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Colorado Marijuana laws for Denver Rentals Management 12

System - Monday, November 14, 2016

Property management usually has more to do with ‘grey’ areas than it does with black and white.  There is no more grey right now than with medical marijuana and outright legalization of marijuana through Amendment 64.

The big issue, of course, is that federal and state laws differ from one another.  On the federal level, HUD enforces the federal Fair Housing Act (Amended, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to be exact). HUD’s viewpoint is that marijuana use, even for medical purposes, should not be allowed.  HUD is against housing providers granting reasonable accommodation requests related to medical marijuana, even in states like Colorado that have a Constitution that allows it.

 

So where does this leave the landlord?  General consensus is that as long as a landlord has an -enforced- policy in place that they disclose and follow consistently, they probably won’t get into trouble for allowing or not allowing marijuana.  The most conservative approach adopted by professional property managers is prohibition... marijuana use is prohibited even if the resident possesses a medical marijuana card or makes a reasonable accommodation request. The prohibition policy is legally defensible because marijuana use or possession is a felony under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

 

But how could a landlord get into trouble? A typical scenario would be someone with a pot card wants to rent from them.  The tenant says  “this card says I’m disabled, so under the American with Disabilities Act I’m asking for reasonable accommodation from you.”  This is a fair statement just as if someone in a wheel chair would ask for a wheel chair ramp, or someone with a seeing eye dog asks to bring their dog into a no-pet property. They are asking for the same accommodation.    As long as you have a published policy (that you strictly enforce and never waiver on) that says you do not acknowledge the pot card, and do not allow the use of marijuana you’re going to be safe.  The problem arises when 1) the applicant was never notified of this policy before their credit was run and/or before they moved in, or 2) the landlord allows tenant A to use marijuana (medical or not), and does not allow tenant B to use it. In this case, they have opened themselves up for a possible discrimination lawsuit.

The best way landlords can protect themselves from this potential outcome is to have their policy included in a published “rental applicant selection criteria” document. When someone fills out an application they need to communicate to the applicant what their selection criteria is for marijuana.  Then, when they sign the lease, the landlord should reiterate their policy through a thorough Crime and Drug-Free Addendum which further details their policy on marijuana and helps to further protect against liability.   

We are not suggesting that landlords allow or disallow the use of medical marijuana or other consumables, but they do need to have a policy and follow it consistently… as with anything in property management. 

Another area where landlords have to be very careful; if allowing growing on-premise, and it turns out that the renters are doing something illegally (or violating some form of code), the landlord might be brought into and legal proceedings, and held equally accountable.  If you allow growing, know your stuff and seek legal advice in advance.    

Denver metro rental market - Relief coming

System - Saturday, November 5, 2016



The rental market in the Denver area might be starting to show signs of stabilization after months of runaway growth.

"From a renter standpoint, it's going to start looking better over this next year," said Cary Bruteig of Apartment Insights LLC in Denver. "The rent growth should slow down. They may be able to get some concessions on new leases, and they'll have more properties to choose from."

The average rent for an apartment in the metro area in May was $1,309, up $129 from the average in May 2014, according to a report Wednesday from Axiometrics. Occupancy rates hovered just above 96 percent.

FULL STORY: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_28333964/relief-might-be-coming-denver-metro-rental-market

Source: The Denver Post


Echo Summit Property Management an Official Drop-off Site for Toys for Tots

System - Sunday, October 30, 2016

Echo Summit Property Management, a leading Denver and Ft. Collins-based Property Manager, is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation as an official drop-off site for this years' Toys for Tots campaign.

For more info:  http://www.echo-summit.com/pdf/Toys-for-Tots.pdf 

Essential Denver Property Management --- Bank Reconciliations

System - Saturday, October 22, 2016

 

Professional property managers have very strict legal requirements regarding how they handle incoming and outgoing monies that belong to the tenant or the owner. There are also strict, but seldom followed requirements regarding bank reconciliations. While many property managers conduct monthly bank reconciliations (which reconcile their property management software general ledger balances with the final monthly bank statements), very few are conducting the necessary 3-way tie-over, which reconciles the bank statements and property management software WITH the individual owner and renter account ledgers. 

In professional property management, there should be 3 bank accounts: 1) security deposit escrow, 2) rent escrow and 3) corporate operations. The third account, corporate operations, is where the company pays its operations bills, and receives any fee income derived from managing properties. There is no legal requirement to reconcile this account, as it has no bearing on tenants or owners. The security deposit and rental escrow accounts are very different. Monies going into these accounts do not belong to the property management company, which is why the accounts are established as escrow (or trust) accounts. It is critical that the property manager understands where every penny in these accounts is… on a tenant-by-tenant, and owner-by-owner basis, at any given point in time. This is a difficult task. 

