To Tow… or Not To Tow? Seven Tips to keep that from being the Question

CharleyStaab_EmailBlastI found this article in The Apartment Management Magazine, February, 2013 edition. As we all know this can be a very touchy subject. It is not anyone’s desire to alienate a resident but, you must have uniform application of compliance and make sure the standards conform with the laws of your state and city. I think you will find the article to be informative.

Charley Staab

By: Nick Frantz | OneCallNow.com

tow truckI don’t know a property manager who doesn’t grapple with parking issues. At best, they’re a hassle. At worst, they threaten resident safety, satisfaction and retention. They can even send you to court.

Towing may alienate a resident… but failure to act on a parking problem could alienate many residents. The best solution is a proactive approach that maximizes compliance and minimizes your need to have to make the tough decision. Here are seven tips to help ease parking woes on your property.

1.  Understand the parking and towing laws and ordinances in your state and in your municipality.

If you don’t already know the laws, an Internet search should yield results. Illegal towing can do more than damage resident relationships. It can be costly. Some states allow the court to award loss of use damages for the illegally towed vehicle. Residents have to prove their case. But win or lose, it’s going to cost you time and money.

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2.  Have proper legal signage.

Posting parking permit and restriction signs on your property is one of the most important actions you can take to ensure and enforce compliance. With effective signage, residents, visitors, staff and vendors should never have any question about where to park.

3.  Clearly mark the parking lots and curbs. Continue reading

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Posted in Apartment Association of Michigan, Articles & Information

Flood Insurance Myths and Facts

CharleyStaab_EmailBlastThe National Flood Insurance Program was created in 1968.  Despite the longevity of the program, there is still much misinformation about who is eligible, how to purchase and amounts of coverage available.  In recent years, homes and businesses have experienced increasing losses due to floods.  This site addresses valuable information about the program, it’s management and how to help property owners secure appropriate protection for damages caused by floods.  Please call me to discuss your need for flood insurance.

Charley Staab

“People who live on top of the hill don’t need flood insurance.” Not true, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and just one of the many myths surrounding the agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). When it comes to flood insurance, not having the facts can literally cost you your life’s savings. Owners of both homes and businesses need to know the flood insurance myths and facts. Continue reading

Posted in Apartment Association of Michigan, Articles & Information

U.S. Commercial Insurance Prices to Firm in 2013

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All signs indicate that insurance rates will continue their upward trend as indicated in this article.

Jason Vandeberghe

U.S. Commercial Insurance Prices to Firm in 2013: Marsh

Rates for commercial lines insurance will continue to rise in 2013 thanks to above average losses, low investment returns and receding reserve releases.

However, according to a new report published by Marsh, traditional signs of a conventional hard market have yet to occur. “Price increases are not uniform, capacity is plentiful, and competition among insurers remains intense,” says Marsh in its “US Insurance Market Report 2013.”

Superstorm Sandy’s effect on the property insurance market will likely temper what had been a generally improving rate environment for property insurance buyers in late 2012, Marsh said. Though the full effects of the storm are still being determined, decreases in property insurance pricing generally are unlikely in early 2013. Continue reading

Posted in Articles & Information, Education

Lawmakers Introduce Homeowner Catastrophe Protection Plan

Eileen JankowskiIn recent years there have been many weather-related catastrophes that have left many homeowners uncovered or unprepared.  One legislator has proposed a tax deferred reserve to help cover losses.

Eileen Jankowski, CIC

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 — Rep. Thomas J. Rooney, R-Fla. (17th CD), issued the following news release:

Today, Representatives Tom Rooney (R-FL), Theodore Deutch (D-FL), Michael G. Grimm (R-NY), and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced the Homeowner Catastrophe Protection Act of 2013. This legislation will provide tax incentives for homeowners and insurance companies to allow them to better prepare for and respond to future natural disasters.

“Families in Florida and across the country need peace of mind that when a hurricane or another natural disaster strikes, they’ll be prepared. This bipartisan, common sense bill will help homeowners protect their property from damage when possible and rebuild when a catastrophe does occur,” said Rep. Rooney.

Continue reading

Posted in Articles & Information, Education

Small Business Health Care Reform Guide and Tax Credit Calculators Now Available

ErinDaltonThis site provides a guide and tax credit calculator which should be helpful in navigating upcoming changes for business owners.

Erin Dalton

With the 2014 deadline looming for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, you likely have many questions about how the ACA will affect you, your business and your employees. Health Care Reform Connect™ was introduced last year to help you navigate the complexities of health care implementation – by offering online resources and tools, articles, webinars and our Member Health Care HelpLine. Now, you can download our free Small Business Health Care Reform guide by making a request at this link http://michbusiness.org/procs/requests/small-business-guide. This concise publication summarizes the major provisions, examines the impact on Michigan business, explains the concept of exchanges, offers suggestions about talking to employees and provides information about additional resources. Continue reading

Posted in Articles & Information, Education, Healthcare

New Michigan Laws on Independent Contractors Now in Effect

CharleyStaab_EmailBlast

The article will give the property manager and/or landlord, from a legal perspective, as to when they may be liable for an injury to a  tenant or visitor. You must be negligent to be held liable.

Charley Staab

If your business regularly utilizes the services of a person who you have designated to be an Independent Contractor, you should be aware that there has been a change in the Michigan Workers’ Compensation law pertaining to whether your company would be considered the independent contractor’s employer and liable for his/her workers’ compensation benefits. As of January 1, 2013, the Michigan legislature enacted a 20- factor test to determine if an employer/employee relationship exists for workers’ compensation liability. The 20-factors are:

1. INSTRUCTIONS: If your business requires the contractor comply with its instructions about when, where and how the service is to be done, the contractor could be considered an employee.
Continue reading

Posted in Apartment Association of Michigan, Articles & Information

What’s in Your Home?

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Wendy Light

 

Reprinted from Pioneer Mutual Website – Allison Hillaker

“You never know what you have until it’s gone.” You have probably heard the cliché before, but unfortunately, this is often proven true when a catastrophe strikes a home. Many homeowners believe they know what their possessions are worth. However, when a fire, storm or other disaster hits, they’re left scrambling, trying to determine the cost to replace their valuables.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2011’s severe weather caused $43 billion in damage, but yet still more than half of the nation’s homeowners don’t have an inventory of their possessions. Continue reading

Posted in Articles & Information