Do you update your knowledge on property management legislation, your documents, and office systems? I imagine you do because you are reading this article. You are interested in knowing what goes on our industry. There are two key reasons to keep informed – 1) to practice a high level of professional property management and 2) to reduce risk.
It is often difficult to keep up with everything and that is understandable. On a normal day, there are so many demands and problems with family, friends, owners, tenants, vendors, and the public. Then when you add-in new laws, rules, lawsuits, and the ever-changing technology world, the property management day can become overwhelming
In 2009, I started an email newsletter to provide information-sharing with property managers. One reason stemmed from meeting and talking with many people who are unaware of existing or new legislation that affects their business, such as Antitrust, the Red Flags Rule, Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, and the Can Spam Act. Something is always changing with Fair Housing, such as disparate impact and now the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard. There are always developments on litigious issues, such as mold and lead-based paint. I want to help keep property managers informed.
It is in our best interests to keep up with this fast paced property management world!
Years ago, we didn’t have all the tools available to us that we have now. The property management business was an infant and often beneath the notice of those in real estate and other service industries. Now the property management industry is recognized as a lucrative, viable business.
The question is – what is the best way to keep current? The key is to develop your personal program to continually receive and absorb information that affects how you operate your property management business. Fortunately, there are many avenues available to us.
- Maintain membership in organizations that benefit your property management business, such as the National Association of Residential Property Management, NARPM®. Attend events that will provide education and networking. Talk to your peers, listen, learn, and share.
- Take classes on new rules, regulations, legislation, maintenance, and trends that affect your property management business. Be sure to review and change your documents and systems for compliance. Train your team on what you learn.
- Attend industry trade shows to keep up with new technology and changes to existing ones. Choose new services that will save you time, increase your marketing, and add to your professionalism.
- Join property management social media groups, such as LinkedIn and NARPM® List Serve that alert you to pending or new legislation and discuss property management issues.
- Set up Internet tools to your advantage. For example, set up Google Alerts to automatically send you email on information that impacts property management, such as Fair Housing, disparate impact, landlord/tenant law, etc. You can receive them daily, weekly, or monthly. They can be broad subjects or be more specific. You can quickly delete the emails and Google alerts if they are not useful.
- Subscribe to federal, state, or private blogs that will also give you insights on property management, such as the one from HUD (see links below).
- Keep a list of links to websites that can give you more information. If appropriate, set up shortcuts (icons) to websites on your desktop that will enable you to access information quickly. Did you know that there is a website available that has links to all Federal Agencies (see below)? There are also websites that provide links to states (see examples below). These would be useful links on your desktop.
- Download important PDFs, such as The Guide to Antitrust (link below) to keep as a reference.
There is so much information out there and it is often at your fingertips. I hope that the following are useful links that will help you access or lead to more information. There are too many to list them all.
Federal Government Sites
- http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/ – site for finding government agencies, A-Z
- http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml – another site for finding government agencies
- http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD – Fair Housing
- http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/fair-housing-and-equal-opportunity.shtml – Fair Housing & equal opportunity
- http://www.eeoc.gov/ – US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- http://www.ftc.gov/ – Federal Trade Commission
- http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft – identity theft
- http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/redflagsrule/index.shtml – Red Flags Rule
- http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business – Can Spam Act
- https://www.servicememberscivilreliefact.com/ – Service Members Civil Relief Act
- http://www.fema.gov/ – disaster/emergency
- http://www.epa.gov/ – lead-based paint; mold;
- http://www.epa.gov/airquality/carbonmonoxide/actions.html – carbon monoxide regulations
State Government examples – for your state, type “list of government agencies for (name) state”
- http://www.ca.gov/Apps/Agencies.aspx – California
- http://az.gov/government_stateagedir.html – Arizona
- https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/apps/lrs/agencies/index.html – Texas
- http://access.wa.gov/agency – Washington State
Other blogs/Internet Sites
- http://blog.hud.gov/ – HUD
- http://blog.epa.gov/ – EPA
- http://landlordsource.com/blog-professional-property-managers/ – LandlordSource blog
- http://www.letstalkpm.com/profiles/blog/list – Let’s Talk Property Management
- http://www.google.com/alerts – set up alerts for specific topics
- http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chart-landlord-tenant-state-laws-29016.html – site that has links to landlord/tenant laws by state
- http://ftc.gov/bc/antitrust/factsheets/antitrustlawsguide.pdf – guide to Antitrust
- http://www.uniformlaws.org/shared/docs/residential%20landlord%20and%20tenant/urlta%201974.pdf – this is the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act in PDF – something every property manager should have in their computer files.
Check important sites, such as the EPA, HUD, etc. for useful guides.
Good luck with setting up your own program – I hope this information helps. If you’d like to receive updates via email, please subscribe to our free newsletter, Professional Management Matters.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.