Can a Landlord Be Held Liable for Tenant Injuries?

It depends. If the injury occurred on leased property and was caused by one of the five following items, the landlord may be liable:

  1. Common areas (hallways, stairs). The landlord has a duty of reasonable care to maintain and repair the common areas. Safety in common areas is also a duty.
  2. Latent (hidden) defects. The landlord has a duty to disclose any hidden defects that he or she should reasonably be aware of. For example, if an apartment door has a defective knob that could harm a tenant and the defect is not readily apparent, then the landlord has a duty to disclose of that defect to the tenant. (Or simply repair it)
  3. Assumption of repairs. If the landlord chooses to self-remedy a broken handrail on a staircase, but does so erroneously, and a tenant subsequently gets injured from the handrail, then the landlord has assumed the liability flowing from his attempted repair.
  4. Public use. If the tenant operates a convenience store and is aware there is a defect on the premises, and also knows the tenant is unlikely to correct the problem, then the landlord has a duty to repair the problem or will be liable for the defect.
  5. Vacation homes or short-term rentals. The landlord is liable for any defects in the dwelling that cause harm to the tenant. (It may be advantageous to use a “terms of acceptance with an indemnification clause for certain activities in the rental contract, and carry a landlord insurance policy).

Source: CriticalPass Property Law MBE Flashcard. http://www.criticalpass.com

Image Source: Pixabay

Disclaimer: This information is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. The reader assumes responsibility for the use of this material and information. The author assumes no responsibility or any liability whatsoever on behalf of any reader of this material. If the reader has any questions about the subject matter, he or she should consult with an attorney who practices real estate law and is duly licensed in the jurisdiction where the subject property is located.

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The Game of Time

I’m playing a game and my opponent is the time thief. So far he’s been winning, but I’ve been observing his strategies for awhile.

I’ve also been calculating my own strategies for some time now, and pretty soon I’m going to gain a very competitive advantage!

Image source: http://absfreepic.com/free-photos/download/game-wood-3351x2589_96539.html

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The 3 Duties of a Real Estate Transaction Lawyer

As law students, we are trained to identify the legal risks of a given scenario and then advise our clients of those risks. That is the essence of lawyering.

As a transaction lawyer, because we can recognize the potential for misconduct within a transaction, we have a fiduciary duty to protect our client’s interests in the transaction by structuring it in a way to optimally minimize such risks. Our three duties, then, are to:

  1. Identify
  2. Reduce
  3. Deflect

Identify the nature and scope of any perceived risks that can disrupt the transaction.

Reduce the probability of loss (i.e., transaction costs, opportunity costs, out-of-pocket costs, or sunk costs) from those identifiable risks.

Deflect, to the extent most possible, the costs of inalienable risks.

Put another way, our goals are to protect our client’s interest (identify, reduce, deflect) & facilitate the completion of their desired transactional interest.

Source: Rick Daley, Real Estate Development Law, West Publishing (2011)

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Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investments

Here’s 5 Advantages:

  1. High rate of return, typically better than stocks or bonds;
  2. Tax shelter (depreciation, 1031 exchanges, and capital gains exemptions);
  3. Hedge against inflation;
  4. The power of leverage: making money with OPM;
  5. Equity!

Here’s 5 Disadvantages:

  1. Illiquid (not a quick cash option);
  2. Local market risk (casualty from storms, changes in jobs or government regulations);
  3. Requires expert knowledge (contractors, engineers, attorneys, banks, realtors, title insurance);
  4. Asset management expenses, and
  5. Risks (on-site, local market, regional, national, and international.

The tv shows make real estate investing look easy and glamorous, the reality of it is – it is not easy or glamorous.

Yes, you can make good money if you do it under the right conditions and you should own real estate, especially if you are currently renting.

You’re better off building equity and taking advantage of deducting the tax interest payments from your taxable income, than paying someone else’s mortgage off (rent).

In conclusion, with a decent plan of action, using OPM, you could fund your retirement lifestyle far better than relying on interest from your own savings and depending on social security.

Go, buy some real estate!

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Waiting for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma Forecast Updated 09.08.2017 @ 10:00 a.m.

Forecast Path of Hurricane Irma as of 09-08-2017.

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Jacksonville Beach

This is one of my favorite venues in Jax Beach…the Casa Marina Hotel.

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2 US Visa Options for International Investors

If you are an entrepreneur and have the ability to invest in or start a US business, there are two visa options that may be right for you: the EB-5 (Foreign Investor) Visa and the E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visa.

EB-5 Visa

The foreign investor with a capital investment of $500,000 dollars, or more, who is willing to enter a business within a designated TEA (target employment area), which may be either a rural location or an area with a high unemployment rate, may be eligible for the EB-5 Visa.

