Freedom First REIA, Ltd.


Freedom First REIA, LTD

Student Housing Contracts & COVID-19: What will Happen?


Landlords that rent out their properties for off-campus housing may be facing a bind. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused world-wide disruption in countless ways, creating economic issues. The housing market is no exception.

When it comes to student loan housing, landlords face the present challenge ahead. Some college students have left to be with their families and others have lost their jobs that pay for rent. This causes a dilemma for landlords that house off-campus students across the nation.

While students are trying to get out of contracts early, this creates a situation for the landlord. How will landlords bridge the gap?

For landlords that count on the rent to pay the monthly mortgage on the rented property are in a tough spot.

There is certainly compassion for students and landlords stuck in this quandary. If students are released early from their contracts, landlords bear the financial brunt of  the truncated agreement. 

“As the student housing industry grapples with how to respond to the pandemic, there is much uncertainty with how this will impact markets and leasing velocity,” says Christian O’Lone, regional property manager with DMG Investments. As stated via stud

Temporary Pause on Evictions and Foreclosures: Will it be Enough?


New York State, among other states, has taken action to halt evictions during the current pandemic. New York’s Chief Administrative, Judge Lawrence Malks, stated in a memo that starting Tuesday, eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders will be suspended statewide until further notice.

The White House also issued a press-release stating HUD, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will suspend foreclosures to the end of April. If the health crisis continues at this level, that won’t be enough. 

That’s roughly one monthly mortgage payment for some mortgages. 

If evictions are postponed indefinitely, but mortgage lapse has a time limit until the end of next month, the gap is concerning. Landlords, rightly so, worry that if renters  are unable to pay longer term, then how will the property owner pay their lender? Small-scale proprietors making up the difference isn’t a solution, another adjustment will have to be made in the near future.

Are there additional actions that can be made in the longer interim? Comment below with any beneficial thoughts, opinions or solutions.

*Because of the fast-changing pace of information during this time, all details above

Coronavirus & Investing: What's Your Opinion?


Is the spread of coronavirus cause for concern when it comes to investing in real estate?

Although we shouldn’t take this turn of events lightly, there is no need to be over-alarmed. Panicking disrupts versus constructively approaching the issue with a level head. As investors, it's important to have a beneficial conversation about the potential impact.

We want to hear from you, what are your thoughts and opinions? Please share in the comment section below.

Here are some resources to read and consider:


Three Key Tips to Property Management: with Karl Weekes


Is property management easy? 

If you go into it blindly, you may end up learning some lessons the hard way. It helps to have a set of resources, tools and advice going into property management that others have learned along the way.

Karl Weekes has over 35 years of experience and lessons learned along the way. We won’t be sharing all of his advice today, but here are highlights to consider when investing and maintaining a property. Make sure to join us for the upcoming session on March 21st for more!

1. Attract Quality Tenants. 

One of the most important lessons is to learn how to attract and identify quality tenants. This aspect directly effects the income and expense side of the equation. Bad tenants could ruin you and wipe you out. This is key to maintaining sustainability in managing property.

Deals and all negotiations with tenants must be a win-win outcome to succeed. The art of listening is an important part to this equation.  Creative problem solving is very rewarding - go for it!

The tenant is the lifeline to financial success. In the upcoming session, we’ll talk more about how you can attract the right occupant.

2. Educate & Equip

Never undervalue the importance of education, networking and mentorship. Make sure you are educated on what you are getting into. This is essential.

You need to have the real numbers and put them in a cash flow analyzer before you start investing. Acquire your property the right way, with all of the information up front. Know answers to questions like “What is the vacancy rate?”; this varies by area. Find that out and know your market.

For longevity, make sure you have a team of people, this is not a solo act: a real estate agent, insurance consultant, attorney, skill set advisors, coach and contractors (just to name a few). There are so many different jobs when owning property, you need to know what it entails beforehand, whether you do it yourself or have someone you’ll hire to do it for you.

You thought you bought an Investment ?  Nope you bought a business and it’s not a hobby – treat it as such. This an active investment not a passive one – make sure you have the time and understanding that this is an “on the job training” and it’s a time involved endeavor!

There is so much to know and understand to succeed. and it changes DAILY - becoming a member to a group like FFREIA is a fast track to get there. the networking and educational opportunities are second to none.

3. Plan, Adapt & Adjust

If you are in it for the long haul -  establishing an "operating system" is  mandatory. What is an OS?  again a constant moving system - Process, procedures, forms, establish criteria that the system works for you and you are not a slave to your properties.

You want an automated process, especially when it comes to quantity.

