News

March Chapter Update

Web Admin - Monday, March 14, 2016

Hello NARPM Denver Chapter! by Susan Melton MPM RMP, 2016 NARPM Denver Chapter President

Spring is just around the corner!  That means our annual Property Management Conference will soon be here!   Space is limited so sign up now to be sure you don’t miss out on what is shaping up to be  our best ever Property Management Conference!  Mark your calendars on April 28th for a jam-packed day of networking plus important and helpful information from some excellent national and local speakers.  Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your property management business without leaving Colorado! 

Earn Colorado CE credit, earn points toward your NARPM designation AND improve your property management business by attending one of the classes on April 27th to be held at the Sheraton Denver West hotel. 

NARPM Denver Chapter is one of the best in the nation because of our exceptional, hardworking volunteers.  This month please join me in thanking Mike Giallanza, Web Site Chair, Marc Cunningham, Speaker Chair, and Devin Bewley, Luncheon Coordinator.  Mike has spent many hours shopping for, working on and improving the processes of our new website.  Mike’s dedication and attention to detail have been invaluable and much appreciated.  Marc not only coordinates and schedules our meeting luncheon speakers but he also does double duty as our meeting Master of Ceremonies and conference breakout speaker.  Devin coordinates our luncheon meetings with the PPA and the caterer.  He works hard juggling many duties, not the least of which are preparing name tags and cheerfully greeting all luncheon meeting and educational class attendees.  Much of our success as a chapter can be attributed to the efforts, professionalism and dedication of these volunteers.  Please join me in thanking them for their part in making NARPM Denver Chapter the recognized leader in residential property management!

Effective March 1, 2016 there will be a maximum of 1 gold sponsor and 3 silver sponsors for each of our luncheon meetings.  The deadline for luncheon sponsorship sign-ups will be 5 pm 3 business days before the luncheon meeting. 

If you would enjoy working with our volunteer leadership team as we continue to provide successful, professional events just let us know.  Let’s all work together to realize and appreciate the value of being a member of NARPM Denver Chapter.

Using Virtual Assistants in Your Property Management Company

Web Admin - Monday, March 14, 2016

Using Virtual Assistants in Your Castle Rock Property Management Company by Ben Parham RMPC, Denver Chapter Treasurer

Property Management is a task oriented business and can sometimes be death by a thousand “to dos”. Just keeping up with the flood of emails alone can be a full-time job. Then there’s collecting rent, showing properties, preparing leases, handling maintenance emergencies, putting out fires (figuratively and literally), and serving notices. The list goes on and on.

Oh, but what about business development? We always want more properties, right? If only we had more time to work on our website, write blogs, identify non-owner occupied properties, and perhaps get into that Pay Per Click advertising you heard about at the last convention. Of course those tasks will have to wait because, after all, it’s the first of the month and we have rent to collect.

It doesn’t have to be like that! What if you could pay someone to take over tedious tasks or the tasks you simply don’t know how to do? You could always hire a new staff member, but the added expense of an employee is something that has to be evaluated. There are salary considerations, payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and vacation time to manage.

What if I told you that you could hire someone for $2-3 per hour and have no payroll taxes? What if I told you that instead of spending 4-5 hours writing a blog post for your website, you could pay someone a flat $5 per article? How does $35 per week for 20 hours of SEO work sound? Enter the Virtual Assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant, or VA, is an independent contractor that works remotely on a specific or broad range of tasks. Commonly these tasks included clerical, administrative, website design and maintenance, graphic design, copyediting, SEO, and data research.

Why use a VA?

There are many reasons you should be using VAs:

  1. Outsource the routine, mundane, and sometimes menial tasks that need to be done, but are time consuming and could easily be done by someone else for a lot less per hour than what your time is worth.
  2. Outsource a task which you don’t have the expertise. For instance, I am a novice when it comes to graphic design so I always outsource that kind of work to a VA. They can get what I need done in 5 minutes when it would take me all day of tinkering with Adobe Photoshop to figure it out, and it would still look like something my 4-year-old drew with a crayon.
  3. Extend your workday. I commonly use VAs that live on the other side of the world so when I’m sleeping, they are awake and working. I’ll give a data research task to a VA and when I wake up, the results are in my inbox… magic!

How can a VA benefit a property management company?

 

  • SEO – Not ranking high enough in Google search results? Give a VA who specializes in SEO a keyword phrase or two that you want to rank higher for and let them go to work. They can optimize your website (on-site SEO) and perform link building outside your website (off-site SEO).
  • Google Adwords – Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a great way to attract new owners and Google Adwords is arguably the #1 place to get the best bang for the buck. But unless you are extremely familiar with the inner workings of Adwords, it can be a fulltime job to set up and maintain a successful Adwords campaign. Having an un-optimized campaign can cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in wasted ad revenue. This task is perfectly suited for a VA.
  • Blog Article Writing – Posting blog articles - or should I say, good blog articles – requires proper research so that your blog is worth reading. Research takes time. Hire this out to a VA. Having a native English speaker is helpful here to ensure proper grammar is used. I had an American VA writing 500 word blog articles for me for $5 per post. I sent him a spreadsheet with 20 or so article topics and asked him to write 3 per week.
  • Website Design/Upkeep – Website design and maintenance is expensive if you hire a local design firm. I had a VA redo my entire website with a new Wordpress theme for a flat $75 and he completed the task in 48 hours.
  • Graphic Design – Need a new logo, or an update to an existing logo? Plenty of VAs are waiting to put you in awe with their Photoshop magic.
  • Online Research/Data mining – Use a VA to compile a database of non-owner occupied properties to market to, or have them conduct competitor research to give you an edge.
  • Email management – Is your email inbox running away with more emails than you can handle? There are VAs that will help you handle the flood. You can give them canned responses to common emails, have them delete junk emails, and sort emails for you to follow up with later.

Where to get a VA.

So hopefully I’ve sold you on using a VA and now you’re ready to hire one. Where do you go? There are multiple websites to search for a VA and post jobs, but probably the two most popular are Upwork.com (formerly Odesk) and Elance.com. I personally use Upwork and have found it very easy to create new job posts, filter through multiple applicants, hire one or more VAs, and manage jobs.

How much do they cost?

This is the beauty of a VA. They are considerably cheaper than brining on an employee. This is especially true of VAs that live in foreign countries. Administrative related VAs usually only cost $2-4 / hour. You can also pay them on a fixed fee basis. For instance, I’ve had tweaks done to our company logo and paid a flat $10 for the task. (Over 30 people applied for that job in 24 hours by the way)

When you go through a service such as Upwork or Elance, you pay the service and then they distribute the fee to the VA less a percentage that the service takes off the top as their cut. Upwork retains 10% and gives 90% to the VA. The VA submits their hours and then the service bills to a credit card you have on file.

Tax implications.

The advantage of using a VA is that you really don’t have any tax implications. There are no payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, or Social Security and Medicare matching requirements. They are purely an independent contractor. You simply pay a service provider for the VA’s services the same as you would to your property management software provider.

How to hire the right VA?

