Category Archives: landlord

Early Lease Termination

Last month we discussed early termination of a lease agreement in the case of active duty military transfers. This month, we are going to discuss what happens when a tenant informs you – for whatever reason – that he is moving despite being under an unexpired residential lease agreement.   As discussed last month, aContinue Reading

Contractual Modifications of Residential Lease Agreements

This month we are going to discuss contractual modifications of residential lease agreements.  A lease agreement is a legal contract providing possession of residential premises to a tenant for a fixed duration upon set terms.  There is no general contractual right to modify a legal contract – its terms remain binding on both parties forContinue Reading

Ask the Attorney: September Edition

Dear Ask the Attorney:I have recently taken over management of a single-family residential property from another management company. May I require that the existing tenant sign my lease agreement?  Generally, no.  If the former management company correctly styled the residential lease agreement (i.e., the lease is between TENANT and MANAGEMENT COMPANY AS AGENT FOR OWNER)Continue Reading

Ask the Attorney: April Edition

Dear Ask the Attorney:My property has made a decision NOT to  participate in the Section 8 program. I attended a training given by HUD and it seems to me that we are opening ourselves up to a Fair Housing complaint by telling applicants that “we do not accept Section 8″.  Is Section 8 mandatory now? Continue Reading

Ask the Attorney: March Edition

Dear Ask the Attorney: My lease requires that the tenant maintain utility service to the leased premises.  Also, my city has an ordinance that says that a tenant cannot live somewhere without active utility service. Huntsville Utilities has shut off my tenant’s power for nonpayment. Does this mean I can call the City and haveContinue Reading

Filing an Eviction, Part 5

NEW CLASSES! It has been a long time since I have developed a new class but I am pleased to announce that we have TWO new classes that will be taught in March/April. Fair Housing – Sales:  I am actually very excited about this course because it contains an hour-long segment on prohibited advertising terms.Continue Reading

What is "reasonable wear and tear"?

Classically, a security deposit is designed to ensure that the rental premises are returned to the landlord in roughly the same condition that they were leased out, minus “reasonable wear and tear”. That phrase often confuses landlords – the tendency is to think that all tenant-caused “damage” (or dirt) is the proper province of aContinue Reading

Landlords & Lockouts

Five Minute Fact Pattern: Manager Marta, who is new to property management, lives on-site at an apartment community. At 3:00 in the morning, Social Sam, a “tenant” knocks on her door. Social Sam is obviously intoxicated and has misplaced his keys. Manager Marta lets Social Sam into the apartment that she knows he shares withContinue Reading

Bed Bugs

At the request of the Apartment Association of North Alabama, I gave a presentation today on bedbugs in conjunction with Cook’s Pest Control. Although we have been remarkably insulated from the wide-spread infestation and resulting litigation that has plagued other geographic regions, I have seen an increase in reported cases amongst my clients and expectContinue Reading

Abandonment Issues

There is a big difference between a tenant that is “in the process of moving” and a tenant that has “abandoned” the leased premises. Determining the difference is one of the trickiest issues that confronts a property manager. For example, I was recently contacted by a property manager who had a tenant under eviction andContinue Reading