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Florida Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: If a landlord has a final eviction notice served & tenants have not left, can locks be changed?

This landlord has gone thru the Pinellas County court system and a final eviction was posted yesterday. The Pinellas County Sheriffs Office said they are swamped and won't be back until Monday.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 2, 2022

No.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: divorced couple property in TIC/JTWROS can 1 person tell the other who can live there or not

divorce states husband to pay mortgage and the home is wife's primary residence ex husband is now demanding wife and sister in law to pay portion of mortgage and if not they both need to leave.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Nov 29, 2022

Without reading the divorce decree, it's difficult to say but in general, if the Court granted the Wife the exclusive use of the house and ordered the husband to pay the mortgage, then he has no standing to demand that anyone do anything. It may not be a bad idea for the Wife to engage the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can I get in trouble?

If I live in a home where I rent a room and I suspect that the other tenants are making illegal substance and dealing in stolen bicycles what can I do? I can't afford to move and I don't want to get anyone angry at me either.please help

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 27, 2022

As the saying goes, "You can't have your cake and eat it too". Either move, get the other tenants angry at you (by reporting them), or risk get in trouble with the law. If the authorities find out about the illegal activity conducted in the home, you will probably be accused of being a part of it.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can I pay less rent for having spent 2 weeks without AC in Florida? Property manager not responding to calls/texts.

Last month in lease term. 2 weeks have gone by with no air conditioning and no response from the property manager. Having to use money for hotels just to get a good night's sleep. We feel as though he is avoiding fixing the issue because we have to move very soon. Is there any legal action... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Nov 25, 2022

Unless the Lease requires the LL to furnish A/C, he is not required to do so. you have no case to withhold rent. That would open up a much bigger can of worms.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is this a Bait and Switch? Is it wrong/illegal? Unethical? Florida

My girlfriend and I are want to move into a complex. We saw a floor plan similar to the unit we want and with all their mentioned utilities included, it's $1583. We applied and got approved 11/9, unit is available 12/15. They sent the lease 11/12. We review it and sent some questions 11/13. No... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Nov 18, 2022

No, no, no, and no. While I won't defend them, if you don't like the way you were treated , go someplace else.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can I break my son's college lease due to recent psychiatric issues he is undergoing which requires a medical withdrawal

The apartment complex does not allow one to break the lease.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Nov 9, 2022

Sorry to hear about your son's ordeal. I assume your son is on the lease, not you, unless you also signed as a guarantor. Whomever signed the lease, it cannot be unilaterally terminated unless the terms of the lease permit it due to situation you are talking about, and I'd be surprised... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is there a specific law that can be referenced when a document is invalid?

A lease agreement that has been illegally altered, and was never properly filled out. Also, tenants name is misspelled on every part of the document where it appears. Landlord write in his name as tenant in one place on an addendum. What law requires documents to be properly filled out to be... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Nov 9, 2022

It's a matter of basic contract doctrines under common law (binding appellate court decisions), plus requirements imposed under Florida Statutes Chapter 83. A lease that is "not being properly filled out" may or may not be enforceable. Errors in filling in blanks might be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: My condo has no power and the landlord nor property mgr know why. Do I have a right to use power from a common area?

I attempted to use a single extension cord plugged into a hall outlet so that I am able to do my job; the property manager has twice removed it. Once with no comment, and the second time said I cannot use the buildings power despite there being apparent reason for mine to be inactive. It's... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Nov 7, 2022

No, you cannot use the building's power. Why would you think that's OK? Moreover, you rent the apartment to live in, not as a business office. You should find out why your power is shut off. Are you supposed to complete a maintenance request?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Hi, Can I get my deposit back and any damages or money spent for a retail space I did not move into?

I signed a contract and paid deposit for a unit retail space at a plaza. The previous landlord sold the plaza. The new landlords obtain a property management company. The property management company hardly responds to my calls or text. I never moved into the property and now they are saying I am... Read more »

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Oct 30, 2022

The general rule is that if a property is sold, the the new owner would have to take the property subject to any leases that exist at the time title transfers. However, there may be exceptions. You should have counsel review the leasehold agreement for advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Please explain FL statute 83.56 5(a).