The first thing you’ll do after creating an account on a site like Upwork or Elance is to post your first job. You’ll want to write a detailed job description the same as if you were searching to hire an employee. Ensure that you fully explain what the task is and what successful completion of the task looks like. You can also post specific questions that you require all applicants to answer when applying for the job. After you post the job and wake up the next morning, you’ll probably have 5 or more applicants. I usually wait at least a full 24 hours before sifting through them all. Some jobs such as SEO will usually get 50 or more applicants in one day. It can be kind of daunting try to go through them all but alas, I have a system to help you pick the perfect VA! I call it “Ben’s 5-Step VA Selection Process”:

  1. When writing your job post, somewhere in the middle (not at the beginning and not at the end), bury the following instruction to the applicant: “When applying for this job, please begin your reply with ‘PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ROCKS’” or some other random phrase that you choose. This verifies that they read the entire job post top to bottom and did not simply apply for your job without even knowing exactly what your job is. If they don’t start their reply with your secret phrase - and I don’t care how good their profile looks - delete them.
  2. Filter on applicants that have at least a 4-star rating
  3. Filter on applicants that have worked at least 100 hours through the online service provider.
  4. Applicants can elect to take various tests to show their proficiency in different areas. Some of these tests assess their language skills. Filter on applicants who score at least in the top 10 percentile on the English vocabulary test. This ensures that you can an easily communicate with them.

The goal with the steps above is to narrow the applicants down to 3-5 top contenders. Now here is the 5TH and most important step. Send all of your final contenders an email asking them a couple questions. It doesn’t matter what the questions are but should probably be related to the job. Then you wait. What you’re waiting for is to see who replies quickly. You don’t want to work with a VA who takes days to get back to you. You also are looking to see how well they comprehended your questions and how relative their answers are. This is especially important for foreign VAs. There initial reply to your job post will sometimes be a canned reply that they had edited for proper English. Having them answer dynamic questions will give you a truer picture of their communication abilities.

I usually will be able to select the VA to hire using this process. An optional 6th step before hiring them is to set up a Skype call so you can speak with them fact-to-face.

The bottom line is that you can use a VA for just about anything. Don’t let the massive undertaking of finding a new employee prevent you from tackling those tasks that need to get done now. As soon as you put this article down, think about the #1 task you are dreading having to do tomorrow and instead, find a VA to do it for you.

Stellar Customer Service

Web Admin - Thursday, February 18, 2016
Stellar Customer Service by Cookie Hooper MPMC RMP®, Past-President NARPM Denver Chapter

Do you want to minimize the negativity in your life or in your online presence?  Do you want to leave the office not feeling like you have been in a battle every day?  Do you want to turn an angry situation around and create raving fans?  This tested customer service plan can ease tensions and simplify your life.  After putting this plan into place in my office, we have recently received the following emails:

I just wanted to thank you for going above and beyond so that you could help us, I know you didn't have to do anything additional to try and help us so we could get everything together by today but I just want you to know how appreciated it truly is, also thank you for being so patient with all four of us and re-explaining everything to everyone. This will not happen again and we will make sure of it! Thanks for your time have a good afternoon.” - A tenant, after facing eviction

“Yes we have moved out as of yesterday. The keys are inside of the apartment. Thank you for being willing to work with us! I apologize that things have happened this way.      - Another tenant, after being evicted 

These fans were created thanks to the NARPM-Star steps that I follow.  Everyone in my office has learned how to offer stellar customer service and the atmosphere in our office has changed.  Moreover, customers who would have previously found reason to respond to situations with bitterness are thanking us.  Use these customer service steps and watch how your reputation is transformed and how much happier you are at the end of each day.  

Is my tenant really a customer, or more of a combatant? 

Oftentimes, our job is more along the lines of police work, rather than sales.  After all, we exist to serve and protect our clients (landlords); we are a thin line between our landlords and our tenants.  We do a lot of investigative digging before we place a tenant in one of our homes. We often serve in what has potential to become a hostile or even combative environment, and we are enforcers of the lease.  Doesn’t that sound like police work?

The police officer’s customer is the citizen.  It’s a different relationship than that of the typical retail-shopper relationship we think about when we consider customer service. Yet, a customer service relationship exists.  Now, consider the negative perception of the police industry.  A few bad apples, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances, and some power-driven attitudes have created such bad PR for police departments that the public has lost their trust in these public servants (most of whom are good people who are performing a good service), resulting in hostile relationships and a dangerous working environment. 

If you read the last paragraph again and insert “Property Management” in place of “police”, you can quickly see a correlation in the two industries. We have a duty to serve our customers and protect our clients’ best interests.  As a matter of fact, providing good customer service to your Tenant is part of your fiduciary duty to your client.  If your tenant is hostile, they are likely to take out their anger on the asset.  If they hate you, they are going to move out, and that costs your client money.  So let’s clearly understand that your tenant is your customer, and that each property manager has a duty to negate the bad press in our line of work and offer excellent service to our customers.

Excellent customer service the NARPM-Star way

The Apple store trains it’s retail employees to follow 5 steps of service, from the moment the customer walks in the door.  We should be listening to what Apple is doing.  Apple has an impressive reputation and has managed to create millions of satisfied customers who are also loyal, raving fans. Clearly Apple is doing something right. Apple’s 5 steps are:  Approach, Prove, Present, Listen, and End.  Now, we are not Apple, so I have gently modified their customer service plan to fit our industry. I have adapted APPLE to become a NARPM-Star 6-point approach to customer service.

N- Neighborly Approach

We all have moments of high stress, yet we know that it’s important to try to answer our calls “live” when we can. However, do not answer the phone or send an email message until you are sure that your approach can be neighborly.  When the phone is ringing, take a quick second to re-focus your mind before you answer.  Keep pictures on your desk of your grandparents, your grandkids, your kids, anyone who loves and accepts you without judgment and train yourself to look there and take a deep breath before you answer the phone.  Never allow the last call or previous stress to enter into this current situation. If you are in a negative mindset when you try to deal with a new problem, you are only going to escalate the situation.  As the song says, “Let it go, let it go”, and if you can’t get into a neighborly frame of mind today, get someone else on the phones or let calls go to voicemail while you refocus. 

A- Ask

Politely ask what you can do for your customer. If they are venting, allow it for a bit, but not forever. If need be at this point, especially if things are escalating, here are some tips to try:

-  If the customer is hysterical, remind them that you want to resolve the problem, but need to get their file or look something up.  Place them on a brief (no longer than 1 minute) hold with calming hold music.  Sometimes, we all need a time out.  This is adult time-out for either you or your customer.  The key here is brief. When you come back, thank your customer for holding. 


-  Care. Remember that even though your customer may be angry and seems to be taking it out on you, he or she is a person who is frustrated, scared, and has issues in their life that you would never know or understand.  Treat them like a human being who is worthy of compassion, no matter how they treat you.  Be the bigger person.

-  Really listen and empathize. Identify with them if you can, and find a common enemy whenever possible. I often blame the lease, the policy, or the system. 

-   Say “I’m sorry.” Saying I’m sorry is not an admission of personal or company guilt.  It is a normal human response showing concern for another. Have you ever said “I’m sorry” to someone who has just lost a loved one?  You’re not admitting guilt.  This golden phrase goes a very long way and may be all your customer needs to hear from you. 

