Our President's Message
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
This month we have invited some of the candidates running for the city council. There are several this election cycle. The Lincoln City Council is the most immediate government to affect our industry and
We, as an organization have tried to develop a good relationship with city council members because they can change and make ordinances that require certain actions and that are direct costs to our businesses. We constantly hear talk about a lack of affordable housing in our community. Unfortunately, most of the recent changes and most of the proposed changes in ordinances and fees in the housing arena cause increases in affordable housing costs.
Those expenses must be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents or reduced services. So as we learn more about candidates for the city council, the school board, and the Mayor’s office, remember that these are the folks who can literally make or break us. Please become educated on the issues and candidates. You must vote accordingly but you should also try to educate friends, family, and neighbors and ask them to vote for pro-private property rights and free-market candidates.
Before our member meeting on March 23rd, the Nebraska Legislature Judiciary committee will hold
hearings on several anti-Landlord bills. We have sent instructions to all members on how to make a comment about these bills for the official hearing record. In addition, many members of REOMA and
SPOA will testify in opposition to these bills.
The Omaha association (MOPOA) members have also been asked to make comments for the record. Again these bills if passed will make it more expensive to be profitable and result in higher rents and or fewer affordable housing units in our state. Please consider
giving direct financial support to SPOA even though part of your REOMA dues supports SPOA and the
lobbyist hired to represent us.
I am reading about rents coming down in different parts of the county or the rate of rent increases slowing down in others. The local market determines how much rent we can charge, through competition. The market has a built-in lag in the form of term leases.
So, as we raise rents attempting to cover increases in property taxes and other higher expenses the market will provide signals to us in the form of more vacancies if we go beyond what tenants are willing to pay. Most of the market reaches an equilibrium over time. Regardless rents should be raised at each opportunity in order to spread out the burden of increased costs over time and among our tenants.
Waiting to raise rents until the pressure on our bottom line is too much to bear causes too much stress on our tenants. We should want to keep them as long as possible. So small increases more often is the fairest method.
Enjoy the warming weather and the joys of spring and see you at our next meeting.
Lynn Fisher, President