What many property managers do is reconcile the bank statements for the escrow accounts with the overall account ledger balance in their property management software (e.g. Yardi, TenantPro, AppFolio, Property Boss). However, what it required by law is a three-way reconciliation (or three-way tie over) between the bank statement, property management software and also the tenant and owner ledgers. Each month those ledgers need to balance to zero. This is mandatory to ensure there is no co-mingling of funds between owners and renters, and that all monies are appropriately accounted for. 

As a property owner, when seeking out a professional property manger be sure to investigate how they keep their books reconciled each month. 

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education 
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos 

Denver Property Management Essentials: Selection Criteria - Tips for Lease Applications

System - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

 

Denver Property Management Essentials: Selection Criteria and  Tips for Lease Applications

Denver Rental Insurance Subrogation for Denver Property Management

System - Friday, October 7, 2016

Insurance Subrogation for Denver Property Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Topics

  • What is Subrogation
  • Who is responsible?
  • Waiver of Subrogation

 

This report will explain an insurance term call Subrogation. In its most common usage Subrogation refers to circumstances in which an insurance company tries to recoup expenses for a claim it paid out when another party should have been responsible for paying at least a portion of that claim. So when an insurance claim is paid, the parties involved (including the owner, tenant, fire department, etc) are looking for who is at fault in order to collect financial damages.

 

This process can be very expensive. Claims can be as small as a few thousand dollars for mold damage and upwards of several hundred thousand dollars for major damage like a fire. So it’s important that the insurance company investigate who was responsible and how did the damage occur.

 

Subrogation refers to an insurance company seeking reimbursement from the person or entity legally responsible for an accident after the insurer has paid out money on behalf of its insured. This could include any money paid out for property damage, deductible amounts, diminished value, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. The definition of subrogation is the substitution of one person or group by another in respect of a debt or insurance claim, accompanied by the transfer of any associated rights and duties.

 

Waiver of Subrogation

 

Some contractual agreements might require the insured to waive their right of subrogation (and therefore the insurance company's rights) against the other party in the event of a claim. A waiver of subrogation prevents the insured’s insurance company from pursuing damages from a specified party. If an insured is ever asked to sign a waiver of it is a good idea to consult an attorney before waiving any rights or limiting the amount of damages that can recovered.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education

 

If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos

Essential Denver Property Management Selection Criteria plus Tips for Lease Applications

System - Thursday, September 29, 2016

 

Denver Property Management Essentials: Selection Criteria and  Tips for Lease Applications

Essential Denver Property Management .. Bank Reconciliations

System - Saturday, September 24, 2016
 

 

Professional property managers have very strict legal requirements regarding how they handle incoming and outgoing monies that belong to the tenant or the owner. There are also strict, but seldom followed requirements regarding bank reconciliations. While many property managers conduct monthly bank reconciliations (which reconcile their property management software general ledger balances with the final monthly bank statements), very few are conducting the necessary 3-way tie-over, which reconciles the bank statements and property management software WITH the individual owner and renter account ledgers. 

In professional property management, there should be 3 bank accounts: 1) security deposit escrow, 2) rent escrow and 3) corporate operations. The third account, corporate operations, is where the company pays its operations bills, and receives any fee income derived from managing properties. There is no legal requirement to reconcile this account, as it has no bearing on tenants or owners. The security deposit and rental escrow accounts are very different. Monies going into these accounts do not belong to the property management company, which is why the accounts are established as escrow (or trust) accounts. It is critical that the property manager understands where every penny in these accounts is… on a tenant-by-tenant, and owner-by-owner basis, at any given point in time. This is a difficult task. 

What many property managers do is reconcile the bank statements for the escrow accounts with the overall account ledger balance in their property management software (e.g. Yardi, TenantPro, AppFolio, Property Boss). However, what it required by law is a three-way reconciliation (or three-way tie over) between the bank statement, property management software and also the tenant and owner ledgers. Each month those ledgers need to balance to zero. This is mandatory to ensure there is no co-mingling of funds between owners and renters, and that all monies are appropriately accounted for. 

As a property owner, when seeking out a professional property manger be sure to investigate how they keep their books reconciled each month. 

For more information on this and other topics, please visit us online: http://echo-summit.com/education 
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, visit us at: http://echo-summit.com/education/videos 

New Data Supporting Colorado and Denver Rental Market - Time to Invest

System - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Data Supporting Colorado and Denver Rental Market - Time to Invest

 

Essential Denver Property Management ----- Effective Showings

System - Friday, September 16, 2016

Denver Property Management Essentials: How to Do Effective Showings

 


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