R- Restate the Issue

  Once you believe you have the whole scoop, re-state the issue.  This does two things: 

1-      It lets your customer know that they have been heard. And that is what they really want. 

2-      It makes sure that your solution will fit the problem.  Have you ever tried to solve the wrong problem?  It might go like this: 

“OK, Tammy, thank you for letting me know that you are extremely frustrated that I haven’t called you back.” (Side note: this is not the time for judging or educating.  Do not tell her that she did not follow protocol by submitting her request online or that it is unreasonable for her to expect a call back between 1 and 5AM.  That escalates the situation and can be handled more effectively via a friendly email message later).  “I’m really sorry for your frustration.  I would feel the same way.  That must have been a pretty terrible start to your Monday.  What I’m hearing is that moving forward, you would like to have the garage door repaired this morning, is that right? …… Oh, you have to take Timmy to his orthodontist and won’t be there, so you need the repair person there between 3:45 and 8PM today, correct?” 

P- Present Options (as many as possible)

Giving a customer options really reframes their thinking.  Instead of battling against you, they have now been brought onto your team, working together to find a solution:

“I can get you taken care of today, Tammy.  I’m a bit at the mercy of the schedule of the garage door company.  If they can’t be there between 3:45 and 8, would it be ok if I met them at your house?  Oh, Timmy is home today and can actually let them in?  Great, that helps a lot.  Would you mind if I did some troubleshooting with Timmy over the phone?  I want to make sure that someone hasn’t accidentally pushed the locking mechanism on the control, and if that seems to be ok, I can schedule the door company to meet Timmy this morning or you this afternoon.  I can also tell you how to open the door manually if you need the car out sooner.  What plan best meets your needs?”

M- Motion

Put the solution in motion as soon as possible.

“OK, Tammy, thanks for having Timmy check the locking mechanism. All seems ok there.  While I still have you on the line, I’m going to put in a work order to Metro Door.  I am asking them to meet you between 4 and 5PM if possible, and to call you at 303-444-5555 to confirm, is that right?  They will make sure the door is functioning well, and will lube and tune as needed while they are there, so hopefully you won’t have this happen again in the near future.  Does that take care of the problem for now?  Great!  The other thing I’m going to do is email a link to our Tenant Portal to you.  We have a 24-hour maintenance service plan there for you and that should minimize some frustration in the future.” 

Sincerely Thank, and invite them to call or email again

You can sincerely thank your customer because they gave you the opportunity to solve a problem, become a hero, and turn a frustrated person into a raving fan.  Otherwise, they could have just bashed you on Yelp.  If they need anything in the future, they’ll get in touch with you, so inviting them to do so costs you nothing but keeps the friendly atmosphere going.   

“Hey, Tammy, thank you for letting me know about the problem and giving me the opportunity to take care of things for you.  Please let me know if you have further problems in the future, and I’ll do all I can to make things right.  Once again, I’m really sorry for the rough start to your day. I hope it gets better.  Your lease?  Of course, I would love to have you around for another year.  Let me set that process in motion by running rental comps and getting in touch with the Owner to confirm their plans for the next year.  I’ll be back in touch soon, hopefully with good news.”

The 6-Step Approach also works with email messages and letters, minus the “Ask” step, and it’s a great format for recapping phone conversations.

Special situations

If you can’t calm the customer down:

 - Never say, “Calm down”. That is always an escalator.  Instead, try quieting your voice which keeps you calm and works much better.

- Still thank them, say “I’m sorry” and let them know that you need a bit of time to look into things.  Let them know that you will get back to them soon, and follow up.

- Try playing good cop, bad cop.  If there is a clear personality conflict, try empowering someone else in your office to listen to this person and see what they can do, even if it isn’t typically their job.  Keep in mind who can negotiate and who can’t, but anyone can listen and take notes.

- Don’t take abuse. Remember the brief hold button, and if they continue to attack or spew hatred or obscenities, let them know that you intend to resolve their problem, that you need to disconnect the call so you can work on it, and that you will be back in touch via email soon.

If the customer continues to dispute after you have corrected the problem:

Resolution Team

- Ask them to mail or email the details of the issue, any evidence they have to present, and a suggested resolution to you within 5 days, and let them know that you will present their case to a resolution team.  Assure them that you will respond to them within 7 days of receiving their letter or email. Your resolution team can be made up of a few other property managers that you know, a group formed in your office, your attorney’s hotline, or the NARPM list-serve.  Present both sides to your group and ask them to evaluate the situation fairly, let you know if/ where you might be wrong, and to help you come up with a resolution.  This should take less than 15 minutes via email or a group phone call.  Get back to the customer, in writing, give them honest and professional feedback from the team and present the resolution even if it is, “I’m very sorry, but there is nothing more I can do”.    

A Token

- Offer a token such as a small gift card to a local restaurant or a coffee shop.  Where security deposits are involved, a minor monetary concession could go a long way, even if you are 100% right. I used to ask my children when they were arguing a point ad nauseam, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be friends?” Sometimes a token is all it takes to end the conflict and leave your customer feeling a bit better about things.

Utilize the BBB

- Your local BBB has a system for dealing with complaints, and it is often better to have a customer complain to the BBB than to spread their hatred throughout the internet or take things out on your client’s asset.  The BBB offers mediation and arbitration services free of charge if you are an accredited member. 

It’s always good to remember that in the age of Yelp, customers are more than happy to share their negative experience with the world, but courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.  

Now go be a NARPM Star and create some raving fans!


Business Identity Theft

Web Admin - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Business Identity Theft - Personal Risks for Business Owners and Officers by Michael Barnett, LegalShield

As a business owner, officer, director, or key executive, you have significantly increased risks over an average consumer because your personal information, credit, and finances are so closely intertwined with your business. If you are a small business owner, you and your business identity may be virtually one and the same - and anything that impacts your business directly impacts you.

Unfortunately, thanks to business identity theft, there are new unexpected risks to you and your business - risks they don't teach you about in business school.

Depending upon your capacity and involvement in the business, the size of your business, and the extent of the fraud, some of the additional personal risks that you may potentially face as a business owner, officer, director, or key executive as a result of business ID theft include: 

Risk:  Inability to Meet Payroll, Tax Obligations, or Pay Bills

Loss of business income, or having money stolen from your business bank account, may leave your business unable to meet payroll, employment and income taxes, pay business bills, or purchase necessary supplies. As a result, you may find yourself forced to lay off employees, make dramatic cuts, or pay business obligations from your own personal finances or credit cards.

Risk:  Personal Liabilities

Most business credit cards, loans, lines of credit, and other accounts require a personal guaranty from one or more of the business owner(s). If your business is unable to make the required payments, you may be held personally liable for the debt.

Business identity thieves often use the owner’s personal information to open new lines of credit, or for the required personal guaranties for new accounts or contracts and large purchases. Fraudulent business accounts and unpaid purchases may be sent to collections, and collectors may attempt to hold you personally liable for the business debt until you can prove that it was fraudulent.

