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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 10 Issue 3


LICENSING FOR PROPERTY MANAGERS?

Should managers of single family homes, duplexes and triplexes have special licenses?  Were you aware that “property management” is not a “real estate activity” according to Florida Statutes Section 475, and  therefore requires no licensing or working under a real estate broker?  The massive increase in rogue managing is making some take a closer look at licensing as a possibility for next year’s legislative session. Stay informed and begin gathering instances of unlicensed conduct by these rogue managers. Currently the majority of FREC complaints are generated in the  property management context.  Rogue, unlicensed managers are governed by no one. When you see some good examples of public harm, send it on to us at info@evict.com

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THE TRAITS OF TOP PROPERTY MANAGERS

Over the past 23 years we have been able to observe many property managers.  Some come and go, some are great, and some are…well, we won’t say here. The very top property managers, whether they work in multi-family or manage single family homes, all seem to exhibit some common traits. Do you exhibit these traits?

 

Click here  to see our 20 Traits of Top Property Managers.

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E-FILING IS IN FULL SWING

As expected, the new E-Filing the State of Florida requires attorneys to now use got off to a bumpy start, but things seems to be settling down. Each courthouse has its own distinct computer system, and the Florida E-Portal is attempting to “talk to” each and every system. Once the court system can catch up to the E-Filing, we will be able to have more evictions filed the same say as they are received. Fun times for all!

 

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DENYING AN APPLICANT FOR NON-CREDIT ISSUES

We all know that it is legally necessary according to the FCRA to send an applicant an adverse action notice if he or she is declined for bad “credit”, but what about if the problem is a bad landlord reference or other reason not related to credit?  Is there a required notice? Not really, but it is a good idea to tell all denied applicants in writing why they were declined, to avoid the appearance of discrimination if the denied applicant happens to be of a protected class.

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MANAGING FOR CONDOS AND HOAs

More property managers are asked by condominium and homeowner associations each day to manage units that  the associations took title to through foreclosing on assessment and fee liens. While this is a great opportunity for more business managing properties, there is almost always a bank loan out there with the bank just waiting to foreclose. It just is a matter of time. This foreclosure will affect the resident you placed in the unit, who may blame you. Are you protected?

 

Click here  to see how to safely manage the association owned unit.

 

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YOUR LEDGER AND EVICTIONS

All too often when we have to ask for a ledger amount breakdown, we find out that the property manager can’t figure out what the final ledger amount represents, or has to go back many months examining each ledger entry. This becomes a huge problem in the event of an eviction, when the judge wants to know the breakdown on your notice, and the manager is all confused. Accounting software programs generally will show the balance due, and that balance can represent a myriad of items, some not allowed on a Three-Day Notice. The key is to understand your ledger and not blindly rely upon that final balance when preparing your Three-Day Notice.

 

Click here  to find out how to deal with your ledger effectively.
 

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MODIFYING YOUR LEASE

When a prospective resident asks for extensive lease modifications or has the proposed lease reviewed by an attorney, this is a sign of bad things to come. A problem applicant rarely makes a nice resident. If you modify a lease for one person and not another, you could get yourself in Fair Housing hot water, plus whenever you stray from your standard lease, the possibility of making errors later increases dramatically, as you may not remember the change from earlier in the year. We recommend that unless it is a very small, insignificant change to the lease, do not modify your lease to suit the whim of the resident to be. Stand firm and explain to the applicant that your company needs to be consistent, and that your lease is fair. Your lease should be modified only on rare occasions and only with your attorney’s blessing.


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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA NARPM CHAPTER FORMED

In mid-May the Southwest Florida Chapter of NARPM was formed. NARPM is of course the National Association of Residential Property Managers. The chapter in formation meeting was a big hit, with over 70 property managers in attendance at the Hilton Garden Inn. This is an exciting time, as with a large active membership, we will be able to bring many educational opportunities to the property managers in the Southwest Florida area, increasing professionalism, networking and profits. If you have not joined yet, email mike@realtyservicespm.com

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USED APPLIANCES AND YOUR RESIDENT

Your resident just notified you that the refrigerator is on the blink. Trying to save some money, you promptly replace the refrigerator with a used one that is perfectly good. Legal? Probably, but suppose that used refrigerator does not have an ice maker or water dispenser and the prior one did: is this adequate?

 

Click here  to read more on how to deal with replacing appliances.
 


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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - SHAD BOOKOUT

Shad is addicted to information.  This curiosity drove him to excel as a supplier in the multi-family industry after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi.  He first began his multi-family career as a sale representative for CORT.  After 10 years serving the Central Florida Market, he started to feel that something was missing.  As he looked around at the things he was doing, Shad saw many parallels with others that were finding success.  However, he felt many great companies were failing to meet the mark. “They had great products and great people, just that the industry did not know who they were.”  Then it dawned on him.  If he could bring his energy level to anyone, then maybe even the smallest local company could compete against the large national brands.  This lead to the founding of Opinions Vary in 2012, with the mission of providing better public relations through social media and sales support to suppliers and multi-family management. Opinions Vary is an integrated social marketing and sales support company that utilizes many social media sites and various other tools to provide a better B2B or B2C relationship with clients, customers, and consumers.  Shad takes the time to learn his client’s goals and products in order to create a custom, unique, and interactive social media presence.  Whether it is a daily focused program, a tradeshow, or a week-long event, Shad feels it is important to stand out and get noticed.  Shad has held numerous volunteer positions in the multi-family industry, including the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando Board of Directors, Business Exchange Committee Chairman and Trade Show Committee Chairman.  He is a Certified Trainer with the National Apartment Association Education Institute and currently serves as the Associate Vice-President for the Florida Apartment Association. When Shad is not working, he can be found playing with his kitty Toggle, traveling, fishing, hiking or attending a sporting event with his wife Christine.  Thanks for all the hard work and volunteerism Shad!

 

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THE FAIR HOUSING LADY – NADEEN GREEN

Naadeen Green has been an attorney since 1979. She has taught Fair Housing law to the multi-family housing industry since the Fair Housing Amendments Act went into effect in 1989. Nadeen is known nationwide as an expert, and she is proud to be Senior Counsel with For Rent Media Solutions.

 

Click here  to see Nadeen’s Fair Housing Q&A for this month!


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Commercial Law and You

Legal Holidays
in July

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in July 2013!

07/04 - Independence Day

 

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

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