AOA Advisors get calls daily from our members with a variety of problems; some unfortunately after our owners are already in trouble.  Please use the below as a guide to easier management, money-saving ideas and to avoid potential legal problems in the New Year.   Our goal is your continued success!

  1. NEW 2020 RESIDENT MANAGER LAWS:  For your protection, you should have a written, legal Resident Manager’s agreement containing all of the recent NEW LAWS.  (Read Attorney Dale Alberstone’s article in this issue.)
  2. (AB 1482) STATEWIDE RENT CONTROL – (AB 1482) – If your rental building falls under the new statewide rent control which takes effect January 1, 2020 – know all of the rent-raise and just cause eviction restrictions!  Visit www.aoausa.com to view Attorney Dennis Block’s video presentation from the recent AOA seminar.  AB 1110 – RENT INCREASE NOTICES:   If a landlord increases a month-to-month tenancy by more than 10%, the law now requires a 90-day notice, rather than 60-day notice. 
  3. SB 329 -SECTION 8 APPLICANTS:  Housing Discrimination prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants who rely on housing assistance paid directly to landlords, such as a Section 8 voucher, to help them pay the rent. All Section 8 applicants MUST be considered.  You may no longer advertise or state that you do not accept Section 8. 
  4. NEW RENTAL AGREEMENTSEffective July 1, 2020, AB 1482 is requiring certain verbiage be added to all rental agreements.  Be sure to use AOA’s Updated Rental Agreement/and or Lease which will be available to members online before the effective date.
  5. FLOOD DISCLOSURE FORM:  Remember to include a copy of the required Flood Disclosure form with all new rental agreements.
  6. 2019 BEDBUG LAW:  Reminder:  Beginning January 1 of 2019, all tenants should have received AOA’s form 15 – Information on Bedbugs.  If you forgot, DO IT NOW and remember to include a copy with ALL NEW rental agreements.
  7. RESIDENT MANAGER HOURS:  Be sure to have your resident manager report their hours in writing to you on a weekly basis to avoid claims of “unpaid wages” down the road.  AOA’s form #119A is designed for this purpose.
  8. 3-DAY NOTICE to PAY RENT:  Always serve in a timely fashion – immediately – the day after rent is due. Any grace period given in your lease only refers to late fees, not when rent is due.  Remember, as of September of last year – weekends and holidays can no longer be included or counted in the 3-day response period.
  9. POSTING REQUIREMENTS:  The below signs and posters must be posted in a conspicuous place in your building.  (i.e. by mailboxes, in the lobby, etc.) A.  Fair Housing Poster: Federal Fair Housing law requires every property with four or more units to have a fair housing poster displayed.   It must be a minimum of 11 x 14 inches to be in compliance.  If you don’t have one posted, you may order a laminated poster by calling AOA.    B.Toxic Substance Warning – Prop 65 – (available to members at  www.aoausa.com).
  1. If your building is under L.A. Rent Control, you must post the city’s LARSO  Notice, (also available to members on www.aoausa.com). D.  Emergency Phone Numbers
  1. SMOKE/CO DETECTORS:  Have your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked every six months. Inspect your units regularly for plumbing leaks; preventative maintenance saves you money.
  2. RENTAL QUALIFICATION FORM:  Standardize and write down your rental criteria requirements to avoid discrimination lawsuits. This should be given to each new applicant with your application to rent.  A simple, fillable form of a criteria list has been designed for your convenience and is available for FREE to AOA members at  www.aoausa.com. (AOA Form 100Q).
  3. RUN TENANT SCREENING REPORTS: Have AOA search credit, eviction and criminal reports on all of your prospective renters.  Always use our low-cost screening services.
  4. MOVE-IN/MOVE-OUT INSPECTIONSAlways conduct enter and exit checklist inspections – use AOA’s form #131.  Take pictures of your unit before move-in and upon move-out. As they say … pictures are worth a thousand words.
  5. SUPPORT THE INDUSTRY: Hire AOA’s Advertisers who are dedicated to serving our industry.  Always obtain competitive bids to cut expenses.  
  6. AOA SEMINARS AND TRADE SHOWS: -Educate yourself – attend AOA’s FREE seminars and the Trade Show and Landlording Conferences.  Our next scheduled Trade Show is April 29th, 2020 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
  7. PET POLICIES: Consider accepting pets to expand your rent pool – many responsible pet owners make great tenants.  Be sure to use AOA’s Pet Agreement (AOA Form 121).
  8. Call AOA Commercial Brokerage BEFORE you buy or sell an apartment building.  Our professional agents have been serving our members’ needs for over 35 years.
  9. AB 2330 WALK-THROUGH (Move-Out)  – Be sure to offer your vacating tenant the required AB2330 Walk-Through “pre-inspection” (AOA Form #135) no sooner than two weeks prior to the move-out date. AOA members may download this form with all instructions for FREE from www.aoausa.com.
  10. SECURITY DEPOSIT REFUNDS:  Send back security deposits within the 21 day legal time frame, including the necessary receipts/invoices if you are deducting  $125.00 or more. Use AOA’s Security Deposit Refund Letter –form #133.
  11. TENANT INFORMATION:  Update your tenants’ information (current employment, emergency phone numbers, etc.).  Use AOA Tenant Information Sheet – form #112.)
  12. JOIN AOA:  If you’re not already a member, JOIN AOA TODAY – get the help you need with your property – up-to-date rental forms, FREE advice, FREE seminars, FREE monthly magazine, low-cost, instant credit, eviction and criminal reports, AOA’s collection services and you may save money with AOA’s Group Insurance Plan.
  13. AOA’s GROUP INSURANCE PLAN:  Start the New Year off right – get quotes for your building’s insurance and Workers’ Compensation policies.  AOA members are saving thousands and many have claimed the WC rates are the lowest they’ve seen. 
  14. COLLECT OLD DEBTS: Tenants left owing you money? Hold them accountable! Use AOA’s Debt Reporting and Collection Service to collect on those old judgments; it is designed to recover more of your money.
  15. Be diligent in collecting your late fees. 
  16. Call your AOA advisor BEFORE you make that mistake.  We’re here to help.
  17. Make a copy of proper IDs (license, SSN) on all prospective tenants.
  18. Check rental applications thoroughly – speak with previous landlords, verify employment, etc.
  19. When rejecting applicants, you must do so in writing.  Use the legally required Adverse Action “rejection notice” – AOA form 140, available at www.aoausa.com.

The staff at AOA wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020! 

Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the Apartment Owners News & Buyers Guide. This article is a general guide and has no legal representation. It is suggested that you contact an attorney for legal advice should the need present itself.