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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 9 Issue 4


RESIDENT DEATH AND PERSONAL PROPERTY

Some property managers think that a clause in the lease agreement directing you to give the keys and the possessions to a designated person upon the death of a resident is valid. It is NOT valid, and doing so could result in massive liability to your company. No lease clause made when living has any validity upon death. Just as a power of attorney becomes null and void when the resident dies, so do any directives in a lease.   A lease cannot override Florida law, the probate process or a will. If any attorney tells you it can, that attorney is  WRONG. As our population ages, you will encounter more deaths of the last remaining resident in a rental unit, and it is crucial to properly follow the law.
 

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FICTITIOUS NAMES

A few weeks ago your management company informed you that the name of your apartment community was changing. Last week your Three-Day Notices to Pay Rent expired, and you needed to send your eviction attorney those notices for which you did not receive payment, so that eviction proceedings could start. It never occurred to you to check and see if the fictitious name was properly registered with the State of Florida. After all, you figured that the large home office of your management company would take care of these sorts of things. Now you have just received an email from your eviction attorney stating that your evictions for this month cannot be filed because the new fictitious name of your apartment community has not been properly registered, and therefore your apartment community cannot maintain a court action. You wonder what you need to do.

 

Click here  to see how important a simple fictitious name filing can be.

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THERE’S MORE TO RENTAL APPLICANTS THAN MEETS THE CREDIT REPORT

Today’s rental property world is rapidly changing. For rental property owners and managers instability in the real estate market and an economic downturn has led to an increase in rental applicants. While occupancy levels and rent prices are up, the old ruleslike evaluating applicants based only on credit scores, or turning down applicants with little or no credit bureau history—may no longer be sufficient to keep net operating income (NOI) at an optimum level. Instead, property owners and managers are increasingly turning to powerful, yet intuitive and cost-effective, statistical-based screening tools.

 

Click here  to learn more about “Statistical Lease Scoring" by Jay Harris, Senior Director of Business Development, CoreLogic, SafeRent.

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DUVAL COUNTY COURT CLOSURE!!

The Duval Courts will be closed from May 17 until May 29, so you will experience some eviction delays in May. The last eviction filing will be accepted on May 16.

 

 

 

 

 

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ELECTRONIC PAYMENT DANGERS

So you decided to accept rent electronically. For the convenience of your resident and to have quick access to the money, you now accept ACH or credit cards. Know the dangers.  While you may get your money fast, you need to know the chargeback rules of the company you are dealing with and understand the risk that a resident who paid electronically can dispute the payment or have it reversed, sometimes months later. If you already disbursed the rent money to your owners and then are hit with a chargeback or dispute, you may have a tough or impossible time getting the owners to refund the money you disbursed to them.

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RELEASING THE RESIDENT

There will come a time when for whatever reason a resident or residents are to be released from a lease.  While this is a fairly simple process, you want to cover all the bases so that there are no misunderstandings. All financial matters, such as the deposits, need to be dealt with, and the release must me mutual and complete. The last thing you want is a lawsuit from a resident you released.

 

Click here  for an in depth look at the Releasing the Resident.

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SECURITY DEPOSITS

Do you think you know everything there is to know about security deposits?  Not so fast!  Properly holding, claiming and disbursing a security deposit is an extremely important function of the property manager. The money belongs to the resident until such time it is legally claimed by management. All kinds of mistakes can be made when dealing with the security deposit, so it is essential for the manager to become well versed in the law and the procedures. Deposit disputes often result in expensive and unnecessary litigation, when if the resident prevails, you may have to pay a significant amount of attorney fees to the resident’s attorney.

 

Click here  for an in depth look at the Security Deposit.

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SEVEN DAY NOTICE QUICK TIP

Your resident has an unauthorized pet. You are aware of it and have served a proper Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure at the end of last month.  It is the beginning of a new month, you receive his rent check and post it to the account. Now, on the 10th of this month, you conduct an inspection and find that the pet is still on the premises.  Can you proceed with eviction?  Probably not. Since the resident was in noncompliance, you should have confirmed that you had compliance before you accepted the rent check. Now, you cannot safely proceed on a Seven Day Notice of Termination and have dug yourself deeper into the waiver hole.  Always flag a noncompliant resident’s account so rent is not accidentally accepted.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU: IMPROPER ACTIONS OF LANDLORDS WHICH CAN CREATE EXPOSURE TO DAMAGES, FEES AND COSTS

In today’s commercial leasing arena, many landlords are suffering from high vacancy rates, defaults in rents, late payments by tenants and other actions which creates stress and pressure upon these landlords. Sometimes these outside influences cause commercial landlords or property managers to engage in activities which they otherwise would not have considered, which can create significant exposure to damages, fees and costs that might far exceed what the landlord could claim for nonpayment of rent. The commercial landlord needs to know these activities, the repercussions of such activities, and potentially huge damage exposure for landlords if they engage in imprudent conduct.

 

Click here  to see "Improper Actions Of Landlords Which Can Create Exposure To Damages, Fees And Costs" by attorney Kevin F. Jursinski of Kevin F. Jursinski and Associates.

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Commercial Law and You

May
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in May 2012!

May 28 - Memorial Day

 

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Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Wolk, P.A.

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