Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012 - (Page 8)

LEGISLATIVEUpdate GRASSROOTS: Advocacy News for FAA’s Roots – Our Local Affiliates! by Laura Heiselman Government Affairs Director, FAA THE IMPORTANCE OF ADVOCACY – WE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Advocacy is critically important to the success of our Association at the local, state and federal levels. Thankfully, we have myriad resources at our disposal to help keep us educated, informed and engaged in the issues that impact our bottom line. FAA is recognized in Tallahassee as an educated group that warrants attention. My experience has always been a warm reception, a listening ear, good questions and assurances that our positions will be considered. This would not be possible without all our members who realize the importance of supporting APAC. Not being involved in Legislative matters can affect your job, your income and the investors who provide these opportunities to us. It’s a rewarding feeling to know, with the help of everyone involved, we made a difference! STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES For the 2012 Legislative Session, we were primarily focused on three issues: Landlord/Tenant Law Revisions, Swimming Pool and Spa Contracting, and Expert Witness Testimony. Landlord/Tenant Law Revisions – Support – DIED in Senate Budget Committee SB1830, Senator Anitere Flores (R-Miami)/ HB921, Representative Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) This bill would have helped landlords and tenants The apartment industry has an interest in supporting changes to the existing landlord/ tenant law that provide balance and fairness for both landlords and tenants. Thanks to the 8 l MultifamilyFLORIDA l SPRING 2012 efforts of the sponsors, this bill would have accomplished that goal in many different areas of Chapter 83 Part II. • It would have eliminated many “gray” areas… Due to many existing ambiguities in the current law, it is not uncommon for judges to interpret language for eviction procedures, monies due, etc. in many different ways. This ambiguity is not beneficial to the landlord or the tenant as it creates uncertainty in situations that according to the lease contract are very clearly defined. • It would have protected tenants… FAA understands and supports adding to the law certain protections for tenants that are already provided as an industry standard practice, but are not specified in state statute. One specific example is reciprocity. If a landlord requires a tenant to give a certain amount of written notice prior to vacating the premises, then it is only fair that the landlord should be required to give the same amount of written notice to the tenant if they do not intend to renew their lease agreement. • It would have protected Communities… A provision in Florida Statute §83.56(5) (C), known as the “45-Day Rule,” has been manipulated by certain advocacy groups and the courts to allow the worst of the worst tenants to have a loophole protecting them from eviction. With certain types of affordable housing communities, under current law, a tenant who commits a crime could not be evicted if the landlord’s responsibilities to evict were not met within 45-days of an incident occurring regardless of whether or not they were aware of it. This bill would clarify that the landlord would have to meet their obligations within 45-days of being notified of the incident. Florida Legal Services has indicated they are supportive of this particular change to Florida Law. • It would have protected our industry… Many of the provisions of this bill support the rental housing industry by correcting burdensome areas of current landlord/tenant law that benefit neither the tenant nor landlord. Examples include clarification of what is or is not acceptable in an eviction action, what responsibilities are required of both parties to the lease, allows for removal of certain problem tenants more easily, etc. While at the surface some may seem to skew heavily in favor of the landlord, the facts are that the only potential victims are bad tenants who have been protected despite their actions that violate the lease and community policies. This bill strengthens our ability to maintain a resident profile that is conducive to a healthy and vibrant apartment community. Pool & Spa Contracting – Oppose – DIED in Senate Community Affairs Committee SB1544, Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourne)/ HB1259, Representative Larry Ahern (R-St. Petersburg), CoSponsor: Representative Franklin Sands (D-Plantation) This bill was unnecessary This bill would have required licensure for apartment onsite maintenance professionals to perform even the most routine and basic tasks on pools and spas. These tasks include cleaning, filter maintenance/replacement, testing, etc. Our personnel are already required by the Department of Health to be Certified Pool Operators (CPO®). This CPO certification makes them more than qualified to safely and efficiently maintain a pool or spa within the apartment community.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012

President’s Message
Legislative Update
Florida Apartment Industry Makes an Impact in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
Caution: Spring Might Bring Killer Bees to Your Community
How to Avoid Over-Insuring Your Apartment Property
Superior Property Management: Do You Know What It Looks Like?
Apartment Industry Aims to Provide Housing for Homeless Families
Product/Service Council Directory
Index to Advertisers/

Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012