Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Federal Judge Deems Utility Companies Billing Landlords For Tenants Unpaid Bills Illegal and Unconstitutional.

I was sent this very interesting information by one of the biggest guru commercial landlords in the country. Our member, Ray Alcorn.

Philadelphia hero landlord, David Wolf, single handedly sued his local gas company who was billing landlords for tenants unpaid bills. He ended up having to take the case all the way to federal court. And the judge sided with landlords across the country deeming it an unconstitutional practice. This is a massive country wide victory for landlords. Now how hard are we going to have to fight in Virginia for our rights?

I suspect our politicians now will listen and make Virginia laws comply with the constitution. There are several common ways that all companies pay for their losses. NONE of them including billing a third party.

Us landlords get cosigners. Our gas company here gets a deposit that they have deemed as being high enough to cover any potential loss. Stores like Walmart charge a little more to the price of goods which covers theft. It’s such a small amount people don’t even notice it. Our Water Authority has a long list of things that they want us as a third party to do to cover theft and tenant unpaid utility bills. I have a message for them. Greed will destroy you!

See the article and video here of this fantastic story. I suspect there will be some big changes in our favor at next years Virginia General Assembly meeting.

Western Virginia Water Authority Wants To Set Up A Deal With You To Pay For Their Losses.

Senator Edwards sent me a proposal to send to our members. The Water Authority initiated an agreement that they would like to set up with landlords. Please see the attached file for the specific agreement word for word. I will summarize it here. Please send me your input so I can reply to Senator Edwards with comments from our members.

Water Authority Agrees To…
* Refrain from filing liens on your property if your tenant doesn’t pay their bill as long as you agree to several things.
* They agree to increase the deposit so the tenants can pay for their own unpaid bills subject to their boards approval.
* They agree to provide notification to you if there is a leak at the property as they are ALREADY DOING for every homeowner in their area since we funded their electronic meters. 
* They will give you a leak adjustment for repairs as they are ALREADY DOING for all customers.

So to sum it up, on their end they are NOT AGREEING TO DO ANYTHING beyond what already is done for every customer OTHER THAN POSSIBLY boosting the tenants deposit to cover THEIR OWN unpaid bill and not giving you a lien because the tenant will be paying their own bill.

In Order For This Deal To Happen You As A Landlord Must Agree To...

* Let them know all of the properties you own.
* Let them know when you buy any new properties.
* Provide a lease when asked for a lease.
* When notified of a leak fix it.

All of the above seems to be very reasonable. Here are the questionable items that I need your input for Senator Edwards on.

* Agree to pay water and sewer bills whenever there is not an active account. So if someone is stealing water from the house between tenants it’s your bill to pay. If the water is cut off on your tenants and they don’t put a lock on the meter and your tenants turn it back on you agree to pay for that water too. Any time the water is off it’s your bill.
* Provide them with a higher $200 deposit per property, not to exceed $1,200 for all properties, that will pay any bill off that accumulates when the water is turned off even if they don’t adequately lock the meter and it is as a result of theft it will be your responsibility.
* You also must agree to replenishing this deposit within 90 days to keep a full deposit at all times that they can tap into as needed.

So I see this agreement as they will do nothing if you do all of the above. And they MAY increase the tenants deposit which they legally have the right to do making it so the tenant pays for their own bill, ONLY IF you agree to all of the above.

Please read the original attached proposal and reply to me with what you think of this proposal so I can get a general consensus from Landlords in Greater Roanoke on how you all feel about the Water Authorities offer. I am going to publish your comments. I will leave your name off for anonymity purposes.

It seems to me that the Water Authority is very proud of their recent win against landlords. It’s almost like they are gloating and saying while your hands are cuffed behind your back let us punch you in the face a few times and lets see how stupid you landlords are. How do you feel about this proposal? Please send me a short note with your comments for Senator Edwards so he can get a feel for what we think about it as a whole.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Attorney James Steele This Week at REI ~ Convicted Felon Rights… The new protected class.

Hello Everyone,

Several people contacted me last week wondering why I didn’t write the agenda. And that was because I was in extreme mental distress. I had to take my German Shepherd to the vet to be killed. She died in my arms.

I’m one of those crazy animal lovers... That dog was like my child. There aren't many things on this planet that I loved more than her. She had really aggressive bone cancer and her pain got so bad that I had to give her my morphine to get her through the weekend. The Quellen and Tramadol that the vet prescribed no longer worked. Having to have her put down hurt me pretty bad. I’m just now, a week later, able to talk about it.

This week we have a great meeting lined up that you don’t want to miss. Our special guest speaker will be attorney James Steele. I met James a few months ago in a case where he was helping my tenants defend themselves against me. Not an easy thing for him to do considering the fact that I have been to court for Unlawful Detainer proceedings far more than most attorneys have. Fortunately we came to an agreement and the tenants ended up getting themselves caught back up. Since then they have been a pleasure to do business with.

James was a real nice guy as well.

I’ve been told that he will be coming to our meeting to discuss the new Virginia HUD mandate that requires you to rent to murders, child molesters, rapists, etc. If you don’t you can be charged with Fair Housing Violations. And if you do you will get sued by your neighbors when the child molester rapes the neighbors kid next door. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I wrote an article about it a couple months ago here.

This is going to be an interesting meeting. Come on out and hear James Steele’s take on this law and lets find out if he sees any angles that can be used to protect the neighborhood and your property while staying within the scope of the law.

Stay on top of what’s happening in our industry. REI brings you the best educational meetings that help you make money, save money and protect your money.

See you there!

Real Estate Investors of Virginia. Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved