What Should Landlords Include in Their Rental Agreements?

A rental or lease agreement lays out all of the guidelines and rules that both the tenant and the landlord must abide by, and it is a legally binding contract. Neglecting to include important terms in it can result in the lack of a remedy for the landlord if a dispute or problem arises in the future.

Hiring a South Florida real estate lawyer to help draft or review your rental agreement is always a good decision. Landlords must ensure that their standard rental agreement covers critical details in order to protect their interests, including the following and more:

Occupancy Limits

The rental agreement should have clear terminology that limits the occupants only to the tenants who are named on the lease and their minor children. This allows the landlord to control who lives at the property as well as the number of occupants. Only those who have been screened by the landlord should be allowed to live there. Terminology can be included that allows grounds for eviction if someone else who is not named on the lease moves in.

Rent

It is crucial to include the specific amount of rent in the agreement, the day it is due, and the preferred method of payment. Details should be listed including the full range of acceptable payment methods, charges that occur if there is a bounced check, late fees if the rent is not paid on time, grace periods and more.

Maintenance and Repairs

Be sure to include terms about each party’s responsibility when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Generally, the tenant should be responsible to keep the property clean and pay for any damages that result from neglect. The tenant should also be required to alert the landlord regarding any dangerous conditions on the property. Also outline the protocol for dealing with repair requests.

Pets

The pet policy should be clearly outlined in the agreement. If pets are not allowed there should be specific details that prohibit them, if they are allowed with restrictions then those details should also be described. Often pets will be limited by type, number, weight, and the requirement to keep the property clear of waste should be outlined.

Deposits and Fees

Security deposits and their use are often a source of conflict between landlords and tenants. A clear security deposit policy should be described in the rental agreement to avoid disputes and confusion in the future.

These are just a few of the many important terms that should be included in any rental agreement. It is highly advisable to meet with a real estate attorney in South Florida to review your specific situation and draft a customized agreement that will protect your interests, or to update your current agreement.

Contact Schecter Law today at (954)-779-7009 for more information or a consultation.

Creating the operating agreement for your business is by far one of the most important steps in its formation, and it is beneficial to hire a South Florida business formation attorney to ensure that no mistakes are made and that the appropriate business structure is used. The operating agreement is the contract between the owners of an LLC and the entity itself, and the agreement includes important terms that outline cash distribution, management rights, how members leave and join the company and more.

Your operating agreement needs to be properly set up to avoid disputes

Your operating agreement will need to be properly set up to avoid as many disputes as possible in the future, as disputes can be very costly to the business in several ways. The agreement will need to outline ownership and management rights between members so that everyone has clear expectations. Another important part of the operating agreement is cash distribution and profit and loss allocation, which should be clearly outlined in the agreement to avoid future disputes once the business’s income starts growing.

Management rights and responsibilities need to be outlined

The management rights for the company need to be outlined in the operating agreement. This helps to avoid disputes between members regarding management responsibility. If certain members are better at particular aspects of the company’s operation such as finance, human resources, marketing, or sales, those responsibilities should be divided accordingly based on each member’s experience and interest in those roles. By allocating decision making to each member and detailing it clearly in the operating agreement, the company will often work much more efficiently and future conflicts can often be avoided.

Non-competition and IP need to be addressed

The agreement should also have clauses that ensure that members cannot leave the corporation and compete against it or steal intellectual property. This can protect the company from unfair competition from members who take trade secrets and start a competing business in the event of a dispute. Non-compete clauses must be drafted by a South Florida business formation attorney to ensure that they are enforceable in court. More specifically, the term of the non-compete and its scope must be properly structured to be enforceable in the state of Florida or whichever state the company is registered in.

For more information about the critical aspects of an operating agreement that a lawyer can help you with preparing, contact Mark Schecter at Schecter Law.

Contracts are often a necessary aspect of business or personal transactions but many people neglect hiring an attorney for their most important contracts. Setting your contract up properly is important to ensure that you have legal remedies and protections if anything goes wrong.

A Fort Lauderdale contract attorney can help you draft your contracts or review any contracts that you are about to sign to ensure that your interests are protected and that there is nothing disadvantageous to you in the agreement. Neglecting to hire an attorney can end up costing you in several ways, and it is often not worth the small amount of money you may save.

Legal document services don’t do the job

Websites like LegalZoom sell various legal agreements such as landlord/tenant agreements, bills of sale, business plans and many other important contracts and agreements. They seem like a good alternative to hiring an attorney because of the lower cost, but they are often a bad idea, especially for important contracts.

The problem with these services is that they do not customize the agreement for your particular situation or business and the unique risks that you may have. More often than not, the agreement will offer you little to no protection and it may not even be enforceable or admissible in court.

A contract attorney will look over your unique situation

The main benefit of hiring a contract attorney is that he or she will review your specific situation and ensure that your contract is tailored to cover all of the potential liabilities and issues that you may be faced with. Your attorney will ensure that there are no loopholes in your contract that can end up costing you money or unforeseen liability in the future. Your attorney will also make sure that the agreement is enforceable in court the state you live in.

You need an attorney whenever you sign something

You definitely need to hire an attorney whenever you sign important legal agreements, especially agreements for business, real estate, and other assets. Any agreement that is complicated to you should be reviewed by an attorney so that the terms can be clarified if needed. Also, your attorney will catch any terms of the agreement that may put you at risk for financial loss and other types of liability.

If you are in the process of drafting a contract for your business or personal life, or if you need an attorney to review a contract that you are being presented with, contact Mark Schecter at Schecter Law today for a consultation.

The process of starting a new business can be difficult and time consuming, and business owners will sometimes skip the important steps of creating an operating agreement, NDA and confidentiality agreements, client agreements, and other important contracts.

Neglecting the creation of these agreements can turn out to be a major hassle down the road for a company, especially if there is a legal dispute or lawsuit. A South Florida business formation attorney can help you figure out which of these contracts that you need as a small business owner and how detailed they need to be.

An operating agreement can protect your limited liability status

It is crucial to have a proper operating agreement in place which can protect you from liability or protect your company’s limited liability status. Hiring a South Florida business formation attorney to create an operating agreement will ensure that your company’s financial processes, functions, profit sharing and other important aspects are fully outlined. If there is any disagreement between owners of the company in the future, the operating agreement may be used to settle those disputes, and it is crucial that it is properly designed from the beginning.

You may need customer contracts or other agreements

If you enter into regular agreements with your clients or customers, you will likely need to hire an attorney to create a contract for each type of agreement. A customized contract that clarifies the type of relationship you are entering into, the service or product that is being offered to the client, the terms of the agreement, the responsibilities of the client and the business and many other important points need to be covered in this agreement. If you don’t have a client agreement in place, you may be exposing yourself to legal liability if there is a dispute in the future or a lawsuit.

You may need to protect your trade secrets

If you have important trade secrets, competitive advantages or intellectual property that needs to be protected, you may need to have your employees and business partners sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and/or a NCA (non-compete agreement).

These agreements can protect your trade secrets and ensure that your employees and contractors do not share them with your competitors if they ever leave the company. It also can protect your customers’ lists, intellectual property, and help to ensure that your prior employees do not compete directly against you in the future in the same region or business.

If your business is in need of any contracts at all, contact Mark Schecter at Schecter Law today for information on how he can help.

During the operation of your business there can be many contractual issues that arise, and you may need to hire a Fort Lauderdale contract attorney to deal with these issues. You may need to hire a contract attorney for several reasons including: reviewing contracts and lease agreements, drafting new contracts, preventing and managing breach of contract issues and more. Anytime you are entering into an agreement with a business partner, customer or other third party you should almost always have a contract as a way to prevent future issues from occurring and to be able to resolve them if they do occur.

