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Sergio Cabanas
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Sergio Cabanas’s Answers

402 total


  • Is it possible to have a recent debt that's in collections removed from your credit?

    I rented an apartment for 7 years. I recently purchased a home and moved 3 months prior to the end of the apartment’s annual lease. I contacted the leasing office in person and gave them 1 month’s notice that I’m leaving. They asked me to fill out...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that, depending on the wording of your lease, it would appear that you are liable for the remaining term of your lease. Instead of giving up, however, you can (and should) dispute the debt and make inquiries as to when the unit was re-rented and for how much, which may serve to reduce (mitigate) your debt (damages). Even if they were not ale to re-rent the property, they will often settle for a reduced amount. An experienced attorney can help you through such a dispute/negotiation process. There's no harm in trying, right? Good luck!

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  • Understand to 83.51 does my landlord have to fix my tile if its cracking all over my house

    I have a hairline crack going down my tile from my sliding glass door all the way to my kitchen is about 60 feet and is cracking all over my apartment and my landlord tells me that he's not responsible understand 83.51 under cosmetic damage

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that the Landlord does not have any legal duty to repair such a "cosmetic" type of damage, unless otherwise agreed in the lease agreement. However, if it's that bad, it could affect the marketability of the premises to prospective tenants, and you have the option of not renewing the lease. So upon the expiration of the lease, you can (diplomatically) threaten to not renew, thereby forcing him to incur turnover expense (i.e., painting, cleaning, etc.), and vacancy expense (when he would not be receiving rents for at least a month and may be more for the turnover to another tenant, especially considering the cosmetic defect in the tiles), as well as marketing expenses for another tenant who may not be as good as you (assuming you're a good tenant to him otherwise). Try to use these factors as leverage in either reducing the rent for a new lease (and use the savings to do the repairs on your own or buy a throw rug to cover it) or making him do the repairs. So while you may not have legal power, you can still use economic leverage to try to get what you want. Good luck!

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  • Can a landlord sue you for not giving enough notice if your lease was about to expire anyway?

    I had a one year lease at an apartment complex in Broward County, FL that was set to expire 8/1. I gave the landlord written notice on 6/29 that I would be vacating the premises and not renewing the lease. I vacated the premises on 8/1. They are n...

    Sergio’s Answer

    In general, Florida law does not require "expiration notices." In other words, neither the landlord nor the tenant is required to provide notice that the lease is not being renewed uon its expiration, unless the lease provides otherwise (or the parties agree otherwise through their communications or actions). The lease is simply enforced as written, including its expiration. Based on the infromaiton provided in your question, the landlord should not be allowed to charge for the additional month. I'm guessing that you didn't pay for the month of August, so the landlord withheld the security deposit when you moved out? If that's the case, you should consult with an attorney to review the lease and any notice of intent to withhold the security deposit (and obtaining more specific information about your case). From there, this issue might be resolved with a simple demand letter. If not, you have the option of filing suit to recover your money, and have your court costs and security deposit paid. Most attorneys offer a free consultation to review your case. Good luck!

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  • E.g., "Can the HOA ask for 1 month security deposit from tenant. Isnt the law that the landlord can ask for deposit, the HOA is

    not the landlord.

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that there is no law that prohibits an HOA from imposing fees, and they often do ....as long as the governing documentation allows them. The good news is that the type of charge they are requiring is a "deposit," which implies that it is ultimately refundable to you. If it is refundable, but they withhold any part of it due to the Landlord's failure in any way, you may have recourse against the Landlord (and maybe the HOA depending on the facts). From a practical standpoint, if the charge does not create a tremendous hardship and you like the place, pay it and anticipate being paid in full. If the amount is a hardship but you still want to live there, you have the option of paying under protest and retaining an attorney to review these governing documents to determine the legality of the charge.

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  • Am I, the tenant, responsible for the costs of a broken in door(of rented apartment) due to burglary?

    Nothing was stolen, but the door was kicked in. The landlord is telling us it is up to us to pay the damages. Technically our lease was up when this happened and we weren't even living there. But still had a few extra belongings in the apartment t...

