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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 9 Issue 8


AVOID FIRE DANGERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

Each year there are hundreds of unit fires, some resulting in injury and death, not to mention over $25 million in property damage, due to your residents’ holiday decorations, candles, electric lights and the ever popular Christmas trees. These all can be recipes for disaster.  NOW is the time to properly check your residents’ smoke detectors and at the same time, inspect units for potential fire hazards. Use the proper smoke detector aerosol.  Don’t just use the “test button”, and make sure your smoke detectors are NOT more than 10 years old.

 

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GARAGES, STORAGE UNITS AND PARKING SPACES

Many multi-family residents either have a garage or storage unit included in the tenancy, or can choose to have a garage, storage unit or extra parking space at an additional cost. The way the lease agreement and garage addendum is worded can have major consequences in the event of an eviction action, and may also have serious sales tax ramifications.  Failure to use the proper wording and addendum can result in the unpleasant situation in which the resident is evicted from the apartment, but the property manager is left trying to deal with a garage full of the resident’s possessions.  Additionally, the Department of Revenue may come knocking at your door.
 

Click here  to learn more about the proper way to provide a garage, storage unit or parking spaces.

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TAKING OVER OCCUPIED HOMES

The investors have swooped into Florida, driving up prices again and stabilizing the market. That is great. The problem occurs when you are asked to manage a property where a “squatter” or former owner is still residing, and that person refuses to move. Evict that person? Not so fast. Without a landlord/tenant relationship, the new owner may have to file an ejectment or unlawful detainer action, and not many attorneys handle these types of cases. We recommend you do not start managing the home until such time as the new owner hires an attorney and gets these people out. You can make the management agreement contingent upon and begin once the owner has exclusive possession. You DON’T want to be a part of this often messy legal procedure.

 

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ATTORNEY’S FEE DANGERS

You filed an eviction in error and dismissed it almost immediately. The resident’s attorney now is filing papers with the court asking for attorney’s fees. You got sued over a security deposit, and the judge made you return $100 or the $400 you claimed. Now the resident’s attorney is asking for attorney’s fees amounting to thousands of dollars! What is happening here? Florida law and often the lease itself allow the prevailing party to be awarded attorney’s fees, and YOU need to understand how this plays a huge factor in everything that you do.

 

Click here  to learn more about attorney’s fees and the landlord/tenant relationship.

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STIPULATION QUICK TIP

The stipulation is one of the best ways to stop an eviction, get payment, and if there is a balance owed, be assured you can re-start the eviction if the resident fails to pay pursuant to the stipulation. Do you know how to properly prepare a stipulation?  Never be tricked into entering into a stipulation when little is paid at the time the stipulation is signed, but a large amount is to be paid at a date far in the future. This type of arrangement is often destined for failure, and you are often in for a surprise when the resident packs up and leaves right before the big payment is to be made, making you feel a bit silly and “holding the bag”.

 

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INVESTIGATING YOUR OWNER

You run a full background check on the applicant, call the prior landlord, ask for more information and finally approve the applicant. How much do you know about the owner of the property for whom you will be managing?  He is a nice guy! Really? Many single family home managers are in for a big surprise after the management agreement has been signed, and these surprises could have been easily avoided with diligent investigation and asking the right questions about the owner, the home to be managed and the resident who may be in the unit right now. If you don’t ask the probing questions, an owner often does not volunteer this very important information.  Do you have a checklist for this? Procedures in place?

 

Click here  to see if you are properly investigating your owners before you take over the new account.
 

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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 – STRUCTURED GUARANTIES TO LIMIT LIABILITY OF THE COMMERCIAL TENANT GUARANTY OF COLLECTION vs. PAYMENT LIMITATION ON LENGTH OF GUARANTY

Many commercial tenants are reluctant to commit to long-term leases in today’s uncertain economic times, especially when asked to personally guaranty the leases.  In addition to the ability to do a “kick-out” clause, tenants can request limitations on the length of the guaranty along with other alternatives.  If you want further information on alternative ways to structure the personal guaranty, please read the following article.

 

Click here  for “Structured Guaranties To Limit Liability Of The Commercial Tenant Guaranty of Collection vs. Payment Limitation On Length of Guarantyby attorney Kevin F. Jursinski of Kevin F. Jursinski and Associates, to see how your lease is shaping up.

 

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Commercial Law and You

Legal Holidays
in December and January

Don't forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in December 2012 and January 2013!

12/24 - Christmas Eve
12/25 - Christmas
12/31 - New Year's Eve
1/1 - New Year's Day
1/21 - Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day

 

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

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

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Available by appointment at:

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37 N Orange Ave Suite 500, Orlando, FL 32801

Phone: 1-800-253-8428     Fax: 1-800-367-9038