Landlord and Tenant Law in Indiana: Dangers in Advertising

ADVERTISING: You have purchased a house or apartment complex and now you want to rent it out. Or you have recently obtained a position as manager of rental units for an owner. The first step of course is locating tenants. There are pitfalls and liabilities that you can incur simply trying to obtain tenants. The Indiana Consumer Deceptive Practices Act applies to the leasing of Apartments as well as other matters. You should not make any representations in your advertisement which you know, or should know are not correct. A deceptive act in an advertisement for the leasing of Apartments could subject the owner or the management company to civil fines. An owner can be held liable even if the owner did not draft or cause the deceptive statement to be published. The key is whether or not the owner authorized the use of the advertisement. An example of a deceptive act in advertising is an ad that claims that a rental unit has certain accessories, amenities, or benefits which are not actually available. If certain appliances or amenities are only available in certain units you must be careful in your advertisement not to imply that those items or amenities are available in all units. Special offers or promotions can also get you into trouble. For example if the special offer is limited as to the number available or there is a time limitation on the offer you must be clear and indicate that in your advertising. If your offer of 1 months free rent, or special pricing, or no security deposit applies only to certain units, you must make it clear that there is a limitation like that in your advertisement.

You can also violate the Fair Housing Act in your advertising. If you use pictures of people in your advertising, and the pictures of the tenants in your advertisements are always of a certain race, or are always adults without children this could be construed as an intent to discriminate. Also be careful of certain words used in the advertisement that may be indicative of discrimination. Words such as private, restricted, or exclusive should be avoided. Always use common sense, and make sure you make no statement that is in any way misleading or false in your advertising.

Adveristing is very important Landlords and Management Companies, however if done incorrectly, it could become very costly or result in unanticipated negative consequences.

If you have a question regarding advertising your rental houses, apartments, complexes, or duplexes, call the attorneys of Perry Law Office for a free telephone consultation. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Have you “mapped out” your assets for your heirs?

You probably have a Last Will and Testament describing how assets are to be distributed, but have you made a list of where those assets can be found? You want to make sure your family is able to locate everything you have worked so very hard for. An asset inventory is a simple list which makes it easier on your loved ones by telling them exactly where to find all your assets and various accounts.

You may have numerous bank accounts with different banking institutions, cash, collectibles, online accounts, emails, retirement plans, insurance policies, and perhaps even receive “paperless” statements only via email. It is a good idea to leave a list of passwords, account numbers and locations. Your asset inventory may include:

  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Safe Deposit Box
  • Insurance and annuity policies
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Deeds and titles
  • Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401K, etc)
  • Life Insurance policies (any post-death benefits)
  • Cash, jewelry, valuables
  • Email and online accounts with passwords.
  • Certain bills or premiums you pay may also be included
  • Combinations to a safe or location of a safe key

This is a very important Estate Planning step, that most people forget about. Doing this very simple step, could save your loved ones hours of time and energy trying to locate and organize all your varous assets.

After you have mapped it all out, tell a loved one where you are going to keep the list. Generally you keep it in your safe along with your Will and other important documents (remember you should give someone the combination to your safe or a way to access it). Remember to periodically update your asset inventory, and always update your Will with major life events. Call Perry Law Office now and our experienced attorneys will help you decide if now is the time to make changes to your Will or help you with your other Estate Planning needs.

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Collecting On a Debt Is Not As Easy As It May Seem

There is a misconception that getting a money judgment against someone, means they will pay you. In general, that is NOT the case. We, at Perry Law Office, have found that on average it can take up to two (2) years to collect on a judgment depending on the various circumstances and how old the debt is. There are of course those rare circumstances when you get paid immediately upfront. But in most circumstances that is not the case. Getting the money judgment is only the first step. Debtors, tend to move. Debtors, tend to switch jobs. Debtors, tend to be unwilling to voluntarily pay a debt they owe. Debt Collection takes some time and hard work. Finding employment, personal assets, or bank accounts can be very difficult. Not to mention, finding the debtor and getting proper service in order to enforce your claim against them.  The experienced staff and attorneys at Perry Law Office, are equipped to find these debtors and collect from them. Perry Law Office can find where they are working and garnish their wages, levy on their bank account, or set up voluntary payments. If someone owes you money and you are not sure how to collect, hire an experienced lawyer to help you collect the money owed to you. Hiring an attorney is not as painful as you may believe. In most cases, you do NOT have to pay the attorney any attorney fees. Like at Perry Law Office, our fee is typically done on a contingent fee basis, meaning if we do NOT collect, you do not owe us anything. Call Perry Law Office to discuss how we may be able to help you recoup your money.

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Do I need a Will?

Every adult person should probably have a Will or some other estate plan that they have thought about and implemented. A Will is perhaps the most common estate planning device and is one of the simplest and easiest to implement. Most people do not think about getting a Will until an event in their life causes them to feel the need to do so. Some of the most common calls, we at Perry Law Office often get are calls from newlyweds, couples or individuals that have just had or are expecting their first child, someone in bad or deteriorating health, or from an adult child regarding their mother or father who has put it off way to long. The Attorneys at Perry Law office have also had calls from people who did not consider the need for an estate plan until they were getting ready to go on a trip. All of these are great reasons to start thinking about a Will. However, it is best, to consider some sort of an estate plan early in your adult life, but you are never to old to start this process either. You never know what the future might bring, and if you die without a Will or other estate plan your assets might not be distributed to the persons that you want. For example, an adult unmarried individual that has no children and dies without a Will or other estate plan would have their assets distributed to their parents, and their brothers and sisters. This may or may not be what they would actually want to happen. A Will is a easy to dictate where your assets go and who gets them. People are often surprised at how easy, and inexpensive it is to create a simple estate plan. They often comment that if they had known it would be this easy they would have done it much earlier. Call Perry Law Office today and speak to one of our experience lawyers for a free telephone consultation to determine if now is the right time for you to consider a Will, or some other type of estate plan.  

 

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Why have a lawyer help with your Social Security Disability Claim?

 

Obtaining a ruling of disability has never been easy. There are four (4) stages in the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the social security administration: (1) Filing an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits/Supplemental Security Income; (2) if denied you then file a Request for Reconsideration; (3) if your Request for Reconsideration is denied  you file a Request for Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ); and (4) if you receive an unfavorable decision from an ALJ you may appeal the unfavorable decision with the Appeals Council (AC).  For applications filed in 2009 through 2011 only about 40% of applications were eventually approved. Since then things have become more difficult. The number of claims paid at the initial and reconsideration stages of social security disability has remained about the same. But in 2014 less than half of those who went to the hearing level were found disabled. Historically, that had been, on average, 60% or more. Things did improve a bit in 2015 with nearly 55% of those who went to the hearing level being found disabled. The lesson to be learned is that those seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) need all the help they can get. After an initial denial, it is wise to engage the services of an attorney who practices Social Security disability law. This is not a guarantee of success, but it does increase the odds. Once you receive a denial you a strict time frame to file an appeal. If you have been denied Social Security Disability, call the trusted lawyers at Perry Law Office.

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Importance of Estate Planning: “WHAT IF” ~ Wills

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No one wants to think about the “what ifs”. Therefore, most people ignore them and do not plan ahead. Do NOT be one of those people when it comes to preparing your Last Will and Testament. Your eventual death is not a “what if” it is a when. Hopefully, it is a long time from now, but “what if” that is not the case. And even if it is, why not be prepared now?

Hopefully, it is a long time from now, but “what if” that is not the case. And even if it is, why not be prepared now?  A Last Will only comes into play after an individual passes away. A Will is NOT only for you, but also for your loved ones that you leave behind. What if, I get in an accident on the way home from work? Who will take care of my children?  If you have minor children or pets, a Will is a great way to ensure they are in good hands if you unexpectedly pass away. Naming a guardian is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.

A Will also allows you to more easily pass on your assets after your death to those you love. It is a legal document that is essential to any estate plan. A Last Will ensures that your children or other loved ones receive your real and personal property. It allows a legal means for your loved ones to more easily navigate the tricky law of Estates and Probate. Do not leave your loved ones unprepared upon your death, plan ahead and contact the Fort Wayne lawyers at Perry Law Office to help create a Will that meets your specific needs.

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