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Rebecca Lavie’s Answers

81 total


  • How long before I am evicted under Florida Law? Landlord verbally via text message waived May 2013's rent.

    She said to give her "something" for the rent in June 2013 again via text message. This was all due to financial problems I was having with the courts in NY. Come June when I came back, she again via text told me she was going to rent out the prop...

    Rebecca’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You have five days to respond to the eviction summons, or your landlord will be entitled to a default judgment against you. When you submit your answer and defenses, you will either have to place the entire amount of rent that the landlord claims you owe into the court registry or, if you dispute the amount of rent owed, you will need to submit a motion to determine rent to the court. If you do not do one of these two things, your landlord can get a default judgment even if you submit an answer. You may want to consult a landlord-tenant attorney to help you through this process.

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  • Can I hire a friend to paint my house.He is not a licensed painter.

    Local code enforcement shut the job down.I have a painting permit.

    Rebecca’s Answer

    The State of Florida does not require a license for painting contractors. However, Monroe County, which I assume is where you are from, does require painters to have a license. I briefly looked over the sections in the Monroe County Code of Ordinances that deal with buildings and construction, and it appears that you will need to hire a licensed painter to do the work on your house.

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  • I got an eviction summons filed response letter within the 5 days. recieved letter back from judge to deposit money if i dont

    have money to deposit what can i do to have more time to get money together

    Rebecca’s Answer

    Do you have any reason to believe the amount of rent your landlord is requesting in the eviction complaint is incorrect? If you think your landlord is asking for too much you can file a Motion to Determine Rent with the court. There would be a hearing to determine how much rent is owed, and you would have to pay whatever rent the judge determined was due into the court registry. This would get you a little more time, but I only recommend it if you have a good reason to dispute the rent amount and would be able to immediately pay that amount into the court registry following the hearing. You may want to contact your local legal aid office to see if you are eligible for pro bono assistance in dealing with this matter.

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  • Do I need a lawyer or a mediator?

    I have been served for a loan (line of credit ) I took out in 2005 which I was unable to continue the repayments in Mid June of 2008. The bank is filing for the full payment. I have a first mortgage with W’Fargo bank and the Line of credit wi...

    Rebecca’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You should contact an attorney who handles debt collection defense as soon as possible. If you have been served with a lawsuit, you have 20 days from the date of service to submit a response to the court. If you do not submit a response within 20 days, the plaintiff is entitled to a default judgment. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you should contact your local legal aid office to see if you are eligible for pro bono legal assistance.

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  • I have an order setting residential foreclosure non-jury trial and directing pretrial procedures. I became un employed 05/10/13

    Cant afford a lawyer and need time to save to move out my family what can I do

    Rebecca’s Answer

    I agree with the previous two answers. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may qualify for legal aid, especially since you are unemployed. Your local legal aid organization may be able to set you up with a pro bono attorney who can assist you with your case. For West Palm Beach, you would want to contact the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. Whatever you decide to do, you need to act quickly as the clock is ticking.

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  • My tenant had a 1 yr lease - which is up for renewal she wants to go month to month does the existing lease agreement continue?

    how long does she need to give notice - I also did a walkthrough and noticed 2 wall mounted tvs can I with hold from sec deposit if she leaves - house was prestine when she took occupancy

    Rebecca’s Answer

    Assuming you don't enter into a new agreement, the terms of the original lease would continue while she is month-to-month. For a month-to-month lease, either party can terminate the lease by giving 15 days written notice. With respect to the wall mounted TV's, if the damage to the walls is more than reasonable wear and tear, then you can withhold the cost of repairs from the security deposit after she vacates the property. Remember that in order to impose a claim on the security deposit, you will need to send written notice stating the reasons for the deduction within 30 days of her vacating the property.

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  • I failed to pay my HOA feed for 2 quarters $200.00 . When I was made aware I paided $560.00. Now they want $2700.00

    My husband lost his job, so yes I cut corners. As soon we were employed I started to paid. HOA feeds. Please advice

    Rebecca’s Answer

    When you paid the $560, how did you arrive at that number? Did you receive a notice from the HOA telling you that was how much you owed? Was the $560 only part of what you owed? If you have not already done so, I recommend contacting the HOA and requesting an itemized statement of everything they are claiming you owe. If the HOA has already filed a foreclosure complaint, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If they have not filed a foreclosure complaint yet, you should contact the HOA to see if they are willing to work with you to resolve this matter without resorting to litigation.

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  • After giving a tenant a 15 day notice to vacate what is the next step if the tenant refuses to leave.

    Tenant is behind on rent and property is due for foreclosure

    Rebecca’s Answer

    Before doing anything else, you should review your notice to make sure it complies with the requirements of Chapter 83, Florida Statutes. For non-payment of rent, your notice must demand rent or possession of the property. You say that you gave the tenant a notice to vacate. If the notice did not demand rent, then it is defective. The notice must be substantially in the following form:

    You are hereby notified that you are indebted to me in the sum of _____ dollars for the rent and use of the premises (address of leased premises, including county) , Florida, now occupied by you and that I demand payment of the rent or possession of the premises within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice, to wit: on or before the ____ day of ___________, ______ .
    (landlord’s name, address and phone number)

    You may wish to consult a landlord-tenant attorney in your area to make sure your notice is proper.

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  • What should i do, when the place you renting goes in forecloser,and bought back by bank

    landlord going into forecloser sold back to bank,do we continue paying our rent or what??i have my family to think about as well. idk what to do.

    Rebecca’s Answer

    Has the foreclosure sale already occurred? If so, you should pay rent to the new owner. Under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, anyone who acquires title to a property pursuant to a foreclosure takes the property subject to the rights of any bona fide tenants living on the property. You are entitled to stay in the property for the duration of your lease or for 90 days, whichever is longer. If the sale has not yet occurred, you should keep paying your current landlord rent until the foreclosure sale. If you have not already done so, you should submit a filing to the court stating that you are a tenant living in the property. Submit a copy of your lease with the filing. When the foreclosure sale occurs, you will probably be notified, and at that point you should start paying rent to the new owner.

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  • Can my landlord tell me to leave so he can strip everything where am renting? What about Protecting Tenants Foreclosure Act?

    My landlord lost his property to foreclosure I am renting a furnished guest house month to month. He's demanding me to leave two weeks before the bank takes over the property 8/1/2013. He has not notified me in writing. He wants to strip the pla...

    Rebecca’s Answer

    The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act does provide protection to tenants who live in foreclosed properties. However, the Act applies to immediate successors in interest to a property that is subject to a foreclosure. This means it would apply to whoever took title to the property after the foreclosure sale (probably the bank). I am not aware of anything that would prevent a landlord who is in foreclosure from terminating a month-to-month lease prior to the foreclosure sale. Under a month-to-month lease, a landlord only has to give 15 days notice that he is terminating the lease agreement.

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