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Ian C. White

Ian White’s Answers

52 total


  • Please see below.

    My grandmother died intestate - without a will. Prior to her dying she had been declared legally incompetent. I and my brother are her legal heirs. We both have a 50% interest in what is in her estate. 1st question. Do we both have to agree o...

    Ian’s Answer

    You should contact a Missouri attorney on these issues. I presume by reading your post that your parents predeceased you and you have no other brothers or sisters except you and your other brother. Most states follow the general principle on how assets are to be distributed when someone dies without a Will. A document that outlines wishes of your grandmother could be deemed a valid Will so long as it was properly executed in accordance with Missouri law. If not, those documents would only provide guidance to you two and not something you could enforce in court.

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  • How do I go about putting my moms name on the land her and her late husband owned? Only his name is on the deed.

    My mom and dad where married for 33yrs but only his name is on the deed to the land she now wants to use the land as colateral for a new home. My dad passed 10yrs ago with no change to the land. What is the best way for her to put her name on the ...

    Ian’s Answer

    I presume the land you reference is not homestead property. If this is the case, a probate would need to be opened and the property would flow under Florida's intestecy laws for conveying real property.

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  • Is it okay to break a lease due to sewage leakage into the house and will I face any penalties?

    Sewage started leaking from my downstairs bathroom yesterday afternoon and now there is waste all over the bottom floor of our house. Our rental company has yet to return our phone calls today regarding getting the house cleanes however, they did ...

    Ian’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorney about seeking legal counsel for at least a consultation. Based on what you have posted, it looks as though you properly notified the landlord of the issue pursuant to Florida Statute 83.51, and they at least stopped the leak. If you have not also notified the landlord IN WRITING of the issue, please do so about the cleaning still needed and mention that it relates to the sewage leak. The residual affect makes living in the property unsafe until a properly license cleaning/extraction company is hired. To do a proper job, you would normally need to temporarily vacate anyway and the landlord should abate the rent on a prorated bases for the time away to correct the issue.

    In my opinion the proper thing for the landlord is to allow you to vacate early since you are close to the end of your lease and use the time to fully clean the property for the next tenant.

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  • In the state if Fl, can I sue my landlord for entering my house w/o prior notice.

    We have been renting since 08/11, they recently put the house on the market. They wanted us to move by the 1st of May with only 1 month notice. We said it was to short a notice but we will start looking. She gave us a $225 dicount on the rent. She...

    Ian’s Answer

    Florida Statute 83.53 provides what is required by the landlord prior to entry. There are limited exceptions to notice prior to entry listed in this same Statute. However, the normal procedure is for the landlord to provide you with reasonable notice. Reasonable notice is defined to be 12-hours notice prior to entry. The time periods for entry are considered reasonable between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

    In the letter you refer to that was left on your counter, I presume it had language that the landlord intended to start showing the property to prospective buyers. She should not have entered the property to drop off the letter unless she believed one of the exemptions applied; which I don't see how any of them could. Moving past that, the entry seems isolated and would not afford you any damages to prevail upon unless there is more to your story that you have not provided. Going forward, the landlord has the right to show the property as long as you have been given the proper notice.

    Reducing a tenant's rent and providing other concessions for the aggrevation of having people see the property is proper and the landlord should hold up her end of the deal.

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  • Landlord violated terms of lease regarding my security deposit. What steps do I need to take?

    I moved out of my apartment and left it very clean (took pictures of all areas) Instead of sending me a certified letter stating what she intends to deduct for so called damages, she sends a non-certified letter stating with a check for $650 (tota...

    Ian’s Answer

    In addition to the advice already provided, when you contest the damages alleged by the landlord, also state that you expect a full refund of your deposit. There is no need to get into the fact that the landlord did not follow the proper procedure for mailing the claim letter via certified mail at this time. The good news is that you received a large portion of your deposit back which is better than most I hear about. The decision you may have to eventually make is whether it is worth your time and expense to go after $200 in small claims court. The only justification for pursuing the money you believe owed to you at this point if the landlord ignores your response letter is the principle of the matter. Another option is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if the landlord is a member. You would only need to do this, if the landlord ignores your response letter.

