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Vacancy Rate for the beginning of April

First Rate Property Management’s vacancy increased this first week of April to 3.7%. We may see another slight increase next week as we have more tenants move out, but then as we fill your rentals, the vacancy rate should decrease each remaining week. Our inquiry traffic has increased quite a bit. So that means we are entering the rental season. People are starting to surf the net and call to find a new place to move in to.

Job gains across much of the economy eased Idaho unemployment a tenth of a percentage point in March, the first decline in the jobless rate in 32 months. New jobs exceeded new job seekers for the first time in three years in another sign that Idaho's economy may have started to recover, quoted from state labor officials.

One of the tricks that we learned over the years is to use exterior rated paint for the interior. Why? For one, it is quite a bit more durable, so it holds up better. Another good reason is that it can easily be washed. So between tenants, we can wash the walls and minimize the amount of spot painting needed. And for those areas that do need touched up, the slight sheen difference from lot to lot has little to no effect on the paint that we use. The paint costs more, but once you have a full paint with it, you can go many more years between another full paint and your spot painting should be minimal. So it looks great and saves money in the long term.

We don’t hear too many complaints from our owners. Of the complaints I do hear, most are regarding our policies on Fair Housing issues and more specifically, those pertaining to reasonable accommodations. I have posted an article that was originally titled Fair Housing and Disability written by another local property manager for you to read. I renamed the article, “It’s a Horse of Course”. You are right, there are companies out there that ignore reasonable accommodations or find ways to work around them. In my opinion, they are putting you and themselves at great risk, as the costs can put you out of business overnight. Recently, I’ve seen two property managers decide to get out of the business due to Fair Housing complaints. I’ve had a number of self-managed owners take my property management class, who, after receiving Fair Housing complaints, wanted to sell their rental properties. Additionally, First Rate Property Management has taken on a number of properties where the owners were burned and needed someone to protect them. I know, I hear your complaints, but I am here to tell you, you need to take a conservative approach to Fair Housing.

Tony Drost
Boise Area Rental Market

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