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LEGAL NEWS - JANUARY 2008


TENANT LEASE NONCOMPLIANCES

The beginning of the year always seems to bring an increase in tenant lease noncompliances. Unauthorized occupants, disturbances, fighting, unauthorized pets, noise: the list goes on. We know that letters to tenants have no legal significance, so we recommend that you always use a Seven Day Notice when dealing with a non-rent lease noncompliance. How do you word the notice? Donít bother. Our firm prepares all the Seven Day Notices for our clients for free. There is never a need to go it alone. Allowing us to prepare your notice helps us get involved early on and word the notices the legal way.

Click here to download the Seven Day Notice Wording Request Form.

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AN APARTMENT COMMUNITY AND A NEARBY PARK

Recently a Florida jury ruled that an apartment community was liable for an injury to a third party due to another community tenantís dog biting the third party in a public park nearby the apartment community. The jury felt that since the apartment community advertised a nearby park, somehow it became responsible for what occurred in the park. Absurd? You bet. We will be following the case for you.

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EVICTIONS AND REPAIR REQUESTS

Your tenant owes you 3 monthsí rent and is currently under eviction.  The air conditioning breaks and the tenant places a work order.  The eviction is almost completed. Must you make the repair?  The answer is a simple ďyesĒ.  The rent delinquency or eviction status has nothing to do with your obligations under the lease and Florida law to maintain the premises and make necessary repairs. Exercise caution though, when attending to these repairs, due to a higher chance of volatility on the tenantís part due to the eviction action in progress.

Click here for a review of the landlordís obligations.

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WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?

You have been diligently managing a rental property, but the property owner is in deep financial trouble and is not giving you money to make repairs or is going into foreclosure. You feel sorry for the tenant, who has told you that he is going to break his lease. You then begin trying to find another property for the tenant.  Anything wrong? You bet. In most cases you work for the property owner and have a fiduciary duty to that owner. Helping the tenant who is breaking a lease with your owner may seem like the right thing to do, but can cause a serious conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a nice, big, complicated FREC complaint.

Click here to see how easy it is to forget your principal.

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DESPERATE LANDLORD ACTIONS

Never in 17 years have we seen so many desperate moves on the part of landlords when trying to get or retain a tenant: failure to perform background checks, accepting sexual predators or offenders, accepting tenants with foreclosures, allowing tenants to move in with no money paid or uncleared funds, allowing work in exchange for rent, waiving deposits, free rent during the lease, renewal leases with past delinquencies, promissory notes, overlooking noncompliances are just a few. While flexibility is necessary in uncertain economic times, landlords need to look at potential dangers to protect themselves when doing things novel or out of the ordinary and act accordingly.

Click here to see how to deal with landlord desperation.

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FORECLOSURE SCAMS

With any financial crisis, there always seem to be individuals who will capitalize on someoneís misfortunes and drain them of even more money. The latest scams have to do with foreclosures and services who claim to be able to help the property owner either get out of foreclosure or somehow save their homes.  Have you notified your vulnerable owners of these scams?

Click here to see how to avoid some Foreclosure Scams.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Exclusivity and Use Clauses - Part II

Last month exclusivity clauses were examined as they pertained to the commercial lease. We saw how such exclusivity provisions needed to be clear, unambiguous and definite, identifying each and every right that was granted to the commercial tenant for the exclusive use of the subject premises. The countervailing clause in reference to exclusivity provisions is the use provisions which is a specific grant of the identifiable and allowable use of the leased premises set forth in the lease agreement.

Click here for info on Use provisions by attorney Kevin Jursinski.
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - ďAN AGENTíS LIABILITYĒ
                          
                                By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Between a rock and a hard place Ė Thatís where a property manager often finds herself.  The owner insists on doing one thing and the lawyer says no way.  When the situation involves fair housing, itís often a no-win situation for the agent.  How do you get out from that tight spot and still save your skin?
 

Click here  to keep yourself safe.
 

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In this issue:

Lease Noncompliances

Apt. Community and Park

Evictions & Repair Requests

Who Do You Work For?

Desperate Landlord Actions

Foreclosure Scams

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

February
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in February 2008!

18 - Presidents' Day

 
   

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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