Have a plan and system but be ready to adjust when the time comes. Learn to adapt and adjust - Managing properties is a moving target on a daily basis. Rules, codes, Market forces etc.. change literally in a daily basis. Change is inevitable. Deal with it!

All of these tips directly impact your income and expense side of the equation or the deal - whether its success for failure - you want to be on the SUCCESS side.

For more on property management, make sure to check out the Investor Academy conference with Karl Weekes. He’ll be diving into more content and will share his years of expertise and lessons learned.Meet like-minded investors and gain knowledge about long-term investment. Visit: for more details and to register.

Hope to see you there!

FFREIA Membership


Are you a landlord or real estate investor? Are you new to the game and aren’t sure where to begin? Freedom First Real Estate Investors Association (Freedom First REIA) provides many  membership advantages that landlords and real estate investors can benefit from.

Becoming a member of Freedom First REIA can help investors, landlords, and even people considering getting into real estate, gain knowledge about the job, the sacrifices, and how to help handle certain situations. Members have the opportunities to communicate with professionals who are experts in their fields. With the Freedom First REIA membership you automatically get a membership to National REIA that can give you access to even more tools and benefits.

Find the support you need as a landlord at our monthly landlord support meetings, whether you’re having trouble finding the right tenants or just want to connect with other investors. These session topics range from tenant selection, property management, laws and regulations. For investors, landlord or not, another group meets twice a month called Alternative Real Estate Investing Strategies (AREIS), where we discuss various investment strategi

Rent Control: A 2019 Recap and a 2020 Look Forward


Housing affordability has always been an issue for our country, but its spread beyond the coasts and to middle-income households has increased momentum behind calls for rent control and other draconian measures as a “quick fix” to the problem. Much is at stake for our industry as more than half of the total number of apartment units nationwide are at risk of potential new rent control regulations.

In 2018, the industry spent more than $75 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would have rolled back that state’s rent control restrictions. While the victory drew a line in the sand and showed the industry is prepared and ready to fight unwise and failed policies, another ballot initiative has already qualified for 2020. Moreover, two states enacted “anti-gouging” rent caps this year, setting a potential precedent for other states to follow. This memo provides a summary of actions taken in 2019 and offers a preview of what we expect in 2020. Suffice it to say, we have several fights on our hands in the year ahead.

2019 Review:

The year served as one of the most turbulent in recent memory for the multifamily industry, punctuated with major victories and defeats. The resulting rent control policies in 2019 have already led to a significant decline in investment in those areas as found in NMHC’s October Quarterly Survey. Here’s a look at where we saw the most action:

In February, Oregon lawmakers adopted the nation’s first statewide rent control legislation, capping rent increases at seven percent plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI), to be no more than 10 percent. Units developed within the past 15 years are exempt.

In New York, lawmakers enacted a sweeping expansion of the state’s existing rent control policies. Perhaps most importantly, the law makes it nearly impossible to recoup investment in rent-regulated apartments, including limiting major capital improvements to just $15,000 per unit. Moreover, rent control can now be applied to any jurisdiction in the state of New York, whereas it was previously limited to the New York City area.

Following in the steps of Oregon, California also passed a statewide rent cap (five percent plus CPI or 10 percent, whichever is less) despite voters rejecting the 2018 ballot initiative designed to expand rent control. This new law does not preempt existing California rent control statutes, most of which are more onerous than the new statewide law. It simply sets a cap for areas without rent control and overlays existing laws. Units built within the past 15 years are exempt.

Bills were introduced in Colorado, Illinois and Nevada seeking to lift statewide preemption of rent control. With a concerted industry push, each measure failed to make it out of the respective state house committees.

At the federal level, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced a proposal to limit rent increases to the greater of three percent or the percentage increase of CPI. To date, the bill has not received serious consideration.

Housing has also become a priority for the Democratic presidential candidates, with each staking out a variety of positions on the issue. While we are pleased to see that some of the candidates are emphasizing policies focused on the supply shortage, we are discouraged that a number are also including rent control in their housing platforms. Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) housing platform promotes a national cap on rent increases at no more than three percent or 1.5 times CPI (whichever is higher). Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would require states to repeal rent control preemption laws to be eligible to receive any new affordable housing money.

2020 Outlook:

If 2019 proved anything, it’s that this has the potential to be an existential threat to the industry and something that needs to be a priority, not just for NMHC, but also our member firms. To help you understand what we are facing in 2020, the following is an assessment of some of the anticipated threats.

