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Assembly of Delegates Meeting November 9-12, 2016

Assembly of Delegates Meeting November 9-12, 2016
Washington, DC

Lots of valuable information was presented at the NAA Committee Meetings in DC.  I went through orientation for my new position as Vice Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee.   Affordable housing will continue to be a high NAA priority and it will take both private investment, public support and government common sense to provide for the shortfall in housing units.

Following the election, it is more critical than ever that we connect with our representatives in Congress.  Every House Representative has been asked by Majority Leader Paul Ryan to find more creative ways to increase the number of affordable housing units.  We need to have our voices heard.  The Capitol Conference is in March.  This conference highlights the Herculean efforts NAA does to protect our industry.  Each contact and relationship we have with our representatives reinforces their efforts.

The election has provided us new opportunities and challenges.  The Democratic Party is in disarray.  The Tea Party Coalition, who for the past 4 years have stopped any meaningful legislation from passing the House is now more willing to compromise with the new Congress. They are now supporting Paul Ryan.  Previously, they were trying to remove him from his position as House Majority Leader.

Prior to the election, Portland Oregon had been dealing with protesters.  There has been a push reportedly funded by the unions to impose rent controls.  There have been numerous protests at apartment leasing offices.  It has gone violent, sending at least two leasing agents to the hospital.  Since the election, protests and riots have continued in Portland in opposition to the election results.

NAA has been working to stop some of the more onerous proposed fire code regulation the ICC wants to adopt in 2018.  Initially, ICC proposed that all new and existing multi family apartments be sprinkled, all construction materials must be non combustible and that attics must be sprinkled.  They wanted to stop all frame construction.  NAA, instead, is recommending better enforcement of existing codes.  When NAA suggested the the ICC codes should also apply to single family residences, the ICC backed off.

ADA is revising the turn around radius from 60″ to 66″ for bathrooms and kitchens., This is to apply to both new and existing units.  This will be a problem particularly in modifying bathrooms.

The courts are holding cities liable fro selective enforcement of their crime free ordinances relating to domestic violence.  Owners complying with local crime free ordinances are being sued by the ACLU.  They state that African American men are being denied housing and the African American women are being locked out of housing.  ACLU is also suing because individuals are denied housing and jobs because they lack English proficiency or have been accused of sexual harassment.

HUD is pushing hard to extend their use of desperate impact.  The courts are fortunately pushing back.  In almost every case where the landlords or management company was shown to have tried to develop a dialogue with the tenant to resolve their complaint, the courts have favored the property owner.  Supreme Court and Appellate Courts appointments are going to be critical to our industry in the future.

The NAA Education Conference in June will be in Atlanta.  The Thursday Night Party will be held at the Atlanta Aquarium and the Coke Museum.  The Omni Hotel is the host hotel and most hotels are within walking distance.  The education seminars submitted by the IROC Committee are specifically for the small or medium sized property.

Good news that the courts in Virginia have outlawed out of state websites from certifying companion animals.  Courts have also sided with property owners regarding music and TV licensing.  The gym treadmill or a TV on the wall in the caption mode in not considered a public performance.

NAAPAC funds were distributed to many Congressional candidates during this election cycle.  You can go on their website to see which candidates were given PAC funds.  We have had the opportunity to meet with our local candidates to promote our industry.  And we were able to hand deliver the NAAPAC checks to them.  Next year each affiliate is asked to try to raise a minimum of $500 or our fair share based on the number of units.  When you exceed your goal, 75% of any additional funds can be directed to the candidates we choose.  Individual contributions are needed.  If you are not able to actively develop a working relationship with our legislator, at least contribute to the PAC fund.  This industry pays your salary and protects your investment.

Steve Lightner
VP Missouri Apartment Association

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Missouri Department of Insurance releases video promoting renters insurance

Consumers encouraged to prepare an inventory

Jefferson City, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Insurance is reaching out to consumers who rent homes and apartments with a new video about renters insurance. The video is an introduction to what renters insurance covers and why it’s necessary.

“Consumers who rent shouldn’t assume their landlords are responsible for the replacement of their belongings should something happen,” said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. “Renters insurance is affordable and some auto insurers discount premiums if you buy both coverages together.”

