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LEGAL NEWS - MARCH 2007


LAST CHANCE FOR LEGISLATIVE DAYS!!

This is it! If you are serious about your profession, you will sign up NOW for Legislative Days in Tallahassee. These 2 days can make a huge difference in how you operate your business or carry on your profession. We have extremely important bills this year, and your support is crucial. The Florida Apartment Association (FAA) Legislative Days are March 27 and 28, and the Florida Association of Residential Properties Managers (FARPM) are March 28 and 29. Click Here to reserve your spot for FAA, or click here for FARPM.

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PRESERVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE         

Most of you know that we are rabid about documenting the condition of the unit before, during and after occupancy. It can save you thousands of dollars and hours of grief. While we absolutely love videos, digital photos are fine, and we recommend taking them with high resolution. Don’t simply store them on your computer and wait for the next power surge or virus. Copy them onto a CD ASAP, label the CD, and place the CD in a case and file it. Always have your paper move-in and move-out documentation as well. Don’t ever substitute. Supplement.

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RELEASING YOUR TENANT FROM THE LEASE         

Your tenant is doing nothing but complaining, and nothing seems to please: maintenance complaints, noise complaints, complaints about the neighbors, complaints about security breaches, or the dreaded mold complaint. The tenant may be setting you up for a lease break or getting in a rent withholding posture. How can you minimize your exposure in court? Can the tenant claim they would have vacated but did not, as they would be held responsible for the reminder of the lease? The key here is to offer a no-penalty lease break to them and say “Good riddance”.

Click here  to see how to safely offer a lease break. 

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ACCEPTING MULTIPLE RENT PAYMENTS FROM TENANTS           

You have two tenants on the lease. Each pays you half the rent, or let’s say, they are supposed to! One decides to not pay, but you take payment from the other. This happens on multiple occasions. Have you created a separate tenancy with each tenant, rather than a joint and several obligation? Quite possibly, and this can seriously interfere with an eviction action. We recommend that you insist on one check or money order for payment in full. Don’t let your guard down, and don’t make exceptions.
 

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DOES A LEASE TERMINATE WHEN THE PROPERTY SELLS?             

A common misconception is that a lease terminates upon a sale of the rental premises. On the contrary, a lease is the right to “use” real property for a period of time. Use is one part of the “bundle of rights”. This right is not taken away from the tenant upon sale. Does this mean that putting a tenant into a unit will tie the landlord’s hands? Possibly the landlord will want to sell the property without a tenant, or a buyer will only buy if the unit is vacant. A simple lease clause can accomplish the landlord’s goals and create flexibility.

Click here  to examine the mechanics of termination on sale.

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SELFSTORAGELEGAL.COM- Is your Sale Commercially Reasonable?    

Did you know that the majority of tenants in self storage units fail to purchase insurance, even in light of the self storage agreement which specifically excludes liability on the part of the self storage facility for any loss of or damage to the stored property? Does the tenant understand the dangers here? Are you encouraging the purchase of the insurance? What are the procedures?

 

Click here to read Self Storage Law expert attorney Jeffrey Greenberger’s article “Is your Sale Commercially Reasonable?”
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU  - Florida’s Commercial Lien Law         

You worked hard on the deal, got the parties to agree, and the deal happened. You are supposed to receive your agreed upon commission, and to your surprise, the party owing you the commission decides to simply not pay. What do you do? How do you enforce your commission agreement? Florida’s Commercial Lien Law to the rescue. Now you have some real protection!

Click here for an article by commercial law attorney Kevin Jursinski regarding Florida’s Commercial Lien Law.
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - MAKING REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS                                  By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Grab bars and ramps are the most common modifications made to a rental unit. However, modifications required by disabled individuals can be as varied as the disabilities presented. Lowered sinks, “pocket” doors, tile, chair lifts, … the list goes on!

Click here to find out who pays and what is required.
 

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - LORI TRAINER

Lori Trainer began working in this industry nearly 18 years ago, starting as a leasing agent at a property in Orlando. She has been with Concord Management for 15 years, serving in various roles ranging from Community Director to Regional Manager over all Lease Ups, and is now the Director of Customer and Public Relations for Concord operating in 10 different states. Currently serving as the First Vice President for the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, Lori has been involved with the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and most notoriously, the Charity Committee at AAGO. Lori’s name is synonymous with fundraising. Organizing events such as Poker Tournaments, Jeans Days and Walk-A-Thons, she has raised money for groups like APAC, the political action committee for the Florida Apartment Association, and Community Coordinated Care for Children. These efforts earned her the Volunteer of the Year Award for FAA in 2002. Over the past two years Lori has raised almost $200,000! Recently Lori participated in the National Apartment Association’s Capitol Conference in Washington D.C., joining the Florida Delegation. When Lori isn’t handling media calls or raising money, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, watching football, playing softball or sitting on the couch watching SportsCenter. She is indeed an avid sports fan extraordinaire, and we are proud to have her part of the Florida Apartment Association and the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando.

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In this issue:

Legislative Days 2007

Photographic Evidence

Lease Release

Multiple Rent Payments

Lease and Property Sale

Self-Storage Units

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

Industry Leader of the Month

 
 

April
Legal Holiday Alert

Do not forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in April 2007!

6 - Good Friday

*Note: The above date may not be a Legal Holiday in your county, but we recommend excluding it anyway.

   

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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