  • Despite the defeat in 2018, the proponents of stricter California rent control have already secured enough signatures to put another initiative in the ballot in 2020. It cost the industry $75 million to defeat the 2018 ballot initiative. Given the expected higher turnout for 2020, a presidential election, not to mention higher advertising costs in a presidential election year, this would suggest that the upcoming initiative will be as expensive or more.
  • In Colorado and Illinois, we expect a return of measures that would eliminate their statewide rent control preemptions. In each state, Democrats control both chambers of the legislature as well as the governorship, meaning that rent control could move very quickly from a proposal to a law unless a vigorous defense is mounted. Notably, in Illinois, Chicago teachers included rent control as a demand for settling their recent strike. The Nevada legislature will not convene in 2020, but it is likely that rent control measures will arise in 2021.
  • In Massachusetts, a bill to remove the statewide preemption will receive its first hearing in January 2020. While Republican Governor Charlie Baker supports solutions that address the lack of housing supply, rent control amendments to the bill are expected.
  • While Washington State maintains a statewide preemption, the Seattle City Council is nonetheless actively pushing for rent control. In the November elections, City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant – an outspoken rent control advocate – defeated a candidate heavily backed by Amazon, which opposed rent control.
  • There have long been rent control rumblings in Minnesota. While the state has preemption provisions, the Minneapolis City Council is officially studying rent control as an option to address housing affordability.
  • In New Jersey, where some cities already impose rent control, lawmakers introduced a measure in late 2019 that would set a statewide rent cap at five percent plus CPI or 10 percent, whichever is lower. The proposal is likely to receive consideration in this year’s legislative session.
  • Florida and Utah lawmakers also introduced measures in 2019 that would remove the state preemption on rent control. The bills are poised for consideration in the new year.
  • With Democrats in control of all statewide elected offices and the General Assembly in Virginia, and the pending arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 in Northern Virginia, it is possible that rent control will be raised.
  • Though Michigan preempts local municipalities from imposing rent control, the Ann Arbor City Council is pursuing the policy. It remains to be seen how the issue will proceed in the state.
  • While Georgia also has a preemption against rent control, Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown recently introduced a resolution encouraging the state to allow cities to pass rent control legislation.
Housing affordability is clearly top-of-mind for many lawmakers, but the fact remains that too many view rent control as a source of immediate relief while they work out longer term solutions that address the supply shortage. NMHC continues to advance real solutions to the housing affordability crisis and to push back on misguided rent control. To that end, NMHC is dedicated to making sure you are aware of all of our resources at your disposal.

NMHC’s rent control resource page includes news, information and resources on the topic. You can also sign up here to receive critical updates directly from NMHC.

Growing Homes Together, our web site which provides you not only with the latest news on rent control across the country (sign up for the newsletter), but also offers talking points, op-eds and much more to help you make arguments against rent control.

NMHC’s Housing Affordability Toolkit explains the cost drivers behind apartment development and delves into the best practices behind several tools that will actually address the affordability challenge.

NMHC’s Affordable Housing webpage is a source of the latest news on housing affordability in general:

For more resources on rent control:

Press Release: Under One Roof Coalition


For Immediate Release

February 12, 2020

UNDER ONE ROOF Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Reject
Good Cause Eviction and Universal Rent Control Legislation
Bill would hinder property owners’ ability to make improvements to
apartments and buildings, deter small business ownership, reduce
the availability of quality units throughout the state
ALBANY, NY – The Under One Roof Coalition today called on lawmakers to
reject the Good Cause Eviction and Universal Rent Control proposals that have
been introduced in the legislature.

“If this legislation were enacted into law, it would reduce the housing stock
across the state and deter others from owning property,” said coalition leader
Deborah Pusatere, a local landlord and President of the New York Capital
Region Apartment Association (NYCRAA).

“The Good Cause Eviction Bill creates a universal rent control model that would
be the most restrictive to date in the country. The amended bill caps rent
increases at 3 percent, an amount that would fail to cover tax increases,
inflation, annual operating costs and improvements required to meet
compliance standards of housing codes, ” said coalition leader Jaime Michelle
Cain, a partner at Boyl

Rent Control: Should Landlords or Investors Be Worried?



Not long ago, The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) passed a law right before   the NYC rent control laws expired. Keep reading before you zone out wondering, “why would this matter in Rochester?”

Those who rent out property within New York State will be impacted. Part G and Part M in Section 1 changes the way housing providers can control, maintain and practice when it comes to multi-family housing.

Part G indicates that any locality in New York State can now enact rent control if a “declaration of emergency” is enacted around available housing apartments. Based off the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (EPTA) of 1974, a declaration of emergency can be made if there is a rental vacancy rate less than 5% in the area.