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Dennis Andrew Chen
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Dennis Chen’s Answers

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  • Can my landlord do this?

    I gave my notice and I paid my rent up until 07/31 until my lease ends. I packed and moved out everything at the end of June. But because my lease was up end of July I still had to pay rent. I went in the apartment today to find that my landlord...

    Dennis’s Answer

    I believe the landlord entered too early. If you moved out at the end of June and paid rent for July, the landlord should have waited at least 15 days before they entered and even then I don't think they have the right to make the repairs that they did. They have effectively retaken possession of the property and I believe you are entitled to the refund of a part of the monthly rent. I suggest that you wait to see if they claim any part of your security deposit and if they do, contact an attorney for assistance. There are attorneys that will handle this type of case on a contingency basis. In other words, the attorney gets paid if you win and the fees are paid by the landlord.

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  • Are all condo meetings open to all unit owners?

    If there is a personal meeting regarding issues (disciplinary) with a property management company employee and a more than 50% of the condo board members are in attendance. Does this create a quorum ? If so, would this had required a meeting no...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Not all meetings are open to the unit owners. For example, meetings with a lawyer regarding litigation is confidential.

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  • I purchased a property at an HOA foreclosure am I responsible for assessments due prior to the sale but after the judgement?

    The judgement for past HOA dues and attorney costs was entered 7 months prior my actual sale date. The property went to auction on 3 different occasions and all prior high bidders failed to finalize the sale by making a payment in full. The result...

    Dennis’s Answer

    See Fla. Stat. 720.3085(2) which provides that a parcel owner is jointly liable with the previous owner:
    (2)(a) A parcel owner, regardless of how his or her title to property has been acquired, including by purchase at a foreclosure sale or by deed in lieu of foreclosure, is liable for all assessments that come due while he or she is the parcel owner. The parcel owner’s liability for assessments may not be avoided by waiver or suspension of the use or enjoyment of any common area or by abandonment of the parcel upon which the assessments are made.
    (b) A parcel owner is jointly and severally liable with the previous parcel owner for all unpaid assessments that came due up to the time of transfer of title. This liability is without prejudice to any right the present parcel owner may have to recover any amounts paid by the present owner from the previous owner. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “previous owner” shall not include an association that acquires title to a delinquent property through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure. The present parcel owner’s liability for unpaid assessments is limited to any unpaid assessments that accrued before the association acquired title to the delinquent property through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure.

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  • How many notices do you get before the sheriff serves you a 24 hour eviction in Florida?

    My daughter is being evicted from a trailer park. The landlord posted a 5 day notice to pay or vacate on her door back in May. This month, June, the landlord filed with the courthouse and sent her a 5 day in the mail. How many more notices will s...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Does your daughter own the mobile home. From reading your description of the events I believe there will be a copy of the 5 day summons that was received by mail posted on the front door. Then the next notice may be a 24 hr eviction notice from the sheriff (Writ of Possession). Consider a consultation with an eviction defense attorney as soon as possible. There are sometimes defenses to mobile home evictions. Unfortunately, there are not many attorneys that are familiar with mobile home eviction law so you may have to call around for someone that will provide a free telephone consultation.

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  • Can landlord withhold $600+ from $1000 security deposit for maintenance items that are identified in the lease as his ?

    My landlord returned $342 of my $1,000 security deposit with a list of things he says i am responsible for; power washing driveway and walks, professionally cleaning carpets and house, replacing items from basket shelves that had been removed and ...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Did the landlord send their letter claiming the security deposit within thirty days after you moved out? Did you deliver a written objection to the landlord's claim within fifteen days after you received the letter? You can file a small claims action to recover your security deposit. I recommend consulting an attorney before doing so.

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  • What can I do if a pre-lease has been signed and now the tenant won't move out?

    I signed a pre-lease agreement with an apartment complex. The tenant of the apartment I am supposed to move into already had provided a notice to vacate and was supposed to leave on June 30th. He since has told the apartment complex that he had ...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You do not have the right to remove the current tenant. Whether you have a claim for money damages against the apartment complex depends on the pre-lease agreement. Consider having an attorney review it.

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  • My rent for the month of May 2014 was stolen from my complex office after i dropped it through the after hours mailbox.

    I found out about the situation 3 days later when i found on my door a 3 days notice. The office filed a police report and i did the police report. I paid to report and request a refund to the money order company which was western union and i rece...

    Dennis’s Answer

    What does your lease say about the after hours drop box? If the lease does not address it, you may be able to argue that the rent was delivered to the landlord when you placed the money order in the drop box.

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  • I rent a single family dwelling in FL , with a lease. We recently found out that the home was sold 2 months ago.

    We tried to communicate with the landlord, she says "don't worry about it". I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty. How can she collect rent for a house she not own.?

    Dennis’s Answer

    You need to determine who the owner is and whether you still have the right to enforce your lease. That is best accomplished by seeking an experienced landlord-tenant attorney.

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  • We live in Delray Beach, FL and have a 15 month lease that we signed in May 2013, we are not renewing the lease because of costs

    I was told by 1 person in the office that since we signed in May 2013 our lease would be up in Aug of 2014, we are moving to lower our monthly rental costs and have signed a lease at the new place for move in Aug 1. Now our current landlord is sa...

    Dennis’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A fifteen month lease is greater than one year and the lease must be signed by the landlord in the presence of two witnesses. A lease for more than one year is to be executed with the formality of a deed. If they did not follow procedure, you may be able to successfully argue that the lease is only a month-to-month lease. Have an attorney review the document to determine if you have that argument.

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  • Can I withhold rent for landlord not notifying of major construction and code violations that had to be completed while I'm here

    Signed my lease in Feb. I had entire month from Feb. to end of March with no issues. The first week of April, there is a huge construction project going on on my building. I researched and found that the construction was being done in my entire ap...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You should consult an attorney as soon as possible. I think you may be referring to a condo community in Metrowest where the units are individually owned. I agree with the other attorney and suggest that if you would like to move out you may be able to terminate the lease based on this problem.

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