LEGAL NEWS - MAY 2005


NAA EDUCATION CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION

If you haven't registered for the largest national show in the multifamily housing industry, the 2005 NAA Education Conference & Exposition, June 9-11 in Orlando, what are you waiting for?  This is the largest event for the multifamily housing industry in history and it is occurring in Florida this year at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando. The 2005 NAA Education Conference is the absolute BEST value for your registration dollar and we are privileged to have the NAA convention right here in our backyard. This convention will be a jam packed with 3 days of 30+ educational programs, fun events and a HUGE 500 booth trade show. Prizes, networking with over 4,000 industry professionals, the Paragon Awards and a closing Gala will make this event the best property management event in the nation.

For more information and to register, click here

 

THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGERS (FARPM) ANNUAL CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!!

The 8th Annual FARPM Convention and Trade show was held at the Hilton Hotel on Daytona Beach this past week and was a great success. The attendees learned about technology tools for property management from Matthew Ferrara, a national trainer. Education was also provided about keeping clients loyal, stress relief training, preparing for emergencies and a session called “Focus on Success”. One of the most attended workshops titled “Explaining Today’s Rental Market” will be repeated next year. The Chapter of the Year Award went to the Treasure Coast Chapter. The FARPM Board of Directors was installed with Gail Moncla, CPM, MPM  as President.

For more information about joining FARPM, click here
 

SEXUAL PREDATORS AND OFFENDERS WEBSITE IS IMPROVED

A diligent property manager will always check an applicant on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website. It is free, quick and easy.  Recently the website was improved to put in your address, and the site will show what sexual offenders or predators are within a particular distance from you. Prior to this you could check a particular address, county, city or zip code, but this new feature now enables you to get a better idea of what sexual predators or offenders, if any, are in your neighborhood.

To see the new feature, click here.  
 

2005 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

The 2005 Florida Legislative Session has come to an end with little happening that directly affects the property manager.  A bill allowing tenants to break their lease in a domestic violence situation, allowing property managers to more easily take possession of a rental unit in the event of tenant death and a clarification of the landlord’s remedies for tenant breach of lease unfortunately did not pass this year. Of some importance is the passage of a bill relating to mold remediation and assessment. This bill will now require companies which test for or remediate mold to be insured, have education and training and be certified.

Click here for the text of the Mold Bill.
Click here for the Florida Apartment Association’s Legislative Wrap-up.
 

LETTERS FROM ATTORNEYS – YOU RECEIVED ONE, NOW WHAT?

It is a Monday morning, and you receive a certified letter from a law firm. You toss the junk mail to the side, and with trembling hands you tear open the letter. To your amazement, a tenant is accusing you of wrongdoing, and the attorney is demanding that you immediately refund a security deposit or pay a certain sum within 10 days to avoid suit. The letter is full of misrepresentations, and you are furious. The facts as the attorney presents them seem to have absolutely nothing to do with what actually occurred, and you are ready to get on the computer and fire back a letter, or maybe even call the attorney and give him a piece of your mind. Is this the right approach?   Absolutely not!

Click here here for some tips on dealing with the tenant’s attorney.
 

TERMINATING A TENANT FOR A LEASE NONCOMPLIANCE – IT IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK

It would be difficult to find a property manager who has not served Three Day Notices for non-payment of rent and Seven Day Notices to Cure for tenant non- compliances. The tenants usually pay the rent, or in the case of non-compliances, they cure the noncompliance or move right out. Most property managers are well versed in this process and have filed evictions on their tenants when the notices just did not do the trick.  Many property managers have even experienced going to court on contested non-payment of rent cases.  The result? Usually the tenant is evicted, or the case gets settled. Now ask yourself: How many times have I actually gone to court on a contested eviction on a Seven Day lease noncompliance case and had to prove the noncompliance in court? Very few property managers have experienced going to court on contested non-compliance cases and do not realize how hard these cases can be to win. Proper preparation, hard core proof and witnesses are necessary to win these cases. Are you ready to prove your case to a judge who will really put YOU to the test?

Click here for some tips on winning the Seven Day Case.
 

HOT LEASE TIP! THE PET ADDENDUM AND REMOVAL OF THE PET

Your tenant has signed a Pet Addendum, but now you received a letter from the insurance company stating that no pets of a particular breed are allowed. Possibly the tenant’s pet was aggressive or gets loose too often. Maybe you noticed carpet damage and a foul odor during a recent inspection. Can you just ask the tenant to remove the pet? Will you end up in court having to prove what the tenant’s pet did? Will there be a dispute over the breed of the pet? Your problems for the most part can be solved with the proper wording in your pet addendum, and you need to improve this addendum NOW.

Click here to improve your Pet Addendum.
 

INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - MARC J. ROSENWASSER

Marc J. Rosenwasser received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Johns University (N.Y.) with a major in accounting and a minor in economics beginning his professional career in public accounting in 1973 at an international accounting firm. In 1978 Marc became Vice President at New Homes of America, a major multi-family housing syndicator.  Since 1980, Marc has served as Vice President and CFO of Meadow Wood Property Company, a high quality regional property management firm owning and fee managing apartment communities throughout Central Florida.

Marc’s volunteer activities in the multi-family housing industry are vast. He is Vice President (Region 9) of the National Apartment Association sitting on the Board of Directors, Budget and Finance Committee, Governance Committee, Communications Advisory Committee, and Nominating Committee. Past President of the Bay Area Apartment Association (Tampa Bay, FL), he serves as Chairman of the Legislative Committee protecting owners and landlord’s rights. Marc is a Past President of the Florida Apartment Association where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors and be involved in legislative matters. He is Past President of the Fairway Village Homeowners Association and Treasurer of the West Coast Employers Association.

Most importantly this year, Marc is the Chairman of the 2005 National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition, our nation’s biggest event for the multi-family housing professional that will be held in Orlando Florida in June 2005.   

When he is not tirelessly working to advance the causes of the multi-family housing industry Marc occasionally sees his wonderful wife, two sons and a daughter!!
 

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

An African family (from Congo and Angola) at an apartment community complained the landlord failed to make repairs to the apartment.  During the several years that the family lived at the complex, they allegedly suffered multiple ceiling collapses, water running through the ceiling, backed-up and malfunctioning water pipes, and defective insulation and window jambs.  The tenants claimed the landlord had one set of standards for white tenants and another for immigrants and minorities.  The landlord settled the case by payment of over $60,000 and agreeing to have staff attend fair housing training.
 

The cautionary lesson here is that a failure to maintain premises cannot only give rise to rent withholding and claims for rent abatement, it can give rise to a fair housing complaint.  Be sure that your process of handling repair requests is fair and well documented.  Emergency repairs (those affecting habitability and/or preventing further damage) should get priority.  Everything else should be on a “first come, first serve” basis.
 

In this issue:

NAA Conference & Exposition

FARPM Annual Convention

Sexual Offenders Website

2005 FL Legislative Wrap-Up

Letters from Attorneys

Lease Non-Compliance

Pet Removal

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

 
 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

 
 
 

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