Phone: 310-729-6573


Ten Questions Property Managers Should ask Potential Renters

Image is a man wearing a suit with his finger pointed straight out with a question mark hyper imposed in front of him.One of the most important responsibilities of a property manager is to fill vacancies with good tenants.   Screening and vetting potential renters is incredibly important, and one of the biggest mistakes that unexperienced rental property owners make is not taking it seriously enough.  Experienced property managers know that the easiest way to rent to good tenants is to ask the right questions before letting anyone sign a lease.

Below are ten questions that professional property managers such as Martin Feinberg are likely to ask potential tenants.  These kinds of questions allow property managers to quickly and confidently identify which tenants are more likely to lead to problems and which are likely to be good and responsible renters.

Question One: When are you planning to move and why?

Sometimes there is a good reason, but generally, property managers should be wary of anyone who is desperate to move in right away.   The majority of rental properties require a month’s notice before moving out, so a tenant in a hurry to find a new home could be an irresponsible tenant.

And obviously, any tenant looking to move because of an eviction or trouble with the previous neighbors or landlord needs further consideration.

Question Two:  How long have you lived in your current residence?

Tenant turnover is expensive and time-consuming for property manages and owners. This means that reliable tenants who don’t move often are usually a better bet than someone who has lived in six different places in the last year.  A short stint in their last home isn’t always a deal breaker, but good property managers will be interested in knowing a perspective tenant’s renting history.

Question Three:  What do you do for work and how much do you earn?

Property managers don’t care what potential renters do for work, only that they have stable employment and are making enough to pay rent on time.  A good rule of thumb is for perspective tenants (or group of tenants) to earns 2.5x the monthly rent.

Question Four:   Will you agree to a credit or background check?

A tenant who agrees to a credit and background check usually has little to hide. For those that don’t, that is an instant red flag that should not be ignored.

Question Five:  Can you provide references from past landlords or employers?

The best way for a property manager to check the quality of potential renters is to ask a third party.  Be aware though that current landlord references are not always the most trustworthy as a current landlord might give a glowing reference to a bad tenant just to get them out of their hair.

Question Six:  Have you ever been evicted?

An answer of yes shouldn’t automatically end the application process. A yes can actually be a good sign that a potential renter is honest, and there could have been extenuating circumstances that are worth considering.  A yes is not a great sign but perhaps not as concerning as it first sounds.

Question Seven:  Can you produce the deposit and first month’s rent before you move in?

Experienced property managers will almost always take receipt of the security deposit and first month’s rent before a tenant is allowed to move in, no exceptions.

Question Eight:  Who will be living at the property?

A property manager has the legal right to know who will be residing at their property. Each type of renter situation—single tenant, a couple, a family, a group of friends—will have their own set of pros and cons.  It’s always good for a landlord to know what they are getting into when choosing a tenant. Plus, knowing who will be living at a unit allows the property to make sure that everyone is on the lease.

Question Nine:  Do you have pets?

Whether a property manager is prepared to allow pets into the properties they manage or not, knowing what potential renters expect from the beginning is imperative.  For managers who have a no pets policy, pet owners are an easy and quick no.  For those that allow them, knowing pets are possible, and getting them into the lease, is the best protection against the added risks pet owners bring with them.

Question Ten:  Do you have any questions?

Just as property managers are trying to find the right tenant for them, perspective tenants are trying to find the right property manager for their family as well. It’s important for property managers to give tenants the opportunity to ask questions so that they can identify that a property is right for them too.

Image is a banner of question marks in different sizes and colors.

Property Management and Dealing with New Rent Control Laws

Image is a picture of a house with a rent sign superimposed under a picture of California with the words Rent Control over it.In October of this year, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a rent control bill into law that will limit the amount and frequency that rental property owners and property managers can increase rent for certain rental properties throughout the state. Though many tenants’ rights groups have encouraged the new laws, others in the rental industry are less convinced that rent control will be the answer to high rent costs in the Golden State.  Either way, navigating rent control laws while keeping real estate investments lucrative can be tricky.  Experienced property managers like Martin Feinberg can help.