Risk:  Negative Credit Reporting

As a guarantor on business credit cards or lines of credit, business debt sent to collections may be negatively reported on your personal credit report as well. In addition, any personal accounts that become late as a result of reduced income from your business may also be reported negatively. This can lead to reduced personal credit limits and higher interest rates on your current credit lines. Negative or derogatory accounts on your personal credit report may make it difficult to obtain new loans, lines of credit, or other financing you may need for your business.

Risk:  State and Federal Tax Consequences

Thieves that fraudulently transact business in your business name can generate negative tax consequences with the IRS and state tax agencies, or even state licensing, revenue and sale tax commissions. Disputing and unraveling these problems in order to escape personal liability can be complex, difficult and time consuming. 

Risk:  Loss of Personal Income

When you rely on your business to generate income for you and your family, lost customers, lost suppliers, lost contracts, or time taken away from running your business while trying to dispute and resolve a case of business identity theft means your business is generating less income for you. This may cause you to be unable to pay and meet your own personal financial obligations.

Risk:  Business Failure

Many businesses, especially small businesses, operate on thin margins and simply can't survive significant losses. A loss of thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars in cash or goods and services can be devastating. Depending upon the thieves' actions and the severity of the financial losses, your business may become insolvent and unable to continue to operate - putting your employment, income, credit, and financial future at risk.

Constructive Eviction

Web Admin - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Constructive Eviction by Phil Klass, Managing Partner of Klass Law Group

One of the common responses that tenants make to eviction lawsuits is that the landlord has failed to maintain the leased premises or make repairs. They argue that if the landlord isn’t repairing the premises, they should not have to pay rent. Generally, under Colorado law, a landlord’s failure to repair is not grounds for a tenant to withhold payment of rent. This is so even if the landlord’s failure to repair is a breach of the terms of the lease. However, if the landlord’s actions, or failures to act, renders all or a portion of the premises uninhabitable, then this constitutes a breach by the landlord of his covenant of quiet enjoyment of the premises and the tenant will be relieved of his duty to pay rent. In other words, the tenant will have been “constructively evicted.”

Several years ago the Colorado legislature passed into law a “warranty of habitability.” This law gave a tenant a right to terminate an existing residential lease or gave the tenant a justification for the tenant’s failure to pay rent in cases where the warranty of habitability was breached by the landlord. In order to breach the warranty, however, the landlord’s failure to repair had to render the premises hazardous to the health of the tenant or had to render the premises uninhabitable. In addition, the new law placed burdens upon the tenant to provide to the landlord written notice of the problem and gave the landlord a period of time to address and correct the issue. Lastly, if the warranty is raised by the tenant in response to an eviction lawsuit, the tenant is required to deposit his unpaid rent with the court at the time of the filing of his Answer.

However, the new warranty of habitability law does not replace or make obsolete the law of constructive eviction. If the tenant fails to strictly follow the requirements set forth in the warranty of habitability law, the tenant may still use a constructive eviction argument to try to get out of a lease or out of his obligation to pay some or all of his rent. Also, the warranty of habitability law only applies to residential leases. Commercial tenants can only use constructive eviction law to support this type of claim or defense.

The tenant must meet a heavy burden in order to prove that he has been constructively evicted. Historically, he would have to show that there has been a substantial interference with his use and enjoyment of the premises. The interference must have been caused by some act or failure to act by the landlord. Lastly, the tenant had to have vacated the premises or at least that portion of the premises from which he claims to have been constructively evicted.

What is “substantial interference” sufficient to support a claim of constructive eviction? It must be enough of an interference that a reasonable person would regard it as fundamentally incompatible with the use and enjoyment for which the tenant rented the premises. The court (or jury) will look at the purpose of the rental, the foreseeability of the type of interference, the duration of the interference, the nature and degree of the harm caused and the availability to the landlord of the means to remove the interference. The theory is that as a result of the actions or omissions of the landlord, the landlord created a condition which has prevented the premises from being used by the tenant and the tenant, by moving out, has terminated the lease. 

The Colorado Supreme Court articulated our state’s definition of constructive eviction in Radinsky v. Weaver as “any disturbance by the landlord of the tenant’s possession which renders the premises unfit for occupancy for the purposes for which they were leased, or which deprives the tenant of beneficial enjoyment of the premises causing him to abandon them.” Radinsky leased a one storey building to Weaver which Weaver was to use for his printing and photographic business. After Weaver moved in, Radinsky decided to add a second storey to the building. As part of the construction the roof was removed letting light into Weaver’s darkroom and sand and dirt was everywhere, getting into Weaver’s printing equipment. The construction work made the premises substantially unusable by Weaver for the purpose for which he rented the space. The court relied upon the prior law that, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, there is an implied covenant for the quiet enjoyment of leased premises and the tenant is entitled to possession of the premises to the exclusion of the landlord. It was found that Weaver had been constructively evicted.

Under the historical view, the tenant cannot remain in the premises and claim a constructive eviction. Most states continue to rule this way, but Colorado is not one of them. In 1991 the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that a tenant may remain in the leased premises and still claim constructive eviction. If the court finds that the acts or omissions of the landlord are so severe that they have resulted in a substantial interference in the use and enjoyment of the premises, even where the tenant is still occupying the premises, then the court will award as damages to the tenant the difference between the fair value of what the tenant would have received absent the landlord’s behavior and the fair value of what the tenant did receive. The court may also award the tenant any actual damages caused by the wrongful eviction.

Normally, it must be an act or omission by the landlord which causes the interference. An act or omission by a third party does not work. However, in 1981, the Colorado Court of Appeals said that acts by an adjoining tenant can form a basis for constructive eviction if the landlord knows about the situation and fails to stop the problem. It can be argued that the landlord’s failure to control the actions of the adjoining tenant is an omission by the landlord which is sufficient under the historical definition.

Most landlords recognize that they have an interest in diligently maintaining and repairing their properties. A landlord who takes prompt and reasonable actions to address maintenance issues will  not likely be found to have constructively evicted his tenant. Usually, a landlord’s act or omission must be quite severe in order to amount to an eviction, but a failure to address a problem which has caused a health hazard may be enough.

If you, as landlord, are placed on notice of a problem by your tenant, record the complaint. If the problem is a maintenance issue and the lease renders you, the landlord, responsible for the repair, get the repair done promptly. If the lease says that the tenant is responsible for the repair, send the tenant a written notice referencing the relevant provision of the lease and notifying the tenant that he is responsible for the repair. Then follow up to make sure the repair has been done.

If the problem relates to actions by a neighboring tenant or other third party, particularly if you, the landlord, have a lease with the neighboring tenant which contains that neighbor’s agreement not to disturb other occupants of the property, then make a record of the complaint, tell the complaining tenant to call the police and make a police report of the disturbance, if appropriate, and inform the neighboring tenant who caused the problem that a complaint had been received which is a violation of his lease. If the complaining tenant complains a second time after a later occurrence, make a record of the second complaint, tell the complaining tenant to again file a police report, if appropriate, obtain a copy of the police report and follow the steps required by law to undertake an eviction of the neighboring tenant based upon a non-monetary default. Your effort to evict the tenant who is causing the problem will allow you to avoid any claim of constructive eviction asserted by the complaining tenant.

NARPM Denver Chapter Bylaws

Web Admin - Monday, February 08, 2016

Bylaws of The Denver Chapter of The National Association of Residential Property Managers

ARTICLE I: Name, Purposes, Powers and Definitions

Section A: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, hereinafter referred to as the Chapter.

