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Denver housing shortage... What does this mean for Denver rentals?

System - Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Denver housing shortage at a peak?  What does this mean for Denver rentals?

According to Denver Post: 

The deficit of homes and apartments in the region is expected to peak this year at about 32,000 units, and that will put upward pressure on home prices for years to come even as supply rises to levels not seen since the early 2000s, warned Phyllis Resnick, lead economist for the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University. That deficit, which has been building since about 2014, represents the difference between demand from households and the supply of available housing.

Questions?  Contact Echo Summit today!   303-768-8255.

Echo Summit - Denver Property Management - on Normal Wear and Tear

System - Sunday, July 1, 2018

We run into these issues a lot.  

Normal wear and tear is a very important topic because it’s where landlords and property managers often run into difficulties when over-charging when conducting a security deposit disposition.
 The tenant moves out of the house and the carpet is heavily worn. The landlord wants to withhold some of the security deposit to repair or replace the carpet. The landlord has to ask some questions before they withhold some or all of the security deposit.
 • How old is the carpet?
 • How long have the tenants been living there?
 • Is the damage above and beyond normal wear and tear for a typical renter in their same situation (e.g. family of 4 living there for 3 years)
 • Do we have photo or video documentation of what the carpet looked like BEFORE the tenant moved in?
 • Was there a pre-move-in inspection sheet returned to us?

 If the carpet is more than 3 years old, the landlord has to be very careful because, in the state of Colorado, the average useful life of carpet (or paint for that mater) in a non-owner occupied property is typically 3 years. Does that mean if the carpet is 5 years old, and if the landlord has documentation showing the carpet was in great condition before the tenet moved in, then one little section was completely destroyed during their stay – that they can not withhold deposit? No, they can absolutely withhold for that. They just have to be careful when we are dealing with carpets that are entering the end of their useful life.

 Mildewed bathroom, very unclean kitchen. Here is another situation where the landlord might want to withhold security deposit to scrub the tile and maybe even re-grout because it’s so badly worn. Can they do this? Again, if this is a situation where a family of four had lived there and the tub area was already starting to get mildewed. When they move out the judge would ask ‘what would that tub look like after normal use by a family of four who had lived in the home for X period of time.’ The landlord will have to ask themselves this question because this will be what’s going to be defensible in court. The most important thing you’ll need to do is have documentation of what the area looked like before the tenant moved in. If you do NOT have before pictures or video, be very careful about withholding security deposit.

 Holes in the wall. This is a very common issue – because people like to hang things on walls; from pictures and mirrors, to flat screen TVs. In this case, the landlord checks a tenant out and find quite a different size few holes in the walls. What can they withhold for? Our first recommendation is having lease verbiage that defines what is allowed, and what is not. For instance: “…tenant cannot make alterations to wall surfaces without prior written approval from the landlord, aside from small nail holes used to hang pictures.” If the landlord does not have clear language in the lease agreement a judge could easily rule against them and say the big anchor bolts in the wall are in fact normal wear and tear because most televisions available today are flat screen and require wall mounting. Another good idea is to simply ask the tenant to leave all nails in the walls so it will be easier for the landlord to go back and clean up the areas versus the tenant trying to fix t walls and making it even worse. This could require the landlord to come back and have to retexture and paint the surface and then charge the tenants... which they won’t like.
 Scuff marks are another issue that’s common and often misunderstood. Scuff marks can result from a couch, chair or bed head board being close to the wall. The landlord would most likely want to charge the tenant to have the wall re-painted. In general, if the tenants have been living there for a reasonable period of time there, will be normal wear and tear and we would advise against withholding exorbitant security deposit in this case. There will be some cases of excessive dings and dents in which you might have cause to withhold, but you have to be very careful

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online:
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Denver rental competition - Echo Summit can Help

System - Friday, June 1, 2018

Revisiting an earlier post, we continue to believe that competition for Denver residential single-family investment homes, at least at the wholesale level, has picked up dramatically in the past few months.

This is largely due to a massive amount of out-of-state money moving in, making cash offers, sight unseen with no inspection contingencies. It is very hard to compete with this, though Echo Summit is still having success via its network of investors.

Given this phase of the market, it is probably time to start thinking about purchasing turn-key rental properties, and aiming for cash flow, rather than short-term cash-on-cash return. Obviously, almost any property held for a minimum of 5 years will produce some form of cash-cash return based on appreciation alone. What I am a suggesting is to focus away from the masses who are hoping for quick returns on a wholesale flip, and target areas/property types that they are not.

Without getting into the boonies, I recommend focusing on transportation corridors (SSE is off the charts) and anything feeding into the Cherry Creek School District (for those of you who don’t know what bond proposals 3a and 3B were for in recent elections… study up. They passed, and will have significance for property valuation in the coming years).

