Law Talk with the Flock

How to Handle Landlord/Tenant Issues?

August 05, 2020 Jeana Goosmann, Gene Eckel Season 1 Episode 23
Law Talk with the Flock
How to Handle Landlord/Tenant Issues?
Chapters
Law Talk with the Flock
How to Handle Landlord/Tenant Issues?
Aug 05, 2020 Season 1 Episode 23
Jeana Goosmann, Gene Eckel

Goosmann Law Firm's Omaha Real Estate Attorney Gene Eckel and Host Jeana Goosmann discuss landlords and tenant issues and how you should go about solving potential conflicts. In this episode you will learn:

  1. What can you do- laws to evict? 
  2. Top problems for property managers
  3. Top tips to avoid issues 
  4. Talk about National Apartment Association (NE affiliate) 

Learn about Goosmann's real estate practice HERE. 

(TAPED PRIOR TO COVID-19)

Become a flock fan and subscribe to our Podcast for weekly episodes!
Learn more at www.goosmannlaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening to our episode, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm “GLF” attorneys and podcast publisher. No information contained in this episode should be construed as legal advice from GLF or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Please read our full Podcast Disclaimer.

Show Notes Transcript

Goosmann Law Firm's Omaha Real Estate Attorney Gene Eckel and Host Jeana Goosmann discuss landlords and tenant issues and how you should go about solving potential conflicts. In this episode you will learn:

  1. What can you do- laws to evict? 
  2. Top problems for property managers
  3. Top tips to avoid issues 
  4. Talk about National Apartment Association (NE affiliate) 

Learn about Goosmann's real estate practice HERE. 

(TAPED PRIOR TO COVID-19)

Become a flock fan and subscribe to our Podcast for weekly episodes!
Learn more at www.goosmannlaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening to our episode, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm “GLF” attorneys and podcast publisher. No information contained in this episode should be construed as legal advice from GLF or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Please read our full Podcast Disclaimer.

Goosmann Law Firm :

Do complex legal issues hold you back? Let's get energized and bring clarity to your top legal questions. This is Law. Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm.

Jeana Goosmann :

Hello, Welcome to Law Talk with the Flock. I'm your host, Jeana Goosmann CEO, and managing partner of the Goosmann Law Firm, author and business leader here to help navigate you through your way through the law, your business and life. As a leader today I have with me, Gene Eckel, attorney at the Goosmann Law Firm. Welcome Gene.

Gene Eckel:

Welcome. Thank you for having me here.

Jeana Goosmann :

I'm excited to have you on the podcast today. Is this your first podcast?

Gene Eckel:

No, it's my second one.

Jeana Goosmann :

Excellent. Well, we're going to have fun here this morning, and I really want to talk about your practice. So let's tell everybody about your practice and what it entails.

Gene Eckel:

Sure. So my practice involves multifamily housing, so that includes , helping property management companies and landlords with evictions , reviewing their leases and addendums and helping defend and teach about four housing.

Jeana Goosmann :

Awesome. And I think earlier this week, we talked about how your practice is kind of a flywheel. I mean, you've really focused in on this, niche?

Gene Eckel:

That's correct. I really, when I, when I joined the apartment association in Nebraska, and I kind of drilled down with the industry so I could understand what my clients are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.

Jeana Goosmann :

Excellent. And you have such a great recognition in this area and with the property managers and a really great relationship. Let's talk a little bit about when it comes to their issues, what are some of the things that they deal with?

Gene Eckel:

Primarily what they deal with is just issues involving their tenants, or maybe some situations that come up with fair housing complaints and really what they need to do to comply with the law so they can address those situations.

Jeana Goosmann :

And how about evictions? What, what happens in that arena? I know that has to be a big issue for them,

Gene Eckel:

Right? It is a big issue. It kind of really depends on the type of situation . So a lot of people, when I think of evictions, that they give non payment of rent, but there's some other issues that come up there's situations where a landlord or a property manager needs to evict somebody because they didn't comply with the terms of the lease. So maybe someone's throwing parties.

Jeana Goosmann :

Oh, you can't have big loud parties. Nobody in a multifamily property likes that. Right?

Gene Eckel:

Yeah . You can't have that. And you , it has to be quiet. Kids is another issue. Kids running around, being noisy, running in the hallways , maybe , disturbing other people. Those are the issues that we call the non-compliance and then there's another one that comes up is the criminal conduct.

Jeana Goosmann :

Yeah. They're smoking pot in their place.

Gene Eckel:

Smoking pot, or maybe that's right. Can't do that.

Jeana Goosmann :

Maybe in Colorado.

Gene Eckel:

Don't know maybe, but you know , the apartment industry still against that.

Jeana Goosmann :

Okay, good to know. So if they're doing illegal activity, if they're violating the rules or they're not paying, and that's what most people think about is they're not paying.

Gene Eckel:

Those are the big three.

Jeana Goosmann :

The big three. And as a result, now I've got this situation on my hands. If you're a property manager, what do you do? You call Gene.

Gene Eckel:

You call Gene. So yeah, you maybe, you know, first thing they need to do is I need to go through their policies, procedures that they have at that company. And look at the lease and see what clauses in that lease is going to apply to that situation. And yeah . Then they should call their legal counsel.

Jeana Goosmann :

Absolutely. And I know the law changes relatively quickly and so you help keep people current when they have needs and their leases or their policies and , that's one of the other services you provide t oo, right?

