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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 7 Issue 11


FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION EDUCATION CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW BREAKS RECORDS AGAIN

The FAA Education Conference and Trade Show this year was a great success with record breaking sponsorships from our great affiliate members and a 144 booth awesome Trade Show, showcasing the latest and greatest products and services for the multi-family housing industry! Mark your calendars NOW for next yearís even bigger and better event at the Hilton Orlando on International Drive near Sea World.  The dates are October 26-28, 2011.  So sign up and bring the whole family!

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BUDGETING? DID YOU FORGET SOMETHING?

In our opinion, nothing is more important than a property manager or maintenance tech getting the education that he or she needs to properly perform his or her tasks. Not all education is free though and often education expenses are not budgeted. In tough economic times, if it is not budgeted, it does not happen. If it is not too late, figure out an amount for your education budget. Call your local Apartment Association or property management association and come up with a reasonable figure. Some Associations like the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO) have simple, easy and inexpensive ways to get the biggest education bang for the buck.

Click here  to see how AAGO has made it easy and affordable with the APASS program.

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DOING IT RIGHT IS NO JOKE

For years we have told our clients and students about the importance of a proper Three Day Notice. Some listen; some ignore us. Those who ignore us are now paying a HUGE price. Cases are being contested at record levels and residentís attorneys are raking in thousands of dollars from property management companies due to one thing alone and that is the defective Three Day Notice. This is no joke. The party is over. A wrong notice is going to potentially cost your company a lot. We donít care what your company says you can put on the Three Day Notice or how you have been doing it for 15 years with impunity. The law is the law. Failure to follow it puts your company at huge risk and you are being watched and nailed for these actions each day.

Click here  to see how a proper Three Day is done then compare it to yours.

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NONRENEWING CONFUSION

Most leases have a clause that addresses how much notice must be given by either party to nonrenew. When a tenancy becomes month to month, the lease clause, if any, and Florida law govern the nonrenewal process. Much confusion exists though on the part of both the property managers and the residents. If a resident gives notice on the 1st telling you they will be out on the 15th, do they get prorated rent back?  Suppose notice is given on the 17th with the resident leaving on the 5th of the next month. What do they owe?

 

Click here  to see concrete examples of nonrenewals and who owes what if anything.

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PROBLEM TENANT? WHEN IS THE LEASE UP?

The first thing you should do if you have a tenant in noncompliance, whether it is rent related or otherwise, is to look at the ending date of the lease. If it is near, immediately review your lease to see how the resident can be nonrenewed. This is the better approach as it takes time to remove a problem tenant. If the lease can be nonrenewed, it is a better choice than serving a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance without Opportunity to Cure. If the lease is expired, you are in an even better position. You can simply nonrenew the month to month tenancy, of course, in accordance with the lease terms and Florida law. If you are planning to nonrenew a resident, MAKE SURE you notify your leasing agent so an Offer to Renew is not accidentally sent out.

 

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RESIDENT IMPROVEMENTS, REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

The applicant to rent a single-family home makes a proposal that interests the owner.  The applicant will enclose the back and side yards with ďa nice wooden fence.Ē  He works for a fencing company and can get the materials at cost.  He can install the fence in the first lease month in return for free first monthís rent.  Further, the applicant claims to be quite the handyman, and for a $100 rent credit each month, he will do the yard and pool maintenance.  Since the yard and pool maintenance services that the owner uses cost more, this is a great deal for the owner, or is it?
 

Click here  to learn about the pitfalls of resident improvements, repairs and maintenance.

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I THINK THERE IS MOLD IN MY APARTMENT!

Your resident is complaining about mold or mildew. It may be legitimate or simply nonexistent. If it is a problem that can be easily, quickly and simply fixed posing no health hazard to the resident, take action immediately. If it appears to be more than this, you must jump into action, make a visual inspection and hire a certified inspector to determine if there is a problem. Donít delay as you do NOT want to have litigation to deal with or a claim which often is not covered by insurance.  Stress to your inspector that they are working for you and they are to have no contact with the resident as to any results or remediation processes.  Donít know who to call? Give us a call and we can recommend reputable companies to conduct the inspection.

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PROVING THE UNIT WAS BEDBUG FREE AT TENANT MOVE-IN

One of the issues in evicting a resident who has brought bedbugs into a unit or making the resident pay for the pest control costs to eradicate the bedbugs is being able to definitively PROVE that there were no bedbugs in the unit when the resident moved in. How is this done? Use a company like Prevail Pest Control or Massey Services who will do this for you. You would not let a resident move into a unit without the usual move in inspection form being completely filled out. So why on earth would you take a chance on having a huge bedbug controversy when you later canít prove that at move-in time there werenít any bedbugs, or other insects for that matter, present?

 

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DOING FAVORS FOR RESIDENTS

Mel signed a lease, and the move-in date was three weeks ago. On the day prior to Melís move in date, he called you. He told you that he was vacationing in Malibu, California, and that he could not pick up his keys. In order to accommodate Mel, you told him that you would hold the keys in the office until he returned from his trip. Mel returned from his trip yesterday. Mel came by the office this morning. Mel told you he has decided to return to Malibu on a full time basis, and that he is not responsible for the obligations under the lease. Mel signed the lease, you signed the lease, but now your attorney is telling you that Mel may be correct. What is going on?

 

Click here  to see how doing favors for residents can backfire.

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In this issue:

FAA Conference

Budgeting? Did You Forget Something?

Doing It Right Is No Joke

Nonrenewing Confusion

Problem Tenant

Resident Improvements

Mold in Apartment

Bedbug Free at Move-In

Doing Favors for Residents

 

Commercial Law and You

December
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in December 2010!

23, 24, 27 - Christmas

30, 31 - New Year's Day

 

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