Welcome to Rental Regulations Monthly, Obligo’s digest of recent regulatory news impacting the rental market.
In March, many local governments put forth regulatory measures to mitigate the impact of rents rising across the nation. San Francisco passed strong guidelines to protect renters’ rights. Los Angeles County canceled property tax late fees for struggling landlords. The 2022 Federal Spending Package presents new opportunities for the multifamily industry. Read on to see how these changes might impact you.
Curbing Rent Hikes & Protecting Renter Rights
With rising rents and a hyper-competitive housing market, lawmakers in New York, Boston and Miami have moved legislative measures forward to mitigate the effect on renters.
New York City periodically conducts a survey to determine whether its rent stabilization law should continue. The condition the survey validates is an “ongoing housing emergency”, defined by a vacancy rate of under 5% of the city’s rental housing stock. The most recent survey was pushed from 2020 to April of this year due to COVID and other reasons. The new bill, which extends the stabilization for another three months, is scheduled to be signed by the mayor on March 30.
Miami’s rental housing market is also highly competitive, but some relief is on the horizon for residents in Miami-Dade County. Last Thursday, the county mayor signed a new bill into law, which requires landlords to provide 60 days’ written notice before raising rent by 5% or more. The bill also extends the eviction grace period from one month to two.
In Boston, whose median rent has become the third highest in the country, Mayor Michelle Wu is spearheading affordable housing initiatives. She will be forming a Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee to shape a proposal for the next legislative session.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance last month, requiring landlords to recognize the rights of tenants to organize in buildings with five or more units. But what makes it stronger than any other tenant union protections in the country is that landlords must also meet with tenant associations four times a year (once per quarter), or residents could file for rent reduction with the city. The plan is set to take effect on April 9.
For Renters: Today’s rental housing market places great pressure on renters who are searching for an affordable home. Check your city or state government’s website to see if rent stabilization measures or rent relief programs are in place. One way to take back some control – and cash – in these uncertain times is to get your security deposit back faster. Refer your previous landlord to us when you move into a new home, so we can get your deposit refund electronically – no more waiting for a paper check to arrive. You can also research properties that offer Obligo’s deposit alternative as an amenity, which is another way to save upfront costs.
For Owners & Managers: In a red-hot rental market, you are likely having difficult conversations with existing renters about a significantly higher renewal rate. Even if you can get a replacement, there is still a high cost associated with turnover. You might also end up compromising and settling on a lower-than-market rent. To soften the blow for your residents, consider giving their previous cash deposit back as a renewal perk. Obligo’s renewal incentive helps you boost retention rates and minimize the cost of concessions. You can leverage our integrated automation to engage your renters and start influencing their decision when it matters most!
LA County Waives Property Tax Late Fees for Landlords
The burden of rent is not only felt by renters – some small landlords in Los Angeles County are also struggling financially because they are missing months or even years of rent payments from residents who can’t afford to pay. On March 15, the County Board of Supervisors passed a motion to waive property tax late fees for these owners.
Renters in LA County who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic will be protected against eviction until 2023, but their landlords haven’t been successful in obtaining government relief to cover their losses. With the new proposal, property owners who can’t pay their property tax on time due to LA County’s COVID-related Tenant Protections can soon request to cancel “penalties, interests, costs and fees” under qualifying circumstances.
For Owners & Managers: With your team already busy trying to collect rent and take advantage of any such new legislation, we can help you save hours of admin time by eliminating security deposit management. Obligo’s deposit alternative keeps you secure and your residents accountable in uncertain times like a pandemic. You can also streamline accounting operations by using our Electronic Deposit Refund solution, which is fully integrated with the leading property management software systems.
Bonus Insight from NMHC
Read National Multifamily Housing Council’s analysis on President Biden’s 2022 Federal Spending Package, and the opportunities it presents for the multifamily industry.
As the only credit-based deposit alternative, Obligo rids both landlords and renters from the burden of security deposits, making the move-in and move-out process as simple as checking in and out of a hotel. Learn how Obligo can help you streamline your operations, boost your bottom line, power a better renter experience and comply with ever-changing changing regulations!
*Disclaimer: The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. This publication does not render legal or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and should not replace consultation with an attorney.