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Tenant Services

Issuance of Keys

Keys to your rental property will be issued to you on the day you are entitled to occupy the home, during our normal business hours. If the day you are entitled to occupancy falls on a Sunday or holiday, we will issue keys on the last business day before you are entitled to occupancy. All deposits and rent due must be paid (via cashier's check or money order) prior to your receiving the keys. If you require keys to be issued at a time other than that outlined above, please contact your property manager directly.

  All deposits and rent due must be paid (via cashier's check or money order) prior to your receiving the keys. If you require keys to be issued at a time other than that outlined above, a lock box containing keys to the property can be placed at the property. The fee for placing a lock box is $50.00, of which $25.00 is refundable upon return of the lock box to our office. All deposits and rent due must be received in our office prior to providing you with the lock box combination. You must contact our office during normal working hours to obtain the lock box combination.

Moving In+

We have made every effort to have your home in good condition for your arrival. At the time you signed your rental agreement, you were provided with a Move-In Property Condition form. We prefer to complete this form with you, but if circumstances do not allow, you should complete this document and return it to our office within seven days following the signing of your rental agreement. The Move-In Property Condition form is for your protection. You should list any pre-existing damage or deficiency in the property. We will utilize this form when we conduct the move-out survey when you vacate the property. It is therefore in your best interest to carefully complete the form. Should you believe it necessary, you are welcome to provide photos or other documentation.

Payment of Rent+

In almost all cases, your rent will be due on the first day of each month in our office. Rent is considered paid based on receipt in our office not the postmarked date. Late fees are levied the day after your rent is due on your rental agreement. Our standard late fee is $25.00 and $5.00 per day until the rent charge is paid in full. WE DO NOT WAIVE LATE FEES.

Late Fee Policy+

If your rent is received one or more days late you will be charged the late fee as set forth in the rental agreement. Your rental agreement states that rent, late charges, and other legitimate fees will be posted to the resident account. Payments received are applied to the oldest outstanding charge first. If there is an outstanding charge on your account when your rent is due, payments will be applied toward the outstanding charges first and then toward the current rent charge. If the payment is not sufficient to cover past due charges as well as the current rent charge, your current rent will be short. If the rent is short you will incur a late charge. To avoid late charges be sure to pay all rent timely and any charges posted on your account by the time your current rent is due.

Returned Checks+

Your rental agreement states the amount you will be charged for each returned check. Our current fee is the greater of $35.00 or 5% of the check amount for each check returned. We do not re-submit checks to your bank. In addition, if the returned check is for payment of rent, you will be charged late fees until you provide certified funds to pay for the returned check. Depending upon the date the check is returned, you also may receive a three-day notice of non-compliance with your rental agreement. All future payments must then be made by certified funds, cashier’s check or money order.

Deposits+

When you signed your rental agreement, you gave us a deposit to cover any potential damage to the property, cost of cleaning at the end of your residency, or unpaid rent. YOUR DEPOSIT MAY NOT BE USED AS YOUR LAST MONTHS RENT. Generally, we want to receive the property clean, and in substantially the same condition as on your move in or better. We DO require that all carpets be professionally cleaned using an approved vendor. Please contact our office if you require a reference for a qualified company to do this work.

Refund Policy+

This Refund Policy covers any conditions not identified in the written lease which governs the rights and responsibilities of the tenant. No other written or verbal commitment exists beyond the lease and this written policy.  All refund requests must be made in writing. All refunds are made by check payable to the tenant or direct deposit into tenant's bank account regardless of the method of payment. With processing costs estimated to exceed the value of the check, no refunds for $1.00 or less will be issued unless specifically requested.  We reserve the right to modify this Refund Policy at our discretion or against any customer believed to abuse this policy.

Water, Gas and Electric Service+

It is the tenant’s responsibility to notify the appropriate utility service provider to have service turned-on and available in your name on the day you take occupancy.  Further it is your responsibility to pay for and maintain continued services for the duration of you tenancy.

Cable, Internet and Telephone Service+

It is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange for the service that they desire.  It typically takes a few days to arrange for these services. Should you require additional telephone lines, phone jacks, Internet jacks or cable connections, it is your responsibility to obtain permission from your property manager and to pay for any changes made.

Maintenance+

Maintenance and repairs are generally the items of most concern to our residents. All maintenance requests are to be submitted through the online tenant portal. Emergencies; contact your Property Manager directly. Please call our office at 813-684-0001 with any other concerns.