Most renters insurance policies, which costs on average of $8-21 per month for $20,000-30,000 worth of coverage, cover damage to your belongings caused by fire and smoke, windstorm, hail, lightning, vandalism, theft, weight of ice or snow, and damage from a vehicle. Renters insurance also covers the cost of additional living expenses while consumers are displaced from their residence and medical bills if a guest is injured on your property. As with all insurance, there are limitations and exclusions which may apply, so be sure to ask your agent about what is not covered.

Huff encourages all homeowners and renters, including college students, to complete a home inventory, which is an itemized checklist of all possessions. An inventory of one’s belongings can make the process of filing a claim much more efficient in the event of fire, storm damage or theft. It also gives consumers a good idea of how much insurance coverage they need to protect their possessions should disaster strike.

An easy-to-use home inventory checklist is available for free on the department’s website, along with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ home inventory app for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Consumers can ask general insurance questions or file a complaint by calling the department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or by visiting insurance.mo.gov.

Missouri DIFP Logo

 

Questions?
Contact Us
573-751-2562

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USPS Mail Delivery For Apartment Communities

NMHC-logo      NAA-Logo

June 2013

This document provides an overview of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delivery policies for apartment communities with a specific focus on recent developments concerning centralized mail delivery service.

In letters from the USPS to NAA/NMHC and several NAA members in Michigan, Missouri, and Florida, apartment communities have been advised that service to newly established delivery addresses will be made to centrally-located mailboxes or “cluster box units” (CBUs) instead of traditional mail delivery. USPS says that in addition to initiating centralized service to new addresses, it has authority to convert existing deliveries to centralized service under some circum-stances, but it is not currently requiring buildings to make that change. Historically, local postmasters are afforded a certain degree of independence in applying USPS policies to consider efficiency, cost, convenience and safety for USPS and customers. USPS is under pressure to reduce its mail delivery costs in order to sustain operations, and expanding delivery to centralized boxes is part of the organization’s effort to improve its financial standing. According to the USPS Five-Year Business Plan released in April 2013, “the financial position of the organization has become untenable,” with labor amounting to about 80% of its annual costs. About 50% of its wage and benefits costs are attributable to mail delivery, and USPS has added more than 1.3 million delivery points over the past two years. NAA/NMHC have requested information from USPS on its policies and practices impacting apartment communi-ties, including clarification on USPS authority to execute centralized service for new and established delivery ad-dresses, and details on their intended schedule for expanding centralized service.

Centralized Delivery Policy 

  • The Postal Operations Manual (Chapter 6) provides for centralized delivery service to both residential and commercial addresses including apartment communities, single family homes, townhomes and business-es.
  • Recent USPS letters regarding delivery service inform apartment communities that centralized delivery will be initiated for new delivery addresses. USPS encourages those with established service to consider a voluntary conversion to centralized delivery.
  • USPS plans to centralize parcel delivery as well as regular mail service, delivering packages to secure parcel receptacles instead of leasing offices, concierge desks, or other similar locations designated for residents to pick up their packages.
  • Although USPS policy generally holds customers responsible for the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining mailboxes, USPS has offered to purchase and install new CBUs for buildings with estab-lished service if they voluntarily convert to centralized delivery. USPS has noted that funding may not be available for this purpose in the future.

General Policies for Delivery to Apartment Communities 

  • USPS is required to meet with developers and builders to ensure appropriate delivery and mail receptacle selection for new delivery service.
  • USPS policy provides for “single point” delivery to curbside mailboxes or door slots as well as “central de-livery” to both indoor and outdoor mailbox units.
  • Single point delivery to individual residents may be available for apartment communities if a building con-tains three or more units located above, below, or behind one another, with a common entryway. If, how-ever, an apartment community includes more than one building with a single street address, delivery to individual mailboxes is available only when mailboxes are installed in a single location for the same ad-dress.
  • Mailbox receptacles must comply with USPS regulations and proper installation must be verified by local postmasters.
  • When apartment mailboxes do not comply with the current USPS apartment mailbox standards (USPS STD 4C), they must be replaced with compliant mailboxes when an apartment building is substantially renovated or remodeled.

