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					      June 2009

  Volume 45 Number 5          Giving Voice to Rental Property Owners and Real Estate Investors


• Overview of laws regarding attorneys’ fees, page 7

Fair Housing Law:
 • How to handle special parking requests, page 12
 • 5 rules for complying with fair housing law when
 handling special parking requests, page 15

• Effect of decriminalization of marijuana on landlords,
  page 21

       AND MORE…

                  The Publication of the Rental Property Owners Association and
                               the Real Estate Investors of Michigan

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     Office: 616.949.8671                       INC                         Fax: 616.949.8577

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                              Elite Master Contractor Award Winner
                          Reliable Service & High Quality Workmanship
                              Backed by Industry’s Best Warranties
                           Family Owned & Operated Over 30 Years
   Rental Property Owners Association
   & Real Estate Investors of Michigan                               Inside
      1459 Michigan St. NE / Grand Rapids, MI 49503
       Phone: (616) 454-3385 / Fax: (616) 454-6163                   This Edition
           Web Sites:
                                      MONTHLY FEATURES

                                                                     From the Director ...................................................4
                  Board of Directors
     President: Tom Koetsier                                         New Members .........................................................4
     (616) 550-4447        E-mail:

     Vice President: Mark Andresky                                   Business-to-Member Discount Program ..............6
     (616) 970-0259        E-mail:
                                                                     Credit Reporting Procedures ..............................16
     Secretary: Phil Mol
     (616) 458-8200         E-mail:
                                                                     Seminar & Meeting Schedule ..............................23
     Treasurer: Duane Culver
     (616) 456-6464 x.217 E-mail:                Ad-o-Grams ...........................................................30
                         Other Board Members:

     Dennis Childress
     (616) 364-7402         E-mail:
                                                                     THIS MONTH’S ARTICLES
     Ann Finkler
     (616) 437-2164         E-mail:                New Board members welcomed and officers
     Bert Heyboer
                                                                     elected to RPOA ................................................... 5
     (616) 719-0819         E-mail:
                                                                     3rd Annual RPOA Golf Outing for Charity .......... 5
     Keith Littlepage
     (616) 669-8809         E-mail:
                                                                     Consumers Energy process frustrating
     James Loftus                                                    landlords............................................................... 7
     (616) 889-0488         E-mail:

     David Phillips                                                  Overview of laws regarding attorneys’ fees ....... 7
     (616) 745-6683         E-mail:
                                                                     Fair Housing Law:
     Thomas Poelman
     (616) 454-9666         E-mail:
                                                                      • How to handle special parking requests..... 12
                                                                      • 5 rules for complying with
     Kim Post                                                           fair housing law when handling special
     (616) 891-0500         E-mail:                parking requests ........................................... 15
RPOA Director & Newsletter Editor: Clay Powell
   (616) 454-3385          E-mail:              Effect of decriminalization of marijuana on
                                                                     landlords............................................................. 21
Ad Sales: Tom Koetsier
    (616) 550-4447          E-mail:
                                                                     Constitutional issues regarding
Newsletter Layout: Michelle VanGeest                                 rental-property registration laws ...................... 24
    (616) 949-7813          E-mail:

RPOA Staff:
   (616) 454-3385           Clay Powell, Director
                            Ava Grover                             The Voice editorial goal is to provide a forum for real estate in-
                            Kathy Rozenek                          vestment and rental property ownership and management ideas
                            Heather VandenBos                      and news. Our articles, columns, and other features should not
RPOA Attorney: George Pawlowski, (616) 458-7800                    be construed as investment advice, nor does their appearance
                                                                   imply an endorsement by the Rental Property Owners Associa-
The Rental Property Owners Association/Real Estate Inves-          tion of Kent County or the Real Estate Investors of Michigan of
tors (REI) is a nonprofit business association whose mission        any specific real estate investment or management strategy. An
is to support and facilitate its members’ success in real estate   investor’s and manager’s best course of action must be based
investment and management.                                         on individual circumstances.

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                              3
                                             Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                                                                          —Welcome, New Members—
                                from the desk of
                                                                        Abiathar Management LLC                Jennings, Richard A
                                the Director…                              Ashcraft Properties                   Jonnitis, John G
                                                                         Bowers, Russell & Mary                  Kienitz, Virginia
                                Clay Powell                              Browne, Trevor & Judy              Kimbrough-Davis, Lora L
                                                                          Carver, Roger & Judy               Maier, Mark & Monica
                                                                             Chapman, Craig                 Mega Thirteen Properties
                                                                             Crosby, John E                          LLC

                                                                            DeJonge, Bonnie                       Minch, Robert
                                                                                                                  Multi Serve Inc

T     he quietly kept secret that the RPOA offers some of the best         DesNoyers, Paul E
                                                                               Farrier, Jana              Nelson, Gerald C Jr & Sherri
      training available regarding Michigan landlord-tenant laws,
regulations and techniques is out! In the first part of 2009, atten-         Flooring America                        RAM LLC
dance at the RPOA’s Professional Housing Provider (PHP) courses                Supercenter                        Sahom, Hisham
has nearly doubled. The RPOA now offers 16 plus courses on all as-            Franson, Brian                    Sneathen, Peter D
pects of rental property management and real estate investment.
                                                                           Freeman, Eric - BR              Southerton, Susan & Keith
      Almost all of the courses are approved for con-ed for real es-
                                                                               Glatz, Susan                    Towns, Ron & Barb
tate salespersons and brokers. This enables real estate professionals
to get the credits they need and the subjects they want. Within the     HAC Property Management                  Vander Pol, Mark
                                                                                 LLC                                VRE 3 LLC
PHP program, licensed agents can get all two hours of their legal
requirements. On some all-day events, all six hours required for             Harden, Jean A
continuing ed can be accomplished.
      In addition to the PHP offerings, the RPOA offers short Lunch-
n-Learn programs. These are less detailed presentations of less

complicated topics. The price includes lunch!
      The RPOA in Grand Rapids also hosts a breakfast networking
session for any investor, landlord or associated businessperson.
The location is The Breakfast Nook at the corner of Plainfield and
                                                                                        of West Michigan
Fuller in Grand Rapids. The time is 8:00–9:30 A.M. Generally,
over 25 individuals are on hand to share their experiences, needs
and wants.
                                                                         “Managed like we own it - Big enough to serve -
      We are also looking at adding additional programs of special
                                                                                     Small enough to care”.
interest throughout the year. Look for something to come to Grand
Rapids this Fall. And, keep your eyes out for the extremely popular      We take this very seriously to earn and keep your business.
course on how to appeal your tax assessments.
      Don’t forget, many of our Affiliate members in the areas of         Don’t trust your investment with just any
Big Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Traverse City, Oceana, Lake             property management company . . . trust
County, and St. Joseph County offer their own programs. Most of
                                                                                    UNITED PROPERTIES
these organizations also hold a monthly meeting.
      Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Golf Outing to be held
on September 12. The location will be nearer into town this year                CALL Russ VandenToorn TODAY!
providing a great day of networking and fun for everyone. (If you                        616-450-1083
don’t play golf well, don’t worry, you are in good company! No                     Email:
experience necessary to enjoy a fun golf outing.)
                                                                         In addition to being a REALTOR®, we have over 20 years of
      The new course schedule is now available online for the re-        experience buying, remodeling, and managing investment properties.
mainder of our fiscal year (through March 31, 2010). We’d love to
hear from you about subjects that you think we should provide as               The Property Management Leader
a course. Feel free to contact us at               A Full Leasing, and Management company

4                                                                                                                  the Voice, June 2009
                                           Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
New Board members                                                     3rd Annual RPOA
welcomed and officers                                                  Golf Outing for Charity
elected to head up RPOA                                               Saturday, September 12, 2009

E    ach year in April the RPOA Board of Directors adds newly
     elected members and elects officers for the Board.                D     on’t miss out of this great opportunity to join
                                                                            other rental property owners and real estate
                                                                      investors for a day of fun benefitting a charitable
     New to the Board are Kim Post and Bert Heyboer. Kim is an
investor and licensed appraiser. She has served and will continue     cause. Mark DeVries, golf committee co-chair,
to serve on the Membership Programs & Education Committee.            stated that “22 teams of golfers registered and
She also teaches the RPOA’s PHP class on appraising investment        joined in for the fun last year. We look forward to another fun day
property. Kim replaces Patrick Kapenga who recently resigned          of networking and relationship building this year.”
from the Board due to a new business venture. Bert is a property           DeVries also noted that the outing has been moved closer into
manager and investor. He is now serving on the Governmental Af-       town this year. The outing will be held on Saturday, September 12,
fairs Committee.                                                      2009 at the Alpine Golf Course, 6320 Alpine Avenue NW, Com-
     Darrell DeWard left the Board in April due to term limits.       stock Park, MI 49321. The format will be a best ball scramble.
Darrell will be greatly missed on the Board for his dedication and    Lunch and carts are included in the registration fee. The cost is only
contributions. He will continue to serve as chair of the Membership   $60 per golfer. Foursomes are great, but singles and twosomes are
Services and Publications Committee.                                  also welcome! Advanced registration is necessary. Call the RPOA
     Tom Koetsier was re-elected as the President of the RPOA for     office at 1-800-701-7762 no later than September 4 to reserve your
his third term. Mark Andresky was elected as Vice President, Duane    tee time.
Culver as Treasurer and Phil Mol as Secretary.                             Members of RPOA Affiliates are also welcome. This is an
                                                                      excellent opportunity to meet other members throughout West
                                                                           This is a big occasion for businesses to get their name out in
                                                                      front of RPOA members and contribute to a good case—all at the
                                                                      same time. Sponsorships start as low as $100 for a single hole, or
                                                                      a hole sponsorship plus a foursome at only $295. The lunch spon-
                                                                      sorship is $395 and an event sponsorship is only $500. All spon-
                                                                      sorships include your company logo and name listed on signage.
                                                                      This is a great way to get advertising for your company! Persons
                                                                      and businesses interested in one of these packages should call Tom
                                                                      Koetsier at 616-550-4447.
                                                                           There will be tons of great prizes for participants as well. A few
                                                                      of the prizes are the RPOA golf trophy, your picture in the Voice
     Residential and Commercial Property Brokers                      magazine or a free one-year lease from Grande Buick for the hole
                                                                      in one competition. Competitions include closest to the pin, longest

