RHA Legal Hotline
About the Rental Housing Association (RHA) Legal Counseling Hotline
The Legal Counseling Hotline was established to help members avoid costly mistakes and better manage the legal risks that are inherent in real estate business practice.
Who Can Use the Hotline
Industry Members and Affiliate Members, who are current in their
dues, have direct access to the Hotline. Individuals within a firm,
who themselves are not members, are referred back to their Principal
The purpose of the Hotline is to provide members with general information
on laws, regulations, policies and court decisions that affect real estate
transactions, management and brokerage activities, and in the case
of brokerage issues on matters pertaining to the Code of Ethics. The
Hotline is not intended to provide legal opinions or advice on personal
matters or matters involving specific transactions or disputes between
brokers and their agents and/or clients and customers (e.g., deposit
refunds, commission disputes). In such cases, members should consult
their own attorneys.
Example of appropriate questions
Can a lease be signed on a Sunday? (Yes)
Does last month’s rent need to be escrowed? (No)
May a landlord prohibit children of different sexes from sharing
the same bedroom? (No)
How does the Hotline Work?
The Legal Hotline is currently provided by Philip Lapatin Esq. of Holland
& Knight LLP. Holland and Knight maintains a telephone dedicated solely
for hotline users. Using the published Hotline phone number, rather than
Holland & Knight’s main phone number, expedites response time.
Legal Hotline calls go into a voice mail system, where members receive
detailed instructions on information on how to leave a question or place
a request. Before questions can be answered, it must be verified that
the caller is a member of RHA in good standing.
When Can I Expect a Response?
Calls are usually returned between 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. on weekdays.
Calls placed after 3:30 P.M. on weekdays are answered the next day, and
calls placed after 3:30 P.M. on Fridays and on weekends are returned the
following Monday. Although every effort is made to return calls promptly,
response time may exceed 24 hours during peak seasonal cycles or
periods immediately preceding and following enactment of new laws
Terms and Conditions of Use
In using the Legal Hotline, authorized members should understand and
acknowledge the following terms and conditions:
The Legal Hotline is intended to provide general information on
laws, regulations, policies and court decisions that affect real
estate transactions, management, brokerage activities and on
matters pertaining to the application of the Code of Ethics.
No attorney-client relationship is created or intended.
Neither Holland & Knight nor GBREB assume actual or implied
responsibility for an improper use of information provided through
Neither Holland & Knight nor GBREB is liable for potential
misrepresentations or errors made in responding to questions.
Members may not convey information obtained through the
Legal Hotline to others (e.g. clients, customers, agents) in a way
that suggests or implies that the member, Holland & Knight and/or
GBREB is rendering legal advice.
Philip S. Lapatin, Esquire