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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 7 Issue 7


THE DANGER ZONE

Do you know when you are in the Danger Zone? About 95% of your day is comprised of doing the same thing you did the day before and each day before that. Each day though, unless you get really lucky, you will face that weird request from an applicant, that odd reasonable accommodation request, the owner who refuses to make repairs, the death of a resident, the “payment plan”, the resident who does not move a thing and is being evicted, the foreclosure papers your resident just got served, the skips, the fire, the flood, you name it. A successful property manager knows when he or she is in that 5% Danger Zone and reaches out for help BEFORE taking action, because the fact remains that 95% of all problems will arise out of that 5% of your day, and the solution is often just a phone call or email away. Don’t go it alone.

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THE POWER OF ATTORNEY

Jerry marched into your office last month. Jerry claimed that his friend Ervin appointed him with “power of attorney” and would like to sign a lease on behalf of Ervin. Jerry signed the lease by writing in Ervin’s name and placing the initials “POA” next to Ervin’s name. The rent is never paid after the first month of the lease, so you send the file over to your attorney to start the eviction process. Your attorney has just called you and indicated that it is highly unlikely that Ervin can be held responsible for the lease. Your attorney tells you that you were not even close to handling the lease signing process correctly.
 

Click here  to learn about properly using The Power of Attorney.

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FIRES IN RENTAL UNITS

At some point in a property manager’s career, the 3:00 a.m. fire will be experienced. There will be a unit or units damaged or destroyed by smoke, water and fire. The cause?  A kitchen fire. You place the resident who caused the fire into your corporate unit, they refuse to pay for the damages, have no insurance, and now they will not leave the corporate unit. You place the resident in the flooded out below in a model unit, and a week later they refuse to leave, wanting you to pay for their now moldy, damaged property. What is happening here? Did you make a mistake helping the residents out?

Click here  for Part 1 of The On-site Fire.

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THE NEW CONDO/HOA LAW AND THE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGER

On July 1, 2010, Condo and Homeowner’s Associations gained a new dramatic power to demand directly from the tenant the payment of any outstanding dues, fees or assessments owed by the property owner to the association. Essentially, the owner and the management company, if one is in place, are pushed out of the picture, and the resident must directly pay the Condo/Homeowner’s Association the rent owed. It may be the partial rent or the full rent each month to cover any of the owner’s arrearages. The new law poses new challenges for property managers, who now are left watching the rent bypass them with no commission being collected.

 

Click here  to learn about the New Condo/HOA law.
 

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FINDER’S FEE SITUATIONS AND THE HELPLESS OWNER

A real estate licensee may specialize in or only rarely encounter requests for a finder's fee only arrangement. Having located, qualified and placed the resident for the owner, the licensee, having been paid, feels his job is completed.  Unfortunately, the owner, who is often out of state, has a different view when problems arise.  The owner’s natural inclination is to call the licensee who secured the resident.  At best it may be a simple five minute conversation, or at worst a “quasi-managing” of the property, without pay or a management agreement.  How do you address these situations?
 

Click here  to learn some procedures you can use when handling the “finder’s fee” situation.
 

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YOUR OWNER IS BROKE – NOW WHAT

The owner you are managing for has no money to make repairs, is ignoring your phone calls and emails, has not paid the mortgage in months, the tenants have been served foreclosure papers, the roof is leaking, and the HOA is denying the tenants access to the pool and tennis courts. What do you do? Dump the owner. Smart property managers know that working for owners who are broke and cannot afford to have rental property is a lose-lose situation and will only cause legal problems and headaches.  Be smart. Terminate your management agreement and spend your time seeking out quality accounts rather than wasting your time, money and putting yourself and your company at risk.
 

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FICTITIOUS NAME FILED? You Sure?

Each year apartment communities change their names, their ownership, or their current fictitious name filing expires.  An unfiled or improperly filed fictitious name can result in a delayed or possibly dismissed eviction. PLEASE look up the name of your apartment community by clicking the link below and see if you have filed. If not, IMMEDIATELY bring it to the attention of your owner or regional manager and get it filed.  It is easy, cheap and extremely important!  Remember, if the name of your apartment community is NOT the same name as the “owner” of the apartment community, you are operating under a fictitious name, and the name MUST be filed with the Florida Secretary of State.

Click here  to see if your fictitious name is filed.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU –  The Effect of Commercial Foreclosures on Commercial Tenants - PART II: Attornment and Non-Disturbance

In last month’s newsletter , Part I explained how to protect the commercial landlord’s interest through the use of attornment and subordination language in the lease agreement. This month, language protecting the tenant from having to vacate or be moved from their location if a foreclosure action is filed upon the owner is explained. A commercial property manager must understand how to protect the party whom he represents, and the lease agreement plays the most important role.

 

Click here  for Part II "Attornment and Non-Disturbance" by Commercial Law Attorney Kevin Jursinski.
 

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In this issue:

The Danger Zone

The Power of Attorney

Fires in Rental Units

The New Condo/HOA Law

Finder's Fee Situation and the Helpless Owner

Your Owner is Broke

Fictitious Name

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

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

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