Lakeland, FL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida

Q: Falsely evicted. House had mold. Landlord did not respond and fix in a timely manner. Can you assist?

Back in October 2022, we contacted our property manager due to tiles falling off the wall. After several attempts and not complying, we started withholding rent. In June we served them a 7 day notice to attempt to fix. Nothing was done. We had 3 Petri dishes set out over 3 periods of time all coming back full of mold. We had a mold company come out and test it and indeed there’s mold. Landlord served us mid July giving us 5 days to submit a list to the court as to why we shouldn’t be evicted. We explained the situation from A-Z but it wasn’t good enough. We came home on 8/5 to a letter in the mail stating we were being sued for past rent and are being evicted. It was in the hands of the Polk county sheriff’s department.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phil Revah
Phil Revah
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Florida law is very strict when it comes to responding to an eviction suit filed by a landlord. In order to raise any defense, the tenant must deposit the rent into the court registry (regardless of the existence of mold, etc). In order to properly raise a defense to the eviction case, first rent had to be deposited, and second, the tenant must furnish proof that the tenant put the landlord on notice of the mold issues before using that as a defense to a nonpayment eviction. Hope this helps.

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