Redbook Blues: Just Say No

Posted By: Nicole Zaitoon Dimensions Online ,

The PTA president at your child’s school wants you to chair the teacher appreciation banquet.   A friend with three kids, two dogs, and a crazy ex-spouse has asked to move in with you and your family until they find a new place to live. A cousin gives you a tale of woe and then asks to borrow $1,000.   

Like me, you love your kids’ schools, but you do not have an extra minute to spare.  You would do anything for your friends, but you do not operate a B&B. Everyone knows that you should never loan money to friends or family—ever! 

Your answer to all the above (especially the PTA President) should be:  no, no, and H*LL No! 

Saying no is hard! Great news!  What is difficult in our personal lives, is easier in our professional lives.  In fact, the TAA Lease makes saying no and h*ll no easy. 

A resident wants to add their recently paroled uncle to their lease.  The answer is no (paragraph 10.3).  A resident who lives in a loft has acquired a Great Dane, six Chihuahuas, and two snakes.  No zoos are allowed (paragraph 12).  To make extra money, a retired resident takes care of four children of other residents during the day.  She cannot do that.  Paragraph 11.1 (m) specifically prohibits operating a child-care service business in their apartment.       

Here’s a quick look at prohibited conduct in the TAA Lease:

  1. Paying rent on the 3rd - Unless you specifically contract for a different day, all rent is due on the first day of the money.  Paragraph 3 of the TAA Lease says in bold letters “there are no exceptions.” Rent is late on the 2nd. No exceptions.

  2. Paying rent with cash – Unless you authorize otherwise in writing, rent is to be paid electronically, by check, or by money order. Paragraph 3 of the TAA Lease says in bold letters “cash is not permitted without our prior written permission.” No cash.

  3. Relleting Fee Cancels the Lease – Paragraph 7 is the most misunderstood portion of the TAA Lease.  This paragraph outlines the amount residents must pay to move out early.  This section also explains that the reletting charge is liquidated damage and not a cancellation fee and does not release residents from their obligations under the lease contract.  They are still obligated to pay rent until a new resident moves in. It says, “the reletting charge is not a termination, cancellation, or buyout fee and does not release you from your obligations under this Lease.” No release.

  4. Don’t Ask Don’t Pay – Unless God caused it, under paragraph 31.2, residents are liable for payment for damages caused by them, their occupants, and guests (paragraph 9). No free rides.

  5. Don’t Go Changing - The first page of the lease at the bottom under Special Provisions and Paragraph 3.6 states the rent and lease provisions cannot be changed unless both parties agree. No changes.

  6. No grime and No crime - Paragraph 9 requires the residents to follow the rules and keep their unit clean. Paragraphs 10 and 11 are all about prohibited conduct. No criminal activity. 

  7. No parking - Dealing with resident parking issues is a pain.  No one likes to tow a resident’s car. Paragraph 13 makes sure that residents understand their responsibilities.  If a resident’s car is parked in a fire lane, illegally parked in a handicapped space, or inoperable, then it’ll be towed. No Junkers

  8. Where there is smoke there is fire – Residents are prohibited under Paragraph 18.1 from damaging or removing batteries from smoke detectors.  If they do, they are subject to a $100 fine. No messing with smoke alarms.

  9. Creature Feature.  Paragraph 12 prohibits residents from having any living =creature without written consent.  No Consent, no animal.

  10. Not just Saying - Finally, just above the signature line is a bold statement regarding not relying on oral agreements. No oral agreements.

That’s a lot of no’s and a lot 'to knows!'

So, say YES to attending the May 18th REDBOOK seminar. AATC member attorney Kimberly Sims will go through the entire TAA Lease and common legal issues that impact residential rental property owners. 

To register go to:  https://www.aatcnet.org/events/taa-red-book-legal-seminar--copy

Nicole Zaitoon, Allied Property Management, is AATC’s 2022 Government Affairs Committee Chair and a member of AATC’s Board of Directors.