According to RealPage, “rent control refers to laws and ordinances that set artificial price controls on rent regardless of ownership, property profitability, or market demand.”

Housing demand in many places across the country is higher than the supply can meet.  When this happens, rent prices typically increase.  In California, housing demands have continued to outstripped supply for years.  A strong economy and the creation of more jobs has led to a housing shortage in many areas, and rent prices have reflected that shortage.

Though the new rent control legislation—which limits rent increases to 5% each year plus inflation until Jan. 1, 2030—might cause some rental home owners to doubt their ability to turn a profit under such conditions, the new laws don’t apply to every rental property however.

The new rent control will not apply to housing built within the last 15 years, for example.  It also won’t apply to single family homes unless they are owned by corporations or real estate investment trusts.  Duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units are also not included.  Finally, the new rent control laws do not apply to those who are living in areas that were already under some form of rent control.

For those rental properties that are impacted by the new laws, the biggest issue for professional property managers could be an impact on their owners’ abilities to turn a profit under such conditions.

Just because a property manager can’t raise rent doesn’t mean there are no perks, both for them and for owners, when forced to obey rent control laws.  Some benefits might include:

  • Low Turnover: Rent controlled units are often known for having low rates of tenant turnover.  That means that Landlords should be able to save time and money on marketing and finding new tenants.
  • Hardship Exceptions:  In some cities landlords can apply for a hardship increase if the property manager cannot make a minimum profit for their investment.  Such exceptions would likely require an attorney, and are not possible in every area, but if the property is losing money it could be an option.
  • Property Conversions:  In some rent controlled areas, property managers can charge higher rents for more features. Laundry rooms, studio conversions to one bedroom units, or converting two small apartments into one could allow for an increase in rental price.  For instance, it might be possible to add a laundry room to justify a rental increase.

Image is a picture of a home for rent.Investment experts, tenants’ rights groups, and political officials will always debate the pros and cons of rent control.  In the meantime, though property managers may need to get creative to maximize returns, solutions do exist for rental property owners concerned about their bottom line.

Turkey Trot Races Coming to Los Angeles Area This November

Image is a cartoon turkey wearing a pilgrim's hat standing next to a pumpkin.Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and Martin Feinberg, Realtor, reminds residents that that means it’s almost time for the many annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot races.  The “gobble wobbles”—as they are affectionately known—take place in cities big and small around the Los Angeles area and are fun for serious racers and families alike.

The types of races vary, with many being family-friendly affairs, some with costumes contests.  Some areas also offer “Little Turkey” runs with kids’ activities. There are also many races with different charities and causes involved as beneficiaries.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg encourages those who are interested in racing to view the 2019 dates, times, and registration information of the events, as some have limited space or discounts for early sign-ups. Racers should also be aware that not all races and fun-runs will happen on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28.  Also, there is always the chance that a local race will be cancelled due to poor air quality or bad weather.

Interested Culver City Real Estate Area residents should check the Turkey Trot guide below, compiled by the Culver City Patch, to find the perfect race for them.


NOV. 28: Long Beach Turkey Trot & Kids’ Wingding. Popular community event & benefit, sponsored in part by Justin Rudd team and draws thousands of participants.

  • Boat Launch, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803


NOV. 28: YMCA Turkey Trot. “All proceeds support the Y’s Financial Assistance Program.”

  • Burbank Community YMCA, 321 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, California 91502


NOV. 28: Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk and 1K Kid’s Fun Run. “Serious runners and families alike enjoy this event.” Sponsored by Claremont Sunrise Rotary.

  • Claremont Village, Near train depot, 1st Street and Harvard Avenue, Claremont, CA.


NOV. 28: Thanksgiving 5K Run/Walk & Kids’ Mile. A community favorite for two decades.

  • Memorial Park, 1301 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011


NOV. 28: Long Beach Turkey Trot & Kids’ Wingding. Popular community event & benefit, sponsored in part by Justin Rudd team and draws thousands of participants.

