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LEGAL NEWS

Vol. 10 Issue 5


FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE IS DAYS AWAY!

The Florida Apartment Association (FAA) Education Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for October 16th -18th. You are running out of time if you have not already registered! If you are a multi-family manager, owner, developer or supplier, this is your convention. Register today!

Click here  to register for the FAA Convention.

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NARPM FLORIDA STATE CHAPTER CONVENTION A SUCCESS!

The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) Florida State Chapter broke all records this year with over 170 attendees to the Education Conference and Trade Show in Lake Mary, Florida. Exciting speakers included, among others, Wesley Aleshire with a riveting Fair Housing presentation, James Alderson on inspections, Tom Swapp on foreign investor tax issues, and a very special treat, County Court Judge Hitzemann on evictions! There are plenty more educational opportunities this year, so check in with your local NARPM Chapter! Not a member yet? Go to www.narpm.org and join up.


Click here  for convention pictures!

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NONCOMPLIANCES AND THE NEW LAW

Under the law prior to July of 2013, in the event of a curable noncompliance, the property manager would serve a Seven-Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure, detailing the curable lease or law noncompliance, and if the noncompliance was not cured in seven calendar days, the manager would then serve a Seven-Day Termination Notice.  Seven more days would then have to elapse before an eviction could be filed.  The new law clarifies that the landlord need not deliver a subsequent Seven-Day Termination Notice, and allows an eviction to be filed immediately after the Seven-Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure has expired. Is NOT using a Seven-Day Termination Notice a good idea though?

 

Click here  for our analysis of the law change and best practices.

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TRAINING YOUR VENDORS AND MAINTENANCE TECHS

Your maintenance tech charged the a/c compressor for the third time and said to the resident, “I am doing my best, but the compressor really needs replacement”. Your tree trimmer points out another dead or diseased tree to the resident that was not on the work order. Your plumber tells the resident that the sewer line “has sand in it and must be broken somewhere”. These flubs cause residents to not want to pay rent and create legal problems.

 

Click here to see how this can be avoided.

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DEPOSITS WHEN ADDING AND SUBTRACTING RESIDENTS FROM THE LEASE

One of the easiest things to forget when adding or subtracting a resident from the lease is the security deposit. Who paid it and who gets it?  If this is not dealt with in writing, you could end up having conflicting demands on a full or partially returned deposit. Never assume anything or be ambiguous at this juncture, or serious legal problems can and do arise.

 

Click here  for the proper way to handle the added or removed resident.

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TERMINATION FEES

Many people forget the Circuit Court case in 2003 that essentially made charging termination fees illegal. The ONLY termination fee that is legal is the one that can be charged if the resident picks Choice #1 on the “Early Termination Addendum” at lease signing. Has your company forgotten? Are you blindly following directives from the out of state office?  It is imperative that your company examines its practices with respect to charging the resident when the resident breaks the lease. No court decision has overturned the 2003 case, and no law has allowed any termination fee or penalty other than the one prescribed in the Early Termination Addendum.

 

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BEDBUGS AND THE MULTIFAMILY MANAGER

Last month, one of your residents reported a nasty bedbug infestation inside his apartment home. You jumped right on this, and your staff immediately inspected the unit and found no bedbug problem. Also, your maintenance supervisor inspected the unit before the resident moved in and declared it to be ‘bedbug free”. The resident continued to claim that he was bitten by bedbugs. The resident just notified you that he was withholding rent. Now your attorney has advised you that the “bedbug free” certification is worthless and illegal, plus to make matters worse, since your maintenance staff is not licensed, you essentially have no proof at this point to counter the resident’s allegations. Meanwhile the rent delinquency amount continues to grow, much to the displeasure of your regional manager. What is happening here?

 

Click here  to learn how to properly implement bedbug policies and procedures.

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EVICTION QUICK TIP

Stopping the writ of possession because you think the resident has vacated is usually a bad idea and a complete waste of the money you spent with the sheriff for getting the job done. Always execute the writ of possession completely once it has been issued. You paid for it; now get your money’s worth. Most importantly is to have the sheriff’s deputy completely walk the unit by him or herself prior to you taking possession.
 

Click here  to find out how to deal with the sheriff’s deputy.


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FAIR HOUSING!

Do you have a written Fair Housing rental policy regarding service, assistance and emotional support animals?  If not, you should.  If you already have one, it likely needs updating based on HUD’s newest guidance. Persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal, including an emotional support animal under both the Fair Housing Act and Section 504. The amount of individuals with service and emotional support animals is growing rapidly, and it is imperative that you know how to properly deal with the requests.

 
Click here  to get “in the know” with a guest article by Fair Housing experts  attorneys Robert (“Robin”) Hein, Esq. and J. “Mike” Williams, Esq.

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GIVING BACK TO THE NEEDY!

The founding partner of the Law Offices of Heist, Weisse and Wolk has a few pet projects for sure. Harry collects used laptops, school supplies and stuffed animals from clients and seminar attendees for needy persons in Central America. Additionally, he is involved with Porch De Salomon  which builds homes, hosts mission teams, provides humanitarian relief and supports a traveling nurse in and around Panajachal, Guatemala. The outpouring of donations has been incredible. Besides the personal donations from clients, recently the First Coast Apartment Association, the Tampa Bay Chapter of NARPM, and the Northeast Florida NARPM each donated brand new laptops for the Costa Rican College Student Program!! A few weeks ago the Sarasota Bradenton NARPM Chapter, the Northeast Florida NARPM and the Pinellas Realtor Organization donated money and school supplies as well! We cannot begin to thank all of you who were able to do this!

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH – TIEA VINCENT

Tiea Vincent has been employed as a property manager at Walter Williams Property Management in Jacksonville for the past 3 years. Prior to that she was involved with multifamily and single family management and sales in Florida, Hawaii, and Tennessee. Tiea is very active with the National Association of Residential Property Managers and is the President Elect for the NARPM Jacksonville Chapter. She holds the position of NARPM Nationals Next Generation Professional Chair for 2013.  In 2012 Tiea was awarded the coveted NARPM Rocky Maxwell Award. She is also involved in NEFAR and sits as co-chair of the Young Professional Network. While property management remains her true calling, she is also the owner/operator of The Rental Home Inspector, which provides detailed interior, move-in, and move-out inspections. For an exciting new venture, Tiea recently purchased the South Jacksonville Mr. Rekey franchise, which is expected to start serving the Jacksonville area in the coming weeks. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jason, daughter Layla, and Shiloh, the Golden Doodle. Her favorite weekend past time is taking Layla to the Jacksonville Beach and Pier. She and Jason enjoy riding their Harley and soaking up the Florida sunshine. You will find Tiea’s name on this year’s ballot for Florida State NARPM 2014 President Elect.

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Commercial Law and You

Legal Holidays
in October and November

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in October and November 2013!

10/14 - Columbus Day

11/11 - Veterans' Day

11/28, 11/29 - Thanksgiving

 

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

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