Section B: Purpose

The purposes for which the organization is established are to:

1. Establish a permanent trade association in the residential property management industry in the greater Denver, Colorado metropolitan area.

2. To promote a standard of business ethics, professionalism and fair practices among its members.

3. To establish and promote education of its members.

4. To provide and promote an exchange of ideas regarding residential property management.

5. To educate and promote legislative initiative in the greater Denver, Colorado metropolitan area.

Section C: Powers

The chapter may exercise all powers granted to it as a corporation organized under the non-profit corporation laws of the State of Colorado.

1. The chapter shall be subject to all rules, regulations, ethics, and standards and bylaws of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Inc.

2. Chapter bylaws shall not conflict with those of the National Association of Residential Property Mangers, Inc., hereinafter referred to as the national association.

Section D: This chapter's geographical definition shall be: greater Denver, Colorado metropolitan area.

ARTICLE II: Membership

Professional, Associate, Support Staff, and Affiliate Members

Section A: Professional Member
Professional Member shall be an individual actively engaged in the management of residential properties as an agent for others. The individual must follow Colorado state regulatory licensing law regarding licensure in performing the duties of a property manager. This member has completed a course of instruction covering the NARPM® Code of Ethics.

A Professional Member may also be an employee of a company, or employee of a property owner, or employee of an investor, who handles all aspects of residential property management. These individuals must comply with state licensing laws, but do not hold an active real estate license.

Section B: Associate Member
An Associate Member shall be an individual actively engaged in the management of residential properties as an agent for others. The individual must follow Colorado state regulatory licensing law regarding licensure in performing the duties of a property manager. An Associate Member cannot hold the RMP® and/or MPM® designation, or hold elective office.

An Associate Member may also be an employee of a company, or employee of a property owner, or employee of an investor, who handles all aspects of residential property management. These individuals must comply with state licensing laws, but do not hold an active real estate license.

Section C: Support Staff
A Support Staff Member shall be a person acting in the role of support in the office of a Professional Member and the Support Staff Member must not be acting in a capacity requiring licensure according to Colorado state regulatory licensing law. A Support Staff Member does not vote or hold elective office.

Section D: Affiliate Member
An Affiliate Member shall be an individual or business entity, which provides products, services or expertise to the residential property management industry. Requirements relating to acceptance into affiliate membership, suspension of affiliate membership shall be identical to those specified for members, except that affiliate members are not eligible to vote; However, affiliate members can be a chairperson and can serve in advisory positions to the executive committee or chairpersons or committee members. An affiliate member does not vote or hold elective office.

The Chapter shall recognize all NARPM® National Affiliate Members as Affiliate Members of this Chapter.

Section I: Application by Professional, Associate, or Support Staff Members:

1. Acceptance into membership: An applicant for membership in a chapter shall first be a member of the national association. A member of the national association may be a member of more than one chapter as long as that member meets all requirements for each chapter membership. New Members must complete a Code of Ethics course of instruction from the National Association of Residential Property Managers to become a Professional Member.

2. Vote: Voting member shall be eligible to vote in person at the annual meeting of the chapter in which officers are elected. Any member shall be eligible to vote at all meetings of sub-committees upon which the member serves, if any.

ARTICLE III: Suspension, Termination and Resignation of Membership

Section A: Suspension of Membership

Suspension of membership shall result in a member being unable to vote in chapter matters for a period of time designated by these or the national association bylaws or, where such discretion is authorized by the national association, for any one of the following reasons: 

1. Suspension of membership: Suspension of membership for reasons stated in the bylaws of the national association.

2. By notification of the National NARPM® Board of Directors as a result of violations of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professionalism.

Section B: Termination of Membership

Membership shall be terminated for reasons identified below. Upon termination, a member shall lose all rights and interests in the chapter and the national association.

1. Resignation:
a. Any member, other than Affiliate Member, may resign at any time by forwarding a letter stating such intent to the Denver Chapter and the National Association, if applicable. The letter shall indicate the date on which the resignation is effective. No refund of chapter or national association dues shall be made for any reason.

b. Affiliate member may resign at any time by forwarding a letter stating such intent to the Chapter. The letter shall indicate the date on which the resignation is effective. No refund of chapter or national association dues shall be made for any reason.

2. Failure to Pay Obligations: Membership shall terminate automatically when a member fails to pay annual Chapter dues within 60 days of the due date. Members may file a letter of appeal to the executive committee should an extension be needed to pay obligation.

3. Delinquency in Payments: Any member failing to pay sums due to the National Association within 30 calendar days of an invoice due date, shall be considered delinquent. Delinquency status shall remain in effect for one year, or until payment of obligations is made in full, whichever occurs first.

4. Code of Ethics Violations: By notification from the National Association to the Chapter executive committee, of a violation(s) of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professionalism or for nonpayment of national annual dues.

Section C: Reinstatement of Membership

A former member still meeting all membership requirements shall be reinstated:

1. Upon request, if such request is received during the calendar year during which a resignation occurred.

2. Upon request, provided that all financial indebtedness incurred has been paid and is current.

3. After a waiting period of one calendar year from the date of termination as a result of a presidential request or by an action of the board of directors of the national association.

4. Upon request through the normal application procedures, if the resignation occurred beyond the current fiscal year.

ARTICLE IV: Executive Committee/Board of Directors

Section A: Responsibilities

The chapter executive committee/board of directors, hereinafter known as the executive committee, shall have responsibility for the management of the chapter and shall exercise all rights and powers not expressly reserved by these bylaws or the bylaws of the national association. Such management responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to: 

1. Establishing and implementing an organization framework for the chapter.

2. Establishing new or modifying existing operating rules that are not inconsistent with these bylaws, the bylaws of the national association or their intent. Changes to the bylaws must be submitted to the board of directors of the national association for approval.

3. Establishing annual chapter dues, application fees and special assessments.

4. Establishing new committees and dissolving existing committees.

Section B: The Executive Committee

All chapter executive committee members should faithfully attend all chapter executive committee meetings, the executive committee shall be composed of 7 (seven) officers as follows:

1. President: The president shall:
a. Be the chief executive officer of the chapter.
b. Preside at all meetings of the chapter.
c. Act as an alternate signatory for funds withdrawn from the chapter account(s).
d. Sign all legal documents.
e. Undertake responsibility for such other activities as deemed appropriate by the executive committee.
f. Shall ensure the completion of all documentation required by the National Association.
g. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the new calendar year.
h. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.
i. Have the power to assign the other officers such duties or responsibilities as the president deems appropriate or necessary for conducting the Chapter’s business.

2. President-Elect: The president-elect shall:
a. Act as an alternate signatory for funds to be withdrawn from the chapter account(s).
b. Fulfill the responsibilities of the president during his/her absence.
c. Replace the president at the end of the fiscal year.
d. Automatically accede to the presidency during a calendar year when the presidency becomes vacant.
e. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.
f. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
g. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.
h. Coordinate speakers and lecturers that are relevant to the residential industry for chapter meetings.
i. Must attend annual Board Leadership Training offered by the National Association of Residential Property Managers.