  • Boat Launch, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803

NOV. 28: Charlie Alewine Turkey Trot at the Marina. Course takes runners on city streets, around a lake and provides ocean views.

  • Across from Marina Vista Park, 5200 E. Eliot St., Long Beach, CA 92803


NOV. 23: LA Tofurky Trot 5K 2019: Griffith Park. Kids & dogs welcomed, plus costume contests.

  • Griffith Park, Crystal Springs Recreation Area, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

NOV. 28: 7th Annual Turkey Trot 2019: Downtown. Thousands will participate in event that benefits the Midnight Mission.

  • City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012


NOV. 28: Hope Of Valley Thanksgiving Drumstick Dash. Supports Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. “Move Your Feet So Others Can Eat!”

  • Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601


NOV. 28: Palisades Funding Turkey Trot 5K & 10K. “Have a fantastic experience and STILL make it home in time to enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Day!”

  • Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


NOV. 28: 2nd Annual Rose Bowl Turkey Trot. A morning run, walk or trot for all ages on a lovely course.

  • Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, California 91103


NOV. 23: Turkey Trot 5K, 10K & Kids’ Run. “Everyone gets pumpkin pie at the finish line!”

  • Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, 120 Vía Verde San Dimas, CA 91773


NOV. 16: Turkey Trot & Kids’ Run. Run or walk, and bring the kids!

  • Vincent Lugo Park, 1305 Prospect Ave., San Gabriel, California 9177


NOV. 28: Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. An informal event on the beach path.

  • Near Crescent Bay Park, 2000 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA


NOV. 28: Thanksgiving Day 5K. Start the day with trot around beautiful Arroyo Creek.

  • Rancho Simi Community Park, 1765 Royal Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93065


NOV. 16: Turkey Dash 5K Run/Walk & 1K Trot. Sign-ups underway!

  • City of South El Monte, 1415 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte, California 91733


NOV. 28: Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash. With costume contest & kids’ race.

  • California Lutheran University, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 9136


NOV. 28: Turkey Trot Fun Run. “Join us for the 40th Annual Harry Sutter Memorial Turkey Trot 3-Mile Fun Run on Thanksgiving morning.”

  • Sam’s Club, 2601 Skypark Drive, Torrance, California 90505


NOV. 28: Annual Turkey Trot 5K & Kiddy Trot. Funds support Upland High School’s Boys and Girls Cross Country Team.

  • San Antonio Park, Mountain Avenue & 24th Street, Upland, Ca


NOV. 28: Lake Balboa Turkey Trot & Kids’ 1K Gobble-Gobble. With after-race festivities & medals for the little ones.

  • Woodley Park, 6350 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91316


NOV. 28: Annual Turkey Trot. “Awards, booths, food, and jolly jumps for the kids provide a fun time for all.”

  • Ventura Auto Center, Hofer Drive, Ventura, CA


NOV. 28: Annual Thanksgiving Turkey 5K & Kiddie Run. Fun includes sack races & pie-eating contest.

  • Creekside Park, 780 Creekside Drive, Walnut, CA 91789

Culver City Takes part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Image is a bottle of prescription pills, spilled out.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that this Saturday, April 27, the Culver City Police Department will be collecting unused prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as a part of the 17thannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  They be working with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and will be collecting the unused drugs at 4040 Duquesne Ave, Culver City, CA 90232.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has labeled America’s opioid crisis a public health emergency, claiming an average of 130 lives each day.  Unused prescription painkillers, along with other drugs, can easily end up in the wrong hands when they are not disposed of properly, adding to that problem.  This is one of the reasons that local law enforcement agencies periodically collect unused drugs from the public.

DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said helping people dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications is one way to break the cycle of addiction and drug overdoses.

Dhillon stated, “Addiction causes a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, not just for those addicted to drugs, but also for their families and friends.”

According to the DEA, prescription drug abuse often starts with a legal prescription, and the majority of drug abusers say they get their drugs from family and friends, including stealing from home medicine cabinets.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day also helps to keep well meaning people from flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet. This is a practice that can seem harmless but is actually incredibly harmful to the environment as the dissolved drugs easily end up in the groundwater and drinking water systems.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg encourages those who can’t make it to the Culver City location on Saturday to find a drug take back site here.

