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EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1ST, CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS MANDATORY IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Effective January 1st, state law says landlords have to install carbon monoxide detectors on their properties.

When most people think of Carbon monoxide, they think of boating accidents, or people running the car in their garage. Well gas-fueled homes are on the increase in Washington and so is CO poisoning. Effective January 1st, state law says landlords have to install carbon monoxide detectors on their properties.

Greg Crawford owns 12 apartments along Birch Avenue in Richland.
He’s been a landlord here for more than a decade. None of his properties have carbon monoxide detectors right now.

“I don’t think a lot of people are aware. I haven’t had any tenants mention it, that they would like to have them.. carbon monoxide detectors,” Greg tells KEPR.

As of January First, every rental, hotel, apartment and remodel will have to have the detectors on each level of the home.

Greg says, “Mount them either in the ceiling or down low.”

Homes built after 2009, already have them. They weren’t required before that. Firefighters wish they were a requirement for every home. They’ve seen more cases of carbon monoxide poisoning over the years, which can come from a natural gas leak.

Batallion Chief Tod Kreutz explains, “More people are putting in gas.. we’re having more and more activations.”

In Washington, more people were hospitalized for C-O poisoning in recent years. From just 50 in 2008, to three times that last year.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be fatal, but it’s rare. It’s most common when there’s a power outage that lasts for a few days.This is what happened in Grant County back in 2007. A generator was brought inside a home for heat and three kids under age eight died from the fumes. It’s one more reason why firefighters say this is a cheap way to keep your family safe.

Tod continues, “It’s a minimal investment, to have some security in your home. The prices have gone down tremendously in the last few years for Carbon monoxide detectors.”

You can pick up an alarm at any general hardware store, costing anywhere from on sale here for about $25 up to $50.

Eventually, any homes sold will have to have C-O detectors, but laws are still in the works for that.

Another thing you should know, don’t save a buck by purchasing a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Smoke detectors last ten years, and carbon monoxide only six. Investing in them separately might save you in the end.

 

To read more, visit http://www.keprtv.com/news/local/New-state-laws-making-carbon-monoxide-detectors-mandatory-176348691.html

TENANT FILED COMPLAINTS ABOUT PARANORMAL ACTIVITY WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

Just in time for Halloween; the RPA announced today that tenant filed complaints about ghosts, hauntings, or paranormal activity will be taken seriously. The Agency known for providing formal complaint resolution for tenants in all 50 States is now officially legitimizing paranormal related apartment complaints.

“Our organization is not claiming to validate the existence of ghosts or hauntings,” states RPA Director: Scott Paxton; “but we are validating that this issue is a very real concern for some tenants who claim to be living in haunted apartments.” When unexplained paranormal activity prevents a tenant from their right of enjoyment; filing a formal complaint through the RPA Complaint Center will be treated like any other complaint and not dismissed.

According to an AP/Ipsos poll, located here; 1/3 of Americans believe in ghost. That’s more than 32 million tenants nationwide, as per the updated rental clock located on the Rental Protection Agency website: http://www.rentalprotectionagency.com/rental-statistics.php

The RPA will most likely take some heat from skeptics about this decision to formally accept paranormal related complaints; but the organization is more concerned protecting tenants rights than it is about turning their backs on tenants with legitimate concerns.

For more information on the Rental Protection Agency and their complaint center, please visit the official site located at: rentalprotectionagency.com

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebHaunted/Apartments/prweb10045383.htm

 

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Rental-Protection-Agency-Acts-as-Modern-Day-Ghost-3972728.php#ixzz2AM8LtNV0

APARTMENT OWNERS MAY BE LIABLE FOR GANG ACTIVITY

Federal agents and local police arrested four members and associates of a South Los Angeles street gang Thursday, the same day city prosecutors filed a civil injunction to force changes at an apartment complex that has been a center of gang activity, authorities said.

Those arrested Thursday  — all tied to the Denver Lane Blood gang — were Rodney Longmire, 29, of Lynwood; Jermaine McClelland, 36, and Marcus Washington, 40, both of Los Angeles; and Darrell Sanford, 29, of Hawthorne.

They also were named in a series of federal grand jury indictments unsealed Thursday and included Sanford’s brother Reginald, 35, of Compton; Damone Giles, 34, of Long Beach; Quincy Giles, 30, of Los Angeles, James Madison, 40, of Inglewood; and Luvvaughn Lovings McCoy, 35, of Los Angeles.

