Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

What If All Leases In a City Expired the Same Day?

Ever wonder what it would be like if all the leases in town expired on the same day? Well, for over a century that’s what happened every year in New York City:

It’s hard to believe, but for more than a century, all New York City leases expired and started on the same day of the year, May 1. This meant thousands of families loading up the entirety of their belongings onto carts and maneuvering them through the cramped city streets to new apartments.

The origins of this unfortunate practice are hazy — some say it began with English celebrations of May Day. But by 1820, the New York State legislature signed a law stating that unless you worked something out with your landlord or renewed your lease, all leases were up on the first of May.

Landlords would inform their tenants of any rent increases for the coming year on February 1, giving tenants three months to find a new place or decide to stay. With the new rent due on May 1, most families elected to remain in their old abodes until the very last moment, moving en masse using horses and carts.

And you thought doing turns in August on student properties was wild.


May 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

Rents Rising Faster Than Wages

Across large segments of the US rents are rising faster than wages, and that’s putting pressure on more and more households:

Much of the problem is attributable to simple supply and demand. The job market has improved and millennials are entering the labor pool in force, boosting household formation. But in a structural shift for the real-estate market, new households are much more likely to be renters than buyers.

So there are more renters which is putting pressure on the current housing stock and that means rising rents.

“Rents have skyrocketed so much and incomes haven’t kept pace, so we have an affordability crisis in some of our major metropolitan areas for the middle housing market,” said Kenneth Rosen,chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.



The squeeze is tighter in some of the “usual suspect” markets like San Francisco and New York, but even markets like Nashville are seeing it too:

Nashville is one city “getting meaningfully more expensive,” saidGreg Willett, vice president for research and analysis at MPF.

Rents there were up 5.1% in the second quarter from a year earlier, well outpacing incomes. According to separate Labor Department data, average weekly wages rose 2.4% in the Nashville metropolitan area between 2013 and 2014.

While builders have been adding new units to the market, most are luxury apartments. In response, the Nashville Metropolitan Council passed a bill July 21 ordering the local planning department to devise a zoning plan that would increase the supply of affordable housing.

If the affordability crunch isn’t addressed soon then we’ll start to see more and more cities try to do what Nashville is doing, but they might find themselves fighting an uphill battle when confronted by NIMBYism from neighborhood groups. This article about San Francisco’s struggle to find a solution to its affordable housing crunch is an excellent primer on difficult a nut this can be to crack. Private sector development is critical to this process, and hopefully cities will work with developers to address these issues, but even if they do there will still be a steep hill to climb with interest groups.

July 30, 2015 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

SCRA Affidavits Now Required in Counties Throughout the Triad

In June the courts in Forsyth County started requiring SCRA affidavits to be filed for summary ejectment cases (see the original story here), and at the time we warned that this requirement would likely make its way to other counties soon. Well, we just heard from a member that as of last Tuesday they are being required in Guilford County too, and after further investigation we learned it’s required in many other counties in the Triad.

Our friends at Loebsack & Brownlee were kind enough to provide a list of NC counties that they are aware of that are requiring the SCRA affidavit:

  • Alamance
  • Beaufort
  • Brunswick
  • Buncombe
  • Burke
  • Carteret
  • Catawba
  • Cleveland
  • Cumberland
  • Davidson
  • Davie
  • Durham (after 08/01/2015)
  • Forsyth
  • Gaston
  • Guilford
  • Harnett
  • Henderson
  • Iredell
  • Johnston
  • Lee
  • Mecklenburg
  • New Hanover
  • Onslow
  • Person
  • Pitt
  • Randolph
  • Rockingham
  • Rowan
  • Stokes
  • Union
  • Watauga
  • Wayne

As a reminder here’s what we had about the Forsyth County requirements last month:

Originally the Clerk was requiring the filing of a completed affidavit that they had developed for this purpose (found on their website at this link) but after meeting with her we were able to determine that members could visit the US Government’s SCRA website (found here) at which they can confirm the military status of any person, print the results and staple them to the complaint or bring it with them to court.

We asked for some clarification on timing and received the following via email from the Clerk after she checked with the District Court judge: How many days would the Status Report be acceptable? For the duration of the case was her answer. Presenting the Status Report or Affidavit at the time of hearing and not at filing is acceptable. She is meeting with magistrates and conveying these same issues with them to have consistency. 

So in a nutshell, what you can do is either use the affidavit provided by the Clerk or you can print off the results of the search from the SCRA website. You can attach the affidavit or printout to the complaint or you can bring it with you to court.

Unfortunately we received word today (6/10/15) that the courts have decided that affidavits will be required from now on in Forsyth County. Also, we’ve heard that the same is true in Mecklenburg County so our members who have properties there should be prepared to file an affidavit there as well.

July 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

MASSIVE Discount for PTAA Members Who Want to Attend the 2015 NAA Education Conference!

Every year the National Apartment Association’s Annual Education Conference is the biggest apartment industry event in the country. In 2014 over 8,000 people attended the conference in Denver, CO to hear keynote speakers like Michael J. Fox, to attend any of the dozens of educational sessions, and to visit a trade show floor that featured almost a thousand top-notch vendors. On June 24-27, 2015 the conference will be held in Las Vegas and it’s expected to be the biggest and best yet.

To help make the conference as “do-able” as possible for our members, PTAA has arranged a huge discount on registrations for our members. If you register through us your registration rate will be $575 which is a $150 savings over what it would cost you to register on your own. That’s a savings of over 20%!

