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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 8 Issue 6


FLORIDA STATE NARPM CHAPTER ON THE MOVE!

In late 2010 for the benefit of all NARPM members in Florida and to enhance the local chapters, the Florida State Chapter of NARPM was formed with the mission to bring education and networking events to active chapters, and to form new chapters throughout the great state of Florida to assist members with their residential property management profession. State chapter leaders have or will visit each local chapter to determine how the chapter may better serve the members. The focus of the Florida State Chapter will be state specific education, legislation and networking to bring the best practices and solutions to all members through classes, attendance at legislative events in Tallahassee, and holding events such as the 1st Annual Florida State Chapter Trade Show & Educational Event in Orlando on September 22-24th, 2011. To learn more please visit: http://narpmfloridanews.wordpress.com/
 

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RENT AND THE THREE DAY NOTICE PROCESS

You have just been promoted to the position of assistant community manager. It will now be your responsibility to collect unpaid rent each month, and if necessary, send files to your eviction attorney in order to retake possession of your apartment homes. You check out your office computer and find four different saved versions of a Three Day Notice. You are unsure which one to use. You are also unsure as to the best way to serve the Three Day Notice to the resident. Adding to your confusion, residents whose Three Day Notices have expired are dropping off partial rent payments, and you are unsure if you can refuse acceptance and how to return these payments back to those residents.   

Click here  to learn what how to deal with rent before, during and after expiration of the Three Day Notice.

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PETS AND THE PROPERTY MANAGER

The resident claims his pit bull was allowed by prior management, because it is friendly and poses no danger to anyone.  He has had the dog for the entire three years that he has lived in the community.  The resident’s file contains nothing about a dog.  The manager receives a complaint about an overly friendly, large dog that knocked a resident down and broke her arm.  The dog clearly exceeds the community’s forty pound weight limit.  The dog owner/resident says the dog was less than forty pounds when she signed the pet addendum.  Can the manager demand that these dogs be removed?  Is the landlord liable for the injuries to the hurt resident?


Click here  for information on dealing with pets.

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MOVE IN INSPECTION PROCEDURES

There is a right way and wrong way to have a move in inspection of the unit performed. The right way? Have the property manager or maintenance tech, possibly with the new resident in tow, perform the inspection. The wrong way? Hand the move in inspection form to the resident and tell her to perform it. Approximately 50% of all property managers are doing it the wrong way, have no clue why it is wrong, and are paying the price later. Where do you stand? Do you know the reasoning behind doing it correctly?
 

Click here  to examine the Move In Inspection in depth.

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WATCH THAT PILE ON YOUR DESK

If you are like me, sometimes I clean up my desk by taking the scattered papers and making  a nice neat pile in the far right hand corner of the desk. Looks great and I feel better. The problem is that in your neat pile could be a time sensitive, important document, such as that small claims court case that you were served with by the sheriff last week, or got by registered mail.  Forget to go to mediation, and you could end up with a significant judgment that may or may not be able to get reversed.  This happened to one of our clients, and it cost them over $4000.  Is your organization technique really working for you?

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THREE DAY NOTICE  QUICK TIP

Your Three Day Notice says that the resident is “indebted to XYZ Corporation in the sum of $700”, but your lease says Mountainview Apartments, your sign says Mountainview Apartments, and the property is managed by ABC Corporation.  Defective notice? Probably. Got away with it for years? Doesn’t matter.   Make sure your lease clearly states the name of the apartment community, the fictitious name is properly registered, and the Three Day Notice states that the resident is “indebted to Mountainview Apartments in the sum of $700”.

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JUST WANT THE RESIDENT OUT?

When a resident is in serious noncompliance with the lease or the law, although it is possible for the resident to change his ways, you often just want him out. Maybe it is a difficult to prove a drug trafficking situation, excessive traffic or continuous noise and fighting. Yes, it stops for a while, but then it just picks back up. Never forget the Agreement to Vacate form. This is a great form under which all parties agree on a fixed date of vacating. Never assume your resident will not take you up on this offer, which is an alternative to a possibly messy or unsuccessful eviction action. Will the resident always leave? Most of the time, yes, and if he does not, we simply have to file an eviction based on the fact that the resident signed the form and failed to vacate. Nice and easy.
 

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A POLICEMAN’S K-9 DOG IS NOT A SERVICE ANIMAL

Contrary to what the police may tell you, a police K-9 dog is not considered a service animal under the ADA or the Fair Housing Act, This means that you can collect your normal pet fee, pet deposit and deny the dog if it does not meet your normal criteria. Now considering that a typical K-9 dog is a highly trained animal, you may consider modifying your criteria, as long as your company’s risk management department and your insurance company permit the pet on the premises. We still don’t think it is a great idea to modify your criteria. 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU – NET LEASES AND COMMON AREA MAINTENANCE CHARGES

Do you fully understand the concepts of net leases and common area maintenance charges which impact and affect the rights of commercial landlords and tenants?  These issues are even more significant in today’s current troubled real estate times, since both the commercial landlord and commercial tenant are looking to cut costs and expenses, as well as maximize their respective savings.  Sometimes these efforts to save create directly opposing interests.  Dependent upon the structure of a lease, both the landlord and tenant need to verify the methods of calculating contributions under various net lease arrangements.  Common area maintenance charges are oftentimes calculated utilizing concepts or formulas which are not consistent with the lease agreement itself or Florida law. 

 

Click here  for info on how to delve into the concepts of net leases and common area maintenance charge issues by attorney Kevin Jursinski.

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In this issue:

Florida NARPM On the Move

Rent and the 3-Day Notice

Pets and the Property Manager

Move In Inspection Procedures

Watch the Pile on Your Desk

3-Day Notice Quick Tip

Just Want the Resident Out?

Policeman's K-9 Dog

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

July
Legal Holiday Alert

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

Monday, July 4 -
Independence Day

 

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