Is your landlord ignoring your requests for repairs to be made?
Why Your Landlord May Be Ignoring Your Requests
First, in most instances, the law requires that a tenant give the landlord a seven-day notice to cure and require the tenant to withhold rent for the landlord's failure. Then, the tenant must terminate the lease. In most instances, if a tenant fails to perform the above-described acts, the tenant's legal rights, generally, do not arise. Since landlords know that tenants do not know these juicy tidbits—or how to perform the above-described acts, many landlords will, simply, ignore a tenant's requests or pleas for help. In other words, many landlords ignore tenants since these particular tenants are unable to navigate the legal system effectively.
Second, sometimes a landlord lacks the financial incentive to make the repairs. For example, a landlord with a rental property in foreclosure has little financial incentive to invest in repairing the rental home. Additionally, slum lords also lack the financial motivation to make costly repairs.
How To Put Your Landlord On Notice:
First, assuming the landlord has an obligation to make repairs, tenants should consider sending their landlords a notice to cure by using this form:
(“Notice to Cure”). Note, tenants may have to adapt this form for their use. If a landlord has been waiting for the moment for the tenant to demonstrate that they can navigate the legal system, it is highly likely that the landlord will begin to make the repairs upon receipt of the Notice to Cure. On the other hand, a Notice to Cure will have minimal impact upon a landlord who lacks the financial incentive to make the repairs.
Therefore, if a tenant's landlord fails to make adequate repairs, the tenant should consider moving to the next step: terminating the lease.
How To Terminate the Lease:
After the expiration of the Notice to Cure, if the landlord has continued to fail to make the repairs appropriately, then, the tenant should consider formally terminating the lease by using this form:
Note, again, tenants may have to adapt the above form for their use.
Tenants have rights. If a tenant decides to exercise those rights, there are forms that the tenant can use. (In determining if a tenant can “afford” to exercise such rights, tenants should consider reading the following: As a Tenant, You MAY Have an OBLIGATION to Withhold Rent in Florida for a Landlord's Failure to Make Repairs. But Can You AFFORD to do so?)
If the tenant decides to terminate the lease, the tenant should consider attempting to move as soon as possible. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that all tenants start looking for another home before sending the Notice to Cure to the landlord.
Is this process too complicated or too time consuming for you? The Law Offices of Debi Rumph and her Tenant's Clinic offers two (2) options to assist tenants in these types of situations. Let us know you need further assistance, and we can discuss those options with you.
Additionally, we also provide free moving tips: Free! Moving Tips From the Perspective of Tenants' Clinic and we provide no out of pocket money representation in security deposit disputes.