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LEGAL NEWS - JULY 2008


FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION CONVENTION IS COMING – REGISTER NOW!!

On August 20, 21 and 22, the Florida Apartment Association will be presenting the Education Conference & Trade Show at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, This year, as always, will be jam packed with great speakers, training events, a huge trade show, and a golf tournament to benefit APAC, the Apartment Political Action Committee. Each year this event gets larger and better! It is a great time for all to learn from the best, network among the leaders in the multi-family housing industry, and have a great time.

Click here to register.

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UNDERSTANDING THE NEW EARLY TERMINATION LAW

The Early Termination Bill which deals with a tenant vacating early and the remedies a landlord has is now law and has resulted in much confusion among property managers. Most landlords do not understand how the new law works, if they must change their procedures, or if the new law is something that is mandatory. More importantly, landlords need to know that the use of this new law and remedy choice is optional, and nothing has changed unless the landlord chooses to take advantage of the law.

Click here to better understand the Early Termination Law.

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EVICTIONS NOW THAT FILING FEES HAVE EXPLODED

Now more than ever you need to be sure you have done everything correctly before filing an eviction. Besides the ever increasing possibility of having to pay the attorneys’ fees of the tenant if you lose a case and the tenant has an attorney, the one sure thing you will have to pay now, no matter what, are vastly increased “costs”. What are these costs? Did the filing fee just get raised, or are there more “costs” to be concerned about?

Click here for more info on the Costs Increases.

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THE EARLY TERMINATION LAW AND THE SINGLE FAMILY HOME MANAGER

The new law has created some unique issues when you are managing a single family home, condo, duplex or triplex for a property owner. Under the new law, if you use the Early Termination Addendum, the tenant is able to make a choice as to what he or she will owe if the lease is broken. If the tenant chooses liquidated damages of 2 months’ rent, and the house is then vacant for 4 months, the property owner may think he can pursue the tenant for that rent. He cannot, IF the tenant chose the liquidated damages. This may come as a compete surprise to an owner who will then seek to hold the management company liable.
 

Click here to see how the new law works with the single family home management.

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A SECURITY DEPOSIT PRIMER – PART 1 - HOLDING THE FUNDS

Security deposits are often a source of dispute between landlords and tenants.  The deposit should motivate the tenant to keep the unit in good shape, and if needed, cushion the Landlord’s losses if damage occurs.  For the property manager, a keen understanding of security deposits begins with the statute itself.  How well do you know it?

Click here for Part 1 of Cathy Lucrezi’s series on Security Deposits.

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ABSURD MISTAKE OF THE MONTH

You prepare your Three Day Notice and fill out the Certificate of Service ahead of time in your office stating that you “posted the notice” and you put today’s date in. You run out of time and tomorrow go out and serve the notices. Two major problems. First, you did not know how you were going to serve the notice, so you should not have filled out the Certificate of Service ahead of time, and second, your dates are now wrong. Remember, the Certificate of Service need to be filled out on your ORIGINAL, AFTER you serve the notice. 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Procedures as to Separating Out the Eviction Claim vs. Damages Claim in the Lease

A commercial eviction usually has two facets. One is gaining possession for the landlord, and the other is dealing with the money owed to the landlord.  Combining these two issues can often complicate the eviction process and be detrimental to the commercial landlord. Careful lease drafting can speed up the eviction process and not have it bogged down with the money issues. These can be taken care of later, after the tenant has been removed. The key is separating the two issues properly.

Click here for info on how to separate the eviction and the damage claim through lease drafting.

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - CREATING WRITTEN POLICIES                                                           By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

A written policy is invaluable in dealing with various aspects of property management.  It not only guides staff, it reflects the priorities of the landlord and promotes fair housing ideals.  If you think your business is too small to benefit from written policies, think again.
 
Click here  to see how your “written policies” shape up.
 

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In this issue:

FAA Convention

New Early Termination Law

Evictions and the Higher Fees

Early Termination Law and Single Family Home Manager

Security Deposit Primer - Part1

Absurd Mistake of the Month

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

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

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Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Lucrezi, P.A.
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Serving Florida's Property Managers with offices in Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers Beach, Principal Office