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Questions Answered by Barry W. Kaufman
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is my condo association allowed to charge additional fees of roof assessment even if the roof work hasn't started yet?

I received a roof assessment of $3,060 early this year from the condo association where I own a condo unit (bought in November 2019). I've been been making payments of $255 each month since March 2020 (already sent $1,530) and decided to stop making payments this month of September due to no... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 28, 2020

Your condo HOA association documents should spell everything out. In all likelihood, they can charge the fees so that the HOA has the money to pay the roofer, rather than start collecting money when the work starts.

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Florida on
Q: I have a judgement against a person that I lent money to (over $10,000). I don’t know how to collect.

I paid an attorney to handle this case. He obtained the judgement then told me that he couldn’t find her, even though she had attempted to see him. He admitted this to me, then later changed his story.

After I received the judgement, he told me that I was on my own as far as collection.... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 27, 2020

Your judgment is good for 20 years. Apparently your agreement with him was to.obtain the judgment, which he did. You weren't taken advantage of, and there's nothing anyone can do to force someone to voluntarily pay a judgment. In fact, all your debtor has to do is file bankruptcy and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Collections for Florida on
Q: My mom received a phone call from a "private number" saying someone filed a complaint about me.

Last night 9/23/2020 around 4:30 p.m., some private number called my mom and asked for me, she told them I haven't lived there in 15 years and the lady on the other line said that someone filed a complaint about me or on me and that I needed to call an "888" number with a... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 24, 2020

That's not the way the civil court or the criminal court system works. Sounds like a scam or at least shady.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is my landlord responsible for lawn maintenance and repairs?

I have been in the home 8 years and have been paying $85 a month for lawn maintenance and as well have paid for many repairs as Ac and screen enclosure damaged due to past hurricane and the landlord was well aware of it and told me a few times his Repair man will be free to do repairs up to two... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 24, 2020

Unless your lease requires him to provide AC, he is not required to fix your AC when it goes out. You have no right to fix things on your own without his written permission and then expect to be reimbursed. Same thing with the lawn. If the lease requires you to maintain the lawn, you have no reason... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can a new will override a spouse's rights upon the other's death?

My parents are still married but have been separated (not legally, sold their home previously and now live in different counties and own their own homes) but have will's in place from many years ago. My father does not want his estate going to my mother upon his death and wants it distributed... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 23, 2020

Your dad should consult with his own attorney. You should not be involved because any legal advice that you pass along from a lawyer could be construed as you practicing law. If you are not a lawyer, practicing law is a felony. I know you want to help your dad; the best way to help is to review the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Probate for Florida on
Q: Grandma left me an apartment in her will 2003, but my step-grandpa was executor and never distributed. Died 2016

Me and my sister were never mentioned in my grandpa's will because we weren't blood related and his side of the family didn't like my mom, so it was a bit messy we group up with our grandpa and weren't even in his obituary. I have all the papers for the estate I'm owed and... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 23, 2020

Take your stuff to a probate lawyer with your checkbook (so you can pay for a.consultation) to see if he or she can help you. We cant help you on the internet.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I am currently renting, can I stop the landlord from showing my home during the pandemic? he is trying to sell

my landlord contacted me stating he has someone coming today for a home inspection, got a knock on the door and it wasn't a inspection at all, it was a woman that was told to come view the home for a potential sale.

What are my rights here in Bradford County FL, can I prohibit the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 19, 2020

Not really. Take a look at your lease.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is it legal for a landlord in the state of Florida to have a eviction hearing without notifying the tenant

I was served a eviction notice in March of 2020 when the pandemic struck and in responding to the eviction within the time frame that was given I was informed that the county courts were closed until further notice I was not notified I told us sheriff's deputy arrived with a final judgment for... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 17, 2020

No, but I'd be really surprised if this happened the way you claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Does this lease require Landlord to give a 60-day notice to Tenant for non-renewal?

"This lease agreement is not constructed to be automatically renewed at the end of the term for which drawn, however the intent to renew this agreement by the Tenant(s) will be assumed. All parties will need to sign a new agreement in order to activate a renewal term. If Tenant(s) intends to... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 16, 2020

I don't see where the landlord has to give the tenant a 60 day notice here.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: 3 yrs ago @ a motel paid full for month. wanted refund owner said no could only give 1 week money back. can I do anythin

He's known to have a severe drug problem the rooms were horrible I paid almost 2 thousand for the month and it was just odd he said I can't get my money back at all at firstly then said he could give me a weeks worth. It still bugs me to this- day the place is horrible and definitely not... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 15, 2020

Probably not. Do you really think a guy with a severe drug problem.who runs a roach motel is going to have 2 grand laying around? You should have consulted a.lawyer 3 years ago. Even so, if you think you have a case, you should consult a lawyer, but be prepared to be charged a hefty fee upfront if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: daughter just moved into off campus housing. there have been 2 shooting incidents in the parking lot.

Can I get out of my lease

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 14, 2020

Is it your lease, or is it your daughter's lease with you as personal guarantor? (Big difference.) She can always move out, but there's probably no way for you or her to avoid the legal consequences of her doing so. You might want to take the lease to a lawyer in your town for a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: In florida I am on a verbal month to month agreement. My landlord wants to all the sudden evict me because he remodels

He wants to remodel, but I am the only apartment he wants to do call remodel

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 14, 2020

He has to give you 15 days before the end of the month for you to vacate. if he does, that's the end of the line for you. You have to leave or face eviction. It also doesn't matter why he wants you out.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: In my lease, I don't have a max occupancy but the landlord won't allow my elderly mother to move in. Is this legal?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 10, 2020

It depends upon how many people live there and how many bedrooms there are. Also, if he requires her to be on the lease and she or you is refusing to put her on the lease, he can refuse on that basis as well.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How do I evict someone who isn't a tenant--they were a live in girlfriend who refuses to leave?

She never paid rent. She has only paid a cable bill a couple of times in the last few years.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 10, 2020

You hire an attorney. If she had an agreement to pay rent, whether she did or not, makes a big difference and you cannot afford to screw it up, because the consequences can be a bitter pill to swallow if you are the landlord.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: In FL can I hold (not allow access to) packages received in our office for residents who are not current on their rent?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 9, 2020

No. You cannot do that under any circumstances, and if you hold a package delivered by USPS, that's probably a federal crime.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Is it really not allowed to file for a SUMMARY ADMINISTRATION without an attorney, in miami-dade county probate court?

A bank has reliquished savings funds to the floridatreasurehunt.gov. The state in turn will relinquish those assets to the next of kin once a probate order has been given. There was no will, it was past the 2 year statue of limitation for creditors and the amount in question is less than $75,000 a... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 9, 2020

The reason is because the rules of court require it. Probate is one of the few areas in which most people are required to have an attorney represent them in the proceedings.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: How many days Does a landlord have to fix air conditioning?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 8, 2020

If your lease doesn't require that the landlord furnish air conditioning, he is not required to fix it. Ever. And you have no right to withhold rent or to terminate your lease if he doesn't.

If your lease requires the LL to furnish air conditioning, he has a reasonable time within...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: If I rent a room to a friend, am I required to give them a copy of my lease if they are not on it?

My lease allows for two residents and my name is the only lessor on it.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 4, 2020

You may not be able to rent a room to your friend. Do you have your landlord's written permission to sublease a room? Probably not, which means you may very well have breached your lease with your landlord, setting you up for an eviction.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: My apartment has water damage because of heavy rain while the roof is being worked on. Can I withhold rent ?

My apartment has water damage because of heavy rain while the roof is being worked on.

Part of the ceiling collapsed in the living room and insulation and water fell on my property. Within a week the ceiling in the kitchen collapsed on top of me. I wasn't hurt but the full use of my... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 4, 2020

You cannot withhold rent unless you have the owner's written agreement beforehand. Looks like there are open holes in the ceiling, and repairs are being made to the roof.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can you give a 15 day termination of tenancy on a month to month oral lease agreement on a joint owned property when one

I refused to rent the detached workshop and the other owner rented it anyway knowing that it was not legally permitted work and there is no Certificate of Occupancy. This is in the state of Florida. Also if the Tenant has not paid rent in 3 months to the other owner can the Tenant fight the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 3, 2020

You need a lawyer to help you. Joint ownership issues can get really tricky and much depends on how the ownership is structured, whether there are business entities involved, etc. But generally speaking, one owner doesn't need the permission of the other owner, UNLESS they have an agreement... Read more »

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