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Old 03-14-2009, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Nova, D.C.,
1,220 posts, read 3,512,583 times
Reputation: 741

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I have a month to month oral lease for an apartment that is not really considered an "apartment," but an in-law suite. The house is a single family home. There is one other apartment underneath mine. When I first moved to the apartment in December 2008, I newly arrived from Virginia to Tampa. I found the rental on craigslist and spoke over the phone and decided to take it. Granted I knew it was risky, but I needed a place fast. They did not have a lease for me to sign and at the time I thought it was ok. When I arrived I was shocked at its condition. The owners had three weeks notice before I was arriving, but did not have the place cleaned, painted or fixed at all. The toilet had thick black tar around the rim, the rug was dirty, it had not been painted and dust was everywhere. The wall outlets were hanging loose from the wall and the light switches had no covers. There was a dirty airconditioner in this small window. The windows had no screens and the hallway had no carpet, just open dirt floor! In additon, the bathroom had no floorboards. At the time, I had no other choice or money to really complain. I agreed to clean it up. The couple are both on disability and I am also. The woman is mobile, but her husband is in a wheelchair, so I felt bad for them. They agreed to have the place painted and the rug and ceiling fixed, but never seemed to really get anyone to do it. The ceiling is now sinking in the middle and there are holes in parts of the ceiling. I am afraid it may collapse. In addition, the apartment has no stove, which is annoying, but not terrible. I have a microwave and hot plate.

Well it has been a year and nothing much has been done. I have politely asked them to fix things and they forget. They did manage to put a piece of carpet in the dirty hallway. I pay my rent of $525 per month every month on time and am a good tenant, clean, not noisy etc. The guy downstairs apartment is filthy and the walls are not painted and his carpet is discusting. His kids come over and make a lot of noise every weekend and have complained over and over and they do not care. They are also charging him half of what I am paying for the exact same size apartment.

Not that it matters, but their house is filled with mess and peeling walls and holes in the floor and walls. The code inspectors have come numerous times, because of their yard.

What say you about these landlords?
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:03 PM
 
27,233 posts, read 55,598,397 times
Reputation: 21493
I'd say they are lucky to have you and in over their heads as far as being able to run a business.

Is there a reason why you haven't moved?
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,739 posts, read 32,768,212 times
Reputation: 6831
I would leave and quickly. I don't know for a fact but I would think you could find something else for the money, even if you had to have a roomate.

It sounds like an illegal apartment to begin with.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Nova, D.C.,
1,220 posts, read 3,512,583 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I'd say they are lucky to have you and in over their heads as far as being able to run a business.

Is there a reason why you haven't moved?
Well, I had to leave my hometown of Nova/DC due to an abusive BF. I did not have time to really look. I am also on disability and although I do get a lot more than most people, because I have worked more, It is still expensive. I am trying to get back to work asap. I did just find out that after 3 years, I am on the top of the waiting list for section 8 in Virginia. I am very happy about this. I do not want to think that these people are not good people. I too think they really are just not cut out to be landlords. They just had one rental house foreclose. The wife is really sweet and gets really stressed when I ask them to fix things. The husband although in a wheelchair, runs the show and is actually kind of sneaky about things. I feel sorry for the wife because it appears she has no say.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 8,671,336 times
Reputation: 1634
Double what Ultrarunner said! This sounds like one of my places after the renters skip out. Tampa has a lot of properties. No reason to live like this.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:14 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 87,615,651 times
Reputation: 18130
I'd say that you are likely to run into a alot of bad landlords and renters.that is just the norm hoiw days when many people have no respect for others these days.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:15 AM
 
706 posts, read 3,524,484 times
Reputation: 342
It sounds as if your landlords need help and can't afford it.

It also sounds as if you could stay in a cheap, nasty hotel while you take the time to find something better.

It's good that you didn't sign a lease. I would never show up to sign a lease for an apartment I haven't seen, not even seen on the internet cause photos can lie.