Two of those defendants were already in custody and two are fugitives, authorities said.

The indictments accuse the defendants of assorted drug and gang charges and are the result of a two-year investigation into the gang.

If convicted on all charges, each defendant could receive up to 40 years in federal prison.

Meanwhile, in a related action, the city attorney’s office said Thursday that it had filed a civil enforcement action that would impose court-ordered conditions against the owners of a two-story, 28-unit apartment building on the 800 block of West Imperial Highway known to be frequented by the Denver Lane Blood gang.

Prosecutors said the action was in response to ongoing gang crime at the location.

In arguing for the injunction the city attorney said that over the last five years there have been nearly two dozen arrests at the property for alleged drug sales, armed robberies, gang graffiti vandalism, gun possession and beatings of residents or visitors.

Between June and September of this year, law enforcement agencies reported that investigators made half a dozen purchases of crack cocaine from multiple Denver Lane gang members and associates in and around the apartment complex.

If approved, the injunction would prohibit the owners from allowing gang members to sell drugs or commit other crimes at the property and force them to make mandatory improvements to the property.

Those fixes would include installation of a controlled entry gate, improved lighting, video surveillance, tenant screening procedures and extensive background checks, the hiring of licensed security guards, and prohibiting known gang members from accessing the property, the injunction request states.

 

To read more, visit http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/feds-city-attorney-target-south-la-gang-with-indictments-injunction.html

PROPOSED CITY ORDINANCE WOULD HOLD LANDLORDS ACCOUNTABLE FOR NUISANCE TENANTS

Cedar Rapids officials are making a new push to identify nuisance rental properties — including those at or near where crimes take place — and to put in place a mechanism that can assess fees and pull rental licenses from landlords with repeat violations who don’t agree to remedy them.

This latest City Hall attempt to clamp down on nuisance rental properties, nuisance landlords and nuisance tenants is being modeled after programs in Davenport, Iowa City, Dubuque and elsewhere. At a joint meeting on Thursday, the City Council’s Development Committee and Public Safety Committee agreed to bring the nuisance abatement program to a vote of the full council in December.

Here’s how the program would work:

  • A central reporting system would be used to inform landlords each time an issue comes up at one of their properties, whether it is a police call or a violation of city housing, zoning or animal ordinances.
  • The system would assess points sufficient to label a property a nuisance with repeat violations.
  • A nuisance abatement coordinator would work with landlords to come up with a plan to abate the nuisance. Landlords would be billed for city costs related to the nuisance and could have a rental license pulled if they don’t work to remedy the problems.
  • The program would ask landlords to take part in a training program and require landlords to do criminal background checks on prospective tenants, either on their own or through a city-provided service.

Council member Monica Vernon, chairwoman of the Development Committee, said on Thursday that she understands that landlords have property rights and have expressed concerns about the city infringing on those rights with tougher nuisance regulations.

“We believe in property rights, but we also believe in the rights of neighborhoods,” Vernon said. “Other property owners shouldn’t be subjected to nuisance properties.”

Police Capt. Steve O’Konek and Kevin Ciabatti, the city’s building services manager, talked to the council committees on Tuesday about how much it costs the city to continually send police officers and city zoning and housing officials to the worst of the city’s nuisance properties.

O’Konek singled out five apartment complexes in the city, noting that each had hundreds of calls for police service in each of the last three years, a cost of which was estimated at $190 an hour per call.

“We’re not going to be the private security force for landlords who think they have a God-given right to rent to anyone without doing background checks,” council member Pat Shey, a Development Committee member, emphasized on Thursday.

Shey said an ordinance in Davenport that takes steps against nuisance rental properties has worked well and resulted in a drop in the crime rate. Less crime has gotten landlords behind the program, Shey said.

Cedar Rapids area landlords have not been happy with other recent attempts by City Hall to impose certain regulations. Landlords in 2011 succeeded in court to set aside the city’s attempt to require landlords to add a “crime-free addendum” to landlord-tenant leases.

Council member Justin Shields, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said Thursday that the new nuisance abatement ordinance is designed to take on those “who don’t know how to behave.” He said that sometimes is the tenant and sometimes the landlord.

“We’re going to make some corrections,” Shields vowed. “… Some things are going to change.”

Ciabatti noted that city officials have been meeting weekly for about six months with a group of “stakeholders” that have included landlords like Mari Davis.

