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What are the Property Management requirements in Florida

What are the Property Management requirements in Florida

  • Posted: Oct 12, 2016
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As more investors are heading into becoming owners of rental properties the questions arise about requirements. There are questions that you need to know the answers to and SFPMA has you covered.

 

Must a Florida property management company have a real estate broker’s license?

YES. Key components of property management (renting and leasing) are considered a real estate activity under existing Florida real estate licensing laws. A property manager needs broker license if he or she is paid by commission, and is handling rentals and leases for others. No license is required for managing personally owned properties. There is not a “Property Manager” license or certificate. Also, certain rental properties need a license through the Div. of Hotels and Restaurants.

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If you don’t hire someone to field these inquiries, you’ll have to do it yourself.

If you don’t hire someone to field these inquiries, you’ll have to do it yourself.

  • Posted: May 24, 2016
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Vacation Management managers can be found on SFPMA.com Vacation listing websites help you book renters but they can take up to 30 percent in commissions. While this may seem high, remember that each booking can involve dozens of inquiries for each renter. If you don’t hire someone to field these inquiries, you’ll have to do it yourself. You probably don’t want to rely on a listing website alone for your marketing. If you do, you may be costing yourself a lot of rented nights each year. Here are some relevant facts from the Vacation Rental Property Marketing Blog about vacation rental owners’ marketing expenses: Vacation rental owners spent an average of $1,150 per year marketing their properties in 2011. Half of all vacation rental owners only use listing sites to market their properties. This group experiences annual average occupancy rates of 54 percent. Vacation rental owners who combine listing sites with their own websites bump their occupancy rates up to 76 percent, on average. 94 percent of all vacation rental owners believe they could be doing more to promote their properties. Let us help by listing your Vacation Rental Company with us:  SFPMA has a Directory used by Thousands of Clients looking for the management services you provide….

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Watch out for Squatters on your property.

Watch out for Squatters on your property.

It’s getting Cold outside, Watch out for Squatters in your property. Read the Article in the December Florida Rising Magazine – http://joom.ag/F5Sp   Trident Ground Protection: Has a Service for Property Owners – Physical Patrols. Trident Ground Protection provides professional monitoring of your CCTV, fire detection and intrusion alarm systems 24 hours a day. Our staff of highly trained video patrol officers and telecommunications will actively patrol your property utilizing your equipment and systems and notify you and emergency first responders to any occurrence of criminal or suspicious activity. http://www.tridentgroundprotection.com/ Owner: Colin Geoffrey Taylor   1. Figure out if it really is a squatter. The first question to ask is if the people that you see on your property really are squatting or if they are in fact simply trespassing. A trespasser is a much less substantial problem. It’s someone who has come onto your land or buildings unlawfully. Trespassers usually do not stay long. Vandalism is a common motivation for trespassers, but they could be there for any reason. A squatter is someone who has essentially moved into your place and is treating it as their home, explains Colin Geoffrey Taylor of Florida Based Security Firm Trident Ground Protection. “This practice is more common if the property is a vacation home and/or the owner rarely comes to check on the place,” he says. “For the most part, squatters can’t be removed without some sort of civil eviction action.” If someone doesn’t move out when their lease expires, that is actually a different type of problem – called a holdover tenant. Holdover tenants can be difficult to get out of the unit, requiring legal paperwork that is not necessary in the case of a true squatter. Complicating the issue, though, squatters can become holdover tenants if they can prove that they have been living on your property for a specified period of time. For instance, in Florida, the time period is 30 days. While someone who has been renting from a landlord and refuses to leave in Broward County Palm Beach or Miami Dade County its according to the lease payment time, from month to month rental to Year to Year rental both with different eviction procedure’s. a squatter graduates to holdover status after just one month. Generally around the country, it’s much easier to get rid of squatters than holdovers, but a holdover action frequently delivers better results, according to NationalEvictions.com “Often times, a holdover proceeding seems to give the landlord a more guaranteed approach to recovering their property,” explains the eviction expert at NationalEvictions.com. “The trade off is that with a holdover proceeding, the time to evict is often a little longer.”   2. Move to evict. All right, so you want to kick these squatters to the curb. The first thing to do is deliver an eviction notice. What you are basically going to be serving to the squatters is what’s called an unconditional quit notice. In other words, the squatter needs to vacate the premises and move out all their belongings, and there are no conditions in which they would be allowed to stay. As NationalEvictions explains, these documents are also used for extreme situations in which the landlord wants the tenant out of the building immediately, without any chance for corrective action. In most states, they can’t be used with actual tenants unless they have failed to meet lease guidelines multiple times, been late with the rent repeatedly, torn apart the property, or used the environment for criminal purposes. They with a tenant in that case you can issue them a 7-Day notice to Quit, and in the event of an repeat action of any of the above you then issue the Tenant a 7-Day Notice that they now have no chance to cure and you will be evicting them. This again takes time. Here’s the thing: Just like tenants who have done considerable damage or are blatantly non compliant, squatters may disregard your notice. If they won’t move out, the next step is an unlawful detainer lawsuit. Once you win the suit, then you can get a court order. Let the squatters know about the court order. If they won’t budge, the police will help you enforce the court decision, says NationalEviction, who also warns that “Taking matters into your own hands by forcibly removing squatters could land you in legal trouble. With Real Estate and Owners that live in other states Trident Ground Protection has a solution to bring piece of mind for your property. They have clients that own some homes in Miami and Broward County that are million dollar properties, Trident has great rates where they physically patrol the properties do inspections and walk grounds, they check for any sign of doors windows broken or entry into the homes. “Just last month a NY client that has many investment properties they are holding for sale called and agreed for Trident to start patrolling. Colin said in the week that he started one of the homes he noticed a light that should not have been on, Police called and a woman in her early 30’s was living in the house, That could have been worse if she was living their a while then we would need a court order to remove her. She just got in and was there only a few days before i took over the daily weekely patrols.”   3. Don’t get blindsided by adverse possession laws. No one can just break into your place and claim it, of course … or can they? Squatters actually can take over ownership of your property if they have lived there long enough – typically multiple years, although parameters vary around the country. Although all the conditions of adverse possession laws must be in place in order for the squatter to win, Trident advises property owners on taking precautions. “Your best bet in preventing this result is to go and visit all your property locations at least once a month to check for…

