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Old 06-06-2011, 02:47 PM
 
51 posts, read 156,982 times
Reputation: 18

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We've been renting a home in LWR since November. Upon moving in, we pointed out to the landlords that there are a couple areas of the carpeting where the nails are exposed. (The carpet is extremely frayed in those corners.) They said they'd have their handyman put in some carpet bridges or something like that. (the carpet really should be replaced!) It's been 7 months and nothing has been done despite our constant asking. In fact not much has been repaired at all. We have a fridge leaking water onto the tile in the kitchen (causing my husband to almost fall). And there are some other items that need to be repaired, but are less of a hazard. The handyman has FINALLY called us to come look at all the items, but of course we were out of town when he called. I have a 2 and 4 year old and we've had it with the house and the landlords (who live out of state.)

So we found a more suitable home in LWR. We nicely asked our current landlords if we could break our lease and essentially give our 60 day notice. We simply stated that the house was not a good fit and didn't get into the lack of maintenance. They responded with "yes" but to pay out the rest of the lease and we'd be reimbursed if the place gets rented prior to the end of Oct. (they'd list the property immediately for an 8/1 move in date) So we're talking about paying 3 months out of pocket and hoping for the best. But, we're nervous about waiting for the lease end to find a new rental since LWR listings are far and few between - and we really want to stay in that area.

Anyways, what are our rights here? Do we just have to suck it up and make a decision, or does negligence come into play at all? What complicates matters is that at least one of the 3 landlords is a lawyer. So I'm guessing we don't have much choice either way. I've googled FL rental laws and I'm not seeing anything obvious that would work in our favor.

Hoping someone here might have some experience with this sort of thing. Maybe there's something else I haven't thought of. Thoughts?
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,748,158 times
Reputation: 6861
Lakewood Ranch rentals get rented pretty quickly so you are probably OK in that regard IF the amount they ask is reasonable and they fix the problems they have with the house for the next tenant. Ironic... Anyway, you'll want to get it in writing that they will allow you to break the lease and reimburse you for any time essentially double leased, so to speak. Remember, as much as you have a responsibility to pay the monthly payment for the lease you also have the right to the exclusive use of the property and they cannot lease it to someone else without breaking the lease with you. From their point of view, it doesn't matter...they get paid anyway but they can't lease it without your involvement in the deal and you wouldn't give that unless you had it in writing that you'll be reimbursed. You really don't have much of a leg to stand on though because, as I said, they get paid no matter what.

If it's not already too late, I think your problem is that the landlord is too far removed from the scene. Could you offer to obtain three written estimates, select and pay for the work of the lowest bidder, and then send the info to the landlord while deducting the cost of the work from your monthly payment? As I mentioned before, if you leave, the landlord still must do the work and this way, you are there to make sure it is done right and it will be ready to go once your lease ends...if you decide not to renew.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,537,016 times
Reputation: 2853
Google this and you'll get an idea of what your rights are as a tenant in regard to this matter
" NOTICE FROM TENANT TO LANDLORD - WITHHOLDING RENT FOR
FAILURE OF LANDLORD TO MAINTAIN PREMISES AS REQUIRED BY FLORIDA
STATUTE 83.51(1) OR MATERIAL PROVISIONS OF THE RENTAL AGREEMENT"

A tenant cannot withhold rent from the landlord without sending notice and allowing the landlord time to make repairs. If the repairs are not made and the unrepaired dwelling is untenantable, the tenant may vacate and withhold all rent. If the repairs are not made but the failure to make the repairs does not render the dwelling untenantable, the tenant may remain in the dwelling and the rent shall be reduced, until the repairs are made, by an amount in proportion to the loss of rental value caused by the failure to make repairs. In any legal proceeding, however, the tenant will have to pay all past due rent, and rent as it comes due during the legal proceedings, into the registry of the court. The tenant should, therefore, deposit all rent as it comes due in a separate bank account until the tenant's disputes with the landlord have been solved. For the text of Florida Statute 83.51(1).
SOURCE: Section 83.56(1), Florida Statutes (19905)

A landlord must return a tenant's security deposit, together with interest if otherwise required, to the tenant no more than 15 days after the tenant leaves the leased property. The landlord may claim all or a portion of the security deposit only after giving the tenant written notice, by certified mail to the tenant's last known mailing address, of the landlord's intention to keep the deposit and the reason for keeping it. If the landlord does not send the notice within the 15 day period he cannot keep the security deposit. If the tenant does not object to the notice, the landlord may then keep the amount stated in the notice and must send the rest of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice.
SOURCE: Section 83.49(3)(a), Florida Statutes (1995)
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:20 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,487 times
Reputation: 10
My landlord wont fix my air so i had to pay for the repair myself 473.00 can i take it out of my rent
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,748,158 times
Reputation: 6861
Check your lease to see if it says anything about who is responsible for maintaining the a/c.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:54 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,895 times
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Quick question. I moved into a 1960 era house. Was told during the interview process that utilities might get as high as $250 in the hottest months of the year. Seemed high since the house is only 2000 sq ft, but figured we could deal with it. First bill was $533! FPL has done an energy audit and confirmed the AC (16 yrs old) is well beyond its useful life despite the fact that it still runs, causing the extreme cost of cooling the house - week keep the temp set at 77 degrees. Historical data from FPL show a peak at $250 but that was from 2007 - the last time the house was occupied full time. Any thoughts on if I have any options to help recover some of this excess? We've still got a lot of summer left.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,549 posts, read 6,182,008 times
Reputation: 2689
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanroberts View Post
Quick question. I moved into a 1960 era house. Was told during the interview process that utilities might get as high as $250 in the hottest months of the year. Seemed high since the house is only 2000 sq ft, but figured we could deal with it. First bill was $533! FPL has done an energy audit and confirmed the AC (16 yrs old) is well beyond its useful life despite the fact that it still runs, causing the extreme cost of cooling the house - week keep the temp set at 77 degrees. Historical data from FPL show a peak at $250 but that was from 2007 - the last time the house was occupied full time. Any thoughts on if I have any options to help recover some of this excess? We've still got a lot of summer left.
From the landlord, probably not.

