LEGAL NEWS - APRIL 2005


 THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGERS
 (FARPM) ANNUAL CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW IS COMING!
 

The Eighth Annual Convention and Trade Show for the residential property manager will be taking place May 18-20 at the Hilton Daytona Beach/Ocean Walk Village (formerly the Adam’s Mark).  This convention will be an action packed time of education, networking and fun for the attendees. If you manage single family homes, duplexes and tri-plexes, this convention is for you!

Click here for the full Convention Brochure and Registration

 

 THE SHARKS ARE CIRCLING – ARE YOU PROTECTED?

More and more eviction cases are being contested by attorneys specializing in representing tenants, and a number of new class action lawsuits have been filed in Florida against major management companies and owners of multifamily housing. Are you sitting back just hoping you will not be hit, or are you taking proactive protective actions right now?.

Click here and take some action today.
 

 NOTICE TRAINING OF THE MONTH – “THE AGREEMENT TO VACATE”

Your tenant is a nightmare, you have served Seven Day Notices, you constantly are receiving complaints from neighbors, but you just don’t have that solid case. Possibly you suspect drug activity but don’t have any proof.  Maybe you suspect that there is an unauthorized occupant, as you see an extra car at the unit every night. In many situations there is definitely a problem, but getting the tenant out through the court system just might not be successful. Are there alternatives? You bet. All you need to do is get your tenant to sign a simple form.

To see how the Agreement to Vacate can help you, click here.  
 

 HOT LEASE TIP! THE PET ADDENDUM AND NON-PET DAMAGE

You allow pets, you have the tenant complete a detailed pet application, sign a Pet Addendum, and  you take a hefty deposit from the tenant. The tenant breaks the lease owing you rent and severely damaging the property, but remarkably there is absolutely no pet damage. Do you have to return the pet deposit to the tenant with all this money owed to you?  It is all up to your lease agreement, particularly the Pet Addendum.

Click here to improve your lease.
 

 ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES RECEIVING OUR “LEGAL UPDATES"?

If your employees or co-workers are not receiving our monthly Legal Update, please provide us with their email address, or have them request to be put in our email database. We do not sell or otherwise provide our email addresses to any vendors or outside parties. Make sure you stay in the IN THE KNOW!

To add an email address or addresses to our Legal Update distribution list email us at info@evict.com
 

 INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - Kathy Ratchford

Kathy Ratchford is Assistant Vice President and District Manager for United Dominion Realty Trust. Supervising a portfolio of ten assets with 2804 apartment units located from Orlando to Jacksonville, Kathy holds the designations of CAM, Certified Apartment Manager, and CAPS, Certified Property Supervisor.  She is a licensed Florida Real Estate Salesperson, Past President of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and presently is President Elect of the Florida Apartment Association. Kathy serves on numerous committees with the National Apartment Association and in 2004, received the prestigious Paragon Award as Professional Designate of the Year from the National Apartment Association. Kathy’s other “full time job” in 2005 has been her position of Legislative Chair for the Florida Apartment Association, where she has done an incredible job dealing with lobbyists, legislators, attorneys, governmental affairs people and industry leaders to help pass legislation and promote and protect the multi-family housing industry. Kathy has three children and six grandchildren and lives with her husband Bill and Shi Tzu, Sammy, in Lake Mary where they host family and friend gatherings whenever they can.  Having a pool and a lake puts them on the top of the list for "happening" locations to have fun. Not much time for fun this Legislative Session !!

 

 THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - BE FAIR TO VISITORS TOO!    
 By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Everyone knows that it is unlawful to discriminate against tenants and applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status.  What is less well understood is that it is also unlawful to discriminate against a tenant because her friends or visitors fall into one of the protected categories.  A landlord in Alabama knows that now.  

The landlord rented a single family home to a woman over the phone.  When the woman showed up to move in, the landlord saw that her new tenant was a white woman with a bi-racial child.   As time passed, the landlord noticed that the tenant was visited by an African-American (a friend) and by an Asian-American (a co-worker).  The landlord asked others about the tenant – Did she date black men?  Did she have parties?  Did she invite people to spend the night?  In addition to the landlord’s “investigation”, the landlord told the tenant that the visits had to stop, that she did not want “those people” at her property.  Later, the landlord told the tenant she had to move because the house needed repairs. 

As you might expect, the landlord now faces a charge of housing discrimination.  The case will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge later this year.  The landlord faces a civil penalty of $11,000 (more if the landlord has committed prior violations of the Act) plus damages for the tenant, an injunction, attorney fees, and court costs.
 

 APRIL IS FAIR HOUSING MONTH 

April is Fair Housing Month, marked by various ceremonies and events hosted by HUD.  This year’s theme is “Fostering Diverse and Secure Communities”.  It focuses on how the 37 year-old law can create strong neighborhoods. 

For more information, check out www.hud.gov and look for the links to Fair Housing Month.
 

 FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION BOARD MEETING MAY 19 IN TAMPA 

Do you wonder what the Florida Apartment Association does for you? Come to the Florida Apartment Association’s board meeting May 19th in Tampa, and get involved. All board meeting are open to the members. This year many very important things are happening legislatively, and we need your help and participation. The board meeting will be held at Tampa Marriot Westshore followed by the monthly dinner meeting of the Bay Area Apartment Association. Don’t miss out! 

 

Call 407-647-8839 for more info about May’s Board meeting.
 

 WHAT’S NEW AT EVICT.COM?

Check out EVICT.COM for 12 Fair Housing Articles written by Nadeen Green, a foremost Fair Housing attorney and general counsel for For Rent Magazine.

Click here to get updated by Nadeen!
 

In this issue:

FARPM Annual Convention

Are you protected?

"The Agreement to Vacate"

Lease Tip - Pet Addendum

"Legal Updates" Sign Up

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

April - Fair Housing Month

FAA Board Meeting

New at EVICT.COM

 
 

May
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in May 2005!

 30 - Memorial Day

 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

 
 
 

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