Skip to main content
Sergio Cabanas
Avvo
Pro

Sergio Cabanas’s Answers

402 total


  • Can I obligate a tenant to pay for rent that was confirmed by texting versus a written lease with signatures in Florida?

    Tenant in Florida wants to terminate an extension on a condo rental lease and says because it was all confirmed via texting it isn't valid without a signed lease.

    Sergio’s Answer

    Possibly. As mentioned in the other responses, an attorney would have the see the actual communications by text to see if it's tantamount to an actual lease for a term of time, or month to month. Even if it's month to month, the lease must be terminated in the manner required by law, otherwise the tenant remains liable. As you can see, we not able to give you a clear-cut answer until we know the pertinent facts.

    See question 
  • If they leave for over 48 hours can I change the locks and claim desertion

    Roommate in residential home in FL behind in rent

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree you must go through the eviction process, beginning with a proper 3-day notice. I would recommend you see an attorney because the procedure for evicting a roommate is a little more complex than the more common version. One mistake can doom your eviction. Good luck!

    See question 
  • How do I appeal a judgement

    I have a judgement against me from a debt collection agency midland and their lawyer in duvall county. where I reside.

    Sergio’s Answer

    To lawyers, this is akin to asking of forum of surgeons how to perform heart surgery. Unfortunately the appellate process is very complicated, and full of landmines. You should consult an attorney who can perform a proper evaluation of the case and review your options.

    See question 
  • How should I alert the Judge that he is refusing to follow the order

    My landlord is trying to evict me. I have been there one month but he found someone who will pay more for my unit so he is trying to evict me. I payed the court register what I owed in Nov. During mediation the landlord stated that he did not w...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that you have to pay the money to the court registry. You should carefully follow the court's order. Moreover, it appears you may have valid defenses which is good news. Bad news is that Landlord-Tenant law i very complicated and unpredictable. You should consult with an attorney experienced in Landlord-Tenant matters asap.

    See question 
  • Can my landlord ask for late fees incurred before filing and dismissing an eviction?

    I'm a Florida resident and was a late a few months on rent (Paid every month, was just tardy). Landlord filed eviction proceedings the last month, I paid before the 3 day notice was filed. They self dismissed the eviction. Months (almost 6) later ...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that your question has certain contradictory information, and we are assuming that the landlord probably served you with a proper 3-day notice, then filed the eviction and you paid the rent alleged in the complaint within the time you were suppose to file an answer with the court (i.e., within 5 business days). I also agree with the responses provided by my colleagues. You were looking for any possible defenses against the landlord's ability to claim late fees many months later. There is some statutory language that states that where rent is accepted by the landlord, "knowing of the non-compliance," there is a waiver of that noncompliance. Furthermore, there is case law that states that where the parties develop a pattern of conduct (such accepting rent late), then the landlord is deemed to have waived any right to late fees. These arguments are very sophisticated, and that's why I would recommend an attorney help you to negotiate a settlement, but it's better than falling on your sword.

    See question 
  • Is it legal in the state of Florida for property manager to take interior apartment pictures without permission of tenant?

    Property manager was in the apt with repair man and took several pictures of the apartment while there, none of which were pictures related to any repair issues. Tenant was not present but viewed the event in the security camera video. Pictures we...

    Sergio’s Answer

    Florida law generally allows a landlord and their agents access into a leased property with notice (and without notice under certain emergency situations). Given this right, the landlord is allowed to observe the interior of the premises from a casual walk-through. and take pictures.

    See question 
  • Process server files false return of service in Palm Beach County while I live in Broward and Texas

    Bank recently filed suit for unpaid credit card in Palm Beach County using address of my former residency I lost in foreclosure last year. I am a Texas resident now but do spend time in Broward. I see on public records that the summons was serve...

    Sergio’s Answer

    Yes, you can quash the service of process under these circumstances. I agree this matter that reached a level of complexity that requires the assistance of an attorney, even if it's a limited basis to quash service of process. Efforts can be made through an attorney to avoid your having to come to Palm Beach.

    See question 
  • Can I brake my rent contact wiouth being penalized?

    We have been having issues with the apartment since we move. They have fumigated the apartment several times but I am still finding roaches and small frogs inside the house. A few weeks ago there was a dead rat on the entryway. I have a 1 year ...

    Sergio’s Answer

    To answer this question, I would need more information, such as whether you have a written lease and if so, I would need to review it to see the term of the lease and options for terminating it. You may also send a 7-day notice to the landlord to put him on official notice of the problems, which you can use later as justification for paying a reduced rent. I would suggest seeing a lawyer who is experienced in Landlord-Tenant law who can review your lease and discuss your options. Good luck!

    See question 
  • What is the percentage allowed in broward county for annual rent increases on rental property?

    Allowed percentage rent increases in broward county

    Sergio’s Answer

    In Broward County, there are no restrictions on rent increases, unless otherwise stated in the lease or controlled by the HAP contract of a Housing Authority (assuming you agreed to rent to someone who has a government subsidy, like Section 8).

    See question 
  • Landlord has tried to constructively evict

    living there since April 2014 Landlord cut electricity off five times Will not fix water heater and there is no hot water despite repeated requests. Want damages for moving costs and new place to live How much can I ask for Rent is 500 per month

    Sergio’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Florida law allows you to recover three months of free rent for each violation. Assuming the landlord intentionally shut off your power 5 times, that's 15 months of potential free rent. Of course, this would need to be proven and win in court, at which point you can recover attorney fees and costs. You should consider consulting an experienced landlord-tenant attorney who can review your lease and the specific facts of your case. Most of us provide a free consutlation. Good luck!

    See question