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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 7 Issue 9


FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION EDUCATION CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW IS COMING SOON!

The BIG EVENT we wait for all year long will be held at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando this year from October 20-22  with incredible room rates, but you need to register now!  This is the biggest event for the multifamily housing industry in Florida, and this year promises to be the best yet. There will be a huge trade show, educational programs, awards, parties and a lot of fun for all. Advance your career, get to know the top industry leaders in Florida, and have a great time in Orlando!

Click here  for information and registration.

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VOTE NO ON 4!

Florida’s economic future, quality of life, and hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake on November 2nd.  If you haven’t heard about Amendment 4 yet, or just haven’t taken the time to find out about it, now is the time.  The good news is that we can beat it… Here’s what you can do: Door Hangers – APAC has door hangers that educate renters on how Amendment 4 would impact them.  If you would like to order them please contact Chip Tatum, FAA Government Affairs Director. Communicate – Visit www.florida2010.org for tools on how you can communicate the “Vote No on 4” message!  Vote – On November 2nd Vote NO on 4! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Chip at chip@fl-apartments.org or call 321-277-8401

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THE LANDLORD’S DUTY TO MAINTAIN

The resident calls the management office with some maintenance and repair requests.  The resident also asks that the landlord make some improvements that he claims are required by law.  The manager does a quick check of the lease.  The lease states that the resident takes the rental “as is”.  Further, the lease indicates that some of the maintenance items are the resident’s duty.  The manager politely informs the resident of the lease provisions.  The resident insists that they are the landlord’s duty under Florida statutes and building codes, and he threatens to call county code compliance.  Should the manager be worried?

Click here  to learn about legal requirements to maintain the rental.

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CONDUCTING A MID-YEAR REVIEW PART 2

Now that the first half of 2010 has come and gone, the smart property manager will take a step back to evaluate and correct any mistakes that are continually made. The stakes are very high, as residents and their attorneys are always looking for a new angle to sue your company. Of course, with the state of the economy and limited funds allocated for expenses, many property managers may find it difficult to keep everything under control. The good news is that our newsletter is free. Take advantage of this, and correct any habitual mistakes that you are making in the course of your dealings with your residents.

Click here  for Part 2 of the Mid-Year Review and see how you are shaping up.

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MASSIVE MONEY LOST THIS PAST MONTH AND IT WAS YOUR FAULT? YES

How may of you reading this right now forgot that Labor Day was a legal holiday in every Florida county, and Rosh Hashanah was a legal holiday in many counties, and you had your attorney tell you that your Three Day Notice was incorrect.  You had to redo the Three Day Notice, which usually ends up being 5 days if there is an intervening weekend, and more money was lost. Multiply 5 days of rent by the thousands of Three Day Notices that had to be redone and reserved, and you get the picture.

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MAINTENANCE STAFF TIP

Ever been frustrated when a resident jams and breaks a garbage disposal, uses a sprinkler head as a clothes hanger and causes a massive flood, or otherwise breaks something in the apartment because he just did not know what he was doing? How does that happen? How ignorant can someone be? Don’t underestimate anything, as this may be the first time your resident has even lived in an apartment. If you want these problems avoided, always conduct a thorough walkthrough with the resident, explaining these and other items. You should even consider creating your own “Tip Sheet” to give to the resident, and avoid these unnecessary problems that occur all the time.
 

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SECURITY DEPOSIT UNCERTAINTY

One of the most common questions we get from the single family home manager deals with what to do when the property owner tells the manager to transfer the security deposit to the owner, or the manager no longer wishes to manage and wants to get rid of the security deposit.  Do we need the resident’s permission? Should we ask? Suppose we don’t get the permission? Are we stuck?  The law is not clear, but hopefully this article will give you some guidance.

Click here  to see how to deal with the security deposit transfer demand.

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FILING YOUR OWN EVICTIONS

When money is tight, and it is, some apartment community managers or single family home managers will file evictions and not use an attorney.  Is it allowed by law? Yes. Will it save you money? NO. If a case is contested, you will have to hire an attorney, and if you factor in your time and the risk to your company if you make a mistake or a counterclaim is filed, it is sheer insanity. Every week we get calls from someone who filed his own eviction and now want us to clean up the mess. Sorry, Charley! You are on your own. You tried to save less than $150, and now look what happened!!! It is an expensive lesson to be learned.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU –  Execution of Commercial Leases by Disinterested Witnesses and Initialing of Pages

Your lease has been prepared, and now it is time to have the document executed. Since the lease exceeds one year, there are of course 2 witnesses necessary. Can you as a lease signer witness the signature of the tenant? Are you not an interested party? While the law may allow this, you really should think twice before being a witness. Although everything is great at lease signing, all kinds of defenses are looked for when a party wants out, and unfortunately, that time may come. Will you be at risk?

Click here  see how a commercial lease should be witnessed by Commercial Law Attorney Kevin Jursinski.

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In this issue:

FAA Conference and
 Trade Show

Vote No on 4!

Landlord's Duty to Maintain

Mid-Year Review - Part 2

Money Lost

Maintenance Staff Tip

Security Deposit Transfers

Filing Your Own Evictions

Commercial Law and You

 

Commercial Law and You

October
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in October 2010!

October 11 - Columbus Day

 

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

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