Why don't you look into renting a room for a while? Would that be much worse?

Or how about a roomate situation where you share a decent apartment?

With all the neglect you describe, I would be concerned about hazards that can't be seen.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Nova, D.C.,
1,220 posts, read 3,512,583 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnaReed View Post
It sounds as if your landlords need help and can't afford it.

It also sounds as if you could stay in a cheap, nasty hotel while you take the time to find something better.

It's good that you didn't sign a lease. I would never show up to sign a lease for an apartment I haven't seen, not even seen on the internet cause photos can lie.

Why don't you look into renting a room for a while? Would that be much worse?

Or how about a roomate situation where you share a decent apartment?

With all the neglect you describe, I would be concerned about hazards that can't be seen.
You have a point. I have a Cat who is my baby, so I need my own place. I am concerned about the dangers, because of this ceiling. My friend told me there could be abestos and mold up there! I am really pissed. A decent person would not rent this to someone knowing it was unhealthy, I am sorry. I am considering a cheap hotel for a month. That is a good idea, because I am waiting for the section 8 interview and move in process. Do you think I should contact the health department? If anyone out there is a lawyer I would love some free advice! I am being charged twice as much as the guy downstairs for the same dump!
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,772 posts, read 43,235,663 times
Reputation: 9350
They are lousy landlords. Being disabled doesn't excuse them being irresponsible. They are also in violation of Florida laws.

I suggest you read this site so you understand your rights better.

Florida Landlord/Tenant Law Division of Consumer Services, DOACS (http://www.800helpfla.com/landlord_text.html - broken link)

Quote:
The Landlord
Section 83.51(1), F.S.
The landlord's responsibilities will depend on the type of rental unit. The landlord of a dwelling unit at all times during the tenancy shall:

Section 83.51(1)(a)(b), F.S.

Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing and health codes; or
Where there are no applicable building, housing or health codes; maintain the roof, windows, screens, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads;
Keep the plumbing in reasonably good working condition

If you were going to stay I'd suggest you write the landlord a letter setting out what you understand your rental agreement is.

Quote:
A written rental agreement can be a formal contract, or simply a copy of a letter stating the rights and obligations of both the landlord and tenant.
I'm sorry you have put up with those living conditions for so long, but if you plan on moving out soon there isn't much point in trying to correct those now. You are within your rights to move out.

Since you don't have a lease you are renting month to month and should give at least 15 days notice when moving out.

I hope they didn't ask you for a deposit, but if they did its in your best interest to take photographs of the poor condition of the place and state in your letter terminating the rental that you are leaving because of the horrible condition of the unit and because of their repeated failure to make the corrections they promised in the past. If they threaten to keep your deposit advise them you will file a complaint with building inspection and the health department if they do not, providing them with copies of the photographs you took. And then after you have moved out, file the complaints anyway, because no one should have to live like that.
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:23 AM
 
26,788 posts, read 41,464,112 times
Reputation: 14933
If it really is what you are claiming the situation is..I would advise you to move, but fo the amount that you pay you won't find much. Rental demands are up and so are prices. Acoording to the law this couple isn't allowed to rent a property in the condition it is in. It can damage their health and the same counts for you. If a place is dirty and not taken care of than it is hard to expect a tenant to be the best tenant you can get. So I'm not surprised about your description about the other tenant...
Sorry doesn't get you far in life and some times people have to realize that the have to change their life instead of being felt sorry for just because they are disabled. I don't wish anythingthan good towards your LL but they have kind of scam you through Craigslist about the condition of the rental....so don't feel sorry and actually although it doesn't sound nice...they shouldn't be allowed to rent this place out and should be reported. Being disabled doesn't allow a person to be dishonest and not keep them self to the law. They need to fix the place and than rent it out...if you are staying and the other one as well you kind of enabling them to keep doing what they are doing...I know it is easier to write this than sitting there....

Good Luck
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