As of March 2018, average rent for an apartment in Denver, CO is $1575 which is a 0.51% increase fro...

System - Friday, May 25, 2018

According to RentJungle: 


As of March 2018, average rent for an apartment in Denver, CO is $1575 which is a 0.51% increase from last year when the average rent was $1567 , and a 0% increase from last month when the average rent was $1575.

One bedroom apartments in Denver rent for $1399 a month on average (a 1.29% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1755 (a 0.57% decrease from last year).

Harvard – State of Nations Housing 2017

System - Friday, May 4, 2018
An incredibly detailed look at both the home sales and home
 rental markets nationwide. Great proof-points as to why the recent ‘boom’ in rentals is not really a boom at all.  Indeed, WHO is renting and WHY they are renting has evolved, but since the study began, between 35% and 38% of households rent… as they still do.

Amazon's and Denver Rentals

System - Wednesday, April 18, 2018
A recent article in the Denver Post examined the effects of Amazon possibly moving its corporate HQ to Denver.
In the article:  "If Amazon doesn’t pick Denver, “there will be a sense of relief,” Colorado governor says ... Governor clarifies that he thinks the bid’s pros outweigh the cons but sees the growth that accompanies 50,000 jobs as a challenge"
Echo Summit Property Management, who specializes in Denver rental properties thinks the effect on the rental market could be much more profound, especially for families looking for affordable or single family rental housing.
Read More:

Denver Rental Ads - How to Make Yours POP

System - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

An effective rental ad is short, sweet and complete. It includes all the information necessary to attract the prospective tenants who are truly interested in viewing your property. Basic specs of the apartment, such as number of beds, baths and square footage, specific policies, such as whether pets are allowed, and quality images, are all important. Here are fifteen essentials that a good rental ad includes.

1. One or More Quality Photos
While newspaper ads do not need pictures, for online rental ads and even ads placed on bulletin boards, clear pictures highlighting the best parts of your property are a necessity. Many people will not even call about an ad if it does not include a picture. You should always include at least one picture of the kitchen and bathroom/bathrooms. The living area and at least one bedroom are also necessities. Good lighting is important and dusk is a great time to take pictures. Color photos are also more appealing than black and white photos.

 2. Basic Specs of the Apartment
Your ad should include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the approximate square feet of the unit. 
3. Monthly Rent
You should always include the monthly rent in your rental ad. You can include an exact price or a range if you are a little flexible on the price.

 4. Amount of Security Deposit Required
You must also include how much of a security deposit you require. Again, you can put an exact number or you can say something like “one and a half month’s rent.” Keep in mind that many states set a limit on how much you can charge, so make sure you know the maximum amount allowed in your state.

 5. Date Apartment Is Available
Include the date the unit will be available for move-in.

 6. Length of Lease
State how long of a lease a prospective tenant must sign. A one year lease is common. You may want to call it a “12 month lease” because, psychologically, it seems less constricting to people.

 7. Property Location
For online ads, you will want to include the city and state where the property is located. You can leave out the state in local newspapers or bulletin board ads. Deciding to include the actual street address is a personal decision. You may only want to give this information out to people you have pre-screened over the phone. Another option is to include the street name in the ad, but not the actual house number of the property for rent.

 8. If Utilities are Included
You do not necessarily have to say "utilities are not included" or "you must pay your own utilities." People do not like to hear what they’re not getting in an apartment. Rather, if any utilities are included in the monthly rent, you can state that. You can say something like "H/HW (heat/hot water) included."

 9. Your Pet Policy
Another must-have in your rental ad is your pet policy. Make it clear what animals you will allow in your property. No pets? Only cats? Only dogs under 20 pounds? Both? Only dogs not on the dangerous dog breed list?

 10. Your Contact Information
This one sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people run ads in the newspaper and forget to include their telephone number. Include any method you approve of being contacted by, such as your telephone number or an email address. For rental ads placed on bulletin boards, you can include tear offs on the bottom of the page that include your contact information.

 11. Property Amenities
You will want to highlight the best features of your property. A walk-in closet, stainless steel appliances, eat-in kitchen, and washer/dryer on premises are all desirable features.

 12. Screening Process
You will want to make it clear if you will be running any sort of background check on prospective tenants, such as a credit check or a criminal check. This may deter certain individuals from calling about your property. Make sure it is clear that ALL prospective tenants are subject to screening so that you are not accused of discrimination.

 13. Building Specifics
This includes the type of property the unit is located in and what floor the unit is on. You may only want to include this information if it will make your property sound desirable.A one family home or a second floor unit with a garden view sound desirable. Saying your unit is a fourth floor walk-up may not attract many people.