3. Secretary: The secretary shall:
a. Maintain current chapter membership records to coincide with the national association's membership database.
b. Record, maintain and distribute minutes of all regular and special meetings of the executive committee as appropriate.
c. Notify all chapter members of upcoming meetings
d. File all federal, state and local reports as needed.
e. Undertake responsibility for such other activities as deemed appropriate by the executive committee.
f. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
g. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.
h. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.

4. Treasurer: The treasurer shall:
a. Be a signatory for all funds withdrawn from chapter account(s).
b. Distribute annual renewal notices for chapter dues and special assessments.
c. Deposit all funds into a federally insured financial institution.
d. Prepare a financial report for the committee upon request.
e. Prepare an end-of-fiscal year report for the national association.
f. File tax and other financial reports with the appropriate government agencies.
g. Undertake responsibility for other such activities as deemed appropriate by the executive committee.
h. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
i. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.
j. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.

5. Past President
a. Shall serve as Chairman of the Nominating Committee
b. Undertake responsibilities as assigned by the President
c. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
6. Vice President #1
a. Shall serve as Chairman of the Legislative Committee
b. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.
c. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
d. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.

6. Vice President #1
a. Shall serve as Chairman of the Legislative Committee
b. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.
c. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
d. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.

7. Vice President #2
a. Shall serve as Chairman of the Education Committee
b. Undertake other duties or responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the president.
c. Serve a term of one year commencing with the beginning of the calendar year.
d. Must be a Professional Member of the Chapter.

ARTICLE V: Eligibility, Nominations, Elections, Terms of Office and Vacancies

Section A: Eligibility

To be eligible to serve as a chapter officer, an individual shall be a Professional Member in good standing with both the chapter and the national association. Furthermore, the chapter member must be willing to fulfill the duties of the office to which he/she is elected, including those duties relating to the national association.

Section B: Notification of Members

Chapter members shall be notified in writing, or electronically if approved by the Chapter Executive Committee, of the pending election and nominations solicited from chapter members at least thirty (30) days prior to the end of the calendar year. Nominations shall be done in two ways:
a. Write-in: Any member who writes in the name of a nominee shall provide a signed letter from the individual so nominated indicating the said individual's willingness to serve if elected and signed by five percent (5%) of the professional chapter members.
b. In Person: Any member who is present during the electoral process can be nominated.

Section C: Elections

Elections shall be conducted no later than the October chapter meeting, or electronically no 
later than the month of October, if approved by the chapter executive committee, prior to the 
end of the calendar year.

1. Presiding Authority: The outgoing president shall conduct the election. The outgoing president can delegate the electoral process to the president-elect or any other chapter member provided that member is not a nominee.

2. Nominating Committee – The immediate past president shall serve as chair of the nominating committee and the President may appoint up to two other members of the committee. The recommendation of the Nominating Committee shall be approved by the Denver Chapter Executive Committee and presented to the membership for final vote.

3. Uncontested Offices: The presiding authority shall identify to the membership those offices for which there is only one nominee. Upon a motion to close the nominations for such offices, that nominee shall be considered duly elected.

4. Contested Offices: In the case of contested office(s), each office shall be dealt with through a ballot presented to those who are in attendance at the chapter meeting, or electronically if approved by the chapter executive committee. The nominee receiving a simple majority shall be elected to the position.

5. The Chapter shall not allow nominations from the floor of the chapter meeting. If electronic elections take place write-In Candidates must be solicited. Write-in candidates shall be added to the slate if said candidate’s names are presented in writing to the Nominating Committee thirty (30) days before the election, accompanied by the signatures of ten percent (10%) of the professional members in good standing recommending the candidates for a director or for an officer position.

Section D: Term of Office

An officer's term of office shall commence with the beginning of the chapters calendar year and conclude at the end of the same. An officer can serve for any number of consecutive terms.

Section E: Vacancy

An office shall be declared vacant when an officer:

1. Resigns that office through written notification to the president or the secretary.
2. Is no longer eligible for membership in the chapter or the national association.
3. Is no longer capable of fulfilling duties of the office involved.
4. Is removed by a majority vote of the executive committee.

Section F: Filling a Vacated Office

In the event that the position of president is vacated, the president-elect shall automatically fill that position and shall continue to serve as both president and president-elect. In the case of other officers, a vacated office shall be filled:

1. When: When more than three (3) calendar months remain before the next election at which the vacancy shall be filled.

2. Procedure: By an individual nominated and approved by the executive committee to fill the remaining year of the term. At the next election, the remainder of the term for the office must be filled through the nominations process.

ARTICLE VI: Meetings, Locations and Majority Rules

Section A: The executive committee shall meet with the same frequency as the chapter meetings, or at a time approved by the chapter executive committee, which must be no fewer than four (4) meetings annually.

1. Notice of Regular Meeting: With the advice and consent of the president, the secretary shall notify all members of the executive committee of the date, time and place by email or regular letter mailed to each member of the executive committee.

2. Waiver of Notice: Attendance by any member of the executive committee at a regularly scheduled meeting at which date, time and place is established for the next meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of the next regular meeting of the executive committee.

3. Electronic Meetings: If approved by the chapter executive committee, meeting can be held electronically in order to conduct the business of the chapter.

Section B: Location

All meetings of the chapter shall be held within the geographic definition of the chapter. All meetings of the executive committee shall be held within the geographic definition of the chapter unless otherwise waived by all the members of the executive committee. Annual meeting location of the Chapter shall be approved by the Executive Committee.

Section C: Quorum

1. Executive Committee: A Majority of the executive committee officers in attendance shall constitute a quorum.

2. Chapter Members: A quorum to conduct business by the chapter members shall be 10% of the members eligible to vote at a regularly scheduled meeting. A chapter event can be held without a quorum but no business can be conducted

Section D: Simple Majority Vote

1. Executive Committee: At a meeting at which a quorum is present, all actions and decisions of the executive committee shall be made official by simple majority vote of the executive committee members present at any regular or special meeting of the executive committee, unless otherwise precluded by law.

2. Chapter Members: At a meeting at which a quorum is present, all actions and decisions of the chapter members shall be made official by simple majority vote of the chapter members present at any regular or special meeting of the chapter members, unless otherwise precluded by law.

ARTICLE VII: Committees

Section A: Appointment

Except as otherwise stated in these bylaws or the bylaws of the national association, the chairpersons and members of all sub-committees shall be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the executive committee.

Section B: Responsibilities

Committees shall undertake such responsibilities as are identified in these bylaws or as may be assigned to them by the president with the advice and consent of the executive committee. No sub-committee may take any action on behalf of or representative of the chapter unless specifically authorized by the executive committee.

Section C: Creation and Dissolution

The president, with the advice and consent of the executive committee, shall have the authority to create and dissolve sub-committees according to the needs of the chapter.

ARTICLE VIII: Code of Ethics & Standards of Professionalism.

Acknowledgment and Enforcement

As a condition of membership, all Professional Members of NARPM® must complete a NARPM® Code of Ethics training once within a four year period, beginning January 1, 2012, and each four year period thereafter. Each Professional Member of the association is required to complete a NARPM® approved ethics training either in classroom or through other means as approved by the board of directors of NARPM® National. Failure to satisfy this requirement will result in the professional members reverting to an associate member until course is completed.

