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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 5 Issue 9


OUR EVICT.COM WEBSITE IS IMPROVING

The official website of the Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Lucrezi, P.A. is Florida’s largest and most current attorney written source of legal information for the residential property manager. Unlike many sites with bells and whistles which are meant as an advertising tool, our site is designed to give out information and keep the property manager up to date. We now have a new search feature which will enable you to find anything that is contained within our site by simply putting in the search word or phrase. Suggestions are always welcome!  

Click here to try out the new search feature.

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REVISING YOUR CLAIM ON THE SECURITY DEPOSIT

The tenant vacated, and you did an inspection and made the claim on the security deposit by certified mail as the law provides. Your maintenance staff then discovers some serious problems that you missed in your inspection, including fleas, bad touch up paint by the tenant and a hidden rug burn. Can you go back and send out a revised claim? Have you waived your rights to making an additional claim?

Click here  for more info on dealing with Revised Security Deposit Claim.

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AIR CONDITIONER UNIT THEFTS ON THE RISE

If you are managing a home or apartment community, the chances are getting better that your air conditioning unit will disappear in the night. I know, it happened to me last month on one of my rental properties. With copper prices on the rise, these thefts have become rampant, with some communities reporting hundred of units stolen. You and your owner will not like hearing the bad news, and most insurance policies either will not cover thefts from vacant homes, or the deductible is just too high. Call your local a/c tech and ask about the latest anti-theft devices. From simple anti-theft bolt downs to actual metal cages and alarms, an expenditure in security may save you thousands. 

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ACCEPTING RENT WHEN A TENANT IS IN NONCOMPLIANCE

Often a tenant is served with a Seven Day Notice to Cure for some type of noncompliance. Within the seven day time frame, the rent becomes due.  Perhaps the tenant tenders the rent, or if the rent remains unpaid, the landlord serves a Three Day Notice to pay the rent, and the tenant responds to the notice by paying the rent. But wait. The tenant is in noncompliance, and now you have accepted the rent. This classic case of attempting to have your cake and eat it to has caused many landlord serious problems.

Click here to see the interaction between a Seven Day Notice and Rent Payment.

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KNOW YOUR LEASE

How long has it been since you read the lease?  Really read it? Tell the truth now.  If you haven’t done so in the last three months, do it right now.  It is a good practice to read it periodically so as to avoid complacency and errors. Additionally, while you are reading your lease, highlight important areas and transfer this to a lease tip sheet so you can explain your lease to an applicant and point out what you feel are the most important provisions. Don’t let something important get overlooked or misunderstood because your tenant did not read the lease.

Click here for some tips on “Knowing your Lease” by attorney Cathy Lucrezi.

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THE COMMON AND POTENTIALLY FATAL THREE DAY MISTAKE

Your tenant owes you $750 plus a $25 late charge, and your lease states that there is also a $5 per day late charge. Fortunately, the lease considers late charges as “additional rent”, so late charges can legally be placed on the Three Day Notice (in most counties). The Three Day Notice you prepare demands “$775 plus $5 per day”  Problem? You bet. By not having a clear set amount on the notice, you have arguably created ambiguity, which could cause the Three Day Notice to be considered defective and the eviction action thrown out of court. The “plus $5 per day” wording could ruin the notice and hopefully will be caught by your attorney before an eviction is filed.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Tenant's Hours of Operation and Unintended Consequences

Your tenant is having financial difficulties and decides to cut its hours of operations or close for the summer. Other tenants in your strip center rely on the traffic generated from this tenant and all of a sudden, this traffic stops. You are receiving a portion of the gross rent, and now that stops. Do you have a remedy? Has the lease drafter taken this into consideration when the lease was created?

Click here to see if your lease addresses this unfortunate situation.
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - “COMMON SCREENING MISTAKES”                                           By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

A rejected applicant is not a happy person.  Who likes being turned down?  If the individual feels he or she was treated unfairly or disrespectfully, there is a very good chance the individual will make a complaint to an agency that deals with fair housing.  Here are some mistakes to avoid.
 

Click here to avoid some common screening mistakes.
 

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In this issue:

Evict.com is Improving

Revising Sec. Deposit Claim

A/C Unit Thefts on the Rise

Rent  and Non-Compliance

Know Your Lease

Common 3-Day Mistake

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

October
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in October 2008!

9 - Yom Kippur

13 - Columbus Day

* Note: The above date may not be a Legal Holiday in your county, but we recommend excluding it anyway.

 
   

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