New Orleans, LA asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: I leased a condo from an owner and have lived there for a year a 6 months, always paid my rent on time. However..

I went to visit my son, daughter in law and Granddaughter in Metairie La in June. I informed the owner that I was going out of town. I returned to my condo in early July with my son who was going to visit with me for a few days. I opened up the door and found 2-3 inches of raw sewage throughout my entire condo. I immediately called the owners and they came out. I also took a video of the disgusting mess. They went inside and saw the mess and were very rude to myself and my son. Due to my health issues, Systemic Lupus and currently in remission for head and neck cancer, I didn't want to stay in a hotel for fear of Covid. The owners agreed to return my deposit yet all my belongings were covered in raw sewage. The owners also agreed to keep my belongings safe and in the condo until the end of July. However, I texted him before the end of July and he informed me that he threw all my belongings out in the dumpster. There was no notice given to me. What can I do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: This is a perfect example of why renters need to have rental insurance. Due to the health hazard caused by the raw sewage leak all or most of your property most likely needed to be disposed of. What was valuable should have been removed, if possible when you were there. You should have been informed at some point, prior to the removal that this was the case to provide you with opportunity to salvage what was not damaged. At this point all you can do is make an inventory of your property and value and file a claim against whoever was responsible for the leak, whether your landlord, condominium association or neighboring units. If you did have renter's insurance you should have already filed a claim.

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