Phone: 310-729-6573
Email: martin@martinfeinberg.com

Author Archive

Woolsey Fire Brings Unhealthy Air to the Culver City Real Estate Area

Image is a line of hills obscured by wildfire smoke.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that officials in Southern California have offered warnings this week concerning unhealthy air quality within the Culver City Real Estate area and parts of the LA County coast, the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Pomona-Walnut Valley.  As most residents are aware, the poor air is being caused by the Woolsey Fire, which has burned over 85,000 acres and destroyed roughly 200 buildings so far.

The smoke is worse nearest the Woolsey fire, in the western San Fernando Valley and northwest coastal Los Angeles County but all area residents are being asked to avoid unnecessary outdoor activity and to limit physical exertion both inside and outside.  Officials are also warning residents that paper dust masks will do nothing against smoke particulates, as they are meant to stop large particles such as sawdust.

According to the health department, “Wildfire smoke is dangerous because it is “a mixture of small particles made of gases and water vapor that cause a myriad of symptoms from itching and burning eyes, runny nose and dry throat to more serious conditions such as bronchitis.”  People with sensitive health conditions need to be especially wary. The particles can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, and chest pain.

“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask everyone to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for Los Angeles County.

Davis stated, “Smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even people who are healthy.  People at higher risk include those with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults.”

Image is a helicopter dropping water on a fire.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, also notes that Davis is “advising schools and recreational programs that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after- school sports, until conditions improve.  Non-school-related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot or ash, or where there is an smell of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas.”

According to DPH, “people can participate in indoor sports or other strenuous activity in areas with visible smoke, soot or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside and all windows and doors are closed.”

Why Property Managers Should care About Renters Insurance

Image is an illustration of a house sitting in a protective bubble in someone's hands.Purchasing renters insurance may not be a top priority for a lot of tenants.  Though many property management companies require tenants to have renters insurance as a part of their lease, renters may still see it as an unnecessary expense. Renter’s insurance is not something to take lightly however, and not having it can impact tenants, property managers, and property owners alike.  Both tenants and property managers must understand that renters insurance is an essential, affordable, and easy way to protect property and mitigate personal liability.

What’s renters insurance?

According to landlordology.com, renters insurance “is an insurance policy, carried by the tenant, which provides coverage for the tenant’s personal property, property damage, and liability from accidental injuries to guests and damage to third-party property. Most policies are broken down into two parts; personal property coverage and liability coverage.”

Professional property managers will always require tenants to obtain and carry renters insurance.  Requiring tenants to have renters insurance is a form of liability insurance.  It’s an way to transfer certain risks away from the property owner and protect their investment.

Renters insurance typically costs about $20 a month, and it’s available from most insurance providers.

Recommended coverage

Good renters insurance should cover liability and personal property.  Though some property managers might not see the importance of requiring tenants to carry personal property coverage, it can help lessen the chance of a tenant trying to sue should something go wrong, while increasing the chances that the tenant will continue to be able to pay their rent if they experience a property loss.

Some property managers require tenants to have a minimum of $100,000 in liability and $15,000 in personal property coverage. Leases vary however.

What does it cover?

Personal property

Most of the time, personal property is protected from the following types of damage under renters insurance policies (subject to various coverage limits, conditions, and exclusions, which can vary on a state-by-state and policy basis):

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam

Property managers who require their tenants to have renters insurance can help ensure that their tenant stay financially secure while they go through the process of replacing belongings.

Loss of use

If a property is damaged from a natural disaster, such as a fire, tenants typically need to move out while repairs are being done. Renters insurance would pay for a hotel or temporary housing.

Liability

The liability part of renters insurance kicks in when the tenant accidentally causes damage, like starting a fire by smoking or leaving a pot on the stove overnight.

The security deposit likely won’t cover those kinds of damages, and suing a tenant is never an easy solution.  Requiring a tenant to have liability insurance means that the insurance company will pay for damages (as long as they are covered in the policy

Liability coverage also includes certain injuries sustained at the property that were the tenant’s fault.  This could include someone falling because of clutter on the floor or a tenant’s dog biting someone.

Medical payments

Liability coverage also typically insures against medical costs associated with an injury of a guest. It won’t usually cover medical costs incurred by the tenant or household members though. A tenant must have separate health insurance coverage for those instances.

Third-party property damage

If a tenant accidentally damages another property or dwelling, the other owners might try to go after a rental property owner or their homeowner’s insurance to pay for damages.  Requiring tenants to have liability insurance usually keeps that from happening.

Why require renters insurance

Image is a drawing of an umbrella keeping rain off of a dollar sign.Requiring tenants to carry renters insurance can mitigate the threat of a lawsuit, reduce the responsibility of the rental property owner and property manager, weed out unqualified tenants (if they can’t afford renters insurance they will probably struggle to pay rent), and may even pay an owner’s insurance deductible if an owner’s policy is needed to cover repairs.

Professional property managers understand the importance of requiring their tenants to carry renters insurance and will include the mandate in their leases. When tenants have renters insurance life is easier for everyone involved.

Southern California Hospitals at Culver City Recognized for Patient Care

Image is of a woman's arm being examined by a doctor.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, would like to congratulate Southern California Hospitals at Culver City and Hollywood for receiving five stars in five clinical areas for 2019.  Healthgrades reports that five stars is the highest rating possible, and that Southern California Hospitals rating means that the hospitals’ actual performance is statistically significantly better than expected in these areas.

Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at almost 4,500 hospitals throughout the country to determine clinical distinction in the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

Southern California Hospitals at Culver City and Hollywood were recognized for the following clinical achievements:

  • Five-Star Recipient for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for 17 Years in a Row (2003-2019)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Esophageal/Stomach Surgeries 5 Years in a Row (2015-2019)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Heart Attack Treatment (2015-2019)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Heart Failure Treatment (2015-2019)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Pacemaker Procedures 2 Years in a Row (2018-2019)

Michael Klepin, CEO Southern California Hospitals, stated, “Southern California Hospitals at Culver City and Hollywood are committed to providing the highest quality patient care and patient safety. Our dedication is further validated by this national recognition.”

Besides the 2019 clinical achievements, the two hospitals were also ranked in the top 10% in the nation for Pulmonary Care Excellence and top 5% in the nation for Patient Safety Excellence for 2018.

Image is of a person leaving the doctor's office using crutches.According to Dr. Brad Bowman, Healthgrades chief medical officer, “Clinical quality varies significantly between hospitals, so it’s important for consumers to use information about outcomes to assess where to receive care.  These 5-star ratings showcase the expertise and commitment of Southern California Hospitals at Culver City and Hollywood to their patients.”

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that Southern California Hospital at Culver City is located within the Culver City Real Estate area at 3828 Delmas Terrace.  It has been in operation since 1925.  It is a 453-bed general acute care hospital that offers the latest medical treatments; with a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient acute care services.

New Zealanders and Others Build Homes for Habitat for Humanity

Image is a family home under construction.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was pleased to learn that a group of New Zealanders and volunteers for Habitat For Humanity spent last weekend working on six new homes on Globe Avenue in Culver City.

According to Habitat For Humanity’s website, “Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Martin Feinberg, local listing agent, notes that according to Habitat for Humanity, Los Angeles is one of the least affordable housing areas in the U.S.

Once the volunteers are finished working on the homes in the Culver City Real Estate area, there will be ten new family-sized homes located off on Glove Avenue and Washington Boulevard.  These ten homes already have families waiting and ready to move in.

David Duerte, Habitat For Humanity Site Supervisor, stated “this specific building project has been in the works for about 10 years.” First the families had to get approval from Culver City to build on the lots. After an agreement was reached, construction started this last April.