National Multi Housing Council
1850 M Street, NW, Suite 540
Washington, DC 20036
202-974-2300
Fax 202-775-0112
www.nmhc.org
info@nmhc.org

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USPS Delivery Mode Conversion

Delivery Mode Conversion

As many of you know the Postal Service is shifting it’s business model to continue to be viable in the future. Many of those changes will not affect you in any way but I wanted to reach out to you today to discuss several that will.

  1. All new deliveries Nationwide will be in a centralized format.
    What this means is whether it’s an apartment, residential, house, or business any new delivery will be received in a Cluster Box Unit on the street. The Postal Service is getting away from the door to door delivery with every new delivery.
  2. The Postal Service has revised the POM giving the USPS the autonomy to make changes to current mode of delivery.
    The Postal Service is not currently unilaterally changing any current modes of delivery. But it now has the authority to do so.

That leads us to why I’m contacting you today. The Postal Service would like to convert you and all of your properties to a Centralized form of delivery. We will purchase new CBU’s, pour a concrete pad, and install the boxes on your properties. This is not something that you would need to pay for and be reimbursed, rather the Postal Service will cover all of the costs from the beginning. The first step in doing so would be to sign a conversion request. From there my team will come out to your site, walk the grounds with your property managers and negotiate the best spot for the boxes for both parties. The number of locations per complex will be determined by numerous factors, such as complex size, parking, safety ect.  Each box contains 16 keylocked secure compartments for tenants, as well as an outgoing mail slot and two parcel lockers. No longer will your mail carrier be bringing packages to your office for your tenants to retrieve.

They will be locked and secured in one of the parcel lockers. Should any of your tenants be elderly or disabled they can request a Hardship Delivery and your local carrier will still take their mail straight to their door.

During the process my team and I will send out several notices to your tenants; one letting them know that the Postal Service has come to an agreement to begin this project, and a second letting them know when the change will take place. We will direct them to call the local Post Office with any question and implore you and your staff to do the same. It is our intention to take the brunt of any complaints that arise from this change. We understand that no one likes change and hope to shield your staff from any discord.

This program is funded by the US Postal Service Headquarters, it is our understanding that IF or WHEN the Postal Services decided to go to a more radical approach of unilaterally requiring properties to convert, that the funding will not be available to purchase the equipment.  I implore you all to contact me at you earliest convenience so that we may begin the process of converting your properties.

If you are ready to get started, simply fill out the conversion request, sign, and email it back to me. If you have any questions you can reach me by email or cell phone below.  Thank you for your time.

 

Michael Beutel
Manager Customer Service
314-401-9773
Michael.P.Beutel@USPS.GOV

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2013 NAA Capitol Conference

The 2013 NAA Capitol Conference in March was a huge success. Representatives from across the country gathered in Washington, DC for great seminars, nationally known speakers, and governmental affairs discussions. Affiliates gathered on Capitol Hill to visit their representatives and congressmen to discuss current issues which affect the apartment industry on both the national and state level.

Read the Capitol Hill Report from MAA President Steve Lightner

Gary-Alexandria-Steve

Gary Wilson, NAA Chairmen Alexandria Jackiw, and MAA President Steve Lightner at the NAA PAC and Better Government Affairs Fundraiser

Region-V-Representatives

Region 5 Representatives (MO, KS, OK, NE, IA): Front row left to right: Tisha Cannizzo, Jackie Klacik, Gene Eckel, Jeannette Cox, Gary Wilson, Rosann Vaughn, Janie Bailey, Marianne Lee. Back row: Carl Handly, Jeremey Hummel, Heather Benton, Tina Padavich, Gary Goss, Debbie Haukenberry, Leah Thibault, Cheryl Lightner, Steve Lightner, Becky Weaver, Keri Cooper, Anna Rohlfing, Liz Stryker, Libby Dischert, Dennis Watts

The Capitol Conference is the apartment industry’s only national event focused on educating our members on critical federal legislative and regulatory issues impacting your businesses and the industry at large. Our industry’s involvement in the political process is not a choice – it’s just good business.  So make plans today for the 2014 NAA Capitol Conference.

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