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EXPLANATION OF THE CHANGES TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT ACT updated.

EXPLANATION OF THE CHANGES TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT ACT updated.

  • Posted: Oct 08, 2015
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EXPLANATION OF THE CHANGES TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT ACT updated. by: NationalEvictions.com Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 77, the most extensive change in over 20 years to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act found in Florida Statutes, Section 83 Part II. The changes, additions and subtractions help to clarify some of the greyer areas of law that have developed over the years, and give guidance to property managers, attorneys and judges. The landlord-tenant relationship is affected by the lease agreement, statutory law and decisions by judges creating case law when the statute or lease is unclear. In the residential setting, most cases are decided in county court. If a judge rules in a way that may not be in accordance with the law, other judges often will follow suit. This creates situations where in one county or circuit the judges rule one way, and in another county or circuit, the judges rule an opposing way. Often judges in the same county or circuit will rule in opposing ways. Inconsistencies create a problem of uncertainty for property managers, and since under Florida law, the prevailing party in a Landlord-Tenant action is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees, the stakes can get extremely high for all parties involved. The Landlord-Tenant Act in Florida is extremely fair, and for the most part clear and concise, but nothing is perfect. The changes to the law clarify a number of areas of the law which will be examined here. Just because the law has changed, we must warn property managers that not all judges will follow the law, especially in the beginning, and some still will interpret the law in a way that you and your attorney may disagree with. When this occurs, there is an option of filing an appeal to a higher court, but due to the expense and time involved, this is not usually done. This article will explain the new law as it pertains to the multi-family manager. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2013, and the new security deposit disclosure wording must be placed in all leases beginning on January 1, 2014. ATTORNEY’S FEES Prior Law – The Landlord-Tenant Act provides that the prevailing party in a case seeking to enforce the provisions of a rental agreement or the Landlord-Tenant Act is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees. In some cases, residents would be injured on a property, a slip and fall for example, and the attorney for the injured party would seek attorney’s fees. Personal injury law does not provide that the injured person receives attorney’s fees, but this grey area was being exploited by some personal injury attorneys to ask for and receive attorney’s fees. New Law- The new language clarifies that attorney’s fees will NOT be awarded in an action in which a person was injured on a rental property, AND a lease cannot be modified to allow management to attempt to force residents to waive away their rights to attorney’s fees in non-personal injury cases. SECURITY DEPOSITS AND ADVANCE RENT Prior Law – It was unclear in prior law whether management had to notify the resident if a bank’s name had changed, was sold, or one bank merged with another. That bank would be the one holding the deposits. New Law – Management is now clearly not required to notify the resident of a bank change, merger or bank sale. Prior Law – Management was required to provide the resident with a section of Florida Statutes 83.49(3), explaining timing and procedures that governed management and residents if management were to make a claim upon the deposit, return the deposit, or if the resident disputed claims made against the deposit. New Law- A brand new disclosure is now required in the lease for all leases beginning January 1, 2014. Until that time, you can continue to use the old law wording, or you can update your lease right now. The new disclosure clarifies that you do not have to notify the resident if you are using the advance rent when it becomes due, clarifies that management has 30 days from the time of resident “move out” to send the Notice of Intention to Impose the Claim on Security Deposit, and encourages management and residents to try to informally settle disputes, and if not, either party can sue as before. Basically the procedures regarding security deposits have not changed, just the new disclosure is required. If a resident disputes, the new law still does not clarify if management is permitted to retain the “disputed” amount, or if the disputed amount can be disbursed or put into your company’s operating account. Prior Law – If management failed to send out the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit in time or properly, it was unclear if management had to refund the entire amount of the deposit or could “set it off” against the amount the resident may have owed and return the rest to the resident. New Law – It is clear now that if management fails to send out the Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit in time or properly, the management MUST return 100% of the deposit, but still can sue the resident in court and get a judgment for the underlying claim in the event management went to court and prevailed. Prior Law – Nothing addresses the safety or security of a resident’s security deposit on a sale of a property, and often the old owner or manager kept it; hence the resident lost it with no recourse against the long gone prior owner. New Law – There is a re buttable presumption that the new owner or management received the deposit from the old owner or management, and this presumption is limited to one month’s rent. SCREENS Prior Law – Management was responsible for screens. This created a problem, as often the screens were damaged or destroyed by the resident, guest, child or pet, and…