On an average build day, there are 45 volunteers with only three paid Habitat For Humanity staff members on site.

“About 85 to 90 percent of the work is done by volunteers, so we kind of show them the ropes and then they do all of the work and it’s just amazing, you know, bringing a group together,” Duerte said. “The three of us that work here could not possibly get all the work done ourselves.”

Kiwis in LA was one of the groups helping out last weekend.  Broadleaf Meats and New Zealand Seafoods, two significant New Zealand importers based out of Southern California, sponsored the group.

“We are a group of Kiwis living in Southern California,” said Mitchell Wong, a Kiwi volunteer. “We’ve lived in Southern California anywhere from the last 5 years up to the last forty years, and it is a collective way for a group of New Zealanders as part of a bigger New Zealand community in Southern California to give back to a community that’s given well to us.”

Families aided by Habitat For Humanity made up the rest of the volunteers. The beauty of the Habitat for Humanity program is that those are receiving homes give back to the organization by working with the volunteers to build their own homes and their neighbors’ homes. Overall, they put in 500 hours of “sweat equity,” Duerte said.

Duerte added that single parent homes are only required 250 hours of labor.

Those interested in volunteering in Los Angeles, or looking to apply for affordable housing from Habitat For Humanity, should visit the website HabitatLA.org.

Image is the New Zealand flag.

Professional Property Managers Should give Renters a good Experience

Image is a woman on the phone sitting in a cafe.Providing excellent customer service is very important for property managers, but equally important is creating a good experience for the tenant when they receive service.  Moving from service-oriented to experience-based operations can seem daunting but it’s easier than it sounds.  Technology has a direct effect on the service – and experience – property managers deliver to their renters.  Going mobile is the most important and easiest step.

Entire generations have switched to a mobile lifestyle, and that includes most tenants as well. Property managers should look for ways to use mobile-friendly technologies.  This will benefit our current population that is always on the go.

Achieving a reliable mobile-first approach is easiest when property managers automate with these tactics:

  1. Online Maintenance Requests–Property managers can use online maintenance requests to keep their tenants satisfied, while expediting and prioritizing work orders at the same time.
  2. Online Rent Payments– In this day and age, tenants expect the convenience of being able to pay rent online.  It’s even possible to utilize online payment portals that allow renters to set-up automatic withdrawals. This greatly cuts down on the worry of late fees.
  3. Online Applications– Online applications can help property managers like Martin Feinberg lease vacant units more quickly while appealing to a mobile society.
  4. Automated SMS Messages–With automated SMS messages, property managers can keep tenants up to date on everything from scheduled maintenance to amenity upgrades and rent reminders.
  5. Embrace The Power Of Email – Providing excellent experiences for tenants will require property managers to communicate using the easiest means. For many people the platform of choice is email. Emails are time and cost effective and keep property managers and tenants in contact when it matters. 

Image is an illustration of a man multitasking.Professional property managers know that the key to providing excellent experiences to tenants starts with embracing mobile technology solutions.  Choosing the right property management software will allow property managers to utilize online maintenance requests, accept online rent payments, review online applications, create automated text messaging campaigns, and send out renter emails from the convenience of a computer, tablet, or smartphone. This will make things easier for both the tenant and the property manager, while delivering an amazing experience.

Annual Affair of the Arts to Take Place this Weekend in Culver City

Image is a picture of graffiti art.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that today, November 2, the Whole9 is hosting the annual Affair of the Arts. The event will take place Friday from 5-9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Culver City.

The Whole9 website states, “Join us for the 11th Affair of the Arts in downtown Culver City. View and purchase art from 50 of Southern California’s premiere painters, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists, wood workers, glass blowers and jewelry artists. The Affair also features live music, live painting and interactive activities for children. In the spirit of using art to create a better world, proceeds will fund the life-changing work of our non-profit, The Peace Project.”