Minor maintenance issues should be reported in writing to the property manager assigned to your property. It may take as long as two weeks to complete minor repairs. As property managers, we are required to get permission from the property owner prior to undertaking many repairs.

You will be billed for a service call under the following circumstances:

  • You scheduled a service call appointment and failed to be present at the scheduled time.
  • You requested service for a non-existent problem. This includes re-setting a breaker or Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) to restore electrical power and re-setting a breaker on a garbage disposal.
  • The problem was caused by improper use of the provided facilities. The classic case is the child who flushes a toy or other item and which results in a clogged sewer line.

The landlord and his employees by law must follow the local housing, building and health codes; or

  1. Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, the landlord must maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord's obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times, make reasonable provisions for:
    • The extermination of rodents and wood destroying organisms.
    • Locks and keys.
    • The clean and safe condition of common areas.
    • Garbage removal.
    • Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.

Additionally, the landlord must do everything he has agreed to in the lease.

For the properties managed by Vintage Real Estate Services we act on the owners behalf and all maintenance issues will be address through us. If the situation constitutes an emergency, is life or health threatening or the property is in eminent or great danger we are authorized to act without pre-approval.

Specific Maintenance Issues+

Please pay particular attention to the following maintenance items:

  • Washing machine hoses. Should a washing machine hose break on a washing machine provided by you, you will be responsible for the cost of returning the property to good condition. Washing machine hoses are not designed for constant pressure. Water to the washing machine should be turned off at the wall between uses.
  • HVAC filters are to be changed by the tenant every 30 days, please ask the property manager assigned for that particular property for sizes and locations of filters.
  • Watering of lawn and landscape is a tenant responsibility and should be managed in compliance with any water authority regulations and proper care of the lawn and shrubberies. 

Your Rights and Responsibilities under Florida Laws

This material attempts to provide you with an overview of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant under Florida Law. This information will help you in taking the proper steps to protect these rights, but it is not intended to take the place of legal advice nor is it intended to be a complete summary of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act which is found in Chapter 83, Part II, of the Florida Statutes. A copy of this law is available at the local law library and must be read in conjunction with your rental agreement, the local housing and building codes and the pertinent federal regulations, if applicable. *Please note: If you own a mobile home and rent lot space in a mobile home park, the information contained in this booklet may not apply. The law regarding mobile home evictions is found in Chapter 723 of the Florida Statutes.

The Lease Agreement+

The lease is your contract with the landlord. Leases can written for the definite term, typically one year or can be for an indefinite term, such as week-to-week or month-to-month. Leases for a definite term guarantee the rent will not rise during that term but also limit your freedom to move before the term is up. In Florida, your landlord does not have to let you out of your lease if your employer transfers you, if you lose your job, or if your spouse or roommate dies or leaves, unless there is a clause in the lease that permits termination for these reasons.  The exception is for military personnel and change of duty stations.

Leases can be written or oral. Obviously an oral lease is often subject to mutual misunderstandings. Therefore, if possible, get your agreement in writing. Vintage Real Estate Services will always provide you with a written lease.  Please , make sure that you read the agreement CAREFULLY and that you agree with it before signing it.

IMPORTANT: Be certain that before entering into the lease agreement that you understand the amount of rent you will pay and when it is due, the length of the lease, the security deposit provision, the rules and regulations, and who is responsible for paying the utilities. It is also a good idea before you move in or a short time thereafter, that you inspect your dwelling unit with your landlord and make a list of any damaged or missing items.

Your landlord has engaged the services of Vintage Real Estate Services in part because the Landlord/Tenant laws are complicated and require specific actions and notices to be given.  We will always provide the tenant with a written lease, and estimate of move-in expenses, a move-in/out check list of damages and defects for the protection of both the tenant and the landlord.

The Landlord's Obligations+

The landlord and his employees by law must follow the local housing, building and health codes; or

(1) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, the landlord must maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and the plumbing in reasonable working condition.  The landlord's obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.

(2) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times, make reasonable provisions for:

  1. The extermination of rodents and wood destroying organisms.
  2. Locks and keys.
  3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
  4. Garbage removal.
  5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.

Additionally, the landlord must do everything he has agreed to in the lease.

