Rental Property Owners Association
March RPOA Meeting
March/April 2009 Issue
The March RPOA Meeting will be held
6:00 March 26th at the Board
Waterfront Restaurant in Battle Creek. Pres: Nevin Compton
Dinner is $12 Vice Pres: Jim Faber
Speaker: Beth Dunlap Treasurer: Patricia Lone
Secretary: Avar Wright
April RPOA Meeting Check Criminal Board Members
The April RPOA Meeting will be held Information Online Roger Justice
6:00 April 23rd at the www.state.mi.us/mdoc/asp/
otis2.asp Beth Dunlap
Waterfront Restaurant (can check other state records by going to that Marguerite Hill
in Battle Creek. Dinner is $12 Robert Spencer
Speaker: To be announced (check by name, city, & zip code)
Why it’s Important
120 N. Raymond Road
Everyone is familiar with the old saying “ An once of prevention is worth a Battle Creek, MI 49014
pound of cure.” The same could be said for key control. Maintaining adequate key con- Phone: (269)965-8075
trol is an ounce of prevention that cures the risk exposure your communities may have if
you don’t protect access to every key in your community. In today's litigious society,
people sue at the drop of a hat unless you take adequate measures to protect the ac- Hours: Mon-Fri 9 to 5
cess to your renters apartment, it’s not a matter of getting sue, it’s just a matter of time
until you are.
Inside this issue:
What Can You Do?
There are many things that you can do and there are many different solutions
available and the size of your community doesn’t matter. You don’t have to spend a for- Get the right to check it out 2
tune to protect your keys. Be sure to talk to a key control consultant that can offer many Advertisers
different solutions. There are inexpensive systems and sophisticated electronic systems Are your renters insured 3
and depending on the number of units you need to protect will depend on the type of New Memberse
system you use. Mechanical systems offer a simple solution for smaller apartment com- Insurance reminder
munities and there are more complex electronic systems for larger complexes. Some
even require a fingerprint to access a key. There are advantages to both. Some common
sense goes a long way and here are a few tips you can employ at your community:
Screen your employees before you hire them
Eliminate your master key system
(Continued on page 2)
Page 2 Rental Property Owners Association
Get the right to Check It Out (Continued from page 1)
Make sure your keys aren’t marked with the unit
Many owners and managers use leases that give them number
the right to conduct periodic inspections of units to Keep the “code” sheet with the key location in a
discover unsafe and unsanitary conditions and unre- “secret” separate location
ported maintenance problems. Early detection of these Always re-key every unit when you turnover the
and similar situations can help prevent problems, such unit
as insect and rodent infestation, offensive odors, ma- Have back up keys stored in a safe
Log everyone who takes a key and keep the log
jor repair jobs, and flooding.
If, upon inspection, you staff discovers an unsafe or Keep the key cutting machine and supplies in a
unsanitary condition, it’s important that you immedi- separate location.
ately inform the resident that the problem must be Store keys in a lock box type system that can be
addressed. If your staff discovers an unreported main- locked at night
tenance problem, its crucial that you send your main- Work with a vendor that has several types of
tenance staff to repair the problem right away, and systems to choose from
that you remind the resident of his duty to report such
Find a system that has all the above attributes and
problems. Otherwise, the resident is likely to continue you’ll be on your way to decreasing risk and more impor-
neglecting the unit, and the costs of repairing the unit, tantly, you’ll be protecting your renters.
and evicting the resident are likely to rise.
Taken: from “The Voice January 2009 Volume 45 Number 1”
Get The Right To Inspect Key Control-Why it’s important by: Eric Ostergren
Before you conduct an inspection of a residents unit
be sure your lease gives you the right to do so. If your
lease does not give you the right and you rely on the
(Continued on page 3)
A DV E RT I S E R S
If you want to advertise your business in our
Newsletter, please give Ruby a call:
Chris Cooley & Debra Dove
www.weRhealthy.com RPOA needs several volunteers to do calling for
firstname.lastname@example.org monthly meeting. Would take an hour or less every
269-288-2291 month. Contact RPOA office if interested.
Rental Property Owners Association Page 3
(Continued from page 2)
results of an inspect to try and evict a resident, the resident can argue that your eviction lawsuit is invalid
because it’s based on an unauthorized inspection.
How to Handle Problems Found During Inspections
Unsafe or Unsanitary Condition. Almost all standard leases have a section requiring residents to
maintain their units in a safe and sanitary manner. A Violation of this requirement is a breach of
the lease and can be grounds for eviction if it goes uncorrected. If your staff discovers an unsafe or un
sanitary condition in a resident’s unit, send the resident a letter informing her that she’s keeping her
unit in a unsafe or unsanitary manner, in which is a lease violation. The tone of your letter should be
formal and strict, nut shouldn’t embarrass the resident. For example don’t tell the resident their unit
Unreported maintenance problem. Most standard leases require residents to immediately report
maintenance problems. If your staff discovers an unreported maintenance problem in a resident’s unit,
send them a stern but polite letter advising them of the current problem and remind them to report
Model Lease Language to allow inspection (Be sure to check with your attorney before adapting this language for use in your leases)
Owner reserves the right to enter resident’s unit during reasonable times for any inspections,
maintenance, extermination, alterations, or improvements that are considered necessary or desirable in
owners sole discretion, or to show the unit to prospective residents during the last 30 days of the lease
Taken in Part from “The Voice” March 2009 Volume 45 Number 2 Making Residents clean Units that fail inspection U by: Mark Chrzanowski and gene B Glick
Are your Renters Insured??
Welcome New Members
It seems we hear it more and more often on the news these days,
Anthony Goodman- “Apartment complex catches fire...20 families left home-
River Walk Villa less...most did not have renters insurance.” As property owners we
are sure to protect our property with insurance but where do your
Scott Harrington– tenants stand in the event of disaster? Are they aware that your
Harrington Real Estate Service insurance policy does not cover their belongings or negligence?
You might be surprised at the number tenants who don’t have
Andrew Metomura renters insurance. Most don’t even realize just how affordable
renters insurance can be. You can use the following letter to make
Curtis White sure your tenants are aware of how insurance effects them.
Every year as insurance premiums come due, we have been renewing our insurance policies, and we
thought that you might like to know how you are affected by the insurance we carry.
Basically, our policies cover only the building itself where you live. They do not cover and of your belong-
ings against damage or disappearance, nor do they cover you for negligence should you , for example,
leave a burner going under a pan and start a fire which damages the kitchen.
To protect yourself against these calamities, you should get a tenant’s insurance policy. Most insurance
companies and agents will write such a policy for you, and we would strongly urge that you inquire
about getting one. Let us know if you’d like the name and phone number of an agent. For the peace of
mind that it gives, a tenant’s insurance policy is reasonable indeed.