What does a property manager and owner do each day? As I began this week, these were just a few of the issues and tasks that were on my property manager To-Do List: It is not difficult to recognize that the business of property ownership and management has become increasingly complex, technical and legal.
1. The SF Fire Department has proposed changes to the interior building signage requirements, as well as changes to other materials and information to be provided to occupants. The rules are not yet finalized. There was a hearing on Monday and the language is being discussed.
2. The Board of Supervisors has passed and the Mayor has signed the revised and expanded No Smoking legislation. Building owners and managers need to post new signage and I am working on drafting signage language for our buildings. I have already revamped our residential lease to make sure it complies with the new legislation and provides some enforcement tools, since the legislation does not. Next on the list – the commercial lease update.
3. Soft-story retrofit legislation has passed and is working its way through the rules process. The San Francisco Apartment Association is seeking input from its members. As this could be expensive, this is one issue that could be time consuming and very technical. The devil is definitely in the details.
4. The issue of requiring pets in all rental housing is still out there from last year. As this would be a management disaster, I am watching out for hearing notices.
5. We had a long term resident approach us requesting a buy-out of his month to month tenancy. Before negotiating with him, we drafted and had him execute a preliminary agreement where he agreed in writing the buy-out was being discussed at his request. We came to an agreement and a formal buy-out agreement was drafted and is in the process of being executed.
6. I negotiated and drafted a settlement agreement with an unhappy commercial tenant over a dispute regarding common area maintenance on behalf of an owner and vendor. That goes out for signatures this week.
7. I drafted another settlement and lease termination with a tenant over a non-payment issue. That goes out for signatures this week.
8. We received a resignation notice from a part-time resident manager who is moving to Southern California. I will be updating the job description, as well as drafting a new ad for Craig’s List and our web site. Before drafting, I will do some research to see if there are any new legal issues I need to be mindful of in my ad writing.
9. A staff member computer may have gotten a virus. I need to speak with our IT consultant about any need to increased security. (We already run multiple layers of security, scanning and virus protection.)
10. Last year the state passed legislation to require anyone who grosses more than $100,000 in receipts, to file a tax return for “use” tax. If you manage property for others, you have to figure out who is responsible for registering and filing these returns. If you have multiple limited liability companies or limited partnerships, you have to register for each entity, even if you have never owed the tax, or reasonably believe you will never owe the tax. I will need to revise our property management agreement. Should have done that last year.
11. The federal Red Flags rule compliance date is around the corner. I need to review the last draft of our new Red Flags Policy and Procedure. We are also going to create an on-demand webinar for our web site. I need to write the script.
12. There are new lead paint protocols in effect now. I need to check with staff if they see any need for additional formal updates of our written procedures and protocols.
Of course, these are the unique issues. Every week there are the normal tasks. I routinely work on updating, clarifying and perfecting policy and procedures. We are routinely changing our systems to move away from paper. I review and work with the financial reports. There are everyday management issues and the oversight of routine operations. There are meetings. There are simple things like check signing.
Three truths of property management:
- It is different every day.
- It becomes more complex every day.
- And on the day you think you have seen or heard it all, it will all change the next day.