The service provided during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is free and completely anonymous. All pills will be accepted.   Liquids, needles and sharps can’t be taken during this event however.

Image is two hands reaching out to take a pile of pills.For those Culver City Real Estate Area residents looking for ways to dispose of those types of drugs or paraphernalia, the Environmental Protection Agency offers guidance on disposing of sharps and other medical waste. The Food and Drug Administration also offers tips on getting rid of liquid medicines that are expired or no longer needed.

The collection days have yielded more than 11 million pounds—or more 5,400 tons—of prescription drugs. California collected 69,077 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs during the October 2018 take-back day alone, contributing to a total haul of more than 457 tons nationwide.

Property Management and the art of Saying no to a Tenant

Image is two red hands with the letters n and o written in white on each one.Successful property management companies understand that they must be effective business managers.  Real Estate investment is a business and rental property owners want their investments to be profitable.  Property managers are responsible for making the kinds of decisions that will help their owners’ investments be lucrative, all while staying within the bounds of the law.

With this goal in mind, one of the most effective things a property manager can do in order to run their business effectively is to learn to say no.

Mastering the skill of saying no will help managers keep their sanity, streamline their management business practices, and will also make things easier on their tenants in the long run.

Dealing with demanding tenants

Our current culture sometimes makes it difficult to politely refuse to do something for another person.  It can feel mean, rude, or uncaring to refuse to give in to someone’s requests.

However, a property management company that is dealing with demanding tenants must learn how to say no and draw boundaries.  Honing the ability to say no will help property managers assess responsibility, limit their time focused on unnecessary tasks, and prioritize goals. It will also allow the property manager to say yes to other more reasonable or appropriate requests.

Learning to say no can sometimes be difficult.  Following these tips will help property managers master this important business skill.

6 helpful tips on saying no to tenants:

  1. It takes practice—It may take some practice with saying no before a property manager feels comfortable doing it. Running through scenarios and formulating answers to requests a head of time can often help.
  2. You don’t have to be mean—Remember that when saying no, it is never necessary to be rude or mean. Professional property managers must learn how to turn down requests in a polite manner using language that is clear and concise but not abrupt or negative.
  3. Body language is important—Body language and tone of voice is a key part of delivering an effective no. Managers should make eye contact, keep his or her voice even and firm, and deliver decision with an explanation if needed.
  4. Don’t apologize..too much—Many people bundle up a no with copious apologies, which minimizes the effect of the conversation and suggests room for negotiation or another petition. Avoid overly apologizing—one simple and sincere apology will do.
  5. Be respectful—Property managers must learn how to say no to the situation or request, not to the person. Being polite and respectful to the tenant while denying the request emphasizes that the property manager is clearly focused on the business decision being made, not putting the tenant down.
  6. Explain your reason clearly—Offer an explanation as part of the message if possible. When reasons are presented clearly, the tenant is more likely to accept the answer as final. They may not like it, but at least they will see the reasoning behind it.

Image is a professional woman in a business suit.These tips can help property managers boost their confidence and get mentally ready to stand their ground when needed.  Good property managers like Martin Feinberg will use their ability to say no when necessary to effectively manage their business while safeguarding their property owners’ investments.

The Patch Mayor Program Allows Culver City Residents Chance to Shine

Image is a block of gray words against a white background that say things like share, radio, data, web, Facebook, popular, friends, etc.The Patch, a national website that allows locals to keep up with news and events in their area and also contribute content, is offering a new volunteer program that will allow Culver City Real Estate area residents to get more involved in their community—the Patch Mayor program.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, is excited to learn that the Patch Mayor Program allows people who love their communities an opportunity to share that enthusiasm and expertise on local activities with those not as well connected. Patch’s reporters will continue to cover Culver City’s big news, but they will work with Patch Mayors as a way to give residents more of a voice on Patch sites.

