Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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Oct. 21, 2020

The Stay on Evictions Has Been Lifted—Now What?

The stay on evictions has been lifted, and here’s how this impacts landlords and tenants.

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On October 15, Governor Steve Sisolak lifted the stay on evictions, which means landlords can start filing the Seven-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. If the tenant files an answer with the court, there’s an extra checkbox in the new form asking whether they want to participate in the mandatory mediation program. If they check that box, the landlord is obligated to mediate that particular case. 

 

After that, a 30-day stay notice is initiated for the eviction and the mediation is scheduled. The landlord has to be present for this; your property manager doesn’t have the authority to negotiate on your behalf. These mediations can be done virtually, so you don’t have to travel to Nevada for them. I know it’s inconvenient, but at least we’re moving in the right direction. Legislators have tied the rental assistance money to the mediation program, so in order to access those funds, you have to go through the mediation program. 

 

There is some concern that the funds, if not spent by December 31, will be returned to the Federal Reserve or the state will have to figure out how they’ll be spent. Either way, funds that aren’t spent by that date probably won’t go to the tenants. Therefore, legislators have created a program that extends the mediation process even longer. For tenants that only have three months of back rent and can get rental assistance within three months and get back on their feet, that’s a smaller balance than five or six months’ worth of rent. The larger the balance is, the fewer people the money will go to. 

 


It’s the classic story of two government bodies that have negated everything, decided to work against each other, and made things difficult for the rest of us.


 

If you file a notice now, it will take at least until the following week until you can file with the courts, and the courts will probably be backlogged, so it will take them a week or so to process the notice. We’ll be well into November by the time you can get a mediation scheduled, and I have no idea if they have enough mediators to handle the projected eviction traffic. 

 

The CDC affidavit is another issue to be aware of. A tenant can print it off and sign it, but there doesn’t seem to be any burden of proof on their part to obtain the affidavit. Receiving a signed affidavit means you have to stop the eviction process and won’t be able to do anything until January. This also means you can’t get them into mediation and connect them to rental assistance. I’m trying to explain to tenants that this affidavit isn’t in their best interest because of the way Nevada has tied rental assistance to the mediation program, and I’m doing everything I can to work with them so they can receive rental assistance. 

 

At the end of the day, it’s the classic story of two governmental bodies that have negated everything, decided to work against each other, and made things difficult for the rest of us. 

 

As always, I plan on keeping you updated on this ongoing story. If you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d be happy to speak with you.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 1, 2020

What’s Going on With Evictions in the Court Systems?

Here’s my latest update on how the courts are handling evictions right now.

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Last week, I went to court over a lease violation; the tenant was running her water all day long because she thought that gnats were coming out of the drain. Even though we had been checking on it every week, we were not able to find any gnats. The owner was paying the water bill, which was very, very high.

 

I have three buildings, all of which have separate water bills. I brought the owner of the building in question all three bills and showed them the difference between theirs and the other two. While their building had only four units, the water bill was as high as it was for the other 10-unit building. 

 

The tenant didn’t show up to court but still tried the case as though she were there. After reviewing all the documentation, the judge determined that the occupant was causing damage to the unit (i.e., the owner) and therefore granted my eviction.

 

To be honest with you, I was shocked. I’d expected him to deny the eviction based on everything else that had been seen, but I think a large portion of why he granted it was that the occupant didn’t show up to court. That was good news, and I was glad to see that we were making some headway for the owner. 

 


Certain organizations are asking for sunset mediation, which would provide an end-date for mandatory mediations.


 

However, I did receive the news recently that the 30-day no-cause notices that were filed in August are being denied. We believed from the memorandum that we had previously received that we would be able to start filing 30-day no-cause evictions for tenants who are on a month-to-month lease in August. But the courts have decided that we should have filed those evictions on September 1, so we’re now having to re-file those notices, which means that it won’t be until October that we’ll be able to evict some of those tenants if they don’t move out at the end of the 30 days.

 

Additionally, the Supreme Court’s mediation program will soon hear the testimonies of property managers, legal aides, and legislators who are asking for sunset mediation, which would provide an end-date for mandatory mediations.

 

We also learned there are legislators who are trying to earmark the extra $10 million that the governor issued for rental assistance (specifically to the mediation program). This means that anyone who is going through the mediation program would be eligible for that money in rental assistance, but no one else would. 

 

That comes with a lot of issues. First of all, we probably won’t be able to get into mediation until January, which means that certain occupants’ bills will continue to get higher and higher and delay payments to the owner. It also means that fewer tenants will be helped. We’re hoping that the Supreme Court won’t tie up the $10 million and that there will be added stipulations requiring tenants to have some responsibility to prove that they’ve actually been affected by the pandemic so that we can weed out the bad apples.

 

I’m sure that I’ll have even more updates for you in our next blog post. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 18, 2020

2 Lease Violations, Video Evidence, No Eviction?

Here’s what happened when I tried to pursue two evictions this month.

