3500 Anderson Road
9 am-12 noon and 1 pm - 5 pm
(530) 756-5075
Founding Partners
John Whitcombe, Bill Roe and Paul Makley
Date Founded

Tandem Properties' principal business is the property management of apartment communities they they have built, bought or partially own in Davis and Woodland. The company is owned and managed by a partnership of three long-term Davis residents: John Whitcombe, Bill Roe and Paul Makley. They are also active in several other partnerships that are involved in the building/acquisition of apartment communities, real estate development, and the development of privatized projects in partnership with UC Davis. In 2011 they reached an agreement with UCD to provide the housing for transfer strudents. As part of the deal, Tandem is to refurbish all properties for that purpose. One of those properties is Arlington Farms. Tandem is known for being a very active and visible member of the community with a long history of supporting local non-profits, arts, sports, environmental and other civic causes.

Local properties managed by Tandem include:

Student housing

Tandem's niche in the housing market is student housing. Tandem has a long-standing reputation for being sensitive to the needs of students (study lounges at all sites), emerging trends of student lifestyles (direct access to Unitrans), and for being tuned into the issues surrounding local politics as they pertain to students. In 2002, Tandem Properties became one of the founding signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASUCD. In the MOU, Tandem voluntarily agreed to work with students to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing, to moderate their own market rent increases, to educate students with respect to their living accommodations therby reducing unnecessary apartment turnover and damages, and to encourage prompt and proper apartment maintenance within student rental units.

A Tandem employee has served on the City - UCD Student Liaison Commission since it's inception. All Tandem Properties use the Davis Model Lease.

Partnership with UC Davis

Tandem has been building privatized projects in partnership with UC Davis since 1984, when Russell Park was constructed to house student families on campus. In 1986, La Rue Park (eight houses and graduate student apartments) were built to house student living groups and grad students in conjunction with on-campus child care facilities and storage units. More recently, Tandem Properties constructed a living and learning residential college for UC Davis with The Colleges at La Rue.

Development History in Davis

The history of Tandem can properly be traced back to the 1950's. While a senior at Davis High, John Whitcombe built his first house to sell speculatively on Oak Avenue, south of 8th Street. At the time, this was the north-western edge of town and 8th Street was a dirt road. Since then, the three Tandem partners have joined with various other partners to build a broad variety of for-sale housing and student apartment complexes all over Davis. Tandem embraced passive and active solar power in the 1970's and were the first developers to incorporate extensive greenbelt systems and wildlife habitat into dense housing subdivisions. The for-sale offerings from Tandem all include a wide mixture of home sizes that promote socio-economic integration in the neighborhood, and often on the same street.

  • Pajaro - solar condominiums on Alvarado Avenue
  • Amapola - dense, common wall, planned subdivision in North Davis
  • Bianco Court - high density, detached homes with narrow/zero lot lines
  • Solito Active/Passive Solar Homes - "Solar City" medium density homes in North Davis near Grande Ave.
  • Malaga/Valencia (Covell Park) - high density, zero lot line homes
  • Covell Park - custom homes and split-lot duplexes
  • Barcelona - split-lot duplex and detached comes in North Davis, west of Anderson Road
  • Northstar - custom homes and split-lot duplexes in North Davis

Covell Village

In the early 1990's, the three Tandem partners and their families joined four other partners to buy the property known as the Covell Site; it is bounded by F Street on the west, Pole Line Road on the east, Covell Boulevard on the south, and the old landfill on the north. After a decade of public review, they proposed the construction of Covell Village on that site. The development required a Measure J vote by the community as the land was placed outside the city limits by the 1987 General Plan. The Covell Village measure was called Measure X and failed on November 5th, 2005 with 58.7% voting "No" and 41.3% voting "Yes." Covell Village was designed by Michael Corbett of Village Homes fame.

In the November 2005 Yolo County Election Tandem Properties' management prominently displayed "Yes on X" signs around their properties, often in publically-visible common areas and outside of tenant's apartments. At the time, most apartment complexes around town discouraged tenants from displaying any signage in their windows, due to fire insurance liabilities. This lead to some controversy (an Aggie article was written), and Lamar Heystek got the Election Code changed to allow for tenants to display political signage in rented space.

Philathropy & Community Involvement

Environmental & Sustainability History

  • Waste Reduction Award Program, multiple years, CA EPA
  • One of California's largest geothermal heat pumps is used to heat and cool The Colleges at La Rue.
  • City of Davis Environmental Recognition Award, 1998 (Northstar Ponds and Bike Trails)
  • City of Davis Commendation for Environmental Excellence, 1982 (Pajaro Solar Condominiums)
  • In 1977, the Tandem Partners formed Trident Energy, a company that pioneered alternative energy and solar power conservation systems for new homes. Many of the original Trident systems can be found still functioning in homes throughout Davis.
  • In the mid-1970's, Tandem built what at the time was the largest solar apartment community in the US, Suntree Apartments.


View of Northstar Park from the Tandem Office

What's your experience with Tandem Properties?

