Click here to view the Newsletter in your Web Browser
Click here to go directly to EVICT.COM


LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 8 Issue 9


CONVENTIONS, EDUCATION AND TRADE SHOWS - OH MY!!!

This month the State Chapter of National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) held its first ever trade show and educational convention in Orlando. All attendees came away with more knowledge on how to run their property management company more safely and efficiently. Next year’s Convention will be huge. On October 26-28, the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) will be holding its annual FAA education conference and trade show at the Hilton Orlando on Destination Parkway; each year, this event gets bigger and better.   Register NOW for the whole conference, or if your schedule does not permit, at least make it to the best trade show for the multifamily housing industry in Florida with a one day pass.

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

Back to Top

NEW COURT PROCEDURES AND YOU

Most of the courts in Florida will be requiring electronic filing of documents in the near future.  What does this mean to you? It means that your leases and three day notices need to be clean and clear, with nothing on them highlighted. Anything that will interfere with the legibility of the document could result in a delay by the court or rejection of a document. Try to keep your documents extremely clean, always use black ink (not blue), avoid handwriting things on your notice, and consider how the documents will look when scanned.

Back to Top

YOUR WORK ORDER POLICY AND THE LAW

It is 10 a.m., and a resident catches your maintenance tech in the parking lot, notifying him that the a/c in her apartment is not cooling. The response is, “You need to go to the office and write up a work order”.  No work order gets written up, and the resident ends up in eviction for nonpayment of rent.  She obtains a lawyer and successfully defends the case on the grounds that the a/c was never fixed. What happened? You say that the resident did not follow “company policy”, while the judge could not care less about your policy, and holds that you LOSE because your maintenance tech was told of a problem and did nothing.

Click here  to see how your “company policy” and actions may need to be looked at more carefully.

Back to Top

DEALING WITH CORRESPONDENCE FROM ATTORNEYS

You receive a letter or email from an attorney with a deadline by which to respond. You panic. The letter says that your resident is going to break the lease and if the attorney does not hear from you within 10 days, it will be assumed that you have agreed to this course of action.  Another attorney disputes a debt and wants verification of how and why you came to the amount you are charging the resident. What do you do?  Should you respond and “state your position”?

Click here  to see how to properly respond or NOT.

Back to Top

CERTIFIED MAIL IS THE WAY TO GO? – NO!!!!!

Many landlords and property managers feel that sending a tenant a letter, notice or other correspondence by certified Mail is the preferred and better way to send mail. After all it is “certified”, whatever that means. This REALLY means that the intended recipient may refuse to pick it up or accept it in many cases, resulting in that resident never getting your correspondence.  With the exception of the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit AND in the event your lease requires something to be sent by certified mail,  NEVER rely on this method as the proper way to go. If you are going to use certified mail, also use regular mail, and if you really want to be sure the tenant gets the correspondence, hand deliver it or post it on the door in the resident’s absence, in addition to sending it by regular and certified mail.

Back to Top

THE CONDO/HOA RENTAL DEAL KILLER

Your owner’s property is governed by an association which requires a “common area deposit” or “security deposit” from your resident.  The association is allowed by law to require this, and it can often kill the deal. In many cases, the association will allow the owner to “put up” this money for the resident, but you need to make sure that the association returns the money to the owner at the end of the lease. The last thing you want is the resident to receive the deposit that the owner fronted.   The best way to handle this is by using a proper form which is an agreement between the owner and the association, that spells out that the owner is putting up the deposit and will receive it back from the association when the resident vacates, minus any common area damages.

Click here  to download the Agreement.

Back to Top

PROHIBITED PRACTICES UNDER FLORIDA STATUTE 83.67

Last week, Ken came into your office and applied for an apartment.   He informed you that he is currently serving in the United States Army. He also told you that he been told by his commanding officer that he will soon be stationed in Afghanistan. You are worried that Ken will either quickly terminate his lease obligations, or even worse, avoid paying rent while on active military duty, and you therefore decline his application. That same week, Jennifer, one of your residents, failed to pay her electric bill, and the power company disconnected her service. The electric service then reverted back to the apartment community’s account. You then informed the electric provider to shut off the service. Both Ken and Jennifer have threatened to sue.  Do they have a basis to sue the landlord?

Click here  to learn which actions if undertaken by a landlord are considered prohibited practices.

Back to Top

THE LANDLORD GRANTING ACCESS TO OTHERS

The community manager is contacted by the sister of a resident.  The sister is listed as the resident’s emergency contact.  She tells you that the resident is in the hospital after having been involved in an auto accident.  She says that she needs access to check the apartment, pay his bills, and make sure everything is alright in general.  She offers to allow the manager to copy her ID.  The manager would like to help the resident, but is concerned about possible liability.  Can the manager give her access?

Click here  to find out about granting access to the resident’s premises to others.

Back to Top

COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU – Pass Throughs And Results of Commercial Lease Audits or Reviews

Many an unwary commercial tenant does not realize that his ability to have an audit conducted on the CAM charges may be severely limited. Additionally, if an audit does occur, the tenant may be faced with having to pay the landlord expenses the landlord may have incurred by virtue of an audit which reveals no inaccuracies. Not only is it crucial who conducts the commercial lease audit, and how the commercial lease audit is conducted, but the lease wording and the principles of waiver and estoppel may prevent a commercial tenant from recouping a massive amount of money improperly charged by the landlord over the course of years.  Is your lease audit wording properly drafted?

Click here  for Part IV  Pass Throughs and Results of Commercial Lease Audits or Reviews  by attorney Kevin Jursinski.

 

Back to Top

In this issue:

Conventions, Education

New Court Procedures

Work Order Policy

Communicating with Attorneys

Certified Mail

Condo/HOA Rental Deal Killer

Prohibited Practices Under 83.67

Granting Access to Others

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 2011!

Monday, Oct. 10 -
Columbus Day

 

USEFUL LINKS:










 

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.

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