Dwellings Delight

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You’ve Lost Control


We were recently hired to manage a property for a client who had lost total control of his tenants and building.  Background Information:  Our client had previously employed a property management company who not only did not collect rent from one of its tenants (“problem tenant”) for 7 months, but when other tenants complained about the condition of the building and daily aggravations, the property management company ignored them as well.  This “problem tenant” stopped paying rent and infested the entire building and other units with roaches and other pests. Due to this “problem tenant”, two other tenants in the building refused to pay rent.  The owner did his part in hiring fumigation companies to exterminate the problem on multiple occasions, but it did little good since the problem was constantly there.

First thing first, we had to help the client realize that he can no longer afford to ignore this issue nor the reality of having lost control of his property.  It was crucial that he made it his top priority to get the eviction ball rolling on this “problem tenant”.  After two months, the problem was resolved with the tenant leaving and the other two tenants are back on track with paying their monthly rent.

There are many perks to owning rental properties and being a landlord and when it is done correctly, it can be very profitable.  With the uncertainties of the rising and falling of the market, investors of rental properties can profit from the steady stream of income.  Whether you decide to manage your investment yourself or opt to hire a property management company, it is important that you keep a close eye on your investment, because ultimately you are the one responsible.  Don’t allow mismanagement cause you nightmares. Good Luck.

Happy Chinese New Year-The Year of the Dragon

Oakland Museum New Year Celebration

For more information, please click on the link Oakland Museum

OMCA Lunar New Year Celebration and Other Asian Traditions | Year of the Dragon
Jan 29, 2012 | 12:00 – 4:30 pm
OMCA ‘s 11th annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Other Asian Traditions: Year of the Dragon features a full afternoon of celebration, festivities, performances, demonstrations, and workshops that include elements of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tibetan, and other Asian cultures.

Treat the whole family to a fun, fortune-filled family event to welcome the Year of the Dragon.  The celebration gets off to a roaring start with a lion dance.  The day is filled with music and dance; performances by the Red Panda Acrabats and Cambodian rapper RJ Sin; magicians and Japanese mochi pounding; storytelling; Chinese-opera face painting; a demonstration of making Tibetan prayer flag (and the chance to make one to take home); hands-on family activities; demonstrations of Asian cooking; a reading and book signing by Oliver Chin of his new book Year of the Dragon; and so much more, including special presentation celebrating Fred Korematsu Day (January 30), with a film screening and talk by his daughter Karen Korematsu.  The day ends with a rousing Dragon dance through the the Museum grounds! 

Make your own Lunar New Year Lantern!  Download the project here (PDF).

Dwellings Delight

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Dwellings Delight



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Preparing for Chinese New Year

Hi Everyone,

Chinese New Year is on January 23 this year, and as the Lunar New Year inches closer, it is time to prepare for the welcoming of its arrival. It is important to start the New Year off with a positive attitude, love in your heart, great intentions and hopeful dreams. Your decision on how you spend your first day of New Year, will be an indication of how you will spend the remainder of the year. The more positive energy you send out, the more positive energy you will receive in return. It is great that we are given a fresh start each year, with the opportunity to look back on our accomplishments and blessing and to learn and/or correct our mistakes from the previous year. With that all being said, let’s get started.

1. It is important to thoroughly clean your entire house. This is an opportunity for you to donate and toss out any old items that have been sitting in your cabinets, closets, and garage. And, when I say, “clean”, I don’t mean, simply wiping down some dust particles on your TV and calling it a day- clean, but, clean-as get rid of stuff, sweep, mop, vacuum, wash dishes, scrub grease, kill bacteria, throw out rotten food in fridge- clean.

2. The same goes for your office…

3. and car(s)

4. Don’t forget to have your hair cut

5. New undergarments and PJ’s are a must too (it was down to the last hour last year when we hit Target in search for PJ’s, don’t make the same mistake-it was very stressful).

6. Shower the night before

7. Do purchase some citrus trees, plants, flowers, and fruits (mandarin and orange trees are great options)

8. Fill your candy dish with sweets and nuts to offer to your guests

9. To ensure that you will have wealth all year long, be sure your wallet is fully stocked with cash

10. And, last but not least, think of increments of 8. The number that symbolizes wealth and prosperity.

Keep in mind, out with old-negative energy and in with the new “awesome” energy. The more “old” you can get rid of, the more “new” you will be able to receive. Wishing you all a fabulous year!

Photo Challenge: Happy Spots in Your Home: Mrs. “D”


Mrs. D’s Happy Spot

The “No One Puts Baby in the Corner”

Though the corner may not be an ideal spot for some, Mrs. D and her family prefer it.  A gifted, recycled upholstered chair and DIY pillows, make this repurposed gem both eco-friendly and loved.  “Haha, This came to us with a slight fishiness smell, we took turns spraying it down with air fresheners and allowed it time to air out.  We all love it!”

