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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 8 Issue 2


LEGISLATIVE DAYS

Send in your registrations! Legislative days in both Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. are occurring in March.  A number of bills in Florida have been filed which directly impact the rental housing industry.  No one person can defeat or pass a bill, so we urge you to get involved, or at a bare minimum, stay informed, as we may need to enlist your help later.  For more information on The Florida Apartment Association’s Legislative Days on March 22 and 23, click here.

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MILITARY PERSONNEL

While we tell you each month in this Newsletter what the legal holidays are for the next month, shoot us an email, and we will send you the full year Legal Holiday List and other updated information. Once you receive the list, take the time to mark your calendar and alert any staff members who may assist you in preparing the Three Day Notices. Remember that notices that require a notice period of 7 days or more, such as the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure, are not affected by legal holidays.   

Click here  to learn about dealing with military personnel.

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WHEN A COURT APPEARANCE BECOMES NECESSARY

The postal service has just delivered your mail. You receive a notice from the Clerk of the Court by certified mail.   You open the envelope, which contains a complaint and summons in connection with a small claims lawsuit filed against your company by a former resident, along with an order to attend mediation. Your company is being sued over a security deposit deduction.  Just then, your assistant brings you a fax from your attorney.  One of your residents under eviction has contested the case and has timely deposited the required rent into the Court Registry. Your attorney has provided you with the Judge’s order setting the final hearing, and you will need to attend.  After a bit of reflection, you become stressed out, because you have never been to court before, and have no idea what to expect from these upcoming court appearances.

Click here  to put an end to your “courthouse confusion".

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THE OWNER WHO REFUSES TO MAKE REPAIRS

With so many single family home owners in serious financial distress, the property manager is faced more than ever with the owner who refuses to pay for repairs. These may be simple, inexpensive repairs, or the large A/C repair when the resident cannot live in the unit. The property manager needs to take a firm stance and begin to shed these unreasonable owners and replace them with better owners. By failing to give you money for repairs or pay for repairs that were completed, the property manager is placed in a position of liability, as the resident may decide to sue both the owner and the property manager, or an unpaid vendor who has completed a job may decide to sue the property manager. If an owner refuses to pay for a necessary repair, it is time for you to terminate the management agreement. Period.

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LEASE SIGNING PROCEDURES

Having the best drafted lease in Florida will be useless if proper procedures are not followed in the lease execution or “signing process”.  Once your applicant is approved, you are only part of the way there. You want the applicant to become an actual resident. This is accomplished through the signing of the lease and the addenda to the lease. While this is a simple process, errors are made which can result in the lease not being fully or properly executed, and this can enable the resident to get out of the lease obligations, or can present even greater problems if all the residents do not sign the lease, with possession being granted without all signatures on all the documents. Following a checklist and carefully consummating the “deal” in the lease and addenda signing process is essential. There will be ample time later for mistakes to be made; the lease signing is not that time.
 

Click here  for an in depth look at lease signing procedures.

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DISCLOSING THE SEXUAL OFFENDER OR PREDATOR

You were perusing the FDLE website and discovered that a sexual predator or offender lives nearby.  You are just about to rent to a family with children. Is disclosure necessary? Not under Florida law, BUT if or at such time that your residents find out who their neighbor is, sparks will fly, and often the residents will wish to break the lease. Can they? It would be up to a judge to decide, and these issues are best not put before the courts. Speak to your property owner before you rent out the unit, inform them that a sexual offender or predator lives nearby, and ask them if you want them to disclose this to prospective residents.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU – Parking Issues For Commercial Tenants - Part 1

Parking issues can and often result in legal headaches, litigation or the commercial tenant breaking the lease or attempting to withhold rent. A poorly drafted lease that does not specifically address the parking areas, spaces, rules, and regulations in detail is usually the main problem. Sometimes, the parking that was expected by the commercial tenant is not what they end up receiving, there is a change of use in a commercial plaza, or there are wars between commercial tenants who may end up needing more space than was expected, causing problems for everyone.
 

Click here  for “Part 1 of Parking Issues for Commercial Tenants” by Kevin F. Jursinski, Attorney At Law, to see if your leases are properly addressing this important subject.

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In this issue:

Legislative Days

Military Personnel

Court Appearance

Owner Who Refuses
to Make Repairs

Lease Signing Procedures

Disclosing the Sexual Offender

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

 

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