For those who are unaware, the Peace Project was started by the Whole9 as a way to use creativity and community to change the world.  It is a conglomeration of different projects focusing on Africa and the Philippines that are centered on education and service in war torn areas.  So far the Peace Project has distributed 10,000 pairs of crutches to amputees and helped to design a Pease Museum in Sierra Leone, and designed an Instant House and Peace Center in the Philippines for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is also excited to see that many Downtown Culver City restaurants will be taking part in the Affair of the Arts by welcoming festival attendees with food and beverage specials. Those looking for something to do within the Culver City Real Estate area this weekend should plan to visit the art exhibits and then check out other local restaurant and entertainment venues.

The Affair of the Arts will take place in the Culver City Town Plaza, 9400 Culver Blvd., at the corner of Culver Blvd. and Main Street.

For further information, click here. 

Image is of colored pencils underwater against a black background, covered in tiny air bubbles.

Vargas wins Award from West Basin Municipal Water District

Image is Cathi Vargas and Houston.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was pleased to learn that Cathi Vargas has won one of the prestigious 2018 “Water Reliability” awards from the West Basin Municipal Water District.  Vargas, Culver City’s environmental coordinator, won for her vigorous efforts to help residents and businesses within the Culver City Real Estate area to conserve California’s most valuable commodity.

Culver City West Basin Director Scott Houston presented the award to Vargas at the 20th annual Water Harvest Festival on Saturday October 27.  Houston cited Vargas’ notable efforts to “enhance the District’s relationship with the City by sharing engaging water-related content across the City’s social media platforms.”

Houston went on to say, “She has also been instrumental in assisting with hosting and driving attendance to West Basin community events located in Culver City.”

Because many people don’t understand how the West Basin Municipal Water District works, education is key to improving water conservation.

The West Basin Municipal Water District was voted into existence in 1947 after decades of saltwater infiltration into community wells showed that water conservation and supplemental water sources would be necessary if the region was to thrive.

Image is an illustration of a faucet with water drops coming out.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that the West Basin Municipal Water District is essentially a wholesale water agency that provides imported drinking water to nearly 1 million people in 17 Southland cities and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County.  The District also produced recycled water for irrigation, groundwater replenishment, industrial cooling towers, and both low and high-pressure boiler feed water. West Basin is considered by many experts to be an industry leader in water conservation, recycling and education.

Culver City’s Vargas won the “Water Reliability” award for the West Basin’s Division IV.  The West Basin has five divisions in total.

Division IV covers a broad swath, from Malibu to West Hollywood, south to Culver City and down to El Segundo and parts of Lennox.

The Benefits of Online Rent Collection for Tenants and Property Managers

Image is a close up of a hand typing on a laptop keyboard.These days, everyone is busy. Tenants have busy lives and so do investment property owners and property managers.  Though paying rent and rent collection is an important monthly activity, it can still fall through the cracks on occasion.   Property managers who utilize online rental payments make it easy for tenants to pay rent on time, free up time in their own schedules, and also protect the investment the property owners they represent.

Here are four reasons why tenants love online rent payment systems:

  1. Tenants Can Pay Rent Online at Any Time

Collecting rent through the mail or in person sounds simple, but it can actually lead to endless issues and problems.  It’s easier for tenants to pay late, checks can bounce or get lost, and someone has to physically take the check to the bank to be cashed.  Tenants love being able to pay rent at their convenience and electronic payments are usually instantly accessible for property managers and owners.

  1. Online Rent Payments Are Easy to Track

When tenants have access to online tenant portals they can check payment history and due dates without any hassle.  On the other side of the transaction, property managers can also instantly track payments and see what a tenant has paid, when they paid it, and any amount still owed.  Professional property managers understand the importance of being able to instantly track outstanding balances and payments.