         Homes Starting at                                            drive and hole in one. Start perfecting your skills now!
                                                                           Net income from the golf outing will go entirely to the Read

            $10,000                                                   4 Rent program in Grand Rapids. The Read 4 Rent program of-
                                                                      fers $100 monthly rental vouchers to the families of students who
                                                                      qualify and commit to read with their children before school three
        Specializing in Residential, Commercial,                      times a week, for five months. Clay Powell, director of the RPOA,
       Vacant Land, and Waterfront Foreclosures                       reports that “all the children in the program improve their reading
                                                                      skills. The program has been wildly successful at achieving im-
                                                                      provements in reading and comprehension and engaging parents
               Call: 616.458.2599*                                    in their children’s education.”
       *inquire about our free weekly foreclosure list
                                                                          (In the case of inclement weather, players will be issued rain
                                                                      checks for 18 holes of golf to use at a future date.)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                       5
                                          Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                        ★ Business-to-Member Discounts ★
                                             Saving you dollars!
                              Check out the discounts being made to RPOA members only:

    CleanAir Treatments LLC                                      Pawlowski & Reens, PLC, Attys. at Law
        Offering to all RPOA members a 20% discount on              Discounted fees and free limited phone consulta-
        our service. We kill toxic mold, odors, insects,            tion on any legal issue. 616-458-7800
        allergens, viruses and bacteria within properties
        using ultraviolet ozone generators. No chemicals         RPOA is now a member at Prosource
        or residue. 616-551-7243.                                Wholesale Floorcovering!
                                                                    Receive 40% off carpet and pad and 20% off all
    Grand Rapids Carpet & Furniture Cleaners                        hard surface, including wood, laminate, vinyl, tile
       RPOA Member Carpet Cleaning Special: For ev-                 and laminate countertop. 1575 Gezon Parkway. All
       ery 3 rooms cleaned, receive 4th room FREE. Call             you need to do is show us your membership card.
       Dave, 616-453-5368.                                          Call 616-257-3200 and ask for Peggy.

    Indoor Climate Solutions                                     Rylee’s Ace Hardware
        Offering to all RPOA members Grand Rapids heat-              10% discount on cash purchases. Some restric-
        ing inspection stickers for $35.00 each and a 5%             tions apply. Offer valid at Grand Rapids & Walker
        discount on repair or replacement of any HVAC                locations.
        equipment. We have over 40 years experience
        servicing and installing furnaces, water and steam       Sun Rentals
        boilers, air conditioning and sheet metal work.             Pay cash and receive 15% off any rental, any time.
        616-891-HEAT (4328)                                         616-454-7982

    Koetsier Realty LLC                                              •         •        •         •           •        •       •
       50% off listing services to members.
       Call 616-459-9775.

               Associate members who would like to participate in the discount program should call
                                    Heather VandenBos at 616-454-3385.

                         Patronize one of our Associate members participating in the
                                  Business to Member Discount Program!

                                       Mike Oravec
                                    Corporate Accounts Manager
                                                                  Value Point Real Estate

    I am “The Wholesale” in “ The Closest Thing to Wholesale”        Buying a Foreclosure?
    Contract Sales Division
                                                                     Call Us First!
    Commercial/Residential Products                              -   Foreclosure Listing Agents
    Quantity Discount on Purchases and Deliveries
                                                                 -   Listings with Several National Lenders
    Toll Free: 888-222-1929, Ext. 397                            -   Kent County & Surrounding Areas
    Direct: 248-232-3317
                                                                 -   Loan Programs Available for Investors
    Fax: 248-335-5433                                            -   Call for a List of Foreclosures

6                                                                                                                 the Voice, June 2009
                                        Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
Consumers Energy process                                                 ATTORNEY FEES

frustrating landlords                                                    Overview of laws regarding
                                                                         attorneys’ fees
M       any rental property owners are reporting their frustrations
        with the changes that Consumers Energy has implemented
to become compliant with new Federal regulations und the Fair and
                                                                              Laws that require or allow requiring that a landlord or a ten-
Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). The changes require            ant pay the attorney’s fees that the other person incurs regarding
more diligence on the part of the property owner to prove that the       a tenancy-related dispute reflect two very basic and general legal
tenant is who they say they are and that the landlord has a lease        principles. The first principle is that someone who presents a valid
with this particular tenant.                                             legal claim or has a legitimate defense to a claim or has a legitimate
     On May 1, 2009, Consumers started requiring landlords to            defense to a claim that is asserted against him or her is entitled to
verify tenant identities before requesting an energy account transfer.   compensation for the attorney’s fees that that person paid regarding
A tenant’s identity can be verified by checking a driver’s license,       that dispute. The second principle is that the person who presented a
social security card, or other state identification card. Landlords       form of invalid argument that unduly prolonged the cost and length
are required to certify they have confirmed and verified a tenant’s        of the legal proceedings or who was responsible for the underlying
identity by checking the appropriate box on a Notification of Cus-        harm should have to pay a “penalty” in the form of the attorney’s
tomer Change (NCC) form. Landlords will also need to confirm              fees of the other person.
they received permission to use the new customer’s personal iden-             A third legal principle that laws regarding awarding attorney’s
tifying information in order to place a new utility service in the new   fees reflects is the concept of not granting someone a windfall in a le-
customer’s name. The box on this form must be checked in for the         gal dispute. Even if a law does not require specifically that an award
account transfer to take place.                                          of attorney’s fees be reasonable, a good-faith claim that an amount
     If a tenant applies for the utility service on their own, Consum-   awarded is excessive merits consideration. The primary factors are
ers will validate the tenant’s identity.                                 the “prevailing” hourly rate that attorneys in the area charge for the
     Since this change has caused frustrations for members, the          type of work that representing the landlord or the tenant requires
RPOA is contacting Consumers Energy to see if changes can be             and the amount of time that a court determines is reasonable for the
made to the process. If you are interested in participating in these     attorney to spend regarding the underlying matter.
meetings, contact Clay Powell at the RPOA office at 616-454-                   In our purely hypothetical example, Mertz sued Ricardo for
3385.                                                                    possession of his New York City apartment for the stated reason
                                                                         that he wanted Ricardo’s apartment to use as the primary resi-
                                                                         dence of Mertz’s mother. Ricardo, who was a rent-control tenant,
    Want to advertise your business in The                               responded that Mertz’s mother was living out-of-state and had no
    Voice? Contact RPOA Ad Salesperson,                                  plans to change her habit of merely returning to New York City for
                                                                         a month each year to visit Mertz. Ricardo stated as well that Mertz
   Tom Koetsier, at 616-550-4447 to reserve
                                                                         wanted to get Ricardo to move so that he could rent his apartment
              your space today!                                          to another tenant for a much higher rent.
                                                                              The court decided the controversy in Ricardo’s favor and
                                                                         awarded him the attorney’s fees that he paid in the matter. Ricardo

              Rogue River Electric L.L.C.
                                                                         then submitted a claim for $500,000 that represented 1,000 hours
                                                                         of his attorney’s time at a rate of $500-an-hour.
                                   Emergency service 24/7                     The court determined that Ricardo was entitled only to an
                                                                         award of $10,000 based on the conclusion of the court that the lo-
                                           John R Meyerholtz
                                     Master Electrician\Contractor       cal hourly rate for legal representation for such a routine matter
                                                       (616) 366-6184    was $200 and that an attorney should not have had to spend more
                                                  Fax (616) 363-0991     than 50 hours regarding it.
     When you need an electrician with the guarantee of                  Attorney’s fees lease provisions
        professional service and a quick response,                            A landlord or a tenant often bases a claim of a right to at-
          call for a free quote with no obligation.
                                                                         torney’s fees on a lease provision that provides for that remedy
  Mention this ad and receive a 5% discount.                                        (continued—see ATTORNEY FEES, p. 8)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                          7
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
ATTORNEY FEES —continued from p. 7                                       attorney’s fees to the prevailing person in any other type of land-
                                                                         lord-tenant lawsuit; the only limit that seems to apply in such cases
regarding a tenancy-related dispute; the primary requirement for         is that the award of attorney’s fees be reasonable.
obtaining such a fee under these circumstances is that the person             The law is Connecticut is that a lease provision cannot entitle
wins, which is also known as prevailing, in the lawsuit regarding        a landlord to attorney’s fees that exceed 15 percent of the amount
which the fees were incurred.                                            that he or she is awarded from a tenant in a lawsuit.
     Determining who prevails is not always as easy as it seems; the     Prohibited attorney’s fees lease provisions
long list of possible complications includes a court deciding a con-          Because the requirements of fairness and consistency with ap-
troversy in someone’s favor but awarding him or her only a small         plicable laws limit the rights of a landlord and a tenant regarding
fraction of the compensation that he or she was seeking, deciding        lease terms, states commonly condition the right of a lease to state
some issues favorably to one person and others favorably to the          that a landlord can hold a tenant liable for the attorney’s fees that
other person, and the landlord and the tenant entering a voluntary       a landlord incurs regarding a landlord-tenant dispute on the lease
settlement that represents a compromise.                                 granting the tenant the same right. This reflects general fairness and
     California states in Cal. Civ. Code Section 1717 that a judge       the mutuality of rights and duties that is often required regarding
can decide who prevailed in a lawsuit for the purpose of determin-       contracts.
ing a right to an award of attorney’s fees. This law also requires            Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 186, Section 20 addresses the
specifically that a judge establish what amount of attorney’s fees        need for mutuality by stating that Massachusetts assumes that an
is reasonable.                                                           attorney’s fees lease provision that entitles a landlord to those fees
     Section 1717 states further that any effort to waive an attor-      regarding a tenant not performing any lease-based “covenant or
ney’s fees provision in a lease is void. This reflects the belief of      agreement” grants the tenant the same right.
the California legislature that the right that such a provision grants        Additionally, some states prohibit having an attorney’s fees
someone is much too important to allow that person to not enjoy          lease provision. The most obvious reason for this is a concern that
it even if he or she would give it up voluntarily.                       the risk of liability for the attorney’s fees of a landlord will inhibit
     Section 1717 includes the additional restriction that neither       a tenant from seeking to enforce a tenancy-related right.
side can be awarded attorney’s fees under a lease provision that                     (continued—see ATTORNEY FEES, p. 9)
allows such an award if either person voluntarily dismisses the
lawsuit or a voluntary settlement is entered. In other words, such a
provision is void if it allows imposing attorney’s fees on the other
side under the stated circumstances regarding there not being a
decision based on the merits of a lawsuit.

Limits on attorney’s fees
     Another concern is that an award of attorney’s fees based on
a lease provision that allows such an award be proportional to the
total compensation that someone is awarded. Hawaii addresses
this in Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 607-14 by limiting any such
award to not more than 25 percent of the amount that someone
is awarded for the actual harm that the other person caused. Sec-
tion 607-14 states too that such an award will be even lower if the
attorney’s fees lease provision limits it to a smaller percentage than
25 percent; of course, any provision in a lease for rental property
in Hawaii that states a percentage above 25 percent is void because
it conflicts with Section 607-14. It is possible that a judge would
simply reduce the award to the allowed 25 percent.
     A second limit under the Hawaii law is that the attorney that
the landlord paid not be a salaried employee of the landlord or the
person or company to which the landlord transferred his or her
claim against the tenant. This avoids an attorney with a close rela-
tionship with the landlord charging a higher-than-justified amount
for the purpose of obtaining a form of windfall from the tenant.
     This Hawaii law states too that a lease can provide for paying

8                                                                                                                      the Voice, June 2009
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
ATTORNEY FEES —continued from p. 8                                             The following examples are additional circumstances in which
                                                                         that right might apply; the laws that are discussed are typical of
     I consider the law in Alabama to be amusing because Ala. Code       those in other states.
Section 35-9A-163 simultaneously prohibits a lease stating that a              Ala. Code Section 35-9A-401 entitles an Alabama tenant to
tenant “agrees to pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees …” and allows       attorney’s fees regarding legal action related to a landlord acting
a tenant to hold a landlord liable for the attorney’s fees of a tenant   in bad faith as to “material noncompliance” with a lease provision
if a tenant sues a landlord regarding a prohibited attorney’s fees       or a serious breach of the duty of the landlord to maintain a rental
lease provision. In other words, an Alabama lease cannot provide         unit properly. Bad faith relates to the circumstances that caused the
for paying attorney’s fees and one that does triggers a right to those   breach and the efforts of the landlord to fix the breach after learning
fees.                                                                    of it.
     Arizona law differs slightly; Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 33-           Ala. Code Section 35-9A-407 addresses the right of a tenant
1414 conditions the right to include an attorney’s fees provision        to attorney’s fees if a landlord improperly actually evicted him or
in a lease on restricting that right to awarding those fees “to the      her or conducted a constructive eviction by “willfully” reducing
prevailing party in the event of court action.” This precludes award-    “services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption
ing the fees regarding proceedings that only involve a government        of heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential
agency or regarding a lawsuit in which a court has declared that         service.”
neither party prevailed.                                                       Ala. Code Section 35-9A-405 takes the slightly different ap-
                                                                         proach of granting a landlord a right to attorney’s fees if a tenant
Attorney’s fees as remedies for other wrongs                             asserts a bad faith and meritless claim for compensation under a
     As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, awarding some-     lease or Alabama law in a lawsuit in which the landlord is seeking
one attorney’s fees is designed to compensate for legal costs regard-    back rent or possession of the tenant’s rental unit.
ing wrongdoing by someone else and to deter the other person from              Ark. Code Ann. Section 18-17-704 entitles an Arkansas land-
engaging in that wrongdoing. A prohibited lease agreement of the         lord to attorney’s fees if a tenant has not exercised good faith re-
type that is described above is only one example of a circumstance       garding holding over beyond a termination of a tenancy; this law is
that triggers that right.                                                            (continued—see ATTORNEY FEES., p. 10)

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the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                         9
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                           ATTORNEY FEES —continued from p. 9

                           somewhat vague but seems to relate to a holdover tenant refusing
                           a demand to move without providing a valid reason for that defi-
                                Under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 13-40-123, a Colorado
                           landlord that files a forcible entry and detainer lawsuit is entitled
                           to damages only if the lease that governed the tenancy includes and
                           attorney’s fees provision that grants the landlord and the tenant the
                           right to that compensation.
                                Similarly, Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 38-12-103 only allows
                           a tenant who has not received a timely return of his or her security
                           deposit to recover his or her attorney’s fees regarding the claim for
                           that deposit if the tenant provided his or her landlord at least seven
                           days’ notice of that claim before filing that lawsuit. This incentive
                           to settle such a dispute out of court expedites a resolution and frees
                           up court resources for other matters.
                                Iowa Code Ann. Section 562A.22 addresses the right to attor-
                           ney’s fees when a landlord does not meet his or her duty to give
                           the tenant possession of a rental unit when a tenancy begins. Such
                           failure being “willful and not in good faith” entitles the tenant to an
                           award of reasonable attorney’s fees. Examples of bad faith include
                           not exercising proper diligence regarding necessary pre-move-in
                           repairs and not being adequately aggressive regarding evicting the
                           holdover tenant who is preventing the new tenant from moving in.
                                Requiring bad faith protects a landlord who is not at fault from
                           incurring the additional expense of the attorney’s fees of the new
                                On a similar note, a Minnesota tenant is entitled to an award
                           of attorney’s fees regarding a lawsuit based on a landlord renting
                           him or her a rental unit that was “condemned or declared unfit for
                           human habitation by the applicable state or local authority” before
                           the tenancy began.
                                A New York State law addresses the right of a tenant to sub-
                           lease a rental unit to a subtenant; a landlord that “unreasonably
                           withholds consent” for such a sublease and acts in bad faith must
                           pay the attorney’s fees that the tenant incurred enforcing that

                           Additional harms that can create a right to
                           attorney’s fees
                                A District of Columbia law addresses the general duty of a
                           landlord to not “interfere with the installation, operation, upgrade,
                           or maintenance of cable television facilities upon a property or
                           premises….” A violation of that duty entitles a tenant to reason-
                           able attorney’s fees that he or she incurs in a lawsuit that enforces
                           his or her rights to receive cable television service. This reflects
                           the laws that give tenants the right to choose among two or more
                           cable television service providers.
                                      (continued—see ATTORNEY FEES, p. 11)

10                                                                      the Voice, June 2009
     Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
ATTORNEY FEES —continued from p. 10
     A Connecticut law addresses an entirely different set of cir-        DOORNBOS AND HOEKSEMA
cumstances by entitling a local government that paid a tenant relo-                ATTORNEYS AT LAW
cation expenses that the tenant’s landlord should have paid a right
to collect attorney’s fees from the landlord regarding a lawsuit by
the local government to recover the relocation payment from the           Specializing in Landlord/Tenant cases for
     This law protects public funds by compensating the local gov-
                                                                                                    over 25 years
ernment for the additional expense of recovering the relocation ex-
penses; it also gives landlords incentive to voluntarily reimburse the
local government for those expenses. Massachusetts law entitles a
tenant to reasonable attorney’s fees that he or she incurs in a lawsuit
based on: enforcing that person’s right to enforce tenancy-related                          Collections of back rent
rights, reporting a tenancy-related problem to the appropriate gov-       Evictions for non-payment and lease violations
ernmental agency, or forming or otherwise supporting a tenants’
union or comparable organization.
                                                                                     Representing numerous
     A similar law in Minnesota entitles a tenant to attorney’s fees in
                                                                          apartment complexes, management companies
a lawsuit regarding a landlord interfering improperly with the right                    and individuals
of a tenant “to call for police or emergency assistance in response
to domestic abuse or any other conduct.” A different Minnesota law
entitles a former tenant to attorney’s fees if a landlord does not al-                    616.957.4950
low the former tenant to timely recover personal property that the
landlord was storing after the tenant abandoned a rental unit.                 2932 East Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
                                                                                fax: 616.957.3629
Bottom line
     State law and/or the authority of a court to fully compensate
someone for the harm that someone else caused often will result
in the wrongdoer having to pay the attorney’s fees that the other
person incurred asserting a valid claim or defending against a mer-
itless one that was alleged in bad faith.

Reprinted from Landlord’s Bottom Line Bulletin, April 2009 Volume 12
No. 4 issue.

                Single - Multi Family Management
               e”       45 Years Experience

                   Property Management


the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                            11
                                              Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
How to handle special parking requests
T    his month, we are going to focus on how to handle parking
     requests as reasonable accommodations for residents with
disabilities. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires communities
                                                                     were parked too close, but the manager allegedly said that access
                                                                     lanes were required and suggested he back into the space as an al-
                                                                     ternative. Claiming that the resident was forced to park on a public
to make exception to rules, policies, practices, or services as a    road, the charge sought damages for emotional distress and civil
reasonable accommodation to afford a resident with a disability      penalties against the community [Jones v. Niagara Fair Housing
an opportunity to use and enjoy his dwelling that is equal to the    Authority, September 2008].
opportunity afforded to those who are not disabled. Management’s          The other case was filed against a condominium association in
obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation extends to rental   Puerto Rico, which allegedly refused to allow a disabled couple to
applicants who request the accommodation during the application      exchange their two assigned parking spaces for two handicapped-
process and to occupants who may live in the unit but who are no     accessible spaces close to their unit [Garcia-Guillen v. Astralis
necessarily signing the lease.                                       Condominium Association, September 2008].
     Nationally, fair housing complaints based on disability dis-         Many parking disputes stem from community concerns about
crimination are on the rise, and a substantial number are requests   allocating a limited resource, particularly where parking is at a
for an exception to parking rules as a reasonable accommodation      premium. In addition, economic conditions may make communities
for an applicant or resident with a disability—or someone in his     reluctant to undertake additional administrative or financial costs
household.                                                           associated with reserving a particular space in an unassigned lot,
     Example: In recent months, HUD filed discrimination charges      or altering the location, size, or features of a space in a lot with as-
in two separate cases based on allegations that a housing author-    signed parking. And, as with making any exception to community
ity in New York, where parking was available on a first-come,         rules, communities may worry that granting a parking request for
first-served basis. According to the charge, the resident parked in   one resident may trigger a flood of requests from other residents
handicapped-accessible spaces near his building, but there were no   who want special parking privileges.
marked access aisles adjacent to any of the spaces. He complained             (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS, p. 13)
of difficulty getting and out of his vehicle because other vehicles

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12                                                                                                                 the Voice, June 2009
                                         Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 11                                     On top of those requirements, communities may have to pro-
                                                                      vide additional accessible parking spaces if needed as a reasonable
     With the aging of the baby boomer, communities are likely to     accommodation to a person with a disability, says Atlanta-based fair
face increased demand for disability-related parking accommoda-       housing attorney Robin Hein. Fair housing rules governing park-
tions, notes fair housing expert Anne Sadovsky. That makes it all     ing-related requests as a reasonable accommodation for disabled
the more important to understand just what the law does-and does      residents apply to all communities, regardless of when they were
not require-your community to do when faced with a request for        built, he says.
an exception to your community’s parking rules by a resident with          For more detailed information on the FHA’s design and con-
a liability.                                                          struction standards, see the March 2008 issue of Fair Housing
     In this month’s issue, we’ll give you five rules so you’ll know   Coach, “Ensuring Compliance with FHA’s Design and Construction
how to handle parking-related requests for reasonable accommoda-      Requirements.”
tions under fair housing law. Then, you can take the Coach’s Quiz
to see how much you have learned.                                     WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?

    COACH’S TIP: Housing communities built since the early                 The FHA bans housing discrimination based on the disability
    1990’s must have a certain number of handicapped-acces-           of an applicant or resident-or the disability of members of a house-
    sible parking spaces to comply with the FHA’s design and          hold or anyone associated with them. Among the prohibited prac-
    construction standards. The standards apply to all newly          tices under the FHA is refusal to make reasonable accommodations
    constructed multifamily dwellings of four or more units in-       in rules, policies, practices, or services when the accommodations
    tended for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. In those          may be necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to
    communities, the Fair Housing Design Manual requires              use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common-use
    that a minimum of 2 percent of the parking spaces serving         areas. The rationale is that a community’s rules may have a differ-
    covered dwelling units must be accessible, and they must          ent effect on individuals with disabilities, so treating people with
    be located on an accessible route.                                          (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS p. 14)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                  13
                                          Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 13                                  control problem and difficulty in walking and getting in and out of
                                                                        his car. There were handicapped-accessible spaces available on a
disabilities exactly the same as others will sometimes deny then        first-come, first-served basis, but he said they were usually taken
an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the community, according          by other residents. The court ruled that the community, which knew
to HUD.                                                                 he had MS, had to grant his parking accommodation request. It was
     For example, a community that offers parking on a first-come,       irrelevant that he didn’t “appear” to be disabled: The existence of
first-served basis must grant the request for a reserved parking         a disability did not depend on his appearance, but on his physical
space to a mobility-impaired resident who has trouble walking           condition [Jankowski Lee & Associates v. Cisneros, Wisconsin
more than a short distance and does not have access to a handicap       1996].
parking space near his unit, according to HUD. The accommodation             Nevertheless, HUD says that the FHA does not require a com-
is necessary to afford him an equal opportunity to use and enjoy        munity to make an exception to parking rules unless there is an
a dwelling, and it is reasonable because it is feasible and practical   identifiable relationship between the requested accommodation and
under the circumstances.                                                the individual’s disability. And the requested parking accommoda-
     Communities sometimes get into trouble in handling parking-        tion must be more than a mere convenience; it must be necessary
related accommodation requests from residents who don’t have            to allow the resident to live in and fully enjoy the community.
obvious mobility impairments. The fact that a resident doesn’t use
a wheelchair or appear to have difficulty walking doesn’t mean that          COACH’S TIP: Communities sometimes question whether
he is not entitled to a parking accommodation.                              a disability-related request for a parking space is considered
     Example: A Wisconsin resident with multiple sclerosis was              a reasonable accommodation or a reasonable modification
entitle to a parking-related accommodation request even though              under the FHA. Accordingly to HUD, courts have treated re-
he did not appear to have any mobility problems, according to a             quests for a parking space as requests for a reasonable ac-
federal court ruling. The resident, whose condition varied with             commodation and have placed the responsibility for providing
remissions, said he did everything he could not to appear disabled          the parking space on the community even if it results in some
because he felt he was treated with less respect and credibility when       cost to the community. The cost for making an accommoda-
others saw his as disabled. Nevertheless, he requested a large space        tion is usually the owner’s responsibility, not the resident’s.
reserved for him near the building entrance because of a bladder-               (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS, p. 15)

            Alice Doherty-
          Mortgage Loan Officer
     Member RPOA - Rental Property
     Owner’s Association

14                                                                                                                 the Voice, June 2009
                                           Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 14

      If the request involves substantial structural charges, such as
building ramp to a parking area, you should get legal guidance to
determine whether it should be considered a request for a reason-
able modification under the FHA. Most of the rules for handling
reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications are simi-
lar, but there’s one big difference: In general, the community must
pay the costs associated with a reasonable accommodation, while
the resident is responsible for costs associated with a reasonable

5 rules for complying with
fair housing law when handling
special parking requests
Rule #1: Establish Policies and Procedures for
Parking Accommodation Requests

