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LEGAL NEWS - DECEMBER 2007


EXCITED ABOUT 2008? WE ARE!

Since 1989, we have been serving Florida’s multi-family property managers with the filing of evictions, lease preparation for single family homes and advice on the myriad legal issues which arise each day. As our client base has increased, we have firmly believed that sufficient staff is necessary to process cases with lightning speed and to be there for our clients when they need us most. Our firm is comprised of 3 attorneys and 18 full time support staff. Amidst all our growth, we have had no prices increase since the year 2000 and continue to meet the needs of our major management company clients and smaller property management firms.

Click here to see what we have in store for 2008.

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ALL PAST NEWSLETTERS ARE NOW ONLINE

In October 2004, we launched our first email Legal Newsletter and have consistently provided you with legal information and industry news free of charge each month. In response to numerous requests from our clients, we now have all of these past issues online for your reference and use. Have a burning question or topic of interest? Just email us, and we will try to provide you with an article.

Click here for 35 past Legal Newsletter Issues.

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RENTAL REGISTRATION FEE VICTORY

$9000.00 to register your apartment community with the county? $6000.00 per year for each year thereafter? Hard to believe, but these were the fees in Collier County until last month. Now, an apartment community of any size will simply pay a fair, flat, $30.00 annual fee. The dedication and hard work of a few members and staff of the Naples Area Apartment Association and the Florida Apartment Association paid off recently, when Collier County finally decided to make the change. A special thanks to the Commissioners who contributed to providing affordable housing in Florida.

Click here to see how a few people made a huge difference for the industry.

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NEW MOVE-IN FIRE DANGERS

Your new tenant is moving in and has not yet had the electric service turned on. She places some boxes on the electric stove, a convenient place to pile items, as the kitchen table has not yet arrived.   The electricity gets turned on. You guessed it. Fire. Each year we see fires in units due to this simple mistake. Educating your tenants can prevent these completely unnecessary and costly occurrences. Put this in your move-in info sheet ASAP.

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THE UNAUTHORIZED OCCUPANT WHO IS A CRIMINAL

The unauthorized occupant you have living in your rental property with the tenant turns out to be a convicted felon with a mile long rap sheet. Will this speed up your eviction, make it easier to file the case or give you an edge in court? No. The criminal background of an unauthorized occupant is completely irrelevant. The main issue is whether you can prove that there is indeed an unauthorized occupant actually residing on the premises.

Click here for some tips on the Unauthorized Occupant.

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LOCK OUT PROCEDURES

The phone rings at 3 a.m., and it is a person who is locked out. Your maintenance tech thinks it is a tenant. Your company has a policy of assisting locked out tenants and giving access to the unit. The tech looks at the ID, and is familiar with the person, having seen him at the pool, in the office and when handling maintenance requests. The tech opens the door for the person, and you find out the next day that the person (the tenant’s former boyfriend) was not on the lease and cleaned out the apartment of all the real tenant’s valuables.  Now who is in hot water?

Click here to see how you can avoid this expensive mistake.

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RELEASING CREDIT REPORTS AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

First and foremost:  Don’t do it.  Period.  The reason is complicated, scary and rarely understood. Resist the owner’s pleas.  Releasing this information subjects your office to a federal law with very big teeth. Don’t let it put the bite on you.

Click here to see how to handle the request to release credit reports.

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SELFSTORAGELEGAL.COM - Boat, RV and Vehicle Storage

Boat, RV or Vehicle (collectively “vehicle”) storage is a different kind of business compared to the traditional self-storage, particularly when the vehicle will be stored anywhere except in a separate, enclosed storage unit. The business model is quite different, while this may be a part of the self-storage operator’s business. The liability is high, and many issues must be addressed.  Whether you are renting storage in a lot, a covered building or individual storage units, vehicle storage presents several unique issues.

Click here to read Self Storage Law expert attorney Jeffrey Greenberger’s article “Boat, RV and Vehicle Storage”.
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Exclusivity and Use Clauses

You place an exclusivity clause in your lease stating that the tenant can operate a “bagel bakery”. A national chain tenant moves right next door and begins to sell donuts. Your “bagel bakery” tenant is furious, and your lease may not have properly addressed the issues of exclusivity and use. The lawsuits begin, and now you are in the middle of the mess. Does your attorney understand the importance of proper lease drafting in this situation?

Click here for info on exclusivity and use provisions by attorney Kevin Jursinski.
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - “HAPPY HOLIDAYS VS. MERRY CHRISTMAS”                                            By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hannukah!  Good Kwanzaa!  Have a Nice Day?  When it comes to housing, the choice of words and decorations is more than political correctness.  You can celebrate the holiday season without being a “fair housing scrooge”.
 

Click here to be merry, happy and fair at the same time.
 

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May every gift, every hope of the season be yours.

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

 

In this issue:

What We Offer Our Clients

Past Newsletters

Rental Regist. Fee Victory

New Move-In Fire Dangers

Unauth. Occupant Criminal

Lock Out Procedures

Credit Reports and SSN

Self-Storage Units

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

January
Legal Holiday Alert

Do not forget to exclude these Legal Holidays when preparing your Three Day Notices in January 2008!

 1 - New Year's Day
21 - Martin Luther King Day

   

USEFUL LINKS:









 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

Copyright 2004-2007. All Rights Reserved.

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