We have a 1920's house of about the same size in FL. When we lived there full time we peaked at just over $600 in August most years (and it was still near 80 in the house during the day). Our low in the winter was closer to $250 (those old houses and units heat about as well as they cool).

Ours was a combination of poor insulation (no wall insulation at all), too many old windows, and old equipment. You might be able to add some insulation to the attic. I realize that it's a rental, but a couple hundred $$ worth of blow in insulation may save you a lot in the long run.

The only other advice I can give you would be to check into FPL average billing. It got us to a middle of the road predictable bill every month. I don't know how much they can do now, since it sounds like you probably don't have much billing history to work with, but it's worth the time to check into it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:31 AM
 
16,377 posts, read 20,697,467 times
Reputation: 14331
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanroberts View Post
Quick question. I moved into a 1960 era house. Was told during the interview process that utilities might get as high as $250 in the hottest months of the year. Seemed high since the house is only 2000 sq ft, but figured we could deal with it. First bill was $533! FPL has done an energy audit and confirmed the AC (16 yrs old) is well beyond its useful life despite the fact that it still runs, causing the extreme cost of cooling the house - week keep the temp set at 77 degrees. Historical data from FPL show a peak at $250 but that was from 2007 - the last time the house was occupied full time. Any thoughts on if I have any options to help recover some of this excess? We've still got a lot of summer left.
Go to Home Depot and buy a window AC unit. Take it with you when you move. If you don't want a window unit, they now have units on rollers that you leave inside a room. These units have a vent that you connect to a window for exhaust.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:40 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,689 times
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[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Hello I’m a renter in Sarasota. I’m a tenant at will for the past 2 years. The oral agreement was originally for $625 per month everything included (electric, water, internet, direct tv premium package). A year later it was raised to $700 with no warning or explanation. I deliver my rent on time each month by hand to his mailbox with a note stating that things are great or what issues need addressing. My LL has issues, has basically abandoned his responsibilities and he cut off communication with me back in July so my only “communication” with him since then has been these monthly notes. They have addressed 2 ongoing issues since July that he’s never fixed or responded to me about. In those notes I always mention my desire for communication and that we should consider a rent reduction if I’m going to continue to not receive what was agreed to and I pay for. The clothes washer has been broken since late July. I spend $30-40 per month now at a Laundromat. After months of erratic service with Direct TV that he never responded to me about or fixed on Sept 16th he apparently shut off my Direct TV service completely without any notice to me. I have been without a single TV station since. On 10/8 I delivered a note to his mail box saying that I’d like to talk about the 2 ongoing issues and what deduction I should have on my rent which is due on 10/10. He never responded so not wanting to delay rent any longer I delivered on 10/11 a reduced rent that I thought was reasonable ($625) and a note explaining how I came up with that amount, that I was doing this reluctantly on my own because he never responded to my last note and that I still desired a meeting to discuss the issues to get some sort of resolution. I came home the next day to find a cheesy notice on my door signed by him stating that I had 15 days to vacate the premises due to “termite extermination”. The upstairs tenant received no such notice. Today I got a text from him stating “Landlord is returning your check. You own him $700/$30 per day until you move out. You have been served the 15 day notice of eviction. Govern yourself accordingly.”. As a tenant at will what rights do I have? I’ve gone on line and checked out the Fla Landlord/Tennant Law but find it slightly confusing in places. One part seems to say that he can kick me out with 15 days notice should he simply choose to stop renting to me. Another part seems to say that rent and or ongoing issues like I have require official notices of intent with time for rent to be paid or issues fixed. Or that a legal process of eviction and what that process is will be that seems to give me more time/rights than him simply kicking me out 14 days from now. I only want to do the right thing and would appreciate any advice. Thanks.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,748,158 times
Reputation: 6861
All things considered, I think you should move. Regarding legal issues, really only an attorney can offer you a legal opinion and that is still just an opinion. You have ample evidence that this arrangement is unlikely to work out. I'd start looking for another place and save yourself from a possible eviction. For what it is worth, however, there is a website www.evict.com that might offer you further information.
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