According to the Patch website, local Patch Mayors will have the ability to:

  • Post stories on Patch and social media to spread the word about charity events, local celebrations, civic issues, weather, new restaurants or businesses, and more
  • Guide local conversations as the host of your Patch
  • Reach your neighbors and fellow residents through daily newsletters
  • Earn the recognition of your Patch community

Being a Patch Mayor isn’t for everyone however.  The ideal Patch Mayor should be civic-minded, sociable, and plugged into what people in the neighborhood are saying and doing.  He or she should also like to write, be active on social media, and be excited to share the stories of his or her community.

Per the Patch, “If you’ve ever wanted to write a blog about your neighborhood or town, this is your opportunity to do so — with the full support of our editorial team, a great publishing platform, and access to thousands of newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans.”

Martin Feinberg, local listing agent, encourages everyone who is interested in representing Culver City to the Patch community in the Patch Mayor Program to fill out the short application form located here.  Patch editors will soon be in touch with more information.

Culver City Sign

Fiesta of Gems to be held in Culver City Saturday and Sunday

Image is a group of rough gemstones against a black background.This weekend Culver City will be hosting the 57thannual Fiesta of Gems.  There will be educational opportunities for children and free demonstrations as well as workshops. The event will open on Saturday at 10 a.m. and go to 6 p.m.  Sunday hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Fiesta of Gems is held in the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, 4117 Overland Ave.  Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that this year the featured gem is jade.

Jette Sorensen, a workshop leader, said that in previous years, visitors have traveled from many different areas to attend the annual event. There is not charge to attend and parking is free.

Janice Metz, relation’s coordinator of the Culver City Rock and Mineral Club, stated, “The main purpose of the event is to offer science lessons about gemstones and to introduce the world of geology to the youth.”

As part of this year’s Fiesta of Gems, skilled jewelry makers will offer workshops featuring specifics on making hand-made jewelry.  There will also be opportunities to win hourly prizes.

Metz also stated that most workshops will be offered for a fee between $60-$80.  Workshop attendees will hopefully leave with a finished product but if they have not completed their design they will have access to the leader’s phone number so they can receive guidance on completing their jewelry.

The first two workshops will begin simultaneously on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. One workshop is on metalsmithing-fusing on Argentinian silver rings, and the second workshop will demonstrate how to make a Byzantine Chainmail bracelet.

On Saturday from 2:15 to 6 p.m., an enamel basics demonstration will be offered.  The same workshop will be offered again on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Sunday there will also be a crystal-healing workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., A stone-on-stone workshop from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a netting bracelet beading workshop from 1:45 to 5 p.m.

According to Metz, there will also be hands-on opportunities for kids to learn about geodes (including breaking rocks a part to look for crystals) and identify different types of rocks.

Forty vendors are scheduled to come to offer free demonstrations and a representative from the Gemological Institute will be in attendance at the Fiesta of Gems as well.

Martin Feinberg, local listing agent, was pleased to learn that, as in years past, a portion of the proceeds from the workshops will be donated to a Culver City Real Estate area charity.

Independence Day Celebrations Offered Throughout Culver City Area

Image is red, white, and blue desserts and popsicles against an outdoor background.Independence Day is exactly one week away and Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is excited for the upcoming festivities.  Check out the town-by-town listings below of Fourth of July celebrations and events in and around the Culver City Real Estate area:

JULY 4July 4th Concert & Fireworks 2018: West LA College. Carnival games, food trucks & good time for all!

  • West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City, California 90230
  • Gates open 4 p.m.

JULY 2-4: July 4th Fireworks Spectacular 2018 & The Go-Go’s: Hollywood Bowl. Three nights.

  • Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068
  • Tickets on sale.

JULY 3July 3 ‘Thelma & Louise’ & Fireworks: Forever Cemetery. “Watch the night sky sparkle with unforgettable fireworks and the best outdoor screen.”

  • NOTE DATE: July 3.
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
  • $35

JULY 4: July 4 ‘Footloose’ & Fireworks 2018: Forever Cemetery. “The most spectacular, most riveting Independence Day film and fireworks pairing ever!”

