Tenant code violations? Owner pays

Tenant code violations?  Owner pays

orlandopropertymanager

Tenant code violations?  Owner pays

http://www.marconews.com/news/2014/jan/15/code-enforcement-hears-renter-nuisance-complaint/

Seems there’s been a bit of trouble brewing down on Marco Island.  Some of the goings-on with the Code Enforcement folks of this seemingly idyllic area of Southwest Florida should serve as a reminder for homeowners elsewhere, though:  if you rent out your property to tenants who don’t comply with codes, you’re ultimately responsible for paying any fines that accrue.

In this story, a property owner (technically their daughter) appeared at a code enforcement hearing to answer complaints that their tenant had had committed a number of code violations in a relatively short time period of time:  litter, other debris, abandoned furniture and an unlicensed vehicle in their yard, as well as their most recent violation for having a refrigerator sitting in their driveway.

I made an appearance in front of a local code enforcement board a few years back myself.  The tenants in a property I managed had a transmission shop, and they’d often have vehicles they’d just sold in their driveway for a day or so while waiting to deliver them to their new owners.  It was a violation of the City of Casselberry‘s code to have a vehicle with a “transporter” license plate in a driveway for any period of time, and they’d sent notices that they were going to fine my owner $250/day until the matter was resolved.

Though I’d made a number of trips to the property to check on things without ever seeing a vehicle with such a tag, my tenants admitted to having had them a few times and never knew there was any problem.  The code enforcement guru assigned to the case informed me that my owner was in danger of his property being assigned the same “repeat offender” mentioned in this Marco Island story- and it was pretty scary.

What do you do?  Let things be and have fines pile up against your owner that could lead to a lien of some sort or a foreclosure?  Serve the tenants with a notice and “opportunity to cure”?  Choosing the latter, how quick is your trigger when moving to evict for this?

My trip in front of the code enforcement board was a truly educational experience- though I’d dare say that’s hardly the board’s intent.  As in this Marco Island case, the board gave my out-of-state owner credit for having a property manager handling things on his behalf.  They also gave me a bit of credit for due diligence in looking to resolve things by getting my tenants in compliance with codes and keeping them there.

The Casselberry board all but attributed their decision to not label my owner/his property as a “repeat offender” to their recognition of his making his best efforts toward doing right by all- the tenant and the city’s code.

My tenant remained in the property through the end of their lease term as expected with no further violations, and my elated owner was thankful I kept his place occupied and played some small measure of a role in his not being fined a ton of money.

That’s what we property managers do.  It’s not always a glamorous job…wait….it’s never really a glamorous job, but there are times when it’s a rewarding one.  Perhaps some of the most rewarding times are ones when we can not only do a great job in managing an owners’ property, but when we also have a chance to educate our owners in an area they’ll see as beneficial.

Having a professional property manager helped the folks in my case and in this one from Marco Island, and it can help in many others as well- for the job we do and the purpose we serve is in equal parts managerial and instructional.

Tenant code violations?  Owner pays

Dennis B. Burgess
Leasing Consultant and Business Developer
Licensed Florida and Alabama Realtor

Legends Realty

290 Waymont Court, Suite 100
Lake Mary, FL 32746
 
 
Cell/Direct/Fax- 407-278-1240
Office – 407-333-1010 x137
Office Fax –
407-910-2436
 

Turning vacant into occupied, and “houses” into “homes”SM

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About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 bamaburgess@hotmail.com Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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