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Vol. 6 Issue 4


Beginning just about 2 months ago, Florida experienced a steep drop off in eviction filings after a record 2 years of high filing numbers. Property managers are working hard with the residents to make payment arrangements or agreements to vacate to avoid the expense of the eviction action, an expense which we hope the Florida Legislature will see fit to reduce this Session. Skips are at higher levels, as residents are choosing to vacate and find a lower priced rental rather than get evicted. The successful property manager has implemented procedures and steps to decrease the numbers of evictions they need to file. If you still are experiencing excessive evictions, we urge you to reread our article. Maybe things are getting better? Let’s hope!  

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Unauthorized pets can be at best a nuisance, or at worse a danger, to the other residents.  Almost every lease contains a strongly worded no pet clause, but some residents will do what they want to do. That being the case, imagine a manager's surprise when she learns that she can't force the removal of the unauthorized pet.  Read on to find out why.

Click here  for more info on the Unauthorized Pet.

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For 2 years now, a property manager’s problem when a tenant dies leaving property in a unit has been greatly alleviated. If no estate is opened, the manager simply must wait 60 days and then can dispose of any personal property which is left behind.  The  requirement of having an estate opened is over.  However, the lease MUST have the proper wording in order for the manager to take advantage of the expedited procedure. The problem? Most leases DO NOT have the proper language, and therefore the manager CANNOT take advantage of the new law.  Is your lease updated yet? It is time to check. Don’t delay. 
Click here for the updated lease language.

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Just when you thought you were in the clear, the Chinese drywall issue developed. Must you disclose? Should you test? You know you have it  - now what? Are there testing companies? Is it a health hazard? Can tenants break their lease? Are you required to remediate?  No one knows the answers to these questions right now. Our office will be keeping you up to date on any and all Chinese drywall developments and how they will affect your company’s procedures. Say tuned!

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Since the Early Termination law was adopted into law last year, there has been massive confusion as to what exactly tenants can be charged if they choose the Liquidated Damages Option and vacate.  Suppose they were receiving a rent concessions on a move in special. Must they repay this concession per the concession addendum, i.e. a concession chargeback? Suppose they don’t give the 60 days’ notice you require. Can you charge them the 2 months’ liquidated damage PLUS their notice period?
Click here for some info on the common Early Termination Questions.

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Do you have a vacant apartment? That was a silly question right? Two weeks ago I experienced something at one of my client’s apartment communities that really inspired me and that I hope will inspire you. There is something so easy you can do right now to help people who are at a place in their life when they need help the most. Wondering what it is? You will need to read the article to find out!
Click here to see how Mid-America Apartment Communities is making a real difference.

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Too often security deposit disputes occur because residents feel they are being overcharged for damages, cleaning or something that the property manager feels is resident’s responsibility. One way to cut down on these disputes is to create a Resident Charge Sheet which outlines as many items in the unit as possible, puts a price on the repair or replacement of each item, and then the sheet is signed by the resident at the time of lease signing. While not foolproof, disputes will be cut down significantly if the amounts are reasonably related to the cost of repair or replacement of the item AND the property manager has excellent documentation that the resident did in fact do the damages that are claimed.

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Desiree Starr is the Director of Education of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO), joining in December of 2008.   Having served as chair of the Education Committee and volunteer instructor of designation programs and seminars for AAGO, one of her most noteworthy accomplishments is developing and delivering the popular Marketing to the Masses series consisting of 5 different topics ranging from Bridging the Generational Gap, the recently “sold out” Social Media program, and Marketing to the Hispanic Customer.  Desiree is faculty for the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI), training aspiring faculty members through NAAEI’s Advanced Instructor Training program.

Desiree’s passion for learning and for educating has fueled her professional career in the apartment industry.  Through the years she has held leadership positions including District Manager, Director of Training and Marketing, and Regional Training and Marketing Expert for respected companies such as AIMCO, UDR, and Concord Management; most recently, she was Regional Sales Director for McKinley Properties, Inc.  Desiree graduated Cum Laude from Rollins College with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication. 

Desiree’s natural talent, volunteer and professional experience, sense of humor, and attitude makes her the perfect fit as Director of Education for AAGO. 

Desiree resides in Orlando with her husband and enjoys spending her free time with family and friends and watching sports!

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In this issue:

Good News on Evictions

Authorizing Unauthorized Pet

Tenant Death and
the Obsolete Lease

Chinese Drywall and You

Concession Paybacks and
the Early Termination Law

Mid-America's Open Arms Program

Sec. Deposit Quick Tip

Industry Leader of the Month


Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in May 2009!

25 - Memorial Day




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