I have a mold problem and want out of my lease. How should I go about this to get a full refund of my deposit? Should I sue?

Asked about 1 year ago - Fort Lauderdale, FL

I had mushrooms growing in my bedroom and water heater/a/c unit closet. After three weeks of going back and forth with my property management company, I finally had a mold remediation service come out and remove dry wall, carpeting, bleach the area etc. They suggested I try to get out of my lease because of the damage. They've worked with my management company many times and told me they are not a good company to rent from. I've been feeling sick the nights I had to stay in my apartment and was advised by the mold remediation workers not to walk barefoot in the house and clean my feet with alcohol. They told me the air was contaminated because of the mold near the a/c unit and will leave a machine here for 2 days to filter the air. I'm afraid for my health & want to move asap. Please help

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Barry A. Stein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Your lease agreement controls. It needs to be reviewed. The statutory authority for issues involving habitability is



    83.56 Termination of rental agreement.—
    (1) If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement. If the failure to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement is due to causes beyond the control of the landlord and the landlord has made and continues to make every reasonable effort to correct the failure to comply, the rental agreement may be terminated or altered by the parties, as follows:
    (a) If the landlord’s failure to comply renders the dwelling unit untenantable and the tenant vacates, the tenant shall not be liable for rent during the period the dwelling unit remains uninhabitable.

    (b) If the landlord’s failure to comply does not render the dwelling unit untenantable and the tenant remains in occupancy, the rent for the period of noncompliance shall be reduced by an amount in proportion to the loss of rental value caused by the noncompliance.

    (2) If the tenant materially fails to comply with s. 83.52 or material provisions of the rental agreement, other than a failure to pay rent, or reasonable rules or regulations, the landlord may:
    (a) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure it or if the noncompliance constitutes a subsequent or continuing noncompliance within 12 months of a written warning by the landlord of a similar violation, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance and the landlord’s intent to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of noncompliance which are of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure include, but are not limited to, destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord’s or other tenants’ property by intentional act or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance. In such event, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement, and the tenant shall have 7 days from the date that the notice is delivered to vacate the premises. The notice shall be adequate if it is in substantially the following form:
    You are advised that your lease is terminated effective immediately. You shall have 7 days from the delivery of this letter to vacate the premises. This action is taken because (cite the noncompliance) .

    (b) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should be given an opportunity to cure it, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance, including a notice that, if the noncompliance is not corrected within 7 days from the date the written notice is delivered, the landlord shall terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, activities in contravention of the lease or this act such as having or permitting unauthorized pets, guests, or vehicles; parking in an unauthorized manner or permitting such parking; or failing to keep the premises clean and sanitary. The notice shall be adequate if it is in substantially the following form:
    You are hereby notified that (cite the noncompliance) . Demand is hereby made that you remedy the noncompliance within 7 days of receipt of this notice or your lease shall be deemed terminated and you shall vacate the premises upon such termination. If this same conduct or conduct of a similar nature is repeated within 12 months, your tenancy is subject to termination without your being given an opportunity to cure the noncompliance.

    (3) If the tenant fails to pay rent when due and the default continues for 3 days, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays, after delivery of written demand by the landlord for

    The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual... more
  2. Richard Eric Berman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Sounds like you spend a lot of money on leased premises. That should be your Landlord's responsibility. Did you get a certificate from the mold remediation company saying that your premises are remediated?
    Typically, when you have premises that are uninhabitable, you can claim that you are constructively evicted and must move out to perfect that claim. You should speak to a knowledgeable commercial litigator about your situation and the remedies available to you.

  3. Lawrence Nicolas Reger

    Contributor Level 4

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The method for moving out of a leased unit is relatively tricky. The first step is usually to call your county code inspector and have them come out and inspect the property. If there are violations of the health code they will cite your landlord. From there, the basic method for getting out of a lease is that you need to give your landlord a special type of 7 day notice that says he needs to fix the problem or you will vacate the premises and terminate your lease. If he does not at least begin fixing the problem within 7 days and it is serious enough then you can move out and terminate your lease.

    This process is complicated though and there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. If you make a mistake then your lease will not be properly terminated and you can end up owing money on your lease even though it is your landlord's fault that your property is unlivable. You should contact a lawyer who specializes in landlord tenant law and see if you can get a free consultation so that you can see what all your options are.

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