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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 8 Issue 10


APPRECIATING YOUR VENDORS

Having the best vendors is crucial to managing property successfully. Without them, you could not function.  Many contribute a massive amount of time and money behind the scenes to the rental housing industry, and you can meet many of them at the annual tradeshows each year for the various associations. A strong vendor or affiliate base is the backbone to many associations, and sometimes the key to the survival of those associations.  If you have one or more great vendors that are not members of your association, ask them to join. It is not too late to see the best of the best at the FAA Education Conference & Trade Show. If you cannot attend the entire conference, one day passes are available. Stop by your favorite vendor and thank them for helping you stay successful.

Click here  and register for the FAA Education Conference & Trade Show.

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REOPEN FEES

Earlier this month, you decided to allow one of your residents under eviction to remain at your apartment community. The resident signed a stipulation after receiving a final judgment of eviction. Earlier in the month, you also informed your attorney that another resident failed to comply with the stipulation reached in that case, because payments were not made on the agreed dates. You instructed your attorney to file an affidavit of noncompliance with the court so that a final judgment of eviction could be entered. Today, you open your mail and find that that you must reimburse your attorney the reopen fees that were paid to the clerk of court in connection with both of the above residents. What are those charges? Why do you have to pay them?

Click here  to learn when reopen fees are applicable.

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SEXUAL OFFENDERS AND PREDATORS

Very few things are more upsetting than the discovery of a sexual offender or predator living on your property. In no time at all, other residents will find out and often will want to break their lease. Possibly the person is an unauthorized occupant, or worse yet, has slipped through the cracks and is an actual resident or authorized occupant on the lease. The key is to be able to get the individual removed quickly, and to prevent it from happening in the first place, if possible.

Click here  to see how to deal with the discovery of a sexual predator or offender.

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EVICTION AVOIDANCE PRACTICES

Your regional manager stopped by your apartment community last week. During your meeting with the regional manager, you were told that your residents’ delinquency totals are unacceptable. Your knee jerk reaction was to immediately send each and every delinquent resident to eviction. In the past, management had been very lax in sending residents to eviction after the Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent expired. Today, a number of residents have come into the office to complain, and others have emailed your corporate office complaining.  Most said that if they had heard from you prior to the eviction action being filed, they would have paid. You regret now not having opened up the lines of communication with your delinquent residents.

Click here  to see how you can avoid evicting some of your residents.

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IS THE MANAGER’S ACCESS PROPER?

A dog in an apartment has been howling since yesterday, and neighbors are complaining.  The manager knocks and then enters after no one answers.  Another resident, who has requested a minor toilet repair, told maintenance that he didn’t want anyone in his apartment when he wasn’t there.  The lease provides that residents consent to entry to their apartments for requested repairs.  Maintenance enters and completes the repair when no one is home.  In each of these two cases, when the resident returns to his apartment, he becomes furious, threatens to call the police, terminate his lease and sue the manager.  Does the manager face trouble in either case?

Click here  to learn if the manager’s access was authorized.

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LEASE RENEWAL QUICK TIP

A common mistake we see occurs at renewal time. One resident signs the lease renewal; the other is not around, never comes in and signs it, and the lease ends up buried in the file with the mistake to be discovered at the time of eviction or when the account is sent to collections. TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY.  Not only will you not be able to send the person who failed to sign the renewal to collections, you also could run into a serious problem when trying to evict, as one has signed, the other has not, BUT you may have been accepting rent from the one who has not signed. A confusing mess can result.

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NOTICE SERVING QUICK TIP

Serving notices can be downright dangerous. To help prove you served a notice, a witness is often handy, but more importantly, serving notices with someone else can help keep it safer.  A person in financial distress or in noncompliance with the lease agreement could and sometimes does become violent towards the property manager.  If you have been threatened by a resident or feel that by serving a notice you may trigger a serious confrontation, hire a process server to handle this for you. To help keep the prices down, call your attorney and ask who your law firm uses to serve process, and possibly get the same rate that your attorney pays.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU – Execution of Lease Documents and Signators

You just found a tenant for your strip center, and trying to save some money, decided to prepare your own lease with your tenant, which is an LLC. How is the lease to be signed? In a personal name? A corporate name? Is there a guarantor? The name of the tenant on the lease and manner in which the lease is signed can result in drastic consequences, such as the tenant attempting to get out of the lease or you having no recourse against the tenant in the event of a default. Any ambiguity is construed against the lease maker, which is usually the landlord; therefore, it is crucial to understand how the tenant’s name appears on the lease and how it is to be executed. Simple, eh? Not so fast!

Click here  for Execution of Lease Documents and Signators by Attorney Kevin Jursinski.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - KELLIE E. JACKSON

Kellie E. Jackson is Regional Vice President of Property Operations at Milestone Management and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of property operations for the East Region comprising of assets located in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Maryland spending over 19 years in the multifamily industry gaining expertise in acquisitions, repositions and dispositions. A licensed Florida Real Estate Broker, Ms. Jackson currently holds her Certified Property Manager designation from the Institution of Real Estate Management as well as the Certified Apartment Manager from the National Apartment Association graduating from the NAA Leadership Lyceum program in 2007.

 

Since serving as President of the First Coast Apartment Association, Ms. Jackson’s current roles include President of the Florida Apartment Association and as Board Member of the National Apartment Association. As a NAA Board member, Ms. Jackson’s roles include Leadership Lyceum Chairperson, Trustee of NAA’s PAC Board and committee member of both the Budget and Finance and Education Conference Committees.  

 

When not traveling for Milestone, Kellie becomes “Hostess with the Mostess” in her cherished neighborhood village in Saint Johns, Florida and enjoys traveling to sleepy beach towns throughout the Florida Keys. As a mother of two newly scuba certified teenagers and Fisherman’s wife, Kellie is never far from water.  If not found in a board meeting, at the airport or on a boat, you will most certainly find Kellie at your local Zumba class.  As a certified Zumba Instructor, you will find her in front of the class dancing her favorite salsa.

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In this issue:

Appreciate Your Vendors

Reopen Fees

Sexual Offenders & Predators

Eviction Avoidance Practices

Access by The Property Manager

Lease Renewal Quick Tip

Notice Serving Quick Tip

Commercial Law and You

Industry Leader of The Month

 

Commercial Law and You

November
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in November 2011!

Nov. 11 - Veteran's Day
Nov. 24, 25 - Thanksgiving

 

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

Copyright 2004-2011. All Rights Reserved.

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

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