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Evictions: Abandonment claims on personal property

Evictions: Abandonment claims on personal property

  • Posted: Oct 08, 2015
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State Statutes for Evictions Personal property abandonment claims on personal property.   Chapter 715 PROPERTY: GENERAL PROVISIONS 715.104 Notification of former tenant of personal property remaining on premises after tenancy has terminated.— (1) When personal property remains on the premises after a tenancy has terminated or expired and the premises have been vacated by the tenant, through eviction or otherwise, the landlord shall give written notice to such tenant and to any other person the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of the property. (2) The notice shall describe the property in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by s. 715.11 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents. The notice shall advise the person to be notified that reasonable costs of storage may be charged before the property is returned, and the notice shall state where the property may be claimed and the date before which the claim must be made. The date specified in the notice shall be a date not fewer than 10 days after the notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after the notice is deposited in the mail. (3) The notice shall be personally delivered or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be notified at her or his last known address and, if there is reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be received by that person, also delivered or sent to such other address, if any, known to the landlord where such person may reasonably be expected to receive the notice. 715.105 Form of notice concerning abandoned property to former tenant.— (1) A notice to the former tenant which is in substantially the following form satisfies the requirements of s. 715.104: Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property To: (Name of former tenant) (Address of former tenant) When you vacated the premises at (address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any) , the following personal property remained: (insert description of personal property) . You may claim this property at (address where property may be claimed) . Unless you pay the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, if any, for all the above-described property and take possession of the property which you claim, not later than (insert date not fewer than 10 days after notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after notice is deposited in the mail) , this property may be disposed of pursuant to s. 715.109. (Insert here the statement required by subsection (2)) Dated: (Signature of landlord) (Type or print name of landlord) (Telephone number) (Address) (2) The notice set forth in subsection (1) shall also contain one of the following statements: (a) “If you fail to reclaim the property, it will be sold at a public sale after notice of the sale has been given by publication. You have the right to bid on the property at this sale. After the property is sold and the costs of storage, advertising, and sale are deducted, the remaining money will be paid over to the county. You may claim the remaining money at any time within 1 year after the county receives the money.” (b) “Because this property is believed to be worth less than $500, it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above.”   715.106 Form of notice concerning abandoned property to owner other than former tenant.— (1) A notice which is in substantially the following form given to a person who is not the former tenant and whom the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of any of the abandoned personal property satisfies the requirements of s. 715.104: Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property To: (Name) (Address) When (name of former tenant) vacated the premises at (address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any) , the following personal property remained: (insert description of personal property) . If you own any of this property, you may claim it at (address where property may be claimed) . Unless you pay the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, if any, and take possession of the property to which you are entitled, not later than (insert date not fewer than 10 days after notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after notice is deposited in the mail) , this property may be disposed of pursuant to s. 715.109. (Insert here the statement required by subsection (2)) Dated: (Signature of landlord) (Type or print name of landlord) (Telephone number) (Address) (2) The notice set forth in subsection (1) shall also contain one of the following statements: (a) “If you fail to reclaim the property, it will be sold at a public sale after notice of the sale has been given by publication. You have the right to bid on the property at this sale. After the property is sold and the costs of storage, advertising, and sale are deducted, the remaining money will be paid over to the county. You may claim the remaining money at any time within 1 year after the county receives the money.” (b) “Because this property is believed to be worth less than $500, it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above.”   715.107 Storage of abandoned property.— The personal property described in the notice either shall be left on the vacated premises or be stored by the landlord in a place…

