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Ian C. White

Ian White’s Answers

52 total


  • Do I have to leave my apartment when my landlord shows it?

    I gave my notice to move within the required time for the end of my lease. My lease is up on May 31st. My landlord left me a phone message that when he shows the apartment he does not want me in it and expects me to leave for half an hour. This st...

    Ian’s Answer

    Florida Statute 83.53(1) requires that you allow a landlord access to your apartment after receiving reasonable notice (at least 12 hours prior). You can always waive this time period by allowing entry before 12 hours has elapsed from the notification, but a landlord can't make you leave when showing the apartment to prospective tenants. To keep the landlord from potentially abusing the showing of your apartment until 5/31, I suggest that you hold the landlord to the 12-hour notice requirement. This way you don't run into a situation where the landlord shows up while you are gone. Keep in mind that the landlord does not have to tell you specifically what time he plans to show the apartment; only that he give you a minimum of 12-hour's notice.

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  • Can my roommate sublease without my permission/

    I live in a three bedroom townhome. One of my roommates is leaving before the lease is ending. Currently, three women live in the house. THe roommate is trying to sublease to a male. I am very uncomfortable with this situation. The landlord/realto...

    Ian’s Answer

    A lot depends on what your lease states. It is standard for there to be language allowing a sublease so long as it is approved by the landlord. However, your situation may require the other roommates to agree as mentioned in the other answer to this post. I'm in Tallahassee and will be happy to discuss further with you by phone on Monday (4/30). I do represent a few landlords in Tallahassee, so before we get too far into this, I'll need to know who your landlord is. Don't post it on Avvo. You can simply tell me by phone (668-7849).

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  • My mom gave us a gift of several thousand dollars from an inheritance she received from the death of my dad and brother.

    We have used it to pay off a 2nd mortgage, buy a new car, did some renovations on the house and so on. We still have several thousand dollars left in a joint account. Since we are filing for a divorce soon and if I close out the account and take t...

    Ian’s Answer

    By placing the funds into a joint account, you have comingled the gifting received by your mom. My suspicion is that the monies left over will have to be split equally with your wife.

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  • I recieved a 5 day summons because i am being evicted. If i make a court date how long will it take til I have to be out?

    I was givin a 5 day eviction summons, I want to respond to it and set a court date. will this buy me more time? How long will it take to be evicted if I set a court date?

    Ian’s Answer

    The summons you received will inform you that a response must be filed with the Clerk within 5 days (exclusive of holidays and weekends). If the eviction was for non-payment of rent, Florida Statute 83.60(2) requires that you deposit all rent alleged due in the eviction complaint with the Clerk. The only way to avoid paying the rent right away is to file a motion along with your answer (or somehow incorporated within your answer) a request to have the judge determine the actual amount of rent that is due. A hearing will be set fairly quickly and then the judge will determine the rent due based on testimony provided. If all you do is file an answer and do not deposit any rent (presuming the eviction was for non-payment), the landlord could move for a default by the judge and supply final judgment for possession paperwork. This would be done without a hearing and a writ of possession would be issued by the Clerk soon after the judgment is signed. As to your question, the timeline of being evicted really depends on the efficiency of the Clerk's office and then the judge.

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  • If i have been renting a home for 6 months thru a propity managment company n now we have jus recived a notice by mail that the

    if i have been renting a home for 6 months thru a propity managment company n now we have jus recived a notice by mail that the home has been under foreclosure since 2009 do we have to still pay rent to the property managment compay...???

    Ian’s Answer

    To further the answer given by Mr. Deason, you need to realize that an owner of property during a foreclosure action always has the right to redeem with the bank. This means the owner can payoff the mortgage. In other situations, the owner might be able to simply reinstate the mortgage by bringing all amounts current. Therefore, even in a foreclosure action, you still must pay rent to the landlord for your right to remain in possession of the property. I have also seen language in certain lending documents that require that rental payments start going to the bank during the foreclosure action. You would not know this unless the bank contacted you and provided a copy of the document giving them the right to have you pay the bank directly instead of your landlord.

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  • Time length for notice of Inspection?

    The law states that a reasonable notice needs to be given. 1) What is reasonable notice? (Is less than 24 hours reasonable?) 2) If notice is given by e-mail and tenant is not aware of the e-mail are there any constants for tenant not knowi...

