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LEGAL NEWS - MAY 2007


DO YOU MANAGE SINGLE FAMILY HOMES?  ARE YOU A FARPM MEMBER?

FARPM, Inc. is an elite group of residential property manager specialists across Florida who provide the highest level of service and professionalism to real estate investment property owners and tenants of single family rental properties. Membership in FARPM, Inc. provides opportunities for property management designations, PRM™ and PME™, through its training provider, The Property Management Academy, www.TPMAcademy.com. Members enjoy the Florida Residential Property Manager magazine, an annual membership directory (who’s who in Florida PM), and a state convention each year. To learn more, visit www.FARPM.com or call 1-800-453-6334.

Click here to learn more about FARPM  and how you can join.

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AMENITIES AND LIABILITY – NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED         

You advertise your apartment community as having a state of the art fitness center, 2 pools and a hot tub. Problem is that one of the pools breaks and is inoperable for over 30 days, the treadmill in the fitness center has not worked for months, and the hot tub is never hot. You’re “working on it” and having problems with the repair people. Can a tenant break the lease? Withhold rent? Sue your company in a class action lawsuit?

Click here to see how your amenities can cause you trouble.

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FIRE ALARM MONITORING RETROFITTING          

Great news for owners of existing apartment buildings!  Fire Code changes are in the works that would replace the current code, which requires the installation and monitoring of costly fire alarm equipment in new and existing apartment buildings.  The new code (if adopted) will have much more pocketbook friendly requirements  

Click here  for more information from the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando.

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DISHING THE DISH             

Although it is difficult to determine who is winning the race between cable companies and dish networks, there can be no question that more and more tenants are opting to get their entertainment through a satellite dish.  Can the landlord refuse to let the tenant install a satellite dish?  Are there any restrictions?

Click here  to see how to handle the Surprise Satellite Dish!

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THE TENANT AND UTILITIES              

The lease clearly states that the tenant is to place the electric bill in his name. You discover two months after move in that the tenant did not do this, or possibly the electric company’s arrangement is to automatically revert back to the apartment community if the tenant fails to pay the bill. Can you instruct the electric company to shut the account off? After all, isn’t the bill in your name? Didn’t the tenant violate the lease?

Click here to see how to deal with the tenant and the electric issue.

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SELFSTORAGELEGAL.COM - Evictions are an Option, too

Almost all states have a Self-Storage statute that gives an operator the right to claim a lien against the stored property, and if the operator follows all of the steps, eventually get the space back and sell the stored property to help defray the outstanding rent and expenses of selling.  However, sometimes a lien sale on a delinquent tenant is not your best option.

 

Click here to read Self Storage Law expert attorney Jeffrey Greenberger’s article “Evictions are an Option Too”
 

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COMMERCIAL LAW AND YOU  - Lockouts and Self Help

The most frequently asked question at a commercial or a residential leasing seminar is as follows:“In the event that the tenant fails to make payment of rent, can I simply change the locks or retake possession, if I am certain that this tenant is not going to make payment”?  The most dreaded word that a commercial lease attorney representing a commercial property landlord can hear is that his client has taken self-help measures, or performed a lock-out of the tenant.

Click here for the second in a 2 part series on dealing with the tenant default by commercial law attorney Kevin Jursinski.  
 

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - SCREENING ON THE BASIS OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND             By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

“Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”  Many rental applications include such a question.  If the applicant answers “yes”, can you turn him or her down?  Is there a fair housing problem looming on the horizon? What if the applicant says he was not convicted but instead had adjudication withheld?

Click here to see if you know the answers.
 

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - Lennon “Chip” Tatum, CAM, NALP

Chip Tatum began his property management career over 8 years ago as a part time leasing agent for UDR (formerly United Dominion Realty Trust, Inc), and quickly moved up to property manager, most recently as Property Manager of Alafaya Woods Apartment Homes in Oviedo.  He now proudly serves as Director of Education and Government Affairs for the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO), filling the shoes of Gary Scarboro, who is now Association Executive.  He was selected “National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) of the Year in 2003 by the National Apartment Association Paragon Award Committee.  Chip served as Chairman of the AAGO Education Committee from 2005 to 2006, and has been a volunteer instructor of designation classes for several years. He achieved the Certified Apartment Manager designation from NAA through AAGO in 2002, and is currently close to obtaining a degree in Organizational Behavior and Business from Rollins College, with a minor in Business Administration.  Chip has been married for 4 years and has a 9 month old daughter.  In what little spare time he has, he enjoys tennis, fishing, and the outdoors. We are all proud and excited to have Chip at the Education and Governmental affairs helm of AAGO.

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In this issue:

FARPM

Amenities and Liability

Fire Alarm Monitoring

Dishing the Dish

The Tenant and Utilities

Self-Storage Units

Commercial Law and You

Fair Housing Corner

Industry Leader of the Month

 
 

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