     Though it’s not required under the FHA, fair housing experts
recommend adopting formal policies and procedures for handling
reasonable accommodation requests. HUD says that a formal pro-
cess may help communities minimize misunderstandings about the
nature of the request and, in the event of a later dispute, provide
documentation that the requests received proper consideration.
     Depending on the particular needs of a community, it may
not be necessary to adopt a policy specifically related to parking.      Do you invest in Real Estate?
Hein recommends that communities adopt a general reasonable             Have you had difficulty obtaining insurance?
accommodation policy that refers to parking and other frequently
requested accommodation by persons with disabilities. The policy        Renovators’ insurance is your solution!
may describe the community’s commitment to comply with fair                          Coverage for rehabbers, renovators and flippers
housing law by allowing a modification to rules, policies, practices,
or services that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an
equal opportunity to use and enjoy the community. In addition, it
may describe the procedures for filing requests and the steps the
community may take to evaluate them. The community may decide
how formal or how detailed the policy should be, Hein says.
     Nevertheless, the FHA does not require that a request be made
in a particular manner or at a particular time, so you must consider
an accommodation request even if the resident makes a request
orally or does not use your preferred forms or procedures for mak-
ing such requests.                                                                               • Experienced management team
     Train your staff to be polite to residents or applicants who                                • Vacant property
make accommodation requests, says fair housing trainer Carl York,
                                                                                                 • Rental property
vice president of Sentinel Real Estate Corp. He recommends train-        800.790.4872
ing staff members to ask the resident to fill out a form or submit     • Liability insurance
a written request for the parking accommodation, but not to insist   • Convenient monthly billing
that they do so.                                                                                 • Same day proof of insurance
        (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS, p. 17)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                               15
                                           Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
       RPOA & REI Credit Report
      request procedures & prices
Please follow the procedures below when requesting credit
reports from the RPOA:
❏      When possible, please use the RPOA Credit Report Re-
       quest Form and fax it to the RPOA office at 616-454-                 We clean your drains not your wallets
       6163 OR send us an e-mail with the same information to: A copy of the form is in the
                                                                           Affordable Plumbing Services
       back of your Membership Director. (DO NOT fax applica-
       tions to us.)                                                       Licensed & Insured
❏      You must have the following minimum information to
       run a report:                                                       - Remodel                    - Sewer 24 hr drain cleaning
       •    First and last name of prospective tenant(s).                  - Toilets                    - Floor drains
       •    Current address of the prospective tenant, including           - New construction           - High pressure jetting
            street with number, city, state and zip code.
                                                                           - Video pipe inspection      - Electronic pipe location
       •    Social Security Number.
       •    Your RPOA member #, name of membership, and an                 - Complete winterizing       - General contractor
            indication on how you would like the completed reports         - Underground plumbing       - Sewer & water service
            handled, i.e. faxed back to you (if so, provide the fax
            number), or you will call the office for the report, or
            you will pick up the report in person.                         Affordable property preservation
                                                                           We will get your REO from Asset to Market
❏      WAIT AT LEAST THREE (3) HOURS before contacting
       the RPOA office for your reports. Though we can sometimes
       get reports done quicker, there are many things out of our          Office: 616-647-2790 (24hr)            Fax: 616-647-2796
       control that can interfere with this process, including but not
       limited to credit reporting agency computer problems.
❏      Contact us for your credit report results promptly. For rea-
       sons of confidentiality we shred all reports after three days.           �������������
Other guidelines for credit reports:                                         ������������������

•  You cannot run a credit report on yourself.
•  You can only run a credit report on another family member
   if you are doing a business transaction with that person that
   is related to real estate or rental property.
•  You cannot run a credit report for another business person,
   real estate agent or landlord. Your credit reporting privileges
   through RPOA extend only to your personal business.
•  You can only run a credit report for a legitimate business                        ����������������������
   transaction where credit is required. These transactions
   include owner financed real estate, leasing, collections and                     ����������������������������
   land contracts.
•  You must follow all the rules and regulations of the Federal          ����������������������������������������������
   Fair Credit Reporting Act. A copy of this Act is available at            ������������������������������������������
   the RPOA.
•  You must give a person denied housing or financing because                       ������������������������������������������������
   of information contained in a credit report a notice to that                              �������������������������

   effect. Examples of notices that you can use and what needs
   to be included in the notice can be found in the RPOA of-
   fice.                                                                   �������������������������������������������������
     —— REPORT PRICES (effective December 1, 2007) ——
              Single: $12.00                                                     ��������������������������������
              Double: $18.00                                                           ����������������������
              Criminal Report: $6.00 each                                           ��������������������������������
              Crosscheck/Skip Trace: $7.50 each

16                                                                                                                     the Voice, June 2009
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 15                                    if an applicant with an obvious mobility impairment asks you to
                                                                          assign her a parking space located in another part of the parking
    COACH’S TIP: Adopt procedures to ensure your community                lot. The physical disability and the disability-related need for the
    responds to parking accommodation requests in a timely                parking request are both readily apparent, so you may not require
    manner. Under HUD guidelines, an undue delay in respond-              her to provide any additional information about her disability or
    ing to a reasonable accommodation request may be deemed               the need for the parking space.
    to be a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.                     On the other hand, you may ask for additional information if
                                                                          either the disability or the need for the requested parking accom-
Rule #2: Don’t Ask for Too Much Information                               modation is not obvious. If the disability is not obvious, the HUD
                                                                          guidelines permit a community to request reliable information to
     Make sure your procedures governing parking accommodation            verify that the person’s condition meets the FHA’s definition of
requests, including any forms used, do not violate fair housing rules     “disability.” Depending on the circumstances, the guidelines state
governing disability-related inquiries. The FHA generally prohibits       that such information may come from the individual himself, a
communities from asking whether an applicant or resident (or any-         medical professional, a peer support group, a non-medical service
one associated with him) has a disability or asking about the nature      agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about
or severity of his disabilities. If an applicant or resident requests a   the individual’s disability.
reasonable accommodation, however, the law allows communities                  If the resident or applicant is considered disabled under the
to request a reasonable amount of information about the disability        FHA, then you may request only the information that is necessary
in some instances.                                                        to evaluate if the parking accommodation is needed because of a
     In general, the community is entitled to information that is nec-    disability. Such information must be kept confidential and may not
essary to evaluate if the parking accommodation may be necessary          be shared with others unless they need the information to evaluate
because of a disability. That means that you may not ask for further      the requested accommodation request.
information if the disability is obvious or otherwise known to you,
and if the need for the requested parking accommodation is also           Rule #3: Grant Reasonable Requests for
readily apparent or known. That would be the case, for example,           Disability-Related Parking Accommodations

                                                                               When there is a clear relationship between the resident’s dis-
                                                                          ability and the need for the requested parking accommodation, the
                                                                          law requires the community to grant the request-unless it would
                                                                          impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the com-
                                                                          munity’s operations.
                                                                               In general, communities should grant a parking accommoda-
                                                                          tion request from a resident or applicant with a mobility problem,
                                                                          according to Hein. Common parking-related accommodation re-
                                                                          quests include a designated parking space near a building entrance
                                                                          or a resident’s unit, a handicapped-accessible parking space, or a
                                                                          space-designated for van parking. York agrees, noting that you
                                                                          should grant a request for a parking space as a reasonable accom-
                                                                          modation as long as the space is not attached to a different unit or
                                                                          reserved for someone else.
                                                                               To prevent others from using the space, Sadovsky recommends
                                                                          putting up a sign or otherwise marking the space as reserved. For
                                                                          safety reasons, York says it’s important not to use the resident’s
                                                                          name or unit number on the sign. Sadovsky recommends giving the
                                                                          resident a permit and reserving the space for that permit number.
                                                                          Hein says that the community may keep a log book to keep track
                                                                          of the permits.
                                                                               In communities where there is assigned parking, the law gener-
                                                                          ally does not require a community to take away a spot assigned to
                                                                                  (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS, p. 18)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                      17
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                                                        PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 17
   You’d be smiling too... if you’d
started buying houses at this age...                    another resident and give it to a disabled resident. However, it may
                                                        have to follow a disabled resident to exchange an assigned parking
                                                        space for a handicapped-accessible space normally reserved for
                                                        visitors in the general parking area as long as the community still
                                                        has the minimum number of unreserved handicap spaces required
                                                        under FHA accessibility guidelines.
                                                             Example: This past summer, an administrative law judge ap-
                                                        proved a $17,000 settlement to resolve allegations that a Puerto
                                                        Rico condominium association refused to assign a resident a park-
                                                        ing space necessary to accommodate her son’s disability. Accord-
                                                        ing to the complaint, the resident’s 6-year-old son had cerebral
                                                        palsy; he used a wheelchair, was unable to speak, and had limited
                                                        ability to control his body movements. Allegedly, the 140-unit
                                                        community had nine visitor spaces close to her unit, four of which
                                                        were designated as handicapped accessible and were vacant most
                                                        of the time. The complaint claimed that the community denied the
                                                        resident’s request to use one of the accessible spaces reserved for
 Why wait to invest in your future? There’s never       visitors, and she rejected alternative accommodations offered by
 been a better time to buy than right now. Let us       the community because they would have required her to leave her
 help you find your next investment property. We        son unattended [Calderon-Grau v. Parques De Las Flores Condo-
 are experienced experts in all aspects of real         minium Association, August 2008].
 estate investing.                                           Even if there is a disability-related need for the requested
                                                        parking accommodation, the community does not have to grant the
      •   Mentoring and consulting programs             request if providing the accommodation is unreasonable. The law
      •   Short sales and foreclosures                  considers a requested accommodation to be unreasonable when it
                                                        would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the
      •   Exit strategies and creative investing
                                                        community or fundamentally alter the nature of the community’s
      •   Rehabs and flips                              operations. It does not permit a community to deny a request
      •   Land contracts and lease options              merely because granting the accommodation would be inconvenient
      •   Property tax relief                           for the community. However, it is the community’s responsibility
                                                        to prove that there is an unreasonable administrative or financial
      •   Historic tax credits                          burden.
      •   Landlording systems                                For example, a community may worry that granting a disabled
      •   Hud home purchasing                           resident’s request for a reserved parking space near an entrance may
                                                        generate similar requests from other disabled residents, particularly
      •   Partnership opportunities
                                                        when parking is limited. At least one court has rejected that argu-
      •   Free 1 hour consultation                      ment, ruling that the FHA required an individualized inquiry into
                                                        whether the community’s parking policies affected the disabled
                                                        resident differently from other disabled residents. Even if most
           LISTING COMMISSIONS                          disabled residents were satisfied with the parking services provided,
                                                        the FHA required the court to determine whether the parking ar-
                                                        rangement interfered with this resident’s use and enjoyment of her
                                                        dwelling [Southern California Housing Rights Center v. Loz Feliz
                                                        Towers Homeowners Association, May 2005].

