Category Archives: Procedures

The Endless Late Fee Cycle: Enforceable or Not?

There is a common legal issue and problem that arises in the residential property management business. It involves situations when a tenant owes a late fee for a given month and pays the base rent for the following months but does not “catch up” with the late fee, which can result in a vicious cycle […]

Landlord Practice Tips on Recent Florida Appellate Decision

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals just released an opinion regarding several legal issues involving a commercial lease in Bldg. B1 v. Component Repair Servs., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 9956 (Third Court of Appeal of Florida, July 12, 2017). The Court’s ruling has bearing on how courts could rule on similar issues involving residential leases. Below […]

A Case Study In Pretext Racial Discrimination

In Osborn v. Kellogg, 547 N.W.2d 504 (Neb. 1996), a rental applicant (“applicant”) filed a complaint with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) alleging that the landlord rejected her application because her live-in boyfriend was black. NEOC found that the (legitimate) reasons offered by landlords for refusing the applicant’s rental application were, in fact, a pretext […]

Disparate Impact Theory and Fair Housing Law

The Florida Bar recently published an article authored by Allison K. Bethel entitled “Fair Housing and Criminal Records Policies” (The Florida Bar Out-of-State Division, Summer 2017, p. 6). The content of this article, and possible future fair housing legal trends, should be understood and considered by property managers when using a rental application criteria, as they […]

Avoid Liability for Hazardous Conditions

Owning rental property carries duties, and failure to comply with those duties can result in liability, potentially making the venture more costly than it’s worth. These risks increase when the landlord does not manage the property properly. One such duty is that the landlord remedy hazardous conditions and prevent them from causing harm to person […]

Security Deposits and the ‘Vacate Date’

Florida Statutes 83.49 requires that the notice sent by the landlord must: 1.  be sent certified mail to the tenant to tenant’s “last known address”; 2.  be sent within 30 days after the tenant vacates the premises; 3.  state the amount of the deposit being withheld by the landlord; 4.  state with specificity the reason […]

HOA Rules and the Lease

There is a common problem in the landlord-tenant business where the tenant violates the HOA covenants and restrictions (hereinafter “rules”) but is complying with the lease.  What is even more notable problem is when the rules and lease provisions contradict each other.  The problem becomes worse where the HOA is aggressive about enforcing the rules. Since […]

Security Deposits: When the Tenant Objects and the Owner Insists

Florida Statutes (FS) 83.49 prescribes the procedures on how to handle security deposits (“deposit”) held pursuant to a rental agreement. You likely know already that you must notify the tenant of where the deposit is held; you may not commingle the deposit with your own funds; you cannot treat the deposit as “liquidated damages” unless […]

Untimely Tenant Answer to Eviction Now Permissible

In 2008, the Florida Supreme Court issued a decision that affect the way eviction cases are handled in county court, which of course affects your business.  In Pro-Art Dental Lab, Inc v. V-Stategic Group, LLC, 986 So. 2d 1244, 1245, 2008 Fla. LEXIS 1236, *1, 33 Fla. L. Weekly S 503 (Fla. 2008), the Florida Supreme […]