After years of upward momentum, the national rental market took a definitive slide during the pandemic as many tenants bunked with family and friends to both save money and have some companionship during long shelter-in-place orders. One out of every 14 multifamily properties in the U.S. saw occupancy drop by 5 percent or more between April 2020 and April 2021, according to a study of Yardi Matrix data.
Property owners nationwide should anticipate across-the-board utility increases in 2021, with some jurisdictions expected to see double-digit rate hikes. Yet there are proactive steps owners can take now to hedge against these additional expenses.
Like many property owners, I was shocked when Oregon became the first in the nation to pass statewide rent control. Overnight, housing providers throughout the state had to deal with a new set of restrictions on when and how much they can raise rents, as well as major new limits on no-fault evictions.
Over the last few years we’ve seen financial incentives have a huge impact on making sustainability appealing and accessible for a wide variety of property owners. For example, there is no doubt that California’s comprehensive tax credits and other incentive programs contributed to the boom in solar power over the last five years or so.
The winter is the only time of year when some property owners actually look forward to receiving their water bills. Thanks to the season’s heavy rains, there is no need to water outdoor plants, bringing monthly totals down substantially from the dry summer highs.
After a supremely stormy January and an even wetter February, it can be tempting to wish for an early end to our annual rainy season. But given the relatively dry November and December we saw, the 580 billion gallons of water we got statewide last month was exactly what we needed to bring us back to normal levels, according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News. We’ll need more of the same this month to keep us out of drought conditions this summer, but it’s anyone’s guess what lies ahead.
In 2018, the California legislature passed several laws that encourage the sustained use of renewable energy sources. Most pertinent to property owners is Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 700, which extends the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) to 2024 and expands the beloved rebate program to include up to $800 million for energy storage equipment. “SGIP supports the deployment of solar, wind turbines, microturbines, fuel cells, energy storage and other distributed energy technologies by utility customers,” according to an article on the bill’s passage in Energy Storage News.