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LEGAL NEWS - JUNE 2007


2007 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - A MIXED BAG

The Early Termination Bill which would have clearly placed into Florida Statutes the ability of a landlord to charge a tenant a set fee upon a tenant’s lease break unfortunately was vetoed by Governor Crist, after almost unanimous passage by both the Senate and the House. The Deceased Tenant Bill which streamlines the process a landlord may take upon a tenant death did pass and became law. This law clarifies when and how a landlord can take possession of the rental premises upon a tenant’s death and has solved a frustrating problem for the landlord.

Click here for a 2007 Legislative Update on Early Termination and Deceased Tenant.

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TENANT DEATH AND THE NEW LAW

Now that the law has changed on tenant death and abandonment issues, the process becomes much more streamlined and workable. No longer will you have units tied up forever or have high liability issues. Not only has the law changed but YOUR LEASE MUST BE CHANGED to take advantage of the new law.

Click here to find to find exactly how the new law on tenant death and abandonment works.

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THE SECURITY DEPOSIT CLAIM AND WHAT THE TENANT OWES YOU

You figure out what the tenant owes you and then send out a Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit. This determines how much the tenant owes you. Right? Wrong!! All you are dealing with is the security deposit and the claim on that particular amount of money. The tenant may owe you more money as time goes on. The tenant may have skipped, and the unit remains vacant. But wait - you already told the tenant what he or she owed. Are you “stuck “ with this?

Click here to find out the exact purpose of the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit.

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BEDBUGS AND RENTAL HOUSING- THE NEW “MOLD?”

Just when you thought it was safe, a new potentially serious problem is striking rental housing. Bedbugs are appearing with rapidly growing frequency in apartments and homes, creating a potentially expensive eradication issue and spawning a new cottage industry of “bedbug litigation”. Taking the proper steps now and having a plan of action could save you a lot of headaches and money in the future. Stay tuned for more bedbug information to come in next month’s Legal News issue.

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7 DAY NOTICE QUICK TIP - UNAUTHORIZED GUEST?

Although we prepare all the 7 Day Notices for our clients for free, many of you insist on drafting them yourselves.  Except for the unusual lease which requires a true guest to register with the office, the terminology “unauthorized guest” is usually misapplied. Use the term “unauthorized occupant” when referring to an unauthorized resident, and stick to giving the 7 Day Notice of Noncompliance With Opportunity to Cure. Do not use “friendly” letters which have no legal use later and will just require you to start over from scratch.

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THE “LAST KNOWN ADDRESS”

We continually get questions as to the meaning of the “last known address”. The landlord knows that the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit is to be sent there, but what exactly is it?

Click here to set the record straight on the “last known address”.

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SELFSTORAGELEGAL.COM - Dealing with Lawsuits

It is no secret to Self-Storage operator that lawsuits are a reality in today’s society, and whether you are wrong or right, anyone with a couple hundred dollar filing fee can sue you. Lawsuits are time sensitive and must be taken seriously. Should your insurance carrier be notified? Should you settle? Could that lawsuit have been avoided?

Click here to read Self Storage Law expert attorney Jeffrey Greenberger’s article “Dealing with Lawsuits”

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Evictions

Your commercial tenant is in default: now what? Eviction may be the only option. What steps must be taken? How long will the procedure take? What is the commercial eviction process? Can the tenant delay the action?

Click here for your information on the Commercial Tenant Eviction by commercial law attorney Kevin Jursinski.


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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - INDEPENDENT LIVING
By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

We are all headed for it - old age. (Although it is a long, long, long way off for me.) The prospect of gray hair is not nearly as scary as the diminishing physical and mental skills that usually accompany aging. At some point, many seniors face the question whether they can continue to live independently. Landlords ask the same question, with a worry that a frail elderly person might become a danger to herself or others.

Click here to see if you know the answers.

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - Mark C. Ogier, CPM Partner & Executive Vice President

Mark Ogier joined ContraVest in 1995 as the Property Management and Construction Coordinator, becoming the Director of Property Management in 1997, and Executive Vice President in 2006. He is responsible for site acquisition, project development, equity relations and portfolio performance. Ogier has gained valuable insight into the needs of various ownership structures including REIT’s, TIC’s, life insurance companies, pension funds and private investors.

Ogier currently serves as a delegate to the National Apartment Association (NAA), is an Officer of the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) and President Elect for FAA in 2007-08. He is a past President and Executive Committee member for the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and serves as the Legislative Chair for FAA which under his watch successfully passed legislation in 2007 beneficial to the apartment industry.

Receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1990 from the University of Colorado, Ogier as military experience including 4 years of service in the United States Army as a Field Artillery Officer and General’s Aide in Germany. He is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) through the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the State of Florida.

Ogier has a wife (Robin), a son (Grant, 8), and 2 daughters (Alex, 7 and Abby, 5). His hobbies include spending time with the family, going to the beach, water and snow skiing, traveling and attending Florida Gator Games! Civic responsibilities include being a School Board Member for the Annunciation Catholic Academy. A big thanks goes out to Ogier for all he does!!

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In this issue:

2007 FL Legislative Update

Tenant Death & the New Law

Security Deposit Claim

Bedbugs - The New "Mold"?

7-Day Notice Quick Tip

The "Last Known Address"

Self-Storage Units

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

Industry Leader of the Month

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July
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in July 2007!

4 - Independence Day

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