LEGAL NEWS - JUNE 2005


PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ALERT- ALERT- ALERT

You have heard about the suits, you know a little about them, but have you taken any action? 5 large property management companies and REITs are now being sued in Florida over charging termination fees or liquidated damages fees for lease breaks. THIS IS AT CRISIS STAGE and applies to all property managers, whether they manage single family homes or large multi-family communities. If you do not take immediate action, your company could become the target of a suit.

Click here for the latest Safe Harbor Recommendations from our firm.

 

COLLIER COUNTY HIT WITH EXORBITANT REGISTRATION AND INSPECTION FEES

Just when you thought it could not get any worse, Collier County decided to enforce an ordinance requiring a $30.00 per unit registration fee for every rental unit and $200.00 inspection fees. This huge amount is unwarranted, unreasonable and unjustified. These types of fees will spread like wildfire if property managers sit back and do nothing to stop them. The Naples Area Apartment Association with the help of the Florida Apartment Association is fighting back.

Click here for the latest on the Collier County Registration and Inspection fee issue
 

SO THE TENANT BROKE THE LEASE, NOW WHAT?

Your tenant skipped out in the middle of the night 3 months into a 12 month lease. No notice given, not even the keys left behind.  The only thing the tenant left you with was a mess and a vacant apartment. Your owner or management company is wanting you to sue the tenant for the money owed and collect this money.  Can you sue? Should you sue? Is it worth it? Are there risks?

Click here to be convinced that it is not worth suing!
 

THE UNAUTHORIZED OCCUPANT

You see the unauthorized person there every morning. You see their car parked there every night. The unauthorized person even comes into your office complaining about something. Can you force them out? Can you prove your case? It is harder than you think.

Click here to see if you have what it takes to evict a tenant for failure to remove an unauthorized occupant

 

HOT LEASE TIP! TERMINATION OF A LEASE IF YOU CANNOT GRANT POSSESSION

Did you ever sign a lease with a tenant for a unit that was currently occupied when the current tenant had given notice to vacate? Of course. Most of the time the tenant vacates as planned, you turn the unit, and the new tenant moves in. What happens if the current tenant decides not to move out as they had told you, and the new tenant is in the parking lot with a truck ready to move in? You give the bad news that you have no other units available, and the would-be new tenant drives away, STRAIGHT TO THE COURTHOUSE!

Click here to improve your lease.
 

INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - TERRY WAYLAND

Terry R. Wayland has been President of Property Counselors Management Group (PCMG) since its formation in 1999. Prior to beginning PCMG, Mr. Wayland, a native Texan, relocated to Fort Myers, Florida 13 years ago with Newton Mitchell Realty Corporation to assist with a distressed property. Terry went on to serve as Vice President of Services Taylor Made, Inc. where he was responsible for daily operations of a portfolio that consisted of conventional, tax credit and subsidized apartment homes. During his subsequent endeavors Mr. Wayland was the Marketing Director and Assistant Sales Manager for Centex Homes for the Bradenton/Sarasota division, which generated an annual sales volume that exceeded 39 million dollars and over 300 homes per year.

Property Counselors Management Group has become one of the largest asset management companies in Southwest Florida, specializing in Multi-family property management, condo conversions, association management and single family home management.  Keeping up with the growth, Terry is excited to announce the newest edition to his team, Nan Cavarretta, who will serve PCMG as Vice President of Operations. Nan will be responsible for the South Florida Market and establishing a comprehensive fair housing and training program for all of its divisions. Mr. Wayland holds a Florida Real Estate Broker’s License, Community Association Manager’s License and several certificates for Tax Credit Compliance LIHTC, HOME and SAIL, in addition to Fair Housing compliance. During Mr. Wayland’s career he has held several board and committee chairs for professional affiliations, such as Chairman of the Sales and Marketing Council of the Sarasota Home Builders Association, Treasurer of the Florida Apartment Association, President, Treasurer and Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Apartment Association and Council Member of the Manatee and Sarasota Home Builders Association.
 

THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - WHAT’S AVAILABLE?
By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

It seems like an easy question – “What rentals are available?”  Easy, if the question is about what’s available right now.  It gets complicated if you have to pin down what was available as of a particular date and time. 

That complicated question comes up in fair housing cases where a rejected applicant accuses the landlord of refusing him the rental even though there were units available.  A property manager who receives such a complaint from HUD or an attorney, will hopefully have proof that there was indeed nothing available as of the date and time that the person applied or inquired.

Keeping that kind of record may be cumbersome but it is essential, regardless of whether your housing stock is five or five hundred.  You should document when each unit becomes available for rent and when it goes off-market.  The record should reflect the day and even the time when the unit changes.  Luckily, some software supports keeping track of such statistics.  If yours does not, consider keeping a log of each unit’s availability.  It may seem tedious but, if you ever get one of those complaints, you will be very happy to have it.
 

In this issue:

Property Management Alert

Collier County Exorbitant Fees

Tenant Breaks the Lease

Unauthorized Occupant

Hot Lease Tip

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

July
Legal Holiday Alert

Don't forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in July 2005!

 4 - Independence Day

 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

 
 
 

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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