Q: I have recently signed a new lease agreement here in Florida (May13). I pay my deposit and my prorated 1st months rent.
I start moving in and realize the air conditioning doesnt work. I immediately call the property management company to inform them. This doesnt get fixed for 18 days. I didnt have anywhere to stay since I gave the money I had to the property management for rent and a deposit. I ended up staying at a hotel due to me starting a new job and having to sleep, get ready and so forth. What are my legal options to recoup the money I spent because I had no place to stay with air conditioning?
Florida statute requires you send notices of items that need to be repaired in writing to your landlord. Once they have received written notice, they have 7 days to cure the deficiencies in the property.
83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.—
(1) The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:
(a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or
(b) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.
The landlord is not required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant. The landlord’s obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.
(2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
2. Locks and keys.
3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.
(b) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy of a single-family home or duplex, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term “smoke detection device” means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.
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