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LEGAL NEWS - MARCH 2008


2008 LEGISLATIVE DAYS ARE UPON US!

A number of important bills have been introduced this year in Tallahassee which affect the rental housing industry. We need as many people as possible to attend the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) and the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers (FARPM) Legislative Days Event. This year, both associations are attending the same days, April 2 and 3.  Mark your calendars now, register, and attend. Our voices need to be heard in Tallahassee, and we need as many people to attend as possible.  To register for FAA, go to FAA. For FARPM, register at FARPM.

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THE TENANT IS BREAKING THE LEASE

Your tenant has just informed you that he is breaking the lease agreement and moving out. A job transfer, sickness, home purchase or any other reason may be given. He may call you on the phone and then inform you in writing, sending you his new address where he expects you to send the security deposit. Do you ignore the letter or respond?

Click here to see how to deal with the lease breaking tenant.

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SEVEN DAY NOTICES OF TERMINATION

Most landlords have served or will serve a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure upon the tenant for a violation of Florida law or the terms and conditions of the lease, but few will ever have to terminate the tenancy, as the problem is usually solved or the tenant moves out. What happens though, when the problem is not solved or the tenant does not move out?  Only a few landlords have ever seen a contested Seven Day Notice of Termination case in court with the tenant represented by an attorney, and it is not a pretty sight. Our recommendation is that the landlord NEVER serve a Notice of Termination without consulting their lawyer first, and making sure the case can be won or exploring any non-eviction options that may be available.

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ARE YOU INSPECTING ENOUGH?

Your tenant moves out, and you discover massive damage that has been going on for months. Your A/C blower motor burns out because the filter never has been cleaned. You find serious pet related damage to the carpeting, walls and doors. There is a severe mold problem in the bathroom caused by the tenant. Could this damage have been avoided? If you are managing a single family home, can a property owner hold your company liable?

Click here to see if you have been inspecting enough.

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FORECLOSURE + DISCLOSURE

Must you tell the tenant that the property is in foreclosure?  Many property managers are faced with the dilemma.  You know the tenant will be at risk of losing possession of the home, and you sympathize with the situation.  At the same time, you know you have to be loyal to your owner.  What to do?

Click here to see what to disclose if there is a foreclosure.

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COPYING ID – IS IT LEGAL?

Many landlords are reluctant to copy the tenant’s identification, due to a fear that this will trigger a Fair Housing violation.  By not having a copy of the identification, the landlord is at a distinct disadvantage when this identification is needed later in the tenancy or for collection purposes. Should the identification be copied?  Is it legal?

Click here for some info on ID copying.

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU - Co-Tenancy Clauses

Your commercial tenant rents in your strip mall with the intention of getting business due to another current business operating in the same strip mall.  In the lease is a co-tenancy clause. A co-tenancy clause is a clause put in a lease agreement which benefits the commercial tenant and identifies the fact that the lease obligation of the tenants may be modified at the tenant’s option, in whole or part, as a result of the other commercial tenants at the strip mall ceasing operations. What happens when the tenant your tenant depended on being in operation ceases to do business?  How does this clause work?

Click here for info on "Co-Tenancy Clauses" by attorney Kevin Jursinski.
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - “LIVE-IN CAREGIVERS”
                          
                                By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

Daily life for some handicapped individuals requires the assistance of a caregiver. Sometimes, the caregiver’s services are needed on a 24/7 basis. That may mean something akin to nursing care, or it can mean more mundane tasks like preparing food and housekeeping. Regardless of the intensity of the need, the landlord must allow the caregiver to move in, provided it is reasonable to do so. Are you ready to handle the disabled tenant’s request?
 

Click here  to get the scoop on Live-in Caregivers.
 

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In this issue:

2008 Legislative Days

Tenant Breaking Lease

7-Day Notice of Termination

Are You Inspecting Enough?

Foreclosure+Disclosure

Copying ID

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

 
   

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

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