 14. Parking
Only make note of this in your ad if parking is available at your property. Define if it is off-street parking, such as a driveway or a parking lot, or on-street parking. If it is on-street parking, make note if a resident pass is required.

 15. Descriptive Adjectives
Would a rental ad that read: “Apartment has floors, windows and a door” appeal to you? Of course not! Adding a few strategic adjectives will make your property seem more appealing. For example: “Spacious apartment has hardwood floors and large windows.”

For more info: 


Denver Property Management - Dealing with Craigslist Scams

System - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily.

There are several items to look out for:
-- Look for the misspelling of words and more formal language that isn’t commonly used in such online advertising. The emails will be overly polite and poorly written or express excessive eagerness to rent the property without having proper steps including property inspection, background and credit checks.

-- They use photos stolen from other property advertisements and many times copy the legitimate ad with same description and photos.

-- The scammers tend to use yahoo, ymail, rocketmail, fastermail, live, hotmail and gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses.

- What they all have in common is that sooner or later they send request to transfer funds via Western Union, Money gram or some other wire service. Never, under any circumstances wire money at the request of the prospective “landlord” and never provide a bank account number, bank routing number or other financial or personal information.

-- When there are two identical ads the monthly rental fee will be much different. For instance a legitimate ad for a 4 bedroom house would be, say $1,350 per month. The scam ad will list the same property, same pictures and assume the homeowner’s identity but list it for $850. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. They will have a sob story or say they are not available to show the property but the renter can go and check it out if they wish.

A renter should ALWAYS do business face-to-face with the landlord or property management company. It’s important to have access inside the property and to sign documents and contracts in person and in an office or professional setting.

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online:
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Tips for Handling Tenant Complaints: Denver Property Management

System - Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Steps for Successfully Handling Tenant Complaints

There are endless things that tenants can complain about. Regardless of what the complaint is about, you should not change the manner in which you, as the landlord, respond to the complaint. Being understanding, calm and professional will have a huge effect on and your ability to successfully resolve the issue. While you may have to adjust your response slightly depending on the type of complaint, there are certain steps you should always take.

Step 1: Listen to the Complaint
One way to come to a successful resolution is to actually listen to what your tenant is telling you. Being respectful and understanding of the tenant's issue may help to keep the tenant calm and will help you be more receptive to their problem. However, if you do not ask questions as to the exact location of the leak and the strength of the water flow, you will fail to realize that this is not the leak you are already aware of, it is actually a burst pipe that needs to be fixed immediately. So, you should always listen carefully to the tenant’s exact complaint and ask follow up questions so you know exactly what is going on.

Step 2: Be Available
If a tenant feels as though you are never available, they will be easily frustrated. This isn't to say that a tenant should be able to reach  you 24 hours a day, every day of the week. You should have normal business hours when a tenant can contact you, for example from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. on weekdays. During these hours, you should readily respond to tenant phone calls or emails. You should make it known that tenants should not contact you outside of these hours unless it is an emergency. Be sure to have an emergency plan in place at your property so your tenants know what is considered a real emergency and what can wait until normal business hours.

Step 3: Address Complaints in a Timely Manner
Another important factor is how quickly you respond to a tenant’s issue. Depending on the severity of their complaint, you do not necessarily have to drop everything to remedy it, but you do need to fix the issue within a reasonable amount of time. A leak or broken front door lock need to be fixed immediately, while things like a broken kitchen cabinet handle or cracked tile can wait a couple of days.


Step 4: Show Genuine Concern
Dismissing a tenant’s concern is a quick way to create hostility. Regardless of how you feel about how valid their complaint is, you must always make them feel that their complaint is important and that you will do everything in your power to fix it as soon as possible. You want the tenant to feel that you are on their side, rather than being their evil landlord nemesis.

Step 5: Be Professional
You must always conduct yourself in a professional manner. This is your business and you cannot allow emotions to cloud your judgment. If a tenant is screaming, never scream back. Do not curse. Do not put yourself in legal jeopardy by threatening or resorting to tactics like ignoring maintenance requests or fiddling with a tenant’s utilities. It is your responsibility to keep your cool at all times.

Sharing a bedroom with a renter... a new Denver property management trend?

System - Thursday, February 22, 2018

New research says demographic shifts and the sharing economy will lead to more homeowners with spare bedrooms being matched with long-term renters.

According to Rental Journal: 

 “Home sharing will gradually take a sizeable dent out of housing demand,” write Mikaela Sharp and John Burns, of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. They say 44 million empty bedrooms await."

Will this be a long-term trend in Denver?  Perhaps, as the gap between salary growth and rental housing cost continues to rise...



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