November 9, 2010

Institute of Real Estate Management Boston Chapter #4
Seminar: Property Manager Pitfalls: mistakes tenants and their attorneys are dying to find out
100 Maple Street, Stoneham, MA
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
*Howard Goldman and Cameron Pease are the featured speakers

The course will address common mistakes that Massachusetts property managers make in managing their properties – and how to correct them – and will help to avoid legal pitfalls. This course is new seminar that will address several new laws enacted in the past year and discuss how they affect property managers. For example, this course will discuss common mistakes made to expose one to liability under M.G.L. c. 93A, including multiple damages and attorney’s fees, pitfalls which make collections more difficult and potentially costly to the debt collector,  the new identify theft/data security regulations enacted in Massachusetts, the new EPA lead paint law and how it affects property managers,  the new federal statute protecting tenants at foreclosure, and common mistakes under the Massachusetts Wage Act. 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 for both newer and more experienced managers because it will address areas of law that have recently changed and were not issues in the past. The experienced legal counsel will analyze the areas of the law in the context of how it affects property managers and their clients. Materials will be presented during the course, including an outline; articles on the topics discussed, and sample forms.

Most importantly, the course will not simply be 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 manger should consider in order to reduce liability and to maximize recoveries.


Highlight property management pitfalls that affect property Managers in both existing and recently enacted laws; Develop an approach to respond to tough legal issues.   Discuss ways property managers can reduce liability and pursue collections on problem accounts.


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


What is the new EPA lead paint law and how does it affect me as a property manager and the owner client? What are the certification requirements under the new EPA lead paint law? Are there exceptions to the new EPA lead paint law requirements? Are there penalties for non-compliance with the new EPA lead paint law and, if so, what are the penalties and how do I avoid them?


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?

What information is considered to be confidential information that needs to be protected under the new identity theft/data security regulations?

What steps do I need to now take to comply with the new identity/theft data security regulations? What are the penalties for non-compliance with the new Identify Theft/data security regulations?


What is the new Federal Statute Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act?

What protections do the new statute provide to tenants and how does it affect property owners, lenders and their agents?

What can be done to evict a tenant after a foreclosure?

What can be done in an attempt to collect the tenant rental stream after a foreclosure? What are the penalties for non-compliance with the new Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act?


How does the Massachusetts Wage Act affect me as a property manager on behalf of owner and what can I do to avoid some common employer violations of the Massachusetts Wage Act. What is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? What problems can arise if I misclassify an employee as an independent contractor? What problems can arise if I characterize an hourly employee as a salaried employee. Who is entitled to overtime (time and a half) for all hours worked in a given week? What are the potential penalties for non-compliance with the Massachusetts Wage Act and does it include multiple damages and attorneys fees?


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:

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?

Is it unfair and deceptive for a property manager to request from a slow paying tenant a post dated check for rent? 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?

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? 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? 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? Is M.G.L. c. 93A applicable to all persons and properties managed? 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?
Does M.G.L. c. 93A apply in the context of state sanitary code and building code violations? Liability for Superintendent – Substandard Housing


Another common pitfall for property managers are renting to tenant’s who do everything in their power to avoid paying. After taking this course you should be able to answer the following to help avoid collection pitfalls:

In what context can I request a personal guaranty?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? What steps can I take to make debt more collectable against a tenant and/or a condominium unit owner?

What steps can I take to ensure that I can recover interest and attorney’s fees?

What is considered a fraudulent conveyance in Massachusetts and what can be done if one occurs? What is a reach and apply action and how can I use it to collect outstanding amounts due and owing? What is a trustee process action and how can I use it to assist in collecting amounts due? What is a “rolling lien” in a condominium context and how does this work? How has the “Homestead” statute been recently changed in Massachusetts and can you ever get around a Homestead filing? Are all retirement accounts exempt from attachment? If a town performs a tax taking on a condominium unit, can I pursue common area fees and assessments against the town?  What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and do I need to be concerned with this statute? Under what circumstances is a wage assignment

Registration Time: 8:30am

Training 9:00 am-11:30am

Location (100  Maple Street (A), Stoneham, MA (ServiceMaster Disaster Associates Training Site)

Breakfast Pastries and coffee will be served

Members $60 Non-members $70
Discounted rate if 3 or more from one company $45 each

to register go online at or email or call chapter 617-436-7565

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