For the properties managed by Vintage Real Estate Services we act on the owners behalf and all maintenance issues will be address through us. Our property management agreement with the landlord authorizes us to make nominal repairs without the owners pre-approval..  If the situation constitutes an emergency, is life or health threatening or the property is in eminent or great danger we are authorized to act without pre-approval.

Access to the Premises+

Once you rent your dwelling unit, your right to possession is much the same as if you owned your home. However, your landlord can enter at reasonable times to inspect the unit, supply agreed services, make repairs to the premises, or show it to a possible buyer, etc. "Reasonable notice" for the purpose of repair is notice given at least 12 hours prior to the entry and "reasonable time" for the purpose of repair shall be between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord can also enter at any time to protect or preserve the premises if there is an emergency, if you have given consent, if you withhold consent unreasonably, or if you are absent for an extended period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments.

As a tenant, you also have certain responsibilities. If you fail to live up to these responsibilities, you may be subject to eviction. As a tenant, you must pay the rent and security deposit and follow all other legal requirements in the lease agreement. Tenants must also:

  1. Keep their part of the premises clean and sanitary.
  2. Remove all garbage in a sanitary manner.
  3. Keep all plumbing fixtures clean and sanitary.
  4. Not destroy or deface the property.
  5. Comply with all housing codes.
  6. Conduct themselves in a manner that does not disturb neighbors or breach the peace.

Who is Responsible - Owner or Tenant?

What happens if the tenant damages the property?+

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions by owners and tenants.  Once it comes to Vintage Real Estate Services’ attention that the tenant has caused damage, you will be instructed to repair the damage at your expense.  A follow-up inspection by the property manager will determine if the work has been performed properly.  If tenant caused damages are discovered at the time the tenant vacates the premises, a claim is made against the security deposit to cover the damage.  This is a legal process that will be followed precisely.  The tenant may be held liable if the damages exceed the amount of the security deposit.

Who is responsible for the heating/ air conditioning system?+

This is a shared responsibility.  The owner is responsible for the major operations of the system when things go wrong that are beyond the control of the tenant.  However, the tenant is responsible for changing the filters regularly and keeping the drain line open.  System maintenance or repair resulting form tenant abuse, misuse or neglect is the responsibility of the tenant.  These responsibilities are also in the Lease Agreement.

Who is responsible for plumbing repairs?+

Once again, this is a shared responsibility.  Owners are responsible for circumstances beyond the tenant’s control, i.e. water heater failure, tree roots in the sewer line or worn out fixtures.  However, the tenant is responsible for clogged toilets or drains: toilet seats, flappers, and handles: jammed garbage disposals: and any problems resulting from abuse, misuse or neglect. If the premise has a septic tank system, owners are customarily responsible for septic tank pump-outs, sump pump failure and clogged drain fields.

Who is responsible for windows and screens?+

The owner is responsible through the property manager to ensure that these are in good condition when the tenant takes possession.  After that, the tenant is responsible for the repair or replacement of broken glass or damage screens, including screen doors and sliding doors.  One exception would be if damage occurred because of a natural disaster such as a major storm.

Who is responsible for pest control?+

Our Lease Agreement makes this a tenant responsibility for single-family homes and duplexes, except for problems beyond the tenant’s control, i.e. termites, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and rodents.  Florida Statues stipulate that for multi-family buildings larger than a duplex, pest control must be an owner’s responsibility.

Who takes care of the yard?+

Our single-family Lease Agreement makes this a tenant responsibility and requires the tenant to maintain the yard and shrubs in the same condition the yard was in during move-in, unless the owner chooses to provide complete lawn care for the property.

Hazardous work such as tree trimming is an owner’s responsibility and is arranged and scheduled by Vintage Real Estate Services.  The cost of this service would be the responsibility of the owner and unless an emergency will be pre-approved by the owner.

Who is responsible for swimming pool service?+

If the property you are leasing has a pool, look to the lease to explain who is responsible for its maintenance.  If the owner does not elect to include pool maintenance, typically it would be a shared responsibility.  The tenant responsible to clean the skimmers, vacuum the bottom and monitor the chemical balance.  The owner would be responsible for the operation of the pumps, heater, filter and other systems. 

What is your policy on animals?+

Whether or not to accept animals is always the owner’s decision.  Some owners allow pets, and others do not.  A non-refundable fee per animal and an additional security deposit per animal may typically be paid by the tenant in order to have an animal in the rental unit.  If pets are permitted, only small to medium sized, non-agressive, common domesticated animals would be allowed.  Certain breeds of dogs are not accepted because of liability considerations.  Farm animals are not permitted. (Fair Housing Laws allow persons with disabilities to have a therapy pet with out being charged a pet fee. For more information, please review the Fair Housing Act.)

