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LEGAL NEWS - JANUARY 2006


TAKING ACTION IN 2006? - NOW IS THE TIME!!

Has your lease been updated to conform with current law? Are you still charging potentially illegal termination fees? Are you paying illegal referral fees? Does your property management agreement and lease deal with lessons learned from the hurricanes? Are you using the most up to date forms and notices? Have you been to a Fair Housing Training recently? Do you plan on attending a Landlord/Tenant Law class? Do you have an updated Policy and Procedures Manual? Are you active in your apartment association or property manager’s association? Are you planning to attend Legislative Day for FAA, FAR or FARPM? Do you really take the responsibilities and liability of property management seriously? 2006 is the time to ask yourself these questions and make some changes. Ignoring important issues is a recipe for disaster. As we move into the second year of the Emailed Legal Newsletter, we hope you have gained some knowledge and enjoyed your monthly dose of the law.

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THE COURT HEARING WHEN THERE IS NO MONEY IN THE COURT REGISTRY - WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

In order for a tenant to have his or her day in court, the tenant must place the rent money that is owed into the Court Registry. Right? You would think so, because it is the law. Unfortunately, many judges do not follow the law and set eviction trials when no money at all is deposited in the Court Registry, or fail to require accruing rent to be deposited into the court registry. The result? More time wasted and more money lost to the landlord. How does this happen?

Click here why a hearing can occur when no money is deposited by the tenant

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HOT LEASE TIP - TERMINATING DUE TO DAMAGES  

A simple lease clause can allow the landlord the ability to terminate a lease in the event the property is damaged by fire, flood, wind, hurricane, tornado, or any act of god. Without this clause, a landlord can be faced with dealing with a rent withholding tenant who will not move, even when you need them to move just to make the necessary repairs. Florida law allocates repair responsibilities, but does not take into account situations where the tenant needs to be out. Since Florida law does not cover what to do in many of these events, a clear and encompassing lease clause is a must.

Click here for your Lease Tip Wording

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THE AFFIDAVIT OF NON-MILITARY SERVICE - AN IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT OF MANY EVICTIONS

In many but not all Florida Counties, before a judge will enter a Final Judgment, he or she wants to be certain that the tenant is not in the military, as this has a delay effect upon the process. The judge needs to see a NON-MILITARY AFFIDAVIT. Depending upon the county and the judge, sometimes it may be signed by the attorney or sometimes must be signed by the landlord. Most landlords have seen this form and know that the attorney needs the form back, but unfortunately many landlords delay in getting this back to the attorney, and the case stops dead in its tracks. Why delay your eviction? Don’t you have enough problems to deal with?

Click here to learn how important the Non-Military Affidavit is to the eviction process

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TERMINATING A TENANCY WITHOUT A PRIOR OPPORTUNITY TO CURE - THE “SEVEN DAY NOTICE OF TERMINATION”

Most landlords are very familiar with dealing with noncompliances by a tenant. Since most noncompliances are of a curable nature, a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure is given, and if the noncompliance continues after 7 days and at any time within 12 months of the notice, further steps can be taken, including possible termination. Some noncompliances are such that no opportunity to cure needs to be given to the tenant, and the landlord can go straight to termination. These situations are relatively rare, and extreme care must be taken when going straight to termination. Trying to terminate without the opportunity to cure in the wrong situation can result in a lost case and an attorney’s fee judgment against the landlord.

 

Click here to see when you can go straight to Termination Without Cure.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - DAVID B. WATKINS, JR., Regional Vice President Greystar

Dave, a native Floridian, was born and raised in Central Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Dave is a Certified Public Accountant, holds a Florida Real Estate Broker’s License, and has over thirty years of experience and expertise in property management. Dave is currently a Regional Vice-President for Greystar-Southeast. The Florida operations for Greystar manage over 14,000 apartment homes, and nationwide, Greystar is the 12th largest Management Company, with management responsibilities for over 64,000 apartment homes. Dave has served as president of several large real estate management and development companies. In the past thirty years, Dave has had management responsibilities for over 25,000 apartment units, 2,000,000 square feet of office and retail space, 12 hotels/motels and many other types of real estate, including mini-storage facilities, golf courses and marinas. Dave has served as President of two apartment associations in Florida, was the first President of the Capitol City Apartment Association (1990), President of the Bay Area Apartment Association (2000) and President of the Florida Apartment Association for the year 2002-2003. Dave is the current Vice Chairman of the National Apartment Association for the year 2006. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Apartment Association, the Florida Apartment Association and the National Apartment Association. Dave is a true industry leader and is known throughout his large circle of friends and professionals as being extremely punctual. Don’t even THINK about being late if Dave is running a board meeting!!

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - THE VALUE OF APPLICATION CRITERIA        By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Your property has a policy: Everyone who wants to rent must complete an application. But, what happens to the evaluation or review of that application? Do you have a policy for deciding who qualifies and who does not? The value of such a policy is tremendous. It avoids differential treatment of applicants and, as a result, can help avoid a fair housing complaint.
 

Click here to see if your policy is in order.

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In this issue:

Taking Action in 2006?

Court Hearing w/No Money
in Court Registry

Hot Lease Tip

Affidavit of Non-Military Service

7-Day Notice of Termination

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

February
Legal Holiday Alert

Do not forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in February 2006!

20 - President's Day

*The above date may not be Legal Holiday in your county. Call us at 1-800-253-8428 to confirm.

NOTE:
Valentine's Day - Feb.14 -
is NOT a Legal Holiday

 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

   
  
   

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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