Section A: Acknowledgment

A Chapter Charter is granted by the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Inc, only upon the acknowledgment that the chapter members shall:

1. Be familiar with Code: Read and be familiar with the applicable Code of Ethics to which continual adherence is mandatory for continuation of a Chapter Charter and individual membership.

2. Be Unopposed to Application: By receipt of the Chapter Charter, the chapter does hereby formally agree to not take any legal action(s) against the national association, its officer(s), director(s), committee chairperson(s), committee member(s) or the chapter, its officer(s), sub-committee chairperson(s) or sub-committee member(s) for any prescribed action identified by these bylaws or the bylaws of the national association taken for the purpose of enforcing the applicable Code of Ethics and Standards of Professionalism.

Section B: Enforcement

It is the duty of the President of the chapter to report all violations to national association's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professionalism to the national association's grievance committee.

ARTICLE IX: Financial Considerations

Section A: Calendar Year

The chapter's financial year shall be a calendar year.

Section B: Chapter Dues

A The Chapter may charge annual and pro-rated dues, subject to approval by the national association, as outlined below:

1. Payable: Dues for local chapters are payable no later then January 1 of each year.

2. Non-payment of Dues: Failure to pay the annual chapter dues within 60 days after the first day of the year shall result in automatic termination of chapter membership unless there are extenuating circumstances.

3. Member Dues: The amount of the Chapter dues for all members and each class of membership shall be established annually by the board of directors during the budgeting process.

4. Affiliate dues: The amount of local chapter dues for Affiliate dues shall be established annually by the board of directors during the budgeting process. The chapter will not charge dues to National Affiliate members. 
5. Late Fees: Any payment received after the due date will be considered late, and a late fee will be assessed. The Board of Directors must approve any schedule of late fees or returned check fees during the budgeting process.

Section C: Special Assessments

Special Assessments may be established by the executive committee and imposed upon its chapter members and/or affiliate members for a specific funding purpose. The purpose and amount of any special assessment shall be announced at a regular or special meeting of the
chapter prior to the imposition of such an assessment. No more than one special assessment may be imposed in any calendar year.

Section D: Budget

The treasurer, in conjunction with the executive committee, shall prepare an itemized budget of income and expenses for each calendar year. The budget shall not exceed the chapter's ability to pay the same and shall be approved by the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers’ Executive Committee/Board of Directors.

Section E: Non-Binding

The chapter shall not have any authority to financially obligate or bind the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Inc., for any reason.

ARTICLE X: Proposals and Procedures for Amending

Section A: Proposals

Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by any chapter member or board of director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Inc., at any time through a letter addressed to the executive committee and presented or mailed to the secretary. Any proposal shall be studied by the entire executive committee or an officer of the executive committee or by a sub-committee created and/or assigned for that purpose as appointed by the president.

Section B: Procedure for Amending

The entity assigned for the purpose of reviewing proposed Bylaw revisions shall present the proposed amendment to the executive committee with its findings and proposed recommendations of actions. A two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee is necessary in order to amend these bylaws.

Once approved by the Chapter Executive Committee, amendments shall be subject to approval by the board of directors of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Inc., prior to their implementation or adoption by the chapter and a final copy of these bylaws are to remain on file at national’s office.

ARTICLE XI: Miscellaneous

Section A: Invalidity

The invalidity of any provision of these bylaws shall not impair or affect in any manner the validity, enforceability or affect of the remainder of these bylaws.

Section B: Waiver

No provision of these bylaws shall be deemed to have been abrogated or waived by reason of any failure to enforce the same, regardless of the number of violations or breaches which may have occurred.

Section C: Hold Harmless and Indemnify

The chapter shall hold harmless and indemnify members of the executive committee, officer(s), sub-committee chairperson(s) and sub-committee members, as well as the national association, its board of directors, officers, chairpersons and committee members who are acting within the scope of their responsibilities, duties or these bylaws.

Section D: State Laws

These bylaws may be amended to conform and comply with the laws, statues, rules and regulations of the governing bodies of local, county and/or state authorities that have jurisdiction. Should amendments to these bylaws be required by [insert state name] state law, Chapter shall notify the National Association of said amendments but no further action will be required.

Section E. Sexual Harassment

Any member of the Association may be reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended or expelled for harassment of an Association employee or Association Officer or Director after a hearing in accordance with the established procedures of the Association. As used in the Section, harassment means any verbal or physical conduct including threatening or obscene language, unwelcome sexual advances, stalking, actions including strikes, shoves, kicks, or other similar physical contact, or threats to do the same, or any other conduct with the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment. The decision of the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken shall be made by the investigatory team comprised of the President, and PresidentElect and one member of the Board of Directors selected by the highest ranking officer not named in the complaint, upon consultation with legal counsel for the Association. If the complaint names the President, or President-Elect, they may not participate in the proceedings and shall be replaced by the Immediate Past President or, alternatively, by another member of the Board of Directors selected by the highest ranking officer not named in the complaint.

Section E: Dissolution

Should the membership vote by majority to dissolve the operations of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, all remaining funds in the treasury will be sent to the National Association of Residential Property Managers. 

Notice of a special meeting of the members of the Denver Chapter of NARPM

Web Admin - Monday, February 08, 2016
NOTICE OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE MEMBERS OF THE DENVER CHAPTER OF NARPM

To the Members of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers:

Please take notice that a special meeting of the members of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, beginning at 11:30 am at the following location: PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur Street, Denver, CO 80211.

On January 21, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Denver Chapter unanimously adopted the following resolution:

Resolved, that Article IV of the Articles of Incorporation of the Denver Chapter be amended to read as follows:

This non-profit corporation will have four categories of members, as follows:

A. Professional Member
B. Associate Member
C. Affiliate Member
D. Support Member

The qualifications and rights for each category of members shall be delineated in the corporation's Bylaws. 

Further, on January 21, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Denver Chapter unanimously passed a resolution recommending that the members adopt this amendment to the Denver Chapter's Articles of Incorporation.

At a special meeting of the members of the Denver Chapter, the members will vote on adopting the above resolution. The proposed bylaws may be viewed here.

NARPM Denver Chapter February 23rd Luncheon

Web Admin - Sunday, February 07, 2016

Join the Denver Chapter of NARPM for our monthly luncheon/meeting.

February's Topic:  How to effectively enforce your lease agreement - Tips & Tricks

Carolyn Rogers MPM®, RMP® and President of All Seasons Property Management is an industry veteran. Join us as Carolyn will be discussing how her company effectively enforces their lease agreement around many current issues including property inspections, rent collection, late fee enforcement, MMJ violations, move-out inspections, security deposit dispositions, and more. Don't miss this very important topic!

Date: 2-23-2016 | 11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Location:  Denver Police Protective Association

Click here to sign up now!


Assistive animals - you have questions, we have answers

Web Admin - Sunday, February 07, 2016

Assistive animals - you have questions, we have answers by Mark Tschetter, Senior Managing Partner of Tschetter Hamrick Sulzer, P.C.