Davis on Thursday said the proposed new program has some good features, but she said it has the same flaw – addressing crime through landlords and rental housing – that the city’s recent unsuccessful ordinance had tried to do.

Vernon said the city’s new proposal does not “meddle” with the landlord-tenant lease.

Steve Etzel, a landlord with many rental properties in the Cedar Rapids area, on Thursday said the city needs to go after tenants who commit crimes and not punish landlords because of them.

Etzel’s partner, Tom Bevard, said the new proposed ordinance would hold a landlord accountable for a police call to the landlord’s rental property even though the tenant may not have been charged by police and so isn’t in violation of his landlord-tenant lease. How does a landlord take action in such an instance? he wondered.

Bill Roemerman, the Cedar Rapids attorney who represented local landlords against the city in the dispute over the crime-free addendum to rental agreements, on Thursday said he agreed with the “spirit” of the proposed city ordinance, but he said he wasn’t sure about using the ordinance to control the behavior of the tenant.

O’Konek said the current plan is to start to implement the new ordinance, if the council approves it, on March 1 with full implementation next July 1.

To read more, visit http://thegazette.com/2012/10/19/cedar-rapids-again-targeting-nuisance-landlords-tenants/

“SUSHI DEFENSE” SAVES TENANT FROM EVICTION

AN EAST VILLAGE woman won a six-year fight to stay in her rent-stabilized  apartment Tuesday thanks in part to her unorthodox “sushi defense.”

Masako Mogi, who has lived in her $992-a-month studio at 409 E. Sixth St.  since 1980, was facing eviction due to her landlord’s claim that the  below-market digs were not her primary residence.

The landlord had hoped to boot Mogi, renovate the apartment and more than  double the rent — the going rate in the chic neighborhood of bars and former  cold-water tenements.

The building owner had presented records showing Mogi used a below-average  amount of electricity — evidence she spent most of her time in a second home in  Westminster, Vt.

But Mogi testified that she often eats out, orders takeout or makes sushi,  which doesn’t require much juice.

And her neighbors also testified they saw Mogi in the building “constantly,” swaying the Appellate Division to rule 3-2 in Mogi’s favor.

“I’m so excited I can’t talk. Emotion is taking over me,” Mogi told the Daily  News.

“She’s overcome,” her neighbor, Howard Weil, said as he grabbed the phone.  “She’s had four landlords during her case. They put her through a lot.”

Unless it’s appealed, the ruling ends a six-year battle to evict Mogi on the  grounds that her studio was not her primary residence.

The corporate owners contend that Mogi, a retired Japanese/English  interpreter, really lives in Westminster, Vt., in a small cabin that she bought  in 1990.

The Appellate Division majority said that when Civil Court Judge Jean  Schneider ruled in 2008 that Mogi’s landlords could evict her, Schneider put too  much emphasis on one barometer of residency: Mogi’s bank and credit card  records.

Schneider said she was persuaded that bank and credit card records showed  more activity for Vermont than New York and she concluded that Mogi stayed in  Manhattan only 45% of the time between 2004 and 2006, when her lease  expired.

Tenants who spend less than half a year in their rent-stabilized apartments  are considered to have primary residences elsewhere and can be evicted.

Mogi’s lawyer, Steven DeCastro, argued it was impossible to tell who used  the credit cards and bank in Vermont because Mogi shares her Vermont house, car,  bank account and credit cards with a long-time companion who mostly lives  there.

“An apartment should not be decontrolled merely because its tenant decides  to spend her weekends, holidays and vacation days in a second home that she  shares with a long-term friend and companion,” the judges said.

The appellate judges noted that Schneider said she was not persuaded by most  of the landlord’s other evidence.

For example, the landlord showed Mogi had below-average electrical use for  her studio. Mogi testified that she often eats out, orders takeout or makes  sushi, which doesn’t require electricity.

The appellate judges noted that Mogi’s apartment was furnished, and the  trial judge did not question the credibility of other tenants who testified that  they saw Mogi “constantly” in the building between 2004 and 2006.

“Under any fair interpretation of the record, a clear preponderance of the  probative and credible evidence supports the conclusion that the tenant was  using the New York apartment as her primary residence,” the judges said.

Justice James Catterson, who dissented from the majority opinion, rejected  Mogi’s sushi defense and said her average electric usage — 55 to 133 kilowatt  hours a month compared with 200 to 250 kilowatts for studios of that size — was  proof that she didn’t live there frequently enough.

 

To read more, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fishy-sushi-defense-article-1.1173319