LEGAL NEWS - FEBRUARY 2005


 FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION NAMES GARY SCARBORO
 AS GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

The Florida Apartment Association (FAA) has retained Gary Scarboro, Director of Education and Government Affairs at the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO), to serve also as FAA Government Affairs Director. As FAA’s first Government Affairs Director, Scarboro will build the government affairs program for FAA from the ground up. Scarboro also pioneered the AAGO Government Affairs program four years ago and currently directs the award winning AAGO Education Department.

Click here for more information about this great addition to the Florida Apartment Association.

 

 LEGISLATIVE DAYS ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING  

Please make sure you sign up for either the Florida Apartment Association Legislative Day or the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers Legislative Day scheduled for March 30 and 31 as soon as possible. There is strength in numbers, and we want this year’s attendance to be the largest ever!

Click here for full information regarding the Legislative Days in Tallahassee and how you can sign up today.

 

 IS THAT UNIT ABANDONED?

The electric is off, the water is off, the unit is filthy and filled with trash, empty beer cans, some clothes, piled up, unclaimed mail and the neighbor tells you that they saw the tenant pack up and leave last week. Is the unit abandoned? Can you take possession of the unit and get it ready for the new tenant? Not if you want to follow the law and protect yourself from liability!

Click here   here for a discussion of the “Abandoned Unit”

 

 NOTICE TRAINING OF THE MONTH –
 NOTIFYING THE TENANT OF NEW MANAGEMENT

You just took over management of a unit from another company or a homeowner who was self-managing. You send the tenant a letter announcing that you are the new manager and they need to send you the rent from this point on. Do they have to send you the rent now? Not according to some judges.

Click here   for the proper steps to take when taking over management.
 

 FEBRUARY LEASE TIP— TRAMPOLINES!!

Are you aware that most insurance companies do not cover injuries sustained by people using trampolines, and the mere presence of a trampoline on the property could result in the insurance company canceling the insurance on the premises? Does your lease adequately address this issue? Can you force the tenant to remove the trampoline?

Click here  for a discussion of tenant activities affecting insurance coverage and what you can do in your lease
 

 CHANTAL BACHAR - INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH

As the Statewide Director of Property Management for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Chantal Bachar (formerly Chantal Davis) oversees all long-term and short-term rental operations throughout Florida.  Her department manages over 7,000 units throughout 7 major metropolitan regions. Prior to this, Chantal served as the regional manager for Coldwell Banker McFadden and Sprowls property management, which was acquired by her present employer in 2002. Mrs. Bachar keeps on top of the industry through extensive continuing education.  She is often called upon to advise managers in other states within the Coldwell Banker family, as they seek to improve their businesses. In her spare time, Chantal is an avid fisherman and boater. She resides in the quaint fishing village of Osprey, just outside of Sarasota, with her husband  Dr. Craig Bachar. How does she find spare time!!!???.
 

 THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - TENANTS OR UNTRAINED PERSONS ACTION
 AS AGENTS    
            By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Be careful of having tenants or untrained staff members act as your agents.  Their discriminatory acts could be held against you!  In a recent case, a landlord routinely had one of his tenants act as an informal “agent” – showing apartments to applicants and collecting rents from other tenants.  In at least one instance, the tenant-agent told an applicant that the landlord did not like to rent to a particular group.  That off-hand remark caused the landlord to be a defendant in a fair housing case, which the landlord ultimately settled by paying the applicant.  The landlord learned that it is not always helpful to have a tenant “help out” with the landlord’s duties. The same situation can occur when you fail to have staff members thoroughly trained in Fair Housing.

 

Looking for some informative fair housing training that you can do in your pajamas?  All you need is a computer and http://fairhousing.iccsafe.org/.  The website is sponsored by HUD and the International Code Council.  The course covers fair housing issues involving accessibility.  That means you can learn about ramps, parking spaces, curb cuts, elevators, and various other items that affect how well handicapped people can live at the premises.  Best of all, the 12 hour course is free.  A certificate is issued for successful completion of the course.

 

In this issue:

FAA Govt Affairs Director

Legislative Days Approaching

Is this unit abandoned?

Notice Training of the Month

Feb. Lease Tip - Trampolines

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

UPCOMING MARCH EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

 
 
 

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

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