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Landlord continues to not fix many things in our apartment in Florida. Statute is very confusing. We do NOT have a lease.

Pensacola, FL |

I have spent hours researching Florida Statute 83, specifically 83.201 about him not repairing things in our apartment, but that section seems to refer to "untenantable" units. Ours is not. I understand I can give him a 7-day letter to cure or we will either move, which we can't afford to do just yet, or we will withhold rent (we will actually put it into the Court registry and request a hearing). I'm just not sure if we are to serve him certified mail, in person or regular mail and I'm also not sure if we need to let him know we are withholding rent and/or depositing it into the Court Registry. Our rent is due the 1st, so I need to make sure he has the letter 7 days prior, which would be the 25th. How do I "serve him"? And other than what needs to be repaired, how specific should it be?

Attorney Answers 2


It sounds like this is a residential tenancy, so you are looking at the wrong section of the Florida Statutes. You should be looking at Sections 83.51 and 83.56. It is also important to review what is covered by your lease agreement. Additionally, it depends on what you want the landlord to repair. Not all repairs entitle you to deduct rent or to terminate your lease after 7 days if left uncured. I highly recommend you consult an attorney before doing anything because if you improperly deduct repairs from your rent payment, you could put yourself at risk for eviction. If you decide to do it on your own, you can deliver your written notice by mail or by hand delivery. Hope this helps!

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Thanks for your response. As I stated, we have no lease, but 83.51(b) states: Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement. We have no screens and the plumbing is the the main issue. Is he responsible for the screens? And the sliding glass is broken from the previous tenaant removing it and breaking all the seals, so air goes out and comes in, affecting our electricity bill. Does that count as well?


If you spent hours researching Chap 83 and still don't understand it, its a sure sign that you need to hire legal counsel before you do anything as fumbling around it litigation usually ends up badly for the tenants.

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