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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 6 Issue 9


A HURRICANE FREE FAA EDUCATION CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW

2009 was the best yet! The Caribe Royale in Orlando hosted the Florida Apartment Association’s yearly big event with industry leaders and the movers and shakers of the multifamily housing profession. Education, networking and fun was had by all.  Cindy Fredlund was installed as President, and the winners of the Florida Apartment Association’s biggest award, the “Hall Of Fame”, were Donna Reiter, Dan Allen and Chris Burns, all industry veterans. Mark your calendar now for next year’s big event, which will be back at the Omni ChampionsGate.

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RENTAL ASSISTANCE FORM DANGERS

Often a resident who is unable to pay the rent will seek out the many social service agencies for rental assistance. Most of these agencies provide the resident with a form that the property manager must sign in order for the agency to process the resident’s request. The resident brings you the form, and you blindly sign it. The money never arrives, a month goes by, and you file the eviction, only to have the have the case thrown out of court by the judge, because you unwittingly “promised” not to file an eviction by signing the form. You simply did not read the fine print, and on top of that, did not even keep a copy. Should you sign these forms? Do you know the dangers?
 

Click here  for some info on social services forms and their implications.

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THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU COMPLAINT

You recently received a letter from the Better Business Bureau, asking you to respond to them in writing in 10 days. It is already day 8, and you are panicking. Your former resident is alleging that you were the worst landlord in the world, accusing you of horrible actions and failure to maintain the property. Are you legally required to answer this complaint?  If not legally required, are there any advantages to answering the complaint?

Click here  to see how to deal with the Better Business Bureau.

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DO YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR OWNER?

The phone rings. It is an owner from New Jersey with 5 homes he wants you to manage: finally some good news for the bad day you are having. But is it really good news? Is this owner someone for whom you want to work? Do you know anything about the owner? What questions should you ask? Many managers blindly begin managing properties without doing their due diligence, and the nightmare begins. How ironic that you screen prospective residents so thoroughly, but know next to nothing about the person who is going to employ you and expect you to fix all their problems.

Click here to see if you really want to accept that new account.

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APPLICATION PROCESS TIP

Your applicant sits down with a clip board and a cool beverage; he provides the information requested, including his name, address, driver’s license number and Social Security number.  You run the application through your screening company and approve him on the spot. Three months later you find out the person who filled out the application and who is living in the unit is not the same person whom you approved. The problem was a fake ID, or even worse, you did not look at the ID. Make sure you always look at the ID, and think about buying an ID guide, such as the one used in bars to help  spot a fake, or if your company can afford it, a Driver’s License Scanner which will read the magnetic strip on the driver’s license to detect fakes. Bar and club owners realize the importance of spotting a fake.  How about you?

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SILLY LEASE CLAUSE OF THE MONTH

We are often asked to put a clause in the lease stating that “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs will not be placed on the property until some period prior to lease end, or the residents agree to allow showings of the property only in a similar “end of lease period”. Why would you want to tie the hands of the property owner who may need to sell the home? It is bad enough that residents fail to cooperate; why put these clauses in the lease and allow residents to refuse showings or signs. An owner has no idea today whether he or she may have to suddenly sell the home.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH – Dale Pritchard

Dale Pritchard is the owner of A Greener Image, a Jacksonville, Florida based company that has provided fertilization and pest control services to the multi-family industry since 1995.

Beginning his career in 1984 working with a prior company, Dale broached the idea of selling fertilization and pest control services to apartment communities to his employer.  Back in those days, nobody gave a lot of thought to the value of enhanced curb appeal when attracting traffic.  As communities began to come on board, the importance of “green, insect free turf” became obvious, and over the course of about 2 years, Dale’s employer was caring for over 100 multi-family sites.

Going out on his own in 1995 with “A Greener Image”, Dale has accumulated 25 years of experience providing excellence in curb appeal for the apartment industry.  Over these years, he has tirelessly served on the Boards of the First Coast Apartment Association, the Apartment Council of Jacksonville, the Sun Coast Apartment Association, formerly called the Space Coast Apartment Association, and has served as a Board member and Officer for the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) for years.  He also co-chaired the FAA Education Conference two years in a row, serving with Nan Cavarretta and putting on hugely successful education conferences and trade shows. Dale has attended every single FAA Education Conference and Trade Show since 1985, with all the memories that go with that accomplishment. Very few people have been so active in FAA going that far back, and great thanks goes out to Dale for all his hard work

This year, Dale had the opportunity to visit each of the Florida’s eleven local FAA affiliates as he accompanied his fiancée, Brenda Gallagher, who is the immediate past FAA President.  Dale and Brenda reside in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.  He has two daughters and a grand-daughter (Layla Grace) that is 15 months old.  He enjoys photography, boating and fishing. We are sure you will see Dale at the 2010 FAA Education Conference and Trade Show! Make sure you seek him out and say, “Thanks for all the hard work!”

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In this issue:

FAA Conference

The Dangers of Rental Assistance Forms

BBB Complaint

Screening Your Owner

Application Processing Tip

Silly Lease Clause

Industry Leader of the Month

   

October
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in October 2009!

12 - Columbus Day

 

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

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