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I recently got a taste of what it’ll now be like for property owners and managers to pursue evictions per lease violations. I had sought two evictions for two separate tenants following unacceptable incidents. For the first incident, I had police support in the form of red cards, and I had video evidence of the second incident. 

 

Here’s the first case: I have a property that’s in a bit of a rougher area, and after a shooting there, police issued red cards to the property managers so we can file lease violations, which the judge will then grant since there is police support. 

 

To summarize the situation without divulging protected information, let’s say a shooting occurred between Unit A and Unit B. Tenant A and Tenant B were involved; we had to allow Tenant B to break her lease so she could gather her items and be escorted off of the property by police for her own safety. 

 

Despite all of the documentation I had with me indicating otherwise, Tenant A showed up in court claiming that it was actually Tenant B who shot at her. Tenant A did not have to supply any documentation proving her account, though, and since the police report did not specifically state that Tenant A had shot Tenant B, the judge denied my eviction. The ruling shocked me because I know that six months ago, this eviction would have gone through—no doubt about it. 

 


The ruling shocked me because I know that six months ago that eviction would have gone through.


 

The second case involved what we’ll refer to as Unit C. I had a video of the tenant, Tenant C, having a visitor leave her apartment at about 2 a.m. to discharge a firearm in the middle of the courtyard. However, Tenant C claimed that it was actually the guest of another tenant (this particular property has 28 units) who discharged a firearm. She also claimed she wasn’t home at the time of the incident; her alibi was that she had gotten a hotel room and spent that night gambling (keep in mind she hasn’t paid rent in four months), so she couldn’t have had a visitor. 

 

Even though the person seen leaving Tenant C’s apartment is not a tenant at the property (at the very least, not an individual with whom I am even remotely familiar), the judge denied my eviction and stated I needed to investigate the issue of identity further. The burden of proof was on me; I had to provide more evidence that the individual who discharged the firearm wasn’t a tenant in my building. Again, I was shocked; six months ago, I would have easily been granted this eviction. 

 

When I left court, I trusted my gut and made a few phone calls. I was able to confirm that the governor’s office was very concerned that property managers would be using lease violations to oust tenants who aren’t paying rent, and as such, they instructed judges to use a stricter set of guidelines when assessing lease violation cases. 

 

We’re not yet sure what those guidelines are, but we’ll continue to do research. However, let me make this clear: Property managers, landlords, and legislators alike all want to provide assistance to people who have been affected by COVID. There have been fears that tenants have been taking advantage of this leniency, though, and now I’ve witnessed it; one of my tenants said—in open court, under oath—that she had been paying for a hotel room and gambling her money away instead of paying rent. I couldn’t address this fact at the time, however, as we weren’t in court that day for a non-payment case. 

 

I hope our legislators and leadership will begin doing more to advocate for landlords. It has been jarring to see such blatant disregard for landlords’ interests. I wish I had better news, but I do have an upcoming court case I’m looking forward to. It’s for a lease violation, but this time it involves the lease addendum promissory note that the governor approved, so we’ll see what happens! Until then, you can reach out via phone or email with any questions or concerns you may have.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 3, 2020

Updated Eviction Laws

Here’s the latest news regarding Nevada’s eviction moratorium.

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These are unprecedented times for real estate investors and property managers, and I have more news to share regarding the Nevada eviction moratorium. 

 

As we know, about a month ago the governor set a timeline for the lift on tenant evictions. Lease violations could be filed in August, and evictions for nonpayment of rent could be filed in September. Just recently, though, the governor extended evictions for nonpayment of rent another 45 days. 

 

His reasoning was that the state’s unemployment software is still broken and people haven’t gotten their unemployment assistance payments yet. During a recent special session of the Nevada Legislature, about $30 million was earmarked to go toward rental assistance, and the applications for that assistance are still being processed. In another special session, they passed a law allowing judges to court-order mediation between a landlord and tenant, which would extend the eviction another 30 days, but this mediation program isn’t up and running yet. 

 


If you’re a landlord, mortgages, property taxes, HOA dues, and repair costs still need to be paid, but there doesn’t seem to be much relief on the way.


 

I wish I had better news for all the landlords and property managers out there. Over the past few months, I’ve been telling you that there was an end date for these updated eviction laws, but they’ve changed the rules all over again. I don’t know whether these timelines will be extended again, but if we have to do mandatory mediation, they’ll likely stretch all the way into December. Judges don’t like to make people homeless during the holidays, so I don’t foresee an end to the madness until January, February, or even March of 2021. 

 

In the meantime, I’ll continue to work every avenue and find a solution for any party that’s involved in this type of situation. If you’re a landlord, mortgages, property taxes, HOA dues, and repair costs still need to be paid, but there doesn’t seem to be much relief on the way. 

 

However, if you have questions about this topic or need any assistance, I’d be happy to speak with you and offer my advice. Just call or email me anytime!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 13, 2020

Q: Which Updated Tenant Laws Do You Need to Know About?

Here’s what property owners need to know about new tenant eviction timelines.

