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Landlord and Tenant Relationship in Florida – Common Pitfalls III

Walk-Thru, Late Payments and Deposits

Walk-Thru:

Not documenting Property’s Conditions. Before the Tenant moves in, it is important to both parties to put in writing  with as much detail as possible the conditions of the property. This document will be the only defense the Tenant will have if there is a claim of the deposit or the proof a Landlord will have that the damage was caused by the Tenant. I normally take pictures of the property and get them signed by both parties.

Late Payments:

Most Leases include a clause that determines a penalty in case the payment is not received on the due date or after a grace period which normally is 5 days. Not enforcing this clause can have two “side effects”; first the Tenant doesn’t take seriously the importance on on-time payments and after doing it repeatedly the landlord may have a hard time collecting it.
Be very firm and don’t get personal … the best way to keep a healthy relationship is by setting expectations upfront and making sure the Tenant comply with the terms of the contract.

Deposits:

Many Tenants try to convince Landlords to “live the deposit” and not pay the last month. Even though the relationship was great and the property seems to be in great shape it’s advisable to keep the deposit until the tenant vacates the property. If there is a problem  the Landlord would have no money for repairs or to pay for them.

The Landlord and Tenant Act has very strict rules on how Security Deposits and Advanced Rents must be kept until due. The Landlord should notify Tenant in writing how the deposit will be kept. If Landlord will keep the deposit the tenant MUST be notified in writing. Please refer to the Landlord and Tenant Act for more details.

Business is Business and Landlord and Tenants relationships should be kept as a commercial transaction with no emotions attached.

Written by Ines Garcia | Discussion: No Comments »

New Law will Protect Condo Association if Owner Defaults

Hundreds of New Laws will take in effect Tomorrow July 1st.

As we have seen happening over the last few years many Landlords collect rent but don’t pay Condo Associations. This new Law grants them the right to collect the dues directly from the Tenants or they can be evicted.

It is a great resource for Associations as a way to protect other homeowners from being responsible to pay Special Assessments to cover pass due fees.

As read in the Sun-Sentinel Article:

“Condo renters (SB 1196):
Changes: Homeowners associations can evict a renter if their landlord isn’t paying the condo or association fees.
Impact: Many condo owners, particularly investment owners, are in foreclosure and not paying association fees, but still collecting rent checks from their tenants. This law could put renters on the hook to pay the fees or face eviction.”

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If you are interested in renting or listing for rent Real Estate in WESTON, please call me at (954) 588-7260 or
contact me.

Written by Ines Garcia | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Landlord and Tenant Relationship in Florida – Common Pitfalls II

Last week I posted an article about the importance of running credit and criminal background on prospective Tenants.

Another Common Pitfall in Landlord Tenant Relationships is allowing a Tenant to move into a Community or Building without being aware of the current Rules and Regulations being enforced at the time. Even though an approval may not be required it’s important to know upfront if there are any restrictions. For example in Weston Trucks are not allowed to be parked in driveways. Many Buildings and Some Homeowners associations have rental restrictions such as times per year the unit can be rented, minimum lease period, age, pets, etc…

Most Associations run credit and criminal background. Some associations also require the Tenant to meet with a Board Member before a final letter of approval is provided. This interview is in most cases is an orientation to make sure the Tenant understands the Rules and Regulations. Other than the cost of applying and the requirement of a deposit, one of the major inconveniences is the turnaround time. It may take up to four weeks from the time the application is received.

Having said that, sometimes Landlords and Tenants are tempted to skip this process. If a Tenant moves into a community that requires approval or in violation of the rules and regulations the association may require him/her to vacate the Unit. You can imagine the hassle it may cause and the legal consequences…

In Weston it’s very important to know that in Savanna properties CAN NOT be rented during the first year of ownership.

So please … be very careful and comply with your association for your own good.

Written by Ines Garcia | Discussion: No Comments »

I Leased a Property and It Is Being Sold as a Short Sale or Foreclosed…What should I do?

STOCKTON, CA - APRIL 29:  (FILE PHOTO) A forec...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Answer is: Consult an Attorney…

From several conversations with attorneys I have gathered the following information. You particular circumstances may differ so please do your due diligence before making any decision.

Is the Property being sold as a Short Sale or being Foreclosed?

If the Property is being sold as a Short Sale and the Lease is current the new owner must honor the lease term. Very often, by the time the Short Sale is approved, the original lease has expired and the tenant is living in the property with on a month to month lease. Beware of oral agreement since they are harder to enforce than written contracts. In some cases the Tenant lives in the property until the amount given as advanced rent and security deposit is exhausted. It is advised to have a  written agreement with the owner because the owner’s default in paying his mortgage doesn’t give the tenant the right to default in his rental payments. One of the most common complaints from tenants when they keep paying their rent is either the lack of maintenance to the property. Attorneys always advice their clients to keep paying the Association/Condo dues while the Short Sale is being processed.
A good landlord/tenant relationship is key to ensure a smooth transition. Being it to grant access to prospective buyers and be able to commit with a closing date or transferring the lease to the new buyer.

If the Property is Foreclosed the new owner has the right to request the Tenant to vacate the property. Tenant is normally aware that a foreclosure is taking place well in advance.  The new owner can provide the Tenant with a “3 Day Notice” and if the tenant doesn’t leave most likely an eviction will take place. Under some circumstances the new owner offers incentives to ensure the property is left in good conditions and the tenant vacates without the need of being evicted.

If the Property is a Fannie Mae Foreclosure you may get some Help!

Some Qualified renters may be offered month to month Leases and even help to relocate. For additional information:

Fannie Mae Support for Renters

Fannie Mae Renters FQA’s

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Thinking of selling your home? Now might be a good time to put it on the market when the inventory of great properties for sale is low. For a FREE market analysis of your property call me at (954) 588-7260 or contact me.

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Written by Ines Garcia | Discussion: 5 Comments »

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