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Can I as a tenant withhold rent or pay part the rent if the landlord has not furnish hot water ,no screens in the window?

Miami, FL |

I move in a remodel duplex. Where the landlord has not replace the hot water heater because it does not work and has not fix the window. I ask for my down payment back so that I can move.I have not yet paid the rent which was due on 03/20/13 because there is no hot water and no screens in windows. The landlord needs to buy a new hot water heater and put screens in the window.I have not receive my money back(down payment). So should I deduct money from the rent for everyday without these items.

Does the letter have to be notarized, and once I give the landland this letter what is next,wait for 7 more days and if they do not comply. what should i do next?

Attorney Answers 3


Did you provide notice to the landlord in writing of your intent to withhold rent?

LL/T statutes are very specific as to the procedure you should follow. Please refer to Section 83, Florida Statues (Residential Tenancies).

You may withhold rent after providing notice to the LL and allowing them 7-days to cure the problem. Note: writing means a letter (not email).

Note: The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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I agree with my colleague and add that you should review Florida Statute 83.51, which provides what obligations a landlord has to maintain the property, and F.S. 83.56, which provides the notice required by a tenant for a landlord's non-compliance with F.S. 83.51.

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You should pay the rent that is due, then write a letter giving the landlord 7 days after receipt of the letter to replace the water heater and the window screens or you will consider the contract terminated and move out. Send the letter to the landlord certified mail. You may also email it to him, but you should send the letter certified mail return receipt requested.

If the landlord doesn't replace the items, you can move out and sue the landlord for the return of your money.

You can't move out without going through this procedure or you will be in default of the rental agreement. Good luck!

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1 comment

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


You may add to the landlord that you are deducting $25.00 per day or what you feel is reasonable under the circumstances for having no hot water. make sure that you write this out in the letter.

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