Q: Does the foreign investor have to manage the business?

A: No. The investor does not need to personally oversee managing the business, and is able to hire a manger to oversee the operation. The investor can also choose to be a limited partner.

Q: Does the investment capital have to be all cash or can it include debt or intangible assets?

A: No. The investment does not have to be all cash. It can include a mix of cash, equipment, goods, other tangible assets (furniture, fixtures, & equipment), cash equivalents, and secured credit lines.

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What To Do in Jacksonville?

Hi Folks,

Last week we saw an amazing array of properties and the luscious live-work-play community of Downtown Doral, a city within a city (Miami) in sunny South Florida. In today’s Virtual Tour, we’ll be exploring Downtown Jacksonville & it’s hip, urban lifestyle. Here’s a lineup of the places we’ll see on today’s tour:

  • Springfield Single Family Residences
  • Bayside Condominiums
  • The Metropolitan Loft Apartments
  • The Strand
  • The Carling 11 East
  • Churchwell Lofts
  • The Broooklyn – Riverside
  • 220 Riverside
  • Visit Jacksonville Video Tour
  • Jacksonville Art Walk
  • MOSH – Museum of Science & History
  • The Jacksonville Landing
  • River City Brewing Company
  • The Florida Theatre
  • The Elbow – Bars, Restaurants, & Entertainment Venues
  • Visit Jacksonville.com
  • What to Do in Downtown Jacksonville in 2-3 Hours (PDF)

I hope you enjoy today’s presentation and would love to have you back next Saturday at 10 am for our next virtual tour of another South Florida community. Don’t forget to download your guide and have a fantastic 4th of July!

What to Do Downtown in 2-3 Hours 2014

Cheers!

John W. Tanner, M.S.

Realtor Associate

BHGRE Lifestyles Realty

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Do I Need a Home Inspection?

image 1

 

Doing Your Due Diligence?

 

In Florida, home sellers (and their listing agents) are required to disclose any defects that are not readily observable and materially affect the property value. (Ch. 475.2701, F.S.) With that being said, there may be times when certain defects are unknown to the current homeowner.

The home inspection is a major step in the due diligence process of purchasing real property and serves to protect the buyer from expending money on a property that may be worth less than anticipated if material defects later become known. Moreover, oftentimes the lender will require a home inspection and/or a Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) report prior to approving a loan for closing.

Q:  What does a home inspector examine?

A:  The home inspector will examine the exterior and interior construction of the property, the mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the plumbing system. Below is a list of the common elements observed during a home inspection.

Exterior Inspection:

  • Topography and foundation or crawlspace
  • Driveway, sidewalk, porch & patio areas
  • Walls, siding, trim, windows & doors
  • Roof
  • Garage(s) and/or carport(s)

Interior Inspection:

  • HVAC and/or wall unit(s)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing, well/septic system
  • Energy efficiency

Environmental Inspection:

  • Radon gas
  • Lead-based paint
  • Asbestos
  • Radiation
  • Other external concerns

Are home inspectors licensed?

A:  In the state of Florida, home inspectors are required to be licensed. Check with your state’s division of licensing or ask your local real estate agent.

Action Steps:

  1. Use a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement when you are buying/selling a residential property.
  2. During your walk-through, inquire of any observable defects/recent repairs.
  3. Contact your local government’s permitting department to inquire of any open/closed permits on the subject property. The most important aspect of this step is to ensure that any work done in the past was permitted, up to code, and that all permits are closed. Finding out there is an open permit prior to closing can cause delays and frustrate the closing process, not to mention the potentially high repair costs that may surface.

In closing, it is highly recommended you hire a licensed, insured, and experienced home inspector, ask the seller for a property disclosure statement, and check the property history with your local permitting department. While these tasks may be a bit tedious, your real estate professional should be there to guide you through the process and ensure that you have a smooth closing!

 

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Self-Promotion: Real Estate Media Creation

Okay, so I have been experimenting with Canva and I love the capabilities for digital & print media. So far I have only used the graphics online, but you could easily print the pdf’s for, let’s say, open house brochures. Here’s a sample piece I created to market the neighborhood I live in:

sjtc Realtor

As you can see, I introduce three properties within the Town Center development: Esplanade (Condos), 5 Thousand Town (Luxury Apartments), and The Uptown (also Luxury Apartments). The 4th main image is part of the shopping center.

You may note that I also added two pop-out images of the rooftop fire pit and the pool deck touching the 5 Thousand Town image. These are especially useful for highlighting some of your listing’s “special” features that draw in your prospect’s attention.

Well friends, that’s it for today’s lesson. I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you again inside the blog.

Cheers!

John

 

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