By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
Welcome to our new members of the Executive Committee
I’m pleased to announce that at our November meeting, Dan Griffin of the Central Oregon Rental Owners Association was elected Treasurer to serve out the remaining term after our previous Treasurer resigned. With his gift for numbers Dan is a great choice. Dan is a licensed real estate broker and an investor. He’s working on his business start-up and he and his wife own five rental properties in Central Oregon. They have a 3-year-old daughter and a baby on the way. Originally from the Chicago area, Dan moved to Oregon nearly 11 years ago. He spends his free time building an off-grid cabin in a remote area east of Bend and training jiu jitsu. Thanks, Dan, for agreeing to serve.
With our new Treasurer, a fantastic bookkeeper, Lori Black, along with Finance Committee Chair Dennis Chappa’s experience and tutelage, we’re in a good place with our finances.
You might recall that last year the board voted to reduce our regions from five to four, and in accordance with our bylaws, each area must be represented unless there’s no one willing to serve from a particular region, so with the prior Treasurer’s resignation, we were left without a representative from the Southern Region to serve on the Executive Committee, so...
…I’m also pleased to announce that Joanne Williams from the Rental Owners Association of Douglas County has agreed to serve as At-Large Member. She was a computer programmer for 30 years until her purchase of Centerpointe Property Management in 2020. Her company has 11 employees, including her daughter who will be taking over the business someday. Centerpointe manages around 700 regular rental units and three HOA’s with around 300 units.
Joanne has lived in Roseburg most of her life and caught the rental bug from her grandmother who was a longtime landlord. She bought her first property in 1998 to supplement her retirement, and recently bought a 7th unit. She says Monopoly is her favorite board game, and she enjoys camping and hiking in her limited spare time. She’s a proud mom of two, and a grandma of two. A fun fact about Joanne is that she appeared on TV in the show Swift Justice, and she won! Thanks, Joanne, for agreeing to serve.
New forms available for 2024 law changes
With the advent of new laws that took effect this year, including a requirement to allow child care in rental properties, and an allowance to serve notice by email and mail among other changes, the Forms Committee is rolling out new forms and forms changes to help you navigate. Read my article on New Forms and Forms Changes – Part II in my Forms Committee Report later in the newsletter.
The article also highlights an important change you’re going to see in all of our forms regarding our service boxes, so check it out!
One of the biggest challenges we face with our online Forms Store is the cost of developing and programming fillable forms. In November, the board accepted the committee’s recommendation to offer some forms on the site that will not be fillable. At a cost of around 10% of what it would normally cost to offer fillable forms, it will enable us to offer many forms we thought would be helpful but were not within our budget to produce. It will also allow us to see if the use of some forms justifies making them fillable in the future. Just like with printed forms, they are copyrighted, so you aren’t allowed to just print one and copy them for the future.
Remember, what we do costs money and when you unlawfully copy our forms, it impacts our ability to improve our offerings. We work hard to help our members run a successful rental business and appreciate your support, financial and otherwise.
Watch out for fraud!
Late last year, a member sent me a very realistic looking letter purporting to approve rent assistance from Catholic Community Services for her renter, but when the member called their office, they had not received an application from the tenant nor approved anything.
Fraudsters are getting better all the time. If your tenant claims to have applied for assistance or been approved for assistance, even if they have official-looking documents you should contact the agency to check.
No meeting this month
Remember, there is no January meeting, so we’ll see all our delegates in Bandon in March. Looking forward to work and play.
Property Management Palooza!
This year’s Property Management Seminar is being held in beautiful Hermiston, Oregon, Friday May 17, 2024. The Palooza is our way of highlighting a smaller chapter and helping them boost their finances. In this case we’re working with all our eastern Oregon folks and while the distances are vast, it’s a beautiful drive. So please mark your calendars for an all-day seminar. If you can’t make it in person, we will be offering virtual attendance options as well, but we encourage you to come in person if you can. Remember, when you travel for business it’s a tax deduction!
There’s a lot to do in Hermiston and the surrounding areas and Eastern Oregon is spectacular in the Spring. In Hermiston, there’s the Hermiston Family Aquatic Center, Butte Park with a great view if you hike to the top of the Butte, the Hermiston Raceway, Desert Lane Bowling Alley & Arcade, and Winery Tours.
The town of Hermiston has long been a stopover for travelers. The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery passed the distinctive outcropping of Hat Rock, now a state park, and wrote about it in their journals. The town site in the 1860s was known as an overnight spot for horseback travelers who frequented an Old West hotel and bar here. The Maxwell Siding Railroad Display recalls a former time when rail was king. Visitors can view the early 20th-century rail cars and collection of railroad memorabilia. (Tours are available by appointment.)
Umatilla is only a 12-minute drive from Hermiston and offers their own array of things to do. Head down to the river at the Umatilla Marina R.V. Park, a great spot for boaters, and the McNary National Wildlife Refuge, with walking paths around the ponds and sloughs that provide key habitat for migrating and resident water birds as well as other wildlife. Visit the nearby Pacific Salmon Visitor Information Center at McNary Lock and Dam to learn about the life cycle of salmon and the history of hydropower in the Columbia. Don’t miss your photo op with the giant cowboy sign outside the Columbia Harvest Foods store. Then head west toward the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, where you can look for burrowing owls, overwintering eagles, mule deer and badgers.
We hope to see you there!
Tia Politi, President
Oregon Rental Housing Association