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Associations Right to Evict

Associations Right to Evict

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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Associations Right to Evict . . Associations can evict Tenants of property owners. In response to the unreasonable amount of property owners who are renting out their properties and collecting rents but have unpaid Association dues or assessments, the Florida legislature changed added a new weapon for Associations. For Condominium Associations, its Sec. 718.116, Florida Statutes, and for Homeowners Associations, its Sec. 720.3085, Florida Statutes, which allow for the evictions of tenants directly by Associations.     When Can Associations Evict Tenants? A unit owner owes a duty to pay assessments and dues to the Association. If a unit owner has unpaid assessments, dues, or owes any other sums to the Association, the Association can perform an eviction of the tenant as if the Association was the landlord of the tenant.     What Are the Conditions to the Association Evicting a Tenant? The Association must first send a Notice to the unit owner and tenant, informing them that future rents must be paid to the Association until all unpaid sums due the Association are paid.   Is There Specific Language for the Notice? The Notice to be sent to the unit owner and tenant should state, in materially the following form, as follows:     For Condominium Associations: Pursuant to section 718.116(11), Florida Statutes, the association demands that you pay your rent directly to the condominium association and continue doing so until the association notifies you otherwise. Payment due the condominium association may be in the same form as you paid your landlord and must be sent by United States mail or hand delivery to …(full address)…, payable to …(name)… Your obligation to pay your rent to the association begins immediately, unless you have already paid rent to your landlord for the current period before receiving this notice. In that case, you must provide the association written proof of your payment within 14 days after receiving this notice and your obligation to pay rent to the association would then begin with the next rental period. Pursuant to section 718.116(11), Florida Statutes, your payment of rent to the association gives you complete immunity from any claim for the rent by your landlord for all amounts timely paid to the association.     For Homeowners Associations: Pursuant to section 720.3085(8), Florida Statutes, we demand that you make your rent payments directly to the homeowners’ association and continue doing so until the association notifies you otherwise. Payment due the homeowners’ association may be in the same form as you paid your landlord and must be sent by United States mail or hand delivery to (full address), payable to (name) . Your obligation to pay your rent to the association begins immediately, unless you have already paid rent to your landlord for the current period before receiving this notice. In that case, you must provide the association written proof of your payment within 14 days after receiving this notice and your obligation to pay rent to the association would then begin with the next rental period. Pursuant to section 720.3085(8), Florida Statutes, your payment of rent to the association gives you complete immunity from any claim for the rent by your landlord.     Can the Unit Owner Evict the Tenant if they Pay Rent to the Association? Under Florida law, the unit owner complying with the Notice requiring the tenant to pay the rent to the Association is precluded from evicting the tenant for alleged failure to pay the rent to the Association.     THE LANDLORD’S LIEN – LANDLORD IS SEEKING MONEY FOR UNPAID RENT The following procedure can be used when the tenant(s) is evicted and Removed by the Sheriff, but leaves personal property in the rental property and the Landlord wants to sell the personal property to satisfy money owed for accrued rent. Note that the best procedure is to allow the Sheriff to perform the Removal even if the Landlord knows that the tenant(s) has vacated or abandoned the rental property. The lease agreement must be consulted to ensure there are no provisions therein which contradict the procedures allowed a Landlord as to asserting and enforcing a Landlord’s Lien. The process involves filing a new lawsuit against the tenant(s) which includes a count for foreclosure of a Landlord’s Lien. It is commenced after the eviction is concluded, including the Sheriff’s Removal. The starting point is for the Landlord to determine that there is personal property in the rental property after the tenant(s) is evicted. Also, the Landlord does not have a lien on property that is not the tenant(s). The Landlord’s Lien Foreclosure Action is a separate lawsuit, and general rules of court apply. However, the Landlord is allowed expedited proceedings, meaning the Court must move the case along quickly to conclusion, and only the 5 day summons, such as in evictions, is used. However, generally, the evicted tenant(s) must be personally served by a process server with the Landlord’s Lien Foreclosure Action and Summons, as compared to an eviction where the process server can post the notice on the door. Thus, an address to the evicted tenant(s), such as a new residence or work, has to be determined. The conclusion of the case allows the Sheriff to hold a public sale wherein the evicted tenant(s)’ personal property is sold. The Sheriff takes a small fee for the services it provides, and the remainder, up to the amount owed the Landlord for unpaid accrued rent and the Landlord’s attorney’s fees as well as costs, are given to the Landlord.  …

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