Business Tax-Oakland

Hi Everyone,

We’re still several months away from March, but  I’m surprised to learn that many residential rental property owners in the city of Oakland are unaware of the Business Tax Requirements for Oakland.  To avoid fines and penalties, pay on time.  Deadline is March 1, 2012, for more information please contact the City of Oakland and/or your tax advisor.  For your convenience, please see below for more information from the City of Oakland.  source

** This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor tax advice. Readers should not rely on it as such.**


BUSINESS TAXBusiness Tax Requirements




…A helpful guide for the business community…




Phone #(510) 238-3704

Fax # (510) 238-7128


Office Hours:
MONDAY – FRIDAY 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM Oakland, CA 94612 – 2011



This page was developed to provide the business community with information regarding Business Tax requirements.



All persons conducting business within the City of Oakland.  Included are commercial/industrial and residential rental property owners, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, service companies, self-employed persons, independent contractors and businesses conducted within one’s home, and non-profit organizations.  If your business office is located in Oakland, you need to obtain a zoning clearance from the Zoning Division prior to commencing your business.  They are located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd floor, (510) 238-3911. When applying, please allow yourself enough time to complete your transaction. Taxpayers are assisted on a first come, first serve basis. Staff will make every attempt to assist you as quickly as possible.  For applications, click here.



With your initial application, you are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of $30.  In addition, you may elect to furnish a first year estimated tax base and pay a first year estimated tax.



Business Tax must be paid ANNUALLY, not later than March 1st of each year.  It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to renew the business tax on time.




l.     If you are using a fictitious business name, contact the Fictitious Business Names Office at 1106 Madison Street, (510) 272-6363.


2.     If you intend to sell or solicit door-to-door or along city streets, you must obtain a peddlers and/or solicitors application from our office.  Complete the application and take it to the Oakland Police Department located at 455-7th St., Room 306 for processing. When Peddler/Solicitor ID card is issued, return to our office to apply for your Business Tax Certificate.


3.     All food establishments are required to obtain a health permit (prior to submitting your application for a City of Oakland Business Tax Certificate) from the Alameda County Environmental Health Office, 1131 Harbor Bay, Alameda (510) 567-6700.


4.     Business owners intending to sell alcoholic beverages must obtain applicable licenses (prior to applying for the Business Tax Certificate) from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208; (510) 622-4970.


5.     Those persons engaged in retail or wholesale activities should contact the State Board of Equalization, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 303; (510) 622-4100 (State Sales Tax Requirements).




Upon approval of the Business Tax Section a taxpayer may transfer the Business Tax Certificate under the following conditions:


1.     The transferor must have a current Business Tax Certificate that has been issued for the calendar year in which the request to transfer is made.


2.     The transferee must assume Business Tax Liability retroactive to January 1st of the year in which a transfer is made, i.e., the tax base to be used for renewal in the immediate following year must include that of the transferor from January 1 to the date of transfer, and of the transferee from the date of transfer to December 31 of the year in which the transfer occurs.


3.     Pay a Transfer Fee of $15.00.











250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320

Oakland, CA  94612


Phone (510) 238-3704

Fax      (510) 238-7128

Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday


Visa, Mastercard, Discover, ATM and ATM check cards accepted.


This page does not constitute final or complete interpretation of all legal requirements that may apply to your particular type of business. There are other taxes and/or fees that may apply. Please give complete and accurate information when submitting your application.


Smoke Detectors Save Lives

I recently read an article on SF Gate regarding the San Leandro fire that took the lives of a 48 year old woman as well as her two dogs.

San Leandro house fire kills woman, 2 dogs

Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Michael Macor / The Chronicle

Alameda County Fire Battalion Chief Ronnie Oatis responds to a fatal fire at 1071 Broadmoor Blvd. in San Leandro.

A woman and her two dogs died when her San Leandro home caught fire early Monday.

The woman, Valorie Rogers-Rumph, 48, did not have working smoke alarms and died in her bedroom, probably of smoke inhalation, firefighters said.

At 7:10 a.m. Monday, Alameda County firefighters received a report of a house fire at 1071 Broadmoor Blvd. in San Leandro, said Aisha Knowles, a spokeswoman for the Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived within minutes and saw smoke pouring out of the home’s attic. They searched the single-story home and found Rogers-Rumph in her bedroom, Knowles said.

They dragged her out of the home and immediately began CPR, Knowles said. Rogers-Rumph was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Rogers-Rumph’s two dogs, a rottweiler and a pit bull, were found dead in a hallway. They were not chained or caged, Knowles said.

