June 14, 2014 – Boston Asian Landlord Association Seminar

Saturday, June 14, 2014 – Boston Asian Landlord Association Seminar 波士頓亞裔房東協會

Free Seminar:  MIT, Tang Center Building E51  70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142

Real Estate Seminar: Topics: Goldman & Pease, LLC will speaking on Smoking Restrictions, Adverse Possession, the Protecting Tenant’s At Foreclosure Act, Identity Theft/Data Security Regulations, Lender Maintenance of Properties Where Foreclosure Is Initiated, Manager Liability,  Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices – M.G.L. c. 93A, Collection Techniques – Aggressive Techniques That Work.

March’s seminar is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, 2014.  We will start at 6:00PM for networking. The seminar will start at 7:00PM. The location is at: MIT, Tang Center Building E51  70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The course will address changing legal issues that Massachusetts property managers should consider, in light of recent case law, and legislative changes in such areas as the new Federal Statute Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act and new data security regulations.

Moreover, this course will assist property managers in spotting the legal issues and taking steps to protect themselves and their clients. This is a course both for newer and more experienced managers because it will address areas of law that have recently changed and were not issues in the past. The property managers will analyze the areas of law in the context of how it affects them and their clients. Materials will be presented during the course. Most importantly, the course will not be simply theoretical. The Attorneys will discuss real live issues that have been encountered by property managers and discuss the best way to address the issues. Discussion will be conducted on ways the law affects the property managers, and property managers are encouraged to raise legal issues that they have encountered in their practice. The course will focus on areas of the law that every property manager should consider in order to reduce liability and maximize recoveries.

OBJECTIVES:

1. Highlight property management pitfalls that affect property managers in both existing and recently enacted laws;

2. Develop an approach to respond to tough legal issues.

3. Discuss ways property managers can reduce liability and pursue collections on problem accounts.

AFTER TAKING THE COURSE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ANSWER:

Upon completion of the course, property managers will be able to answer the following:

1. SMOKING RESTRICTIONS

a) What kinds of dangers does secondhand smoke present?
b) Can secondhand smoke affect neighboring units?
c) If I have smoking restrictions in place, could I be liable for failing to enforce them?
d) What is my liability if I don’t have smoking restrictions in place?
e) How broad are my powers to address issues like second-hand smoke?
f) How do I go about restricting smoking in units?
g) If I grandfather in current smokers, what other steps can I take to prevent the harms of secondhand smoke?

2. ADVERSE POSSESSION

a) Is acquiring title to property by adverse possession ever a smart property acquisition strategy?
b) What is adverse possession?
c) How is title by adverse possession acquired?
d) Who has the “burden of proof” in an adverse possession case?
e) What does “actual possession” mean?
f) What are examples of conduct that may evidence actual possession of land?
g) What does “open and notorious possession” mean?
h) When does the 20 years begin to run and what is tacking?
i) Can adverse possession be obtained over registered land?

3. THE PROTECTING TENANTS AT FORECLOSURE ACT

a) What is the new Federal Statute Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act?
b) What protections does the new statute provide to tenants and how does it affect property owners, lenders and their agents?
c) What can be done to evict a tenant after a foreclosure?
d) What can be done in an attempt to collect the tenant rental stream after a foreclosure?
e) What are the penalties for non-compliance with the new Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act?

4. THE IDENTIFY THEFT/DATA SECURITY REGULATIONS

a) How do the new data security regulations affect the way that I maintain the confidential information that I obtain in my business as a property manager?
b) What information is considered to be confidential information that needs to be protected under the new identity theft/data security regulations?
c) What steps do I need to now take to comply with the new identity/theft data security regulations?
d) What are the penalties for non-compliance with the new Identify Theft/data security regulations?

5. LENDER MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTIES WHERE FORCLOSURE IS INITIATED

a) In Boston and other Massachusetts towns are lenders required to maintain properties in which they have initiated foreclosure proceedings?
b) What does it mean to initiate foreclosure proceedings?
c) Who is affected by these ordinances?
d) What can happen if the ordinance is not complied with?
e) How might a condominium association benefit from these ordinances?

6. MANAGER LIABILITY

a) Timely collect condominium fees from Trustees:
• Trustees fall behind
b) Complete condominium questionnaire:
• Litigation, budget assessments
c) Failure to fix broken railing or to make other necessary repairs:
• Negligence/93A
• Also 93A
d) Contract dispute:
• Contract with property manager, not condominium
• Property manager sued
• Best practices: contracts clearly state “condo, mgr for”
e) Debt Collection Violation of Collection Statute
f) Indemnity in:
• Manager contract
• Insurance coverage

7. UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES, CHAPTER 93A

One of the most common pitfalls for property managers occurs when they violate M.G.L. c. 93A which exposes them to possible multiple damages and attorney’s fees. Property managers may be exposing themselves to liability under M.G.L. c. 93A if they cannot answer the following questions:

a) Is it unfair and deceptive to include in a rental agreement:
• A clause that the tenant will pay constable fees if notice to quit is served on the tenant?
• To fail to set forth the name and address of the owner of the property?
• A clause that waives the warranty of habitability?
• A clause that provides a penalty provision for the late payment of rent which is less than thirty days overdue?
b) Is it unfair and deceptive for a property manager to request from a slow paying
tenant a postdated check for rent?
c) Is it unfair and deceptive for a property manager to fail to provide services and/or
supplies after making a representation or agreement that such services would be
provided during the term or any portion of the tenancy?
d) Is it unfair and deceptive to fail to reimburse an occupant for reasonable sums
expended to correct violations of law in a dwelling unit if the owner failed to make
such corrections?
e) What amounts can a Property Manager require a tenant or prospective tenant to pay at or prior to the commencement of a tenancy without violating M.G.L. c. 93A?
f) Is it a violation of M.G.L. c. 93A to require a tenant to pay for heat and hot water when there is no written lease?
g) Is M.G.L. c. 93A applicable to all persons and properties managed?
h) Can a property manager be held liable under M.G.L. c. 93A for his failure to fix a defective condition on a property he manages?
i) Does M.G.L. c. 93A apply in the context of state sanitary code and building code violations?
Liability for Superintendent – Substandard Housing
j) Is it possible for a landlord to be held liable under M.G.L. c. 93A for failure to address tenant complaints?

8. COLLECTION TECHNIQUES – AGGRESSIVE TECHNIQUES THAT WORK

a) In what context can I request a personal guaranty?
b) If the debtor does not own real property, but owns personal property of value, can I attach that property in a collection action against the debtor?
c) What steps can I take to make debt more collectable against a tenant and/or a condominium unit owner?
d) What steps can I take to ensure that I can recover interest and attorney’s fees?
e) What is considered a fraudulent conveyance in Massachusetts and what can be done if one occurs?
f) What is a reach and apply action and how can I use it to collect outstanding amounts due and owing?
g) What is a trustee process action and how can I use it to assist in collecting amounts due?
h) What is a “rolling lien” in a condominium context and how does this work?
i) How has the “Homestead” statute been recently changed in Massachusetts and can you ever get around a Homestead filing?
j) Are all retirement accounts exempt from attachment?
k) If a town performs a tax taking on a condominium unit, can I pursue common area fees and assessments against the town?
l) What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and do I need to be concerned with this statute?
m) Under what circumstances is a wage assignment appropriate?