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Old 12-25-2012, 05:03 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,163 times
Reputation: 10

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I stopped paying rent on the 15th of December. We paid the first half, but I stopped payment on the second check because we have been without a/c since 11/04/2012. I have called him more than 20 times since July regarding the a/c issue. First it was the freon, then a wire, then the freon again, then the thermostat. Every single time he sent his a/c guy out to fix it. If finally went out completely, and it took him a month to put in a new one, and another two weeks to get it charged. The a/c guy told us that the coils were bad and that it was a waste of time for him to have installed it. After finding out that the unit that was replaced didn't work either, the landlord said that he didn't have to fix it according to Florida law. My partner is disabled and the heat is affecting her health so much that she has memory loss, confusion and severe headaches for days on end. I told him this to no avail. I stopped trying to talk to him after he showed up at our house on 12/21 to harass us. He was yelling that he wanted us out because it wasn't working out; that we could find someplace better; that we complained too much about he a/c; that I reported to him that our neighbor (his tenant as well), was using and selling illegal drugs within 50 feet of our house (the landlord uses the unemployed 40 something year old man next door to do home repairs and pays him under the table); and that our dog killed the neighbors dog (it squeezed thru the fence on their side. The landlord was told about the fence the day before it happened). We also found that he has invented another lease by attaching our signature page to it. It is not the lease that we were given on the first day we signed the lease which was on 06/01/2012. The "new" lease was attached to the 3 day notice that we received on 12/24/12. We feel that he is retaliating against us because of the neighbor issue, and are afraid that he might do something dumb like let our dogs out of the yard. We do not want to stay at this residence, but cannot come up with $1700.00 (last and security that he has of ours) to move in a week like he wants us to. We can move at the end of Februay. Nothing in our lease says that we can't use the security deposit for last months rent... Also, if he terminated the lease in his letter, are we even obligated to go to court if he has our money? We also have a voicemail from him that says that he will apply our last months rent to January.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: PSL
85 posts, read 79,069 times
Reputation: 42
Bottom line, it will take him far longer than that to evict you legally. You do not have to speak or deal direct with him either. You can drag this out for Months....
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:28 PM
 
17 posts, read 35,514 times
Reputation: 19
Not fully sure of the landlord laws in FL but I think you can get them online. I believe you would need to place your rent with the government facility or something like that to show good faith in paying it vs just stopping payment. However, I don't think he can just give a 3 day notice out of the blue. You can try some legal websites for advice. I have used justanswer.com regarding a legal question and the lawyer assigned to answer my question was spot on in helping me. Just my two cents. Not sure if will be any help to you and it does cost. I think I paid 20 bucks for the service for the legal questions I had. Hope it works out for you.
Meanwhile found this and not sure if it will help but worth a look
Florida Landlord/Tenant Law Division of Consumer Services, DOACS
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:36 PM
SKB
 
Location: WPB
898 posts, read 2,392,932 times
Reputation: 309
I don't think you should have stopped paying your rent. I am a bit surprised with the recent cooler weather we have been having that you have not just opened up the windows and avoid the running a/c just open the windows and enjoy the nice cool air.

I think the landlord sounds like he plays hardball with you. If you are expecting your damage deposit back by the sound of this guy you are never going to see that money again.
I would simply give him his money for the second half of December and tell him that you are sorry and try to work out staying.
I would invest in the invisible fencing for you dog. We always have used this for our dogs and it works very well and is portable now as they design them where there is no digging anymore. When you move you take it with you.
I would also get him some quotes to fix the a/c this is the off season for this type of work and you may get a better deal due to it.
Never not pay your rent due to a repair that needs doing. Communicating face to face is always the best solution over constant phone calls.
I would also be very careful on the allegations against your neighbor of the use and sale of drugs. If you are wrong you could be looking at a slander law suit. It could be even worse if you are correct and it gets back to them that you reported them. I hope you are safe.
Best of luck working things out with your landlord. I really think the best thing to do is to try to work this out.
Happy New Year!



Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoingToTakeIt View Post
I stopped paying rent on the 15th of December. We paid the first half, but I stopped payment on the second check because we have been without a/c since 11/04/2012. I have called him more than 20 times since July regarding the a/c issue. First it was the freon, then a wire, then the freon again, then the thermostat. Every single time he sent his a/c guy out to fix it. If finally went out completely, and it took him a month to put in a new one, and another two weeks to get it charged. The a/c guy told us that the coils were bad and that it was a waste of time for him to have installed it. After finding out that the unit that was replaced didn't work either, the landlord said that he didn't have to fix it according to Florida law. My partner is disabled and the heat is affecting her health so much that she has memory loss, confusion and severe headaches for days on end. I told him this to no avail. I stopped trying to talk to him after he showed up at our house on 12/21 to harass us. He was yelling that he wanted us out because it wasn't working out; that we could find someplace better; that we complained too much about he a/c; that I reported to him that our neighbor (his tenant as well), was using and selling illegal drugs within 50 feet of our house (the landlord uses the unemployed 40 something year old man next door to do home repairs and pays him under the table); and that our dog killed the neighbors dog (it squeezed thru the fence on their side. The landlord was told about the fence the day before it happened). We also found that he has invented another lease by attaching our signature page to it. It is not the lease that we were given on the first day we signed the lease which was on 06/01/2012. The "new" lease was attached to the 3 day notice that we received on 12/24/12. We feel that he is retaliating against us because of the neighbor issue, and are afraid that he might do something dumb like let our dogs out of the yard. We do not want to stay at this residence, but cannot come up with $1700.00 (last and security that he has of ours) to move in a week like he wants us to. We can move at the end of Februay. Nothing in our lease says that we can't use the security deposit for last months rent... Also, if he terminated the lease in his letter, are we even obligated to go to court if he has our money? We also have a voicemail from him that says that he will apply our last months rent to January.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,301 posts, read 4,218,310 times
Reputation: 2257
This guy sounds like an awful landlord, but if the story about the dog is true, you are just as bad of a tenant (and neighbor). You should stay there as the two of you deserve to do business with each other.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:31 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 2,517,429 times
Reputation: 1962
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoingToTakeIt View Post
I stopped paying rent on the 15th of December. We paid the first half, but I stopped payment on the second check because we have been without a/c since 11/04/2012. I have called him more than 20 times since July regarding the a/c issue. First it was the freon, then a wire, then the freon again, then the thermostat. Every single time he sent his a/c guy out to fix it. If finally went out completely, and it took him a month to put in a new one, and another two weeks to get it charged. The a/c guy told us that the coils were bad and that it was a waste of time for him to have installed it. After finding out that the unit that was replaced didn't work either, the landlord said that he didn't have to fix it according to Florida law. My partner is disabled and the heat is affecting her health so much that she has memory loss, confusion and severe headaches for days on end. I told him this to no avail. I stopped trying to talk to him after he showed up at our house on 12/21 to harass us. He was yelling that he wanted us out because it wasn't working out; that we could find someplace better; that we complained too much about he a/c; that I reported to him that our neighbor (his tenant as well), was using and selling illegal drugs within 50 feet of our house (the landlord uses the unemployed 40 something year old man next door to do home repairs and pays him under the table); and that our dog killed the neighbors dog (it squeezed thru the fence on their side. The landlord was told about the fence the day before it happened). We also found that he has invented another lease by attaching our signature page to it. It is not the lease that we were given on the first day we signed the lease which was on 06/01/2012. The "new" lease was attached to the 3 day notice that we received on 12/24/12. We feel that he is retaliating against us because of the neighbor issue, and are afraid that he might do something dumb like let our dogs out of the yard. We do not want to stay at this residence, but cannot come up with $1700.00 (last and security that he has of ours) to move in a week like he wants us to. We can move at the end of Februay. Nothing in our lease says that we can't use the security deposit for last months rent... Also, if he terminated the lease in his letter, are we even obligated to go to court if he has our money? We also have a voicemail from him that says that he will apply our last months rent to January.
I hope you have a copy of your original lease, that is what you will need should you end up in court.

You should NEVER not pay your rent, no matter how bad your landlord is. Paying your rent is your only way to show that you are truly living up to your end of the contract, and that the landlord is possibly in default.

All repair requests should be in writing, and by this time you should have sent at least one of them certified with a return receipt as your proof of the request.

In Florida its required that the landlord provide A/C, at least that is my understanding and I am a Florida landlord. It's heat thats not required. At the least the landlord should have provided a window unit or 2 if the central is becoming an issue too expensive for them to fix.

At this time of year you should not be dying in the lack of heat, its winter here, however I agree that this fact does not negate the fact that your landlord must supply AC.

Even though there is nothing in the lease stating that the security deposit can NOT be used as rent, it is not required by law that the landlord use it as rent. The landlord can keep the security deposit as the security deposit until such time that you leave, and then has 30 days AFTER you leave to send you the settlement letter with deductions, if any, or the check.

You have stopped paying rent is what is going on here, and as far as I can tell the whole A/C thing is a he said she said if you have nothing in writing. It does sound like the landlord attempted to fix the AC, and really may not know the laws himself if he didn't just spend $150 on a window unit.

The problem with the neighbors has no bearing on this. Sadly neither does the death of your dog, I hope your report this to animal control at least, generally dangerous dogs are taken away, or the owners are fined at least, at least there should be a report on this dog if it happens again to someone else. Generally you are paying for the rental of the dwelling, and not the fence. The fence may be there, and may be nice to have around, but not actually included as part of the rent. I have this written in my lease though I'm not sure its required to be there. The only thing my homeowners insurance will cover is the dwelling, therefore the dwelling is the only thing I'll worry about fixing after a hurricane for example.

