutions simply to keep the status quo. Since increasing
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