  1. Rent Can Be Paid from Anywhere

Every investment property owner has a few tenants who are hard to contact.  Some tenants are frequent travelers or work extended hours, making it difficult for them to make it to an office to pay rent.  This causes unnecessary stress for owners and tenants alike.  When property managers implement online rent collection, tenants can be in another time zone entirely and still pay their rent on time.  This is a win for them as well as the rental property owner.

  1. Fewer Mistakes are Made

Image is an illustration of an invoice in an envelope and someone holding money.When a property manager such as Martin Feinberg is connected to an online rent payment system, it is easier to see the rental payment history of each tenant. This makes accounting simpler because it provides a well-organized list of accounts receivable. Using an online tracking system for rent payments reduces the likelihood that a property manager or tenant will make a mistake. This increases tenants’ satisfaction and makes them feel more financially secure while making live easier for the property manager and rental property owner.

 

 

 

Culver City Fire Department Ranks in top 1% in the Nation

Image is a golden number one against a white background.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was impressed to learn that the Culver City Fire Department ranks in the top one percent in the nation.  The city announced Thursday that the Insurance Services Office (ISO) recently awarded CCFD a Class 1 Public Protection Classification.  This means the fire department is ranked within the top one percent of the 43,000 American agencies the ISO reviews.

Notably, this is the 23rd consecutive year that the Culver City Fire Department was awarded the Class 1 honor from ISO.

According to Culver City Mayor Thomas Small, “Class 1 is the highest rating that can be given to fire departments throughout the country. For CCFD to maintain this excellent standard for over two decades is just incredible.  Our community is truly lucky to have such capable and brave men and women on our public safety teams.”

The Culver City Fire Department was founded in 1922.  It’s comprised of 72 members organized between three fire stations, and covers the Culver City Real Estate area.  It’s provides the community with paramedic advanced life support services, fire suppression, community risk reduction, and education programs.

According to the Culver City press release, ISO is a nationwide rating service used by insurance companies to help establish insurance rates for local business and residential properties. Most people don’t realize that fire insurance premiums are determined by the quality of service and fire protection available within a community.  This means that the Culver City Fire Department’s high ISO rating allows Culver City homeowners and businesses to “reap the lowest possible fire insurance premiums on the market,” according to the city.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg would like to say congratulations to the Culver City Fire Department and thank them for helping to make Culver City a wonderful and save place to live and raise a family.

Image is a Culver City Fire Department fire truck.

Measure K Backed by Culver City Chamber of Commerce Directors

Image is the word tax in giant red letters.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was interested to learn that the directors of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce have chosen to support Measure K.

According to Voter’s Edge website, “Approval of Measure K would authorize the Board of Education of the Culver City Unified School District, which placed the Measure on the ballot by Resolution No. 29/2017-2018, to levy a special parcel tax of $189 per parcel per year on taxable real estate property. If approved, the Tax will be levied annually beginning July 1, 2019, and continue for seven years.”

The money collected by the special parcel tax would be used to fund core programs in math, science, technology, engineering, art, and music.  It would also help provide stable and secure funding for schools, maintain small class sizes, support participation in sports, and attract and keep teachers.  None of the money can be used for administrators’ salaries, benefits, or pensions.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the decision by the Culver City Chamber of Commerce was reached after Commerce members met with Culver Unified School District Superintendent Leslie Lockhart and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Robert Quinn.

Chamber of Commerce members, who represent the business interests of the Culver City Real Estate area, wanted to become better educated on Measure K.  The Parcel Tax would raise an estimated $2.3 million dollars annually during the seven years that it was valid, and would address some major financial needs of the School District.

Image is a pile of books with apples on top and chalk on the side in front of a chalkboard.“I appreciated both Leslie and Robert’s candor and honesty about the situation, as well as the planned use of the proposed Parcel Tax. The two-pronged approach that Robert Quinn has to both ‘protect against cuts’ and ‘add or enhance programs’ shows that the District has given careful consideration to how to both stem past shortcomings as well as build for the future,” said Colin Diaz, President and CEO of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce.