The Realities of Leasing Real Property in Volusia County

1. We are entrusting someone with an extremely valuable asset.

Median price of single family home in Volusia County is $ 162,000.00.

2. This extremely valuable asset is very vulnerable.

It is very vulnerable to negligent or malicious acts of the lessee; potentially
costing the property owner thousands of dollars and down time.

We may never recover these costs unless we SAW them personally do these acts.

At best, after doing a lot of work and added expense, one may obtain a judgment
in court for damages, lost rent and courts costs, but the judgment is NOT
payment, and these judgments are very frequently NEVER paid.

3. We have quite limited control over to whom we may lease.

We cannot obtain a complete and accurate criminal history on an applicant from
anywhere at any price. ONLY NCIC has this info and it is law enforcement access
only.  [When property owners pay for the police, the courts, and the penal system,
and arrests and convictions are in the public domain, why is this information kept
from us?]

Only partial information is available and that comes at a significant price.  Credit
checks are increasingly expensive and unavailable.

4. Our resident may completely deteriorate during the course of our business
relationship without any action from us.

Job loss, divorce, injury, drug or alcohol problems, bankruptcy and many other
reasons may turn our good resident into a real problem over night!

5. We cannot watch that property 24 hours a day.

In fact, we may not be able to readily see inside the building at all and access is
closely restricted by law.  Many residents change the locks even though this may
be prohibited by the lease.

6. The law favors the tenant, when it is the property owner who is most at risk.

Most police will not intervene even when the property is actively being damaged,
stating it’s a” civil matter”, leaving the property owner with only the very slow and
expensive eviction process, while watching the property deteriorate!

7. Many sections of the lease are virtually unenforceable.

It is very difficult to be aware of, and consequently enforce, many parts of the
lease such as extra guests, storage of items, pets, parking, etc.  Tenants
frequently have an excuse for the situation stating that it is just short term, etc.,

8. We may not speak strongly or do anything to upset the resident.

Ultimately, the resident has control over our very expensive asset and we cannot
risk them damaging the property in an act of retaliation.

9. We are held responsible for the personal conduct of the resident.

Yes, it’s the property owner that is demanded to court and faces fines of $1,000.00
or $5,000.00 A DAY for the personal conduct of a resident.  Parking a commercial
vehicle or having workers congregate at the property are just some examples.  It
is even difficult to find the definitions of these ordinances!  And property owners
face unbelievable fines even though you did not know or may have done everything
you can about an issue. The tenant receives no fine, nothing in writing and does
not have to appear in court.  He is open to maliciously create thousands of dollars
in fines for property owners to pay!  

10. A great many property owners who lease properties are struggling financially.

 Contrary with image conveyed on television shows, most property owners who
lease are struggling financially due to:  

   A. Increased costs of taxes, insurance, maintenance
   B. Increased supply and reduced demand forced rents down
   C. Vastly decreased pool of good applicants
   C. Increased tenant expectations

  And property owners are in bankruptcy themselves or facing foreclosure.

11. Our government subsidizes so much housing that those that have to pay
frequently have feelings of entitlement and share an indignant attitude about have
to pay for housing.  What other endeavor has the government giving away their
stock in trade for half price or less?

12. Problem residents are expensive to remove and may take months.

An eviction costs $180.00 to file, $40.00 to serve and a writ of possession is
$90.00, totaling at least $310.00.  Problem residents often share information about
how to confound and delay the process to allow them to stay in the property longer
without paying. (Take a candy bar from Wal-Mart and you go to jail; take thousands
from a property owner and very little happens!)

13. Properties are a liability rather that an asset when vacant.

Squatters, break-ins, vandalism and thefts (especially outside air conditioner
units)  make a property a real liability when not leased, forcing the owner to make
some very difficult decisions.

14 .Properties cannot be sold currently at anything resembling a fair price.

Property owners cannot sell their property in this very depressed market.  They
are trapped in this very difficult  situation!