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If the rental market is returning to the fast lane, you could say women are in the driver’s seat. Diana Olilck’s Realty Check article on CNBC.com says the housing market’s recovery doesn’t necessarily mean a rush for renters to become buyers. Pointing to demographics, the article explains the role women are playing in the apartment industry’s success — even as the housing market bounces back. Some reasons women are likely to keep renting: These days, they’re staying single longer and putting off parenthood for their careers. That lifestyle suits apartment living more than taking on a mortgage and a home… Read More

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During a California Apartment Association event Thursday, a featured speaker predicted that growth  in commercial construction will bring a corresponding need for new housing in the Silicon Valley. Larry Souza of the Johnson Souza Group offered that forecast during Tri-County’s annual economic and legislative summit, which nearly 200 members attended. The Silicon Valley Business Journal covered portions of Outlook 2013, including Souza’s comments. “My projections are we’ll reach the peak of the commercial real estate and business cycle by 2017 — and then probably be back in another recession,” he said,  according to the Business Journal story. Souza’s presentation also… Read More

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In an interview with The Motley Fool, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff says rentals will play a big role for his company in years to come. “That’s because of the structure of the rental industry in the United States. Rental properties turn over about six times more often as for-sale properties, and there are tens of millions of rental units out there,” Rascoff says in the clip. “There’s also no clear market leader, and so we think Zillow has an opportunity there.”

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For the first time, California and federal accessibility standards are in sync. The updated 2013 California Building Code aligns access regulations for everything from parking spaces and handrails to housing, says the state’s Division of the State Architect. The division developed the new regulations, which integrate state building code provisions with those from the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. The regulations put in place a single set of requirements that meet both state and federal accessibility mandates. The commission adopted the package last week, and the changes take effect Jan. 1, 2014. “Adoption of the 2013… Read More

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Rocketing real estate prices have motivated investors to move into new markets, snatch up homes and turn them into rentals, USA Today has reported. According to USA Today, investors are focusing less on some sizzling markets while scurrying to purchase homes in places where prices are skyrocketing. While investor enthusiasm is waning in Phoenix and possibly approaching its apex in parts of California, interest is surging in parts of the South, the article says.

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Work in home improvement? You might see your bank balance improve, too. A study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts your industry will enjoy a big bounce this year. Yearly spending on home renovations will see double-digit growth through the third quarter, according to this article by CE Pro magazine. The study, dubbed the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, looks at several factors to make its projections, from pending home sales to business at building supply stores. “The solid momentum behind home building activity, existing home sales, low financing costs and remodeling contractor sentiment all point to a… Read More

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Allegations are flying following an apartment building fire in the Bronx that left tenants without cooking gas. Now, the residents are demanding rent abatement for the trouble. The blaze occured in August 2011 at Mount Eden apartments, and 58 units went without cooking gas for seven months, the New York Daily News reported. New York Lawyers for the Public Trust wants Chestnut Holikdings, Inc. to reimburse tenants one-third of rent paid during the gas-free months. In the Daily News story, you’ll find fingerpointing in every direction: The property management company says it didn’t restore cooking gas because a group called… Read More

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Many of our multifamily apartment communities throughout the state provide for laundry facilities, serving both as an additional amenity for residents and a profit-generator for the owner/operator. While many choose to own and operate their own laundry equipment, others essentially subcontract this service to a vendor focused on this line of business. This article deals with the concerns owners and operators face when dealing with laundry vendors and their proposed contracts. It is not unusual for an owner to acquire an apartment community that comes with a laundry vendor. Sometimes, the vendor doesn’t meet your expectations, or you want to… Read More

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U.S. home-building giant Lennar Corp. is extending its reach into rental housing, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Lennar Multifamily Investors has projects worth in excess of $1 billion slated for the next three years, including 6,500 apartments, the Journal says. “There will consistently be a large group of people who simply can’t buy a home, and won’t buy a home, and are looking for rentals,” Chief Executive Stuart Miller said, according to the newspaper. In terms of sales, Lennar is the No. 3 home builder in the United States.

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By Heidi Palutke, Esq. CAA research counsel Owners have a new option for compliance with the 21-day deadline for accounting for a tenant’s security deposit. CAA-sponsored AB 1679, which took effect Jan. 1, allows an owner to provide the accounting by email and electronically return any remaining deposit into the renter’s bank account. Specifically, AB 1679, introduced by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla, now provides that after either the owner or resident has given notice of termination, they may agree to have the owner: Deposit any remaining portion of the security deposit electronically to a bank account or other financial institution… Read More

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