Feature

Abandoned or Absent: How to Handle Unit That May Have Been Vacated

September 22, 2009    

How do you know if a resident has abandoned his unit? What are the signs that it may just be an extended absence instead of abandonment?

Observing the Rights of Applicants and Residents with Mental Health Disabilities

September 20, 2009    

Owners and managers of assisted housing often struggle to comply with fair housing requirements. Laws protecting people with disabilities can be especially tough to interpret. To help clarify the requirements, particularly with respect to people with mental health disabilities, the Insider...

Avoid Appearance of Retaliation Against Residents

August 23, 2009    

When is an eviction retaliatory? That is an important question for managers of rental housing because many state and local rental housing laws bar “retaliatory eviction.” In addition, the Fair Housing Act makes certain retaliatory actions against residents illegal if they hinder the...

How to Write a Tenant Selection Plan

July 26, 2009    

One of the toughest jobs of a site owner or manager is writing a good tenant selection plan. The tenant selection plan is a crucial document, says Dan Bancroft, an attorney who has written tenant selection plans for project-based sites. It gives you a way to explain and justify your decisions if...

Comply with New EPA Rules When Renovating Older Housing

June 23, 2009    

In April 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued important new rules on renovation, repair, and painting of housing that was built before 1978. According to the EPA, the new requirements are part of a comprehensive federal effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.

The...

Lead Hazard Disclosure: Tell What You Know

May 24, 2009    

Federal law requires housing providers to disclose to potential renters and buyers the presence of lead-based paint hazards on the premises. Almost all housing built before 1978, whether subsidized by HUD or not, is covered by the disclosure law. The penalties for noncompliance can be...

Comply with Military Service Law Covering Residents on Active Duty

February 26, 2009    

With tens of thousands of military personnel overseas in 2003 and 2004, Congress rewrote a World War II-era law that provides certain financial protections to members of the military and their families. Today, the conflicts abroad are continuing to require the service of thousands of men and...

Comply with VAWA Before Seeking Resident's Eviction

February 1, 2009    

In a court case decided in January 2009, a New York owner tried to evict a Section 8 resident, claiming that she had violated her lease by creating a nuisance. In the notice of termination, the owner claimed that the resident engaged in violent behavior during domestic disputes. The violent...

Make Residents Clean Units that Fail Inspection

December 24, 2008    

Many owners and managers of assisted sites use leases that give them the right to conduct periodic inspections of units to discover unsafe and unsanitary conditions and unreported maintenance problems. Early detection of these and similar situations can help prevent problems, such as insect and...