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LEGAL NEWS - AUGUST 2007


TERMINATION FEES IN 2007ARE THEY LEGAL?

Most property managers are aware by now that charging liquidated damages or termination fees can result in massive lawsuits. The legislative fix failed due to the Governor’s veto in June. The problem is that so any property managers still are engaging in this risky practice and opening themselves up to litigation. A lot of misunderstanding and misinformation is out there and immediate steps need to be taken to avoid becoming a target.

Click here for an update on Liquidated Damages and Termination Fees.

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I WANT TO SUE THE TENANT!!

Not a week goes by where we do not have a landlord asking us if the tenant can be sued for money owed to the landlord for rent, damages or any other amounts the landlord feels is due. Our usual answer is that it just is not worth it. Sometimes a landlord will ask the property manager to file a Small Claims Court case. Should the property manager do this?

Click here to see how to make an educated decision on filing a lawsuit.
 

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THE GROWING FORECLOSURE PROBLEM

Almost every manager of single family homes will experience an owner going into foreclosure. While the property manager has no control over the owner’s finances, tenants are increasingly looking to hold the property manager responsible feeling that in some way the manager is responsible for or involved in the predicament that the tenant is now in. Before you begin managing a property are you investigating the owner? Are you asking the right questions of that owner? 

Click here to see if you are checking your owner’s out enough and what you can do.

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HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS by Cathy Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

It’s that time of year again.  A tropical storm or hurricane will cause mischief somewhere and damage someone’s rental premises.  The havoc will interrupt the tenant’s possession of the premises as well as the landlord’s income.  Will you know what to do when the storm comes?.

Click here for some important repair matters to keep in mind.

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TAXES, INSURANCE AND FEES OH MY! – DOES THE TENANT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PAYING?

Many tenants believe in the “rich landlord” myth having no idea how taxes, insurance, fees, and mortgages are bleeding the landlord dry. Many landlords are not making a dime in profit. There is nothing wrong with letting your tenant know how much you pay for all of these expenses. Possibly they will think twice before complaining about a rent increase or feeling they can buy cheaper than they can rent!!

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SELFSTORAGELEGAL.COM - The Sale of The Stored Goods

In almost every state there is a statute that gives you, as the operator, a lien on your tenant’s property and, the right to sell the stored goods to satisfy the Self-Storage bill.  Although authorized by law, the sale of the stored goods can create massive liability and mistakes occur due to the technicality of the sale procedures. Do you know the procedures? Do you have checks and cross checks to prevent the small but expensive mistake from occurring?

Click here to Self Storage Law expert attorney Jeffrey Greenberger’s article “The Sale of the Stored Items”.
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Lease Renewals And Options To Purchase

Often times our Commercial Property Management/ Commercial Landlords are confronted with issues relating to lease renewals, Options to Renew and occasionally Options to Purchase contained in the lease instrument.  The question always arise such as Is this an effective lease renewal? Is the option valid? What does an auto-renewal really mean? In order to answer these questions you must first look at some of the fundamental concepts underlined in the document.

Click here for the scoop on “renewals” and “options” by attorney Kevin Jursinski .
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - “SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN”                                           By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Children believe they are invincible.  Adults know better.  Adults know broken bones, scars, and hospital visits occur at all ages.  Because children are more familiar with impulse than judgment, many landlords impose age limitations so that children don’t hurt themselves while using the property’s amenities.  Are such limitations lawful?
 

Click here for the answers.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - WANDA FRANKLIN - RMP

Employed with Walter Williams Property Management, Inc. since July 1999 Wanda was promoted from office manager to regional manager in July 2002.  She currently oversees the operation and property management services of 5 offices in the northeast region of Florida.  Starting her property management career in 1978 with on site management until 1991, she obtained her real estate license and dove into residential property management.

Wanda joined the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) in 1999 and has been actively striving to advance her career with education and networking, receiving the prestigious RMP designation in 2001. On a local level she has been active with the Northeast Florida Association of Residential Property Managers (NEFARPM) serving as treasurer from 2001-2002, President-Elect 2003, and President in 2004, Past President in 2005, and Secretary for 2006. On the state level, Wanda is an active member of the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers (FARPM) serving as the Membership Chair and nationally, an active member with the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) serving as a mentor to help other property managers advance their careers thru education.

If that is not enough, Wanda is active with the local board of REALTORS currently sitting on the Professional Standards Committee (2 years), MARC Committee (2 years), the RCC Committee for the MLS (three years) and has just been appointed to the MLS Board of Directors.  When not managing properties, Wanda enjoys all water sports, competitive fishing, and family fun with her husband, son and granddaughter

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In this issue:

Termination Fees in 2007

I Want to Sue the Tenant!

Foreclosure Problem

Hurricanes & Tropical  Storms

Taxes, Insurance & Fees

Self-Storage Units

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

Industry Leader of the Month

 
 

September
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in September 2007!

3 - Labor Day

13* - Rosh Hashanah

* Note: The above date may not be a Legal Holiday in your county, but we recommend excluding it anyway.

 
   

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

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Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Lucrezi, P.A.
Phone: 1-800-253-8428     Fax: 1-800-367-9038
Serving Florida's Property Managers with offices in Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers Beach, Principal Office