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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 8 Issue 8


LEAD BASED PAINT ALERT

If you own or manage a property built prior to 1978, you need to be concerned. The EPA’s Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act is being vigorously enforced, and many Florida property management companies are being inspected, audited and now facing large fines. Minor mistakes or failures to give the resident the required disclosure and pamphlet can result in big problems. On top of that, the new Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rules that recently went into effect mean that many of your employees and outside vendors who are working on your pre-1978 property must have their certification. The EPA's RRP Rule requires almost anyone working in pre-1978 housing who might disturb painted surfaces to become an EPA Certified Renovator, by taking a "Lead Safe Work Practices" class from an EPA accredited training provider. Not sure if your vendors will “disturb painted surfaces”? Assume they will, and check first to see if they must be certified before allowing any vendor or employee to touch your pre-1978 property.  Ignorance will not be an excuse!

 

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WHERE IS MY COURT REGISTRY CHECK?

When the judge signs an order awarding you the rent money that was deposited by your resident into the Court Registry in an eviction action, the Clerk of Court’s accounting department has to process this order.  The accounting department of the Clerk’s office usually sends payment to your attorney’s office.  Usually, this process takes many days or even weeks.  If your attorney is advancing this money to you before he receives it from the Clerk of Court, he is violating the rules regulating the Florida Bar and can be subject to serious disciplinary actions.

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ON-SITE RESIDENT TRANSFERS

It all seems so simple.  Residents from one of your two bedroom apartments want to transfer into a three bedroom apartment.  You do an inspection before the transfer, the unit looks okay, and over the weekend the residents move to the three bedroom apartment. Your maintenance tech then finds serious, previously undiscovered damage in the two bedroom apartment from pets, a burned carpet, heavy smoke odor and marked up walls. You missed all of this in your inspection, because the unit was completely filled with the residents’ furniture and personal belongings. Can you now make the residents pay for the damages? If they refuse, can you evict them? Not so fast. Unless you have conducted the transfer properly, you may be in for a big surprise.


Click here  to learn about the how to properly accomplish an on-site resident transfer.

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DENIAL OF ACCESS BY THE RESIDENT

Your maintenance tech reports that he cannot do requested repairs because the lock to the unit has been changed.  In another situation, the manager gives proper notice, and at the scheduled inspection, the resident is home and refuses to open the door.  In yet another case, the resident insists that any repairs be done when she is home after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, and that she is not available on weekends.  In all these cases the resident is denying access or so limiting it as to be effectively denying access.  What is the proper response from the manager? How do you play this game with the resident?

Click here  to learn about the how a manager should handle the resident denying access to the premises.

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WRONGFUL EVICTIONS

Last week you were finally able to rid your apartment community of two bothersome residents. The first problem resident who vacated the property was Arnold, who had repeatedly sent you letters requesting repairs to his unit. Lately his air conditioning unit had malfunctioned, which caused a leak inside the unit and failed to cool down the apartment. Terry was the second problem resident. Terry had organized a large meeting of the residents, who demanded that you clean your pool more regularly. This was not the first time he had done something like that. You had enough and non-renewed him. He dropped off the keys when his lease expired last week.  Were these non- renewals possibly in violation of Florida law?

Click here  to learn how you may have violated Florida law.

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WANT YOUR RESIDENT TO GET RENTER’S INSURANCE?

Why are you not providing them with multiple brochures for the many companies out there providing all different types of insurance? The best insurance for the resident to obtain is the type that not only covers loss to the resident’s personal property, but also damage or loss to YOUR property. You know, the kitchen fire at 3 a.m.? The owner often expects that this is what the resident will obtain, but it must be made clear in the lease, so everyone is on the same page. Remember that “renter’s insurance” is like “car insurance” or “health insurance”. The policies come in all shapes and sizes, so it is your job to make sure the resident gets the right policy, not the cheapest policy that may only cover loss or damage to the resident’s personal property.

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WRIT OF POSSESSION EXECUTION QUICK TIP

Your maintenance tech is removing items to the property line while executing the writ of possession, finishing up the eviction and making multiple trips to and from the unit. On the third trip, he is surprised by the evicted resident who jumps out of a bedroom, surprises and attacks the maintenance tech. Could this happen? You bet, especially when the locks are not changed FIRST, before you begin taking the items to the property line.  The first thing your must do when meeting the Sheriff’s Deputy at the property line is to change the locks, and make sure the door is always locked during the property removal process when the unit is unattended.
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU – Commercial Lease Audits In Regard To Common Area Maintenance Charges

How does a commercial tenant know whether it is paying a fair and reasonable fee for its common area maintenance? How does a commercial tenant verify that it is properly paying?  Can the landlord recapture common area maintenance charges if it undercharges the tenant? This article will answer these questions and provide solutions.

 

Click here  for Part III  Commercial Lease Audits in Regard To Common Area Maintenance Charges  by attorney Kevin Jursinski.

 

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In this issue:

Lead Based Paint Alert

Where is My Court Registry Check?

On-Site Resident Transfers

Denial of Access by Resident

Wrongful Evictions

Renter's Insurance

Writ of Possession Execution

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

September
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in July 2011!

Monday, Sept. 5 -
Labor Day

Thursday, Sept. 29 -
Rosh Hashanah

 

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