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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 9 Issue 3


NARP`M REGIONAL CONVENTION WAS A SUCCESS!

On March 15th and 16th over 130 property manager members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) from around the country gathered in Tampa for a time of education, networking and fun. Topics ranged from liability avoidance, compliance with taxation of foreign owners, trust accounting procedures and many more. If you manage single family homes, duplexes or triplexes and are not a member of NARPM, you need to ask yourself why. It is no coincidence that almost every top property manager in Florida is a NARPM member.

 

Click here  to join NARPM.

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IT IS ALL ABOUT DOCUMENTATION

Many of us pride ourselves on our stellar memory, but with the information overload we all receive each day, our memory may not be as good as we think it is.  Ever forget a password 5 minutes after you created it and told yourself at the time that you would remember it? Yup.  With a 5 year statute of limitations on many legal actions, it is imperative that you keep extremely good records. Just got off the phone? Write down notes. Important email? Print it out and place it in the file. Document everything you do and what your owners or residents do or say. Trying go paperless? No so fast! If you are going paperless, and this is quite the trend, you must be certain that your information will be kept safe and accessible for years. Call me old fashioned, but I donít mind killing some trees to have a paper document in a paper file in addition to saving it electronically.

 

Click here  to read more about incident documentation.

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COLLECTIONS AND YOU

Last month you sent out a Notice to Impose Claim on Security Deposit due to physical damages to the apartment home caused by the resident. Last week you received a nasty letter from the resident disputing the charges and accusing you of being a despicable person. You then fired off a letter back to the resident justifying your charges and threatened to send the resident to collections if she did not pay. Today, you receive a letter from the residentís attorney stating that you violated the Florida Consumer Collections law when you responded to the resident, and that the landlord is liable for actual damages and statutory damages up to $1,000.00 along with court costs and reasonable attorneyís fees.  Is this for real?

 

Click here  to learn more about how to successfully navigate through the collections process while complying with state and federal collection laws.

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TRUST ACCOUNTING COMPLIANCE

We all know that property management trust accounting problems make up a huge percentage of FREC disciplinary actions. Many managers simply do not have the proper trust accounts, are not in balance, or are operating under the incorrect 2 account system, only having an operating account and security deposit trust account.  Donít keep ignoring your accounting procedures. If you do not understand how it should be set up and how to properly reconcile you accounts, ask an expert.

 

Email us at info@evict.com to confidentially receive contact information for a trust account expert who can help get you straightened out today.

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SO YOU DONíT TAKE SECTION 8?

You are having a horrific day, it is pouring rain, your car broke down, and you now appear to be rudely telling an inquiring person that you donít accept Section 8. Can this be misinterpreted by someone as ďdiscriminationĒ? You bet.  Keep a list of 5 or 10 companies or properties that you know accept Section 8, and hand this to an inquiring person. If asked, explain calmly why you choose to not accept Section 8. While you know why you donít accept Section 8, a person inquiring does not understand the workings of the program and often assumes that the rent voucher is the same as cash with nothing else involved.  Donít allow your company policy to be construed as discriminatory.

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MOVE-OUT INSPECTION PROCEDURES

Your departing resident wants to accompany you during the move-out inspection. Is this advisable?  A properly performed move-out inspection is crucial to minimizing disputes and winning lawsuits regarding a security deposit claim. A property manager needs to make learning the procedures an absolute priority in order to be successful. A security deposit is the residentís money until it is properly and legally claimed by you, and that fact should never be forgotten.

 

Read here  for a detailed article on the move-out inspection procedure.

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SECURITY DEPOSIT CLAIM LETTER QUICK TIP

Your resident was evicted, owed you 3 monthsí rent, and destroyed the apartment on the way out.  There is no way in a million years he will receive his security deposit back. You forget to send the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit out, or consciously decide not to, and lo and behold, you receive a demand letter in the mail from the former resident, or worse yet, his attorney.  There is nothing in Florida law that indicates you do not have to send out the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit in the event of an eviction, and you may now have to cut a check for the full security deposit and send it back to the resident. This is a tough, expensive and unnecessary way to learn a lesson.  When in doubt, send it out.

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RESIDENT WILL NOT SIGN A NEW LEASE?

Your resident is nearing the end of her lease or is currently month to month. Your company wants residents on leases, but you just cannot get a clear answer from the resident. What do you do? Simple. Serve the resident with a Notice of Non-renewal or an Offer to Renew with a Notice of Non-renewal built in, which will take effect if the resident fails to respond to you. Donít let the resident run the show. Take control.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - Andee Myatt

Andee Myatt has been working in real estate since she was 16 years old, starting in her grandfatherís real estate office. Since then, she worked as a property manager for All American Management , Trammell Crow Residential Services, sales manager for Realty Executives of Orlando, and as operations manager for The Bainbridge Companies.  Since 2006, Andee has worked for The Klein Company, a boutique real estate firm that develops, builds and manages 5,000 units in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Orlando. As division manager for The Klein Company, Andee is responsible for overseeing the on-site team for Dwell Apartments, construction and project management, assisting with the development and acquisition process, training and human resources. Dwell has been recognized with an unprecedented nine Golden Key Awards, winning six in 2011. Andee has been recognized for her service to the property management industry.  In 2001 she was the Trammell Crow National Achieverís Circle Winner for North Florida and the 2010 AAGO Golden Key Volunteer of the Year.  She was the youngest person to ever achieve their PPM designation through NARPM. She has previously held real estate and CAM licenses, is currently a CAM member of the NAAEI Faculty and serves as the 2012 AAGO President, giving back to the industry she loves. When Andee is not working, she spends time with her two kids, Nathan 7, and Amelia 5, and her husband, Noel. Their time off together is spent on the baseball field, at church, visiting with friends and playing with their two dogs. In between all that, she squeezes in time to study and is working towards her MBA. When there is a spare minute, and those are rare, Andee likes to watch movies with her husband, read, take long walks with her dogs, or knit.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU: CONSTRUCTION LIENS AFFECTING THE COMMERCIAL LANDLORD

As a commercial property manager or commercial property owner, are you aware of the new changes to Florida Statute 713.10, which can have a direct impact upon your property by construction liens from contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers providing labor, service and materials to your tenant? The new statute addresses how a commercial property manager or commercial landlord can protect the landlord's property from claims by third party contractors, with some specific updates and changes to Florida Statute 713.10.  If you want to protect your property interests from construction liens for improvements made to the tenant's property, please read the following article.

 

Click here  to see "Construction Liens Affecting The Commercial Landlord"  by attorney Kevin F. Jursinski of Kevin F. Jursinski and Associates.

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Commercial Law and You

April
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in April 2012!

April 6 - Good Friday

 

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