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Vol. 6 Issue 10


October 2009 marks 20 years for us. From its humble beginning in 1989, the firm now has 4 attorneys and 20 staff members serving property management clients throughout Florida. Our clients range from mom and pop rentals to the largest REIT’s in the country. We remain committed to and are grateful to the rental housing industry, and especially the associations of property managers throughout the state who strive to increase their professionalism, profitability and commitment to providing affordable housing to Florida’s renters. Thank you for making us successful, and we hope that we have contributed to your success as well.

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EVICTION STATUS REPORTS – When will my eviction be done?

If you need a “Status Report” on a current case, click here. Our staff will personally check our computer, the court’s computer, and in most cases, actually make the call to the court to get a “real” accurate status report, not one just based on our computer or what the court docket says on the internet. Making that phone call to the court clerk or the judicial assistant can have a real impact on the speed of an eviction, and most importantly making sure a case does not get “lost in space” in the court system. WE make calls, because WE have the staff to do it!

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The tenant signed a lease which stated that cable, internet or maybe water were included in the base rent amount. Actually, the condo unit owner was paying for these services, as they were included in the condo maintenance fee. The condo association, facing financial difficulties, votes and decides that it is no longer is going to include these services to the units as part of the maintenance fee. However, the tenant expected it to be included in the rent. Who pays now? Time to take a look at your lease.  A revision may be in order, as the property owner is now stuck paying this amount, and surprises are not always fun.

Click here  to see how your lease may need to be modified.

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You have received a letter from the judge who has been assigned your eviction case. You open the envelope and learn that the judge has elected not to rule on the merits of your case yet. Instead, you have been ordered to attend mediation. In all likelihood the letter will give you no explanation as to how this process works. The meaning of the word “mediation” may be a mystery to you. It is vital that you understand how you can use the mediation process to help you remain in control of your court case and achieve your goals without running the risk of putting your fate in the hands of the Judge.

Click here for an explanation of the “mysterious” mediation.

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The tenant was evicted and left you with a ton of old furniture, a damaged apartment with bed bugs, three months’ rent owing, a $400 electric bill and a cat. The last thing you are thinking about is giving them back their security deposit, because they are not going to get it. But wait! Don’t forget to send the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit out by certified mail. It is a common mistake and COULD result in you having to return the deposit to the tenant.

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“Anything you say (or write) can and will be used against you in a court of law”. You have heard the saying, and it applies ever so much in property management. How you respond to a tenant can make a big difference in the outcome of a dispute. Our natural tendency to defend ourselves, explain ourselves, apologize or get into a fight when falsely accused can make a small matter big in no time and create a damaging paper trail. Paper trails are excellent, but we must exercise care in what we write.

Click here to see how to properly respond.

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In management, like in life, we sometimes are in a hurry or have done something so often or think that something is so obvious that we can skip over it.  In management, like in life, this can be a mistake.  In life it can be embarrassing.  We have to apologize for the miscommunication.  In management it can be disastrous.  An eviction is delayed, or worse, dismissed.  A non-renewal is improper, and the tenant cannot be made to vacate the unit.  Meanwhile, we are dealing with an angry new tenant who cannot move in on time.  How do we avoid missing the obvious?

Click here to see if you are missing the obvious on your notices.

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Do you have a laptop gathering dust on a shelf? You know, the one that is slow, has the dead battery and practically no memory? It is useless to you.  Eventually you will throw it out but there is an alternative. Give it to Harry. Attorney Harry Heist and his wife Christina have a program in Costa Rica to get laptops to students they are sponsoring to go to college. The students need laptops, mainly to write papers, and so as long as the computer works, it is useful. Dead battery, no problem. The kids just plug the computers in. We will pick it up or pay you the postage to send it to our office. Call Harry for info at 1 800 253 8428 and help a student out!

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In this issue:

Happennings at HWD

Eviction Status Reports

Condo Associations & HOA's

Eviction and Mediation

Eviction and Sec.  Deposit Whoops

Saying or Writing Too Much

Missing The Obvious

Used Laptops Needed!


Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in November 2009!

11 - Veteran's Day

26, 27 - Thanksgiving




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

Copyright 2004-2009. All Rights Reserved.

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

17264 San Carlos Blvd Ste 308 Ft Myers Beach, FL 33932 (Principal Address)
Available by appointment at:

2451 N McMullen Booth Rd., Ste. 244, Clearwater, FL 33759
37 N Orange Ave Suite 500, Orlando, FL 32801

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