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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 6 Issue 1


LEGISLATIVE DAYS ARE COMING - MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Normally we wait until February to tell you about Legislative Days, but 2009 will be extremely important. Both the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) and the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers (FARPM) will be holding their Legislative Days on March 24 and March 25 in Tallahassee. Bills have already been introduced in 2009 affecting the landlord and property manager, and more will be introduced. It is crucial that we have strong, unified, political action this year to protect the interest of the landlord. Times have never been tougher for the rental housing industry, and apathy is not an option.  Get involved, get informed, and mark your calendar NOW.  

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THE TENANT WANTS OUT

Tenant are breaking their leases in record numbers. In 20 years, we have not seen “skips” to the extent they are today. The tenant simply walks out and moves somewhere else.  Sometimes they come up with a reason: medical, job transfer, loss of job, safety, mold, crime on property, you name it. The landlord begins to wonder if the lease is simply a worthless piece of paper. Do you sue the tenant? Can you force him to stay? Do you report the skip to a credit bureau? What do you tell your owner?

Click here  for more info on dealing with the skipping tenant.

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IDENTITY THEFT PART 1 – PROTECTING YOUR RESIDENT PAPER INFORMATION

You need to look at something in a tenant file. You find it in the file cabinet misfiled.  When you open it, it’s out of order.  You always have the application under the lease on the right side, not on top of the maintenance requests on the left side.  Just harmless filing errors you think, until a very angry past resident calls you.  The state attorney’s office is informing potential victims of the arrest of your former employee for credit card fraud.  A search of his apartment turned up a large stack of copied applications from your community.  How did you let this happen? 

Click here for more info on Protecting Paper Information.

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LEASE QUICK TIP – THE ORDER OF SIGNING

You prepare a lease for the tenant whose lease is up for renewal and sign it. You give the signed lease to the tenant, who takes it home and fails to bring it back to you. Constant reminders to the tenant to return the signed lease go unanswered, and you decide to non-renew the tenancy, since he will not sign the lease.  The tenant fails to leave.  When you file the non-renewal eviction action, guess what? The tenant says he has a lease and produces a signed copy. YOU LOSE. The mistake? You signed the lease first. Never lose control over the leasing process like that.

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RETURNING RESIDENT PAYMENTS

We live in a world of electronic payments.  The tenant makes partial payment on-line, but you don’t accept partial payment.  Is this different from finding a partial payment in the drop box?  You give the tenant a 7-day termination notice, but forgot to block on-line payments, and payment was made.  Is this different from mistakenly taking payment from the tenant in the office?  You serve a 3-day notice, and five days later your receivables report shows an electronic check payment.  It’s full payment, but you only take certified funds or money orders after serving the 3-day notice. After you file eviction you find a credit card payment of the rent amount.  There’s no payment of the eviction costs and fees.  In all these instances can you return the payment?  If so, how?

Click here to see how to stop electronic payments.

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EVICTION AVOIDANCE TECHNIQUES

Why do some landlords have more evictions than others percentage wise? Is it the tenants? Is it something the landlord is doing differently? Why have we seen some property managers reduce the numbers of evictions on a property? How did they do it?  The truth is that many evictions (not all of course) can be avoided if the landlord knows the tips and the tricks.  While we enjoy filing your evictions, we know that you don’t. You should be using every weapon and tool possible to cut down on your eviction numbers.

Click here  for some “Eviction Avoidance techniques”.

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In this issue:

Legislative Days

The Tenant Wants Out

Identity Theft - Part 1

The Order of Signing

Returning Payments

Eviction Avoidance

 
 

February
Legal Holiday Alert

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

16 - President's Day

   

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Monthly e-newsletter of the
Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Wolk, P.A.

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

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