Keep your eyes out for a very informative owner maintenance handbook making its way to you very shortly. Over 6 months in the making, we have taken all of the commonly asked questions regarding property maintenance and condensed them into a very easy to use handbook.
Included in the handbook are answers to commonly asked questions, including the full process we go through from when a maintenance request is received all the way through the follow-up on the job. There is also much information on the vendor selection process and pricing.
The cover letter that will accompany the handbook will detail some changes that we will be making to our maintenance operations as a result of the pending departure of one of our team members. JD Galyon will be attending the Duke Fuquay School of Business in the fall, congratulations to JD. Please joining us in wishing him well!
As your Property Manager, one of the most important duties that we have is the mitigation of Landlord liability. The subject itself is very dry and not popular, but we live it every day!
A recent series of events has demonstrated this in a very stark and real manner. Earlier this year we took over a complex from another local management company. We immediately and began our in-take process, which includes a "baseline evaluation" of the entire property. For those that have not had baseline evaluations completed (we started the formal process about 4 years ago) the baseline is a report of the current condition of the property, paying particular note to any liability issues and also making suggestions on preparing for a resident. In addition to the baseline, we also perform a full audit of the occupancy documents to ensure compliance.
One of the most common elements we find in taking over the management of properties is that they routinely do not meet the life safety requirements set forth by NC General Statute (i.e.. THE LAW). On this particular property, none of the units contained the mandated quantity of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. We immediately contracted to have these items installed. Unfortunately, we are finding that more and more units are not up to code in regards to life safety!
Little more than 4 months from our assumption of management, one of the newly installed detectors alarmed as to the presence of CO gas in a residence. The alerted resident evacuated and called the fire department who responded, evacuated the remaining residents, confirmed the presence of CO, ventilated the complex, and stabilized the premises. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines CO as "an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you". For more information, follow the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm
Almost on cue an article was posted the day after the afore mentioned local incident on a lawsuit that has been filed in Berkeley, California for a claim of wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that the landlord failed to follow the law in the operation of their rental property and that failure was the cause of death for 2 residents. Similar to North Carolina, California law mandates the installation of CO detectors on each level of a rental property. To read more on this case, visit the following link: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/04/18/berkeley-landlords-sued-over-deaths-by-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case! There are countless other cases where the landlord has been held civilly and, in some cases, criminally liable for failure to follow the law. Several of the examples can be found in the news section of our website: http://www.thebirchcompanies.com/news.aspx. While the statistics might appear to be small, are the consequences of failure to follow the CO detector law to save a few dollars worth the risk? It is without hesitation that we can say NO! Had we not contracted to have the CO detectors installed in this property, it is very likely that there would have been loss of life.
Industry involvement is one of our core fundamentals and without this involvement, it would not have been as easy to ensure compliance with the law. By attending multiple industry educational events, all at a cost to the company, we are able to stay on top of industry trends and changing laws. In this particular case, the CO detector law became effective in December 2009. It is truly sad that some operators are not following the law.
For much more information on the many laws that apply to the operation of your rental property, please visit our publications page: http://thebirchcompanies.com/forms.aspx
The continued phase out of R-22 refrigerant, a commonly used Freon in older air conditioning units, has resulted in another large increase in the core cost. We have been notified that the price of R-22 has increased another 28%. This will continue until final phase out in 2020.
Full details of this government mandated phase out was thoroughly discussed in the July 2016 edition of this newsletter. Please click here for the full article: http://thebirchcompanies.com/The_Birch_Quarterly_July_2016.aspx
- Account Balance
- Open Payables
- Open Receivables (has my tenant paid)
- Service Issues
- Posted Invoices- retrieve and store copies of all invoices posted to your account
Operating Schedule: Our regular operating hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm and Fridays from 8:30am-
4:00pm. Our next scheduled office closing will be May 29, 2017, followed by July 4, 2017.
Lunch Closure: We will be closed on Wednesday May 10, 2017 from 11:30am to 1:30pm for a team lunch celebrating
the acceptance of JD Galyon to Duke University's Fuquay School of Business.
Our mission is to offer personalized and professional service to both our clients and customers by building strong relationships, utilizing the latest technology, implementing effective marketing strategies, following consistent systems all with honesty and integrity throughout every facet of our business.