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Sergio Cabanas
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Sergio Cabanas’s Answers

376 total


  • Can my landlord do this?

    Renting a house from someone(turned out to be a slumlord!) and he has decided to turn off the water due to nonpayment of rent. He stuck a 3 day notice on our door Sept 15th and we told him the situation. He didn't put anything else on the door, no...

    Sergio’s Answer

    The termination of the water service is very serious ...and very illegal under Florida law even if allowed by the lease. It's known as "self-help" eviction, which is specifically prohibited by statute. The landlord is potentially liable for damages of at least 3 months' rent, plus court costs and attorney's fees. You should consult with a Landlord-Tenant attorney as soon as possible so that he/she can review your lease and the specific facts of your case to finalize a legal opinion and develop your legal strategy, as it appears that the Landlord is proceeding with an eviction in addition to depriving you of the water service.

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  • Do I need a cosumer lawyer?

    A collection company is threatening to sue me over a old credit card debt that is 6 years old. I think it might be timed barred,but not sure

    Sergio’s Answer

    It does appear that they are barred from bringing suit based on the Statute of Limitations. However, nothing keeps them from asking if you are willing to pay the debt nonetheless. I would wait to see if they sue, and then consult with an attorney who can review your case (and overall financial situation) to help develop your strategy and options, including your defenses. I hope it all works out for you!.

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  • How do I incorporate the fraudulent collections account reported by my landlord into my law suit against them?

    I am suing my previous landlord for not returning my rent deposit. What I really want is for the fraudulent charges they sent to collections to come off of my credit report. However, I don't know how to go about doing this. What I'm suing for need...

    Sergio’s Answer

    There are two basic issues with this case. The first one, of course, involves suing your landlord for the failure to return your security deposit. I would suggest you consult with an attorney about the viability of your case and, assuming you have a case, you may be entitled to the recovery of attorney's fees if you prevail. The other issue relates to disputing the reported debt in your credit report. Ideally, if you prevail in the underlying case, you can request to have the negative reporting taken off your credit report. Alternatively, you can dispute the debt in your credit report, and if not validated, it could be removed without having to sue and win. Of course, there's more to this than what I briefly stated here. In this simple question-answer forum, there's only so much we can cover, which is the reason I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney.

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  • Got a tenant whose lease expires tomorrow. What are my options to sign new lease with increased rent?

    Got a tenant whose 12-Month lease expires tomorrow. I was planning on sending a Notice of Rent Increase this week notifying him of the increase starting on January (leaving him on a month-to-month with current rent until December).However, the com...

    Sergio’s Answer

    We need to address two issues regarding your question. First, we need to make sure we're complying with the Association's restrictions with the length of tenancy and approval process, which can be a problem if not addressed properly. Secondly, depending on the outcome of the Association, we then tailor a lease that achieves what you want (i.e., a short-term tenant) while also complying with the applicable Association rules. Given the fast approaching deadlines with both the Association and the tenant along with the consequences if not done right (such loss of rent and fines by Association, etc), there's little room for error,, which is the reason you should consult an attorney right away to avoid these potential. Your investment is at risk. It'll be much cheaper to prevent the problems than to hire an attorney to try to fix it later.

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  • Can my husbands wages be garnished for an old debt.

    In 2008 a lawsuit was filed against my husband for a credit card debt. and now it is 2015 and he was just notified from his employer saying that they got a judgement to garnish his wages. He never received this notification himself. Can they ...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that the statute of limitations argument is probably not viable. However, you may have other options, which are too complex to review in this online forum. An attorney can review if there is some way to eliminate the judgement, assert a defense against the garnishment or file a bankruptcy. In a case like this, there is no substitute for an in-office consultation with an attorney that practices in this area to find out more about these options.

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  • Can a file a lien against my significant other's property for work that I have done if he dumps me after 15 yrs.?

    We both agreed that we would never marry from day one. However, when I moved in to his house it was in complete disrepair. In the last 15 yrs. I have worked very hard improving the property, documenting my hard work with before and after pics. ...

    Sergio’s Answer

    i recently litigated a case similar to yours, which resulted in a favorable settlement. Of course, every case is different, but my research in that case revealed there are many other instances where similar situations have occurred, where the court found that the person making the contribution was entitled to compensation. There are several legal theories under which you can recover under Florida law. However, it is complex and very important to find an attorney that is knowledgeable about these theories to develop your case.

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  • Is my landlord/property management company responsible for moving fees if they want to renovate my unit

    My property management company refuses to pay moving fees because they are relocating me to another building but will not reimburse nor comp hotel fees while renovating my unit...Is this legal?

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues, and I would add that I have seen some leases where the landlord reserves the right to relocate for renovations. I would need to see the lease to be sure. Assuming no such provision, you have an enforceable lease and entitled to compensation that should be negotiated.

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  • I gave someone 90 days to remove her stuff from 2locations then a extra 3 days still has not picked up stuff what can I do

    she did not sign the paper for the 90 days , I have the text messages for the 3 day extension she clams the person she lives with can't get off work, by in 93 days theirs time off. What can I do with her stuff legally?

    Sergio’s Answer

    I believe most attorneys would need more facts in order to provide you with any guidance. The question has been categorized as being a "Landlord-Tenant" matter, but the question describes more of a storage situation where someone left their belongings in two places, creating a bailment? I suggest you provide more facts in your question.

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  • Landlord (management company) not completing major repairs

    I am a renter of a home in southern Florida. The property is controlled by a management company locally. I have some major repairs that have not been addressed even after several months of phone calls, maintenance requests, emails and text messa...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree. Under Florida law, the renter must be legally justified to withhold rent, which requires the renter to follow specific procedures This includes sending a written notice that properly puts the Landlord on sufficient notice of the defects, and demanding such repairs be comeplted within 7 days (in addition to complying with other requirements). If the criteria is not met, you would be evicted from the property and/or be held liable for the lease. I agree you should consult an attorney who can review the lease and prepare this crucial notice, and thereafter negotiate with the landlord to achieve a satisfactory result while laying the groundwork to reduce the rent and defending against any eviction if left with no other choice.

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  • Can a check marked "payment in full" that is cashed by the creditor prevent the creditor from recovering the balance?

    No further details

    Sergio’s Answer

    I had this situation which I litigated extensively, and ultiamtely won about three years ago. It's called "accord and satisfaction." I had a Forlida Supreme Court case on point and many other consistent opinions from appellate courts. However, I see two other prior responses from excellent attorneys who are rendering completely different opinions, which is now making me doubt myself and consider they are relying on a more recent development that changed the law or different fact patterns. It can't hurt to consult an attorney who can research this issue specifically to be sure you're not giving up a vlauable defense.

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