    Ian’s Answer

    Florida Statute 83.53 provides that 12 hours is considered reasonable notice and entry should be made between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Most of the time, depending on the number of apartment units a landlord or management company deals with, they will prepare a monthly newsletter and within this newsletter is a notice of regularly scheduled inspections, pest control, etc. When done in this fashion, no separate notice is required because you are already deemed to have been given proper notice in the newsletter. If an unscheduled inspection is needed, the landlord would then have to give you at least 12-hours prior notice. As for the notice being given via email, that's a new one for me. What does your lease state about providing notices? Do you normally receive other notices from the landlord via email? Regarding notice being received, if a landlord serves any notice they should first attempt to do this by hand delivering or mailing it. Depending on what your lease states, some types of housing require both hand delivery or posting and mailing. A landlord is allowed to post the notice on your door if they make 2 attempts at service at least 6 hours apart from each other. It is not uncommon for a tenant to say they didn't receive a notice posted on their door. However, Florida law presumes the notice is served when posted as I have explained above.

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  • Can my landlord turn my power off for late fee's florida

    my air went out in may and they turned my power off to work on it well it was left off for 2 days before i new it,because i couldnt stay in the trailer it was 114 degree inside.so i shorted the rent 40.00 for my food that i lost.well the 40.00 has...

    Ian’s Answer

    What you are describing is a form of "self-help" eviction. A landlord can't do this. You actually have an action against the landlord for tampering with your breaker. Your remedy is to file an action in court. I would advise you obtain a local attorney to assist you on this. Florida law allows the reimbursement of attorney's fees if you become the prevailing party. If you can't afford an attorney, talk with your local legal aid and they might take on the case if you qualify. Also, if you hire an attorney, that attorney might be willing to take it on a contingency basis because they can go after the landlord on a multiplier. You really need to act on this before it gets out of hand.

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  • Landlord entry w/o permission

    3 weeks into a 6 mo rental, the landlord agreed to provide an add'l living rm lamp - after telling me I needed it bec. my "eyes were 20 years older than hers." Her date for delivering the lamp is a day when I am not available and her reply is exac...

    Ian’s Answer

    FL law allows a landlord to enter if giving you prior notice. Look at Florida Statute 83.53. Based on the facts you have given, I believe the landlord gave you proper notice to enter. Plus, you first requested the item from the landlord and the landlord is merely complying with your request. The only aspect of the entry that would not be proper is if they attempted to enter outside the hours of 7:30 a.m. or 8:00 p.m.

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  • I deducted the cost of towing from my rent because leasing agent told me to park wherever. Can they give a 3day notice to move??

    Other tenants were always in my assigned parking. Leasing agent told me to park anywhere, I parked in the loading zone and my car was towed. I deducted cost of towing from the following months rent and now they have attached a late charge and have...

    Ian’s Answer

    One question would be who contacted the towing company. If it's a situation where a towing company has free will to travel into the complex and tow vehicles that are parked in a tow zone, you have a problem. It really would be no different if someone in the office for the landlord told you to park in one of the handicapped spots. As for the 3-Day Notice, does it just ask for rent or does it also include the late fee? Late fees can't be included in a 3-Day Notice unless those fees are spelled out as "additional rent" in your lease agreement. To preserve your legal right to posession, you need to pay the rent owed by the due date. Then, my advice would be to sit down with the leasing agent to get this resolved. If you can't reach a satisfactory solution, go above the agent by writing a letter to the landlord/owner. If an eviction is filed because you failed to pay the amount on the Notice, you should file an answer and include language that you are requesting a hearing to determine the rent owed. This will allow you to first explain to the judge what happened before you have to deposit rental monies into the Court Registry.

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  • Landlord didnt tell me where my sec. depo. was being held. am i entitled to it back in full now?

    My lease was up last month and i moved out. Cleaned up an no damage to unit. They refuse to give me my security deposit back. Landlord did not notify me where my money was being held. That entitles me to my security deposit back right?

    Ian’s Answer

    When you moved out did you provide the landlord with a forwarding address? If you did, Florida Statute 83.49 requires that a landlord send written notice to you with the amount they are claiming against your security deposit. This notice must be sent within 30 days after you vacate. However, if you don't provide the landlord with a forwarding address, the landlord isn't bound by the 30-day timeframe. In that situation, you would want to mail a letter to the landlord with a request for your deposit back and showing where you now reside.

    Assuming you vacated and provided the landlord with a forwarding address, the landlord must return all of your deposit (even if they had legitimate damages) if the notice was not sent within 30 days of you leaving. This doesn't mean the landlord can't come after you for the alleged damages. It would just require the landlord to file a law suit against you and then prove to the court the damage amount.

    The notice from the landlord must have substantially similar language as required in Florida Statute 83.49(3). Therefore, even if the landlord sent notice to you, but the notice did not have the proper language, it would be considered defective and allow you to get your deposit back.

    If the landlord still won't return your deposit, your only other option is to file an action in the county court where the property is located. In your situation, you would have to file an action against the landlord in Hillsborough County (assuming this is the County where you lived).

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