From:                                                       ORHA - Oregon Rental Housing Association <>

Sent:                                                         Monday, July 22, 2019 5:46 PM

To:                                                            Cloud Miller

Subject:                                                   DECEMBER 2018 ORHA NEWSLETTER



Check out the latest landlord news.  Catch a meeting across Oregon or join as a member of ORHA!

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Landlords Face Potential Liability for Not Changing Rent Due Dates for SSDI Recipients

In a recent court decision, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that landlords face potential fair housing liability for refusing to adjust due dates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients. In issuing its opinion, the court found that because SSDI recipients get their payments on a schedule over which they have no control, requiring rent to be due on the first day of the month creates a disparate impact on disabled tenants.

The case is Fair Housing Rights Center in Pennsylvania v. Morgan Properties Management Company, LLC, 2018 WL 3208159 (E.D. Pa. 2018).

Takeaways for Landlords:

1. Because every case is different, please review your own practices with your attorney in the context of this case to identify potential liability.

2. Maintain standard rules and practices. Train staff to refrain from one-off allowances that deviate from standard, approved practices. In this case, some property managers had adjusted due dates in some situations, but the defendant company had refused to make an across-the-board change. The fact that the defendant's individual property managers had been able to do this was cited by the court in holding that accommodation in the form of moving due dates was not unreasonable.

3. Always assume any person making any inquiry of you is a tester, and follow the law to the letter. This case, like many others, came as a result of testers making inquiries of the defendant. Testers are actively working to find landlords who are not following the law. While this case involves differences in interpretation of the law, other cases do not. So, treat every accommodation request as a potential test case. Regardless of other factors, adhering to fair housing law is the right thing to do, but it is also the way you avoid costly fines and court proceedings.

National Association of Residential Property Managers |



Are You Confused By Requests For Service, Emotional Support And Assistance Animals?

The FHA prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

You probably know that you would need to grant this request. But what if the prospect requested an emotional support bird in addition to a service dog? What if she gave you an online “certification” for the emotional support bird? What if the requested service dog was a restricted breed in your county?

Accommodation requests related to assistance animals are prevalent, yet they cause much confusion. This is understandable – multiple laws apply and use different terms and definitions, there are many kinds of assistance animals that help people with many types of disabilities (some of which are not obvious), and online sites have surfaced offering questionable documentation.

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Property Managers Challenged By Tenants Thin, Limited Credit History

Property managers have a lot of balls in the air and many problems to deal with, but potential renters with thin, limited credit history is one of the bigger issues.

In a survey across all geographic areas of the country conducted by MMR Research Associates, Inc. earlier this year on behalf of Equifax, the company received feedback from nearly 200 nationally-based landlords and property managers of varying size apartments.

Respondents were asked about the pain points they experience in areas such as screening processes and online payments and how they rank them on level of importance.

According to the results, most managers expressed a range of issues with tenant screening that seem to cause the most grief. These included verifying income and employment, uncommitted potential tenants, thin credit history files, prior landlord verifications, unclear credit.

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New Short-Term Multifamily Rental Player In Portland, Seattle

A Portland based vacation rental management company has launched a new short-term multifamily rental site that claims it is “ready to become your most reliable tenant,” according to a release.

Vacasa, the largest vacation rental management company in North America, announced the launch of Vacasa Multifamily, a new initiative dedicated to building its rental inventory for guests seeking short-term stays in urban city centers.

Vacasa Multifamily will partner with leading real estate developers and property managers to provide short-term rental management services for vacant units, resulting in stable and reliable revenue for the properties.

“The industry has seen an increase in guest demand for urban short-term rentals, and we’ve been approached by developers and property managers seeking our vacation rental management services,” Joshua Viner, senior manager of Vacasa Multifamily, based in Portland, said in the release.

“We’re excited to bring our decade-long property management experience to the multifamily space and offer diverse inventory for business and leisure travelers, as well as families looking to stay in urban destinations.”

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Safety Tips For Landlords


Violence against landlords and property managers

appear in the news with some frequency. Thinking ahead

and having specific plans to address your safety will go

a long way toward making sure you don’t become the

headlines for tomorrow’s news story.

1. Write down and follow screening guidelines.

Always checking credit reports, pulling criminal

reports and verifying references will help weed

out problem tenants. Always make a copy of the

applicants’ identification. Communicating your

requirements to prospective tenants will start the

process off on the right foot.

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Simple Ways to Make Tenants Feel at Home

The landlord-tenant relationship is critical to successful property management, and like any relationship, a good one requires care to foster mutual respect.

You want a tenant who is respectful of amenities and responsible with up-keeping tasks—changing the air filter, maintaining a pest-free living space, or making sure the water is running in winter. And a tenant wants to feel that you are invested in both them and the property. A tenant who feels that you are ready to meet their needs is more likely to reciprocate your attentiveness by being thoughtful in their dealings with you and your property.

A good relationship means both parties have a vested interest in each other’s success. For the landlord, this means that a tenant is less likely to ignore a payment, fail to maintain the property, and is more willing to come forward in as soon as possible to warn about emergent circumstances.

So, what are ways that you can foster that relationship so that your tenants feel valued?

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Education in Property Management

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