  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
  • $35

JULY 4Queen Mary 4th Of July Celebration & Fireworks. All-day family fun plus a dynamic fireworks display.

  • Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, CA 90802
  • 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

JULY 4: July 4 BBQ & Fireworks View 2018: Aquarium Of Pacific. “Get a fish-eye view of the Queen Mary fireworks display.”

  • Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
  • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

JUNE 30Parade, Concert & Fireworks 2018: El Sereno Park. Featuring Tierra!

  • NOTE DATE: June 30
  • El Sereno Park, 4721 Klamath St., Los Angeles, CA 90032

JULY 4: July 4th Fireworks 2018: Exposition Park – Coliseum. Picnic-style event with live music, games and fun for the kids.

  • Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, 90037
  • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

JULY 4: Grand Park 4th Of July Block Party & Fireworks. “Picnicking, games, art-making, music, dancing and stunning fireworks show high above Downtown L.A.”

  • Grand Park, 200 N Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

JULY 4July 4th Fireworks. Sign up for barge notifications.

JULY 44th Of July Fireworks. Great viewing at Burton Chace Park & Fisherman’s Village.

  • 9 p.m.

JULY 44th of July Cruises. Choose from Champagne Brunch Cruise, Fireworks Dinner Cruise, or Fireworks Observation Cruise with appetizers.

  • PRICE: $75- $109.95 per person* (*Tax, service charge and landing fee may apply)

JULY 4: July 4th Runs, Parade & Fireworks. Among the best Independence Day celebrations in the region!

  • Races: 8:15 a.m.
  • Kids Run: 9:30 a.m.
  • Parade: 2 p.m.
  • Food/Concert Gates Open and Kid’s Activities & 2nd Stage Concert: 4 p.m.
  • Main Stage Concert: 6 p.m.
  • Fireworks: 9 p.m.

JUNE 30Independence Day Fest & Pre-July 4th Fireworks. A star-spangled salute.

  • NOTE DATE: June 30.
  • Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405

JULY 4: 4th of July Parade 2018. It is the 12th year for this fun community event.

  • Main Street, Santa Monica, CA
  • 9:30 a.m.

JULY 4July 4th ‘Mr. & Mrs. Muscle Beach’ 2018. An annual tradition at Muscle Beach.

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

JULY 4Fourth Of July BBQ & DJs 2018: Skybar. Celebrate in style!

  • Skybar at Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, California 90069
  • 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

JULY 4LAX Coastal July 4th Parade . This year’s theme: Cities Across America.

  • Loyola Boulevard, Westchester, Los Angeles, CA
  • 11 a.m.

For a full guide to Independence Day celebrations throughout the Los Angeles region, local listing agent Martin Feinberg, encourages residents to check out the LA County July 4th Fireworks, Parades & More: 2018 Guide

Image is fireworks against a black sky.


Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Hoarding as a Property Manager

Image is an illustration of a woman holding a bucket full of cleaning supplies.There are many different issues that property owners will be forced to deal with, either by themselves or through a property management company, as they work with tenants.  Some are more easily dealt with than others, however, and hoarding tends to be on the more difficult side of things.

According to the Mayo Clinic “hoarding disorder is a persistent difficultly discarding or parting with possessions because of perceived need to save them.  A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.  Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. “

Hoarding is a serious problem for rental property owners and for property managers, and is not easily managed.  Hoarding can occur for many different reasons, from depression, fear, or dementia to brain injuries, trauma, or genetics.  There are hundreds of different reasons that a tenant might hoard, but managing the problem is usually similar no matter the cause.

Regardless of why someone hoards, the problems caused by hoarding are too serious to ignore. Hoarding is a health and safety issue. It can lead to pest infestations, fire safety issues, blocked egress, mold, and even weakness in the weight and load bearing abilities of a rental property.

Though hoarding is usually difficult to resolve, there are some basic do’s and don’ts that will make the issue easier to cope with, both for the property manager and the hoarder.

