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Dennis Andrew Chen
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Dennis Chen’s Answers

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  • Can I withhold rent for landlord not notifying of major construction and code violations that had to be completed while I'm here

    Signed my lease in Feb. I had entire month from Feb. to end of March with no issues. The first week of April, there is a huge construction project going on on my building. I researched and found that the construction was being done in my entire ap...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You should consult an attorney as soon as possible. I think you may be referring to a condo community in Metrowest where the units are individually owned. I agree with the other attorney and suggest that if you would like to move out you may be able to terminate the lease based on this problem.

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  • What do I do if the landlord does not properly serve the 3-day notice in Fla?

    My landlord just served me with my three-day notice, but he wrote on it that he posted it (he hand-delivered), and he back-dated it by one day. I do not have the money for the back rent, but expect it in about two weeks, so it obviously is in my b...

    Dennis’s Answer

    The landlord-tenant law changed on July 1, 2013 and it is much more difficult to fight an eviction based on a defective three day notice. In your case you have to prove to the court that the notice was back-dated and you will probably have to put the unpaid rent in the court registry before you can see the judge. The good news is that since you were just served, assuming Friday, 6/20, then the three day period probably ends on Wednesday, and if the landlord takes a few days or a week to file the lawsuit, by the time you are served with the summons, your five day period to respond should be within the two weeks you need to get the money to put in the registry. At that point you have to decide whether the money is better spent fighting the eviction or moving to a new place. When you pay into the court registry you could still get evicted and lose the money.

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  • If my COA condo association forecloses on my unit, can they still seek a deficiency judgement against me for unpaid dues?

    My association filed to foreclose on my condo unit. I have not paid my condo dues or assessments in 6 months. If they take ownership of my condo, can they still come after me for unpaid dues?

    Dennis’s Answer

    Consult an attorney regarding your circumstances. If the property is upside down, have you considered a short sale? If you are not interested in keeping the condo, why not sell it? At the foreclosure sales sometimes the property sells for more than the judgment and you will not owe anything further but your specific circumstances may cause a different result. Consult an attorney sooner rather than later.

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  • Is an E-MAIL from a tenant, informing me he will vacate my rental early, valid/legal? Will I still need to send non-renewal?

    Tenant will be vacating a month earlier than lease end - fine with me and I will not hold to terms of lease, as to penalties, etc, as I consider this a blessing. Want to protect myself and make sure all is legal. Thanks

    Dennis’s Answer

    It is a good idea to follow up with a formal letter acknowledging the tenant's termination letter. If there is a security deposit, you still have to comply with the security deposit claim procedure under Fla Stat 83.49. I included the link below.

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  • Help. Is there anything I can do ?

    My work truck is in the body shop due to an accident, I hit road debris at night. My insurance company is paying for the repairs. The body shop failed to get approval from my insurance company for additional damage they found and repaired it witho...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Consult an attorney to consider your rights under the Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act. Did you sign a written estimate and approve the additional work? You may be entitled to the return of your money.

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  • Can I take a WINDHAVEN insurance company or person who is insured by them to small claims court from car accident?

    I was in a car accident May 4th. I was not a fault in the accident. My car insurance only covers medical bills up to $10,000 - The other car insurance company does not have bodily injury on their policy, and I was told by my Lawyer that my case is...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You can sue the vehicle owner or driver for your injuries. If you obtain a judgment against them, you then have to figure out to collect from them. If they do not have any assets, you are unlikely to collect, and if the judgment is large, they will probably file bankruptcy.

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  • Can my landlord disconnect my air conditioning unit on the outside of the house because I am late paying rent?

    I am a half a month late paying my rent and I went home today in my AC wasn't working. My landlord called me asked me when I was going to make my other half of payment and when I told him at the end of next week he said he'll come over and put the...

    Dennis’s Answer

    The answer to your question is generally no. If you have a written lease you should have an attorney review the lease for you and give you advice specific to your situation.

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  • What are the legal requirements for a stove/oven in an apartment? In mine only one of four burners work and the oven only works

    I live in pine hills Florida and I have called them out several times and they say they won't do anything about it. I can't even cook any of my food properly. There are four burners only one works the other three smoke and put a toxic smell in the...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Have an attorney review your lease and help you determine your rights.

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  • If I was served for a small claims suit but filed bankruptcy after. Do I have to appear in court?

    I am being sued for $5000 shortly after being served I filed for bankruptcy chapter 7.

    Dennis’s Answer

    Call the lawyers that filed the lawsuit and tell them that you filed chapter 7. Give them the bankruptcy case number and they should stop pursuing the case. You should also call the small claims court and tell them that you filed chapter 7, give them your bankruptcy case number so that they can cancel the hearing. They may request something in writing.

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  • How to get deposit back

    Hi, I left my rented appartment at Design place miami on 4/26/14 The deposit is 1350$ After 5 weeks the refund check came as 650$ while the refund letter say the refund is 750$ with 550$ deduction for stained carpet and mini blind damage. I r...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You have only fifteen days after receiving the claim letter to object to the security deposit claim. If the security deposit claim letter was sent after 5/26/14, you may have a claim for the return of the entire security deposit. Speak with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney and have them review the letter you received from the landlord.

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