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There is a lot to be happy about if you are a landlord.

The rental market has rallied back, and overall, the multifamily market fared significantly better during the recession than many other sectors of the economy. Investors continue to see traction, and apartments are still touted as a solid investment.

A new report out this week from the National Association of Realtors shows that while some commercial sectors are dogged by slow job growth, the multifamily market is expected to see tightening demand and higher rents.

Jobs — or the lack thereof — continues to be the central economic predictor for the housing markets.

Job instability and finicky lending practices have led to a repackaging of the American Dream — homeownership simply is not what it used to be.

Affordable housing for those in the middle — too rich to qualify for assistance, but unable to find high-paying jobs — is in very high demand. The federal government has been looking into ways to spread aid and increase inventory and at the same time move stymied REO’s out into the rental market.

While very little is being said about housing market strategy on the national stage, it is creeping into local politics.

In North Dakota, political hopefuls are shopping solutions to the lack of housing for incoming oil workers amid fears of triggering the neighborhood blight that comes after a boom goes bust. One solution on the table is to allow temporary structures — campers, which can disappear at the same time work runs out.

Local governments across the country have been targeting landlords as they attempt to offload expenses associated with vacant or aging properties. No one geographic area or political party dominates when it comes to increased fees for rental businesses.

In addition to local regulation, landlords are seeing statewide increases in property insurance premiums, with rate hikes as high as 50% in some cases. State regulators are questioning the need for such sharp rises, and are examining what role, if any, they should play in leveling market waves.

At the same time, some towns with beleaguered budgets are doubling down on property owners when tenants skip out on their water bills, or asking landlords to take on more responsibility for policing tenant crime.

Mortgage lenders have stepped up and accepted blame for their part in the foreclosure crisis — or rather the REO crisis — but state and federal governments are questioning what level of regulation is needed to assure the housing market does not relapse.

The Center for American Progress wants to bring housing front and center during the presidential campaign season. Frustrated by the virtual silence on the issues, CAP has publicized a list of topics it would like to see addresses, including what to do about underwater homeowners, community revitalization, reviving the dream of homeownership, how to manage government mortgage insurers, and what to do about the looming threat of predatory lending practices.

Whether these questions will be answered remains to be seen, but soon landlords will need to make a choice.

What will you do? Click here to participate in the AAOA Presidential Poll. We will share the results with you, so you can see how your views compare with other landlords throughout the country.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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