DELAY TACTICS – "THE MOTION TO DETERMINE RENT”
attorney filed an eviction on a tenant that clearly is two
month’s delinquent. There is no disputing the amount and no
problems with the premises; the tenant just has no money and
told you he could not pay the rent. You think it is a slam dunk
eviction, when out of the blue, your attorney notifies you that
the tenant has filed a “Motion to Determine Rent”. A motion to
determine WHAT? On top of that, the tenant has not posted one
dime into the Court Registry, and a court hearing is set for
next week. How could this be? Doesn’t the tenant have to post
the rent money into the Court Registry? The Motion to Determine
Rent is one of the most annoying time delay tactics a tenant can
successfully use against a landlord, and its use is on the rise.
to find out what the Motion is and what it does to the eviction.
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NEW SEXUAL PREDATOR AND
“NOW YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE?”
landlords know by now for obvious reasons that it is certainly
not a good idea to rent to a sexual predator or offender. Most
Resident Selection Criteria has or should have a provision
whereby the landlord can reject an applicant in the event the
applicant has committed any offenses of a sexual nature. A
simple free internet check on the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement’s website will tell you whether someone is a
registered sexual predator or offender in Florida and the
person’s address. Due to the fact that Florida has over 30,000
current registered sexual offenders and predators, and these
people have to live somewhere, local government is taking a
radical step and CRIMINALLY punishing landlords who rent to them
by enacting new ordinances which limit where these people can
to see the latest developments in the landlord’s obligations.
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COLLECTIONS ACT – “ARE YOU IN VIOLATION?”
send out a Notice of Intention to Impose a Claim on Security
Deposit due to tenant damages. The tenant writes you a letter
disputing the charges and calling you every name in the book.
You write a letter back explaining your charges and tell the
tenant that if they don’t pay, you are going to send the account
to collections. Sounds reasonable, right? You just violated the
Florida Consumer Collections Law. The penalty? Actual damages
PLUS additional statutory damages of up to $1,000.00, together
with court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the
tenant. This is serious business my friends, and attorneys are
out there just waiting for you to violate the law.
find out more about this little known but often used weapon
against the landlord.
“ALL ADULT OCCUPANTS MUST SIGN THE LEASE"
day our office sees leases that are either signed by one of the
tenants listed on the lease and not the other, or an adult is
listed as an occupant and not a “tenant”, and thus is not a
lease signer. The first situation is usually caused by the one
of the tenants not being available at the time of lease signing
and subsequent move in. A typical mistake is to give possession
to the tenant who signed the lease in hopes that the other
tenant will come in some time and sign the lease. Good luck.
Once possession is given to the signing tenant, there is little
chance that the other tenant will come in to sign the lease. You
are now left with a contract that is not fully executed and
could even be considered invalid at a later date. In the second
situation, the landlord intentionally puts only one tenant on
the lease and allows the other tenant to only be listed as an
occupant. Usually this is done at the request of the signing
tenant for a myriad of reasons. ALWAYS have all adults sign the
lease as tenants. NEVER make any exceptions. Remember that the
tenant who does not sign the lease has no obligation to pay the
rent, the signing tenant may move out, the non-signing tenant
may get a roommate, and now you have two people living on the
premises who technically have absolutely no obligation to pay
the rent, because they did not sign the lease, and the lease
signer is nowhere to be found.
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OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY MANAGERS
1989 our office has been dealing with Security Deposit Disputes.
It is rare that a day goes by when one does not come in. Some
are settled, some go to court. We win some, and we lose some.
When we win, the landlord gets to retain the amount claimed from
the security dispute but has to pay us to do so, and usually the
only people who get any money are us. When we lose, the landlord
is ordered to return the security deposit in part or whole, AND
if there is an attorney on the other side, the landlord gets hit
with a judgment for attorney’s fees and costs. On top of that
the landlord still has to pay us. Isn’t that special? Almost
every dispute centers around three things, proving the premises
were not damaged when the tenant moved in, proving that the
tenant damaged the premises when they were there and proving the
cost of the damages. Over the years, we have noticed a strange
and unusual phenomenon. Landlords who video tape the premises
before the tenant moves in and after they move out rarely if
ever have a security deposit dispute. CASE CLOSED. Watch future
issues of this Newsletter to see an in depth article on the
$300.00 power tool of the property manager – the VIDEO CAMERA.