The fire appears to have started in the kitchen or hallway and spread to the attic, Knowles said. Firefighters put it out within 10 minutes of arriving, she said.

“You can’t even see that there was a fire from outside the house,” she said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

E-mail Will Kane at wkane@sfchronicle.com.

Find full article here.

What a sad story. However, this was a tragedy that could have been prevented. Everyone has experienced the occasional annoyance of a false alarm, that is as painful as nails on chalkboard, but the truth of the matter is, smoke detectors save thousands of lives each year. I hope this article reminds those who haven’t installed smoke detectors in their homes to do so straight away. Do not wait until it is too late. A smoke alarm can run you as little as $14.00 at your neighborhood hardware store. And, for those that have detectors installed, check alarms to be sure they are in working order.

For those interested in learning more, please continue ready. Additional information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Test All Smoke Alarms (Detectors) and Annually Replace Batteries
Develop and Rehearse an Escape Plan

CPSC Document #5077

You can prevent tragedies simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan. All smoke alarms in your house should be tested once a month, and their batteries replaced annually. Every family should develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends these measures because working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan will increase your protection in case of a fire.
Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep.
Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by enabling residents to detect fires early in their development. The risk of dying from fires in homes without smoke alarms is twice as high as in homes that have working smoke alarms.
All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month to make sure they operate properly. If a smoke alarm is battery operated, replace the batteries at least once a year to make sure the alarm will work when it is needed. It’s a good practice to make replacement of batteries a seasonal routine, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.

If your battery-powered smoke alarm begins to emit a low-power warning, usually a chirping sound, replace the battery immediately with a fresh one. This will ensure that your smoke alarm will continue to provide protection.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions
for testing your smoke alarm.

Never disable your smoke alarm, even if you experience “nuisance” alarms while cooking or showering. Clean the smoke alarm following the manufacturer’s instructions, and if possible relocate it away from the kitchen or bathroom. If nuisance alarms are a persistent problem, you may need to look for a different type of smoke alarm. A photoelectric smoke alarm is less sensitive to common causes of false alarms. Some smoke alarms have a silencing feature, so nuisance alarms can be stopped quickly and easily.

At the same time you replace your smoke alarm batteries, replace the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. About 150 people die each year from non-fire, carbon monoxide poisoning associated with home fuel-burning heating equipment. For more information on CO, see CPSC Publication #466.

Children Sleeping Through Smoke Alarms

Children can sleep right through the sound of a smoke alarm and the elderly, many of whom live alone, may not hear an alarm.

Because children, older people, and those with special needs may not wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm, parents and caregivers must incorporate this possibility into the home fire escape plan.

When practicing your home fire escape plan, make sure all escape routes are clear. Correct such problems as blocked exits, jammed locks or barred windows.

At least one smoke alarm should be placed on every level of the home. The most important location is near the bedrooms to provide an early warning to all sleeping occupants. A smoke alarm should also be placed inside every bedroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly install a smoke alarm.
CPSC also urges consumers to develop and rehearse an escape plan so that when the smoke alarm sounds, family members will immediately move to a safe location outside the home.
CPSC recommends the following on fire escape planning:

  • Every family should develop a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with the entire household.
  • Practice the fire escape plan with your children, baby-sitter, and older family members.
  • During practice, it is important to be aware of and remove obstacles that may prevent a quick and safe evacuation, such as blocked exits or jammed or barred windows.
  • Children may not awaken from the sound of a smoke alarm. Parents should hold a fire drill during the night so they can assess their children’s ability to awaken and respond appropriately.
  • If children, or any other family member, cannot awaken to or hear the smoke alarm, the escape plan should be adjusted accordingly to help get all family members out safely.
CPSC recommends the following on smoke alarms:

  • Install a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least annually, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring.

Don’t wait for a fire in your home to test your smoke alarm and develop a fire escape plan…


Test your smoke alarm and regularly replace its batteries.

Develop and practice your fire escape plan with your family.

Make sure alarms are placed either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall. Locate smoke alarms away from air vents or registers; high air flow or dead air spaces are to be avoided. Dead air spaces are often at the top of a peaked roof, or in corners between ceilings and walls.

CPSC documents are in the public domain; a CPSC document may be reproduced without change in part or whole by an individual or organization without permission. If it is reproduced, however, the Commission would appreciate knowing how it is used. Write the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Information and Public Affairs, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 or send an e-mail via CPSC’s Online Form.All CPSC publications – including exclusive web-only content – are available to consumers to print for free from their home, school or office computers. To order hard copies of any of the Neighborhood Safety Library Publications or Technical Reports and Handbooks, please e-mail CPSC. Be sure to include your mailing address, and specify the document number and name of the publication desired. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.