I understand it to mean landlords may continue accepting rent after filing eviction as long as steps 1 and either 2 or 3 are followed. Ive read other places that under no condition may landlords continue to accept rent or the case is thrown out. If I don't understand the statute could someone... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Oct 29, 2022

The key sentence is "... However, a landlord does not waive the right to terminate the rental agreement or to bring a civil action for that noncompliance by accepting PARTIAL rent for the period. ..." ("PARTIAL" in all capitals for emphasis). Thus, if the landlord accepts full... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can my landlord evict me even though I live in a fema disaster area Just following up after hurricane Ian?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 26, 2022

The short answer is probably.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: My mother in law allowed me & my adult son to move in with her. I later found out that she is on housing assistance.

She has now told us we have to move out but we have nowhere else to go. What is the procedure she has to go through to put us out? What are our rights?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 24, 2022

If there is an agreement to pay rent, or an agreement to provide services or labor between you and mom, you may be considered a tenant. If not, you are a guest. If a guest, you must leave now. Whether you have a place to go (tenant or guest) is legally irrelevant. What you want to avoid is a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I rent a house in florida. my neighbor has a big trailer that is parked on his land but trailer hovers over my land

The wheels are on his property but about 5 feet of the trailer sticks out into my yard where my kids play. would it be the same law if a tree branch from another yard hangs over your yard?

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Oct 19, 2022

Yes, in a technical and legal sense, your neighbor is trespassing because his trailer is encroaching upon your property. It is the same as when a neighbor's tree hanging over your house falls on your house. The neighbor would be liable.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Does a negotiated and agreed move out date between tenant and landlord void the initial lease?
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Oct 19, 2022

Generally, the lease isn't voided, it's modified - IF the modification is in a signed writing, and to be safe, it would be good to have it witnessed.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Rental house hit by Ian is habitable. Renters intend on deducting rent because fence cannot be replaced yet. Legal?

Our rental home was hit directly by hurricane Ian. The house is habitable, lights, water, roof, etc are all working. We are working with an insurance adjuster and insurance company to work the remaining repairs. The tenants are now saying they are going to deduct the cost of a temporary fence from... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 18, 2022

There are very few justifications for a tenant to withhold rent, and this is not one of them. Tenants owe you the full amount of rent, and this garbage of "we rented the place with a fence" is just that unless you are obligated by the lease to provide a fence.

You should have a...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Find out if a very restrictive addendum that is referenced in the lease is binding, since the landlord didn't sign it

I am in City of Miami (Miami-Dade), FL, renting one unit in a duplex home & have had issues with my landlord and he's not willing to let me out of the lease without paying an early termination fee or liquidated damages, I'm willing to provide 60 days notice and he's likely to get... Read more »

Michael  Mayoral
PREMIUM
Michael Mayoral
answered on Oct 18, 2022

Hello! It is difficult to give a good answer to your question without reviewing the lease and addendum. You should consult with a landlord tenant attorney in Miami. The attorney will need to review the exact wording of the lease and addendum agreements in order to give you advise as to your options.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is there Florida case law concerning the implied warranty of habitability and a cockroach infestation in a condominium.

The infestation existed at the time the tenant moved in.

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Oct 15, 2022

Yes a cockroach infestation is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability in her lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Contracts for Florida on
Q: If you are renting a storage unit and the units are broken in but the storage facilities gate code and gates are not ope

Operational can you sue the storage facility for not providing security to the premises as part of their advertisement Numerous units broken in and locks were all purchased through the storage facility. Location Orlando, FL and renters insurance only covers $1000

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 14, 2022

An advertisement is just that. Your contract is what's important. You have to determine whether the facility has a contractual obligation to provide security. If not, perhaps there's a common law duty to safeguard your possessions. Consult an attorneybif the value of your possessions is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is it the responsibility of the landlord to provide housing when the single family home in Florida is uninhabitable

Electrical repairs are being completed following an inspection. The property manager is trying to force us to use our rental insurance to pay for temporary housing and abate rent, however the rent has already been paid for this month

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 11, 2022

No, it's not the LLs responsibility. Pay for the temporary lodging and get a rebate on November's rent.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: What are tenants rights in Florida after a natural disaster/ no damages. We were asked to leave before hurricane hit.

Our lease ended in august, landlord gave us until 10-31 to vacate, we were going to sign a new lease , and at the last minute he cancelled it . Have paid sept rent , Oct not yet , due to uncertainty of where we can go. No rentals available, competition of now displaced hurricane residents.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 9, 2022

I'm not sure what rights you believe you might have. There's no specific rights afforded a tenant after a natural disaster.

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