Gene Eckel:

Correct. One of the things I do as part of the apartment association in Nebraska, I'm the chair of the legislative committee. So what we do is we are getting their oppose legislation, that's going to affect the industry, or we might draft legislation that we think is going to help us maybe address some situations we didn't think about. And when those , laws get changed, we need to communicate that to our clients that are in the multifamily industry.

Jeana Goosmann :

So really when working with you, they help stay out front of what the issues are, and you're even helped lobby for what's good for their industry. And maybe what might be bad for it. You lobby against it?

Gene Eckel:

That's correct. Both at the local level and the , at the national level.

Jeana Goosmann :

So all the way up to DC.

Gene Eckel:

All the way up to DC, I'll be there in March.

Jeana Goosmann :

All right. Yeah . So you fly out to DC once or twice a year in order to meet with the national group too?

Gene Eckel:

Once a year the National Apartment Association, we call it Advocate. So I will go out there and we hit the Hill, we go talk to our congressional delegation and we just tell them what issues are going to affect the industry and how they can help us.

Jeana Goosmann :

What are some of that had issues that property managers have to deal with , um, that are additional problems besides the evictions?

Gene Eckel:

You know, one big issue t hat's coming up is on the fair housing. And a lot of people across the country are dealing with emotional support animals. And that's been a big issue for several years in the industry. And that's what they need to be aware of t hat the fair housing act is a little complicated and you might think you're doing the right thing or saying the right thing and it's wrong. And at that point you can get i nto trouble. So what they need to do is they need to go through training and top, I think annually, a lot of my clients will have me come in a nd, and teach them every year on any updates on the fair housing act, or maybe they just need a refresher, or maybe they have new employees w ho have not been trained on it. And they need to know what, what the law is.

Jeana Goosmann :

So emotional support animals. Let's talk about that for a minute. What does that mean?

Gene Eckel:

It's an emotional support animal. It really falls under an umbrella. It , we call them assistance animals. So it could be a service dog. It could be a therapy animal, or it could be emotional support animal. So they kind of have different things I do for different people. Service animals is typically going to be a dog. And so those are actually, they're trained to do a specific task for someone who suffers from a disability. For example, somebody who might be in a wheelchair and they may not be able to go and get something for themselves. So maybe they may have a service animal and they can go grab something for them and bring it to them or alert them to something that they don't hear. Like you're deaf. You may not hear a fire alarm. So they will have that animal that will be able to alert them that something's wrong and they need , they need some help.

Jeana Goosmann :

And those people, if they're going to live in a multi-family property that maybe doesn't allow pets, is that where this comes in to play?

Gene Eckel:

Correct. So there's a reasonable accommodation request . And then there's a reasonable modification requests . So an accommodation is asking the housing provider or the landlord as we like to call them. We're asking them to make an exceptions to their policy . So if you have a no pets policy and someone says, Hey, look, I need emotional support animal for my disability. What they're requesting their landlord to do is to make an exception to their no pet policy.

Jeana Goosmann :

So I have a neighbor lady that has a purse dog. I'm totally going to tell you this story here real quick, because she has this purse dog and she wanted to take it to Target. So she got some sort of license off the internet that she printed. That's not what we're talking about here?

Gene Eckel:

No, and that would falll under the American with disabilities act. So we're talking specifically about , animals that people want for their therapeutic needs only in housing purposes.

Jeana Goosmann :

Not the purse dog you want to take to Target?

Gene Eckel:

Not the purse dog now, but the HUD just came out with new guidelines on the 28th of January, which actually addressed on what a housing provider needs to do when there's a request for an assistance animal. And so it was very clear. The letters that people are getting on online , that in and of itself is not going to be reliable on its face. There's needs to be something else that a tenant's going to need to provide. For example, they need to provide some verification from a healthcare provider that could say, yes, this person's disabled and they do need this animal. And this animal is necessary for their disability.

Jeana Goosmann :

And all those rules come into place because you have people like my neighbor who just thinks her dog is cute,

Gene Eckel:

That can happen. And that's one of the big concerns in the i ndustry i s that people are going online, getting these letters because they don't want to pay for a pet fee or a pet deposit or a pet r ent.

Jeana Goosmann :

Let's go into, what are some of your other top tips to avoid in this industry?

Gene Eckel:

I think the one thing is go back to one, having policies in place, written policies, teaching your employees about those policies and really ma ke s ure you're, a biding by those policies consistently. Th at's, that's the number one thing that I w o u ld te ll people the other one is, make sure you have a strong written lease. You wan t, a t lease that's going to try to cover almost all of the possible situations that you as a landlord or private manager are going to deal with.

Jeana Goosmann :

Can you tell me a little bit more about the national apartment association?

Gene Eckel:

Yep. National Apartment Association, and it has two goals, one to advocate on behalf of its members. So that means to go and lobby on behalf of the industry. The second thing is to educate. They have a lot of educational components to it. They have certifications. They do for someone who's a , a leasing agent or property manager or maintenance technician. They can go take these courses. They have tests and then they are certified, for that position. So that's what the National Apartment Association does is it has affiliates in almost every state and i n different localities. So for example, I'm o n the Apartment Association of Nebraska. We are an affiliate of the National Apartment Association.

Jeana Goosmann :

Wonderful. Well, thanks for all that great information, Gene. And I've appreciated having you on the podcast today. Thank you so much for being with us and for listening today, go make it worth it.

Goosmann Law Firm :

Thanks for joining us for Law Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm. We hope you feel energized and ready to soar past your goals. Become a flock fan and subscribe to our podcast for weekly episodes. Learn goosmannlaw .com .