What kind of liability insurance should a tenant have?+

The owner will typically have insurance on the dwelling only, this insurance usually does not cover the tenant’s possessions.  We strongly recommend that you obtain “Renter’s Insurance” to cover the value of you personal property in case of a loss.


Termination of the Rental Agreement for Cause

The landlord can terminate your tenancy for breach of your rental agreement or for violation of the applicable reasonable rules or regulations, other than a failure to pay rent as follows:

Material Noncompliance+

A material noncompliance occurs when the tenant does not live up to some important part of the lease agreement or the requirements imposed by law. There are two types of noncompliance.

  • The first type is curable, meaning that if you stop this action you will not be evicted.
  • The second type is non-curable, meaning that what you did is too serious for you to continue living in the dwelling.

Some examples of curable noncompliance are violation of pet policy, playing music too loudly, parking in an unauthorized manner, having too many guests, and failing to keep your residence clean and sanitary.

Examples of non-curable noncompliance include, but are not limited to, intentional damage or destruction of property, assaulting other tenants, or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance.

Curable Noncompliance+

If you, the tenant, do not comply with the lease agreement and this violation is curable, the landlord will give you the following notice:

You are hereby notified that (cite the noncompliance). Demand is hereby made that you remedy the noncompliance within 7 days of receipt of this notice or your lease shall be deemed terminated and you shall vacate the premises upon such termination. If this same conduct or conduct of a similar nature is repeated within 12 months, your tenancy is subject to termination without your being given an opportunity to cure the noncompliance.

Non-Curable Noncompliance+

When you commit a non-curable noncompliance or if the noncompliance constitutes a subsequent or continuing noncompliance within 12 months of a written warning by your landlord of a similar violation, you will be given the following notice:

You are advised that your lease is terminated effective immediately. You shall have 7 days from the delivery of this letter to vacate the premises. This action is taken because (cite the noncompliance).

Because this is non-curable, you will be subject to eviction.

NOTE: You can be evicted for serious or repeated violations of the terms of the lease agreement or for other good cause. Either of the following types of criminal activity by you, any member of your household, a guest, or another person under your control shall be cause for termination.

  • Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment by other residents or neighbors.
  • Any drug-related criminal activity on or near such premises.

Termination of the Lease without Cause+

Month-to-month tenancies automatically renew unless terminated by the landlord or the tenant. A month-to-month tenancy, whether written or not, is when you pay the rent monthly without agreement as to how long you will stay.

For month-to-month tenancies, the landlord or tenant must deliver a notice at least fifteen (15) days before the next time the rent is due informing the other party that the lease will be terminated.

Breaking Your Lease+

If you are leaving your rented premises before the end of a written lease, be aware that you are liable to your landlord for unpaid rent due after you have vacated. In order to recover this rent the landlord may file a County Court action against you. If you leave before the end of your written lease, it does not automatically mean that the landlord can keep your security deposit. The Vintage Real Estate Services’ lease states that the landlord is entitled to keep your security deposit as "liquidated damages" if the tenant leaves the rental dwelling before the lease expires. This kind of lease allows you to break the lease and the landlord is entitled to your deposit.

Holding Over+

If you hold over and continue in possession of the dwelling unit or any part thereof after the expiration of your lease agreement without your landlord's permission, the landlord can recover possession of the dwelling unit by filing a Complaint in County Court. There is also the possibility that the landlord will be able to recover double the amount of rent due on the dwelling unit, or any part thereof, for the period during which you refused to surrender possession.

Security Deposit+

When you, the tenant, move out, at the end of the lease or on abandonment with proper notice, the landlord has fifteen (15) days to return the security deposit or must send a certified letter within thirty (30) days to you informing you of the landlord’s intention to impose a claim on your security deposit. The following information will be given by the landlord:

This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of
________ upon your security deposit, due to (reason). It is sent to you as required by Section 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord's address).

If you do not object to the claim, the landlord may then keep the amount stated in the notice and must send the rest of the deposit to you within thirty (30) days after the date of the notice. 

CONTACT US

Brandon Office
139 E. Bloomingdale Ave.
Brandon, FL 33511
(813) 684.0001 Phone
(813) 685.6562 Fax

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