Is Your Landlord Failing in Making Necessary Repairs?
Find Out What Your Options Are.
Florida Statute 83.51: Landlord's obligation to maintain premises
The failure by the landlord to keep a property in a habitable condition gives the renter the right to terminate the rental agreement or withhold rent from the landlord until the condition is remedied…
What should you do if your landlord neglects their responsibilities?
Even if it is not in your rental agreement or lease, your landlord most likely will be required to keep your building and unit in a habitable condition. This means that your landlord might ensure that the building is structurally sound, provide hot and cold water, ensure that the roof is not leaking, and keep the plumbing, electrical and heating systems all in safe operating conditions. Also, if a rental property has become infested with pests, landlords should often pay for an exterminator, unless the infestation was caused by your wrongdoing or poor housekeeping.
You might be able to withhold rent or break the lease if you have proof the property was condemned because the landlord was not willing or able to fix the problem; that constitutes the landlord breaking the lease. This measure applies only to habitability issues, and even then you must follow procedures outlined by state law. If you are considering one of these options, it is very important that you take the proper steps.
Your first step should always be to communicate your repair requests to the landlord. This can be done via phone call, email, or text. If your landlord ignores your requests, you should send written legal notice drafted by an attorney. This written notice is often enough to get your landlord to respond. It also serves a as a necessary form of proof if the dispute ultimately turns into a legal battle.
Tenant's Clinic and tenantsclinic.com offer affordable, unbundled legal services to tenants who may be having their rights violated by their landlord. Tenants who utilize our legal document services may qualify for free legal representation, by the authoring lawyer, if their case ultimately goes to court. All of our documents are reviewed by experienced tenant legal representatives and are prepared in accordance with all applicable Florida statutes and Florida Court Rules.