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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 7 Issue 1


EDUCATION ANYONE?

OK, things are slowing down even more. Vacancies are up, rents are down. What better time than now to get your property management education?  There are many education and training opportunities available to you though the local NARPM Chapters, FARPM Chapters, CAI, IREM, your Board or Association of Realtors, and of course, the local affiliates of the Florida Apartment Association.  Fair Housing, Landlord/Tenant, Marketing, Social Media, Maintenance Issues, Technology: the list goes on and on. Go to our Association Links page, and check out what the various associations are offering throughout Florida. Explore what is available, and sign up now. While many classes have discounts for members, most do not require membership status to attend.
 

Click here  to see links to education and training opportunities offered in Florida.

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DISCOVERY OF A SEXUAL OFFENDER OR PREDATOR

Your worst nightmare has come true. One of your residents comes into your office with a print out from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website showing a sexual predator or offender is registered at your property. He looks familiar to you.  You look up the lease for the unit and he is not on the lease. Whew, an unauthorized occupant. What if he is on the lease? Possibly he slipped through the cracks in the application process. How do we get him out fast?
 

Click here  to see how to deal with this unnerving situation.

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RAISING AND LOWERING THE RENT

In these hard economic times landlords are receiving more requests from residents to lower the rent during the lease term.  Some landlords may find a lower rent more acceptable than an empty apartment.  As the economic situation improves, these same landlords may feel that raising the rent before lease end is appropriate, or at a minimum, renewing for a higher rent.  Residents who are unsure of their job security may want to go month to month rather than sign a new lease.  Landlords are inclined to want higher rent for month to month tenancies.  When can the landlord safely change the rent amount?

Click here  to find out how to raise and lower the rent.

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WAIVER AND ESTOPPEL

Your attorney tells you that he has good news and bad news. The good news is that one of your tenants under eviction has waived his ability to contest that lawsuit. However, your attorney informs you that two of your tenants under eviction will prevail in court. In one case, rent was accepted after you learned of the lease noncompliance that the eviction was based on. In the other case, you refused to accept the rent from a habitually late paying tenant. Your attorney says it is all about waiver, and you are “estopped” from taking action. You lease clause says that there is NO waiver if the landlord excuses strict compliance on occasion.   Does this lease mean nothing? How can the tenant be rewarded for repeatedly violating the lease?

Click here to learn more about Waiver and Estoppel.

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LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP - MAKING INFORMED BUSINESS DECISIONS AS YOU EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media marketing is taking off! Maybe you already have an online presence, maybe you are thinking about it (maybe you think you will never do this, but never say “never” – stranger things have happened!).  No matter your position, you need to know as much as you can about social media marketing (and it is quickly evolving, as is the information about it).  While it can be enormously beneficial, there are things that bear knowing and watching, so that your decisions on whether to engage, and how, are better informed decisions.

To learn about the possible pitfalls and how to better market through social media, check out this article from experts Doug Chasick and Nadeen Green.

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BIG MONEY SAVING QUICK TIP – A/C AIR FILTERS

Property managers are constantly calling us, asking if they can charge the residents for the huge a/c air handler repair expense that was necessitated by the tenant’s failure to simply change the a/c air filter for a year. After all, the lease says they were to do it every 2 months, and you even provided them the filters! Right? Maybe so, BUT had YOU or YOUR MAINTENANCE TECH changed the filters and not relied on the resident to do what they are “supposed to do”, this problem never would have occurred. Food for thought, PLUS you get to inspect the unit and find the unauthorized pet sooner!
 

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH

Wesley Aleshire, Director of Acquisitions with Horizon Realty Management, based in Jacksonville, Florida, has been in the multifamily housing industry sense 1997 and has been given the opportunity to train thousands of students throughout the United States. Wesley started as a part-time leasing specialist in 1997, where he was fortunate to receive exceptional training. Less than two years later, his outreach marketing concepts had become known throughout the surrounding market. By his fourth year in the multifamily housing industry, he had been selected to join a prestigious trouble shooting team called S.T.A.R.T. (Strategic Task Assignment Response Team).  As part of this team, he traveled around the United States to the bottom 10% performing properties of a 440,000 unit portfolio. Over the last five years, Wesley has been the Chairman of Education for First Coast Apartment Association (FCAA) and is a sought after speaker, presenting courses for Associations throughout the United States. Wesley currently serves as a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and is on the Board of Directors for FCAA and the Florida Apartment Association (FAA). If you are looking for a great speaker for your association, give this industry leader a call!
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - SHORT LEASING

Dropping commercial property values and increasing vacancy rates are facing the commercial property owner and manager due to our troubled economic times. The commercial tenant still needs to face the issue of ongoing obligations under the current commercial lease. When a tenant vacates a lease space prior to the end of the lease term, the landlord faces its own problems, including the vacancy and the failure of the tenant under the lease to pay the base rent, CAM and any other additional charges. One positive way to address the problems facing both the landlord and the tenant is to engage in “Short Leasing”.

Click here to see what SHORT LEASING is, and how you can minimize your  losses by Commercial Law Attorney Kevin Jursinski.
 

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In this issue:

Education Anyone?

Sexual Offender Discovery

Raising and Lowering
the Rent

Waiver and Estoppel

Embracing Social Media

A/C Air Filters

Industry Leader of the Month

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

February
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in February 2010!

15 - Presidents Day

 

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

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