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2005-08-13 17:11:45   I know people who got their deposit back at Arlington Farms. I think Tandem offers some okay low end apartment complexes —RohiniJasavala

2005-09-19 20:07:02   Not only do they give 100% of your deposit back if you clean your apartment, but you get 8% interest on it. —CarlMcCabe

2005-09-25 12:38:09   I live at Casitas and so far the management have been very prompt in responding to work requests. —KenjiYamada

2005-09-25 13:06:39   Anderson Place was a letdown. Management wasn't great, though she was only promoted to manager a little before Thanksgiving. Never got packages (really frustrating), took weeks of asking them over and over (and trying to track down maintanence) before maintainence would even take a peek at it. Apartment was dirty when we got it, and they took 4 weeks before they came to clean it. And our $300 dollar deposit got $6 as the 'interest' back. 2% for us, definitly not 8. —ES

Tandem Properties supports Measure X as well as Tim Taylor in the November 2005 Yolo County Election. I know this because my apartment complex, Casitas (as well as the next-door Chautauqua), had Yes-on-X and Vote-Tim-Taylor poster boards in all of the publically-visible common areas. The signs were primarily on the grass areas along Anderson Road as well as surrounding the properties' signs. A few of the signs were right outside of residents' windows because the grass along Anderson is also very close to many apartments.

I didn't suspect that these poster boards could have been put up by our mangement. Wouldn't our management think better than to make political statements on our shared property? Because I thought these were being haphazardly posted by random folks, I took it upon myself to take the signs down over the last week. Regardless of my personal opinions on what they advertised, I felt it wasn't right that they were all around our apartments. I was taking some of them down when the manager told me to stop and alerted me that Tandem Properties had endorsed these items and the management was putting them up.

I understand that, legally speaking, they may have a right to put up political advertisements all over our apartments. But the posting of these political advertisements by Tandem highlights the basic inequality of the landlord-tenant relationship: We aren't allowed to have any form of sign at all (even outside of our apartment), whereas Tandem can impose their signs on us. Even beyond this issue of inequality is the principle that we share our property and work together to have a good community. Unwanted political advertisements contribute only to an uncomfortable living environment, especially since it's not possible that everyone in our apartment supports the advertisements.


2006-04-03 Tandem Properties is the best property management company in the city of Davis. If you can rent on campus, then you will deal with wonderful staff at Russell Park, The Atriums, and The Colleges. —ThomasOhare

2010-10-26 11:12:15   Tandem Properties is no good. They're bullies, and this company deserves every bad thing that comes to them. —anonpincher

2012-09-02 19:06:31   I lived at the Westgate Village Apartments in Woodland for about six months. The property was nice and the apartment was great, however, we had major problems with our AC. The maintenance guy came to check the unit (promptly) and told me everything was fine. However, our apartment was still boiling. It took four hours for the temp to drop three degrees. Several weeks later, I asked them to recheck the AC; they did and the problem was fixed. The same maintenance guy then told me that there was too much free-on in the unit and they had to drain some of it. When I asked him why he didn't catch this when I called them out weeks prior, blame was shifted to their previous AC maintenance person. My PG&E bill was ridiculously high due to their oversight during the time my AC unit was not working correctly. This was the only major problem we had while living at this apartment complex but it was enough to make us to move. —ElizabethUrias

2012-09-05 09:56:06  

Hello Elizabeth,

I'm sorry to hear of the frustration and discomfort you experienced with your AC repair. We do our best to quickly address and resolve maintenance issues for our residents. When completing a maintenance work order, we usually ask our residents to please tell us if the problem continues so we can readdress the concern. While most problems are remedied on the first visit, occasionally we do need to try a second time. I'm sorry to hear of the miscommunication in your case. If you'd like to follow up with me, I'm happy to talk to you about having Tandem pay any resulting excessive PG&E charges. Had we known about your continuing problem or the higher charges to your electric bill, we happily would have worked to remedy things for you sooner. Our residents' satisfaction and comfort is important to us. I apologize again for your experience. Please contact me at the Tandem main office, (530) 756-5075, if you'd like to discuss the PG&E reimbursement.

Take Care, Shari Houston Property Manager Tandem Properties, Inc. —ShariHouston

2013-08-15 13:15:01   I have lived at a Tandem Properties residence for over six years now and have never had a positive experience regarding repairs or anything of the sort. Elizabeth's complaint below regarding the AC sounds all too familiar and seems to be Tandem's MO for how they handle repairs and the overall poor treatment of their tenants. I have to say the comments on this wiki page seem to be filtered and edited as though someone, Shari Houston or other Tandem employees, are privy to the many negative comments and are having these sad yet true comments taken down. It is truly sad to see the locally famous Whitcombe family allow their celebrity to be linked to this sad excuse for a rental property. I hope past comment-ers on this wiki page will speak up if they feel their comments have been unfairly redacted and i encourage people who have had a positive experience to comment below as well (although i suspect these individuals will be in the minority). —TRipper

2013-08-19 15:02:33  

Hello TRipper,

I'm sorry to hear of your frustrations with management during your tenancy. I am truly surprised and disappointed to hear that a six-year resident would have anything other than a positive impression of Tandem. Because we do value feedback and want to be sure our tenants are heard, we do read and reply to comments left on review sites like Davis Wiki, but we do not filter (or have the ability to filter) or delete feedback left here. As we hope you can see from reading our responses to reviews left for all 14 of our properties, we deeply value our relationships with our tenants and always do our best to meet each resident's needs. I'm sorry if we have fallen short of that in any way during your time with us. I would very much like to know the details of your frustrations and which property and managers were involved. Please call me at (530) 756-5075 to discuss your frustrations and allow me to see what I can do to make things better for you. Thank you in advance for sharing more details with me—if I don't know of frustrations, I cannot work to fix them. My apologies again if we have ever not lived up to Tandem's reputation for quality resident care. I hope we can work together to make you experience better in the future.

Sincerely, Shari Houston Property Manager Tandem Properties, Inc. —ShariHouston

  • As one of those editors who regularly watches the Recent Changes on the wiki, and who will generally restore any deleted comments, I can confirm what Shari says here: the comments on this page have not been deleted, filtered, or edited. You can click here to see the editing history for yourself. —CovertProfessor