POST HURRICANE CONSIDERATIONS
Many legal issues arise after there is damage or destruction of occupied premises. All situations should be dealt with on a case by case basis and you should get your attorney involved immediately. Often your compassionate accommodation of a resident will result in greater problems and liability to you and the property owner if not done properly.
RELEASING RESIDENTS FROM THE LEASE: It is imperative when releasing a resident from a lease that a proper release form is used which deals with the security deposit, prepaid rents, damages to the premises, date of vacating and abandoned property. We recommend the MUTUAL RELEASE.
TERMINATING THE TENANCY: If your lease agreement has a clause which states that the lease may be terminated at the manager’s option upon the damage or destruction of the premises, you are probably safe to give a Seven Day Notice of Termination to the resident. If the lease fails to have a clause allowing such termination, we advise that you call your attorney immediately to see what options you may have. Check your lease carefully. Most leases only give the manager the option to terminate the tenancy if the premises are “destroyed”. This is a major problem as more often a property is not “destroyed” but is “damaged” to the point where you want the resident to vacate. Review and have your lease revised immediately.
TRANSFERRING A RESIDENT: It is not advisable to transfer a resident to another unit unless a Resident Transfer Addendum is signed by all parties. Failure to use such addendum can result in you having two units occupied by the resident and/or their belongings. If a resident is transferred, all items should be removed from the original premises before the resident is allowed to take possession of the new premises.
RENT REDUCTIONS AND CONCESSIONS: No rent reductions should be given or offered unless and until such time as you have consulted with your attorney and have written permission from the property owner. If the property is damaged and the resident is demanding a rent reduction or concession, please remember that if you and the resident cannot come to an agreement, a judge may eventually make the agreement for you with less than desirable results. Once an agreement is made, your attorney will write up a contract detailing all the terms. Nothing should be done verbally.
SECURITY DEPOSIT AND ADVANCE RENT: Once a resident has vacated the premises, you have 30 days to make the claim upon the security deposit. If you are not making any claim, you have 15 days to refund the entire security deposit and last month’s rent if applicable. If you are refunding the security deposit or prepaid rents in an emergency fashion, it is imperative that you use the proper form. Call your attorney immediately.
MOLD AND MILDEW: There is an incredible increase in mold and mildew situations due to water intrusion and power outages. Over the next year, this will worsen as properties have suffered severe water intrusion and attorneys will be capitalizing on mold litigation. If you have a proper Mold Addendum, you will be able to terminate the tenancy if there is mold or mildew present. Call your attorney immediately if you receive complaints of mold or mildew and check each property carefully for mold and mildew.
- The Curable Noncompliance Examined PART 1
- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW