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Tenant has left property (2 months into lease) and refuses to remove personal property until they are paid for their troubles.

West Palm Beach, FL |

The unit is part of a association building. It appears a water pipe broke in the wall and the tenant never corresponded with the landlord until all their personal property was ruined (mold) and the place was inhabitable.

The tenant is in month 2 of a 1 year lease and has moved to a hotel. They refuse to sign a release of the lease (we are willing to get them out) unless we pay them their entire sec. deposit, replace value of personal property and reimburse the hotel stay until they find a new place to live.

What are the rights of the landlord to remedy the unit (removal of mold ) when the tenant has no intention of returning unless we meet their demands? We are requesting they remove their personal property but can we state we will remove it for them at a charge to the tenant?

Attorney Answers 3


Sue them. You likely have a couple theories to move on. If they failed to notify LL of burst pipe they may be liable for some or all of the damage, repair, mold mitigation, etc.

See a LL-Tenant attorney immediately and start the process.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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The Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act (the “Disposition Act”) [see § 715.10 et seq., Fla. Stat.] sets out a procedure for disposing of property that a tenant left behind on the property. You can dispose of the tenant's property according to the procedure set out in the Disposition Act. If you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities under the Disposition Act, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

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The lease agreement should govern most of this dispute. If you are uncertain of your rights and obligations, or if the agreement is unclear, you should meet with a landlord/tenant attorney for a consultation.

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