Anyway, you stopped paying your rent. To a judge the extenuating circumstances will probably not mitigate this fact. If you have an annual lease, the landlord must give you a 3 day notice to pay or leave. Its a required court procedure. However, what it means is that if you don't pay by the date on the notice, the landlord must then file for your eviction in court. You are then served. You then have time to pay to the court what you owe, or contest the eviction, or leave. Assuming you contest the eviction, you will then go before the judge who will ask to see the lease, the payment history (always best to pay by check so you have the cancelled check as proof you paid), and probably won't care a whit about the AC or the neighbors or your dog.

By this time a month or two has passed and you are still in the rental. Since you really did stop paying rent, no matter what else the judge may just side with the landlord.

The landlord can keep your last months rent, and security deposit, toward whatever you owe them of the balance of the lease. And can then go after your for any additional amount owed, and court fees, should you lose.

If you make a payment now, and the landlord accepts it, then you have a leg to stand on in court.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:53 AM
 
563 posts, read 538,204 times
Reputation: 157
I would suggest you pay your rent and hope the landlord will accept it, just work it out with the landlord.

As Wireyourworld said, after posting the notice on the door for not paying rent, the landlord can then file for eviction, then you are served. You can then file your own claim (but the judges probably know too well).

The judge will ask to see the lease, see if you have paid the rent or not. If not, the judge will most likely grant an eviction with a date and time which you will have to evict and remove all your personal content.

As a side note, people told me the tenants may present their own statement in the court such as "I was sick because there's mold or my baby was sick because there's no A/C ..." but people told me tenants most likely hear something like this from the judge "I am sorry for your situation but ... pay your rent or vacate the unit by date/time".

After deducting the last month's rent and security deposit, it might or might not cover up to the eviction date granted by the judge. For argument sake, 1 month rent plus half a month security deposit, and if it takes 2 months in total for an eviction judgement, the tenants can stay half a month temporarily for "free" but at the expense of an eviction record. The question is: Is it worth it for the tenants ?

The landlord may go after you for the remainder balance of the lease if he/she doesn't rent out the unit.

After the eviction, you will have a permanent eviction record which will limit you from finding rental property as landlords can search to see if you had an eviction record or not. It's unlikely landlords would rent a unit to you if you had an eviction record.

There are, however, places that would rent it to anyone. But are you willing to stay at those places ?

My advise: Pay your rent or buy your own place in the future !

Last edited by Snowbird100; 01-04-2013 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:39 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,163 times
Reputation: 10
I learned after the fact that I had to send him a 7 day notice to repair, and will deal with my decision. No need to be snide and make stupid remarks. No-one deserves to have their partner's health put in jeopardy due to a landlords negligence in keeping their word in making repairs.
My biggest issue (after the a/c gig, and by the way, the mid to high 80's outside does not make it cooler in the house, even with the windows open, which cannot all be opened up since there aren't screens in all of them. So those of you that said it's winter in Florida are more than welcome to come over and sweat if you so desire) is the voicemail my landlord left saying that he was leaving it to document his decision to use our last months rent (not our security deposit) for January, and we would move out on the 31st.
The dog issue wasn't the reason why I stopped payment on the check, but it is an important factor in my case, as I believe he's wrongfully evicting us because my dog killed his buddy's dog. And for clarification, his buddy's dog squeezed thru our fence and came into my yard, not the other way around. And yes, I realize non-payment of rent is grounds for eviction, but in a letter he gave us, he clearly states it's because of the dog situation. As a matter of fact, we spoke to the landlord two days ago and he offered us a bigger house to rent because he wants us out of where we're at now because someone else wants it. Now doesn't that sound like it's the dog issue for one? I also found out that the neighbor (his buddy's girlfriend) has been throwing firecrackers at my dog.
We did offer to pay the 2nd half of December's rent, and to use our last months rent for January like he stated last month, but he said he can't; that it's up to his attorney, which is his son. Bottom line is that we don't want a scumbag landlord any longer, we want out, and just want him to live up to his obligations. Regardless, we are 3 weeks out from moving into our new place, which we bought, but will continue to fight based on principle alone.
Thanks to those of you that cared enough to respond sincerely.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Floral City, Florida
1 posts, read 3,288 times
Reputation: 10
The Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act doesn't require landlords to provide air conditioning to tenants, even if an air conditioning system is already installed in the rental property. However, when a rental agreement does require the landlord to provide air conditioning and they fail to do so, the tenant can send the landlord a seven day notice, as per Section 83.56(1) of The Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which states, "If the landlord fails to comply with the material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton
9,342 posts, read 16,396,970 times
Reputation: 9038
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoingToTakeIt View Post

We can move at the end of Februay.
The landlord sounds terrible. Are you still there? If you haven't paid since mid-december, you have you been saving the rent amount for a new place?
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