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If you’re a property owner, you should know that the governor has recently updated eviction timelines for tenants. On July 1, commercial properties, foreclosure properties, and rentals were all allowed to commence in foreclosure or eviction. Also, any eviction that doesn’t have to do with non-payment of rent can be filed starting August 1. On September 1, evictions for non-payment or rent can be filed. To find out more about these updated tenant laws, watch my latest video.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 28, 2020

Why You Need Representation for a Commercial Lease

Commercial leases can be tricky to navigate if you don’t have an expert on your side. Dertrez Pressley joined me recently to discuss.

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I’ve been getting some questions lately about commercial leases, so Dertrez Pressley, our designated commercial agent, joined me to answer them and talk about the process of leasing out commercial spaces.

 

Typically, we’ve seen clients attempt to represent themselves in a commercial lease. According to Dertrez, this leaves them vulnerable to many different pitfalls. Just like with any industry, a lack of specialized knowledge can hurt. 

 


Each state has its own set of rules and regulations.


 

For example, most people don’t understand the difference between an LOI and a lease. The LOI is a non-binding letter that says the owner is willing to lease under certain conditions, but it’s not a contract. Once you do agree to the LOI, then you sign the lease. These leases are typically written by the building owner’s lawyer, so the lessee needs to have a lawyer on their side, too.

 

Recently, a client was working on an industrial property from out of state. In our state, you need a personal or corporate guarantee on all leases, and this buyer didn’t know how to negotiate this. They also didn’t understand the TI. They had the landlord contribute x amount of dollars toward their buildout but didn’t understand that it was a reimbursement, not an upfront payment. These are just a few issues that this one client encountered and the consequence was that he ended up losing out on the property he really wanted.

 

Thanks so much to Dertrez for joining us. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 14, 2020

We’re Still Showing Homes—Here’s How

Even under social distancing guidelines, we’ve still been able to show properties and rent them out. Here’s how.

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In this time of strict social distancing guidelines, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how my team still manages to show properties and get them rented out. Today I’ll tell you exactly how. We have a self-showing option for all of our properties, starting with specific screening criteria all tenants must meet before they’re given access to a property. We also use a software called Tenant Turner that allows them to view properties at their convenience.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 6, 2020

The New Hold on Evictions Laws

There are new laws in place amid the coronavirus outbreak. Today I’m particularly discussing the hold on evictions mandate.

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I hope you and your family are healthy and surviving this tough social distancing period. Today I’m discussing the state and federal laws that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus, specifically the hold on evictions mandate. With the stimulus package President Trump passed, evictions are on hold for 120 days. The houses that are covered under this are the ones collecting rent under HUD, Section 8, Victims Against Crime, or any house with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, meaning it’s federally insured. Be aware: Just because you’re paying Wells Fargo, for example, doesn’t mean it isn’t federally insured.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 26, 2020

Our Team’s Unique Approach to Finding Investment Properties

Finding a great rental property is all a matter of careful planning and due diligence. Here’s how our team finds the best properties for our clients.

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to find a good rental property, so I wanted to go over our process with you today. It all starts with making a list of all of the properties that fit the criteria of what you’re looking for. Then, we determine the ongoing costs of owning that property, calculating everything from the monthly HOA fees, to the property taxes, to the average utility costs. Once we figure out what repairs need to be made and how much can be collected in rent, we can come up with a good purchase price and get a better idea of the ROI.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 27, 2020

Creating Positive Tenant Relationships

Today I’m sharing a fun strategy we’ve implemented to reward our talents.

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Recently, I’ve had some questions broached about our vacancy rate and how long our tenants stay, and I feel it’s important we discuss how we reward tenants who are doing the right thing. Recognizing these tenants, in turn, makes them want to stay longer, or stay within our company. 

 

We do preventative maintenance twice a year (in a future video, I’ll discuss the details of that process), and when we perform these maintenance checks, we also enter certain tenants into what we call the “tidy house drawing”. 

 

There are six criteria tenants are rated on, and if they meet all six, they’re entered into this monthly drawing. At the end of the month, we do a live Facebook stream (this ensures full transparency) and draw a name; that particular person wins $250. 

 

I wanted to add in a positive interaction with our tenants.

 

Now, I’ve had people ask me, “Why would you reward someone for doing the right thing?” Well, I’ve realized that in property management, the only time tenants would ever hear from me is when they did something problematic—late payments, tenant-caused repairs, evictions, etc. 

 

I wanted to add in a positive interaction with our tenants; that way, those who are doing everything right and would otherwise never hear from me can feel acknowledged. Once they win the drawing, we arrange a time to come to the house and present them with the gift card, a certificate, and a letter of recommendation should they ever decide to move. 

 

At that time, we also open up a relaxed conversation about things they may want to see improved on the house. If there are things they want, the owner gets a call from us, and we let them know about their tenant winning our drawing. 

 

If you have additional questions about the information covered in today’s message or property management needs, feel free to call or email me. I would love to speak with you.

Posted in Real Estate Tips