Does a landlord have to allow assistive animals at no pet communities or no pet properties? Yes. Assistive animals are not pets.  Assistive animals are necessary for a disabled tenant to use and enjoy the rental on the same basis as a non-disabled individual. Under fair housing laws, disabled tenants are entitled to an exception to any “no pet” policy if they meet the legal requirements. A disabled tenant’s legal right to have an assistive animal, to meet a disability related need, is called a reasonable accommodation. Failure to accommodate a qualified disabled tenant, by allowing an assistive animal at a no pet community, is housing discrimination and subjects the landlord to significant legal liability.

If the tenant’s animal does not perform a service, do we still have to allow the animal? Yes, if the tenant meets legal requirements. While the rental industry consistently uses the term “service animal”, the proper term is “assistive animal”. An assistive animal is either a service animal or an emotional support animal, also known as a companion animal. Service animals perform a service for the tenant or provide a disability related benefit. An emotional support animal lessens a tenant’s disability related symptoms or provides other disability related benefits. Under fair housing laws, if a disabled tenant has a disability related need for an emotional support animal, you must accommodate the tenant by making an exception to your no pet policy, just as you would be required to make such an exception for a disabled tenant requesting a service animal.

What legal requirements must a tenant meet to have an assistive animal? A tenant must meet three requirements to be granted a reasonable accommodation (an exception to your pet policies). First, the tenant must be disabled as defined by fair housing laws. Generally, this means that the tenant must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially affects a major life activity. However, we advise some caution in basing reasonable accommodation decisions solely on this definition. Specifically, while not likely, a tenant can also be considered disabled under fair housing laws based on other tests. Second, the tenant must have a disability related need for the assistive animal. Generally, this means that there is a relationship between the tenant’s disability and the need for the animal, i.e. the animal will lessen the impact of the tenant’s disability. Third, the request must be reasonable. Whether a specific request for an assistive animal is reasonable can be extremely complicated, and should be left to the experts. Thus, you should never deny a tenant’s request for an assistive animal, because you believe the request is unreasonable, without consulting us.

Can we require the tenant to provide documentation? Maybe. If the tenant’s disability and need for an assistive animal is obvious, then you may not require documentation. If the tenant’s disability and need for the assistive animal is not obvious, then you may require documentation.  You should have well thought out and specifically defined policies for handling reasonable accommodation requests in general, and specifically for handling assistive animal requests made by tenants. You should also attend our fair housing classes. Our advanced fair housing class discusses how to properly handle reasonable accommodations in detail, including which forms to use when a tenant makes an assistive animal request.

Is documentation provided by an Internet company sufficient documentation of a tenant’s disability and need for an assistive animal? Probably not. Under the law, a person providing documentation must be in a position to know that the tenant is disabled and has a disability related need for an assistive animal. Generally, a company that generates revenue by churning out assistive animal letters, based on ten minute phone calls, is not in a position to know whether or not a tenant is disabled or has a disability related need for an assistive animal. For an extended discussion of Internet assistive animal letter companies, see the Emotional Support Animal series published in previous editions of Landlord News. Can we deny the request if the assistive animal isn’t a dog or cat? No. While most assistive animals are dogs and cats, assistive animals can include other domesticated animals.

Do assistive animals have to be specifically trained or certified? No. An assistive animal does not need any specific training or certification. However, specific training or certification doesn’t mean that a tenant automatically should be allowed an assistive animal. Specifically, more and more tenants request landlords to allow an animal because they obtained a certificate or ID Card on the Internet, or because the animal wears a tag, cape, or harness. These issues are all irrelevant. The tenant’s disability and disability related need for an assistive animal are the only relevant considerations.

Can we deny the request based on the animals size or weight, or because the animal is on our restricted breed list? Probably not. Remember, a reasonable accommodation request asks for an exception to your rules and policies because of a disability related need. Thus, a disabled tenant may ask for an exception to your breed restrictions, size, or weight policies. In most cases, if the tenant is disabled, you will have to grant their request. Because exceptions to breed restrictions can be complicated requests for a reasonable accommodation, you should attend THS’s advanced fair housing class to explore this issue in more detail. Additionally, HUD has written a specific memo on this issue.

Can we deny certain breeds based on insurance requirements? Maybe, but only after you have exercised due diligence in exploring all available insurance options. Similar to many other reasonable accommodation requests, clients often tell us that they can’t grant a certain request because of insurance requirements or limitations, or impose an insurance requirement on the tenant as a condition to granting a reasonable accommodation or a reasonable modification. Both HUD and the courts will view this as an attempt to impose barriers (deny the request) unless you have thoroughly evaluated the insurance issue. Specifically, you can’t request an insurance carrier to impose this limitation so that you can deny requests. You must also determine whether other insurance carriers would provide insurance without the limitation, or whether your existing carrier would remove the limitation either upon request or upon the payment of additional premium.

Can we require an assistive animal to be vaccinated and have applicable pet licenses? Yes.

Can we require an assistive animal to be well groomed and housebroken? Yes.

Can we charge pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rent for an assistive animal? No. Remember an assistive animal is not a pet.

Can we require an assistive animal to comply with other community pet related policies? Yes, as long as any policy applies to all other animals at the community, and does not act as a barrier to prevent disabled tenants from having assistive animals. For example, you can require assistive animals to be leashed when outside of a tenant’s unit. As a condition to granting an assistive animal request, you can also require the disabled tenant to execute an Assistive Animal Addendum that spells out the tenant’s responsibilities with respect to the animal, such as picking up after the animal, and that the animal may not disturb or threaten other tenants. Because a typical Pet Addendum may contain provisions that are inapplicable to assistive animals and refers to assistive animals as pets, we advise against using a standard Pet Addendum for assistive animals. Instead, we recommend using the Assistive Animal Addendum drafted by THS.

Hello NARPM Denver Chapter!

Web Admin - Sunday, February 07, 2016

Hello NARPM Denver Chapter! by Susan Melton, 2016  NARPM Denver Chapter President

We are off to a great start to 2016!  Our January 26th meeting was one of the largest, best attended meetings we have ever held. 

I want to remind all of our wonderful NARPM Denver Chapter members that this organization can only exist with the hard work of people willing to volunteer their talent and many hours of their time. 

Special thanks are due to volunteers Johanna Wells and Abigail Jacobs.  Johanna has faithfully served our chapter as our Affiliate Chair for many years doing an excellent job of coordinating sponsors for our luncheon events and annual Property Management Conference.  She has done such a good job that a second person was needed to help carry the load!  In 2016 Johanna will be handling the Property Management Conference sponsorships and Abigail will handle the luncheon meeting sponsorships.   Please join me in thanking them for their part in making NARPM Denver Chapter the recognized leader in residential property management!

Networking is one of our NARPM core values, and our monthly luncheon meetings and educational classes provide an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues and affiliate members.  Please help us continue to provide a quality luncheon meeting experience by making your luncheon and sponsorship reservations via the website www.rentproperty.com.  Now, in addition to being able to pay with a credit card, you can use Paypal to pay with an e-check.  We are no longer able to accommodate or accept reservation payment via check at the door. 

Please help our volunteers provide successful professional events.  Your help will help us all realize and appreciate the value of being a member of NARPM Denver Chapter.


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