Hire an attorney prior to drafting any contract

Even if you have experience in your business, there can be several legal areas that you can easily overlook if you try to draft your own contract. Also, any time you enter into any type of agreement, including an oral agreement in business, you will want to talk to your attorney to determine whether or not you need to create a written version of the contract. In many cases you should, and it may end up saving you a major hassle in the future if there is a dispute. The cost to hire an attorney will also be much lower than the potential costs of litigation.

Talk to an attorney if you aren’t sure whether or not you will need one

Another important thing for business owners to do is to talk to an attorney if you aren’t sure whether or not you will need one when you are signing a contract or when you are drafting one for your business. A good attorney will let you know upfront whether or not it is advisable to hire them or whether or not you can do it yourself without legal risks, but if there is any doubt whatsoever you should not hesitate to consult with an attorney which is of no risk to you.

Hire an attorney if you need a contract reviewed

There are many details to a business contract, and depending on the type of contract it can end up being very complex. The terminology of a contract can sometimes be confusing, and you may be unfamiliar with the terms of the contract or need clarification on them. Hiring a lawyer is always a good idea before you sign a contract because you don’t want to make any mistakes that can end up leading to disputes or litigation in the future.

If you are in the process of drafting or reviewing a contract and need an experienced and knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale contract attorney today, contact Mark Schecter at Schecter Law for a consultation.

Hire a Business Agreement Attorney for Help with Structuring Your Contracts

Business owners sometimes attempt to handle the job of drafting their own contracts to save money, but this often can be a mistake. Your agreements and contracts are a crucial component of your business which can become a costly problem if they are not carefully structured from the start. A Fort Lauderdale business agreement attorney can help you design your contracts so that they are fair to you and all parties involved, and to ensure your legal risks are minimized.

Your attorney will help you avoid conflicts between partners

Business partnerships can have many potential issues if the details of the partnership are not carefully outlined in the contract. There are a wide range of issues that may need to be outlined in your contracts, such as share allocations, profit sharing, salaries, management responsibilities, liabilities and more. Conflicts often can be avoided when a contract is properly structured by an attorney and includes any of the above mentioned or other areas that need to be addressed.

You may need assistance with employee agreements

Employee and contractor agreements are often overlooked by business owners, but they are a huge source of potential liability when they are not properly structured. Your attorney can ensure that every legal and liability issue is carefully outlined in your employee and contractor agreements so that you are protected. Also, you may need non-compete agreements or non-disclosure agreements drafted for your employees and contractors. Your attorney can help you with these agreements and ensure that your trade secrets are properly protected.

Your terms of service may need to be reviewed by an attorney

The terms of service for your business are another significant area of concern, and it is often a mistake to use generic or prepackaged terms for your business. Your terms of service need to be customized for your business to cover any unique risks that you may have. Your attorney can review your current terms of service or draft new terms for a new business to ensure that every liability area is covered. Also, if you enter into agreements with your customers on a regular basis, your attorney can also review those agreements and ensure that you are protected from liability as much as possible.

Mark Schecter is an experienced Fort Lauderdale business agreement attorney who can assist you with drafting any contract or business agreements as needed. Contact Schecter Law today for a consultation if you have any questions or concerns about your business’s contracts and agreements.

 Signing a real estate contract before hiring a South Florida real estate lawyer is almost always a mistake and can result in major financial losses to you if an issue arises at any point after the contract has been signed. For instance, problems with the structure such as mold, flooding or foundation issues can spring up later on and cost you thousands of dollars long after the deal has been closed. A favorable contract will give you a remedy such as the termination of the agreement or a requirement for the seller to pay repair costs even after you have signed the contract. However, to guarantee that the contract is favorable to your interests, you will need to hire an experienced attorney prior to signing the contract. No matter what type of real estate contract you may be dealing with, you should hire a lawyer prior to signing it. As a buyer you will have a much stronger position when it comes time for preliminary or final negotiations. As a seller it is almost always a must to have a lawyer draft the initial purchase agreement and handle other important matters related to the sale of the property.

You cannot assume that your real estate agent will be able to review your contract and give you advice on it. Many people mistakenly rely on their real estate agent to consult with them if legal questions arise during contract negotiations and are totally unaware that their agent cannot legally advise them on these matters at all. Real estate agents can help with many aspects of the process of finding a property, but when it comes time to draft and review the contract, buyers and sellers should both rely on a South Florida real estate attorney to represent them. The flat rate cost for a South Florida real estate lawyer is well worth avoiding the potential hassles and financial headaches resulting from legal issues that weren’t spotted during negotiations or at closing.

Out of town purchases, properties susceptible to weather damage, and short sales or foreclosures will have complex contracts and should be handled by a veteran South Florida real estate lawyer to avoid mistakes, not a real estate agent. Experienced real estate attorneys have seen hundreds of real estate contracts and know how to spot any terms in the contract that are contrary to your interests. Call Schecter Law today if you need an experienced and a highly skilled real estate attorney to represent you before you sign your real estate contract

 Although everyone should hire a Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney to review their real estate agreements, it’s especially important for first time buyers to hire a lawyer right at the beginning of negotiations or even prior to negotiations. First time buyers do not have the experience to be able to review the terms of a contract on their own or even with the help of their real estate agent. Real estate contracts have simply too much to understand for first time buyers (or even experienced buyers for that matter) and the terminology can often be overwhelming. Although most contracts are written in plain language, there are terms that have been used for decades that are not easy to understand. The terms of the contract are also legally binding and should never be overlooked even in the excitement of a first time home purchase.

Moreover, nothing should ever be agreed upon verbally prior to closing, and this is a mistake that a first time buyer can easily make without the guidance of a Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney. For instance, if there are appliances that are to be included with the home, those specific appliances need to be outlined in the contract.   If you are a first time buyer, don’t make the mistake of assuming that a “standard contract” will work for you and that you won’t need to have an attorney review it. There really is no such thing as a standard contract, and in many cases a standard contract will be altered by the seller so that the terms are more favorable to their side.  By having a Fort Lauderdale lawyer available for contract negotiations, you will have the opportunity to change any terms of the contract that may be unfavorable.  Never sign a contract without having your own attorney present to review the contract and make any last minute changes, especially for your first home.

Terms that may be negotiated by your Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney include finance terms, seller assistance for the closing costs , home inspection clauses that allow the buyer to walk away if there are significant defects found after an inspection, fixtures and appliances included in the home and much more. Only a skilled Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney will be able to successfully negotiate and include these potentially crucial contract terms.   If you are a first time buyer, Schecter Law can help you with your real estate negotiations. Call Schecter Law today for more information on our legal representation services for first time buyers and all other real estate buyers.

The doctrine of lender liability refers to the various legal theories a commercial borrower may bring against their lender for purported misconduct. According to the American Bankers Association, breach of contract is the most prevalent theory of lender liability used by borrowers against lenders. The South Florida lender liability claims attorneys at Schecter Law have represented both borrowers and lenders.

Borrowers may claim the lender breached a commitment to fund or renew a loan, breached an oral commitment, or breached Florida contract law’s implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. If a breach of contract occurred, the lender can be sued as the breaching party. Damages for breach of contract may include the difference between the loan amount and the costs for obtaining a replacement loan. Additionally, damages may include lost opportunity or lost profit resulting from the breach of contract.

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The doctrine of lender liability refers to the various legal theories a commercial borrower may bring against their lender for purported misconduct. If a lender benefits from negligent misrepresentations made to a borrower, the lender may be liable. The South Florida lender liability claims attorneys at Schecter Law have represented both borrowers and lenders.

Under Florida law a claim for negligent misrepresentation requires that: (1) there was a misrepresentation of material fact; (2) the representer either knew of the misrepresentation, made the misrepresentation without knowledge of its truth or falsity, or should have known the representation was false; (3) the representer intended to induce another to act on the misrepresentation; and (4) injury resulted to a party acting in justifiable reliance upon the misrepresentation. Additionally, a claim for negligent misrepresentation has a heightened pleading standard under Florida law because negligent misrepresentation sounds in fraud.

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