             Tom Koetsier . 616-550-4447
                                                             In most cases, a community may not deny a resident’s dis-
                                                        ability-related request for a reserved or handicapped-accessible
            Allison Koetsier . 616-633-9445
                                                        space because it involves some cost to the community, according
                                                                (continued—see PARKING REQUESTS, p. 19)

18                                                                                                  the Voice, June 2009
                                  Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
PARKING REQUESTS —continued from p. 18                                        reasonable accommodation necessary to afford the resident an equal
                                                                              opportunity to enjoy his dwelling. There was a limited number
to HUD guidelines. As long as it wouldn’t impose an undue fi-                  of handicap parking spaces, and the community acted in a fair and
nancial burden, a community would have to pay the costs related               rational way by allocating them to the disabled residents based on
to creating signage, repainting markings, redistributing spaces, or           seniority [United States v. Port Liberte Condo I Association, Inc.,
creating curb cuts.                                                           September 2006].
     If the requested parking accommodation requires more costly                   When a requested accommodation is unreasonable, HUD says
expenditures, then the request may be considered an undue financial            that the community should engage in an “interactive process” to
and administrative burden, depending on factors such as:                      discuss possible alternatives. If an alternative would effectively
                                                                              meet the requester’s disability-related needs and is reasonable then
•      The cost of the requested accommodation:                               the community must provide it
•      The financial resources of the community;
•      The benefits that the accommodation would provide to the                Rule #5: Do Not Impose Fees for Granting
       resident; and                                                          Parking Accommodation Requests
•      The availability of other, less expensive alternative accommo-
       dations that would effectively meet the resident’s disability-              The law prohibits communities from requiring residents with
       related needs.                                                         disabilities to pay extra fees as a condition of receiving a reasonable
                                                                              accommodation. For example, if a community generally does not
Rule #4: Offer Alternatives When Requested                                    charge residents for parking, then the community may not impose
Accommodation is Unreasonable                                                 an extra fee upon a resident who requires a handicapped-accessible
                                                                              space or other disability-related parking accommodation.
      You don’t have to grant an unreasonable parking accommo-                     However, if your community normally requires all residents
dation request, but that doesn’t mean that you should simply deny             to pay a parking fee, you should consult your attorney when an
any accommodation. The key to avoiding fair housing trouble is                individual with a disability asks you to waive the fee as a reason-
to offer a reasonable alternative that would allow the resident the           able accommodation. Under some circumstances, you could find
opportunity to live in and fully enjoy the community, according to            yourself in fair housing trouble to failing to waive financial bur-
Hein. If the resident rejects your alternative accommodation and              dens-including generally applicable fees-as a reasonable accom-
files a fair housing complaint, then the courts, HUD, and state and            modation for a resident with a disability.
local enforcement agencies will look at what you offered to deter-                 Example: A California mobile home community was sued for
mine whether it was reasonable.                                               violating the FHA by refusing to waive a guest parking fee as an
      Example: A New Jersey community successfully defended a                 accommodation for a resident whose daughter required the services
fair housing complaint filed on behalf of disabled resident for denial         of a home health aide. The court acknowledged that some gener-
of a parking accommodation. The resident, who had a mobility                  ally applicable fees could have the effect of excluding disabled
disorder, accused the community of discrimination in assigning                residents depending upon certain factors, such as the relationship
him a handicapped-accessible space that was at a greater distance             between the amount of the fees and the overall housing costs, the
from the entrance to his building than the handicapped-accessible             proportion of other resident paying such fees, the importance of
space he wanted. The court ruled that the community provided a                the fees to the community’s overall revenues, and the importance
                                                                              of the fee waiver to the disabled resident. In this case, however,
                                                                              the court ruled that the resident did not prove the parking policy
                                                                              prevented the aide from being able to provide the care that the
                                                      Licensed and Insured    resident could receive [United States v. California Mobile Home
                                                           Member of          Park Management Co., February 1997].
                                                     Better Business Bureau

    784-5700                         .
                      Eve. 874-5298 887-7082
                                                                              *Fair Housing Act: 42 USC, 3601 et seq.
                                                                              *HUD guidance: Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair
    Rental repairs and maintenance.
    We do it better because we try harder.                                    Housing Act,
    Additions   Countertops   Flooring       Insurance work   Shutters
    Awnings     Decks         Garage doors   Kitchens         Siding
    Baths       Doors         Gutters        Painting         Small repairs
    Ceilings    Drywall       Hauling        Railings         Storm windows
    Concrete    Fire damage   Insulation     Roofing          Tear outs

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                             19
                                              Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
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20                                                                                                         the Voice, June 2009
                                      Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)

Effect of decriminalization of marijuana on landlords
Introduction                                                            ing. Also, at least one tenant in each of these dwellings must be a
                                                                        recovering alcoholic or drug addict who participates in a recovery
     Another article in this edition of this newsletter discussed how   program. The required number of such units is only four if there
the issue of same-sex marriage, also known as marriage equality,        are no more than eight dwelling units on the property.
which the debate of Proposition 8 in California restored to national         Additionally, the landlord must prohibit any alcohol or drug
attention affects landlord-tenant law. However, the passage of a        use in a dwelling unit that is designated as drug and alcohol-free
ballot question in Massachusetts that decriminalized possessing         housing. This extends to “all tenants, employees, staff [and] agents
less than one ounce of marijuana also impacts this law. This adds       of the landlord and guests.” The landlord must also monitor the ten-
Massachusetts to the list of 12 other states with similar laws.         ants regarding compliance with the tenancy terms that are described
      The passage of the ballot question did not legalize possess-      below.
ing a small amount of marijuana in Massachusetts but did change              The landlord must additionally provide “individual and group
the law so that merely possessing that amount of that drug is no        support for recovery” and give tenants access to a specified recov-
longer a crime that could result in incarceration. Under the new        ery program. Section 90.243 describes a “program of recovery”
law, an adult who is found to have one ounce or less of marijuana       as a verifiable program of counseling and rehabilitation treatment
will simply need to pay a fine. Minors will have to pay the same         services, including a written plan, to assist recovering alcoholics or
fine and participate in a drug-education program. It is important to     drug addicts to recover from their addictions to alcohol or illegal
note as well that this new law does not affect the criminal status      drugs while living in drug and alcohol free housing.” This means
of other marijuana-related crimes that include growing and selling      that a tenant must do more than receive counseling for his or her
the drug.                                                               problem or try to solve the problem on his or her own.
     On a general level, regarding landlord-tenant law, this de-             The first lease requirement is that it must acknowledge that
criminalization and the comparable laws in other states do not                         (continued—see MARIJUANA, p. 22)
affect rental property rules and policies regarding a tenant having

                                                                                     100% {
marijuana at a property.                                                                               purchase
     As silly as it sounds, a policy or rule regarding a tenant pos-                                   improvements
sessing marijuana or another drug can be compared to a pet policy.                                     closing costs
A landlord can generally prohibit a tenant from having a dog or
a cat despite the fact that owning such animal is legal. A landlord                  Investment Rehab
can also think of smoking marijuana as just as much of a nuisance
as smoking tobacco for reasons that include the smoke from each
substance being equally prone to invade common areas or the rental           { OUR RATE CONTINUES TO DROP }
unit of a fellow student.
     This article will look at the laws in two states regarding poli-
cies for formal drug-free housing, and a longer article that follows             ��1–4 family non-owner occupied
will provide information about laws regarding drug-related nui-                  ��Up to 80% of completed value
sances at residential rental properties.                                         ��Improvement money available up front
                                                                                 ��640 credit score
Drug- and alcohol-free housing
                                                                                Scott McDonald
     The definition of drug- and alcohol-free housing in Oregon        
under Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 90.243 varies depending on the
number of dwelling units that are on a piece of property; regardless
of the number of dwelling units, it is required that the landlord is           248.344.1285
either a nonprofit organization or a housing authority.               
     If there are more than eight dwelling units, the landlord must
designate that drug-free dwelling unit as one of at least eight con-           ReCasa Financial Group
nected units on the property that is designated as that type of hous-