    Sergio’s Answer

    Obtain a copy of a police report and report it to the landlord right away. Some landlords may agree to do the repairs. There's nothing wrong in trying, right? However, if the Landlord refuses, I agree there may be complications with proving a case to make the landlord incur the costs of repair, and the case is probably not worth pursing from an economic standpoint. Good luck!

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  • I have a landlord / tenant problem

    I currently rent a 2/2 condo from a individual in Coral Springs. Recently, the sprinklers in the front of my unit on the first floor have been spraying onto the front walls and front windows. They go on in the middle of the night everyday. Afte...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree that we have to ascertain the exact cause of the problem. It can the srpinklers.... or some other cause such as a plumbing leak (in your unit or some other unit), rook leak, etc. Then we can figure out who's responsible and how to best handle the problem. I also agree you must put your complaint of the problem in writing via a proper 7-Day notice as required by Florida law to put the landlord on notice so he/she can help you find the cause of the problem. Depending on the outcome of the foregoing, we can then determine the next steps. This problem has to be handled carefully and properly, or you find yourself on the wrong end of an eviction proceeding and/or being liable for the remaining term of the lease regardless of whether you actually live there.

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  • Can my landlord do this?

    Renting a house from someone(turned out to be a slumlord!) and he has decided to turn off the water due to nonpayment of rent. He stuck a 3 day notice on our door Sept 15th and we told him the situation. He didn't put anything else on the door, no...

    Sergio’s Answer

    The termination of the water service is very serious ...and very illegal under Florida law even if allowed by the lease. It's known as "self-help" eviction, which is specifically prohibited by statute. The landlord is potentially liable for damages of at least 3 months' rent, plus court costs and attorney's fees. You should consult with a Landlord-Tenant attorney as soon as possible so that he/she can review your lease and the specific facts of your case to finalize a legal opinion and develop your legal strategy, as it appears that the Landlord is proceeding with an eviction in addition to depriving you of the water service.

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  • Do I need a cosumer lawyer?

    A collection company is threatening to sue me over a old credit card debt that is 6 years old. I think it might be timed barred,but not sure

    Sergio’s Answer

    It does appear that they are barred from bringing suit based on the Statute of Limitations. However, nothing keeps them from asking if you are willing to pay the debt nonetheless. I would wait to see if they sue, and then consult with an attorney who can review your case (and overall financial situation) to help develop your strategy and options, including your defenses. I hope it all works out for you!.

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  • How do I incorporate the fraudulent collections account reported by my landlord into my law suit against them?

    I am suing my previous landlord for not returning my rent deposit. What I really want is for the fraudulent charges they sent to collections to come off of my credit report. However, I don't know how to go about doing this. What I'm suing for need...

    Sergio’s Answer

    There are two basic issues with this case. The first one, of course, involves suing your landlord for the failure to return your security deposit. I would suggest you consult with an attorney about the viability of your case and, assuming you have a case, you may be entitled to the recovery of attorney's fees if you prevail. The other issue relates to disputing the reported debt in your credit report. Ideally, if you prevail in the underlying case, you can request to have the negative reporting taken off your credit report. Alternatively, you can dispute the debt in your credit report, and if not validated, it could be removed without having to sue and win. Of course, there's more to this than what I briefly stated here. In this simple question-answer forum, there's only so much we can cover, which is the reason I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney.

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  • Got a tenant whose lease expires tomorrow. What are my options to sign new lease with increased rent?

    Got a tenant whose 12-Month lease expires tomorrow. I was planning on sending a Notice of Rent Increase this week notifying him of the increase starting on January (leaving him on a month-to-month with current rent until December).However, the com...

    Sergio’s Answer

    We need to address two issues regarding your question. First, we need to make sure we're complying with the Association's restrictions with the length of tenancy and approval process, which can be a problem if not addressed properly. Secondly, depending on the outcome of the Association, we then tailor a lease that achieves what you want (i.e., a short-term tenant) while also complying with the applicable Association rules. Given the fast approaching deadlines with both the Association and the tenant along with the consequences if not done right (such loss of rent and fines by Association, etc), there's little room for error,, which is the reason you should consult an attorney right away to avoid these potential. Your investment is at risk. It'll be much cheaper to prevent the problems than to hire an attorney to try to fix it later.

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