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  • My landlord recently informed all tenants that all children would need to be supervised by parents while playing outside?

    Recently my landlord in an Apartment complex informed all tenants that any child playing outside must be accompanied by an adult and if a child is not accompanied by an adult then the tenant will be given a warning and then if happens again the te...

    Ian’s Answer

    I had to deal with this issue a few years back. My client, a landlord, imposed something similar, but was directed at a specific tenant for issues by her children. Other tenants were complaining of verbal bad language and pushing by the problem children. My client sent the tenant a 7-day curable notice about the issue and required that she be present to supervise her children while on the playground. The tenant ignored the notice and her children repeated the bad language and pushing other children on the playground to the point that another child had to go to the hospital. I was able to get the tenant evicted, but as you can see, my situation involved more direct matters with a tenant and not a blanket rule imposed on all tenants.

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  • Landlord/Tenant: What is the statute of limitations on suing a tenant for damages.

    Tenant moved out and left over $1,300 worth of damages. Tenant notified properly and all paper work was done and demand for payment made. Landlord being ignored (no surprise) I now have the time to sue the tenant and need to what the statute ...

    Ian’s Answer

    Did the tenant provide you with a forwarding address? I presume so since you state that the tenant is ignoring you. Your next course of action would be to file suit against the tenant in small claims court. If the tenant has moved out of the state of Florida, that won't be a problem. Just find out what county they now reside in (whether it's in Florida or another state) and get the former tenant served after you file the complaint. The clerk will automatically set the matter for a Pretrial Conference. If the tenant fails to show, the judge will give you a default judgment and then you have the fun of collecting on the judgment. Getting the judgment will most likely be the easy part. Collecting on the judgment might require you to seek the assistance of an attorney.

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  • Security deposit back can he take funds out before i object in writing

    in florida if a landlord sends you a letter stating they are taking $50 out of your security deposit for a pet fee and in that certified gives you your security deposit back minus the $50 can he do that? i know he has 30 days to put a claim but i ...

    Ian’s Answer

    I am presuming by your post that the landlord indeed sent the security deposit claim letter to you via certified mail within the 30 days you vacated and that the letter comlied with the requirements of Florida Statute 83.49(3)(a). It really isn't proper for a landlord to deduct the amount prior to your 15-day objection period. The aforementioned Statute requires the landlord to notify you of their "intent" to impose a claim; not that the landlord has already deducted and is sending you payment for the difference. If after 15 days of you receiving the claim letter from the landlord and you do not object to the deduction, the landlord gets to keep the amount and send you a check for the difference, so long as the damages claimed do not exceed your deposit. However, even if you object, the next course is to file an action in small claims for the $50. You will spend more than that in filing and service of process fees, plus your time dealing with this matter. The court has the authority to award costs and fees to the prevailing party.

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  • If my father dies and I live in the home with him do I have any rights to the home ??

    I'm worried he will leave it to my brother who has a home and a family in another city . I have lived in the home all my life ..

    Ian’s Answer

    Have you discussed your issue with your father yet? Does your father have a Will in place? If so, has he allowed you to see it or discussed it with you? I find that it is always best to get those sort of issues resolved so no one is trying to interpret what the decedent wanted. Remember that if your father does not have a Will at the time he dies, the homestead will pass in accordance to Florida's intestecy laws. You may want to look at Chapter 733, Florida Statutes.

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  • Do I have any rights for an auto-parts theift that occured on the property of my apartment complex?

    While on vacation, my tires and rims were stolen and my car was left on blocks. I had parked in a clearly marked space that was in front of my building in plain view. My rental agreement clearly states that no auto repairs are allowed on property....

    Ian’s Answer

    I'm not so sure you are at the level of being able to break your lease yet unless this happens to be a common occurrence and the landlord knows of the issue. Since the theft occurred in the parking area, I would first ask the landlord to provide a copy of his insurance policy to determine potential coverage for your damages. What you are faced with (on the damages aspect) is more in line with the services of an attorney that handles plaintiff's insurance work.

    Again, I'm not trying to discourage you that you can't break your lease, but the better option might be to talk with your landlord about this first and if you are still not satisfied, you might need counsel. Don't just presume you can break your lease. This could lead to more serious issues with the landlord.

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