Hoarding Clean Up Do’s

  • For safety reasons, hoarding cannot be overlooked, but that does not mean that compassion cannot also be extended during the cleanup process.  One of the best ways to handle hoarding issues is to first emotionally connect with the tenant.
  • Continue to talk with the tenant about the hoarding situation and remind them that it’s not going to go away on its own.
  • Talk about safety, as most hoarders are concerned with safety as well.
  • Agree with the hoarder that the items are important.
  • Discuss with the hoarder about keeping everything confidential.
  • Ask tenants why they are keeping items, and listen as they explain their thinking.  It will help you understand why they hoard.
  • Promote donation. Everyone likes to help the needy.
  • Help the tenant understand that they way they live is not normal (but be compassionate and do not judge).
  • Seek help from family and professionals, especially therapists that specialize in hoarding. There are also professional services that will help clean up a property.
  • Enlist the help of adult protective services, the health department, and the local police and/or fire departments.  This is especially essential if it becomes necessary to evict a tenant for hoarding because documentation will be needed.
  • Give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Hoarding Clean up Don’ts

  • Don’t get impatient. Cleaning up will take time.
  • Don’t ever make fun of the hoarder.
  • Don’t say, “let’s get rid of all this stuff.”  Hoarders emotionally attached to their items and that needs to be acknowledged if the hoarder is to improve.
  • Don’t get angry.
  • Don’t touch the hoarder’s items without permission.
  • Don’t treat the hoarder like a child (many hoarders are very intelligent) or a criminal, even if you must get the authorities involved.
  • Don’t give the hoarder a list of tasks to accomplish all at once.  Focus on one task at a time.
  • Don’t ask someone why he or she hoards.

Image is an illustration of a clean and orderly living room.Professional property managers such as Martin Feinberg understand that there are steps that must be taken in dealing with any problem, and hoarding is no different.  When hoarding is first discovered, the rental owner or property manager must remember to document everything, provide opportunities to cleanup through the use of written infractions and reasonable deadlines, utilize social services and local authorities, and finally get third party documentation should eviction become necessary.

If hoarding becomes a problem for a tenant, try not to stress.  There are worse things to deal with as a property manager or property owner; try to keep things in perspective.  Helping to create a livable condition, and periodic monitoring of the situation, will make life happier for both you and the tenant, providing a win-win for everyone.


Rental Prices Begin to Plateau Across Los Angeles County Region

Image is a illustration of a "for rent" sign in orange and white.Living in Los Angeles County has typically been an expensive prospect. However, though the cost of buying a home continues to skyrocket, rental prices have begun to plateau.

According to the rental website Apartment List, the median price of a two-bedroom apartment was $1,740 in April, the same as it was in March. The median cost of a one-bedroom rental for April was $1,360.  That was an increase over March’s rate up but only by $10. Apartment List prices are based on census data.  Other sites such as CoStarbase rental calculations on databases of current listings. CoStar finds the average price for a one-bedroom to be $1,651 and $2,109 for a two-bedroom.

These new stagnant rental prices come after years of steady price growth.  Because of the Great Recession, Los Angeles had been one of the most difficult areas in the nation for renters to afford to live in. Things have begun to change though. Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC, believes that new housing construction in the Los Angeles area is at least partly responsible for steadying rent prices.

Green states, “In LA, we’ve sort of been building enough to meet new demand, and that helps.”

A recent state analysis found that Los Angeles is failing to meet goals for affordable housing construction.  However, the city has already exceeded its 2021 benchmark for new market rate housing.

Though Green is somewhat surprised by how quickly rental prices have tapered off, that is good news for those looking to make a rental property home. He wondered if steady job growth throughout the area has allowed more renters to become homeowners.

“If people are buying homes and moving into them, that opens up rental inventory,” Green explains.

Image is a picture of house keys hanging in an outside door lock.Rental prices may begin to rise again, depending on what the economy does in the future.  A strong economy can lead to under-developed areas outside of the city center bringing rising prices across the region. An economic slowdown or recession would help keep rent prices low.

For rental property owners trying to navigate a changing rental price environment, professional property managers such as Martin Feinberg can help handle some of the headache.  Property managers are equipped to follow price trends and ensure that properties are renting for market value to reliable tenants.