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                      21
                                           Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
MARIJUANA —continued from p. 21                                          provisions in Oregon. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 90.398 in Oregon,
                                                                         Washington law specifies that a landlord can evict a tenant who has
the tenant knows that the landlord has designated the dwelling           lived in drug-and alcohol-free housing for less than two years if that
unit as drug- and alcohol-free housing. The second requirement           tenant “uses, possesses, or shares alcohol, illegal drugs, controlled
prohibits the tenant from using, possessing, or sharing “alcohol,        substances, or prescription drugs without a medical prescription.”
illegal drugs, controlled substances, or prescription drugs without      An eviction notice that is based on any of these grounds must be
a medical prescription” either on or off the premises.                   written and must specify which acts constituted the violation. This
      The tenant must agree as well that his or her guests will fol-     notice must state too that the tenancy will terminate at a specific
low the same restrictions while visiting the dwelling unit. Although     time on a specific date that is at least three days after the landlord
this requirement would not prohibit possessing a small amount of         delivers the notice.
marijuana if doing so was legal in Oregon, that possession would               Such a notice must also allow a tenant to avoid an eviction
violate the spirit of the requirement and the specific term of the        by remedying the violation within one day of receiving that no-
other requirement that no drug use of any kind should occur in the       tice. Even if the tenant remedies the violation, a second act that is
dwelling unit.                                                           substantially the same as the one that prompted an earlier eviction
      The tenant must agree in the lease agreement, as well, that he     notice and that occurs within six months of that notice will justify
or she will also participate in the recovery program that the lease      an eviction. A tenant will not have a chance to remedy the violation
specifies and agree to verify that participation and the lack of any      regarding that second occurrence.
consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs; this verification must oc-
cur at least every three months. The tenant must agree further to        Bottom Line
take drug and alcohol tests when the landlord determines that they
are needed; the landlord must pay for these tests.                             Even legal possession of marijuana can support an eviction
      As is the case in any other lease, a tenant violating any of the   if it creates a nuisance or violates a valid lease term that prohibits
special conditions regarding his or her tenancy can justify an evic-     it.
      The law in Washington state is very similar; comparable to         Reprinted from Landlord’s Bottom Line Bulletin.

22                                                                                                                         the Voice, June 2009
                                            Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
2009 Seminar & Meeting Schedule
Call the RPOA Office, (616) 454-3385, to register.

Every Fri.      REI Breakfast Roundtable
except holidays 8:00-9:00 AM, Breakfast Nook, 3100 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
1st Mon.             Muskegon Area Rental Association (M.A.R.A.) Monthly Meeting
each month           5:30 PM Seminar; 6:30 PM Dinner; 7:00 PM Speakers
                     1504 Palmer Ave., Muskegon (corner of Laketon & Lakeshore Dr.)
Last Tuesday         Kalamazoo Area Rental Housing Association
of month             7:00 PM / Theo & Stacy’s Restaurant, Portage Road, just south of I-94.

          All seminars/classes are held in the RPOA-REI Board Room, 1459 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids unless noted otherwise.

Date        Cert.         Event                                           Date      Cert.         Event
June 8      LUNCH ’N LEARN: INSTALLING MORE WATER                                   RPOA OFFICE – 2nd Floor Conference Room
            METERS IN 2 FAMILY HOMES                                                Members $39 / Non-Members $49 Pre-registered Before
            Presented by Bob Keller.                                                Day of Event
            $10 per person, lunch provided.                                         Members $49 Walk-In / Non-Members $59 Walk-In
            12:00-1:00 P.M. RPOA-REI Boardroom                                      Call to Register: 1-800-701-7762
June 11     CE/PHP        MANAGING YOUR BOTTOM LINE                                 Lunch will not be provided.
            Getting into real estate can be easy…keeping the financial               *Approved Con-Ed class for Realtors. Earn 6 hours!
            records necessary to manage expenses, cash flow, rent                    **DOES NOT INCLUDE LEGAL CREDIT**
            collection and tax preparation can be challenging.
            Presented by Don Klein, Certified Public Accountant, who       June 16   LEAD-SAFE WORK PRACTICES
            will teach the determining basis, how assets and income are             Richard Tenhoor, Certified Lead Safe Work Practices
            managed under the LLC, and a lot more.                                  Trainer, Landlord and RPOA Member, will teach the
            6:00–8:00 P.M. RPOA-REI Boardroom                                       lead-safe work practices in a comprehensive session. The
            $20 Members, $30 Non-Members                                            EPA will soon require all landlords to use lead-safe work
            Approved Con-Ed class for Realtors. Earn 2 hours!*                      practices.
                                                                                    Sponsored by: RPOA of Kent County.
June 13     CE/PHP        MAXIMIZING REAL ESTATE                                    Home Repair Services of Kent County
                          INVESTMENTS                                               1100 S Division Ave., Grand Rapids MI 49507
            Ever dream of being a real estate investor? Come to this                $25 for Members, $35 for Non-Members (Paid in advance
            event to learn how to get your real estate investment                   only). No charge to current participants of Lead Out
            business off the ground.                                                Program with verification from Lead Grant.
                                                                                    To register call the RPOA Office at: 1-800-701-7762.
                • Buying & Selling Real Estate – Join Tom Koetsier,                 Register by 5:00 P.M., Friday, June 12, 2009.
                RPOA Board President and experienced real estate
                investor and broker, as he eliminates the mystery from    July 13   LUNCH ’N LEARN: SHORT SALE SECRETS
                purchasing real estate. Through his class, you will                 Joel Zieve – RPOA Member & Presenter
                learn how to KEEP IT LEGAL PROFITABLE as you                        You’ll learn:
                negotiate inspections, title work, transfer taxes, and                  1) The basics of short sales (getting a lender to accept
                other important real estate transactions.                               less than full payoff
                                                                                        2) The specifics of the Michigan Foreclosure process
                • Protecting Your Assets – Join George Pawlowski,                       that make much of what you learn from short sales
                RPOA Attorney, as he explains how to best protect your                  “gurus” inappropriate (or worse, illegal)
                valuable assets from claims, lawsuits, and other un-                    3) Using short sales to acquire properties for long term
                doings.                                                                 buy and hold
                                                                                        4) Using short sales to create large chunks of cash by
                • Creating Wealth With Land Contracts – This course                     flipping.
                will show you how you can use land contracts as a                   $10 per person, lunch provided.
                wealth building real estate investment tool also with               12:00-1:00 P.M. RPOA-REI Boardroom
                George Pawlowski.
                         (continued on next column)

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                        23
                                                  Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)

Constitutional issues
regarding rental-property
registration laws

     Many cities and towns have used indications that conditions
at residential rental properties have deteriorated significantly to
justify enacting the rental-property registration and inspection laws
that have become very common in the last few years. Reduced tax
revenue because of poor economic conditions has provided an ad-
ditional incentive to raise money for rental-property inspections
and code-enforcement efforts by charging landlords fees that are
designed to help meet these costs.
     As I predicted roughly one year ago, landlords are challenging
these laws on many levels. The more general assertions are that
the registration fees are increasing rents at a time that tenants are
struggling financially and that the landlords who maintain their
rental property well should not be punished because a minority of
their colleagues do not meet that duty.

Equal protection challenges

     Landlords have based some more formal challenges to rental-
property registration ordinances on the claim that these ordinances
violate the “Equal Protection Clause” in the Fourteenth Amendment          ������������
to the U.S. Constitution. This clause essentially requires treating
everyone who is similarly situated the same as everyone else who           ���������������
belongs to the same group of people. This is consistent with the
legal principle of not discriminating unfairly against anyone for
any reason.
     In the context of rental-property ordinances, some landlords          ���������
are arguing that there is no valid reason that they should be required

to pay registration fees and subject their residential rental properties
to mandatory inspections while not making owners of owner-oc-
cupied residences do the same.
     The first flaw with this argument is that the ordinances are
economic-based ones that do not infringe on a fundamental right,
such as the freedom to speak freely or to practice one’s religion.
As such, it is required only that such laws pass minimal scrutiny            ��������������������
that determines if they have a rational basis.
     The rational basis standard is very easy to meet, and the fact
that tenants often have less control regarding the furnace and simi-
lar operating systems at rental properties than homeowners exert at               �����������������������
their homes provide one valid reason for the challenged distinction.         ����������������������������������
     (continued—see CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES, p. 26)

24                                                                                                   the Voice, June 2009
                                             Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
the Voice, June 2009                                                25
                       Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES —continued from p. 24

It can be argued as well that the facts that the number of people
who live in a residential rental building tends to be higher than the
number who live in owner-occupied housing and that such renters
often have more difficulty getting out when an emergency occurs
also justifies these ordinances.
      A third argument is that the proven need to ensure that land-
lords maintain rental property properly shows the necessity of
the applicable health and safety codes and that imposing some of
that cost on the landlords who benefit from renting out housing is

Bottom line                                                                     Contractor             Handyman Services

                                                                                                      . Inspection Compliance
      Reasonable residential-property registration ordinances are a
                                                                                                      . Renovations
proper exercise of the “police power” of a local government to pro-
tect the health and safety of the people in that community; proving                                   . Electrical & Plumbing
that one such ordinance is invalid most likely requires that even a                                   . DryWall & Plaster
rational basis does not exist for it.                                                                 . Turn-over Services
                                                                                                      . Siding & Roofing
Reprinted from Landlord’s Bottom Line Bulletin, April 2009 Volume 12 No.
4 issue.                                                                   975-0126                    Uniformed Technicians




           ������������������������������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������

26                                                                                                            the Voice, June 2009
                                             Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                                                                                          Want to get involved in the RPOA?

                                                                                          Join one of the following
                                                                                          Program and Education Committee

                                                                                              Interested in developing new educational programs for? This
                                                                                              is the committee for you!

                                                                                          Services & Publications Committee

                                                                                              Do you like the idea of improving or developing new services
                                                                                              for the membership? This committee works on forms, web-
                                                                                              sites, magazines, discount programs and more.

                                                                                          Governmental Affairs & Political Action

                                                                                              If you feel that changing and improving local and state govern-
                                                                                              ment as it relates to our industry is what our association is all
                                                                                              about, you might find this committee to be just what you’re

 Moder n Machiner y   . Finest Materials . Multi-Room Packages                                looking for. Help us make a difference!

                                                                                          Public Relations Committee

         Grand Rapids Carpet &                                                                Image is everything—some say. The individuals on this com-

           Furniture Cleaners
                          E s t ab i s h e d 1 9 4 4
                                                                                              mittee are focused on improving the image of landlords and
                                                                                              real estate investors. Help us get the message out!

                                                                                          Membership Development Committee
                         RPOA Members receive 25% discount
                                                       ( 6 1 6 ) 4 5 3 - 5 3 6 8 bu s .       A new and growing membership helps build strength to carry
 David H. Bigelow - R.P.O.A. Member                    (616) 791-0022 r e s .                 out other vital association functions such as governmental af-
                                                                                              fairs. A sustainable membership base also helps keep associa-
                                                                                              tion member dues affordable for all size investors.

 Do your friends a favor…
   Tell them about the benefits                                                                If you’re an investor and want to help us grow the benefits and
                                                                                          services in this area, we’d enjoy hearing your ideas and welcome
   of membership in the Rental                                                            your help in carrying them out!
  Property Owners Association
                                                                                              If you’d like to join a committee, please contact our office at
 and the Real Estate Investors of                                                         1-800-701-7762. Or, email Clay Powell at
  Michigan! Members receive a
        $25.00 referral fee!

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                                                                       27
                                                       Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                                                         CPA'S WHO OWN REAL ESTATE
                                                          Tax Returns & Planning
            Weekend & Evening Appointments
                                                          Culver,Wood & Culver, CPA's
           Fully Insured    Pet Odor Control                    1419 Coit Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
           24 Hour Emergency Water Extraction                           (616) 456-6464

     $ 1895 Per Room      2 room minimum
                          trip charges to some areas
                                                                  Accounting & Payroll Ser vices
                                                                 QuickBooks Training & Support
            Modern Truck-mounted equipment
      We also clean Boats, Motorhomes and Vehicles
                                                                                       For Landlords
     Serving Greater Grand Rapids                                              For Real Estate Investors
     Ryan Simonson           616-455-7618
     1717 Summerfield SE, Kentwood MI 49508
                                                                                    For 1031 Exchanges

28                                                                                      the Voice, June 2009
                                  Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
 June 8 “Installing More Water Meters in

 Two-Family Homes”

 July 13 “Short Sale Secrets”
 You’ll learn:
 1) The basics of short sales (getting a lender to
                                                               You can get personalized coverage that
    accept less than full payoff                                           works for you!
 2) The specifics of the Michigan Foreclosure pro-
    cess that make much of what you learn from
    short sales “guru’s” inappropriate (or worse,              ► Flexible Coverage        ► Optional Benefits*
 3) Using short sales to acquire properties
    for long term buy and hold
                                                                 ► Not   an HMO              ► Dental

                                                                 ► 24-Hour   on and off      ► Vision
                                                                  the job.
 Indoor Climate Solutions                                         (Unless covered by
                                                                  worker’s comp or
                                                                                             ► And   More!
                   making your home paradise                      similar plan)

                                                                Call your local agent today!

                                       M-F 8am-8pm Sat. 8-4                   Jerry Antvelink
                                                                             Licensed Insurance Agent
                                       Mention this ad for a
                                  5% Discount on any service                   616-490-7135
  •   $35.00 heating inspection sticker per appliance
  •   Upfront pricing
  •   Service All Major Brands
  •   Quality Installation at an Affordable Rate
  •   Licensed & Insured
  •   Furnaces, Boilers, A/C, In floor Radiant, Full line
      IAQ products

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                             29
                                      Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                AD-O-GRAMS                                            HANDYMAN, OVER 22 YEARS EXPERIENCE…Rental prop-
                                                                      erty/building maintenance. Repairs/city code violations. Doors and
                                                                      window replacement. All aspects of interior/exterior work, siding,
ACCESS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT…Ready for a change                         carpet, vinyl, tile, wood. Knowledgeable in electrical/plumbing.
in your life? Stop dealing with tenants! For around $35-$75 per       Ron Block, 616-361-8701. Licensed, insured. RPOA Member.
month, we can manage them for you. Rent collections, leasing, city
notices, inspections, evictions. Call today. 616-892-4025. www.       KILL MOLD, ODORS, ALLERGENS, BACTERIA, VIRUSES…                                                    from properties with a cost savings to you. 100% organic ozone.
                                                                      No chemicals, no residue. 20% discount to RPOA members. Free
APARTMENT AND RENTAL HOME MANAGEMENT SERVIC-                          consultation. CleanAir Treatments LLC. 616-551-7243.
ES…by a Certified Property Manager with more than 20 years of
real estate management experience for properties 1-1,000+ units.      KULESZA’S ELECTRICAL SERVICES…Specializing in all types
Call ECHELON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT at 616-669-8586                      of residential, including service upgrades. Free estimates in the
or email                                         greater Grand Rapids area. 616-318-8661.

APPLIANCE SALE…Refrigerators, ranges, washers & dryers.               M&M PLUMBING & DRAIN CLEANING…Free estimates, 24
Nice selection, all guaranteed, and delivery service. Modern Ap-      hour service, toilets, faucets, garbage disposals, drain and water
pliance, 809 College NE, 616-456-7039.                                lines repair, replace, etc. Drain cleaning with guarantee. All work
                                                                      done by owner/licensed plumber. Landlord discounts, licensed and
CARPET CLEANING…RPOA members receive 25% discount.                    insured. 616-560-0799.
Premium carpet care at affordable prices. Call RPOA member Dave
Bigelow at 616-791-0022 or Grand Rapids Carpet and Furniture          WE PROVIDE HONEST SOLUTIONS…We manage units and
Cleaners at 616-453-5368.                                             residents systematically. Compass Property Management wants to
                                                                      help you with your investments. Call today, 616-452-4200.
CARPETS CLEANED…15.00 per room; 2 room min. VACANT
PROPERTIES ONLY. Shampoo and extract method. (Needs electric
and water.) Call Bob at Red, White and True Building Services,
616-363-2750 or                                   "Professional painting looks better and gets done faster"
Restoration’s craftsmen are expert in older structures and historic                                      Interior/Exterior
codes. Your source from conversion to repair, we also provide
                                                                                                         Licensed and Insured
24-hour emergency service. Call the Team at 616-863-8118. Visit                                                                                 Light drywall repairs
                                                                             RPOA member
                                                                         616-862-4758                    On-time service
MONTH…Call the RPOA for great marketing options, including
ads, sponsorships, mailing list and more. Contact Tom at 616-550-    
4447 or

have stolen tags again! Clean-ups starting at $35. Or rent one of
our 10-, 15-, or 20-yard dumpsters for your remodel or clean-ups.                          Westmark
Starting at $175 including dump fees! Call EXECUTIVE CON-                                  Exterminating Co.
TAINERS at 616-862-5246.
                                                                                            Offering quality service since 1969

     ADVERTISERS: The deadline for submission                           RPOA members recieve 15% discount on initial service
      of and payment for ads is noon on the 15th                                                     Henry Benedict Sr., Owner
                                                                        Phone 616-532-2189
      day of the month for the following month’s                        Fax 616-532-0166
                                                                        2446 Central SW., Wyoming, MI 49519
                                                                                           LEAF DEFIER gutter protection system Dealer

30                                                                                                              the Voice, June 2009
                                          Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
           Your investment future
               just got a little brighter.

      Earn a secure rate of return of 10% or more!

      Tired of losing money in the stock market or your IRA? Invest in income producing
      property with the experts, but without the headaches. Call us today to find out more
      about this exciting opportunity or stop by every Thursday @ 12:00 noon for a Free
      Lunch to learn more. Call 616.447.1201 or visit our website for further information. | 616-447-1201 | 1555 Plainfield Ave. Grand Rapids, MI 49505

the Voice, June 2009                                                                                           31
                                      Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA)
                                                                              PRSRT STD
                                                                              U.S. Postage
                                                                            Grand Rapids, MI 49503
                                                                             Permit No. 553
 Publication of the Rental Property Owners Association and
            the Real Estate Investors of Michigan
                  1459 Michigan Street, N.E.
                   Grand Rapids, MI 49503
        Phone (616) 454-3385/FAX (616) 454-6163


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