Also, if you’re a member of another NAA affiliate in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee or Kentucky you should check with your local affiliate to see if they are offering the discount. If not you’re more than welcome to register through us as well. If you’re not a member of any affiliate or of NAA directly you can still get $150 off the non-member rate.

We’re in the process of setting up our registration system now and should be live in the next week or so. In the meantime we are taking pre-registrations. Simply click here to get a PDF version of our registration form, fill it out and email it to Jon Lowder. Once our registration system is live we’ll get you entered and send you your confirmation number(s) so that you can arrange your housing whenever you’re ready.

November 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

Judge Tosses HUD “Disparate Impact” Rule

Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. District Court issued a ruling on Monday that will be of particular interest to housing providers. From the article in The Hill:

Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. Circuit Court ruled Monday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “disparate impact” rules were not justified by existing law, and ordered the rules vacated.

The ruling marks the latest in an ongoing debate about the controversial regulatory principle, which is used to build discrimination cases based on statistical models, rather than overt examples of unequal treatment…

Civil rights groups have hailed the initiative, saying it will help expose and punish institutional discrimination that may not be easily observed.

But many industry groups have cried foul at its use, arguing that the law does not permit the government to charge discrimination when there are no clear examples of it, but rather just data that shows some groups may be treated differently.

The judge dismissed the government’s argument that existing laws permitted the government to apply the method to fair housing laws by calling it “wishful thinking on steroids.”

Rather, Leon wrote in his decision that the language of the Fair Housing Act, which provides the legal basis for challenges in housing discrimination, only permits claims based on intentional discrimination.

November 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Bencini for High Point Mayor Among PTAA Recommendations for Upcoming Election

Representatives of the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association interviewed candidates for the offices of High Point mayor and city council and based on those interviews feel that the following candidates would be the best for the future development of High Point:

Bill Bencini

City Council
At-Large (two seats) – Latimer Alexander and Britt Moore
Ward 1 – Jeff Golden
Ward 2 – Jerry Mingo
Ward 3 – Alyce Hill
Ward 4 – Jay Wagner
Ward 5 – Jim Davis
Ward 6 – Jason Ewing

It’s important to point out that our representatives considered candidates from an overall leadership and economic development standpoint, and not exclusively from an apartment industry standpoint. Our representatives feel that High Point is at a critical juncture; it’s coming out of a two year period during which the mayor faced legal problems that eventually led to her resignation and thus the council experienced a leadership vacuum and an extended period during which much of the city council’s business was largely put on hold. At the same time the long-serving city manager is retiring and the newly elected council’s first job will be to identify and hire a new manager. Needless to say the decisions made over the next year will affect the city for years to come and so our representatives’ recommendations were made with that in mind.

Election day is November 4 and early voting begins October 23. Here is a link to the early voting schedule and locations, and here’s a link to a sample ballot. No matter who you decide to vote for what’s most important is that you make sure your voice counts, and the only way to do that is to vote so get out there and do it!

October 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

NAA’s 2014 Survey of Operating Income and Expenses Executive Summary

NAA has released the executive summary of its 2014 Survey of Operating Income and Expenses in Rental Apartment Communities. The full report will be available by October 1, 2014, but in the meantime there are some interesting tidbits in the summary:

Calendar year 2014 will likely go down as the formal beginning of the shift to a renter-based society. Finding jobs is more important than where to live. Achieving financial stability is taking precedent over residential lifestyle choices. Renting is now perceived as a first, not optional, choice. 

In 2014, the seasonally-adjusted number of multifamily permits will range from 350,000 to 365,000. Multifamily starts should remain around 300,000. Completions will hover around the 230,000 to 240,000 level on a seasonally-adjusted basis. The number of permits, starts and completions will exceed 2013 totals. Demand for rental living will remain strong as more Americans are expected to rent in 2014. Investor interest in urban, micro-units and senior-living apartments is expected to increase in 2014.

Rents in 2014 are expected to range from a 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent increase nationally, which will again be higher than the rate of inflation. The demand for rental apartments is directly tied to the number of jobs being created. As the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery, the pent-up demand will continue to increase. Ironically, the rapid rise in apartment rents is in contrast to the much slower increase in median household income (today around $53,000, or about 3.8 percent higher than at the recession low point reached in August 2011)…

The 2014-2015 outlook for owners and operators of apartment properties is very positive.

In 2014 and beyond, the apartment industry will continue to attract investor interest in both primary, secondary and, in some cases, tertiary markets and among all rental property types. As the U.S. continues its gradual shift to a more rental-based soci-ety, the demand for apartment units will continue to increase. However, the looming impact of rising construction costs, poten-tial interest rate increases, flat household income growth and a rising number of part-time employees will put pressure on rents. The shift to smaller units, demand for more urban/mixed-use properties in employment growth markets, and increasing resi-dent demands and expectations for more—not fewer—services will continue to challenge CEOs and leadership teams through-out the apartment industry. In addition, the impact of technol-ogy on how apartments are operated, sold and maintained will continue to require apartment owners and operators to bring their “A Game” each and every day of the year…

The apartment industry is in great shape; however, during the next five to seven years, there will likely be further consolidation, legacy exits, and the emergence of new and dynamic competi-tors. Achieving success tomorrow requires one to take care of business today. While the outlook remains very positive for apart-ment owners and operators, the next two to three years is the time to set the stage for some likely challenges ahead. 

Below is one of the charts from the summary (click to enlarge). For the full summary click here.



September 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

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