In the meantime, BUY ONE AND USE IT!!
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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH
CPL, CAM, CPMS started the Landlording 101 Academy™ to empower
Florida housing providers, such as landlords, investors, real
estate agents, public housing authorities, and many more. This
is accomplished through various tools, such as educational
courses and workshops, free landlord/investor roundtable
discussions, an information-based website, and system oriented
products. With its innovative tools, the Academy is able to
empower housing providers, which has a direct, positive impact
on bettering the communities in which we live. Bryan is also the
author and creator of the Landlording 101™ Operations Manual and
training material for the Certified Professional Landlord™
Program, recognized by the Florida Realtor Estate Commission for
continuing education. Bryan also has been requested throughout
the state of Florida as an instructor for the National Apartment
Association’s Certified Apartment Manager Courses.
Bryan is a thirty-two year old Florida native.
What makes Bryan unique is that he has overcome some major
obstacles to achieve his goal of becoming a successful
entrepreneur. Bryan was diagnosed with dyslexia and severe ADD
early on as a child. Fortunately for the real estate world and
countless others, each time he was knocked down he dusted
himself off and got back up. One of his favorite quotes is
“fall seven times, get up eight”. Bryan also started the Winky
Wright Landlording 101™Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament, along
with Winky Wright, the WBA and WBC super welterweight boxing
champion of the world. The tournament raised over
$15,000.00 which was donated to Academy Prep and The First Tee
of St. Petersburg. Bryan's training courses are offered at St.
Pete College, the only property management courses of a high
enough caliber to be offered at a collegiate level. Bryan
travels around the state of Florida teaching landlord/tenant and
Fair Housing courses. His dedication and services have been
praised by the City Of Bradenton, Manatee County, and the City
of St. Petersburg. The Landlording 101 Academy™ has taught
workshops and courses for government programs such as the City
of St. Petersburg Public Housing Authority, City of Bradenton
Housing Authority, City of Bradenton Grants and Assistance
Community Relations Department, Manatee County Public Housing
Authority, City of Bartow Housing Authority and many more. The
Landlording 101 Academy™ has also provided training and
education for the Greater Tampa Bay Association (GTAR) and
Pinellas Realtor Organization (PRO), two of the most prestigious
real estate associations in the nation. Bryan is currently
working with the Deputy Mayor of the City of St. Petersburg,
Michael Dove, and the economic development team to put together
a powerful and informative work shop that will not only benefit
investors, but the wonderful city of St. Petersburg alike.
Bryan also founded, along with the City of St. Petersburg, the
Neighborhood Landlord Alliance. This organization is designed
to help bridge the gap between local government, neighborhoods,
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BIG EVENT – BAY AREA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION TRADE SHOW
November 9, 2005 the Bay Area Apartment Association will
be presenting its annual Trade Show at Raymond James Stadium in
Tampa from 5:00 PM until 8:30 PM. Don’t miss this great event!!
For more info,
call 1 800-344-9373.
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FAIR HOUSING CORNER -
SLIPPING THROUGH THE CRACKS? By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law
newest administrative charge highlights how much can go wrong if
there is poor transition between on-site managers. The case was
filed against a property management company who mishandled an
application for more than eight months, never issuing an
approval or denial of the application.
A disabled individual applied for
a one bedroom apartment in August. In December, he was approved
by the corporate office but was not offered a unit. He
submitted all requested paperwork, some of it more than once.
Over the course of events, he was asked to submit new
applications three times because the management office could not
locate his file. No formal denial was ever issued by the
management company, but the management company’s actions
effectively prevented a qualified individual from moving into an
apartment. The series of missteps was attributable, at least in
part, to frequent changes in the on-site management. Property
managers did not last long at this property. They seemed to
“switch out” every three months or so. Such a flux of office
staff, along with the usual hectic activity of an on-site
management office, caused the individual’s application to slip
between the cracks.
is a change in staff, a plan should be made to assure a smooth
transition. Where a transition cannot be planned because it is
happening quickly or without notice, the company must rely upon
good records. “Good records” means that someone has kept
accurate records about what matters are ongoing and require
immediate attention. At the very minimum, files and other
important documents should be safeguarded so they are not lost.
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